Culture
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The Best European Cities for Backpacking

Updated June 14, 2019 5.5k votes 660 voters 11.0k views53 items

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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  • London1
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    London

    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. 
  • Berlin2
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    Berlin

    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. 
  • Athens3
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    Athens

    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.
  • Tallinn4
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    Tallinn

    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.
  • Crete5
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    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. 
  • Lisbon6
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    Lisbon

    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. 
  • Prague7
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    Prague

    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. 
  • Amsterdam8
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    Amsterdam

    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. 
  • Munich9
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    14

    Munich

    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. 
  • Barcelona10
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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. 
  • Madrid11
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    Madrid

    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. 
  • Bratislava12
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    Bratislava

    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. 
  • Edinburgh13
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    Edinburgh

    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. 
  • Belgrade14
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    Belgrade

    Serbia
    Belgrade is the capital and largest city in Serbia. It's name translates to mean "White City," and is home to over 1.65 million people in its metro area. Belgrade hosts many festivals, including book festivals, music festivals, and Nobel Prize ceremonies. 
  • Vienna15
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    Vienna

    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. 
  • Budapest16
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    Budapest

    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. 
  • 17
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    Santa Cruz de Tenerife

    Spain
  • Normandy18
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    Normandy

    France
    Normandy is located in France, and is best-known as the site of D-Day during WWII. Many amazing cheeses and wines come out of this region, such as Camembert cheese and fermented cider. 
  • Copenhagen19
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    Copenhagen

    Denmark
    Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark, as well as the cultural, economical, and governmental centre of the country. 
  • Moscow20
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    Moscow

    Europe
    Moscow is the capital city and most populous federal subject of Russia. It is home to amazing architectural achievements, such as the Ostankino Tower (the tallest free-standing structure in Europe), Mercury City Tower (the tallest skyscraper in Europe) and the Moscow International Business Center. 
  • Florence21
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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. 
  • Kiev22
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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.
  • Istanbul23
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    Istanbul

    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. 
  • St. Petersburg24
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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. 
  • Bordeaux25
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    Bordeaux

    Aquitaine, France