If you’re new to backpacking, Europe is a terrific location to start because the countries are well-connected, safe, diverse, easy to navigate, and full of delights.
Backpacking across Europe is a low-cost, autonomous, and touristic travel that frequently entails camping, sleeping in inexpensive hotels, and carrying all required goods in a backpack.
Europe is huge, and there are so many fantastic places to visit. It is essential to have a general concept of where you want to go, how much time you intend to spend there, how you intend to get there, and where you intend to stay.
What does backpacking across Europe mean?
Backpacking in this context refers to traveling with a small quantity of luggage that you can easily carry on your person, which may be in a backpack, throughout different regions of the continent for weeks in the cheapest form possible.
Generally, you do this because you don’t have a set plan, aren’t sure where you’ll be staying or how you’ll be traveling, and don’t want to be burdened with baggage that requires a team of bellhops to transport.
Your means of transportation often consists of lodging in cheap hostels and traveling by train, bus, or low-cost aircraft.
How do you backpack across Europe?
Getting through Europe is relatively easy, as most EU countries operate on schedule or with barely slight delays. You can find backpacking trips at reasonable prices if you know what you’re looking for.
The key to a memorable European backpacking vacation is spontaneity; nonetheless, extensive planning is essential before going on such a journey, should you encounter visa or money issues.
Set the Parameters
When planning a backpacking trip across Europe, the three most important stages to take are determining the duration of the journey, the time of year, and where the trip will begin and conclude.
Consider tourist seasons and events, such as the summer months or major sporting events, when the weather may be more pleasant, but costs skyrocket, and hotels fill up. Investigate popular routes to get a broad concept of your vacation itinerary.
Make a list of possible stops. Budget guides to Europe are published by major guidebook firms such as Lonely Planet and Rough Guides, and they recommend a variety of itineraries.
Most European nations require passengers to complete Shengen entry requirements to enter. The Schengen agreement permits most international business and tourist travelers to travel visa-free between 26 countries in Europe for up to 90 days.
However, there are certain restrictions. When entering a Schengen country, for example, one must produce proof of a return ticket. If you want to avoid hassles, costs, or even deportation, getting the necessary papers in place should be done well in advance of travel.
Stricter visa requirements may apply to European nations not included by the Schengen agreement, such as Russia.
Make a Budget
Determine how much money you can spend on your backpacking in total, excluding airfare. Determine your daily budget based on this value. Because some countries, such as Norway and Sweden, may be prohibitively expensive.
Setting a budget will allow you to choose where you travel, how you get there, where you stay, and what you do while there. If you have a limited budget, concentrate your journey in a general area to avoid high transportation charges.
Diurnal charges include gallery admission, refections, lodging, monuments, original transportation, and particulars similar as charts, batteries, bottled water, and drug.
See related: How Much Backpacking Guides Make
Even if you’re going to be on the road for an extended period, bring a few changes of clothes as possible. This is not the time to pack your suits, and so on. A sturdy pair of walking shoes, a bag lock, dress, nice pants, and plug converters for devices are pretty enough.
Pack only one bag to prevent lugging numerous large items when navigating metro steps, changing buses, or sprinting down a platform to catch the train to your next destination. Internal frame backpacks, which are more expensive than external frame backpacks, are recommended.
See related: The Best Way to Ship your Backpack
Get a rail pass
Traveling by train is an affordable option if you plan to visit numerous metropolises. To get the stylish deals, buy a Eurail pass ahead of time. For an unlimited trip to any country within the Eurail system for 15 days to 3 months, get a Global Pass.
Get a Flexi pass for 10 to 15 days of a trip to any country within the system for 2months. However, also this is a stylish option if your trip time to metropolises is lower than six to eight hours.
Good places to backpack in Europe
Europe boasts numerous locations that are attractive and hard to resist the charm of visiting them. If you’re a backpacking beginner and you mean to travel across Europe, brace yourself because you’re about to lose track of time.
Europe is never short of good places to visit, however, as a first-timer, we can understand it’s easy to get overwhelmed by picking locations. Here is a list of the best places you should consider adding to your list.
Croatia is one of the most spectacular tourist destinations on the planet, with 3,600 kilometers of coastline, crystal clear Mediterranean waters, and ancient cities that served as film settings for Game of Thrones.
And, while Croatia was formerly considered a hidden gem, the secret is no longer kept. Croatia has been a popular destination in Europe for the last few years — not just for backpackers but also for all types of travelers.
This Caucasian nation, located on the far side of the Black Sea, has been at the crossroads of cultures for millennia, and its varied attitude reflects that. Each region of Georgia has its own culture, cuisine, and atmosphere.
Georgia has many gorgeous sites to visit, but most backpackers will begin their tour in Tbilisi. This underappreciated metropolis reminds me a lot of what Prague was presumably like before that portion of the Czech Republic became overrun with tourists.
Tbilisi has a picturesque bohemian Old City on a hillside above the city, as well as a plethora of budget hostels and other lodging options.
Travel north from Tbilisi to the highland region of Svaneti. Then, you will find Ushguli, Europe’s loftiest continuously enthralled agreement, as well as some of the most affordable ski resorts in the world.
You’ll have a great time if you’re the type of traveler who enjoys a night out on the town. But Belgrade isn’t all about the nightlife! A lot is going on in the city, much of it centered on the Old Kalemegdan Fortress.
Skadarlija, Belgrade’s bohemian area, will appeal to hipsters. And history fans and Instagrammers alike will enjoy a day trip to Zemun’s picture-perfect streets.
The Danube River divides the city in half, and on the Pest side, you’ll discover a plethora of hostels, free walking tours, and pub crawls downing 1 euro drinks at the city’s famous ruin pubs (pro tip: don’t miss Szimpla Kert).
Budapest has so many UNESCO World Heritage sites and amazing things to do that you should plan on staying for at least a week. Visit the well-known Hungarian thermal baths (particularly the Rudas Bath, which has a hot tub on the top!)
Ireland is a surprisingly affordable backpacker destination, despite being one of Europe’s most popular locations. This is especially true once you leave Dublin, which costs twice as much as a hostel bed in cheaper destinations like Killarney or Cork for all of its charm.
Ireland is rich in natural beauty, history, culture, and beer – loads and plenty of beer. Make time to get outside and enjoy the amazing greenery too. Make a point of seeing the wild Atlantic way, a rocky stretch of coastline with walking routes connecting scenic settlements.
There’s no denying Paris’s allure. Beautiful architecture, delectable cuisine, and rich history. Everything is available in Paris. Of course, there are several must-see tourist attractions in Europe, such as the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre Museum.
While Paris isn’t as cheap as some of the Eastern European places on this list, if you’re willing to stay outside of the tourist traps, you’ll find surprisingly low-cost places.
Portugal has been hot for a few years now, and one look at the many lovely beaches in the Algarve explains why so many travelers like exploring the country’s coast. The country is also one of the most economical backpacking destinations in Western Europe.
Portugal has some of the most affordable accommodations in Western Europe. Furthermore, food and drinks are reasonably priced, so backpackers on a budget may anticipate spending less than 50 euros each day.
Ios is just a backpacker’s paradise in Europe. This little island rivals the beauty of its more famous neighbors, Mykonos and Santorini. Prices, though, are a fraction of what you’ll pay on more Instagram-famous Greek islands.
Spend your days riding about the island on a moped and swimming in the clear seas. After taking in a breathtaking sunset, get ready for a night on the town. Just make an effort to arrive home before daylight (or, you know, don’t!). And, of course, travel safely and consider purchasing travel insurance for your Greek vacation
Popular backpacking routes
If you want to enjoy the traveling lifestyle that comes with backpacking, three weeks is the best period for a backpacking Europe plan. These routes will center on Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans for their popularity and low-cost travel.
Itinerary for Central European Highlights
Budapest, a terrific and bustling city for budget travelers, is the best place to start many Central and Eastern European backpacking itineraries. This route takes you to some of the most vibrant cities in Hungary, Poland, Germany, and the Czech Republic.
Allow at least five days to explore Hungary’s capital city. This will allow you to explore all of the wonderful sites, enjoy its great nightlife and thermal bathhouses, and go on a day trip.
Allow at least three days in Krakow to visit its picturesque Old Town and Kazimierz Quarter, as well as taking a day trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau or the Wieliczka Salt Mine.
Wroclaw is a wonderful student city that deserves to be on more backpacking Europe itineraries. Spend three or four nights here and visit the Old Town, the busy nightlife, the many parks, and the many dwarf statues sprinkled throughout the city.
Germany’s achingly cool capital, demands at least five nights to be explored.
While the main tourist attractions in Prague may be explored in one or two days, it is recommended to spend at least four days in the gorgeous Czech capital. This will allow you to explore the city off the usual route.
Balkan Highlights Itinerary
Still, heading to the Balkans is a fantastic option, If you are looking to avoid the sightseer crowds that are ineluctable in the former route and want to get a little bit off the beaten path. This is one of the most uncredited corners of Europe.
While Hungary is not considered a Balkan country, its capital city is an excellent site to begin your European backpacking adventure. Five nights in Budapest is the ideal amount of time to get to know this magnificent city thoroughly.
The picturesque Hungarian city of Pécs is still relatively unknown to international tourists, which offers you even more incentive to visit! Three nights here will show you a different side of Hungary.
Novi Sad, Serbia’s second-largest city, is modest but charming. It’s worth staying at least two nights to visit the city’s gorgeous Old Town, fortress, and lively cafe culture.
Belgrade, Serbia is increasingly well-known for its fantastic nightlife, but the cultural and historical significance is also worth knowing about. It would be wonderful to stay here for five nights or so.
Three days in this city will allow you to appreciate its laid-back lifestyle while also allowing you to visit museums to learn about Bosnia and Herzegovina’s history.
Although the city is small, it has a turbulent history that is worth studying. Three nights in Mostar is an excellent way to conclude this European backpacking trip.
Itinerary for Eastern Europe
Consider adding the Baltic States to your backpacking itinerary if you want to stay off the beaten path but prefer to travel north rather than south. This route takes you from Berlin to Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, passing through Poland.
Spend five to seven days in Berlin, the effortlessly chic German metropolis.
Three days is the ideal amount of time to spend in this interesting Polish city.
Three days in Krakow allows you to see the best of Poland’s second-largest city.
Spend two or three days touring Poland’s capital, Warsaw.
Lithuania’s critically underappreciated capital demands at least four days to explore. Consider taking a day trip to Trakai, which is nearby.
Lithuania’s second-largest city can be explored in two days.
It is a prominent Lithuanian coastal town where you may enjoy the gorgeous Baltic coastline.
Spend at least three nights in this Baltic treasure.
Make an effort to spend at least four full days in Latvia’s dynamic capital city.
You should be able to see the highlights in two or three days if you stay for at least two.
The city is fairly tiny and can easily be toured in two or three days.
There are numerous backpacking Europe routes to choose from, but these will provide you with a greater value for money than other backpacking routes.
With the list of places above, I hope you can make better plans for your backpacking across Europe. As a beginner, backpacking will give you fond memories, new friends, and healthier life. There are so many perks that come with backpacking.