Best Places to Travel in Europe When You're Young

Best Places to Travel in Europe When You’re Young

Exploring Europe as a young traveler offers an unparalleled adventure into the heart of the world’s most diverse cultural, historical, and scenic landscapes. From bustling metropolises brimming with nightlife and history to serene locales offering breathtaking natural wonders, here are six cities that promise unforgettable experiences for the youthful and spirited.

When you are on a tight budget, I recommend the following cheap cities in Europe.

1. Barcelona, Spain

With its vibrant street life, iconic architecture by Gaudí, and endless beaches, Barcelona is a paradise for young travelers. The city’s lively atmosphere is palpable in its bustling markets like La Boqueria, the beachside bars of Barceloneta, and the nightlife of El Raval. For a taste of culture, the Gothic Quarter offers a maze of medieval streets filled with hidden gems.

Hostel Culture in Barcelona: It thrives on the city’s artistic flair and Mediterranean zest for life. Hostels here are often designed with a keen eye for style, reflecting the vibrant colors and creative spirit of their surroundings. Many hostels serve as social hubs where travelers gather for tapas nights, art crawls, and language exchanges, mirroring the city’s inclusive and lively social scene. Rooftop terraces and communal kitchens become the backdrop for shared meals and stories under the Catalan sun.

2. Berlin, Germany

Berlin stands as a beacon of youthful energy, renowned for its cutting-edge art scene, historical sites, and some of Europe’s best nightlife. The city’s diverse districts offer something for every type of traveler: from the trendy cafes and vintage shops of Kreuzberg to the historic sights like the Berlin Wall’s East Side Gallery. Berlin’s music and club scene are arguably unmatched, with venues like Berghain leading the charge.

Berlin’s Hostel Culture: Berlin’s hostels embody the city’s rich history and contemporary cool, offering a mix of historical charm and modern amenities. The communal spaces in Berlin hostels are gathering grounds for artists, musicians, and digital nomads, sparking collaborations and friendships. With their finger on the pulse of Berlin’s famed nightlife, these hostels often organize group outings to the city’s legendary clubs and bars, making them perfect for those looking to dive into the local scene.

3. Madrid, Spain

The Spanish capital is a treasure trove of cultural wonders, lively plazas, and culinary delights. Madrid appeals to the young and the restless with its world-renowned art museums, including the Prado and Reina Sofía. The city’s nightlife is vibrant, with neighborhoods like Malasaña offering chic bars and clubs. Retiro Park and the Royal Palace provide a picturesque escape from the city buzz, making Madrid a balanced blend of leisure and adventure.

Hostel Culture in Madrid: They reflect the city’s warm hospitality and vibrant social life. The youth hostels in Madrid are often located in historic buildings that have been thoughtfully renovated to offer comfortable, stylish accommodation. Community events like Spanish cooking classes, flamenco nights, and walking tours of Madrid’s iconic sites foster a lively, engaging atmosphere where travelers can immerse themselves in Spanish culture and make lasting connections.

Travel to Madrid while you are Young

4. Prague, Czech Republic

Prague’s fairy-tale architecture makes it one of Europe’s most picturesque cities. Young travelers can explore the historic Prague Castle, wander through the Old Town Square, and cross the iconic Charles Bridge. The city is also known for its affordable lifestyle, vibrant nightlife, and the famous Czech beer, making it a top choice for those looking to enjoy without splurging.

Hostel culture in Prague: It offers a window into the city’s bohemian soul, with accommodations ranging from quaint, cozy quarters to lively, party-oriented spaces. Prague’s hostels are known for their charm and character, often featuring themed rooms and local artwork. They serve as an affordable base from which young travelers can explore the city’s cobblestone streets, historic pubs, and vibrant arts scene.

Travel to Prague while you are Young

5. Lisbon, Portugal

Perched on seven hills, Lisbon is a city of breathtaking views, historic trams, and melancholic Fado music. Its youthful vibe is felt in the nightlife of Bairro Alto, the trendy spots in LX Factory, and the picturesque streets of Alfama. Lisbon combines a laid-back atmosphere with cultural richness, offering a perfect blend for young explorers.

Hostel Culture in Lisbon: Lisbon’s hostels capture the city’s laid-back, sun-soaked vibe, with many offering stunning views of the city’s seven hills and the Tagus River. These hostels are central to Lisbon’s youth travel scene, providing not just a place to stay but a place to connect, with communal dinners, rooftop yoga sessions, and live music events that showcase the best of Portuguese culture. Lisbon’s hostels are gateways to adventure, whether you’re surfing at nearby beaches or tram-hopping through historic neighborhoods.

Lisbon has a big Hostel Culture

6. Budapest, Hungary

Divided by the Danube, Budapest offers a mix of historic thermal baths, dramatic architecture, and a thriving young culture. Ruin bars in the Jewish Quarter provide unique nightlife experiences in Europe, while the city’s parks and the Danube’s banks offer leisurely daytime activities. Don’t miss the panoramic views from Fisherman’s Bastion or a relaxing dip in the Széchenyi Thermal Bath.

Hostel Culture in Budapest: The hostel scene in Budapest is as dynamic and diverse as the city itself, known for its blend of historic elegance and cutting-edge cultural life. Budapest’s hostels range from the famous “ruin bar hostels,” located in the city’s unique ruin pubs, to quiet, boutique accommodations offering a peaceful retreat. Hostel culture here is about discovery, from thermal bath parties to boat cruises on the Danube, providing countless opportunities for young travelers to experience the city’s rich heritage and lively contemporary culture.


Traveling Young in Europe

Traveling in Europe when you’re young opens doors to discovering yourself, connecting with diverse cultures, and creating memories that last a lifetime. These cities offer the perfect starting point for an adventure that blends history, nightlife, natural beauty, and the freedom to explore at your own pace.

Remember, the best way to experience these destinations is with an open mind and a spirit of adventure. Europe awaits with experiences that will enrich your youth and broaden your horizons.

Matt Kiefer is the founder of, the premium network of 5 Star Hostels worldwide. Hostelnerds is the b2b area with information for hostel managers and owners to take your hostel a step further.