Travel The Best European Cities for Backpacking  

Ranker Travel
3.4k votes 413 voters 10.9k views 55 items

List Rules Upvote 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! 

list ordered by

1
88 20
London is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best European Cities for Backpacking
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. 

2
49 8
Edinburgh is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best European Cities for Backpacking
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. 

3
61 14
Barcelona is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best European Cities for Backpacking
Spain
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. 

4
74 22
Berlin is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best European Cities for Backpacking
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. 

5
95 36
Amsterdam is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best European Cities for Backpacking
Netherlands
Amsterdam is the Dutch capital in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The city is known for their progressive thinking, their active bicycling culture, and their beautiful canals and architecture. 

6
54 11
Lisbon is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best European Cities for Backpacking
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. 

7
54 11
Madrid is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best European Cities for Backpacking
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. 

8
54 13
Prague is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best European Cities for Backpacking
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. 

9
54 13
Bratislava is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best European Cities for Backpacking
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. 

10
58 17
Munich is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best European Cities for Backpacking
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. 

11
53 14
Budapest is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best European Cities for Backpacking
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. 

12
48 12
Hamburg is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best European Cities for Backpacking
Germany
Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany, and has a rich history that dates back to 2nd century C.E. 

13
48 12
Tallinn is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best European Cities for Backpacking
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.

14
52 15
Athens is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best European Cities for Backpacking
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.

15
45 11
Vienna is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best European Cities for Backpacking
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. 

16
43 10
Ibiza Town is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best European Cities for Backpacking
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. 

17
47 13
Copenhagen is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best European Cities for Backpacking
Denmark
Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark, as well as the cultural, economical, and governmental centre of the country. 

18
47 13
Riga is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best European Cities for Backpacking
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. 

19
49 15
Dublin is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best European Cities for Backpacking
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. 

20
43 11
Crete is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best European Cities for Backpacking
Crete Greece
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek Islands. It is a popular destination for honeymooners, holiday travelers, and vacationers alike due to its natural beauty. 

21
50 16
Naples is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best European Cities for Backpacking
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. 

22
50 16
Florence is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best European Cities for Backpacking
Italy
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. 

23
50 17
Venice is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best European Cities for Backpacking
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. 

24
53 20
Rome is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best European Cities for Backpacking
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. 

25
53 20
Istanbul is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best European Cities for Backpacking
Turkey
Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey. The most unique thing about Istanbul, is that it is a transcontinental city in Eurasia, with it's commercial and historical side in Europe, and about 1/3 of its population in Asia. The Mahmutpasha Bazaar is a sight to see--it's one of the largest open-air markets in the world, spanning between the Grand Bazaar and the Egyptian Bazaar.