Common Routes For Backpacking Through Europe

Europe is a whole continent, so check out these popular routes the next time you're backpacking, and see some of the most interesting places along the way.

One of the main attractions of backpacking is that there are no rules, no fixed routes. You can go where you'd like, stay as long as you are comfortable, and move on when you're done. With such a sense of freedom, however, there comes the question of exactly where you should go. There are so many options that it's often hard to narrow it down to somewhere specific. But there are many common routes and itineraries for European backpackers, so if you're having trouble deciding the destination of your next backpacking trip, maybe these ideas can help you out.

Many backpackers choose to stick to one specific location or region in Europe. Because they may have limited transportation options (perhaps due to lack of funds) staying in one region can be a good choice for the budget-conscious traveler. Backpacking in a specific region cuts down on expensive train tickets and means you get to spend more of your time actually visiting places, instead of stuck on a bus. Here are some location-specific routes to take through Europe so you can enjoy the best of the region.

Scandinavia: A good choice for backpackers in the summer because of the long hours of daylight and the mild weather, Scandinavia may not be the best choice for a winter getaway. Many people visit from mainland Europe, starting in Copenhagen and moving up towards Gothenberg and Stockholm in Sweden. From Stockholm, a ferry transports passengers across the Baltic Sea to Helsinki, or travelers can go the opposite direction, heading across the country to the border of Norway to visit Oslo. For the more adventurous, however, ferries connect Helsinki with other Eastern European countries such as Estonia and Latvia.

Benelux: The region between Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg is another hot backpackers' destination, mainly because of its small size. It is very easy to get around these three countries, and there is a lot to see in all of them. Most people start in Amsterdam and then head South, perhaps stopping along the way at The Hague or Rotterdam to see another part of the Dutch landscape. They then make their way to Brussels, where the chocolate is exquisite. After a few days in Brussels enjoying the fried mussels and Belgian blonde beer, a visit to Luxembourg can round out the trip.

The Big Three: England, France, and Germany are three of the biggest countries in Europe and are probably the most popular tourist destinations on the continent. Many backpackers, especially those from the states, start their journey in London. A few days in the huge British city and a backpacker can hop a train across the "Chunnel" and wind up in Paris before they know it. With the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, and more, there are plenty of things to see in Paris, and there are a ton of hostels and cheap hotels for any traveler's budget. Next, backpackers can either head North for the Benelux trip, Southeast to Switzerland, or head South to check out the warmth of Southern France. Many travelers also take the time to head into Germany, stopping in Frankfurt before visiting the beautiful capital Berlin, a favorite among backpackers and young travelers.

Iberian Peninsula: This is another favorite for backpackers because of the warm weather and nearly constant sunshine. From France, many backpackers head South, stopping in Marseilles or Toulouse. Ski fans can check out Andorra, where low prices on hotels and ski rentals make for an inexpensive weekend getaway. Travel on to Barcelona, which has an incredible nightlife, as well as history. From Barcelona, many travelers head to Madrid to check out the museums and art galleries in Spain's capital. Others take the long route along the coast, visiting such historical cities as Valencia, Malaga, and Seville before crossing the border into Portugal and visiting Lisbon.

© High Speed Ventures 2011