Backpacking is an adventure that lets you discover unexplored territories, brings you face to face with great experiences, and lets you live life as it is meant to be. For those who have time on their hands, backpacking could be one of the best forms of travel. But choosing the right destination for backpacking could be quite a task.
Top 10 Backpacking Destinations in the World
The list of the best backpacking destinations in the world keeps getting tougher each year. There is so much to explore in this world that the list of the best will always remain arguable.
However, continuing the argument is this list of the top 10 backpacking destinations in the world.
Ladakh is often called the “Lost Kingdom” of India. Nestled amidst the towering peaks of Himalayas, it is the northern-most part of India. There are plenty of experiences to be had in this fantastic destination. There is the spiritual, courtesy all the Buddhist monasteries, some of which date back to the 11th century. Don’t miss a trip to the monasteries of Lamayuru and Alchi.
And there is tons of adventure to be had here too, trekking being the most popular. There are easy trekking trails, moderate ones as well as some really challenging ones. For those who are up for a challenge, take the Chadar trek which lets you cross over the frozen Zanskar River. There are also the majestic peaks of Stok Kangri and Kang Yatse to be scaled.
But trekking isn’t the only adventure to be had here. There is river rafting, mountain biking, paragliding and ever archery to be done. And don’t forget to explore some remote villages of the place, which give you a glimpse into the culture of Ladakh.
If you are looking for a tryst with wildlife, Zanzibar is one of the best places to be in. Located off the coast of Tanzania, this bio-diversity hotspot has plenty of native wildlife as well as some beautiful corals to explore. Go on a wildlife safari and try spotting the Zanzibar leopard. The animal species is not extinct, but who knows, you could the world’s savior. But if you don’t feel like going on a hunt for Zanzibar leopard, you could choose to visit the historical site of Stone Town. As the name suggests, the place has some really awesome stone architecture which is believed to be more than 200 years old.
3. Buenos Aires, Argentina
If your idea of backpacking is staying in cheap hotels, breaking into an impromptu dance on the street while experiencing the luxurious and the sophisticated as well, Buenos Aires is the perfect place to be. This South American city has everything you could need for a buzzing backpacking holiday. There are cheap hotels as well as luxurious ones. Beer and liquor is cheap and life in Buenos Aires is always a party.
The people of this city are crazy about their football and there are plenty of historical sites as well as beaches to explore. You can even get to hear some fascinating stories of the land if you are ready to mingle with the local crowd. People of South America are known to be a friendly lot.
Yes, Amsterdam is known around the world for its Red Light District (and shops that sell some outrageous sex toys). But that’s not the only thing that’s a talking point of Amsterdam, even though the Red Light District drives most of the tourism of this city.
There is a maze of canals to be explored here; a peek into the colorful past of the city to be had; a picnic to be had with the locals of Amsterdam; some amazing gardens to explore and so much more. You can even visit the home of Anne Frank, the same one on whom a book is based. And if you are looking for cheap places to stay while on a backpacking trip to Amsterdam, here is a list of bed and breakfasts as well as hostels in Amsterdam. You can even find a lot of info about the city, which could make your trip even better.
5. Chiapas, Mexico
If you have had enough of destinations spick and span, and all dolled up for the sake of tourists, Chiapas in Mexico is a place you need to visit. It has an old-world charm to it, with ruins and stuff, without being boring. In fact, you could go bar hopping here and party it up like there is no tomorrow.
There are temples, shrines, volcanoes as well as waterfalls to explore here. And there is the native population of the region, with roots to the Mayans. There is adventure to be had too in this part of the world. You could go zip lining here at el Chiflon waterfalls. Whichever way you choose too experience this destination, you will love it to the core.
6. Bucharest, Romania
It may sound clichéd, but Bucharest as the quintessential blend of the old and the new. This Eastern European city is one of the fastest growing, which has led to establishment of swanky bars, museums and hotels.
These swanky new places share space with cobbled streets, narrow alleys, old museums and palaces. The blend of the old and the new gives you an interesting backpacking experience. But when you hit the suburbs of the area, make sure you do not let your belongings out of your sight. The city if notorious for pickpockets who steal almost anything they can get their hands on.
While in Bucharest, don’t forget to experience the gypsy life. It is awesome.
A hairy man rubbing you down vigorously while you lie down butt naked isn’t a pleasing idea to many. But you have got to experience at least once. That’s the highlight of Istanbul, a destination ideal for backpackers who are looking for the down and the dirty, literally.
Traditional Turkish baths may be far from the savory massages of Kerala, but they sure can get you cleaned and exfoliated. And while getting yourself cleaned in Istanbul is top priority, don’t forget to sample the luscious kebabs you get here. They are scrumptious.
8. Belgrade, Serbia
Serbians may look like very quiet and peace loving people (picturize Novac Djokovic). But the truth is, Belgrade knows how to party it up in style, and cheap as well. The place has a wide variety of clubs and nightspots and has a raging nightlife. So for all those who told you that Belgrade lacks in nightlife, they were kidding.
Of course, there is the usual sightseeing and historical exploring to do as well in Belgrade. But you shouldn’t miss to party when here.
9. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Known for its crazy carnivals is Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. While carnival time is the best time to be at this place, that’s not the only time though. Come anytime to Brazil and you can see people partying it up like crazy. And then there are cobbled streets, the chaotic markets and the history of Rio de Janeiro to explore as well. But make sure you stay on guard when here, especially when you visit the beautiful beaches. The city is known for its notoriously high crime rate.
10. Ushuaia, Argentina
If going to someplace remote and testing your survival skills is your idea of backpacking, there are two destinations you could consider exploring- Ladakh in India and Ushuaia in Argentina. In fact, Ushuaia takes the concept of survival skills to a whole new level. The city lies parallel to Antarctica, which should give you an idea of the challenges you may face there.
You can take sleigh rides, go glacier hiking and do so much more. While the destination is remote, it is nevertheless densely populated. In fact, finding cheap hostels is not really a challenge here. There are plenty of them.
That was an arguable list of top backpacking destinations of the world. It consists of some diverse experiences, from partying till the wee hours to adventure, and even a rendezvous with the direct descendants of Mayans. But there is a lot more to be explored in this diverse world, and there will be plenty of more such lists, as long as the human race survives.