Backpacking Europe: Top Destinations
You may have plans for the future of settling down, getting a mortgage, having a few kids, getting a dog. Maybe you see yourself moving around a bit for work promotions and the like, but staying mostly in a single location or town. But that’s the future, and this is the present. In the present, you want to travel and see the world, experience different cultures, meet new people, and broaden your horizons. Thankfully, companies like Interrail have made it incredibly easy to spend a few weeks going here, there, and everywhere in Europe and on a tight budget. If you’ve decided that Europe is somewhere that you need to see more of, below are a few of the most popular destinations for travelers.
Though not physically attached to Europe, London is still one of the hottest European tourist destinations. Of course there are the usual guided tours on red double-decker buses to give you a brief overview and a bit of history, but there is so much to do here. From late July until the end of September, Buckingham Palace is open to the public (book in advance to avoid disappointment), there are a huge array of theatre shoes available in the West End, from Les Mis to The Book Of Mormon. There are also restaurants galore, meaning that it’s easy to find somewhere to eat ethically, whatever your dietary requirements. Just don’t block the escalator for the locals, they don’t like that.
What trip to Europe would be complete without Paris? Obviously, there’s Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, and Sacre-Coeur. But there’s also the abundance of restaurants, cafés, wine bars, street artists and so much more. You could even visit the grave of Oscar Wilde in Père Lachaise Cemetery. Steak and fries is a hugely popular dish with locals and tourists alike if you are feeling tame. But for the adventurous foodies out there, escargot and cuisse de grenouilles could be on the menu for you.
Not one of the most well-known or romantic destinations, but packed full of history and culture. It is also surprisingly cheap for a capital city, especially if you veer away from the upmarket West Berlin and head into the artsy and bohemian East Berlin. The capital wasn’t unified until 1989 when the Berlin Wall famously fell. There are monument and memorial to those who died trying to cross the wall, as well as the East Side Art Gallery, which is not a building, but a preserved section of the wall with famous artists’ paintings on it. If you prefer more ancient history, then Museum Island will keep you busy for a few days, as it houses five separate museums, all dedicated to different periods of history. There is also an abundance of street art and live musicians at Alexanderplatz, where you can sit in a revolving restaurant and view the city from over 200m in the air.
Obviously, there are a huge amount of destinations to choose from, but nobody should visit Europe without having at least visited ‘the big three’. Save hard, travel far, and make memories.