Backpacking in Europe

Last summer, my boys set out on a 3-week adventure: backpacking in Europe.

They bought tickets to Paris with no other destinations in mind. They ended up on a whirlwind extravaganza taking them to Rome, Munich and Budapest, where they visited castles, museums and even zip-lined across a sports stadium. 

With no pre-planning other than the first and last night booked in Paris (as per my strict former Certified Travel Consultant/mom instructions), they chose all of their destinations as they went, and hostels by looking at ratings/reviews and pricing.

In the end, they stayed at 4 hostels (one twice) during their bonding experience. All of them had reliable Wi-Fi that was easy to connect to, and they never felt their safety or security was compromised. Plus the bedding was always clean and comfortable. They both highly recommend the following:

Les Piaules, Paris 🗼

Pronounced Les Pee-owls, this hip hostel in the 11th arrondissement of Paris has a rooftop terrace and a bar, need I say more??! This is perfect for young adults who want to mingle with other travelers - and as a bonus, they received a free glass of beer upon check-in! 🍻One of the boys forgot both his cell phone and his shoes (!!) downstairs, but both were kept behind the counter waiting for him to retrieve. Merci!

Address: Les Piaules, 59 Boulevard de Belleville, 75011 Paris, France
Location: a 2-minute walk from Couronnes Metro station; close to outdoor market stalls and grocery stores. 
Read: Top Things to Do in Paris!

EnvyItaly, Rome

EnvyItaly was by far their favorite hostel due to the overall friendliness of the host, and the fact it's only 3 blocks from the Vatican. Yes, just 3 blocks (so jealous!!). 

The host and co-owner of the apartment gave them insider information on all the best places to get gelato, pizza and attraction admissions (including identifying less-crowded days to go to certain places). He then marked everything on a map for them. He also warned them about tourist scams near the Vatican (where people wear vests identifying themselves as employees of, but they're not). 

They had a private room with 2 beds and a minifridge, and as the temperature was hot and humid in August, the host asked if he could put window screens in their room while they were out for the day. It's great to know their privacy was respected. 

Address: EnvyItaly, Via di Porta Fabbrica 49, Rome
Location: a 6-minute walk from Roma San Pietro train station; 3 blocks from the Vatican!!

The Tent, Munich

Located at forested Postsportpark, the Tent is just that: huge tents offering floor and bed accommodations. There's also a group tent and a camping area if you've brought your own tent! Lockers are provided, so bring your own lock or rent one, plus they offer extra blankets (free!) as even in August, the nights can get chilly in Munich. There's also an on-site cafeteria. The Tent was a bit noisy at night when the partiers started to stream in, but generally there's a noise curfew to be followed. The Tent also offers a FREE Munich city tour every Wednesday morning. 

Address: The Tent, In den Kirschen 30, 80992 München, Germany
Location: a 5-minute walk to Botanischer Garten trolley station; 24 München-Moosach subway station; 30 minutes to Dante-Freibad public pool

Artline Hostel, Budapest

This new and hip hostel is located in a neighbourhood chock full of colorful old buildings sporting tons of architectural details. You can choose from a private room with 2 beds, or shared dorms with 4 to 6 beds, plus there's a communal kitchen. 

Address: Artline Hostel, Budapest, 1085 Hungary
Location: It's a 5-minute walk from Kálvin tér Metro station; 9 minutes from Central Market Hall; Rudas Gyógyfürdő (thermal baths) is about 23 minutes.
Read: Finding an Affordable Home Abroad!

And in thinking about Europe, be sure to check out: Sailing in Italy!!


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