Europe has so many amazing places to travel, but one of the hardest parts about visiting is picking where you want to go. With so many sights to see, how are you possibly supposed to plan a trip just visiting one or two places? Well, look no further, because backpacking has risen in popularity over the years and is one of the prime ways to fix this. This cheaper method of travel allows you to travel to more places and for a longer amount of time, for far less money. That said, these trips are a little more work to plan. No worries though, we’ve got some tips.
One key component when it comes to backpacking is how you get around. Planes, for example, are often expensive and therefore, not the best for backpacking. Backpackers want something cheap and easy. Because of this, once you’ve arrived at your first destination, trains are the best option to get from city to city. Travelers can buy a Eurail pass, which will allow them to travel throughout Europe by train. The passes are very useful and are a great option for travel that’s cheaper, but still efficient and practical.
When you arrive at your destination, the best way to get around any city is the local public transit system. Costs for things like Uber and taxis can rise quickly and won’t help your budget. Instead, get a metro pass for whatever city you’re in, or try to walk as many places as you can.
Another key part when it comes to backpacking is where you spend the night. Like planes, the prices for hotels can really stack up, especially on a long trip. Because of this, most backpackers opt for hostels and Airbnbs. Hostels are the cheapest, sometimes coming in at less than $20 a night. Sleeping in a room of bunk beds with a bunch of other people certainly isn’t ideal, but you’ll be out and about most of the day anyway! If that’s not quite your thing though,
Airbnbs are another great option. Although not quite as cheap as hostels, they can be. If you’re traveling with other people and plan on splitting the cost, this may be a better option. If you’re planning on staying in one place for a few days it also could be better, since you could save money by preparing your own meals. You don’t need to rent out a whole home or apartment either when it comes to Airbnbs. Plenty of people rent out a single room in their home, which is more budget friendly for backpackers, and if you’re looking to really immerse yourself in the local culture, this is a great way! Airbnb hosts will often recommend different attractions and love getting to know their guests.
Want even more ways to save money while backpacking? Check out this post on money-saving travel hacks.
Where to Go
No matter where you go backpacking in Europe, you’ll see a lot. That said, there a few different ways people like to backpack through these gorgeous cities, the first being by country. If you prefer to pick one country and see every inch of it, this is probably your best bet. This method also allows you to spend more time in one place, since travel times from city to city will generally be shorter. One popular country for this method of travel is Spain. You can hit the popular spots like Madrid, Seville and Barcelona, and also make your way to some less-traveled cities like Granada or Valencia. People will also often do a backpacking trip through two neighboring countries, so in that case, we suggest making it a Portugal and Spain trip!
The other way people enjoy going backpacking through Europe is from country to country. These destinations usually stay relatively close to each other, but much farther than if you kept the trip to one or two countries. That said, you don’t want to attempt to cover too much ground, as it can be quite tiring, and much harder to plan.
Here’s some of our favorite options:
- One of the most popular European backpacking trips is through central Europe. This trip allows you to visit some of Europe’s coolest cities like Berlin, Budapest and Prague.
- This time, instead of central Europe, start in western Europe. Travel times will be a little longer, but it’s still a great option. This way you can hit Portugal, Spain and France, and then stay in the area by also exploring places like Belgium or the Netherlands, or even extend the trip and hit cities in Germany, or down in Italy.
- The next area we recommend exploring is the Balkans. The Balkans tend to go unnoticed when it comes to European travel, but trust us, it needs to be on your bucket list. The area is filled with rich history many people don’t know much about. In addition, the architecture in the Balkans is some of the most beautiful in Europe. Some of the Balkan countries you should visit are, but are not limited to, Montenegro, Greece, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia.
The greatest part? Our list is just an introduction! You can find more backpacking tips here. There are so many other great spots to visit. Have fun on your backpacking adventure!