• Culture

The Best European Cities for Backpacking

List RulesUpvote the best cities to backpack in Europe

Backpacking through Europe is a right of passage--and an adventure--that many young adults embark upon. When you're backpacking Europe, there are many different countries, cities, and cultures to explore. Going backpacking in Europe is a great way to burst out of your comfort zone and make important personal discoveries. One of the best ways to become more aware of the world around you is to backpack Europe. Too often, people get stuck in the comfort of their everyday lives. They become focused solely on what is immediately near them, and completely forget about the whole wide world, waiting for them just outside of their backyards.


The historically rich continent of Europe has so many great cities to see and learn from. You may wonder, where should I begin my travels? Visiting a variety of European cities can help give you a better idea of how the rest of the world lives. Each new place that you visit will give you a unique, intangible gift that you can carry with you for the rest of your life. 

 Be sure to vote for your favorite European city to backpack, and feel free to add any countries we may have left out! 

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    England
    London is located in England, and was originally founded by Roman citizens looking to expand their territory. It is a leading global power house in arts, commerce, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, professional services, research, development, tourism, and transport. Famous landmarks like the London Eye, Big Ben, the Tower of London, and St. Paul's Cathedral are fun, historic places to visit on your backpacking adventure. 
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    Germany
    Berlin is Germany's capital, as well as its largest city. It is known for being one of the leaders in LGBT-friendly culture, as well as for their cuisine, education, healthcare, and innovative technology. 
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    Portugal
    Lisbon is the capital and largest city of Portugal, and the 11th most populated urban area in the European Union. It is considered to be a global city because of its importance in finance, commerce, media, entertainment, arts, international trade, education, and tourism. 
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    Denmark
    Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark, as well as the cultural, economical, and governmental centre of the country. 
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    Scotland
    Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland. It is best known for being the place where J.K. Rowling first sat down to pen Harry Potter in a little coffee shop called the Elephant House. 
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    Central Hungary
    Budapest is the capital and largest city of Hungary. It was originally settled by the Celts in 1 A.D., and is now one of the top cities in the world for music, film, theatre, dance, and visual art. Budapest is known best by tourists for their Rain Pubs, which each have their own artistic ambience, and different interesting accommodations, like concerts, film screenings, and live performances. 
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    Czech Republic
    Prague is the capital city of the Czech Republic. It was founded during the Gothic and Renaissance eras, and was the seat for two Holy Roman Emperors. Because Prague suffered very little damage during WWII, the original architecture has been preserved in many of their most popular buildings. 
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    Barcelona is the capital city of the Catalonian community in Spain. There are many amazing sites to see in Barcelona, including Antoni Gaudì's Sagrada Famìlia, and the Museu Picasso. 
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    Greece
    Athens, Greece, is one of the world's oldest cities, and is known as the birthplace of democracy. It is home to the original Olympic Games, and was the first place to employ a center for the arts, education, and philosophical study. Athens is one of the world's leaders in finance, commerce, media, entertainment, arts, international trade, culture, education, and tourism.
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    Germany
    Munich is the capital and largest city in the state of Bavaria, located in Germany. It is home to the Hofbräuhaus, the most famous beer hall in the world, as well as Oktoberfest. 
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    Austria
    Vienna is known as the City of Music, and for good reason. Not only is it the capital of Austria, it is also the birthplace of Franz Schubert and Johann Strauss. Other famous musicians like Mozart, Beethoven, and Haydn eventually settled here to create beautiful tunes. Vienna is also known for their cuisine, museums, architecture, charitable organiations. 
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    Slovakia
    Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia, and is home to around 500,000 people. It is the political, economical, and cultural centre of Slovakia. 
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    Germany
    Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany, and has a rich history that dates back to 2nd century C.E. 
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    Spain
    Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. Although Madrid is very modern, it has managed to preserve the original feel and look of its many historic neighborhoods and streets. It is known for the Bluen Retiro Park, the La Reigna Sofìa museum, the Prado museum, and the Cibeles Palace and Fountain. 
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    Located on the Neva River in Russia, St. Petersburg is lauded as the historical capital and second largest city. It is home to the Hermitage museum, the Mariinsky Theater, and many famous authors, such as Pushkin, Gogol, and Dostoyevsky. 
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    Estonia
    Tallinn is the capital and largest city of Estonia. It is one of the top 10 digital cities in the world. The Tallinn Passenger Port is one of the busiest cruise destinations in the Baltic Sea. 32% of Estonia's population lives in Tallinn.
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    Florence is located in Tuscany, Italy, and is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance. It is ranked as one of the top 50 fashion capitals of the world, and is well-known for its beautiful art museums, galleries, and Renaissance monuments. 
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    Kiev

    Ukraine
    Kiev is the capital and largest city of Ukraine. It is an important industrial, scientific, educational, and cultural centre of Eastern Europe.
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    Tuscany

    Italy
    Tuscany is a region in central Italy known for its landscapes, traditions, history, artistic legacy, and influence on high culture. 
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    Italy
    Venice, Italy is made up of 118 small islands separated by canals. It is known for being one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world. Venice is home to many great works of art, St. Mark's Basilica, and the Piazza San Marco. 
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    Italy
    Naples is the capital of the Campania region in Italy. It was originally ruled by Greece, but became Roman territory during the Punic Wars. For decades, Naples held on to their Greek language and history while expanding the city to include traditional Roman villas and baths. Today, Naples is a powerhouse of rich, historical culture. 
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    Spain
    Ibiza is an island off the coast of Spain in the Mediterranean Sea. It has become famous for the increase of nightlife and electronic music associated with the island. 
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    Ireland
    Dublin is the capital and largest city of Ireland. Ireland became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. Originally a Viking Settlement, Dublin is now home to many art museums, pubs, restaurants, and shops. 
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    Italy
    Rome is the capital of Italy, located in the region of Lanzio. Legend has it that Rome was founded by two brothers, Romulus and Remus, who were suckled by a she-wolf and raised to build the city. Rome's history spans a time period of over 14,000 years, and continues to be one of the most culturally significant cities of all time. They are known for their achievements in sports, art, film, and, of course, pizza. The statues and architecture that fill the city are incredibly beautiful, and help shed light on what it was like to live in ancient Rome. 
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    Latvia
    Riga is the capital and largest city of Latvia. It is well-known for its Art Nouveau / Jugendstil architecture and 19th century wooden architecture.