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Top 10 Backpacking Destinations in Europe for College Students

Are you planning for a trip before you start your classes in college? Good news! There is no shortage of backpacking destinations in Europe for college students and those seeking an adventure without breaking the bank. Any European trip has become the quintessential rite of passage for a lot of students. It is also one of the most anticipated tours of their life yet.

Whether or not you have been to Europe before, there is always that sense of excitement for what this adventure will bring. If you have not decided on which destinations to choose for your European backpacking trip yet, you have come to the right place. You will discover the best backpacking destinations in Europe for college students, where they can set their itineraries.

The goal of this European trip is to use it to learn the European cultures and experience new things. It can also broaden your perspective to prepare you for the challenges that lie ahead in college. Here are the top 10 European destinations you can choose from before your college classes begin.


Backpacking destinations in Europe for college students

 Bucharest Romania

Bucharest, Romania

As the capital city of Romania, Bucharest is a favorite for student holiday destinations in Europe. The country is shrouded in mystery – thanks to the famed Dracula characters that were popularized by Bram Stoker. The Old Town area is filled with beautiful architecture and old buildings that have been around for centuries.

There are also plenty of backpacker hostels, free attractions, and affordable public transport that are easy on a student’s budget. To make the most of your backpacking tour in Bucharest, make sure you take the time to visit one of the many must-see attractions.

Before you leave, make sure that you have explored Dracula’s Castle, Palace of Parliament, King Michael I Park, and Arcul de Triumf. Bucharest also has a vibrant nightlife scene perfect for young travelers. Plus, their beers are reasonably priced, too, compared to other European cities.

top tourist attractions in bratislava slovakia schema

Bratislava, Slovakia

Another capital city in Europe that is worth exploring is Bratislava. This is true, especially for students on a tight budget. It is emerging lately as one of the best places to visit in Europe for college students. The city offers a unique atmosphere that appeals to the young and old.

Set along the Danube River, the city offers spectacular views that are both romantic and mysterious. Aside from the city, the wide variety in landscape. These include highlights such as the Carpathian mountains, forested hiking trails, and vineyards. Even exploring the Old Town enables you to embrace the fascinating history of the city.

Among the most notable attractions in Slovakia are the Bratislava Castle, Michael’s Gate, Devin Castle, and St. Martin’s Cathedral. With an average cost per day of $53, it is an excellent destination for students. There are also plenty of backpacker hostels that will fit your budget.

famous buildings in barcelona gaudi buildings and architecture schema

Barcelona, Spain

As one of the most visited destinations for tourists, Barcelona is a great and one of the best places to visit in Europe for college students. There are several neighborhoods that you can stay in if you want to travel on a budget. While this city isn’t big, each neighborhood brings a unique character and charm that distinguishes one from the other.

If you want to experience the lively local nightlife, stay in El Raval. And if you are in search of hipster hangouts, you will find plenty of those in Gracia. Meanwhile, you can find an abundance of cool cafes to explore at Sant Antoni.

In addition to these fantastic neighborhoods, you will also find other must-see attractions to make the most of your Europe trip for college students. Your selection of Barcelona attractions includes La Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, Casa Mila, Casa Batllo, the Gothic Quarter, and La Rambla.

Sofia Center Bulgaria

Sofia, Bulgaria

Emerging as one of the most famous choices for travel destinations in Eastern Europe, Bulgaria has plenty to offer for student trips in Europe. It is a fascinating destination filled with a rich history, delicious cuisine, impressive architecture, and friendly locals. It is now known as a melting pot for various cultures.

Notably, it is the best choice if you want to experience different cultures in one place! Thus, students will be able to learn from and meet a variety of people. Some would say that the city of Sofia is located in the off-the-beaten-path. But this is probably one of the many reasons why it is ideal for a college student to travel to.

There is no shortage of cheap accommodations, such as backpacker hostels. The cost of living is estimated to be around 29 USD per day. This means that touring around the city is good enough for a college budget!

s Old Bridge in Mostar Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sarajevo, Bosnia, and Herzegovina

Not as popular as many other cities or destinations on this list, Sarajevo gives you the reason why it would be suited for college students. Young travelers, such as college students, are the ones who are keen to embark on unknown adventures. They like the thrill of discovery!

You will enjoy what you will find in Sarajevo. This is a compact yet vibrant city. It is surrounded by the Dinaric Alps and the Miljacka River. The East-meets-West vibe of the city also adds to its intriguing character. It has an irrepressible spirit that is evident in its lively street and nightlife scenery.

If you are visiting Sarajevo, don’t miss out on its historic market in the city center – Bascarsija. The Sarajevo Tunnel and Latin Bridge are two other famous monuments and attractions worth seeing. The city is home to several cheap hotels and hostels that are a perfect choice for budget-conscious travelers, like students.

Backpacking destinations in Europe for College Students: Traditional eyed colorful boats Luzzu in the Harbor of Mediterranean fishing village Marsaxlok Malta


Known to be a family-friendly holiday destination, Malta has plenty to offer for all families visiting with their kids. Nevertheless, it is a country with a unique culture sprinkled with culinary delights and blended architecture. You can also find hiking destinations, pristine beaches, friendly locals, and low prices.

All of these factors tick your bucket list when it comes to budget-friendly yet adventurous travel for college students. You will be surprised to know that Malta is a cheap destination. This is true from the food to attraction fees and accommodation. You could easily find cheap hostels with dorm prices in Malta!

And apart from the cheap accommodation, Malta is abundant when it comes to free and natural attractions that are worth seeing. You can add the Comino, Azure Window, St. John’s Co-Cathedral, Blue Lagoon, and the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum to your Malta itinerary.

Prague Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic

As one of the most romantic cities in Europe, Prague is a city known for its Medieval castles, Gothic churches, fortresses, museums, and 14th-century buildings. It is perfect for college students who are into cultural destinations. But did you know that Prague is also a well-known budget destination in Europe?

Prague is part of many backpacking Europe routes. It enables you to see the best of what this part of Europe has to offer for less. Whether you are studying history, art, design, or architecture, you can find all sorts of inspiration from this city. And it does not hurt that it is easily accessible to students because of the cheap cost of travel!

You can also find a variety of free attractions in Prague, further helping to keep your budget low. Among the attractions, you should see when in Prague are Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral, and the Prague Astronomical Clock. On average, you can survive on a $50 per day budget in Prague!

most visited tourist attractions in europe acropolis of athens greece

Athens, Greece

As one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, Athens is one of the cheapest destinations for backpacking Europe trip for students. It is said to be one of the oldest cities in the world, which served as the political and economic heart of Ancient Greece. Walking along the streets of Athens is like learning about history in real-time.

You will stumble upon old buildings, ancient ruins, monuments, and other landmarks that are filled with history. The city of Athens also appeals to students for several reasons. First off, it has a vibrant atmosphere with many nightlife and hip hangout options.

At the same time, it is filled with budget-friendly accommodations (such as inns and hostels) along with an array of free attractions. Among the attractions, you can find in Athens are the Acropolis of Athens, Parthenon, Temple of Olympian Zeus, Agora of Athens, and Syntagma Square.

Backpacking destinations in Europe for College Students: Saranda, Albania

Saranda, Albania

Known as a resort town in Albania, Saranda has everything you are looking for in a quintessential Mediterranean holiday. For students backpacking to Europe, you will experience a more relaxing getaway as a college student who has everything you are looking for. From palm trees lined beach, warm weather, and exotic parties that last until dawn – it is a young traveler’s dream!

It is also a cheap destination suited for a college student budget. You can find affordable accommodations with some as low as $5 per night! You may also find an extensive range of attractions such as Lekuresi Castle, Port of Saranda, Pulebardha Beach, and the Monastery of 40 Saints.

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