A Guide to Backpacking in Europe for 3 Months

For our honeymoon, my husband and I went backpacking in Europe for 3 months. Here, I’m sharing all the details from our time in Europe, including things to do, what we packed and places to eat, particularly vegetarian restaurants. We’ve been back from Europe for 2 months now and I’m finally sharing all the details…

View of Graz

For our honeymoon, my husband and I went backpacking in Europe for 3 months. Here, I’m sharing all the details from our time in Europe, including things to do, what we packed and places to eat, particularly vegetarian restaurants.

View of Graz - Backpacking in Europe
Graz, Austria

We’ve been back from Europe for 2 months now and I’m finally sharing all the details from our experience. I compiled all of the guides I wrote along the way, plus some extra tips at the end.

As with all of my travel guides, I want to stress that I don’t live in Europe and I’m not an expert by any means. This is just my personal experience backpacking in Europe. I hope you’ll find it helpful in one way or another.

Our 3 Month Europe Itinerary:

  • 3 weeks in Lloret de Mar (Spain) + Day trips to Barcelona and Girona
  • 2 nights in Marseilles (France)
  • 3 nights in Antibes (France) + Day trips to Nice and Monaco
  • 1 night in Nice (France)
  • 1 night in La Spezia (Italy)
  • 3 nights in Florence (Italy) + Day trips to Pisa, Montepulciano and Siena
  • 1 night in Venice (Italy)
  • 1 night in Graz (Austria)
  • 3 nights in Vienna (Austria)
  • 3 nights in Salzburg (Austria) + Day trip to Hallstatt
  • 3 nights in Munich (Germany) + Visit to the Neuschwanstein Castle
  • 2 nights in Zurich (Switzerland)
  • 3 nights in Thun (Switzerland) + Day trips to Interlaken, Lauterbrunnen and Zermatt
  • 6 nights in Paris (France)
  • 1 month in London (UK) + Day trips in Cambridge, Bath, Oxford, Brighton, Ely and Dover
  • 3 nights in Edinburgh (UK)
Venice - Backpacking in Europe
Venice, Italy
Lloret de Mar beach - Backpacking in Europe
Lloret de Mar, Spain

Europe Travel Guides + Details from our Trip

Spain (September 30th – October 20th)

Our honeymoon started with a relaxing 3 weeks in Spain. We decided on a little city outside of Barcelona called Lloret de Mar. Why? Because we wanted something quiet, but relatively close to bigger cities. Basically, we just wanted to relax on the beach for a few weeks. From there, we did 2 days trips: One to Barcelona and one to Girona.

Below, you can find my Spain guides for every city we visited. These guides include things to do and the vegetarian meals and restaurants we enjoyed.

Barcelona streets
Barcelona, Spain
building in Barcelona
Barcelona, Spain
Girona
Girona, Spain
Lloret de Mar sunset
Lloret de Mar, Spain

Southern France (October 20th – 25th)

On October 20th, we left Spain and made our way to the south of France. Our first stop was Marseille. Honestly, it wasn’t our favorite city (and some of you guys had told me the same). But I’m still happy we spent a day there.

After 2 nights in Marseille, we left for Antibes. We had an Airbnb there, which was our base for the next 3 nights as we explored the area. We spent one day in Antibes in the rain, one morning in Monaco and 2 days in Nice.

Our last night in southern France was spent in Nice. We were supposed to sleep in Italy and visit Cinque Terre the next day, but were unable to get there due to a train strike.

You can find more details on our time in Southern France below:

Marseille street
Marseilles, France
beach in Nice
Nice, France

Italy (October 25th – 31th)

Italy was our next destination. We spent most of our time in the Tuscany region, including Pisa, Florence, Montepulciano and a short stop in Siena. We rented a car to travel at our own pace and it was great (though driving there was a bit scary).

On our way to Austria, we then stopped for one night in Venice. I won’t share a guide on Venice as we only spent a few hours exploring this beautiful city, but I did post some of my favorite photos in the post linked below.

tower of Pisa
Tower of Pisa, Italy
Venice canals
Venice, Italy
Tuscany view
Montepulciano, Italy

Austria (October 31th – November 7th)

Austria was one of our favorite destinations. We visited a few cities, including Graz, Vienna, Salzburg and the small village of Hallstatt. From the beautiful cities to the snowy mountains… There’s something for everyone! You can find all the details from our time in Austria below:

view of Salzburg
Salzburg, Austria
Hallstatt
Hallstatt, Austria
Vienna
Vienna, Austria

Germany (November 7th – 10th)

We only spent a few days in Germany and it’s certainly a place I want to revisit one day. We spent 3 nights in Munich and on our way to Switzerland, we stopped at the Neuschwanstein castle. As our stay in Germany was short, I didn’t write much of a travel guide. However, I did include a collection of photos with a few notes in the post linked below:

Germany apartment
Munich square
Neuschwanstein
Neuschwanstein Castle

Switzerland (November 10th – 15th)

We only stayed 5 nights in Switzerland, but we had an incredible time in this beautiful country.

We started with 2 nights in Zurich and only spent one full day exploring the city. We then left for our Airbnb near Thun. There, we stayed 3 nights on a farm with the most amazing view of the mountains. We mostly relaxed on the farm and spend one day in Interlaken and Lauterbrunnen, where we hiked and admired the mountains and waterfalls.

Finally, before leaving Switzerland, we did a quick stop in Zermatt, a ski town known for the Matterhorn. Find all the details from our stay in Switzerland below:

Swiss Alps
On a farm near Thun, Switzerland
Matterhorn
The Matterhorn (Zermatt, Switzerland)
Swiss house in Zermatt
Zermatt, Switzerland

Paris (November 15th – 21th)

After Switzerland, we made our way to Paris, where we stayed for 6 nights. We had an Airbnb in Meudon, a short transit ride away from the center of Paris. We spent our days exploring everything that Paris has to offer.

Our last full day in Paris, we took the train to Versailles to explore the Palace. Find all the details from our stay in Paris below:

street in Paris
Montmartre, Paris
Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower, Paris

United Kingdom (November 21th – December 24th)

We stayed in the United Kingdom for 1 full month and it was one of the best experiences of my life. There’s so much to experience in this beautiful country.

We stayed in a small town called Sawbridgeworth for our entire time in England. It was a short 40 minute train ride to the center of London. Because we stayed outside of the city and we wanted to explore as much as we could in one month, we decided to purchase an England train pass. This pass allowed us to travel to London every day AND to visit other cities around England (I shared more details on this in my London post below).

Here are the cities we visited: Cambridge, Oxford, Bath, Brighton, Ely and Dover. We also spent an evening at the Warner Bros. Studio. Finally, our last destination was Edinburgh. We left our little home in Sawbridgeworth and stayed in Scotland for 3 nights before leaving Europe. You can find all the details from our time in the United Kingdom below:

London streets - Backpacking in Europe
In the streets of London
London - Backpacking in Europe
London
Edinburgh Castle - Backpacking in Europe
Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh lake with swans - Backpacking in Europe
Edinburgh, Scotland
Bath, England - backpacking in Europe
Bath, England

How to Prepare for a Backpacking Trip Through Europe

Let’s be real, traveling for 3 months requires a lot of planning. Below you can find some guides that I created to help you plan your next trip to Europe. I was able to plan fairly well, but we certainly made some mistakes along the way. Hopefully you can learn from us!

Frequently Asked Questions:

I got many questions about our backpacking trip in Europe, so I thought I’d answer some here (those that haven’t been answered in my specific Europe guides).

How do you stay healthy while traveling?

I wrote a big post on this and you can find it here. In short, balance is everything. Food is part of traveling and it’s important that you enjoy it, without guilt. Travel is temporary. Don’t regret missing out on some experiences, just because they don’t fit your description of health.

What was your favorite place in Europe?

This is a really hard question to answer (we loved them all!), but I would have to say Austria, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. I know, I can’t narrow it down more than this. I could break it down like this:
Nature/Scenery: Austria and Switzerland. The mountains are stunning and we especially loved Hallstatt, Interlaken and Zermatt.
City: London and Vienna were my favorite big cities. I still miss London SO much and it felt like home as we stayed there for one month. I also really loved Graz, Bath, Cambridge, Oxford and Edinburgh.

When is the best time to visit Europe?

I have to answer this from experience as I don’t live in Europe, so I can’t know for sure. Personally, I would choose to visit in the fall or spring. Winter is also great for certain areas, depending on your plans (the Christmas markets are amazing!). I would just personally avoid summer. From past experience, Europe is extremely busy in the summer and can be uncomfortably warm (to my taste). That being said, do what works best for you!

A few specifics:

  • London was amazing around Christmas time and was filled with Christmas markets. It doesn’t get too cold (it was consistently around 10°C for us), but it’s wet.
  • Paris was great in November as it was mild and less busy. Spring is also a great time to visit from what I hear.
  • Spain was good in October, but it was starting to get cooler. If you plan on spending time at the beach, September or summer may be better (I can’t know for sure).
  • From past experience, I would especially avoid Italy during summer. It was extremely warm and crowded. Fall was perfect.
  • Austria, Switzerland and Germany were beautiful in early November and still had fall foliage. I’m sure October would have been great too!
Eiffel Tower - Backpacking in Europe
Paris, France
Germany nature - Backpacking in Europe
Füssen, Germany

And that’s it! I hope that you found this guide helpful. Have you traveled to Europe? Are you planning a trip soon? Do you have any questions? Let me know in the comments!

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Comments

2 responses to “A Guide to Backpacking in Europe for 3 Months”

  1. Noah Marples Avatar
    Noah Marples

    Hello! Me and my girlfriend are planning on doing a similar trip next summer, I was just wondering if you had a good estimate for saving up before we planned to go for 3 months?

    Thanks!

    1. Nourished by Caroline Avatar

      Hi Noah, that’s a great question! I don’t have an exact number for you as it’s been 4 years since our trip. My estimate is 10-12K (CAD), maybe up to 15K if we’re being safe. We spent an average of $60 CAD per night for our Airbnbs, though I believe prices for accommodations have gone up since then. We also saved on food by eating in our Airbnbs often and limiting eating out to once per day on average. It really depends on your type of travel. Most of our money went towards accommodations, food (groceries and eating out) and travel (plane tickets to get there and back, plus trains once in Europe). We also didn’t do many paid activities, so this is something else to consider in your planning. I did write a little guide on how we traveled to Europe for 3 months on a budget, which might be helpful. Let me know if you have any more questions. Enjoy your trip, it’s such an amazing experience!

      You can find the other post here: https://nourishedbycaroline.ca/how-we-travelled-to-europe-on-a-budget/

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