Winter backpacking in Europe - can it be done?

Travel Forums Europe Winter backpacking in Europe - can it be done?

1. Posted by girandola (First Time Poster 1 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hello all! This winter break, from early December to early January, I'd really to love travel alone through Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. However, I'm being told that it would be way too dangerous, what with trains running less, hostels booked / closed, and snow everywhere. Basically, my benefactor only sees me stranded in a train station somewhere in the dead of night with no place to go, with no one to help me as everyone will be on vacation and I won't be with friends. As such, the whole trip is on the verge of being called off, but before everything's final I'd really love to get your take. Is it really a bad idea to try and backpack through Europe late winter alone? Are there just too many things that could go wrong?
Thanks for anything!

2. Posted by svaens (Budding Member 10 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hey. I haven't done it.... but a friend of mine has (though not alone.. with one other) and had fun! But it is COLD. Do you like skiiing?

3. Posted by HafJafMark (Respected Member 291 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!


Dont worry one bit, Europes easy to backpack round in any weather.
You may have a few cold nights here and there, miss trains etc. but its not like your travelling round North Korea.

Dont worry, youll be fine.

4. Posted by coldwarspy (Travel Guru 1108 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

wow who is tellin u all this nonsense!

I hav backpacked in Romania for new years and into january for 2 weeks and had a great time!!! and lookin forward this year for 2 weeks in Germany / Austria in january

Hostels are never booked out...trains run on point, and snow is beautiful in the Carpathians and the Alps :)

The only problem I had was my flight from Bucharest to Amsterdam was delayed due to snowfall. But my midnite train ride thru transylvania and the carpathians in a snowstorm was brill!

and the best! less tourists and lower prices! woohoo!

5. Posted by stepsdevil (Budding Member 39 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hiya - I cannot see how you're going to have any problems. Sure bad weather could delay a flight I suppose, but a lot of backpackers rely on lifts and trains, and usually these modes of transport are not seriously affected if at all. Certainly all of Germany's major cities and towns can and do cope with a big freeze, and so you won't have any grief there. In fact, the crisp winter days and the lovely blue skies are often what sells such destinations and helps them to maintain tourism all year round. Just pack warm clothes and some good boots, just in case. As with all trips, prudence and good planning is the way forward, but truly I think you'll be fine. Good luck and a safe trip to you!!

6. Posted by mythxation (Budding Member 16 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

I'm glad to hear some supportive answers to this questions! I will be travelling for the winter as well, and my father had some grave concerns about how I would survive! Thanks everyone. Are there any specific tips for winter backpacking? I am going very low budget and forsee that I may have to end up hitchhiking some of the way, so I would like to be ready for the worst possible conditions.

7. Posted by Valmont (Budding Member 22 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Yeah it's great to hear some support of winter in Europe. I booked a flight to Berlin on the 28th of December and one home from Rome on the 21st of January, other than that I haven't planned or even considered what to bring! Bring it on

8. Posted by sappho (Budding Member 18 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

good choice - berlin for new years.

otherwise, switzerland is the most expensive one (train from zuerich to bern, 120km, takes 1 hour and costs 45 sf one way).. but don't miss the swiss alps - f.e. in berner oberland you can find some not too crowded places (which are cheaper than the very touristic ones) with beautiful views, where you can sledge down the hill - but take some good shoes:)

have fun


9. Posted by tatts82 (Budding Member 14 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

I'd go for it! I was a tiny bit concerned whilst planning my small trip in europe over winter, but feedback from this board has confirmed that everything will be fine (I'm backpacking from Prague to Poprad, to Bratislava, to Budapest in 3 weeks over Christmas). The cold also provides a great excuse to sample some of the local alcohol and keep u warm! ;)

10. Posted by AmandaJohn (Budding Member 12 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

does anyone have any sample itineraries for backpacking the mediterranean countries?