The first time you backpack can be very nerve-racking so, I have gathered a mini list of places I think are great cities for first-time backpackers. What do you look for in a city fit for first-time backpackers you ask? You need a city with plenty to do and see, a lively hostel community, not too expensive and of course, a few good bars to wind down after a day of exploring.
Rome is a great choice because there is soo much to see and do here. I spent nearly a week here and felt like I didn’t explore the whole city. There are the obvious choices like the Colosseum and the Trevi fountain, but the whole city has so much history for you to explore. Take a walk and you will find little treasures in random parks, amazing little restaurants and ruins everywhere. I can recommend spending the day with no maps and just walking around the city and taking it all in, you will find so much to see and do here.
Tip: Do not come here in the middle of summer! It is sweltering hot with a million and one tourists and you won’t be able to enjoy the city as much as you would like to. Come just before the summer holidays (start of August) or just after and you will be able to enjoy this city in peace!
Barcelona is such a fun city! If you are travelling from London it is super cheap to get here. The big plus with going to Barcelona is the amazing weather and that it is by the sea so you can get the best of both worlds. You will find great tapas, delicious drinks and an even better night out. I definitely recommend doing a free walking tour around the city. This is a great way to have a look and get great knowledge from a local guide.
London is a backpackers paradise. London is absolutely massive with so much to do. I lived just north of this bustling city for two years and still didn’t see everything I wanted to! Hostels are going to be a bit more expensive than Spain or Italy but it is worth taking a trip here sometime in your life. This incredible place has loads of people visiting all over the world so you will not have to worry about having no one to explore the city with! East London has great funky bars to hang out in and a great atmosphere for a night out.
Paris is a classic backpacking city. A beautiful atmosphere and with a super fun nightlife, always lots to see and obviously the food is amazing. I only had 2 days in Paris and it was not enough! I do recommend if you go check out this gorgeous city, to stay here for at least a week to take it all in.
Tip: Want to skip the line to The Louve? There is a secret entrance which normally has NO LINES at all compared the hundreds of people waiting for the main entrance. Instead make your way to the entrance that says Porte des Lions and enter there! Another top tip if you want to avoid the lines for the elevator at the Eiffel Tower then take the stairs up to the second floor and then take the elevator the rest of the way up! That way you can save hours of queuing and explore more of the city!
Amsterdam is a perfect place to let all your opinions go and open up your mind. I found this place to be cool, calm and collected city which has no expectations of how you should be. There is a lot to do in this bustling city with a great nightlife and a relaxed atmosphere, this is not a place to be over-looked. I feel most people think of Amsterdam as the pot smoking city, of course, you can smoke pot legally but that is not what this city is all about. Hire a bike and get out into the parks, explore the museums and take in the history this city has to offer! Just outside of the city you will find picturesque farms and cheese factories.
If you need accommodation check out Hostelworld for great deals on hostels and if you are worried about travelling alone then read my article on ‘How to make friends in a hostel’! Hopefully, that will help you out on your travels! Check out my Instagram and Facebook page to collect more tips on travelling!