Backpacking trips in Europe are legendary among North Americans and Australians. This is the world’s center of tourism and one of the most expensive set of destinations anywhere. Still you can travel on the cheap here if you really try. Eurorail passes and low cost regional airlines can save you money in the long run, while the hostel culture here is more developed than anywhere, attracting not just RTW travelers, but fratpackers, study abroad students, and even the occasional honeymooner.
- Prague, Czech Republic
Although prices have increased since the Czech Republic joined the EU, the gothic atmosphere, free flowing pubs, and lively expat community keep the adventurous coming.
- London, England
With London’s Heathrow being the start point of many RTW trips thanks to gap year Brits, it has become a given stop on most RTW itineraries. Hard to stay on a budget, but a few days of exploring one of the world’s great cities is hard to pass on.
- Paris, France
The City of Light’s appeal is obvious: the world’s greatest museums, iconic monuments and architecture, high fashion, breathtaking cathedrals, fine food, and beautiful people.
- Rome, Italy
Although Florence is hot on Rome’s tale, the lure of the Coliseum, the Forum, the Spanish Stairs, and the Vatican is hard to ignore.
- Interlaken, Switzerland
Europe’s adventure sports capital draws hordes of RTW travelers and students to go white water rafting, canyoning, mountain biking, skiing, and anything else to get their nails dirty.
- Trans-Siberian Express, Russia
For long term travelers wanting to cover lots of ground for cheap, this massive rail link is your best bet. Covering the vast expanse of Siberia from Moscow, if you have the time this is your cheapest route to or from Asia.
- Athens, Greece
Ancient ruins like the Parthenon, wine, women, and song; not to mention access to the Greek islands. Athens is just the starting point to discovering the magic that is Greece.
- Pamplona, Spain
One festival a year turns this mountain town into one of the most raucous party towns in the world. The Running of Bulls, immortalized by Hemmingway, is the premier event for the backpacker in Europe.
- Munich, Germany
Oktoberfest is the biggest draw, but the beer halls are rocking in Munich with long term travelers and students all year round. An added bonus is the access to mountains and castles.
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
Lured by good smoke, fine art, and the serene canals weaving their way throughout the city, round the world trippers often stick around longer than they ever expected. Dozens of great hostels can make your time here relatively cheap.