The Ultimate Guide To Backpacking Western Europe

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Western Europe is such a diverse cultural area on the old continent, that every country you will be backpacking through will present itself in a different way. Each European country is unique in its own ways. 

It is true that some have similarities between them, but even so, the way each one developed over the long time frame history has made them worth your while in a big, fancy style! 

Backpacking Western Europe represents one of those life’s adventures that everyone has to hop on as soon as the opportunity presents itself. This is one of the main reasons why so many movies were made on this subject alone. 

You will also have the chance to get close to many European ethnic variations. Europeans in all countries live by their own local traditions and every single one has something new to teach you, some new way to see life. Maybe you’ll even take some with you home. 

Europe covers only 2% of the Earth’s surface, but you know what they say — strong essences come in small bottles. On this continent, more than 741 million people live. 

When you will be backpacking Western Europe, you should expect that the climate will change a lot. From the southwest to the northwest, you will encounter high temperatures, strong sun, rain, and wind. Now that you know this, remember to pack summer clothing, and maybe autumn or winter as well — depending on the period you wish to travel. 

You will experience the seaside, hills, mountains, rural areas, big urban cities, small charming towns, large green fields, and lots of different vegetation. 

First, you will read all about the countries in Western Europe next to the ocean. 

Start In Portugal

Island In Portugal; Western Europe
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Portugal is a country in Southwest Europe, next to the Atlantic Ocean. The land borders of the country are only next to Spain. 

Porto and Lisbon are among the most famous cities in Portugal. Backpacking there should not be an issue since public transport is pretty common in the country at great prices. 

If you are backpacking to Porto, in the northern part of Portugal, you will definitely get to the beach at some point. The wonderful thing about the places in Portugal near the water is that most are high coasts where you can admire the ocean at peace. 

Portugal is home to a very unique place on Earth — the westernmost point. It is located in Cabo da Roca. After you walk around the streets of Lisbon, head to the west of the continent for about 40 kilometers. 

Cross The Border To Spain

Spain, Western Europe
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Spain is the host country for many internationally-acclaimed cities. You have plenty of locations to choose from; Barcelona, Valencia, Malaga, Seville, and Madrid are all a must-see. 

If you have to choose just one, start with Barcelona. It’s home to a vibrant nightlife, delicious cuisine, popular beaches, and other attractions. 

People in Spain are famous for knowing how to enjoy life and how to party! During the month of August, in many cities all over the country, a tomato fight is organized. Yes, you read that right. People on street fight with tomatoes. It is not a violent experience, but rather a fun and friendly one. 

In Southeast Spain, you will find the Roman Theatre, in the city of Cartagena. If you want to live like a Roman in Western Europe, or at least imagine it, this is the place to let your imagination travel the distance and inspire you.

Visit France In Western Europe

France, Western Europe
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France is one of the most famous countries on Earth. It is known for being romantic — Paris is also called the city of love, and for the elegance of the French people. They always know how to do everything with style and class. 

This is true when it comes to their looks and the clothes they wear, but also the way they decorate their houses and the way they consume food. They love food and somehow they manage to eat patisserie items and still keep fit. 

When in France, go to Paris. It is a must. After you visit it, remember that France is so much more. You should enjoy hikes in the French Alps and spend peaceful days in small villages like Le Mont St Michel, Giverny, or Bayeux. 

It is a beautiful experience for backpacking and traveling by train—of course, visiting the most famous museum in the world — The Louvre. 

Sail To Ireland

Ireland, Western Europe
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In Portugal, you went to the sea, in Spain you experienced unique events, and in France, you learned more about the elegance of the French people. Now it is time to really get serious about rural life. 

Ireland is the best place for long walks on open hills. Don’t be surprised if you encounter animals on your way. And don’t be afraid, they are used to it. 

Your backpacking experience in Ireland should include at least a one day visit to Dublin — the largest city. People of Ireland are famous for being beer drinkers. There are lots of breweries in Dublin you can actually visit and you should have a dark beer once there. 

Remember that it rains a lot, but this is not a reason for anyone to stay inside. Bring a raincoat and start walking. 

Go See Northern Ireland 

North Of Ireland, Western Europe
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Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom. It’s a little smaller, but still full of charm. 

This little country is the home of many castles and seaside locations that you will surely remember. Start with Belfast — the capital city, and move around the country at your own pace. 

Visit places like Mussenden Temple in County Derry, Dunluce Castle on the North Antrim Coast, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Rathlin Island, and the Northern Irish Assembly. 

Try Backpacking In Scotland

Scotland, Western Europe
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Scotland is also a part of the United Kingdom and Western European countries that will make an impression on you. 

The most interesting thing that you can do in Scotland is to take the shortest flight in the world. It only takes 1 and a half minutes, but the total amount of time you actually get to fly in under 1 minute. The route is between Loganair Westray to Papa Westray, in the Northern part of Scotland. 

Other than this, you can find beaches where you will meet seals. The capital is Edinburgh — a host of many old buildings and castles with fascinating stories behind the walls. The Edinburgh Castle, Craigmillar Castle, Holyroodhouse Palace, and Lauriston Castle are just four of the top attractions in the city. 

Visit England — One Must-see European Countries 

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England is a country that makes international news on a regular basis. You see famous places from London in movies and TV shows all the time, you can recognize almost all the popular attractions immediately. 

Even so, seeing something on TV or online is not the same as going there yourself. So take the train and travel to London as soon as you get in England. See Big Ben, the Palace of Westminster, Buckingham Palace, and the London Eye. 

Take a backpacking walk on the streets of London and visit bookstores and music stores — there are plenty and you can get some pretty cool stuff. 

In the end, travel to Highclere Castle — the place where the TV show and movie Downton Abbey were filmed. The stories both in the TV show and the movie are inspired by a real-life royal family that still owns and lives on the property. 

Sail Again To Netherlands 

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The Netherlands is commonly known as Holland. When you are backpacking European countries in the west, Holland is home to some special treats. 

First, start with some flower gardens of springtime tulips. Keukenhof is the most famous one and is also named the Garden of Europe. It is located in Lisse, Netherlands. 

The Van Gogh Museum is the one that has the largest Van Gogh collection in the world. And you are in luck because it is located in the city of Amsterdam. 

Now that you are in Amsterdam, biking is a popular activity not only for locals who travel to and from work but for backpacking tourists too. Try it as a means to see as much of the city as you possibly can. 

Cross The Border To Germany

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Germany is famous for being a rigid country, but the truth is that it represents only a way for Germans to make things work as smoothly as possible. This is something you can learn while visiting it. 

Berlin is the capital city and one that has lots to offer. Except the Brandenburg Gate, the city is famous for its techno clubs scene. If you are not one for clubs, just join the Alexanderplatz — a place where locals have their lunch on stairs and outside in the street. It is a pretty nice way to experience Berlin like a local. 

You can have a coffee or go on a shopping spree while you are there, but you must take the subway. It is one of the few subways that takes you underground and outside on bridges as well. 

And Finish In Belgium

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By the end of your trip, you should finish in style, and having a Belgian waffle is the right way to do it. 

The Grand Place or Grote Markt is the central square of Brussels — the capital city. The building is actually a museum that features the city’s history, and the good news is that it is open 24 hours a day. 

If you still want to continue your trip in Western Europe, visiting as many European countries as possible and you are in Belgium, just across the border in the southern area to Luxembourg. It is one of the smallest countries you will ever visit. It has only a little more than 600,000 citizens, which is similar to a big city.


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