Europe Travel, Backpacking & Gap Year Guide

Europe Travel, Backpacking & Gap Year Guide

Europe is a fascinating continent to visit, there is history around every corner and every destination offers a new experience. Get information, advice and inspiration for the best things to do if you would like to travel, go backpacking or take a gap year in Europe.


Europe Travel Ideas, Backpacking Trips & Gap Year Programs

Travel to Europe

Our Europe destination guide aims to give you all the information you need to have an amazing experience in this continent. Find affordable travel and backpacking ideas with advice for amazing things to do and how you can be more than just your average traveller. You can also get recommendations for budget travel tips, tips for places to stay and advice how to stay safe.

Get inspired to visit Europe today!

  • Countries: 50
  • Languages: Various different languages spoken throughout the continent
  • Population: 750,000,000 (approx)
  • Area: 10,200,000  km2
  • Largest City: Istanbul, Turkey (population 13,900,000 approx)




Travelling & Backpacking in Europe

If you are keen to discover the highlights of Europe then you have a lot of choice, here are some of our top recommendations:

  • Explore Barcelona in summer where you can walk around the city or just head to the beach
  • Alps for winter sports like skiing and trekking / walking holidays in summer
  • See the famous Louvre and going up the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France
  • Visit Venice nowhere in the world compares
  • Watch New Years celebrations in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Experience the magic of Venice, nowhere in the world compares
  • Seeing the Northern Lights in Scandinavia, simply spectacular
  • Relaxing on beaches in Greece,a  great value for money holiday destination
  • Going sailing in Croatia, the coast is beautiful
  • See a live sporting event like a football game, this is a real passion in most countries
  • Watch winter sports like ski jumping in the Alps
  • See a summer music festival, there are so many to choose from including Glastonbury in England and Benicassim in Spain
  • Take part in Octoberfest, Germany
  • Explore Rome - one of the most beautiful cities in the world


Weather & Best Time to Visit Europe 

When you choose to travel in Europe depends on your preference. Summer is a popular period due to the warm weather but this is also the most expensive time of the year in terms of accommodation prices and transport. Winter can be romantic and scenic but also temperatures can drop significantly.


Top Places to Visit in Europe 

There are some many incredible places to see in Europe, every country is different and offers a totally unique experience. Here are some of our top recommendations for countries to add to your itinerary if you are looking to travel or are keen to find out what are the best places to go on a gap year in Europe:

  • Dubrovnik & Dalmatian Coast, Croatia (beautiful coast)
  • Provence, France (a stunning part of the world)
  • Lake Balaton, Hungary (relax and go sailing on the biggest lake in Eastern Europe)
  • Berlin, Germany (one of the best cities in Europe)
  • Paris, France (shops and famous sights like the Eiffel Tower)
  • Snowdonia, North Wales (stunning mountains)
  • Venice & Rome, Italy (history, monuments and culture)
  • Nice, France (relax and enjoy life in the spectacular French riviera)
  • Lapland, Finland (take a dogsled in search of Santa)
  • St Petersburg, Russia (see tsarist palaces)
  • Barcelona, Spain (relax at the beach & get absorbed in the great nightlife)
  • London, UK (museums, tourist sites, parks)


Europe Travel Tips

Budget & Costs:
Eastern Europe offers better value for money than Western Europe, most things will be cheaper including food, accommodation, transport and sightseeing activities. Expensive cities in Europe include London, Paris, Nice, Oslo, Geneva, Moscow and Copenhagen - you might want to avoid these if you are on a budget. You will find prices in Switzerland and Scandinavia extremely high so avoid if you have a small budget. 

Transport & Getting Around:
A very good transport system operates in Europe, there is a good bus / rail network whilst lots of cheap flight operators run services throughout the continent - book in advance for the best deals. Low cost airlines including EasyJet, Ryan Air and Wizz Air offer budget flights throughout the continent. Megabus operate cheap bus journeys throughout Europe, if you book in advance you can make big savings and some journeys start from only £1. You could also buy an interrail pass.

Food & Drink:
Expect some of the tastiest food in the world, every country offers something different. If you are on a budget be sure to visit supermarkets to buy bread, sandwich fillings and food, this is much cheaper than eating out as eating out for breakfast, lunch and dinner this can quickly eat away at your purse strings. Throughout the continent there are usually great deals on lunch specials, you might want to eat a large lunch and then just have a light bite for dinner which will save you money.


Gap Year in Europe

Europe is an amazing continent to spend a gap year, every country offers something different and there are so many amazing experiences available all year round. We help thousands of people plan gap years in Europe every year. Search our featured travel ideas, adventures and gap year programs.

Taking a gap year in Europe is very popular and the hardest part is deciding where to go. Possibly you are finishing school or university and not sure what to do after? Maybe you just want to do something different and travel? You could be stuck in a dead-end situation and need a fresh challenge? On One World 365 you can find gap year programs in most European countries. Where you go really comes down to personal choice, most programs can be joined from 1 week, whilst some can last over a year. 

There is a real difference between booking a week’s break somewhere in Europe and soaking up the place and it’s culture, and going somewhere for several months with a purpose; getting into the way of life and its people. Participating on a gap year program in Europe isn’t about doing the wildest things you can possibly think of all day for a year. Many opportunities require that you work on a designated project for a period of time, giving you some ownership in tasks and requiring you to mix with locals. All of this is good for jolting you out of a rut, if you’re stuck, or growing your confidence if these are you first steps in to a bigger world.

If you decide to take a gap year in a European country, at your doorstep is a multitude of cultures easily accessible by budget flights, buses and trains. Not only that, but pricewise, accommodation is on the low end when compared to some other continents. Whether going for a weeks or longer, it has been made so easy to do. With such a variety of history and entertainment, there is no shortage of places to go and things to do. Meaning it makes little difference whether your trip is with friends, a partner or by yourself. Unsure quite where and when to go? There are so many different experiences available in countries throughout the continent.

After a gap year in Europe you will be able to impress your parents and friends with new - found culinary skills, tales of all the challenges that you overcame – home sickness being one of them, and oh so important map - reading skills. Seeing Europe first hand gives you unparalleled knowledge about other cultures, religions and mainly about people. This is a great opportunity to become attuned to how other countries live and it is undoubtedly a culturally rich experience to visit different countries across the globe.