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Backpacking Europe: The Ultimate Travel Guide

Highlights of Travel in Europe

There are few things as exciting as embarking on a backpacking trip through Europe. The rush of excitement as you step off the plane or train in a new country is an incredible feeling.

As a traveller who spent eight months backpacking around Europe, it’s a feeling I know quite well. Starting in London, I spent the better part of a year hiking through snowy Sweden, devouring pasta in Italy, making new hostel friends in Budapest, and dancing the night away in Spain.

This Europe backpacking trip was possibly the best experience of my life — it’s something I would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone in the future.

If you’ve ever contemplated spending a few weeks or months in Europe, then this article is for you. I’ll discuss the best itineraries in Eastern and Western Europe, what to expect in terms of safety, and how you can get off the beaten path to see some of the world’s most incredible sights.

Highlights of Travel in Europe

*Note: Keep an eye on this. Apparently, as of 2024, citizens from the USA, Canada, Australia (and other countries) who didn’t need to apply for anything in order to go backpacking in the Schengen visa countries of Europe, will soon need to apply for an ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) visa waiver. Also, some countries that needed to apply for a Schengen Visa in the past may now only need to obtain an ETIAS waiver. Learn more about the ETIAS requirements here.

Best Time To Go Backpacking in Europe

If you’re planning on backpacking through Europe, you’ll first need to decide what time of the year to go. This will depend on several factors, including your budget and what countries you plan on visiting.

mountain lake in the tatras of slovakia

Depending on the activities you want to do, I think early fall and late spring are the best times to visit Europe. Depending on where you’re going, the weather will probably be more bearable than summer or winter.

Due to the school holiday schedule, summer is considered the peak season in Europe. The weather is warm, the sun sets later, and the streets are filled with families, tour groups, and travellers in general.

If you plan on backpacking Europe in June, July, or August, you can also expect that prices for hotels and flights will be much higher. It’s not uncommon to spend two or three times more than you would if you went during the off-season.

Speaking of the off-season, the least busy time to travel is from late fall to winter. Although some people take extra time during…

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