Backpacking in Europe

Backpacking Europe

Europe is one of the most popular regions on earth for backpacking. In a relatively small area, you’ll find multiple cultures, cuisines, languages, architectural styles, and diverse natural beauty. The standard of living in Europe is high which translates to great tourism infrastructure and relatively safe cities.

This cultural mix can also make it disorienting for visitors. Our country guides go into detail, but there are a few Apps and websites that will help your trip run smoothly.

How to Travel Around Europe

Because of the relatively short distances between major European cities, there are multiple transport options for travelers. It depends on your particular Europe backpacking route, but the best way to get around is usually by train. Train travel is usually the fastest way between 2 cities because of high-speed trains and the fact that the train stations are usually located in the center of town.  It is sometimes even faster than flying when you factor in airport check-in time and the fact that airports are usually located far outside the cities.

However the train tickets can get expensive so backpackers have to make a tradeoff between convenience and price. Other viable transportation options while backpacking Europe on a budget are buses, flights, or renting a car.

A popular website and app among the locals is Omio. It searches train, bus, and flights and compares overall travel times and prices. You can use it to find out the best way to get from A to B when backpacking around Europe.

A Rail Pass from Eurail might be the right choice for you if you plan on taking lots of train journeys in a short amount of time. If bus travel is more your style, there’s a hop on/hop off bus tour company in Europe called Busabout designed for backpackers. It’s a great option for those backpacking Europe alone.

If you dream of cruising on the Autobahn, you can use AutoEurope to search multiple car rental agencies in Europe for the best deal. And lastly, if you’re hoping to travel a large distance in a short amount of time, you can find cheap flights on the popular site Kiwi.comor the longtime backpacker favorite, Skyscanner.

To learn more about each option, check out our guide to train, bus and car travel in Europe.

Finding Accommodation in Europe

CouchSurfing is a great community that connects local hosts with travellers who are backpacking Europe. HostelWorld has the largest inventory of hostels in Europe, with millions of reviews from fellow backpackers. And Booking.com has lots of advanced search and filters for finding hostels, hotels, and unique accommodation while backpacking Europe.

Unique Activities and Tours in Europe

Get your Guide is a popular site in Europe to book tours, skip the line tickets for crowded sites, or to get ideas for activities. Viator is another similar activity and tour search website.

And for those backpacking Europe alone who want to join a small group tour, G Adventures is highly recommended.

Backpacker Travel Insurance

As for any trip abroad, it is crucial to take out travel insurance for your backpacking trip to Europe. World Nomads is the company recommended by Lonely Planet & Contiki.

Europe Backpacking Guides

For more detailed European backpacking information per country, check out our free country guides. You can find information about visa requirements, backpacking jobs, volunteer opportunities in Europe, things to do, and health and safety information.

Select a country on the map for backpacking tips and travel information