Coming up on my fourth summer in Europe, it’s safe to say I’m addicted. It’s everything: the beaches, the island hopping, the atmosphere, It’s incomparable! After living and travelling Europe the last few years, I found these to be the 7 best summer destinations in Europe you MUST go to as a backpacker.
On the Algarve Coast, Lagos is a force to be reckoned with. With jaw-droppingly beautiful beaches with caves, cliffs and all sorts of beautiful, you would think that’s all you need but Lagos, Portugal has you feeling apart of a family instantaneously. With a small town centre you can memorize within moments, every staff at every bar, club and hostel are friends and they become yours too.
Everyone starts up drinking at their hostels in a group then leads their way around all the bars for the night and ends off at the clubs, where those bartenders who just made you “walk the plank” are dancing it up with every other staff member in town. Lagos is their home as much as it becomes yours.
Although a simple city in itself, Rimini is full of energy. Mainly due to going to Sunflower Beach Hostel. They have a 2 for 1 drink deal to start your night, everyone pre drinks and then they take you off to either a pub crawl or bus you out to Riccione to some of THE top clubs in the world with the world’s top DJ’s.
The next day, you struggle out of bed, make your way to tan on the beach (or be productive unlike me and do a day trip to San Marino) then do it all again! Sunflower Beach Hostel & Rimini is impossible to leave, trust me, it took me 21 days to leave from what was supposed to be 3 days and it was only because it was closing for the season!
The greenest island in all of Greece in the Ionian Sea, Corfu is full of exploring. The majority of the island isn’t known for backpacker spots until you get to the village of Agios Gordios. The Pink Palace is a resort-sized hostel with full breakfast, greek dinners, booze cruises, ATV safaris, kayak safaris, toga parties and all sorts of fun.
The Pink Palace is so renowned (named by Freddy Mercury) that even your parents went when they went backpacking, some of them may have even met there!
Croatia has blown up in the last few years and with good reason. Croatia in general is worth a exploring but for the backpacker looking for a summer destination in Europe, Split has as all backpackers running to book that flight. Split is absolutely stunning with architecture, beaches, a great party scene and all within close distance to Krka Waterfalls and the Croatian Islands of Hvar and Bol.
I have not met a single person who has not fallen in love with Barcelona. It’s got atmosphere, beach, mountains, city, suburb, nightlife and just all round beauty! With hundreds upon hundreds of hostels available to your disposal, Barcelona is a go-to backpackers destination!
Cyclades Islands, Greece (Ios, Santorini)
It’s not backpacking Europe for the summer if you don’t island hopin the Cyclades Islands! Santorini, although the more expensive of the two, is filled with backpackers all here for the chance to see the infamous Santorini Sunset in Oia then enjoy a proper night in Fira for the evening.
Whereas Ios is well known for it’s party. You either can literally livein a beach club for the weekend at Far Out Beach Club or enjoy the pool and centre of Ios with Francesco’s. Although there are many, many other amazing islands in the Cyclades, Ios and Santorini take top rank for being infamous summer destinations in Europe for backpackers.
Unlike the rest of these summer destinations in Europe, Budapest is without the beach but makes up with so much more! Filled with hundreds upon hundreds of historical information and sites, it doesn’t end there. Budapest has a grouping of hostels that team up to create the party experience of a lifetime. They have the world famous spa-rties in the Szechenyi Thermal Baths and the champagne river cruise where every person has a bottle to themselves (probably explains how I managed to break my phone and butt that night by tripping down the steps). You think this would all cost you an arm and a leg but nope, you’re in Eastern Europe! Budapest is probably more affordable than staying at home!
Once you come back after summer from these spots in Europe, I guarantee you’ll be already looking at flights to come back!
Meet the Contributor!
Hollie Lowes is a sassy wino with two left feet that just so happens to travel the world! She writes tons of savvy money saving tips for travel on her blog, Backpacks and Budgets, so be sure to check it out and follow her on social!
Alyssa is a full time solo adventure traveler who turned her love for traveling and writing into a self-made career as a travel blogger and social media influencer. She's been to 70 countries and 6 continents so far, as well as all 7 New World Wonders, and 7 Wonders of Nature. Alyssa believes she has mastered the art of chasing waterfalls, traveling solo, packing light, wine drinking, and making budget-traveling look good. Curious to know how she started this career? Check out the About section above!