Guide to Backpacking through EUROPE
Go to Amsterdam
There is more to the city than coffee shops and red lights. I love Amsterdam very much, I lived here for a short time in 2006. Cobblestone and brick lanes weave around the beautiful canals. Amsterdam has a vibrant arts and music scene and friendly locals who are more than willing to help you out. Make sure you get out of the center with your amazing outdoor café in Jordan and Ost.
Barcelona is a city that runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can give NYC a run for the title "Never Sleeps". Be prepared for late night dinners and parties until dawn. Barcelona knows to step down. In addition to a great food and nightlife scene, there is a wonderful beach, Gaudi architecture and a history dating back to Roman times.
Charming and modern Berlin is an energetic destination. It is one of the most affordable capital cities in Europe with a vibrant music and arts scene and a growing food movement. There is a ton of cheap Middle Eastern food. Be sure to visit the History Museum - it is one of the best in the world.
Oktoberfest. Drink beer in
Oktoberfest is mandatory for anyone traveling to or around Germany at the end of September. There are people from all over the world, lots of beer, excitement, music and wild fun. Watching thousands of people sing together, the atmosphere of toast and party makes you feel good about the world. (Or maybe that's just beer?)
Taste English culture in diverse London. The museums here are some of the best (and free) in the world, as well as fine dining in the city, and the pub culture is amazing. Head to Brick Lane for some amazing Sunday food markets. I prefer London to Paris, but there is something sophisticated and fun about London. Just look at those pints - London is not a cheap destination.
My favorite region in Europe is Scandinavia. The quality of life here is high, the people are beautiful and friendly, the cities are clean and historic. True, this region of Europe is not cheap, but there are many ways to reduce your spending. Do not let high prices scare you. Highlights for me include Copenhagen, Stockholm, Gotland, the fjords of Norway, and Lapland in Finland.
Get Enchanted in Prague
Prague is a beautiful city with amazing history. It is a cheap destination and during weekends it enjoys bar with people, cheap beers and delicious food. It is one of the most beautiful and picturesque cities I have visited.
Wine and food with the French Riviera
Have fun in the sun, get fond of the rich and famous, and sail (or gaze at) giant boats. You can pretend to live a high life for a while. Nice is good and Monaco is just a skip away.
Enjoy the spectacular outdoors at Interlaken
Located in the beautiful mountains of Switzerland, Interlaken is a great place to relax with some good walking, hot chocolate and outdoor games. This is a good option from all the cities and museums that you visit constantly. Interlaken is also a popular party destination for backpackers and other young travelers.
This thriving historic city has amazing food and nightlife. Also, for walking through its tiny little streets (you can't walk two feet without stumbling over a ruin), Rome is a history buff's dream. Visit the Traveler area for a taste of "local" Rome and the chill bar. This is my favorite area in the city.
Cinque Terre. Hike around
Cinque Terre is my favorite part of Italy. These five beautiful rock cities are inhabited by warm waters and beautiful olive and grape trees. You will find some wondrous and strenuous climbs in these hills. For a real challenge, take the # 8 mark. Or just walk to the beach for something less difficult.
Krakow seems to have dropped out of medieval postcards. It is also better than Prague! It is a hip, trendy and young city as it is the center of education in Poland. You have a lot of university students here. Most travelers come here to party (vodka is cheap) but try to enjoy the history and food of the city apart from the bar. Auschwitz concentration camp is also nearby.
Visit the ruins bars in Budapesto
The coldest nightlife in all of Europe is found in Budapest. These bars are built in abandoned buildings and lots and feature funky art installations and decorations. They are amazing, fun and a great place to meet local people. People of all ages come here. If you leave these bars, you miss one of the most unique things about the city.
The best part of England is outside London, and unfortunately, many people do not leave London. Visit the area of Cornwall in the west for cheaper prices, friendly locals, more natural beauty, hiking, rolling hills, small towns and what you think of "traditional England" overall.