Backpacking Through Europe Adventure: 9 Countries, 14 Days


Backpacking thru 9 European countries in 14 days
Amalfi Coast! Pinching ourselves!

This is our dream trip with a little tweaking. Big Dog and I have said for years that we were going to Italy for our 30th anniversary. We planned on going to Paris and London in the same trip, ‘since we would be over there’. We’ve been married almost 34 years and are finally going to all of the above and more! Our son and daughter-in-love are in Ireland right now for several months, so we are also incorporating Ireland into the trip. Not only Ireland, but a trek through Europe as well! We have taken the ‘carry on’ challenge in the past and avoided checking luggage, even with packing winter clothes for the Pacific Northwest, but this time we are taking the ‘backpack challenge’ and only taking a backpack and a purse each. Yep, Big Dog has a purse. We call it his man purse. His backpack and purse are bigger than mine, but that works out well for my overflow. Haha.

May use some luggage lockers? We are staying in hotels, so depending on check in and out times, we are able to leave our backpacks in the room sometimes. Otherwise, at least we only have backpacks rather than luggage to haul around, especially on short stops like Perusing Through Cologne and Hot Minute in Milan. Also, we have less to keep up with on buses, trains and planes during the journey.

Here is a generalization of our trip. We’ve written detailed posts on each location with lots of pictures. Follow the links below. Or start with Amsterdam and follow the links within each post for the next stop.


  • Amsterdam: More Bikes Than Shade -Loved all of the canals, thought it was clean city, so many bikes! Everyone is a cyclist! We didn’t go to the Red Light District, so we didn’t see anything shady here. It was chilly, but I think this would be a great city to explore more when a little warmer. Especially during tulip season!!
  • Brussels: Chocolate, Waffles and Cobble Stones – What a complete and charming surprise! Adored this totally walk-able city with so much Old World Charm and stunning architecture. Had a blast and learned so much at our Chocolate Workshop and our Waffle Making Class and Tour. Met some very interesting people, saw some beautiful buildings and cathedrals. City center is filled with cobble stone streets, many without any traffic. Locals are up very early cleaning the streets and sidewalks. Very enjoyable time here.
  • Perusing Through Cologne-This was a very nice, but short, stop on pour trek down thru Europe. Had the most wonderful lunch here and saw the amazing, towering Cologne Cathedral. Great place for shopping too.
  • Leave it to Luxembourg– The Old Luxembourg is the area to stay in and explore. Surprising that a small country like Luxembourg has so much to enjoy. Talk about Old World charm and architecture. Not only that, it has an accessible Palace in town!
  • Zazoo Through Zürich– This was an eventful leg of our journey. Not Zürich itself, because it looks like an interesting city to spend some time in with the mix of old and new, canals, etc. However, the trip there was a different story. Taking a bus there, to see the countryside, may or may not have been the best idea. Our connecting Flixbus was late, delaying us. Heavy stop and barely go traffic was another delay. Then customs-where we lost 2 passengers…I’m talking handcuffs and escorted away. They are serious at this border.
  • Hot Minute in Milan– The ride through Switzerland, from Zürich to Milan was spectacular. Just beautiful. God sure did make Switzerland pretty!! But as far as Milan goes…big disappointment. Was happy to be gone and headed on last bus ride, for us, to Venice. We obviously were not in the nicer part of Milan. The Lampugnano Bus Station was a dump. Would like to try a train ride next time and see if we could still have amazing views, but a different station.
  • Venturing to Venice – Lots of wine vineyards on the way, after you get well out of Milan and all of the industry. This must’ve been about in the Verona area. Very pretty thru there with vineyard after vineyard on each side of the HWY. Getting to Venice Island is across a very long divided highway bridge with train tracks in the center! And then we arrive to center of town nice Island! Ahhh this is what I expect Italy to look like. Old historic town with lots of colorful facades. Bustling narrow streets. No car traffic, but lots of boat traffic on the canal streets.
  • Fascinated in Florence – There is so much to see in Florence. Tourists are a little targeted in certain places, but we felt generally safe and explored all over. There are statues, museums, plazas, squares and amazing architecture everywhere. The tour, including Michelangelo’s David Statue, in Accademia Gallery of Florence was wonderful. The market with leather purses, jackets, scarves, etc goes on and on.
  • Popping Over to Pisa – It’s always so cool, to me, to get a glimpse of something in person that you’ve only seen pictures of. Especially something big. This was the case of the Leaning Tower of Pisa too!
  • Rome-It’s Sure to Impress -The Vatican Museums Tour including St Peter’s Basilica, The Colosseum, and the city itself were just so impressive. Of course we can’t forget the Sistine Chapel! It’s a little mind blowing. The architecture everywhere you look is incredible.
  • Naples and The Amalfi Coast – Naples might not be such an impressive city, but we certainly had an experience there. The Amalfi Coast, on the other hand, is stunning as well as such an interesting area. Who knew?!
  • Pickpocketed in Paris – we started Paris off with an amazing bike tour, enjoyed the Eiffel Tower and so much more. Unfortunately, later on our way to the hotel, my wallet was stolen from my purse. As upsetting as it was, we have some nice memories of Paris and we kept going. Some of the best parts of the trip were ahead.
  • It’s Gorgeous. It’s Irish. It’s IRELAND – This lush green country did not disappoint! It was helpful to have our son and DIL here as company and tour guides! Cliffs of Moher, Blarney Castle, The Ring of Kerry, the food and the relaxing atmosphere were some of our favorite things about Ireland, other than Zach and Rachel!
  • Love Me Some London – We did not have near long enough in London. Must go back! We did get to have time for our own Abbey Road experience though. We also happened up on Buckingham Palace at the right time, as a garden party was letting out. Tower Bridge was larger than expected. Hoping Big Ben is not undergoing repairs next time. The people were so nice there. Lots to go back for.

Let’s get this journey started! Follow along as we share the daily 411 on our crazy wonderful trip to Europe (and beyond). Ups, downs, highs, lows. We are telling all!

This post may contain affiliate links and we may earn compensation when you click on the links at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

53 thoughts on “Backpacking Through Europe Adventure: 9 Countries, 14 Days”

  1. Oh my goodness you saw and did so much! Sorry about your wallet in Paris…we go in June and I’ve heard pickpockets are bad. Glad you were able to continue to have such a great time.

    1. Christina they really are everywhere! In thinking back we were targets several times before and were able to brush them off. Wear a money belt under clothes if you can. Stay aware. They are sly. But, relax and enjoy your trip too. It really is amazing traveling in Europe and I would go back in a heartbeat!

  2. Wow, what an amazing trip you must have had! I would have loved the chocolate part.☺️ . It looks like you saw a lot of amazing sites and history!

  3. ugh so awesome that you got to go on a trip like this! my aunt and uncle recently did the same things and visited tons of small cities I had never heard of and every single one of them was just as beautiful. I can’t wait to take a trip like this one day!

  4. Wow! 9 countries in only 14 days, that’s a lot… What a great trip. Pictures are amazing, So glad you went on your dream trip 🙂

  5. What an amazing experience! Your pictures were outstanding, thank you for sharing your journey!

  6. What a great itinerary! I wish I could convince my husband to backpack through Europe. We would go a lot more!

  7. Now that’s what I call a VACATION! Amazing trip, love all of your photos and details of what to see and do, I still have family in County Cork Ireland and planning a visit there! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  8. 1. Wow, you went to a LOT of places in one trip! Might as well since you were there, right? 😉
    2. Love that you went minimalist on luggage!

  9. What a wonderful experience. I am so jealous. I hope one day I can experience something similar. This definitely is helpful to see places to visit. I love your pictures.

    1. Thank you Joy! Yes, it was a fast moving trip, but incredible. We were able to see and experience so much and are thankful for that. It was a sort of sampling for us too, and now we know which places we would really like to go back and spend more time. Most of them! Haha

  10. What an amazing adventure! I loved that you backpacked through this entire trip. It’s so freeing to not be tied down with a ton of unnecessary luggage. After years of overpacking, I’ve finally realized that! Enjoy the memories!

    1. Haha yes Kendra, I agree! I think I could’ve even packed a little less. At least that was my thot when walking miles with it on my back. Lol It worked out great tho. I would do it again!

  11. Your pictures are fantastic! This trip is literally my dream trip…so I’m just going to live vicariously through your blog post until I can go! Also, I adore that you call your DIL your daughter-in-love. That just makes it so much more special. I’m Irish by descent, so Ireland will one day be a place I thoroughly explore. Thank you for such fun pictures and great descriptions!

    1. Thank you Ina! I really hope you get to go soon! It’s beautiful! Such a friendly, relaxing country. And the food-you won’t go hungry! We will have a full post on Ireland soon. Hope you will check it out!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *