We’ve discussed how to plan your Europe backpacking trip, but what happens when you get there? You could fly by the seat of your pants, traveling where the wind takes you. 2 months backpacking Europe is certainly enough time with which to have some spontaneity. On the other hand, if you want to maximize your time and see as many places as possible, some more planning is in order. I crafted a painstakingly down to the day itinerary for my own 2 months backpacking in Europe, but our actual itinerary ended up being quite different. So do a bit of planning before you go, but don’t go too crazy with booking hostels or train tickets, because you never know where the journey may lead you!
2 Months Backpacking Europe
Stockholm, Sweden – 4 Nights
Brussels, Belgium – 4 Nights
Amsterdam, The Netherlands – 4 Nights
Copenhagen, Denmark – 3 Nights
Berlin, Germany – 5 Nights
Munich, Germany – 2 Nights
Naples, Italy – 4 Nights
Rome, Italy – 3 Nights
Milan, Italy – 1 Night
Corfu, Greece – 6 Nights
Barcelona, Spain – 3 Nights
Paris, France – 4 Nights
Edinburgh, Scotland – 4 Nights
London, England – 3 Nights
Bergen, Norway – 1 Night
Oslo, Norway – 1 Night
Stockholm, Sweden – 1 Night
This itinerary is perfect…if you want to be completely burnt out from travel at the end. Or, perhaps you’re much heartier and more extroverted than I am, in which case…you will still probably be burnt out from travel. I did this journey with my friend Dave, one of the most extraverted people I know, and even he was over moving around and meeting new people by the end of it.
We had a rough outline of our itinerary before starting our 2 months backpacking Europe, but made some last minute decisions to stay longer in some places. Since we decided that after I had already booked my flight home out of Stockholm, some of the places at the end had only 1 night stays. I am a big proponent of slow travel, and therefore urge you to see less in your 2 months backpacking Europe. Ultimately, it will allow you to see more of each place you go.
What To Do & Eat on your Europe Backpacking Trip
By far the hardest decision you’ll have to make is what you want to prioritize on your 2 months backpacking Europe. One thing is for sure: you won’t be able to see it all! Keeping in mind the places I visited on my own trip, here are my recommendations:
This Scandinavian capital city is known for it’s sleek design (and beautiful people tbh). In the summertime, especially when we visited on Midsummer, almost no one is actually in the city. Most people go out to the islands, or to their country home. Make sure you stock up on alcohol when you can!
What To Do in Stockholm
Go to Skansen, an open air folk museum and zoo featuring Scandinavian animals. Get a feel for what Sweden was like during the ‘olden days.’ We also saw some bear cubs playing with an iPhone someone had dropped while we were there.
Check out the Vasa Museum, a museum housing the world’s only preserved ship from the 17th century.
What To Eat in Stockholm
The Vegetarian Buffet at Hermitage for a reasonably affordable lunch out.
Sweden is known for ‘Fika,’ or the concept of having coffee and perhaps a pastry or two. Definitely sit your butt down for a killer cappuccino, cinnamon bun and some people watching in one of Stockholm’s squares.
Brussels is not really a place I was super keen to visit, and our first impression certainly did nothing to dispel our ambivalence. However, this is a city that really charmed us by the end of our short visit. Give Brussels a chance!
What To Do in Brussels
Admire La Grand-Place. The central square in Brussels, and some of the most breathtaking architecture you’ll see in all of Europe. This is also a meeting spot for just about everyone in Brussels. There wasn’t a day we didn’t pass through this beautiful square.
Go to Musee Magritte, a museum all about the surreal artist, Magritte. It takes you through his works from beginning to end. It’s a fascinating way to see the development of an artist through the years.
What To Eat in Brussels
What’s NOT to eat in Brussels, more like it! Brussels was my favorite eating city on our 2 months backpacking Europe by far. Definitely get some ‘frites,’ Belgian fries that come in a cone with ketchup and mayonnaise to dip them in. YUM!
Belgian Waffles. Oh. My. God. You can either get the traditional Brussels style waffle, crisp and light, or Liège style, caramelized and chewy. My favorite is definitely Liège! The best place we found for waffles was actually a truck right outside Musee Magritte!
Belgian beer! I wasn’t really a beer drinker prior to visiting Belgium, and tasting the beer there. This stuff is no joke, though. The alcohol content in these beers means that I was buzzed after only one or two! (I may or may not be a light weight)
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Amsterdam is most often referred to as the ‘party city’ of Western Europe. We hardly partied at all here, preferring chatting with our local friend at a cozy bar than partaking some legal drug activities, but we still had a blast! It’s really easy to see things and eat on a budget in Amsterdam, which makes it perfect for backpackers.
What To Do in Amsterdam
Wander along, or even ride along, the canals. The canal system is what makes Amsterdam such a unique city. I was content simply walking along, snapping photos, and enjoying the architecture. You can also opt to see Amsterdam from a different perspective, by going on a canal tour. This is a popular tourist activity, but one that I’d say is highly worth it.
If you get tired of wandering, why not pop into one of Amsterdam’s coffee shops? These are no ordinary coffee shops, however, and you should only enter if you enjoy cannabis, or don’t mind being around people who do.
Check out one of Amsterdam’s top notch museums. The Van Gogh Museum, the Anne Frank House (be prepared with tissues), or the modern art Stedelijk Museum are three great choices. It might be worth it to you to buy an Amsterdam City Pass which includes admission to museums, airport train tickets, and the aforementioned canal cruise.
Another Scandinavian capital, Copenhagen is the height of hipster-cool. Bike around the city, hang out at sleekly designed coffee shops (ones that serve coffee), or view some underground art. I felt out of place walking around Copenhagen in my standard backpacker attire. I would suggest packing at least one outfit that would be deemed ‘acceptable’ by Copenhagen standards if you’re to come here on your 2 months backpacking Europe.
What To Do in Copenhagen
Admire the canals, again. This is another city where the canal tour is worth it. Make sure you snap a photo of the most photographed row of houses in Copenhagen (maybe in Europe?)
Go to Denmark’s National Aquarium! Not only is the building itself a unique bit of architecture, but what’s inside is pretty great too. I have to admit, I’m not the biggest fan of aquariums (or anywhere that animals aren’t allowed to roam freely) but this one almost changed my mind.
Check out Tivoli, an amusement park. Walt Disney came up with the idea for Epcot after visiting here, and you’ll see why if you go.
What To Eat in Copenhagen
I only remember eating one thing in Copenhagen, and I’m not sure if it’s because this was so sublime that it made me forget about everything else, or if I really didn’t eat anything else in Copenhagen. It is the cinnamon bun at The Coffee Collective. The coffee was also absolutely amazing.
Oh dear. I know I was supposed to have fallen in love with Berlin, but I just didn’t. I enjoyed my time there, for sure, but I just didn’t have that feeling. The one I feel for New York and Paris, and that I felt plenty of times on this trip as well. That’s also the downside of only staying in each place for 3-4 days. I didn’t get a chance to see beyond the tourist side of Berlin.
What To Do in Berlin
Walk around the ‘Central Park of Berlin,’ Tiergarten.
Visit Hamburger Bahnhof, a contemporary art museum. When I was there, the entire downstairs was a sculpture exhibit. There was a sculpture made out of wax, that had candles in it that slowly melted the sculpture. One sculpture looked so real that it freaked me out when I realized it wasn’t moving.
I enjoyed Munich much more than Berlin. It felt warmer (both in actual temperature and in vibe) and I loved the architecture. We only had one real ‘sightseeing’ day in Munich, and we sure made it count! I’m pretty sure we walked around almost all of the city that day. The good news is, it’s an extremely walkable city. But don’t forget to pack comfy walking shoes!
What To Do in Munich
Enjoy Englischer Garten. This is a huge park, with lots to choose from. A few options I recommend are sitting by the river (some people were floating down it, but it didn’t seem quite warm enough for that), watching surfers catch waves on said river, and even partaking in some nude sunbathing, if that’s your thing. I can’t say I’ve ever had the urge to go to a nude beach or anything like that, but I had to say yes when I had the opportunity, right? There is a specific section of the park for this particular activity. It will probably be quite obvious where that section is.
Do a walking tour like we did, popping into churches along the way. We hadn’t yet gotten church fatigue at this point in our 2 months backpacking Europe.
What To Drink in Munich
I mean, you’re in the home of the original Hofbraeuhaus, why on earth wouldn’t you pay a visit? (Assuming you drink of course!) This is the place to be for beers as big as your face.
Ah, Napoli. The gateway to the Amalfi coast, and a real anomaly. There is nowhere quite like Naples! This rough and tumble city offers a lot to travelers, even though we mainly did day trips to the world renowned sights nearby. The good news is, Naples makes the perfect jumping off point for doing exactly that! But if you want to stay close to home, there is plenty to keep you occupied in town.
What To Do in (And Around) Naples
Climb to the highest point of the city for an amazing view of Mount Vesuvius and the surrounding area. Castel Sant’Elmo offers some of the best views. We got there too late to see the castle, but ate dinner on a terrace nearby. I mean, if this isn’t the ultimate view to go with your meal, I don’t know what is.
Go to Positano “the most beautiful” town on the Amalfi Coast. Our hostel owner sat us down when we first got there, and told us exactly where to go each day of our three day stint in Naples. When he got to Positano he told us we MUST go there, as it was “the most beautiful” of all. Well, he wasn’t wrong.
Go to another, less touristy, Amalfi Coast town than Capri. I may be in the minority here, but I thought Capri was vastly overrated. It could have been that we visited in July, prime tourist time, but I was thoroughly unimpressed. I mean, there’s no denying its’ stunning natural beauty. However, I think you can experience the same (or close) experience by going to another town in Amalfi, and you’ll have a much more enjoyable time.
What To Eat in Naples
Our hostel owner told us just about everything we needed to do in the area. The one non-negotiable, in his opinion, was getting a pizza at Da Michele. Remember the pizza Elizabeth Gilbert/Julia Roberts ate in Eat Pray Love? This is that pizza. Lines be damned, just do it.
Why is Italy so amazing? This was my second time in Rome, and it was even better than the first! (It must be down to throwing that coin in the Trevi Fountain!) What is there to say about Rome that hasn’t already been said?
What To Do in Rome
Ruins and fountains and squares, oh my! Honestly, the best thing to do in Rome is just to walk for hours. Really take your time and do it the Italian way, stopping for food every hour or so.
Two super touristy attractions that are worth the wait and crowds? Vatican City and St. Peter’s Basilica. There’s a reason they’re popular. I was in awe.
We only spent one day in Milan, and mostly just hung out with our local friend and did a little walking tour. Since I have nothing of value to offer, check out this post on how to do one day in Milan on the cheap.
From Milan, we took a quick cheap flight to Corfu, Greece. We were going to do the ferry route, which is an option from the South of Italy, but it just seemed impractical when we could fly for so little. What started as a 3 night, 4 day trip to Greece ended up being a 6 night, 7 day vacation from our vacation. And it was sorely needed. When you’re traveling so much in such a short amount of time, you need to factor in downtime as well!
What To Do in Corfu
Lay on the beach. We didn’t do much more than this, to be perfectly honest. Occasionally, when we got too hot, we would hop in the crystal clear, warm Ionian Sea.
What To Eat in Corfu
We stayed a short walk away from the small town of Agios Georgios. I don’t remember the names of any of the places we ate. Rather, I remember walking into town in the morning and getting a frozen coffee at the same small family owned cafe, usually with a delicious Greek pastry. I also remember the traditional Greek meal we had at a restaurant in town.
Barcelona stands out starkly in my mind as one of the top destinations from our 2 months backpacking Europe. This has less to do with the city itself, thought Barcelona is an amazing city, and more to do with the local family we stayed with and the people we met. When you go on a long trip like we did, ultimately what sticks out are the relationships formed. That’s one of the reasons I love backpacking so much – the opportunity to meet people, whether by staying with a local family or in a hostel.
What To Do in Barcelona
Go to the famous food market, La Boqueria. Just be prepared for the crowds.
Go to Parc Guell, another popular tourist attraction that’s well worth it. You’ll never go to another park this unique.
If you can swing it, check out one of the local beaches further out from the city center. Our new Castilian friends brought us to one and it was a major highlight.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while now, you’ll know that Paris is one of my favorite places in the world. I don’t care how cliche this makes me, it’s the truth. It’s one of my dearest dreams to be able to live there one day.
What To Do in Paris
I’ve actually already written a post about how to spend 3 days in Paris for First Timers. I’ve included just about everything I’ve ever done in Paris in that post.
What To Eat in Paris
Is this a joke? Eat everything. Seriously. All of the foods.
Edinburgh is another great love of mine. It’s impossible to tell what captured me more: the dark gothic nature of the city contrasted with the friendly locals and colorful shops. Or the fact that J.K. Rowling wrote much of the first Harry Potter books here, in a cafe called The Elephant House. Any place that has such a close connection to the book series I love so much is a place I want to be. Always.
What To Do in Edinburgh
If you’re lucky enough to travel to Edinburgh in August, take advantage of one of the festivals this city is known for. When we went, we got to experience the Fringe Festival. You won’t be able to walk a foot without getting invited to a performance of some kind!
Well, there you have it, the ultimate guide to 2 months backpacking Europe! Has this inspired you to do a Eurotrip of your own? Look out for much more Europe coverage in the near future, as I’m currently in Eastern Europe and planning on being here for the next month and a half! Let me know in the comments where you would go on your 2 months backpacking Europe.
Eva is an anxious traveler, who has learned to boldly confront her fears and travel anyways. Her mission with Eva Explores is to show women around the world how to travel despite their fears! Growing up in New York, Eva was bitten by both the travel bug and the acting bug, which led her to live most of her early 20s in NYC. In 2015, she left her life in NYC to become a full-time nomad. Now, Eva works as a content creator as she travels around the world by herself, searching for the best cup of coffee in the world.