Backpacker's Europe
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Backpacker's Europe

49 Days  •  21 Cities

Why Go?

Picture this: all of Europe. Pretty tough to do, right? That’s why we built this trip—so that you can experience almost the entirety of the continent in one fell swoop. Will there be midnight photo shoots at a sparkling Eiffel Tower? You bet. Crisscrossing of the romantic canals of Venice? Oh yeah. Will the medieval beauty of Prague be burned into your retinas, and the deluge of pasta in Rome send you into a food coma? Sounds painful, but it’s not and you’re gonna love it! Cheers to the Queen in London, dance to the salsa beat in Barcelona, and fulfill your wildest travel dreams in the best seven weeks of your life. North, east, south, west—no need to choose one, we got you covered on all of it.

What are the top highlights?

  • Visit 13 countries and 21 cities in Europe
  • Meet Ben & Abbey in London, AKA Big Ben & Westminster Abbey
  • Marvel at the City of Light from the Champs de Mars
  • Pedal through the streets of Amsterdam amongst hundreds of thousands of bikes
  • Keep up with the effortlessly cool locals in Berlin’s famous nightlife scene
  • Discover the fairytale magic of Prague’s Old Town
  • Party in Budapest’s eclectic ruin bar scene
  • Float along a canal in Venice for a classic perspective of the city
  • Eat gelato in Rome until you can't eat any more. Than eat more.
  • Step into the Renaissance in Florence
  • Color yourself awestruck by the kooky design of Barcelona’s Parque Güell
  • Gaze upon ocean views and hilltop castles in Lisbon

Your trip includes

  • Round-trip flights & airport transfers
  • Multilingual Tour Director & local guides
  • Private motorcoach
  • Internal flights, trains & ferries
  • 47 nights in hand-picked hostel accommodations
  • Welcome Mixer with appetizers & drinks
  • Daily breakfast & three-course Farewell Dinner
  • Metro passes in each major city
  • Entrance to Parque Güell, Duomo Cathedral, and other select attractions

Accommodations

You’ll stay at hostels hand-picked by our team of local experts, in rooms only for EF Ultimate Break travelers. This backpacker-style of accommodation means you may be sharing a room with up to 10 fellow travelers from your group; and we recommend bringing your own towel, soap, and shampoo. Traveling like this ensures maximum convenience and affordability, without sacrificing any safety. You’ll receive your exact accommodations 30 days before your trip departs.

Flights

Admit it, booking flights is the worst. Here's why you should let us do it for you:


  • Flight costs are included in your monthly payment plan, so you can pay over time
  • Airport transfers are included, so we’ll be waiting, sign in hand
  • Flights are booked with major airlines
  • 24/7 support no matter what time zone you’re in
  • One checked bag included on most flights
  • Option to make changes to your trip up to 99 days before departure

Booking with a friend? Let us know and we’ll do our best to make sure you’re on the same flight. Still want to book your own flights? That’s cool, simply select ‘No flights included’ instead of your departure city in the ‘Flights from’ dropdown.

Itinerary

Day 1: Board Your Overnight Flight to London

Board your overnight flight bound for London. Your 7-week travel odyssey will start to get jolly good tomorrow, so sit back, shut your eyes, and do as the English do and try and catch some “zeds.”

Days 2-7: London & Paris

Welcome to London: home of the Queen, tea, and a wonderfully different form of the English language. It’s here that red busses zip down the left side of the road, Big Ben chimes at tea time and medieval castles accent a futuristic skyline. Then, take an underwater train ride to the City of Light, AKA Paris. Feast on croissants, baguettes, and any other deliciousness you can get your hands on while enjoying every moment as a temporary Parisian. Get inspired, get lost, and get your fill of two of the most magnificent cities on Earth.


Highlights:


  • Land in London, head to your accommodation, and meet your fellow travelers as they arrive.
  • Immerse yourself in thousands of years of London’s rich history with a guided tour past gorgeous landmarks from the Tower of London and St. Paul’s Cathedral to Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and the Houses of Parliament.
  • Float down the River Seine during a scenic boat ride that makes its way through the true heart of Paris—be sure to catch the world-famous lights of the Eiffel Tower sparkling.
  • Enjoy a guided Tour de Paris—saunter along the famous Avenue des Champs-Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe, see what’s blooming in the Luxembourg Gardens, and drop by the Louvre to see if Mona Lisa is home (spoiler: she always is).

Days 8-14: Belgium, Amsterdam & Germany

Au revoir, Paris! Next up you’re going Dutch, and then Deutsch (that’s German for “German,” by the way). But before that, it’s off to the quaint little low country of Belgium, known for its waffles, fries, and fairytale sights. Get ready for the kooky canals and friendly vibes of Amsterdam, and the unmatched clubbing and art scene of Berlin. This week is bound to bring out the wurst in you—you know: bratwurst, currywurst, weißwurst, etc.


Highlights:


  • Head to Belgium, remind yourself that vacation calories don’t count, and know that the only hard decision you’ll have to make is which dipping sauce to choose for your fries.
  • Explore Ghent, a college town filled with canals, castles, and houses that look like gingerbread but aren’t.
  • Stop over in Bruges, and make sure not to miss the 38-foot statue of a whale made out of trash—something you never thought you needed to see until now.
  • Continue on to Amsterdam—the Venice of the North—and home to Van Gogh, the infamous Red Light District, and a boatload of floating houses.
  • Join a local guide for a walking tour of Amsterdam through Damrak and Neumarkt Squares, making a note to hit the narrow canals and streets of the trendy Jordaan neighborhood for indie boutiques, hip eateries, and antiques galore later on.
  • Cross the border to Germany, and if Hamburg’s next-level cool factor makes you say “holy schnitzel,” then so be it.
  • Tour Berlin’s storied landmarks, like the Kurfürstendamm Avenue and the Brandenburg Gate by day; then try to keep up with the clubbing locals by night.

Days 15-23: Prague, Poland, Budapest & Slovenia

Hope you like beer, because in Eastern Europe the locals famously say it’s cheaper than water here. First stop: Prague. This city really glowed up in Medieval times and said “no thanks, I’m good” to new buildings. Everything here is stunningly picturesque, historic, and maybe even a little spooky. Then it’s off to Krakow, Poland to see World War II history right before your eyes; and a city that loves geothermal baths almost as much as it loves a night out in bars that used to be warehouses: Budapest. And cap it all off in the “I-can’t-believe-it’s-this-pretty” capital of Slovenia: Ljubljana.


Highlights:


  • Stop en route to Prague in Dresden, a resilient city that has been almost completely rebuilt since its decimation in WWII.
  • Get stoked and stay stoked—a very easy thing to do in Prague—as you follow a local guide around the city’s greatest hits from the looming Prague Castle to the Charles Bridge to the nearly 700-year-old St. Vitus Cathedral.
  • Descend into Poland’s celebrated Wieliczka Salt Mine: a dizzying labyrinth that extends over 1,000-feet below the surface and is so-dium impressive. Get it? Sodium?
  • Take in somber reminders of the havoc and heroism of World War II, including a stop at the factory in which Oskar Schindler saved 1,200 Jews from the Holocaust, as made famous in the movie Schindler’s List.
  • Be your best self in Budapest as you climb Castle Hill to overlook the Danube River, and take in a hearty Hungarian meal at your leisure.
  • Channel your inner-Khaleesi on Ljubljana’s Dragon Bridge as you take in the charm of this former Yugoslavian city.

Days 24-30: Venice, Central Italy & Rome

Next stop? Pasta-ville, population: you. In other words, you’re going to Italy. A country recognized for Renaissance art, people that use outdoor voices all the time, and oh yes, gelato! It’s safe to say, whether you’re consuming art or pizza, Italy is a cultural mecca begging to be explored. And even though Italians don’t actually eat spaghetti and meatballs, it doesn’t mean you can’t finally have your Lady and the Tramp moment. Start in Venice, and make your way down through the countryside to Perugia and then on to Italy’s capital city of Rome, where hustle and bustle is served with a side of ancient ruins.


Highlights:


  • Skip the line and gawk at the golden ceiling of St. Mark’s Basilica, then stand in the footprints of history on the Rialto Bridge, the oldest spanning the city’s Grand Canal, on a sightseeing tour of Venice.
  • Continue to let Italy turn the charm up to 11 with a stop in medieval Ferarra.
  • Get to know the Italian countryside in incredibly quaint and incredibly-er authentic Perugia—home to the University of Perugia, cozy cafes on every corner, an array of impressive ancient architecture.
  • Enter the arena that is Rome—you are the gladiator, and pasta is your lion—and prepare yourself for maximum food, history, and charm overload.
  • Learn where we get the word “colossal” from as a local guide takes you past the world’s most famous arena, the Colosseum, among other Roman hits like the Forum, the Piazza Venezia, and the Teatro Marcello.

Days 31-36: Florence, the French Riviera & Provence

Onward and upward along Europe’s most famous boot-shaped country. This week is all about art. Be it in Florence—the creative capital of the Renaissance and home to Leonardo da Vinci—or the French Riviera—where the rich and famous have made relaxing in a Mediterranean paradise into an art form. Join them as you put on your “deep in thought” face taking in the artistic achievements in Italy, and your “more wine please” face in France.


Highlights:


  • Take note of the Piazza della Singnoria in Florence, home of the Uffizi Gallery and the world’s most famous nude man, Michelangelo’s David—be sure to buy a ticket to check him out after your tour of the city.
  • Learn about Florence’s place as home to some of history’s most illustrious Italians such as Michelangelo, Galileo, and Machiavelli.
  • Travel through Italian countryside to the town of Pisa, where the famous tower leans as it has since the 12th century.
  • Enjoy the French Riviera’s waterfront restaurants, lounge on world famous beaches, explore posh boutiques, and feel like an A-Lister, because you’re in the vacation hotspot of the world’s rich and famous.
  • Play millionaire as you check another country off your list—Monaco, the world’s second-smallest (but most swankiest) nation.
  • Kayak the waters at the site of the highest and potentially best-looking ancient Roman aqueduct bridge at Pont du Gard, France.

Days 37-44: Barcelona, Madrid & Seville

Everyone knows that Spain is a land where people eat dinner late at night and sleep during the day. But until you actually go and experience it for yourself you can’t know what it feels like to taste patatas bravas on chopitos on albóndigas on chorizo in Barcelona’s tapas bars, or to dance yourself silly all night after a day of getting lost in Madrid’s world-class art museums, or to contemplate the vibrant influence of medieval Muslim rule in Seville. So lace up your eating shoes, put on your swankiest swim suit, and start rolling your “r’s,” it’s Spain week.


Highlights:


  • Check out Barcelona’s whacky architecture including one of Antoni Gaudí’s greatest works of modernist art, Parque Güell, and the unfinished Sagrada Familia cathedral, where construction started over 100 years ago.
  • Journey to the very heart of Madrid at the Puerta del Sol, aka the “Gate of the Sun.”
  • Check out the Picassos and Dalís at the Reina Sofia, or see the works of the old Rennaisance masters at the Prado.
  • Stop in Toledo to explore the labyrinth of medieval alleyways at the heart of the city.
  • Visit the Moorish Alcázar, which was built in the 14th century for a king named Pedro the Cruel. Hmm...wonder if people liked him?
  • Wind your way through Santa Cruz, Seville’s former Jewish quarter and most picturesque neighborhood in town.

Days 45-48: Évora & Lisbon

You’re off to Portugal, your final destination country, and boy is it a doozy. Head off the beaten path to lovely Évora, then experience the best of all worlds in Lisbon. Portugal’s colorful capital city flaunts San Francisco-like inclines, cobbled European streets, and a comfy coastal climate. So don’t cry just yet—you’ve got one more week left to live it up on the best trip of your life. Will anyone in the world be as cultured as you and your fellow travelers after this? We think not.


Highlights:


  • Enter your final country, you lean, mean travel machine, you.
  • Admire an underrated European gem, Évora, and feast your eyes on its crown jewel ancient Roman temple (those guys really built temples everywhere, huh?).
  • Work those glutes in “The City of Seven Hills” as you drift from sweeping vista to sweeping vista.
  • Traverse the labyrinthine streets of Alfama, the oldest district of Lisbon.
  • Swap Instagram follows, Facebook friend requests, AOL Instant Messenger profiles (kidding)—whatever you need to do to stay in touch and start planning another epic trip with your new travel family you’ve spent the last seven weeks with.

Farewell Dinner


Share some last laughs, shed some tears, and revisit the best moments of the trip—and good luck remembering all of them—at this included farewell dinner with the group.

Day 49: Fly Home

Let’s face it. After 49 days, you’re practically family. But your next destination awaits—home. Before you head to the airport, enjoy your last few moments together. Take one more group photo. Grab that final drink. (Fine, maybe a couple of drinks.) But this isn’t goodbye. It’s “See you later.” The only question is, where?

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