Backpacking Around Europe

History, Art and Food

picture of a person with backpack nexto to a train

Interrailing with a large backpack - young and dumb.

Europe has an excellent railway network. It is not the cheapest but it is the most convenient and comfortable way to travel around Europe. Stations are usually in the most central parts of cities. Departures are fairly frequent and delays not that common (well, that depends on the country).

For longer distances, there are overnight trains. After visiting one city, one can board a train, get a good night rest and wake up in the next city.

For the residents of European countries various rail passes are great deals. For people from other countries, while not as cheap, passes are still much better option than buying tickets on the spot.

Buses are not as comfortable or convenient but they can be dirt cheap especially if one plans ahead.

With the proliferation of discount airlines, air travel can be very cheap too, but it is the most inconvenient way to get around Europe.

Traveling by public transport and by car or motorcycle are very different experiences. For visiting urban centers where most cultural attractions are, public transport is a clear winner - no hassles with traffic or parking. For visiting more remote places, private transport is clearly a better option. Motorcycle trips around Europe can be found on this page.

Mt. St. Michelle

Much older and somewhat wiser - small backpack for a month of travel. Most people start like I did, with huge backpacks, mostly filled with dirty, smelly clothes. Then, over years, realize that what others have been telling them all along is true - the less luggage, the better traveling experience.


No tourist can miss this shot.


Luxembourg fort has never been conquered.

Norway Fjord

The famous base-jumping spot in Norway.


Copenhagen's famous dockside houses.

Vanice, Italy

Italy is a great country to visit. Thousands of years of history, good value on accommodation and food, varied scenery and very cool people.

Vatican City guard

Vatican guard. Seriously? Nothing more modest for the Holy city?

Florence, Italy

Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance.

Cinque Terre, Italy

Cinque Terre, best visited by train. Italian railways sell a pass for visiting villages of Cinque Terre from La Spezia for about 10 euros for one day pass. Use trains and avoid high parking fees.

Milano's Duomo

The Milano's Duomo - hundreds of figurines of various saints. One can even climb and walk around the roof of the cathedral.

Beautiful Switzerland

Cleaner, but also much less of a good value than Italy. What's special about Switzerland is not the history or architecture but how people integrated living with nature. There are trains and cable cars reaching even very remote villages, but in a very unobtrusive way. This is also the only place where I did not experience train delays - pretty amazing.

Inter railing Europe

On the negative side, the Swiss are good at cleverly disguising double pricing of tourists through "Swiss card" and "vignette". If you don't have the Swiss Card, you end up paying twice the price for pretty much everything, from trains to cable cars. Anyone can buy yearly discount, but for short-term visitors it is not worth it.

Amsterdam houses

Houses in Amsterdam are purposely built not straight up. They figured even a few inches can add up and make upper floors more spacious.

Atomium, Brussels

Atomium, the unique landmark in Brussels.

Köln's cathedra

Köln's imposing cathedral. Not the biggest one, but it certainly feels the most impressive. From the ground level, the top looks quite small. In reality, it's a ginormous hunk of carved stone. While they were remodeling the cathedral, they brought the top down (I am standing next to it).

Brussels' main square

Main square in Brussels.

Belgian gargoyle

Gargoyle details of a building in Belgium.


Antwerp is another beautiful city in Belgium.

Helsinki downtown

Street performer in Helsinki.

Burgos Cathedral

Burgos cathedral.

Bratislava's Castle

Bratislava Castle.

Vienna, Austria

Vienna is one of my favorite cities in Europe, centrally located for visiting many other attractive places.

Bridges of Prague

Bridges of Prague.

Prague's steep roofs

Prague roofs are particularly steep, straight from a Disney's fairy tale.

Prague's cathedral

Prague's cathedral, best viewed from the clock tower from across the main square.

Karl's bridge, Prague

Famous Karl's bridge at dusk.

Prague at dawn

Karl's bridge at dawn, the only time without hordes of tourists.

Krakow, Poland

Horse carriage rides in Krakow.


East meets west - Warsaw.

Novi Sad's Petrovaradin fortress

Atop Novi Sad's fortress.

Novi Sad, Serbia

Novi Sad downtown.

Rhodes' busy downtown

Rhodes downtown.

Rhodes port

Rhodes port, where the Colossus once stood.

Knights of Rhodes' palace

Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes. They have the image of being fearless, yet when the Turks came, they ran to Malta with tails between their legs. People are so brave till someone with a bigger baton comes along.

Sea of Karpathos

Crystal clear waters of Karpathos.

Santorini Windmills

Windmills of Santorini.

Santorini, Greece

Dazzling white Santorini buildings.

Island hopping in Greece

Island hopping in Greece.

Mykonos island

Party island of Mykonos.

Mosque by the Bosphorus bridge

Mosque by the Bosphorus bridge.

Central Asian spices in Egyptian market, Istanbul

Spices from central Asia in Egyptian market in Istanbul.

Turkish sweet treats

Colorful Turkish sweets.

Dervish dancing

Dervishes supposedly enter a state of trance by spinning around.

Blue Mosque at dawn

Blue Mosque at dawn.