Backpacking Europe changed my life. The exhilarating experience opened my mind to all the possibilities the world held for me, and completely changed the course of my life.
I fell in love with the remarkable sights, cities, and diverse cultures. I wanted to immerse myself in all of them. No matter when I am in the world I always feel a tug pulling me to Europe
Over the years, I have backpacked through Since then I have spent about two year traveling through Europe on countless trips. I have also learned the do’s and dont’s of backpacking Europe.
This is a complete Europe travel tips will give you everything from money saving tips to the best cities to visit when backpacking Europe. This guide will help you have the trip of a lifetime.
Common Questions When Backpacking Europe
Is backpacking through Europe safe? – A lot lot of people tell me that they would love to go backpacking across Europe, but they’re afraid or nervous of what can happen so far from home.Don’t worry you will be fine.I have never once felt threatened, scared, or nervous.
What do I need to pack when backpacking around Europe? – It varies on what time of year you are visiting. Winter you need heavy gear which cost a bit more. Luckily there are some great travel gifts you can ask for as presents. However, you can find Europe travel tips packing list here.
Ok, so once you have finally saved enough for your European Vacation and are ready to set out backpacking Europe.
Cost of Backpacking Europe
That’s the key question isn’t it! How much does it cost to backpack Europe? It is also a really tough question to answer because everyone travels different. I typically, budget around 1,500 – 2,000 USD a month in Europe.
Depending on the country and city you are visiting prices vary drastically. Countries like Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Switzerland tend to be more expensive. Likewise major tourist cities like Paris, Rome, Venice, Barcelona, and Vienna also cost more than the smaller, lesser known towns and villages .
Also keep in mind that Western Europe in general in more expensive than Eastern Europe.
There are so many factors that go into answering the question ” How much does it cost to Backpack Europe” that I wrote a entire post on the subject.
Before leaving home, you need Travel Insurance..I know a lot of people that have risked traveling without insurance and have regretted it. .Here are a few (of many reasons) you should always travel with insurance.
Travel insurance covers things like….
- Trip Cancellation – Travel Insurance covers trip cancellation in case any unseen circumstances come up, and you need to return home.
- Theft – It covers theft up to $500 for each item. Keep your valuables and electronics safe while traveling.
- Health – Nothing is more annoying then getting ill without insurance while traveling through Europe.
- Real life example – I once got sick in Ireland because i forgot to buy insurance I had a 400 Euro bill.
Never again will I go backpacking through Europe without insurance.
Hostels are sociable, nice, and cheap. I’ve meet countless friends in hostels all across the globe. However, Europe is the place where I feel in love with hostels. I highly suggest checking them out. Websites like hostelworld let you see a ton of reviews so you can find the best hostel for you.
Where to Stay When Backpacking Europe
I have a massive soft spot for hostels. I love the atmosphere the vibrant atmosphere, cheap price,how easy it is to make friends. Hostels are your cheapest option, and more than likely you will leave will a ton of new friends from all corners of the world. Without a doubt the best place to book hostels online is Hostelworld.
Bear in mind these quick tips when booking backpacker hostels in Europe.
- When looking for the cheapest hostels, keep these travel tips in mind.
- Typically, The average hostel dorm room cost between $25 -$45 a night.
- Dorm rooms are cheaper. Naturally, private rooms are more expensive.
- Camping hostels usually give you more space and are also less expensive.
- Hostel prices go up on the weekends.
- Location is a big part of this price difference. For example, a hostel in Paris, France is almost double the price of a hostel in Nice, France.
- One Europe Travel tips I recommended you follow is book your hostels early. I have slept on the street a few times because I waited until the last minute and everything was full..
Airbnb – Airbnb has taken the accommodation world by storm. It is a fantastic option when traveling through Europe.
Guess what use this link, sign up to Airbnb, and get $35 off your first stay for FREE.
Hotels – Sometimes hostels get old and you need your own space. For hotels I find great deals on tripadvisor.
Eating in Europe
The food section will be brief simply because that expense is totally up to you.
You can always grab fresh bread and cheese to save money and only spend $15 a day on food while backpacking through Europe.
The bread and cheese is actually an amazing meal.
If you are going to restaurants three times a day you can expect to spend $25-$40 a day on food.
However, I recommend a mixture, eat bread and cheese, and cook your own meals a lot, but also go out to eat a few times a week.
By doing this your average cost of food should be $15-$25 a day on food when you are backpacking Europe.
Getting Around Europe
So you have your flight booked and are getting ready to plan your backpacking Europe trip! You might be wondering what is the best way to get around Europe?
I like companies like Busabout and Eurail. By purchasing these tickets, you pay the biggest part of your travel expenses before you even leave home. You’ll only need money for subways, trams, or day trips. Most big cities offer day passes on their public transportation. These are some of the cheapest ways to get around Europe.
Backpacking Europe Companies.
Busabout- A Hop on Hop off bus service popular with backpackers.
Eurail – Train passes that go all around Europe. These passes give you the most freedom! You choose when and where you want go.
Intrepid – Popular tour company, specializing in small group tours.
Contiki- Popular bus tour company around Europe.
Train – You can buy tickets as you go. Depending on how much ground you are covering while exploring the best cities in Europe it could be more expensive or cheaper.
There are many cheap ways to save money backpacking through Europe. If you know the right companies.
Budget For Nightlife
I won’t lie to you, partying in Europe is awesome, and Europe is massive on the backpacker’s party culture.
In almost every hostel you can find a bar, a group of people playing cards while drinking their own wine, or others going on a nightly pub crawl.
While I like my nights out, trust me, getting lost in the insane parties of Europe will drain your bank account faster than anything.
This is an important Europe Travel Tip: Drink less. I promise you will be able to travel longer, and enjoy your travels without having nasty hangovers.
Top Cities to Visit When Backpacking Europe
I am passionately in love with the eternal city. Rome has so many ruins, such good food, and the people are amazing. When it comes to cities one Europe travel tip, I suggest you do ‘go to Rome.’It isn’t the cheapest country in Europe, but if you know how to travel Italy on a budget, it isn’t too bad. Walks of Italy also has some fantastic walking tours of Rome.
I once met a backpacker who had just come from Barcelona In one sentence; he told me that he had gotten robbed while he was there.In the next, he said it was still his favorite city. That immediately made the city soar to the top of my list of cities to visit while backpacking Europe, and I wasn’t disappointed. The food, atmosphere, fountains, of Barcelona is wonderful. I feel in love with this Spanish city.
I have never met anyone who hates Budapest. It is clean, cheap, and has a fantastic nightlife. Budapest is on the border between eastern and western Europe and isn’t on the Euro.Budapest is incredibly cheap. I personally think Budapest is one of the best cities in Eastern Europe.Budapest is a must when backpacking through Europe.
Prague is a picturesque city in the Czech Republic. It has a charming town square and a larger than life castle.For the main city in Europe, it is also cheap. Next to Venice, I think it is the perfect city to wander around and get lost in when backpacking Europe.
Amsterdam was nothing like I expected. The city has a small town feel, is completely clean, and full of fun activities like riding bikes up and down the canals is a highlight anyone should have when backpacking Europe.
At night the city comes alive with parties and pub crawls. Amsterdam is amazing to explore in the day, before heading out for a big night. Amsterdam is a backpackers dream.
Ah, the city of lights. I have found that people either love or hate Paris. Honestly, it took me a couple of visits to warm up to the city, but now I have fallen in love with the city.
There are such amazing sights in Paris. Plus the outdoors cafes are tempting, plentiful, and overflowing with great food. Even on a cloudy day, Paris is beautiful.
7 – Istanbul
The first time I went to Istanbul was simply because I was running out of money and needed to duck out of the Euro Zone. When I arrived, I couldn’t believe I didn’t come sooner.. Istanbul is a clash of Europe and the Middle East. If you are curious and thinking about backpacking the Middle East, Istanbul is the perfect introduction.
Berlin is the whole package. It is a cheap city with a lot of history and fun, quirky bars. Also, you will find the best kebabs in the world in Berlin, and as backpackers, kebabs are your best friend.
Berlin is one of the best backpacking cities in Europe.
Venice is a city of alleyways and canals. While a lot of people hate how touristy Venice has become, I still find it an amazing city. Venice at sunset is stunning. The best thing to do in Venice is wandering around and get lost, and trust me; you will get lost. This is one main reason why it is in the top ten European destinations.
Bruges is just a beautiful medieval city, with good chocolate and french fries.When looking to travel to the best European Cities, it would be a shame if you missed this city when backpacking through Europe.Many of these cities are the Top 5 European Cities For the First Time Backpacker
11 Unforgettable Adventures When Backpacking Europe
Now you are aware of the top cities when backpacking through Europe, but what about all the adventures? This list includes European adventures that will get your blood pumping, but also adventures that are a little more tame for the less crazy among us.
1-Running of the Bulls
Yea, this isn’t one of the tame adventures I was talking about. Running with the Bulls is an extremely intense experience. That being said, it is also one of my highlights of backpacking Europe. I would do it again in a heartbeat, and if you are looking to test your limits, this is the adventure for you.Make sure to read my running with the bull’s tips before you go.
When I think of my 5 days I spent at Oktoberfest when I was backpacking Europe, three words come to mind: wild, crazy, and hazy. This is the world’s largest beer festival, and it is one hell of a time. This is a double whammy. Not only do you get to visit Munich, another one of my top European Cities, but you also get to have a beer adventure at the same time. I mean Munich can get messy during Oktoberfest, even the best drinkers might need an Oktoberfest Guide.
3- Road Trip
One of my favorite ways to get around Europe is by driving. I did this a lot on the Mongol Rally, even without a clutch.The roads are nice and in some places you don’t even have speed limits. Driving, hitchhiking, or ride shares are all ways you can backpack through Europe. Plus, it is easy to rent a car in Europe.
Another one of my travel highlights and an exceptional place to relax. You can spend a week sailing up and the down the stunning Dalmatian coast with a group of other backpackers. You can read my full Sail Croatia Review.. Croatia Sailing was one of my favorite tours in Europe. It was full of good people, stunning destinations, and adventure. The Datamation Coast is most beautiful coast I have seen while backpacking Europe. Busabout which I mentioned earlier has an awesome Sailing Croatia Tour.
Read more – Busabout
One of the most impressive mountain ranges in the world, the Alps border France, Italy, and Switzerland. They are worth visiting for the view alone when traveling across Europe. Of course, there are many adventures to be had here as well, and they range from ultra mild to extreme.
6-The Greek Islands
Relax on the beach, rent a quad bike and explore, or jump on a sailboat. The Greek islands are beautiful and have something for everyone. Don’t miss them when backpacking through Europe.
Europe Travel Tip– My favorite Islands are Santorini, Ios, and Crete.
One of the top adventure festivals in Europe, La Tomatina, might be the biggest food fight in the world. The whole city turns into a mess as thousands of people spend the day throwing tomatoes at one another.
Sadly, I have never been to a music festival in Europe, but I hear nothing but great things about them. This website will give you more guidance than I can.
9 – Climb Mt. Olympus
This two-day climb is easy enough that you only have to be moderately in good shape to make the ascent. The landscape is beautiful, and you can’t help but imagine Greek mythological gods coming to life and walking out of the wood as you climb. Travel Tip – There is a hostel halfway up the mountain, so you don’t need a tent or camping gear.
10- Raft Pub Crawl
A lot of travelers go on pub crawls, but not a lot of them do it by rafting down a river and stopping at bars along the way. This can be done in Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic and is an adventure that shouldn’t be missed. Hand Gliding in Switzerland Imagines riding on a huge kite while viewing beautiful Switzerland below. Can life get better? I think not. Honestly, any pub crawl is a right of passage for anyone packing through Europe.
If skiing and snowboarding is your thing then countries like Austria have some great places to shred the slopes. However, if rushing down a mountain with pieces of wood and plastic strapped to your feet doesn’t sound like fun don’t worry there are some breath-taking resorts when you spend winter in Austria that offer much more than just skiing. .