The rail-fueled backpacking trip through Europe is a mainstay of travel cliché — but realistically, most Europeans get around like we do: by car.
OK yes, by incredibly fast, usually quite expensive rail, too. And by discount airlines. But also by car. They just have more tolls and better-maintained highways.
Here to help you maximize your next European road trip is Randy Olson, the same map masher and data scientist behind the most efficient U.S. road trip of all time. The itinerary starts in Innsbruck, Austria and ends, months later, in Interlaken, Switzerland.
Along the way, you'll see masterworks of European city design in spots ranging from a Bulgarian monastery to a very specific waterfall in Estonia and Jukkasjärvi, Sweden (there's an "ICEBAR" there.) You'll even cross a couple bodies of water, en route to Malta and in between Ireland, the U.K., and continental Europe. Olson actually culled the stops from a Business Insider story called "50 Places In Your Europe You Need Visit In Your Lifetime".
Give it a look here.
Our recommendation: figure out how to extend your trip by a couple months, and a few more thousand miles, by adding on a tour of the Balkans.