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Top European Destinations To Travel On Your Gap Year

A gap year is a once in a lifetime opportunity that you may never get the chance to experience again. After all, there are only so many years we’re not tied to having to pay a mortgage, taxes and everything else that comes with being an adult! As a result, we want to travel somewhere that can offer us an unforgettable experience. Whilst many people tend to jet off to the likes of America and Thailand for their gap years, there are countless top European destinations to travel on your gap year once you have applied for your E111 cards, and you never know, you may have a better experience than those that have travelled far and wide (and spent a lot of money doing so)! Here are the top European destinations to travel on your gap year. 

Istanbul, Turkey

There are countless reasons to visit Istanbul, whether it is to embark on a gap year or to simply get the opportunity to volunteer abroad. Whilst backpacking in Turkey is often the last option on students minds, the county boasts some of the best experiences for young travellers. From experiencing the authentic culture, history and flavours of Turkey at The Grand Bazaar, to exploring Cappadocia by hot air balloon, you certainly won’t want to come back down to Earth! Amongst the fun and action, you can also find some of the most beautiful beaches in Turkey, which makes the perfect location for a late-night beach party or memorable snorkelling experience.  

Barcelona, Spain 

Hundreds of students flee to Spain each summer for the opportunity to work abroad, but why limit your horizons to a bar or restaurant? For a memorable gap year, you should travel to Barcelona! Not only are there countless exciting gap year programmes in Barcelona, but travelling in Spain is one of the best ways to pick up the native language. It doesn’t matter whether you decide to travel to Malaga, Seville, Ibiza, Valencia, Madrid or Barcelona, in Spain you are sure to have fun in the sun with like-minded people! 


When students think about travelling abroad, few consider Ireland to be one of the fantastic places to visit for a gap year. Whilst you might not be greeted by the sun and rather a rain cloud, Ireland has just as much to offer, if not more, as competing gap year destinations. Boasting the most gorgeous scenery, Ireland is yet another destination students from across the globe, including the UK, can visit to gain a better perspective and discover their potential. From visiting the iconic Killarney National Park to the majestic Cliffs of Moher or even the Kilmainham Gaol, a former prison located in Dublin, you most definitely won’t lack choice choosing your gap experience in Ireland!


For the ultimate gap year experience, we can’t recommend Italy enough! Some of the top experiences in Italy include St. Peter’s Basilica, walking though the well-preserved old streets of Pompeii and visiting the picturesque Amalfi Coast. A gap year in Italy is certainly one to remember, whether you decide to go it alone or explore the hidden wonders the country has to offer with your closest friends or a group of strangers! Wherever you end up in Italy, you won’t get bored of the beautiful country! 

Czech Republic

Another top European destination to travel on your gap year is the Czech Republic. Backpacking is ultimately the best way to explore the Czech Republic, from exploring the perfectly preserved medieval towns to the iconic Charles Bridge or St. Vitus Cathedral. Plus, going backpacking is far cheaper than staying in a fancy hotel – or simply a hotel – on your gap year experience, so you can have more money to explore the wonders of the country rather than your own comfort. 

There are numerous places in Europe you can travel to for your gap year. From exploring Barcelona’s best secret sights to going on an Irish gap year for No matter where you decide to go on your gap year, you certainly won’t regret it! After all, no one has ever said they regret taking their gap year! A year full of adventure, excitement, new experiences and life lessons is waiting at your fingertips!

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