Travels

In order to have a successful backpacking trip, you have to be willing to go with the flow. I went to Europe with a general idea of the cities I wanted to see, but did not have anything set in stone. Here is a run down of the places I visited on my trip and some of the things I did. You can check out the route I took on the map below.

Barcelona

I chose to start my trip in Barcelona because it was the cheapest place to fly from Miami. I was able to book a roundtrip ticket for $585 a few weeks before I left. Barcelona is a fun city with a lot of really good hostels and a great night life. I stayed in Barcelona for two nights, before flying to Rome.

Rome

I arrived in Rome early in the morning and spent the day sightseeing. The history of the city is amazing. I took a tour of the Coliseum and the Roman Forum then walked around checking out other sites like the Spanish Steps and the Pantheon. The next morning I took an awesome tour of the Vatican. That night I bought a train ticket to Florence.

Map of Europe

Florence

Florence is much smaller than Rome, and you can walk around the whole city. There is a really good market in the middle of the city and a lot of Renaissance history to see too. I highly recommend checking out Michelangelo’s statue of David. I stayed in Florence for 2 nights and then took a train to Venice early in the morning.

Venice

Venice is unlike any other city in the world and truly a site you have to see. However, it's a little overrated. A Gondola tour will cost you anywhere from 60 to 100 Euros and gets boring after a few minutes. Also, the entire city is dead by the time it gets dark. It is home to the best pizza I’ve ever had though. I was able to do everything I wanted in a few hours and decided against spending the night in Venice. I bought an overnight train ticket to Munich and left at 11 at night.

Munich

I got to Munich at 8 in the morning. Munich is awesome and was probably my favorite city on the trip. It’s an entire city dedicated to drinking beer and having a great time. When I arrived I asked the clerk at the hostel where I could get an authentic German breakfast. She sent me to a beer hall, where I was served Goulash, pretzels and the best beer I’ve ever had. Breakfast of champions. There’s a ton to do in Munich itself, but in the surrounding area there are also a bunch of cool sites. One day I took a side trip to Neuschwanstein Castle and another day I took a tour of the Dachau concentration camp. I ended up extending my stay in Munich for four days, before booking a flight to London.

London

London reminded me a lot of New York City. It’s a huge city with a bunch of different sections to explore. Booking a hostel in London is a little more difficult than most other cities, so I would recommend planning ahead for this one. There's a bunch of famous sites to see, but I highly reccomend checking out Brick Lane. The two block stretch is filled with some of the best Indian food you will ever have, and the waiters negotiate with you to get the price down. I ended up staying in London for four days, before I booked a flight to Amsterdam.

Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a cool, fun and quirk city. You can walk around the whole thing, and I reccomend doing so. There is something neat to see on every corner. I visited the Ann Frank house, the Heineken factory, and the Van Gogh museum. Another great perk is that everything is open late. Most restaurants don’t close until at least 1 or 2 in the morning. I stayed in Amsterdam for three days, before leaving on an overnight bus ride to Paris.

Paris

I arrived in Paris at 6 a.m. and did not have directions to my hostel. Bad idea. Parisians are not the most helpful people. It took a few hours for me to find some one willing to speak English with me to help me out. Once you get past the lack of hospitality Paris is a great city though. The Eiffel tower is a given, but there are a bunch of other cool sites to see. I would recommend checking out Versailles and the Louvre as well. I stayed in Paris for three days, before booking a flight back to Barcelona and returning home.