I don’t like to claim I’m any sort of expert on European travel. However, I have visited many cities in countries in Europe. While I don’t normally like to say that
- Krakow, Poland – Krakow needs to be on this list for two reasons. It’s cheap and has amazing parties. While the beauty in the old town is classic, I think that you can get the most out of Krakow if you can stay up dancing all night. It’s also contrasted by sights and museums of the cities complicated WWII history which can give anyone, especially young people, some serious perspective. Krakow is authentic and friendly and somehow in the bright summer light – quintessentially young.
- Budapest, Hungary – By the time I went to Budapest, a part of me felt like I was already too old at 24. Similar to Krakow, it has those Eastern European cheap prices which makes it a great stop on a Eurotrip. The party scene is pretty wild – between the rune bars and the bath house parties. While I loved the bath houses during the day, I felt like the parties would be too much for me if I’m honest. WIth some of the best doner kebap in Europe, Budapest serves the late night youth in all the important ways.
- Greece – So I’m cheating in two ways – first off, I’m using an entire country but also I want to say that Greece is amazing at any age but you’ll want to get there as soon as possible. The sooner you get there, the sooner you’ll fall in love. Plus, there are some Grecian experiences that might have more impact if you do them when you are young. Sure you can take a boat to the red sand beach in Akrotiri at any age, but you can hike through the difficult terrain better when you are young and springy. There are many remote sights that might be easier with good knees and a sense of adventure associated with youth.
- Copenhagen, Denmark – Scandinavia is expensive and Copenhagen is no different. I really think this is a young person’s dream city. When you get out of the train station, you run right into Tivoli, a gorgeous amusement park. The party scene is amazing and diverse. You can also explore Cristiania – the self proclaimed independent state where soft drugs are legal. Wrap all of that up in a bicyclists dream land and you have an incredible city for young people.
- Barcelona, Spain – I love Barcelona. I feel similar to Barcelona as I feel to Greece but for a slightly different reason. Barcelona is constantly evolving with new neighborhoods becoming popular, architecture being restored, galleries bringing in new works. It’s overflowing with things to do. If you look at the “sights to see” section of Barcelona – it’s dozens of entries long. For that reason, I think it’s better to go young so you can work your way through the city bit by bit. I’ve spent about a month in Barcelona over various trips and I still feel like I haven’t even started exploring the city. Every time I go back, I have to go to the Sagrada Familia to see what new work has changed. I also spend hours exploring the gorgeous streets and neighborhoods. Go early and often to Barcelona – it’s worth the returns.
- Hamburg, Germany – When people think about Germany – they think about Munich and Berlin. There’s so much more to Germany than just those two big cities. One great city for young people is Hamburg, Germany’s second city. Hamburg is vibrant and dynamic – home to one of the largest urban development projects in Europe, Havenstadt. There’s amazing art and architecture. There’s also an incredible alternative scene in St. Pauli – the neighborhood known for prostitutes and the Beatles. The Beatles came to Hamburg as their first international destination and were promptly thrown out once it became known that George was too young for prostitutes. I’ve had some pretty fun nights out in Hamburg – including some that I can’t remember as well as others.
- The Balearic Islands, Spain – So I’ve never stayed in the Balearics before but the Mallorca airport taught me a lot. This is an extremely popular destination for enjoying bachelor or bachelorette parties or let’s face it – any party. Ibiza has long been a party destination but the other two Balearics, Mallorca and Menorca, have the late night scene as well. Beyond the parties, there’s amazing hiking and outdoor activities, fabulous beaches and museums to explore. That being said, the airport said loud and clear that this was not the place for some quiet, relaxing down time.
So those are my top destinations to visit while you still have some youth. I think any of these places could be awesome to visit anytime in life but why not start young? What were your favorite places you visited while you were young? Let me know below!