Europe is great for backpackers; unrestricted travel, great transport links, universal currency (apart from us Brits, we like the queen on our money), the best hostels and a diverse mix of great countries. Here are my top 10 European cities for backpackers and my favourite hostel in each destination.
Budapest. A travelers dream! Thermal spas, a rich history, amazing architecture, great food, beautiful people and its cheap! Check out the ruin bars of an evening that were once abandoned buildings – my fave was Anker’t. One of the spas – Széchenyi Baths – also turn into a massive spa party on a weekend night…. I think you’re sold 😉
Favourite hostel – Retox Party Hostel – it will be loud but unforgettable.
Berlin. The capital of Germany is sure to entertain. The city has such an enthralling history including the world wars and of course the Berlin wall. Nightlife wise you are in the place to be as Berlin has some of Europe’s best bars and clubs. Want to chill during the day? Try Tempelhof airport which was abandoned and turned into a huge park.
Favourite hostel – East Seven Berlin Hostel.
Munich. The Capital of Bavaria in Germany. This place has amazing architecture and plays host to the world famous Oktoberfest beer festival. Don’t worry though! Amazing beer and food can be found all year round. Take a dip in the Olympic pool or go zip lining through the Olympic stadium!
Favourite hostel – Euro Youth Hostel.
Prague. Ah Beautiful Prague with its Gothic architecture is sure to impress. Check out the famous Charles Bridge that crosses the Vltava river – this is best visited at dawn. The cities cold war history can be explored in the Museum of Communism. Fancy a break? Chill out in Letna Park which provides stunning panoramic views of Prague’s old town.
Favourite hostel – Hostel One Prague.
London. I couldn’t not put my home town on here 🙂 I know we have attractions such as Big Ben, the London Eye and St Pauls cathedral. These are all awesome – but see the real London as well; take a black cab somewhere, go to a pub, ride a Boris bike and eat a full English. This could turn into another blog post….
Favourite hostel – Astor Hyde Park – Amazing location and cheap!
Krakow. This city is small but is such a lovely surprise. Amazing architecture, good night life and the haunting history of Auschwitz. During the day you can check out the Grand Square which is the largest from medieval Europe and contains markets, cafes, and great architecture. For an amazing insight to a historic hero, check out the Oskar Schindler Factory.
Favourite hostel – Greg & Tom Beer House Hostel – The greatest hostel I’ve ever stayed in
Bled. This picturesque location will enchant any traveler who stumbles upon it. Surrounded by mountains the town is situated on a huge lake that has a cute little church on an island in the middle. You can chill out by the lake on the docks, hire a bike to ride around it and even take a dip in this unbeatable location.
Favourite hostel – Castle Hostel 1004
Paris. You will fall in love with Paris. Be sure to visit the Eiffel tower of an evening/night; hundreds of people chilling on the grass in a unbeatable social atmosphere and amazing night views of the city. Hire a bike or walk through the city and along the Seine and indulge in the famous cafe’ culture. The French catacombs under the city are a must visit.
Favourite hostel – Le Village Hostel Montmartre
Rome. Here you can bask in the architectural legacy of the Roman Empire and have the most delicious pizza at the same time. This city is a hot bed of history and culture. The Colosseum is worth the long ques, as is the Pantheon. Visit the Trevi Fountain and throw two coins in over your left shoulder – one for love and one to return to Rome
Favourite hostel – Wiki Hostel & Green Village.
Barcelona. Ah Barcelona; crazy architecture, great food and good weather, sounds good huh? It is! check out the Sagrada Família Basillica, construction began in march 1882 and is still ongoing! Feeling sporty? Check out the modern day Colosseum that is Camp Nou – the home of Barcelona FC. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous rent a Vespa scooter and explore the city in a unique and unforgettable way.
Favourite hostel – Hostel One Sants.