Europe Travel, Backpacking, Gap Year & Tours
Europe is a fascinating continent to visit, there is history around every corner and every destination offers a new experience. Find inspiration for things to do if you would like to travel, go backpacking or take a gap year in Europe.
Adventure Tours, Backpacking Trips & Gap Year Programs in Europe
Europe Travel Guide
On our travel guide you can get inspiration for the best things to do if you would like to travel, go backpacking or take a gap year in Europe. There really is so much to see and do in this continent, you could go in search of history, see ancient ruins, seek out the best beaches or soak up different cultures. View our travel tips and advice for places to go, the best packages available and information about costs, accommodation, transport, health and safety and how to visit Europe on a budget.
- 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.
Europe Gap Year
Europe is a historic continent to visit on a gap year and every country offers something different. We help thousands of people plan gap years in Europe every year and there are so many different ideas, adventures and gap year programs available. Gap year jobs in Europe are very popular but there are lots of structured experiences and trips. The hard part is deciding where to go.
There are no specific reasons why you should take a gap year to Europe, you could be 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.
If you would like to spend your gap year working in Europe you can search lots of positions on our directory. From short term summer jobs to fixed long term placements you have a lot of choice depends on your skills. Where you go and what you do really depends on your own interests. Most programs are open to UK/EU citizens whilst we also process enquiries from people from Australia, New Zealand, USA, South Africa, Canada and other worldwide destinations.
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.
Europe is a facsinating continent full of different countries, cultures and sights. Joining a tour in Europe is a great way to discover destinations, meet new people and get taken to the best places. Search trips and experience the highlights of Europe for yourself.
There are lots of different trips available including:
- Hop-on hop-off bus tours
- Small group adventures
- Overland tours where you can visit a number of countries
- Yacht, sailing, cruise and island hopping tours
- City tours
- History and culture tours
- Festival tours
- Wildlife and nature tours
- Photography tours
- Activity tours like cycling, hiking, trekking, kayaking, canoeing, rafting and walking
Best Europe Tour Operators
Are you wondering what are the best European tour companies to book with are? On One World 365 you can search and compare trips from top rated European tour operators including Contiki, G Adventures and Topdeck Travel. Thousands of people travel with these companies every year and they offer highly rated guided tours with positive feedback and reviews.
Europe Small Group Tours
Our website features some of the best and most respected tour operators and companies in the world and you can find options for all budgets. If you are travelling on a shoestring or have a more flexible amount of money to spend you will be able to find something to match your criteria.
Some tours sell out quickly especially summer tours of Europe and so we recommend researching and booking in advance to avoid the disappointment of dates being full. Most travel operators use local guides who have the knowledge to take you to the best places and provide an authentic experience.
Overland Tours in Europe
One of the most popular ways to explore Europe is on an overland bus tour. Thousands of people travel on these types of tours every year and there are departures every month. These types of tours are a great way to travel in a group, meet new people, have a lot fun and get taken to the best places in the continent. Prices vary depending on the trip and operator.
These tours are perfect if you are travelling solo and would like to meet other people and travel in a group. You will get to meet other international travellers and get taken to the best locations in the country with an experienced guide. Most of our tours specifically cater for the 18-35 age group and are a really popular option due to meeting other people, getting day-to-day activities, hotel check-ins, selected meals, accommodation and also transport/guides included in the price. Don't worry if you are slightly older, most tours accept all ages.
Europe Budget Tours
We have a selection of tours for all budgets, so whether you are looking to explore on the cheap or you have a bit more money to spend you will be able to find a trip to match your interests. Our website features lots of cheap tours allowing you to discover the highlights of the country and not break the bank.
Typical group sizes are around 10-18 travellers with an average of 12 but this can vary depending on the operator. Some companies run overland bus trips where you might be travelling with around 25-40 other people. On most tours you will travel overland in a private small tour van. For day trips and excursions sometimes you will use public transport and sometimes use internal flights to allow you to see the highlights as quick as possible.
Walking, Hiking & Trekking Tours in Europe
Join a walking tour in Europe and explore spectacular new destinations. These trips are very popular during summer, you will be able to experience every sight, sound and smell of a new country and enjoy the great outdoors. Walking trips are offering in spectacular locations where there will be lakes and mountains close by. There are lots of different types of walking tours available, from simple relaxing breaks to challenging trails, you can also travel independently.
If you have never joined a tour before, or if you are an experienced pro there is a excellent choice of walking activity holidays available. Austria, France, Italy, Switzerland and Slovenia are very popular places to go. The Alps are one of the most scenic destinations in the world, here you will be able to experience traditional villages, picturesque scenery and spectacular mountain ranges. From gentle strolls to all day hikes you will find a walking tour suitable for you.
City & Day Tours
Short for time? Want to see the highlights as quick as possible? There are day tours available to book throughout Europe. Popular options include city tours where a local guide will usually show you the sights. These types of tours can be booked as part of a group or you can spend a little extra and get a private tour. Some city tours are totally free but you might be expected to give a tip.
How to Book
Are you thinking about making an enquiry or want to secure your place? Search our featured trips above and make an enquiry or booking today. Tours can be joined every month and we recommend booking months in advance to secure the best prices. Summer tours of Europe are very popular so make sure you book before spaces fill up. Europe is waiting to be explored, so what are you waiting for?
Europe Tour Reviews
If you have ever joined a tour in Europe and would like to review a tour operator or share your experiences please contact us. You can also view reviews of Europe tours on our directory.
"Tours in Europe are great when you don’t know where to go, what to see, but sometimes you don’t want structure. Sometimes you want to explore, get lost, see how the locals live; this is where a tour company such as EF College Break is a good choice. These are educational tours for ages 18-28. Sure they have fully guided tours as well for those that wish for a more structured holiday, where as College Break provides just the right amount of “me time”. One day you can join a tour of the Palace of Versailles, the next you hop on the Metro and wander to the Champs Elysee with your new friends/roommates." - Sasha Mitsch
"I did a 23 day tour around Europe with TopDeck which I would highly recommend to everyone." - Matt, New Zealand
"My advice to anyone contemplating travelling alone in Europe is to try a tour. It’s a great confidence booster and well worth the money you pay. It was hassle free as all the important things were taken care of, and it also meant I was seeing all the main attractions at each destination but still having the opportunity to do my own exploring and finding hidden treasures of my own. All you need to worry about is deciding which trip to go on." - Karyn Hicks, UK
"If you are looking for a wild party with no sleep and friends for life choose a tour with Contiki. When I was living in London I booked a few tours in Europe with Contiki and they were honestly the best time ever. They are just easy and save you a lot of time and effort." - Liz, Australia