Backpacking Through Europe: Routes, Tips, and Must-See Spots


Ah, Europe! A continent brimming with history, culture, and more hidden gems than a pirate’s treasure chest. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time adventurer, backpacking through Europe is a rite of passage that promises unforgettable memories, epic tales, and maybe even a mishap or two. Ready to lace up your boots and grab your backpack? Let’s dive into the ultimate guide to exploring Europe, complete with routes, tips, and must-see spots. 🌍🎒

Backpacking Through Europe: Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
Fairy-Tale Fortress: Discover the enchanting beauty of Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany, a dreamlike palace that inspired Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle, set against the stunning backdrop of the Bavarian Alps.

Choosing Your Route: The Grand Adventure Begins

Europe is a continent of endless possibilities, with each country offering its own unique charm and allure. Whether you’re drawn to historic cities, stunning landscapes, or vibrant cultures, planning your route is the first step to a successful backpacking adventure. Let’s map out some exciting itineraries that cater to different time frames and travel styles.

One-Week Whirlwind: Western Europe

If you only have a week to spare, you’ll want to focus on a few key highlights in Western Europe. This fast-paced journey will give you a taste of some of the continent’s most iconic cities.

Paris, France (3 Days)

Start your adventure in the City of Lights. Spend your first day exploring iconic landmarks like Notre Dame and the Louvre. Stroll along the Seine River, and don’t forget to indulge in some delicious pastries at a local café.
No visit to Europe is complete without seeing the Eiffel Tower. On your second day, start early to beat the crowds and take in the views from this iconic Parisian landmark. In the evening, witness the tower’s sparkling lights and enjoy a picnic on the Champ de Mars. Paris‘ Eiffel Tower is more than a monument; it’s an experience that embodies the magic of the city.
On your third day, dive into the charming neighborhoods of Montmartre and Le Marais. Visit the Sacré-Cœur Basilica for a panoramic view of the city and enjoy a dinner cruise on the Seine to cap off your Parisian experience.

Backpacking Through Europe: Paris, France (3 Days)
Romantic Strolls: Experience the charm of Parisian streets, from the artistic vibes of Montmartre to the historic grandeur of Le Marais, offering countless cafés and boutiques to explore.

Brussels, Belgium (1 Day)

Hop on a train to Brussels, just a few hours from Paris. Spend your day wandering through the Grand Place, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its stunning architecture. Treat yourself to some Belgian waffles and chocolate, and make sure to visit the Atomium for a futuristic twist.

Brussels, Belgium (1 Day)
Cultural Crossroads: Experience the vibrant heart of Brussels, Belgium, where medieval charm meets modern flair, and every corner offers delicious Belgian waffles, world-famous chocolate, and stunning architecture.

Amsterdam, Netherlands (3 Days)

Next, head to Amsterdam, where you’ll spend the remaining three days of your trip. Start your Amsterdam adventure with a canal cruise to admire the city’s scenic waterways. Visit the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum, then unwind in Vondelpark.
On your second day, tour the Anne Frank House, explore the trendy Jordaan district, and browse the Albert Cuyp Market. Enjoy dinner in the lively De Pijp neighborhood.
On your final day, take the ferry to the Eye Film Museum, explore the creative NDSM Wharf, and tour the Heineken Experience. End with a sunset bike ride and a canal-side dinner.

Backpacking Through Europe: Amsterdam, Netherlands (3 Days)
Canal-Side Charms: Discover the enchanting beauty of Amsterdam’s canals, where historic bridges, picturesque houseboats, and vibrant streets create a unique and unforgettable atmosphere.

Two-Week Exploration: Central Europe

For a two-week trip, dive deeper into Central Europe’s rich history and culture. This itinerary balances iconic cities with some hidden gems.

Berlin, Germany (3 Days)

Start your first day in Berlin at the Brandenburg Gate and tour the Reichstag Building for panoramic views. Visit the Holocaust Memorial and explore the vibrant Mitte district. End with a traditional German dinner.
On your second day, see the Berlin Wall Memorial and East Side Gallery, then explore Museum Island’s renowned museums like the Pergamon. Finish with a Spree River boat ride.
Begin your final day at Checkpoint Charlie, then visit Charlottenburg Palace and its gardens. Wrap up your trip in the eclectic Kreuzberg neighborhood, enjoying its street art and diverse dining options.

Backpacking Through Europe: Berlin, Germany (3 Days)
Modern Metropolis: Experience the energy of Berlin, from its cutting-edge architecture and world-class museums to its trendy cafes and lively markets, offering endless adventures for every type of traveler.

Prague, Czech Republic (3 Days)

Start your first day in Prague by exploring the Old Town Square, marveling at the Astronomical Clock, and wandering through the charming streets. Cross the historic Charles Bridge, and in the afternoon, visit Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral for breathtaking views of the city. End your day with a traditional Czech dinner at a local tavern.
On your second day, begin with a visit to the Jewish Quarter, exploring synagogues and the Old Jewish Cemetery. Head to the John Lennon Wall to see the colorful graffiti and leave your mark. In the afternoon, relax in Letná Park with panoramic views of the city. Enjoy dinner at one of the riverside restaurants along the Vltava River.
Start your final day with a tour of the impressive National Museum, then stroll through Wenceslas Square. Spend your afternoon shopping for souvenirs in the quaint boutiques of Malá Strana. Conclude your trip with a peaceful boat ride on the Vltava River, taking in the stunning views of Prague’s illuminated skyline.

Prague, Czech Republic (3 Days)
Timeless Beauty: Wander through the enchanting streets of Prague, Czech Republic, where historic architecture and fairy-tale charm create a magical atmosphere perfect for any backpacking adventure.

Optional extension: Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

Tucked away in the Bavarian Alps, Neuschwanstein Castle looks like it’s straight out of a fairy tale. This 19th-century palace, commissioned by King Ludwig II, inspired Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle. Explore the castle’s opulent interiors and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding mountains and lakes. A visit to Neuschwanstein is like stepping into a magical storybook.

Optional extension: Hallstatt, Austria

Hallstatt is often called the most beautiful village in the world, and for good reason. This picturesque village, with its pastel-colored houses and stunning lake views, offers a peaceful retreat. Visit the Hallstatt Skywalk for panoramic views, explore ancient salt mines, and take a boat ride on Lake Hallstatt.

Vienna, Austria (4 Days)

Next, head to Vienna, the city of music and imperial grandeur. Start your first day in Vienna at Schönbrunn Palace, exploring its grand rooms and gardens. Visit St. Stephen’s Cathedral in the afternoon and enjoy a Viennese dinner in the city center.
On your second day, tour the Hofburg Palace and the Sisi Museum. Spend the afternoon at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, and enjoy a classical concert in the evening.
Begin your third day at Belvedere Palace to see Klimt’s „The Kiss.“ Relax in the Prater and ride the Giant Ferris Wheel. Have dinner at a traditional Heuriger wine tavern.
On your final day, explore the Naschmarkt and sample local foods. Tour the Vienna State Opera and stroll along the Ringstrasse. End with a riverside dinner on the Danube.

Backpacking Through Europe: Vienna, Austria (4 Days)
Imperial Elegance: Discover Vienna, Austria, a city where grand palaces like Schönbrunn and Hofburg reflect the splendor of the Habsburg dynasty, offering a glimpse into the opulent past of this historic European capital.

Budapest, Hungary (4 Days)

Conclude your two-week journey in Budapest. Start your first day in Budapest by exploring Buda Castle and the Fisherman’s Bastion for stunning city views. Visit Matthias Church and stroll through the historic Castle District. Enjoy a traditional Hungarian dinner in a local restaurant.
On your second day, tour the iconic Parliament Building and take a walk along the Danube Promenade. In the afternoon, visit St. Stephen’s Basilica and climb to the top for panoramic views. Spend your evening relaxing at the Széchenyi Thermal Bath.
Begin your third day with a visit to the Great Market Hall to sample local foods and shop for souvenirs. In the afternoon, explore the Jewish Quarter, including the Dohány Street Synagogue. Enjoy dinner at one of the trendy ruin pubs.
On your final day, take a scenic walk on Margaret Island, then visit the Heroes‘ Square and the nearby Museum of Fine Arts. Conclude your trip with a Danube River cruise, admiring the illuminated cityscape while enjoying a farewell dinner.

Backpacking Through Europe: Budapest, Hungary (4 Days)
Historic Beauty: Discover Budapest, Hungary’s capital, where the grandeur of Buda Castle meets the vibrant streets of Pest, creating a city rich in history, culture, and stunning architecture along the Danube River.

Month-Long Odyssey: Southern and Eastern Europe

If you have a month to spare, embark on an extensive journey through Southern and Eastern Europe, where diverse cultures and stunning landscapes await.

Rome, Italy (4 Days)

Start in Rome, the Eternal City. Begin your first day at the Colosseum, then explore the Roman Forum and Pantheon. End with dinner in Trastevere.
On your second day, tour Vatican City, including St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums. Visit Castel Sant’Angelo in the afternoon, and enjoy gelato at the Spanish Steps.
Start your third day at Villa Borghese Gardens and the Borghese Gallery. Shop along Via del Corso and relax at Piazza del Popolo. Have dinner at a local trattoria.
On your final day, toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain, visit the Capitoline Museums, and explore Campo de‘ Fiori. End with a sunset view from Pincian Hill.

Rome, Italy (4 Days)
Timeless Wonders: Immerse yourself in the eternal city of Rome, Italy, where ancient ruins like the Colosseum and the Roman Forum stand proudly alongside vibrant piazzas and bustling streets.

Optional extension: Cinque Terre, Italy

Cinque Terre, a series of five colorful coastal villages, is a hiker’s paradise. The scenic trails connecting the villages offer breathtaking views of the Ligurian Sea. Enjoy fresh seafood, local wine, and the charming streets of Riomaggiore and Monterosso al Mare.

Dubrovnik, Croatia (4 Days)

Known as the „Pearl of the Adriatic,“ Dubrovnik’s ancient city walls, crystal-clear waters, and beautiful architecture make it a must-see. Start your first day by exploring the ancient city walls for stunning views of Dubrovnik and the Adriatic Sea. Wander through the historic Old Town, visiting landmarks like the Rector’s Palace and Sponza Palace. Enjoy a seafood dinner at a local restaurant.
On your second day, take a cable car ride up Mount Srđ for panoramic views of the city and coastline. Spend the afternoon at Banje Beach, relaxing and swimming in the crystal-clear waters. Savor a sunset dinner with a sea view.
Begin your third day with a trip to Lokrum Island, exploring its botanical gardens and medieval ruins. In the afternoon, visit Fort Lovrijenac, also known as “Dubrovnik’s Gibraltar,” for more breathtaking views. Dine at a cozy eatery in Old Town.
On your final day, explore the local markets at Gruž Harbor and enjoy a boat tour to the Elaphiti Islands. Spend your afternoon kayaking around the city’s coastline. End your trip with a farewell dinner in a rooftop restaurant overlooking the city.

Backpacking Through Europe: Dubrovnik, Croatia (4 Days)
Adriatic Jewel: Wander through the ancient city walls of Dubrovnik, Croatia, and discover its timeless beauty, where medieval architecture meets the sparkling Adriatic Sea, making it a highlight of any European backpacking trip.

Optional extension: Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

Plitvice Lakes National Park is a natural wonder you can’t miss. Famous for its cascading lakes and waterfalls, this UNESCO World Heritage site offers scenic hiking trails and wooden bridges that guide you through breathtaking turquoise waters and lush greenery.

Athens, Greece (5 Days)

Next, head to Athens, the cradle of Western civilization. Start your first day at the Acropolis, exploring the Parthenon and the Acropolis Museum. Wander through Plaka in the evening.
On your second day, visit the Ancient Agora and the Temple of Hephaestus. Spend the afternoon at the National Archaeological Museum.
Begin your third day with a trip to the Temple of Olympian Zeus, then relax in the National Garden. Enjoy dinner in Monastiraki.
On your fourth day, take a day trip to Cape Sounion to see the Temple of Poseidon. Return to Athens for a sunset view from Lycabettus Hill.
On your final day, explore the Benaki Museum and the Byzantine Museum. Stroll through the vibrant Psiri neighborhood before departing.

Backpacking Through Europe: Athens, Greece (5 Days)
Sunset Over the Parthenon: Experience the breathtaking beauty of an Athenian sunset, casting a golden glow over the Parthenon and creating unforgettable memories of your European adventure.

Optional extension: Santorini, Greece

Santorini, with its iconic white-washed buildings and blue domes, offers some of the most stunning views in Greece. Spend your days lounging on unique black and red sand beaches, exploring ancient ruins, and watching unforgettable sunsets in Oia. Santorini is the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure.

Sofia, Bulgaria (3 Days)

From Greece, travel to Sofia. Start your first day in Sofia with a visit to Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, then explore the ancient ruins at Serdica. Enjoy dinner in the vibrant Vitosha Boulevard area.
On your second day, visit the National Palace of Culture, and spend the afternoon at Boyana Church and the nearby Boyana Waterfall. Have dinner at a traditional Bulgarian restaurant.
Begin your final day with a walk through Borisova Gradina Park. Visit the Ivan Vazov National Theatre and relax at a local café before departing.

Sofia, Bulgaria
Architectural Marvels: Explore Sofia’s stunning landmarks, from the majestic Alexander Nevsky Cathedral to the serene Vitosha Boulevard, offering a perfect mix of historic grandeur and contemporary life.

Bucharest, Romania (4 Days)

Start your first day with a visit to the Palace of the Parliament, then explore the historic Lipscani district. Enjoy dinner in the Old Town.
On your second day, visit the Romanian Athenaeum and the National Museum of Art. Spend the evening at Herastrau Park.
Begin your third day at Village Museum, then stroll through Calea Victoriei for shopping. Dine at a traditional Romanian restaurant.
On your final day, explore Cotroceni Palace and Gardens, then relax at Carol Park. End with a walk along the Dâmbovița River.

Backpacking Through Europe: Bucharest, Romania (4 Days)
Old Town Allure: Wander through Bucharest’s enchanting Old Town, filled with cobblestone streets, lively cafés, and historic landmarks, making it a perfect blend of tradition and modernity for any European backpacking adventure.

Optional extension: Sighișoara, Romania

Step into a medieval wonderland in Sighișoara, the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, the inspiration for Dracula. This well-preserved citadel in Transylvania features colorful houses, cobblestone streets, and a rich history. Climb the Clock Tower for a panoramic view of the town, and explore the spooky history that inspired Bram Stoker’s famous novel.

Istanbul, Turkey (5 Days)

End your journey in Istanbul, where East meets West. Start your first day at the Hagia Sophia, then visit the Blue Mosque and explore the Grand Bazaar.
On your second day, tour Topkapi Palace and relax in the gardens. In the evening, enjoy a traditional Turkish dinner in Sultanahmet.
Begin your third day with a Bosphorus cruise, then visit Dolmabahce Palace. Stroll along Istiklal Street and Taksim Square.
On your fourth day, explore the Basilica Cistern and the Spice Bazaar. Spend the afternoon in the vibrant neighborhood of Karaköy.
On your final day, visit the Chora Church, then relax in a traditional hammam. End your trip with a scenic view from Galata Tower.

Backpacking Through Europe: Istanbul, Turkey (5 Days)
East Meets West: Discover the captivating blend of cultures in Istanbul, Turkey, where ancient mosques and bustling bazaars sit alongside modern skyscrapers, creating a unique and vibrant cityscape.

Crafting Your Own Adventure

No matter how much time you have, Europe offers countless routes to explore. Customize your journey based on your interests, whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an adventure seeker. Embrace the spontaneity and let your curiosity guide you through the continent’s diverse landscapes and vibrant cultures.

Choosing your route is the first step in an unforgettable European backpacking adventure. With a well-planned itinerary and a sense of adventure, you’re ready to experience the best of what Europe has to offer. So pack your bags, grab your map, and let the grand adventure begin! 🌍🎒

Essential Tips: Making the Most of Your Journey

Embarking on a backpacking adventure through Europe is thrilling, but it also requires some smart planning and savvy travel tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Here are some essential tips to help you make the most of your European journey, whether you’re navigating bustling cities or exploring hidden gems.

Pack Light, Travel Right

When it comes to backpacking, less is definitely more. Aim to pack versatile clothing that can be layered for warmth or shed for coolness. Choose lightweight, quick-dry fabrics and pack only what you truly need.
A pair of comfortable walking shoes, a rain jacket, a couple of T-shirts, a warm sweater, and a pair of jeans or versatile pants are must-haves. Don’t forget essentials like a travel-size toiletries kit, a reusable water bottle, and a power bank to keep your devices charged. Remember, you can always do laundry on the road, so there’s no need to bring your entire wardrobe.

Embrace Public Transport

Europe’s public transport network is extensive and efficient, making it easy to get around. Trains, buses, and trams can take you almost anywhere, often offering scenic routes that you won’t experience by car.
Consider investing in a Eurail pass if you plan to travel extensively by train. This pass allows for unlimited train travel within a set period, covering multiple countries. Not only will it save you money, but it also offers the flexibility to hop on and off trains as you please, making spontaneous detours a breeze.

Embrace Public Transport while Backpacking in Europe
Effortless Exploration: Embrace Europe’s extensive public transport network, where trains, trams, and buses offer scenic routes and convenient travel, connecting you to both major cities and hidden gems with ease.

Stay Connected

Staying connected while traveling is crucial for navigation, communication, and safety. Ensure you have a reliable way to access the internet and make calls.
Purchase a local SIM card upon arrival in each country, or opt for an international roaming plan. Use apps like Google Maps and Rome2Rio for directions and transit information. Download offline maps for areas with spotty internet service, and keep in touch with friends and family through messaging apps like WhatsApp or Viber.

Learn Basic Phrases

While English is widely spoken in many European countries, learning a few basic phrases in the local language can enhance your travel experience. Simple greetings, pleasantries, and phrases for ordering food or asking for directions go a long way in making connections and showing respect for the local culture.
Before your trip, learn essential phrases like “hello,” “please,” “thank you,” and “where is…?” in the languages of the countries you’ll be visiting. Apps like Duolingo or Babbel can help you get started, and carrying a small phrasebook is also handy.

Keep Your Documents Safe

Traveling through multiple countries means you’ll need to keep track of important documents like your passport, visas, and travel insurance.
Store digital copies of your important documents in Lambus or on a cloud service like Google Drive or Dropbox, and carry physical copies in a secure, waterproof pouch. Use a money belt or hidden pouch to keep your passport and cash safe, especially in crowded areas.

Backpacking Through Europe: Keep Your Documents Safe
Travel Smart: Ensure peace of mind on your European adventure by keeping digital copies of your important documents stored securely online and carrying physical copies in a waterproof pouch.

Budget Wisely

Traveling on a budget doesn’t mean you have to miss out on amazing experiences. Plan your budget carefully to ensure you can enjoy your trip without running out of funds.
Set a daily budget that covers accommodation, food, transport, and activities. Use apps like Trail Wallet or TravelSpend to track your expenses. Save money by staying in hostels, cooking your own meals occasionally, and taking advantage of free walking tours and museum days.

Embrace the Local Culture

One of the joys of traveling is immersing yourself in different cultures. Be open to new experiences, try local foods, and participate in local traditions.
Attend local festivals, visit markets, and dine at neighborhood eateries instead of touristy restaurants. Engage with locals and fellow travelers to learn more about the culture and way of life in each destination.

Stay Safe and Healthy

Your health and safety should always be a priority while traveling. Be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to stay safe.
Carry a basic first-aid kit with bandages, antiseptic wipes, and any necessary medications. Drink plenty of water, eat balanced meals, and get enough rest. Be cautious in unfamiliar areas, especially at night, and always let someone know your plans and whereabouts.

Backpacking Through Europe: Stay Safe and Healthy
Health on the Go: Maintain your well-being while backpacking through Europe by staying hydrated, eating balanced meals, and keeping a first-aid kit handy for any minor emergencies that might arise.

Following these essential tips will help you make the most of your backpacking journey through Europe. With smart planning, an open mind, and a sense of adventure, you’re ready to create unforgettable memories and discover the best of what Europe has to offer.

Backpacking through Europe is an adventure filled with diverse cultures, breathtaking landscapes, and unforgettable experiences. Whether you’re exploring the romantic streets of Paris, the historic sites of Rome, or the stunning beaches of Santorini, every moment is a chapter in your travel story. So grab your backpack, your sense of adventure, and get ready for the trip of a lifetime. Happy travels! 🌍✈️

Follow us on FacebookPinterest and Instagram for more travel tips and inspiration.

Discover seamless travel planning with Lambus, your ultimate travel companion! Perfect for backpackers and adventurers, Lambus helps you organize itineraries, track expenses, and uncover hidden gems effortlessly. With its user-friendly interface and comprehensive features, Lambus ensures every journey is smooth and enjoyable. Whether you’re exploring bustling cities or serene landscapes, Lambus is there to simplify your adventure. Plan smarter, travel better, and make every trip unforgettable with Lambus!

‎Lambus | Travel Planner
Preis: Kostenlos+
Lambus | Travel Planner
Preis: Kostenlos