The Hippie Trail (aka The Overland) is the term used by the hippie subculture from the mid 50s for the journey between Europe and south (southeast) Asia with the goal of spending winter or a year in places like Goa in India, Kathmandu in Nepal, Ko Pha Ngan in Thailand or Gili Islands in Indonesia.
The route usually started somewhere in the Western Europe (London or Amsterdam, Copenhagen) and then usually continued with Brussels, (sometimes Frankfurt) Munich, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade and Sofia before entering Turkey and continuing further east.
It was the beginning of nowadays popular alternative tourism as these folks usually traveled on a low budget, and mostly did it by hitchhiking or by using now iconic VW vans, trains and local buses.
For the guys in the 60s and the 70s – this journey was a life-changing experience and a tool of changing perceptions of travel as they were finally able to take their adventures into their own hands and see, or more importantly, to experience life on their own terms.
Things have changed since that time, and although the hippie trail (as we knew it) became history, today we experience a kind of a revival with the rise in popularity of budget and adventure traveling.
Now you have more opportunities to explore the same things hippie generation experienced including the wildest adventure trekking in let’s say India, jungle expeditions or yoga festivals in almost every corner of the globe.
You can travel faster, cheaper and more adventurous than ever before.
The only question is: what are you waiting for?
Tips for each destination of the European part of the trail:
Visit Place du Jeu de Balle flea market – every day from 6am to 2pm – the place is opened every day of the year, and it’s one of the most famous Brussels’ flea markets.
Eat in Les 4 Jeudis – Vegetarian/Vegan organic food restaurant in Saint-Josse-ten-Noode (Facebook)
Chill in Recyclart – a non profit organisation founded in 1997 and located in the abandoned train station Brussel-Kapellekerk/Bruxelles-Chapelle, downtown Brussels. Recyclart is a small multidisciplinary arts centre, a training centre for wood and metal construction (Fabrik) and catering (Bar Recyclart) (Website)
Visit Trabrennbahn Daglfing flea market – works twice a week – Friday and Saturday from morning to afternoon. It’s a colorful market and there’s something interesting for everyone.
Eat in Rabella Bex Cafe – Located in the heart of Munich, this is a lively place for social interaction and exchange in the vegan and yoga niche. This is a place for your body, mind and soul. (Website)
Chill in Club Milla – the club that stands for a fearless handling of style and scene. Alternative place, performers, atmosphere. (Website)
Visit Naschmarkt flea market – every Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The market is filled with high-value antiques, but also lots curious, kitsch and humorous items and it’s a must for bargain-hunters and flea market specialists.
Eat in Delicious Vegan Bistro – Organic & healthy food in the awesome location in Vienna, right at the Naschmark… Offers organic, vegan, raw food, superfoods, smoothies, gluten-free snacks… (Facebook)
Chill in The Museum Quartier Wien – one of the largest art and culture complexes in the world where you’ll find cafés throughout the complex or you can just relax in an urban living room and an oasis of calm and recreation in the middle of the city. (Website)
Visit Ecseri Flea Market – works every day – and it’s a bit further from the city center, but it’s definitely one of the best markets in the city. An eclectic collection of true antiques, vintage things, and second-hand books, baubles, linens and clothes.
Eat in Napfényes restaurant or bistro – purely vegetable ingredients grown organically, meals made with purified water. (Website)
Chill in Szimpla Kert – one of the most alternative places you’ll find in Budapest; an old factory converted into a huge open-air cinema and pub; a cultural reception space that organizes concerts, theatre shows and many other cultural events. (Read more)
Visit The Cultural Center Grad – located in the old, neglected and rundown industrial neighborhood in the very heart of Belgrade, on the banks of the Sava River. Grad organizes conferences, debates, book launches, workshops, music programs, film screenings and many other events including all kinds of markets. (Website)
Eat in Jazzayoga – healthy food restaurant with lots of vegan and raw menu options, organic foods, 100% fresh juices, smoothies… (Website)
Chill in the Savamala art district in Belgrade – one of city’s urban neighborhoods, located between the central station and the right bank of the Sava River. It is known for its nightlife, streetart and creative happenings. (Read more)
Visit Alexander Nevsky flea market – outdoor antiques/flea market on the same square as Alexander Nevsky cathedral and Sveta Sofia church. Works every day from morning to evening.
Eat in Soma Vital Food – vegetarian dishes prepared with an eye for art by combining different plant foods selected depending on the season. The products used are of the highest possible quality, bio certificated and mostly of Bulgarian origin, grown with love and belief that food is a light. (Website)
Chill in Hambara Bar – smooth, quiet place without electricity, with a specific atmosphere made with only candle lights. Alternative music, cool beers. (Facebook)