your European travel guide
Find out how to travel Europe and get the most out of your journey.
Europe is a continent full of diversity. Many different countries with all their own heritage form this melting pot of cultures and languages that offers a traveler a lot of variation. There is so much to see, do, and experience that it can get a little complex to start planning a European trip.
That is why we created this page. We collected all the information about our own trips in Europe and made it into this overview.
Here you can find a
- Step by step guide on how to plan a trip
- how to pay for everything when you’re abroad
- what travel insurance options work best
- What to pack for a trip in Europe
- How to protect yourself with a VPN when using public WiFi
And of course, we also included
- heaps of inspiration
- European travel itineraries
- Popular city trips in Europe
- Unique places to sleep
And a lot more. Feel free to browse through all our suggestions, use it and adjust it to your liking.
All the countries are connected through an extensive train network that gives you the opportunity to explore Europe in a unique way. Planning your own train travel trip in Europe is loads of fun. Find out how to do it and what route(s) to follow.
For LGBTQ+ travelers we made an extra section about cities that are more welcoming to our community, where to find LGBTQ+ friendly accommodation, and last but not least where to celebrate pride in Europe.
Click the map for a quick country search
Your European travel trip
How do you start planning a trip to Europe?
There is much to consider, plan and take care of before you go. Maybe you are still at the very beginning of your trip planning and need to start from scratch. Or you might already know exactly where you want to go and what you want to see.
In both cases it’s still easy to overlook some important steps.
The most obvious things to consider are your travel destination, when and how long you want to go, and what your travel budget is.
Then follows the more detailed work. Researching the European destinations you want to travel to, setting up a travel itinerary, add tours and activities and start booking your flights and accommodation.
And what about travel insurance, passports, visa requirements, vaccinations and luggage?
Check out every item you need to take care of in this step by step guide on how to plan an international trip.
What travel insurance do I need to travel Europe?
You need good travel insurance that suffices to your needs. One traveler might take more risks while traveling than another traveler but in the end we all need to make sure that if something bad happens, we are taken care of.
Falling ill or getting injured is never fun. Just make sure you got all your bases covered.
Find out all you need to know about travel insurance for European travel
A short overview of the best travel insurance companies out there
For EU residents:
For residents from all over the world:
What is a Schengen Visa and do I need one?
Schengen Area and Schengen Visa made it possible to travel multiple countries in Europe during one trip. But all the rules and restrictions make it difficult to understand how this exactly works.
We tried to answer a lot of questions regarding the Schengen Visa in our guide “How to get a Schengen Visa – complete guide”
How to pay in Europe?
While traveling abroad we noticed that our own bank charged a lot of commission when we withdrew money from an ATM. We needed a solid solution to access our money without losing extra money to fees or whatnot.
The research for the best travel card began. As it turns out, there are multiple good options to manage your money and pay while traveling.
We checked and compared the following items per bank:
- Where the bank is based
- Residents of which countries can apply
- Which cards are available
- Exchange rate information
- Limitations for ATM withdrawals and payments abroad
- Pros and cons
To see the full comparison between the best travel cards out there take a look at these digital nomad banks.
The banks that come out on top are:
What to pack for Europe?
We don’t like to carry a tonload of luggage around. It makes the transfer to a new destination a lot less comfortable. On the other hand, we also like to have a descent amount of clothing, shoes and electronics with us.
We traveled most years carrying a backpack around. The packing list we created is intended for travelers who are planning a long term trip. On top of clothing it includes electronics, a first aid kit, toiletries and miscelaneous items that make a long trip abroad more fun.
We made a printable checklist of what to pack for Europe (or anywhere else in the world) where you can add quantities and more items if you feel the need to add some.
You can also check the complete backpacking packing list for world travel
Note: The content can also be packed in a suitcase of course 🙂
How to choose your luggage
We used to go backpacking all the time. So we had our fair share of backpacks lying around ready to stuff all our travel gear in and go!
So we tested a lot of different types of travel gear. Backpacks, suitcases, duffelbags in all sizes and materials.
What is the ideal travel luggage for you?
It depends on the type of trip you’re planning.
We made a guide on how to find the best luggage that fits your travel style.
How to find the best accommodation in Europe?
There are plenty of options to find good accommodation in Europe.
Everybody knows the immense popular platform Booking.com. It’s super easy to navigate and you can find the best places to sleep at just the click of a button. Furthermore you can find big discounts on stays too.
A good way to meet new people while traveling is to stay in a hostel. We spend a lot of our early traveling years backpacking and stayed in very cool hostels over the world. Hostelworld is a very nice platform where you can compare hostels in over 170 countries. People also leave reviews which can help you make a good decision.
Another awesome way to find unique accommodation in Europe is through Trusted Housesitters. The idea is to take care of a property, which may or may not include pets, while the owners are on vacation. This way you save a lot of money and you can find real pretty houses or appartements to stay at.
Take a look at our guide on how to become a housesitter. And read our honest review of our own trusted housesitters experience.
We also love to find a good place to stay at Airbnb. On this platform, locals offer there spare room, appartement or even a whole house for rent. Often giving great discounts for longer stays. (Starting from around 1 month and up)
If you are totally new on Airbnb you can get a great discount on your first booking. Looking for some inspiration of what is out there? Check out this list of 25 amazing Airbnb listings around Europe.
Tripadvisor is a platform used worldwide to find a place to stay and good tours to go on and activities to do. With thousands reviews of hotels and tours you can make an informed decision and find a terrific place to stay.
Best cities & best nature in Europe
Europe is a very diverse continent. You can find mountains, plains, waterfalls, beaches and forests. But also big bustling cities and picturesque villages. Some countries even have all these factors combined.
Check out this list of most beautiful countries in Europe to get a feeling of where you want to travel to. Of course there are many more gorgeous countries than the ones on this list. But you get an idea of what is out there, waiting to get discovered by you.
Thinking about going more off the beaten path and exploring the natural treasures of Europe? In that case, you have to check out this post about the best and most gorgeous nature in Europe.
For people who like to go for a swim but don’t like those really crowded beaches we created this list with the 10 most secluded beaches in Europe. There are also beaches included where swimming is not a good option, but you can go for a relaxing walk, read a good book or make it into a great photo opportunity.
Europe has amazing city trip destinations. Capitals like Budapest, Vienna, and Brussels have a wide plethora of fun activities and sightseeing opportunities. But also non-capital cities all around Europe are worth visiting. Think about the charming city Bruges in Belgium or the mediterranean city Nice in France. Visit the ancient cities Krakow and Gdansk in Poland.
For more city trip ideas check out these 8 must visit destinations in Europe
We already made a cool summary of winter tours to do in Europe as well. Check out activities like helicopter skiing, riding a snowmobile, visiting Santa and his raindeers, go ice caving, go on a husky sled ride and search for the Northern lights.
A great way to explore new territory is by rail. Traveling Europe by train is always an adventure. But in all honesty not the most cheapest way to get around. That said, we always had a great time discovering Europe by train.
Mostly all big cities are connected by rail and you can travel in between countries quite easy. You can also choose to travel slowly and do more stops along the way. This gives you the opportunity to also visit the less-known villages and get a sense of how people live outside the big city centers.
How to travel Europe by train?
To get you warmed up and excited about your train journey take a look at this guide on how to travel Europe by train. It gives you an overview on
- how to get travel inspiration
- how to make your own itinerary
- how to finalize your train tickets
The best train booking apps
When you actually start booking your train tickets, beforehand or along the way, the easiest way to do so is using train booking apps.
The best known platforms to book your train tickest to travel Europe are:
Read the full article about the best train booking apps to get more information.
How to buy cheap train tickets in Europe
As we mentioned before, exploring Europe by train is not cheap. You can either choose to buy your train tickets separatly for each leg of the trip or you buy a rail pass. This depends on the kind of trip you want to take.
If you want to leave your travel schedule open, the best way to travel spontaneously is to get your tickets separatly. You buy them when you need them or a bit beforehand. The biggest issue here is that the ticket you want might not be available anymore.
A great way to travel Europe by train if you are traveling many days is to get a rail pass. You can get a pass for just one country or for multiple countries. And there are different travel options available. A huge advantage of traveling like this is that all your tickets are within the same system and you get one pass with all your info.
Check out how to buy cheap train tickets in Europe and what the options are.
High speed trains in Europe
Traveling by high-speed train in Europe is ideal to cover a lot of ground in a relatively small amount of time. You embark in one capital city and you get of the train in another country. All in just a couple of hours.
Especially in western European countries you find a bunch of good operating high-speed trains. Most capital cities are connected one way or another so if you don’t want to waste travel time, embarking a high-speed train is a good way to go.
Check out the most popular and interesting high-speed trains in Europe.
Night trains in Europe
Traveling Europe by night train is a perfect way to cover a lot of ground while you are sleeping. Some or more comfortable than others but, it’s a good way to cover big distances when there are no high-speed trains available.
We slept in some really nice overnight trains with perfect catering and we tried to sleep in some uncomfortable night trains without any luxury. Make sure to do your research. We can help you with that:
What to pack for train travel in Europe
What are you going to pack for a train journey in Europe? It’s always more fun when you travel light. But then again, it’s also nice to have a decent amount of stuff with you.
We always try to pack clothes for at least one week and keep it versatile so you can mix and match. Work in layers so you can easily adjust to warm or cold weather.
Except for clothes there are other important items you need along the way. Think about toiletries, first-aid kit and electronics.
Take a look at this interrail packing list and see what we take on a train trip.
The best European travel itineraries by train
So now you know all the technical details on how to travel Europe by train. It’s time for the fun stuff. What are the best places to visit on a European train holiday?
Europe has it’s fair share of beautiful cities and nature to explore. There are lot of possibilities for a fun travel route.
◆ To discover the east of the continent we made a 2 week itinerary for Central and Eastern Europe that takes you to top cities and gives you time to explore them.
Destinations on this trip are:
Berlin (Germany) – Gdansk (Poland) – Krakow (Poland) – Zakopane (Poland) – Budapest (Hungary) – Bratislava (Slovakia) – Vienna (Austria) – Prague (Czech Republic)
◆ To explore the North of Europe we gathered the best destinations in this 2 week Scandinavia trip.
Destinations on this trip are:
Copenhagen (Denmark) – Stockholm (Sweden) – Oslo (Norway) – Stavanger (Norway) – Bergen and Flam (Norway) – Trondheim (Norway) – Bodo (Norway)
◆ If you don’t like all the hassle of organisation that comes with planning a train adventure you can opt to go on a guided train tour. It’s a unique way of exploring Europe with a small group of people and a travel guide. We collected the 6 most epic guided train tours for you to choose from.
There is often a lot of information for gay travelers but for us women, not so much. Especially for the girls, we try to find cool travel destinations in Europe where you feel welcomed.
So, we gathered the best cities to travel to in Europe for lesbian travelers. And as a plus, the best winter destinations in Europe for lesbian travelers.
Contacted by the travel board from Nice, France, we went there on a guided weekend to find out how greatly welcoming it is to lesbian women. We were pleasantly surprised by the charm of this medditerranean city and the efforts it takes to support the LGBTQ+ community.
Of course, a guide for lesbian travelers to our home country Belgium couldn’t be left out.
LGBTQ+ friendly accommodation in Europe
Last but not least, we’re started a quest to find LGBTQ+ friendly accommodation around Europe. This project is still in the sandbox, but we list the cities we found friendly accommodation at right here.