Amateur Backpacker’s Guide to Europe

europe 2For young people, summer vacation provides the opportunity to have one of the most memorable experiences of their lives. Backpacking through Europe may be one of the most popular choices for many young college students with an itch to see the world. From beautiful museums in Paris, to coffeeshops in Amsterdam, to Oktoberfest in Munich, to the beaches of Greece, there’s so much to see on the old continent.

Europe hosts wonderful beaches, historical architecture, amazing wine, and wonderful people. You are bound to find something new that will blow your mind. If you are like me and hoping to go on this adventure one day, here are some tips that will save you significant cash and help you plan your vacation.

Where to stay:

Hostel dormitory rooms should cost between $20-39 per night, depending on the room’s size and the popularity of the place. Be sure to research all of your available choices thoroughly to determine which types will be the right choice for you.

Throughout Western Europe, you can find small shops where you can get sandwiches, slices of pizza, or local fare for US$5-7. You can find these shops near train stations, bus stops, and main pedestrian areas.

When moving from destination to destination, it is smart to research which type of transportation is best for each situation. Intercity train prices vary wildly from country to country and depending on whether you take the slow train or a high speed train. Every country has its own national bus service, as well. Eurail Passes can save you hundreds of dollars when traveling around. If you are traveling far distances and through many countries, they are a great deal.

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When in Amsterdam, a good way to orient yourself to the city is with a walking tour. You will learn some history and be able to see where all these windy canal streets take you. Also, Berlin is a energetic destination. It is one of Europe’s most affordable capital cities with a vibrant music and art scene and a growing foodie movement. There is a ton of cheap Middle Eastern food. Be sure to plan to check out the history museum, said to be one of the best in the world. Located in the beautiful mountains of Switzerland, Interlaken is a great place to unwind with some good hikes, hot chocolate, and outdoor sports. It’s a good alternative from all the cities and museums you constantly see. Interlaken is also a popular party destination for backpackers and other young travelers.

When planning out your time management, make sure to keep in mind that there is no way you can absorb all that these places offer in one day. Try dividing each activity into reasonable time limits.

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