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Capital Cities – My Top 5 for Backpacking

Capital cities – backpacking in Mexico City

Capital cities tend to be common locations for backpacking and are mostly the first place on your trip. I have a few of my favourites which I will write about in this post. While Bangkok is a cool city for backpacking, everyone and their dog has been there. Moreover, capital cities like London, Paris and Rome are overrated and should be avoided by backpackers.

5. Capital City of Scotland – Edinburgh

Of course the city of my home country would make this list. However, it is not in a high spot because it might not be the best place for backpackers. It is a very expensive city and even staying in a hostel can be quite steep. In addition, the public transport is insufficient for the city making it difficult to navigate. Despite that, it’s a fantastic city to visit and is full of amazing pubs.

Of course, the tourist traps of the Royal Mile are places to not spend too much time in. A walk up to Calton Hill is a great way of seeing the city without paying a penny. Leith is a trendy neighbourhood that backpackers should check out and of course, football fans should pay a visit to the amazing Tynecastle Park.

4. Beautiful Belgrade

Backpacking in Belgrade

You might not expect it, but Serbia’s biggest city is an incredible backpacking destination. It’s one of the most affordable locations in Europe and I’d also say it’s among the best. The nightlife in Belgrade is legendary, the city has countless kafanas where you can drink rakija like a local. Moreover, there is so much to see in this city, such as the House of Flowers and Kalemegdan.

3. Lisbon – the City by the Sea

Portugal is the most affordable city in Western Europe and it’s a must visit for backpackers. Lisbon is a city full of colour and life. I would also that the city of Lisbon is also a place where you can experience the incredible Portuguese culture. Whether it’s seeing the colourful architecture or having succulent food at the Timeout Market. Lisbon seems to be perfect for a backpacking trip.

2. Mexico City – the Artful Concrete Jungle

Backpacking in Mexico City

I have both lived and experienced this city as a backpacker. This place is a mammoth of a city and it really has everything. I’m at a loss as to how Mexico City isn’t seen as a hotbed for backpackers like Bangkok. It ticks all of the boxes that a backpacking destination should. It has booming nightlife, amazing museums and food that will blow your mind. Not to mention how affordable it all is, for example a metro journey only costs 23p and a taco meal for less than £4.

1. Super Seoul

Seoul is another city that I’d say is pretty much perfect for backpacking. Even though I now live in Korea, I have only just briefly visited the city. I visit Seoul as a backpacker back in 2019 and I was blown away. The nightlife is incredibly vibrant and abundant. It’s also more affordable than you might think and there are a ton of sites to see. The food is absolutely fantastic and there is nothing like going to a Korean BBQ joint for the first time.

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