10 Best Travel Backpacks Australia to Buy in 2023

By: Author The Aussie Tourist

Posted on Last updated: 03/31/2023

Categories Australian Products

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Looking for the best travel backpacks in Australia?

We recently acquired a new travel backpack for our family’s adventures. As there are numerous options, we spent quite some time researching the top travel backpack brands. I perused many travel backpack reviews to determine which backpacks would suit our family’s present requirements.

After years of experience travelling, I understand it’s crucial to contemplate a few things before impulsively purchasing a pack. First, consider who will carry the backpack, what items will it hold, and whether you need a laptop backpack to protect your device or if a budget-friendly travel backpack will suffice.

Comfort is another significant aspect; the finest travel bags are typically lightweight and fit your back and shoulders snugly, so you can travel without fretting about back and neck discomfort. We’re planning a trip to the UK and wanted something comfortable for a longer journey.

To spare you hours of research, I’ve assembled this Australian backpacks guide, which will assist you in answering these questions. I’ve gathered information on some of the leading travel backpacks from the finest backpack brands, along with their various features, so you can select the perfect backpacking bag for your needs.

Top 10 Best Travel Backpacks Australia 2023

Here’s a useful reference list of the finest travel backpacks available in Australia – see all comprehensive travel backpack reviews below!

  • Gregory Mountain Baltoro Backpack, 65L
  • Osprey Packs Farpoint 55 Travel Backpack, 55L
  • Kelty Redwing 50 Backpack, 50L
  • Osprey Nebula 34 Laptop Backpack, 34L
  • Asenlin Travel Backpack, 40L
  • Zomake Packable Lightweight Backpack, 35L
  • Thule AllTrail Women’s Backpack, 45L
  • Osprey Women’s Aura 50 AG Backpack, 50L
  • Cabin Max® Equator 44L Backpack, 44L

Top Travel Backpack Reviews Australia 2023

In this article, we evaluate our top picks for the finest backpacks for travelling.

NOMATIC McKinnon Camera Backpack 25L

Specifications:

  • Type: Camera
  • Capacity: 25L
  • Weight: 1.3kg
  • Dimensions: 7.5″ D x 13″ W x 19″ H

We recently purchased the Nomatic McKinnon which although is expensive has been worth every penny we have spent on it.

It is particularly worth it if you are looking for a great camera backpack as it is durable, good quality and has great compartments.

Buy it here .

nomatic-backpack

Gregory Mountain Baltoro 65L Review

Rating: 4.5

  • Capacity: 65L
  • Weight: 2.5kg
  • Dimensions (HxWxD): 69 x 28 x 43 cm

The Gregory Mountain Baltoro 65L is one of the largest travel backpacks available and is most suitable for long trips or those seeking the best hiking packs in Australia. With a massive capacity and plenty of features to ensure comfort during extended periods, this backpack is sure to please.

The unique design of this backpack keeps the load stable, making it easier to carry. With a 65L capacity and numerous pockets and storage compartments, this backpack will keep you organised while travelling.

The backpack features ‘free float suspension’, and the material allows for additional airflow as well as moisture-wicking mesh. The wide hip belt includes a pocket for easy access to smaller items like phones or wallets, and suspension that aligns with your hips for a comfortable fit. 

Of course, a huge backpack like this won’t be perfect for everybody, but it will be a years long investment for the right type of customer.

Gregory-Mountain-Products-Mens-Baltoro-65-Backpacking-Pack

Asenlin Travel Backpack Review

  • Type: Main/Laptop
  • Capacity: 40L
  • Weight: 2kg
  • Dimensions (HxWxD): 47 x 32 x 24 cm

The Asenlin is a functional and intuitively designed bag, offering plenty of space with a 40-litre capacity. This upgraded bag features a large main compartment that opens fully for easy packing and organisation. It also includes three packing cubes – small, medium, and large – to simplify organisation. The front organisation pocket can hold loose items, and a rear laptop pocket can accommodate a 17″ laptop.

Comfortable shoulder straps and compression straps complete this backpack, which has been reinforced for strength and is available in a range of stylish designs.

Click here to check the price and read more reviews.

Asenlin 40L Travel Backpack

Osprey Packs Farpoint 55 Travel Backpack Review

  • Capacity: 55L
  • Weight: 1.8kg
  • Dimensions (HxWxD): 61 x 33 x 33 cm

The Osprey Travel Backpack is designed to support loads of up to 25 kgs. It comes with a detachable daypack that includes a laptop sleeve and a scratch-free pocket for your eyewear. The Farpoint 55 is water-resistant, thanks to its Nylon Ripstop fabric.

These Osprey backpacks provide access to the main compartment through a large zippered panel that can be secured with locks. The laptop and tablet sleeve is also lockable. Internal and external compression straps enable you to secure items inside the backpack and reduce the overall external size if needed.

A thoughtful design, the trademark LightWire frame suspension system transfers the backpack’s weight to the hip belt, relieving your shoulders from strain. A frame sheet distributes the weight across your back. These Osprey packs offer the option to stow the shoulder straps and hip belt in a zippered compartment, streamlining your luggage for transport.

Osprey is a respected brand with excellent customer service, and the Osprey Farpoint 55 is a well-designed pack with comfort in mind.

Click here to check the price and to read more reviews.

best travel backpacks

Kelty Redwing 50 Backpack Review

Rating: 4.0

  • Capacity: 50L
  • Weight: 1.6kg
  • Dimensions (HxWxD): 66 x 41 x 30 cm

If you’re looking for a comfortable and no-frills backpack, the Kelty Redwing 50 Backpack may be the perfect fit for you. It has a simple design that focuses on providing the utmost comfort to its wearer.

The suspension system of this backpack allows for easy on-body adjustments. You can loosen all the straps before putting on the pack and then tighten them while wearing it to achieve a customized fit.

You can access the main compartment from the top zippered panel or through a larger zippered panel below the compression straps. The back panel is padded and ventilated to ensure you stay cool while carrying the backpack.

The backpack has a padded hydration sleeve that also doubles as a laptop pocket. However, there is no dedicated laptop sleeve. You can also use the deep side panel/pockets to carry tent poles or a fishing rod.

Some reviewers have pointed out the lack of certain features, such as no rain cover pocket at the bottom of the pack, no internal compression straps, and no lockable zippers. However, despite these shortcomings, the Kelty Redwing 50 Backpack still has received excellent ratings, and many users consider it the best 50L backpack in the market.

Kelty Laptop

Osprey Nebula 34 Laptop Backpack Review

Rating : 4.0

  • Type: Laptop
  • Capacity: 34L
  • Weight: 1.1kg
  • Dimensions (HxWxD): 48 x 31 x 30 cm

The Osprey carry-on backpack boasts numerous pockets and ample space for a laptop backpack. With a sleek design and lockable zippers, reviews suggest this bag offers great value for money.

Osprey describes the Nebula as suitable for urban to trail use, making it durable enough for travel, commuting, or occasional outdoor trips. Key features include a blinker light attachment for nighttime cycling, a separate zippered access padded laptop sleeve, a large organisation front pocket, and a top grab handle. Mesh pockets, located on the sides and front and within the organisation pocket, provide quick access and easy visibility.

The suspended mesh ventilated back panel helps keep you cool by creating airflow between the pack and your back. The removable hip belt offers additional versatility.

The hanging padded laptop sleeve keeps your laptop off the ground and close to your back for a more comfortable carry. The Osprey Nebula is an excellent choice for those seeking the best small travel backpack.

Osprey Nebula Men's Laptop Backpack

Best Carry-On Travel Backpack in Australia 2023

Zomake packable lightweight backpack review.

  • Type: Carry-On
  • Capacity: 35L
  • Weight: 0.3kg
  • Dimensions (HxWxD): 33 x 24 x 42 cm

The Zomake Packable Lightweight Backpack is one of the lightest travel backpacks available. It is a foldable backpack designed for travellers who need plenty of space without unnecessary frills.

The bag arrives folded in a small package and unfolds to reveal the entire bag. With a 35L capacity and ultra-lightweight construction, this backpack is ideal for day trips or long weekend getaways. There are four compartments – the front pocket (which the bag folds in/out of), the main compartment, and two front zippered pockets for easy access to accessories.

While there may be concerns about weight distribution in such a lightweight backpack, the bag does a reasonably good job of remaining comfortable, even at its affordable price point. The shoulder straps, though not extremely comfortable, sit nicely. A front buckle secures the straps in place and reduces tension on your shoulders. Unfortunately, a hip strap is not included, which would have helped with weight balance.

The bag can also be somewhat challenging to fold down again. Side pockets for drinks, side buckles for load compression, and space for a laptop are also included. The lightweight design makes it ideal for carry-on, and there are several eye-catching colours to choose from. While not perfect, this bag is a good deal, available at a very low price

ZOMAKE-35L-Lightweight-Hiking-BackpackHandy-Foldable-Water-Resistant-Travel-Daypack-Packable-Camping-Backpack-for-Men-Women

Best Travel Backpack for Europe in Australia 2023

Thule alltrail women’s backpack review.

  • Type: Main/For Women
  • Capacity: 45L
  • Weight: 1.4kg
  • Dimensions (HxWxD): 62 x 30 x 32 cm

One of the best backpacks for women is the Thule AllTrail Women’s backpack. This bag is designed to be tailored to your individual dimensions, making it exceptionally comfortable for travel.

Women will appreciate the shoulder straps, which are among the best of any bag on the market – thick, sturdy, and high-quality. They feature a unique curved shape, which is better for contouring to your chest. The shoulder straps’ position can be height-adjusted, making it suitable for both short and tall individuals.

The hip strap is made of the same thick material, and one side can be used to add additional accessories (such as a drink bottle or camera holder) with an additional purchase.

The bag is relatively flat when empty and weighs around 1kg. This particular model has a 45L capacity, offering plenty of space. However, the same bag is also available in a 35L model – perfect for those seeking the best carry-on backpack Australia has to offer.

To pack, the bag is opened from the top, and you can easily access items directly from the zippered centre of the bag. Even when packed to capacity, it remains relatively thin. The side can be used to attach hiking accessories, and it is water-resistant with the included rain cover – essential for weathering all conditions. There is also space for a laptop.

Thule AllTrail Women's Hiking Backpack

Best Travel Backpack for Women in Australia 2023

Osprey women’s aura 50 ag backpack review.

  • Type: For Women
  • Dimensions (HxWxD): 81 x 36 x 36 cm

The Osprey Women’s Aura 50 AG Backpack is a large pack that has received excellent reviews for its comfort features.

Focusing on creating a comfortable, larger-sized pack for women, Osprey has delivered with the Aura 50. Featuring a trademarked AntiGravity suspension system and a curved design, the Aura 50 effectively transfers weight to the comfortable hip belt. This is crucial for a pack of this size, as you don’t want to be burdened with neck and shoulder pain on the first day of a 10-day trip.

The harness is adjustable while you’re wearing the backpack, and the hip belt has pockets for snacks, phone, or sunscreen. The pack offers plenty of pockets without being confusing, along with compression straps, lockable zippers, and bottom storage for a sleeping bag.

This is a large pack that is thoughtfully designed. If extra space and comfort are high on your priority list, this might be the backpack for you.

Osprey Packs Osprey Pack Aura Ag 50 Backpack

Cabin Max® Equator 44L Backpack Review

  • Type: Carry On
  • Capacity: 44L
  • Dimensions (HxWxD): 56 x 23 x 36 cm

The Cabin Max Equator 44L Backpack 2.0 is an upgraded version of the original Equator bag that was well-loved by travelers. This backpack is specifically designed to fit the carry-on restrictions of almost all major airlines, making it the perfect choice for those seeking the best backpack for carry-on.

The backpack features several zippered pockets and compartments. On the front, there are two zippered pockets and one with a D-ring for easy storage of keys. This section can be unclipped from the buckle to reveal a mesh screen, several other pockets, and a hidden pocket for valuables. Additionally, there is a felt pocket specifically designed for storing laptops up to 15 inches.

The main compartment of the bag has a removable dividing panel, allowing for easy organization of your belongings. It offers a vast amount of space with a 44L capacity.

The Cabin Max Equator 44L Backpack 2.0 is easy to carry, with grab handles on both the top and side. The backpack can be packed away like a carry bag when the shoulder straps are removed, making it convenient for travelers.

Comfort is prioritized with the 2.0 model, which has thicker shoulder straps and padded backing for added comfort. The backpack also has strengthened compression straps, room for hiking accessories and drink bottles, and is available in several stylish designs. A thin but appreciated hip strap is also included.

Overall, this Australian backpack is well-constructed and affordable. With a 3-year warranty, there’s very little not to love about the Cabin Max Equator 44L Backpack 2.0. 

Why And When Is It Best To Travel With A Backpack?

The top backpacks in Australia aren’t only for young travellers staying in dormitories. A backpack is suited for various travellers who appreciate the freedom of hands-free movement without having to manoeuvre a cumbersome suitcase.

The best travel backpacks grant you flexibility when you encounter a flight of stairs or arrive at a hotel without an elevator. Additionally, a backpack is ideal for travelling with children, as it lets you keep your hands free to hold a little one’s hand without struggling to wheel a suitcase while ensuring the kids’ safety.

What To Consider When Buying The Best Travel Backpack Australia 2023?

Do you travel light? Are you physically fit? Do you need to carry a laptop or tent on your travels? What other factors should you consider when purchasing?

Travel backpack brands provide backpacks for everyone and every occasion; there isn’t a “one size fits all” backpack.

Whether you’re searching for the top hiking backpack Australia has, the best daypack for travel, or the ultimate backpack for Europe or Asia, it’s essential to take time to identify your backpack requirements and find the perfect one.

Nowadays, purchasing backpacks online is simple (I recommend online shopping for travel backpacks, as it’s generally the most affordable option), but remember to consider size when doing so. If it’s too small, you won’t fit all your family’s belongings; too big, and you might have to check the bag or pay for excess luggage.

It’s also important to think about who will be carrying the backpack. A tall man and a petite woman have very different frames. I suggest aiming to find the best lightweight travel backpack that meets your needs in all other aspects.

Many travellers these days prefer a carry-on backpack Australia has to offer, and there are some fantastic choices for the best carry-on luggage backpack. However, there are equally excellent bags with multiple compartments for those travellers who like to bring a lot of items with them.

When examining the top backpack brands in Australia and their products, consider whether you want a front-loading or top-loading bag. Essentially, this means deciding if you want to access your belongings through the top or the front of the bag. In my opinion, front-loading packs are far more convenient; they resemble a suitcase and typically have various compartments, making it easy to find your items.

Compartments

Speaking of compartments, when searching for the ideal backpack in Australia for you, consider what items you’ll carry and which ones you’ll need to access quickly and frequently. A sleeping bag or change of clothes doesn’t need to be as accessible as a rain cover, phone, camera, passport, tickets or laptop.

Internal compartments are essential for keeping things organised and easy to locate when needed. With many travellers taking various gadgets with them, there are excellent packs on the market with compartments designed to keep these items safe.

For instance, if you’re taking your laptop, you may want to consider the best laptop backpack Australia offers. In the reviews below, there are some fantastic options if you’re looking for the top laptop backpack for travel. These packs have compartments designed to keep your laptop secure and easily accessible while travelling.

Comfort is crucial when purchasing the best backpack for travel, and ergonomics are a priority for designers, which means the highest-quality backpacks come with comfortable straps.

A good strap system will distribute the backpack’s weight across your back, with most of the weight resting on your hips via the hip belt. Some of the best backpacks for travelling feature pockets in the hip belt for snacks or small phones.

Consider padding, breathable fabric, removability, adjustability, stowability for plane travel, and pocket availability when looking at straps.

Backpack straps are adjustable around the hips, shoulders, and even across the chest to keep the shoulder straps in place, regardless of body shape.

Other Key Features

Key features for outdoor travelling include water-resistant fabric, quick access to a rain cover, water, and snacks. If you plan to use it daily for work, study or commuting, a reflective strip or the option to attach a blinking light might be important for you.

There is no single “best backpack in the world”; it must suit your needs. Keep this in mind when choosing and try not to be dazzled by features.

Laptop/Other Gadget Compartments

If you travel with a laptop, look for a pack with a built-in laptop compartment. These compartments have padded sleeves designed to keep your laptop safe and secure while travelling.

Other packs have specific compartments for mobile phones, keys, passports, tickets, and cameras.

Carry Handles

Carry handles offer additional versatility. They mean you don’t always have to wear your backpack on your back; you may be able to stow your straps and carry it like a traditional suitcase. Carry handles also help when placing your bag in overhead plane lockers and on buses.

Water Resistance

Water-resistant fabric is a great feature for a backpack. It’s one less thing to worry about if it starts raining or if you accidentally spill something on your backpack. It gives you extra time to find shelter or grab your rain cover, ensuring your backpack and its contents are protected.

  • Best family tent Australia
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Friday 14th of April 2023

Hi, Being in the market for a new travelling backpack I read your recent review and thought that it had narrowed the field nicely. The Cabin Max Equator seemed just the thing. However, after searching, these don't appear to be available in Australia. Are you aware of any Australian distributor of Cabin Max? Regards Duncan

The Aussie Tourist

Hi Duncan, I agree it's a really good option. It does go in and out of availability on amazon so I would recommend to keep checking. We purchased the Nomadic recently and although it was really expensive we haven't regretted it so thats another good choice if you can justify the price. Cheers

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  • Code: 3216503
  • Style: Backpack
  • Brand: High Sierra
  • Material: Man-Made
  • Product Dimensions: 42(H) x 30(W) x 15(D) cm
  • Capacity: 20 Litres
  • Fits standard 15.6" laptop computer
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  • Product Dimensions: 53(H) x 38(W) x 28(D) cm
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  • Capacity: 45 Litres

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  • Product Dimensions: 48(H) x 36(W) x 27(D) cm
  • Packing Dimensions: 48(H) x 36(W) x 27(D) cm
  • Capacity: 35 Litres
  • Laptop and tablet compartment
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High Sierra backpacks are designed for life wherever you go with lifetime warranty*

*High Sierra backpacks carry a lifetime warranty to the original owner against defects in materials or workmanship under normal recreational use. This warranty does not include products with wheels, which have a 5-year warranty. This warranty covers only defects in materials and workmanship. It does not cover normal wear and tear, accidents, normal fading, abuse, negligence and misuse or airline damage.

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  • Product Dimensions: 48(H) x 37(W) x 16(D) cm
  • 35L CAPACITY
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  • Style: Adventure Backpacks|Backpack
  • Product Dimensions: 35(H) x 27(W) x 19(D) cm
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  • Brand: Flylite
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  • Product Dimensions: 52(H) x 40(W) x 20(D) cm
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  • Brand: Samsonite
  • Product Dimensions: 48(H) x 32(W) x 20(D) cm
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  • Product Dimensions: 46(H) x 38(W) x 16(D) cm
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  • Style: Anti Theft Bags
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  • Product Dimensions: 44(H) x 32(W) x 18(D) cm
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  • Brand: Evity
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  • Brand: Nere
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  • Brand: Herschel
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  • Brand: Colorado
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  • Size: Large
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  • Product Dimensions: 32(H) x 29(W) x 12(D) cm
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  • Product Dimensions: 35(H) x 28(W) x 13(D) cm
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  • Product Dimensions: 46(H) x 34(W) x 25(D) cm

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  • Product Dimensions: 40(H) x 29(W) x 9(D) cm
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  • My Favourites
  • Travel Advice

13 backpacks you'll want to carry on your next adventure

Carrying a backpack won't be a burden with these lightweight budget-friendly travel backpacks.

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Packing for a weekend away? Perhaps you've only purchased carry-on luggage? Or maybe you're like me and simply like to travel as light as possible?

Bringing the right backpack makes the journey that much smoother.

You'll want something that can fit your necessities but won't weigh you down from prolonged wear. If you're using it as your carry-on you'll also want to make sure it fits perfectly in that overhead compartment.

Whatever your needs, I've hunted down the best backpacks for travel. So strap in. Here we go:

How we choose products

Our team of experienced writers spend hours researching products to include in articles. We find out what factors make a good product by talking to experts, reviewing test results and analysing thousands of customer reviews.

Best lightweight travel backpack

Osprey Ultralight Stuff Back, Amazon, $50.57

Osprey Ultralight Stuff Back. Picture: Amazon.

  • Weight:  113.4g
  • Capacity:  18 litres
  • Colours: Shadow Grey, Electric Lime, Poppy Orange.

This ultralight backpack comes in at a teeny 113.4 grams and is constructed from a thin but strong 40D Ripstop Nylon material that crushes down into a carry-case the size of your fist. A stretchy mesh side pocket fits a water bottles and the backstraps come with some mesh cushioning for comfort.

Over 2,700 Amazon reviews give it an average rating of 4.6 with customers saying, "it's feather light and stuffs into its own pocket" and "lightweight, versatile, tough/great quality! My favourite bag".

After road testing it Pack Hacker was impressed by its weight and durability, though warns that due to its packable nature it lacks structure and "feels flimsy at the back".

Best affordable travel backpack

Amazon Basics Carry On Travel Backpack, Amazon, from $105.30

Amazon Basics Carry On Travel Backpack. Picture: Amazon.

  • Weight : Around 3.5 kilograms
  • Capacity:  63.9 litres
  • Colours:  Black, navy, red.

Amazon's Basics range is quickly becoming my go-to for affordable kit that doesn't sacrifice on style or quality. Its Carry On Travel Backpack costs from $105.30 (including delivery), has a 4.5 customer rating and has been named the Best Budget Travel Backpack by Switch Back Travel.

Various compartments, including a main, front pocket, top-pocket and laptop sleeve, make organising a cinch. Padded shoulders, a sternum strap, waist belt and shoulder strap add a world of support.

There's even an expansion zipper for 10% more packing space - should you find a few unexpected souvenirs to take home.

Best carry-on backpack for international travel

Cabin Max Metz Backpack, Amazon, $191.71

Cabin Max Metz Backpack. Picture: Amazon.

  • Weight : 660 grams
  • Capacity:  44 litres
  • Colours:  Black, camo, atlantic blue, biscay blue, paradise, photo postcards, rainforest, red, stereo.

When you’re looking for the best carry-on for a long-haul, fitting your life into one is the ultimate backpacking feat, saving you lugging a heavy bag and a ton on baggage fees.

The Cabin Max Metz , has amassed more than 7,500 ratings on Amazon and sits at an impressive 4.5 stars out of 5. It fits up to 44 litres, weighs only 700g and has multiple compartments for easy packing. So it's little wonder why it's one of Escape's top picks for carry on luggage .

Best laptop backpack for travel

Nordace Siena - Smart Backpack, Nordace, $149.99

Nordace Siena - Smart Backpack. Picture: Nordace

  • Weight : 880 grams
  • Capacity: 19 litres
  • Colours:  Black, beige, blue, dark green, grey, pink, red, aqua, khaki.

Practical, smart and roomy enough to fit a 15.6" laptop, Nordace's Siena Backpack ticks all the boxes. This unisex bag sports Nordace's signature Scandi-design with block colours and a square silhouette.  An anti-theft pocket at the back is large enough to pack your wallet, phone and passport while RFID-Blocking Card Slots keep your money safe.

We love the dedicated USB charging port which lets you power up your laptop without having to rummage through your pack for your travel charger . Then there's the water resistant material and padded sleeve to keep your tech safe and secure, even if you're caught in the rain.

Being almost 900g, it's not the lightest thing, but it has all the bells and whistles you could need.

Best backpack for travel with wheels

Kathmandu Hybrid v3 32L Trolley, Kathmandu, $219.98

Kathmandu Hybrid v3 32L Trolley. Picture: Amazon

  • Weight : 2.28 kilograms
  • Capacity: 32 litres
  • Colours:  Black stingray, jam.

Named the best rolling backpack for travel by backpacking guru Nomadic Matt,   Kathmandu’s Hybrid Trolley has converted even die-hard backpackers to the benefits of wheels. Lightweight at just over 2.28kg, the compact version has a 32-litre capacity and converts quickly to a backpack when the terrain gets rough.

For longer journeys it's available in 50L and 70L .

One reviewer says it still looks new after a four-month Asian odyssey and “after the trip, my partner ditched her trusty conventional rucksack that she has been emotionally attached to for 10 plus years, to get one of these … she was that impressed.”

Best foldable travel backpack

Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Day Pack, Amazon, $160.98

Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Day Pack. Picture: Amazon.

  • Weight : 72.57 grams
  • Capacity: 20 litres
  • Colours: Pacific blue. 

Like everything else these days travel backpacks are getting smaller and more portable. Lightweight fabrics and structureless bags can see you fold them down to pocket-size.

Of your options the Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Daypack is one of the best. It packs down to the size of a tennis ball, weighs less than 75 grams and is water resistant.

TravelFreak names it the Best Lightweight Packable Backpack and the Wirecutter has it down as one of its top picks for the Best Packable Daypack for Travel saying it's "perfect to keep in your pocket or in the glove compartment of your car".

Unlike other lightweight backpacks where weight capacity is questionable, the reinforced stitching on the Ultra-Sil's stress points means it can take a bit of heft. One Amazon reviewer said they carried a Canon EOS 80D with Canon 10-18mm attached, Rode VideoMicro Compact On-Camera microphone with Rycote Lyre shock mount, 1.5 litres of water and a water filter across rough terrain and it held together.

Best small travel backpack

Bellroy Via Backpack, Bellroy, $189

Bellroy Via Backpack. Picture: Bellroy.

  • Weight : 550 grams
  • Colours: Black, Slate, Navy, Saltbush.

If you love to support local companies that are doing their bit for the environment, you can't go wrong with Bellroy. This B-Corp certified Melbourne-based store has quality backpacks with clean designs that are primed and ready for the office and the plane.

The Via Backpack measures 450 x 220 x 110mm and has a capacity of 20 litres, which is more than enough to house a laptop, water bottle,  headphones, notebook, make-up case and more.

I love how the front panel is arranged in a stadium seating-style for easy access to all your bits and pieces without having to do a completely and embarrassing unpack. The outer is made from 100% recycled fabrics.

Best medium travel backpack

Herschel Little America, The Iconic, $120

Herschel Little America. Picture: The Iconic.

  • Weight : 1.1 kilograms
  • Capacity: 25 litres
  • Colours: Forest Night & Black and Slate.

Herschel is one of Escape List Editor David Smiedt 's favourite carry-on luggage brands , and is a beautiful blend of style and sustainability. The Little America line is gets its inspiration from mountaineering backpacks and is made of recycled weave and leather-look closures.

It's smaller than a cabin size bag and soft enough to squeeze under the chair in front. The 15" laptop sleeve is a fleece lined to prevent dings and scratches and the shoulder straps are thickly padded for support.

Best travel backpack for women

Forclaz MT500 Air Women's Trekking Backpack, $219, Decathlon

Forclaz MT500 Air Women's Trekking Backpack. Picture: Decathlon.

  • Weight : 1.6 kilograms
  • Capacity: 45 litres (+10 with extension)
  • Colours: Grey blue.

Like it says on the tin, this pack is designed for trekking and it has a solid 4.6 star rating from over 250 Google Reviews.

It accommodates a hefty 45 litres, though you can bump that up to 10 litres with the extension. It fits the carry-on rules of most airlines and weighs 1.6kgs, which includes the 100g removable rain cover. There are a bunch of compartments and the waist belt and shoulder straps are designed with the female body in mind.

Haven't found what you're looking for? Head on over to The Iconic and score up to 20 per cent off your next buy.

Best travel backpack for men

Nordace Henge 45L Carry-on Backpack, Nordace, $239.99

Nordace Henge 45L Carry-on Backpack. Picture: Nordace.

  • Weight : 1.56 kilograms
  • Capacity: 45 litres
  • Colours: Black, kelp, green.

Built for maximum space while still staying true to the dimensions of a carry-on suitcase, the Nordace Henge is a "beast of a backpack" as one reviewer calls it. It has a bold masculine look and a 180° suitcase-style opening to make packing (or throwing items in) a breeze.

For the working man, a 17" laptop compartment, interior gadget pockets and USB charging port.

There's a nifty luggage strap along the back to hook it onto your checked-in luggage. It's also built tough as one reviewer on the official site remarks, "it seems impervious to my rough use, which will be the same rough use for every bloke who will typically buy this large backpack."

Best travel backpack for families

Topo Designs 30L Global Travel Bag, Amazon, $553

Topo Designs 30L Global Travel Bag. Picture: Amazon.

  • Weight : 1.2 kilograms
  • Capacity: 30 litres (can expand to 35L)
  • Colours: Black, charcoal, clay, navy, olive.

Take it from someone who likes to bring everything they could possibly need on the plane for their toddler, a backpack built around compartments is a must for families.

Yes, the price-point is on the pointy end of the plane but the Topo is the mother of organisation with a U-shaped main and secondary compartment, internal security pockets, dual slip pockets, exterior vertical pocket and laptop compartment.

It can be worn 3-ways to suit the preference of whichever parent or child has been nominated to carry it and has a pass-through panel to attach it to a rolling suitcase.

Outdoor Gear Lab praises it as a top pick for the Best Travel Backpack saying it "distributes weight nicely" and has a "highly organised structure".

Best anti-theft backpack

Pacsafe Venturesafe X34 Anti-Theft, $234.95, Amazon

Pacsafe Venturesafe X34 Anti-Theft. Picture: Amazon.

Safety is a key consideration when you’re going backpacking, but thankfully, hi-tech modern bags are designed to keep you safe from pickpockets.

Pacsafe's Venturesafe line has a laundry list of anti-theft technologies stitched in including cut-resistant material, RFIDsafe blocking pockets, eXomesh slashguard, PopNLock security clip and anti-theft zipper anchor lock.

The 34-litre backpack is small enough to be used for carry-on, and it comes with a five-year warranty.

Best camera backpack

DSLR Pro Pack with Nylon, $289.95, The Iconic

DSLR Pro Pack with Nylon. Picture: The Iconic.

Lenses don't come cheap and if you're packing a shelf full of them, this camera bag is a must to keep them safe and organised. The dividers are fully customisable and can store lenses, flashes, MacBooks, iPads and accessories. A side strap holds your tripod while velcro pockets store your cables.

Made of a durable and lightweight ballistic nylon, this backpack repels the elements keeping your precious gear safe, rain or shine. 

See also: Best budget travel cameras to buy under $700

What is the ideal size or capacity for a travel backpack?

The perfect size travel backpack depends on where you are travelling and for how long.

The lighter your luggage, the easier it is to get around. If you can manage with a carry-on size backpack (40 litres or under), it’s a good idea to stick to that.

For a trip requiring lots of gear, consider a backpack with a 50, 60 or 70-litre capacity. 

Are travel backpack's comfortable to wear for long periods?

Travel backpacks are meant to sit comfortably on your back for hours.

A good travel backpack will have padded shoulder straps and a sternum strap to disperse the weight and ease any strain on your shoulders.

Larger backpacks, particularly backpacking and hiking backpacks, can come with a padded hip belt which brings the bulk of the weight to your hips (as opposed to your shoulders) and lets your leg muscles do the heavy lifting instead.

Generally speaking backpacks with more structure should provide you with better support than a lightweight bag that's made with thin, flimsy material.

Can I use my travel backpack as my main luggage or can I pair it with a suitcase?

You can do either or both.

If you're a light packer on a short trip you very much could fit everything you need into your travel backpack and simply use that.

If you're on a longer trip or know you have a tendency to overpack, having a travel backpack with your essentials for carry-on and packing everything else into your main suitcase is a good idea. This way you can avoid any unnecessary fees if your backpack goes over the weight limit.

Also, remember that certain items are prohibited from being packed as carry-on, such sharp objects, and these will need to go into checked luggage.

Can I wash or clean my travel backpack?

Follow the care instructions to wash or clean your travel backpacks.

While some can may be hand washed, others with more delicate materials may only be spot cleaned using a delicate cloth and brush.

Are there restrictions or guidelines for what I can pack in my travel backpack?

If you're carrying your backpack onto the plane with you, you'll need to comply with the current luggage restrictions on what you can and cannot bring.

When travelling domestically, there are no liquids restrictions so long as you're leaving from a domestic terminal. If you're departing from an international terminal, you won't be able to bring liquids of more than 100ml onboard. 

Stephanie Yip is Escape's Ecommerce Travel Writer and loves to stretch her dollars when travelling. She was previously the Travel and Shopping Editor at Finder and has been featured in Travel Weekly, KarryOn and The Guardian. Stephanie can't resist a good flight sale, loves to travel as light as possible (sorry books, hello Kindle) and is currently navigating  how to travel with a toddler.

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Tasmania Explorer

Tasmania Explorer

Choosing The Best Travel Backpacks Australia🎒[2023]

Whether you’re going to be away from home for a day, a week, or a month, you’ll want the right equipment. This is where the best travel backpack comes in. There are heaps of backpacks out there, all with different styles, features and prices. Plus, different kinds of backpacks are best suited to different types of travel or use.

For example, if you’re looking for the best backpacks for airline travel, then you’ll definitely need one that complies with carry on bag restrictions. If you’re into long hiking trips, you need the best backpacking backpacks for travel that is supportive of your back and shoulders.

Click here to see the top travel backpack now on eBay!

Looking for the best commuter backpack Australia offers? We have listed a range of the best backpack brands Australia offers in our buyers guide, as well as what to consider in the best carry on backpack Australia reviews.

No matter if you’re after the best travel backpack for women, the best small travel backpack for men, best wheeled backpack for travel, or perhaps the best cheap travel backpacks Australia that still have all the features and quality you’re searching for, this guide has you covered.

Keep reading because you will find everything you need to know to choose the best travel backpacks for you, including a comparison chart of all the top rated travel backpacks 2023 offers, a full guide to the main features to consider when looking for the best travelling backpacks and, finally, individual reviews of each of the best backpack travel bag options. This will help you whether you are looking for the best small travel backpack or the best large travel backpack or something else entirely.

Click here to download your free Tasmania Road Trip Planner checklist . We’ll help you get ready for your trip!

Our Pick For Best Travel Backpacks Australia 2023

Just want to buy the best backpack for traveling the world right now? Great! This is our top pick.

Osprey Packs Farpoint 55 Travel Backpack Review

If you’re looking for the best value for money backpack, this smart Osprey model with a 55L capacity does the job for pretty much any purpose. It has all essential features like a huge capacity, detachable daypack, laptop/tablet sleeve and lockable zippers.

Click here for the latest prices and more information on eBay.

Compare The Top 10 Best Backpacks For Travel Australia 2023

Here is a travel backpacks comparison chart so you can select the best travel backpack 2023 has to offer for your situation. Use this table to compare the features of the top 10 best travel backpacks in Australia. If you want more information on a product or the current price, click on the product name.

Top 10 Best Backpacks For Travelers Australia 2023

Find our handy list of the best travel backpacks 2023 has to offer – see our full best travelling backpacks 2023 reviews further below.

  • Bellroy Carry-on Travel Backpack, 28L
  • Peak Design 45L Travel Backpack, 45L
  • Osprey Packs Farpoint 55 Travel Backpack, 55L
  • Osprey Porter 30 Travel Backpack, 30L
  • Cafele Durable Travel Laptop Backpack, 32L
  • Black Wolf Cedar Breaks 65L Backpack, 75L
  • KROSER Travel Laptop Backpack, 22L
  • Everki ContemPRO 117 Travel Backpack, 42L
  • Thule Subterra Backpack, 30L
  • Hynes Eagle Travel Backpack, 40L

How To Choose The Best Backpacks For Travellers 2023

Travelling worry free is what we all want. To enjoy your vacation in nature, board the plane without problems, or stay focused and organised during your work trip. To do this, you’ll want to pick from the top travel backpacks for sale. Below we’ve listed the things you need to be on the lookout for when searching for the best backpack to travel with.

With options for the best backpacks for female travelers and backpack for overseas travel, there is an option for everyone in our travel backpack au reviews.

Whether you are an experienced traveller or a one time vacationer, you need to think about the purpose of your trip before choosing the right backpack. The best backpack for airline use might need to be in line with the majority of airlines’ carry-on restrictions (56 cm x 36 cm x 23 cm). This size is the best for those who need a backpack for international travel since you should have no trouble with it on any airline (unless that particular airline has very different carry-on requirements).

It’s also important to consider your own size – if you’re particularly petite, you may decide to find the best travel backpacks for women. If you have a lot of stuff and won’t actually be carrying the bag around for extended periods, look for extra large travel backpacks with a larger capacity. Remember, the best travel backpack for men or women is always one that you can comfortably carry.

Of course, the weight of the backpack plays an important role. As a general rule, the bigger the backpack and the more pockets and straps it has, the heavier it is. For example, 70L backpacks usually weigh around 2kg. However, some models are specifically designed to be the best light travel backpack. The best air travel backpack will probably need to be a light one since you don’t want your weight allowance to be taken up by the bag itself.

Durability and Material

The material and quality of the backpack are important for any type of travel. It can make a real difference if the backpack can stand the test of time. Usually, the best quality backpacks for travel are made of nylon or eco polyester. Other popular options are poly weave and ripstop fabrics. It’s also useful to check if the material is waterproof.

Below are several cheap Osprey backpacks, as well as the best large Osprey backpacks so you can find the best Osprey backpack for travel that match you.

Other Great Features

  • Stowaway/padded hip belt and shoulder straps – quality hip belts and straps help to stabilise larger loads and take the strain off your shoulders and back. Even better if they can be tucked in/stowed away so they don’t get tangled with other bags.
  • Safety compartment for laptops and gadgets – products with these make for the best backpacks for travel laptop users or best backpacks for work travel as they provide extra protection for tech gadgets and sometimes even prevent card skimming.
  • A detachable daypack – these are the best lightweight backpack for travel and great for short daily excursions.
  • Compartments – the number of compartments can range hugely from 1 up to 12 or even more. The more compartments you have, the easier it is to separate important items like passports and water bottles and find them quickly when you need to. The best anti theft backpack for travel has internal pockets with lockable zippers.
  • Compression straps and rolls – these allow you to adapt the best rolling backpacks for travel into a briefcase or a duffel bag.

Best Backpacks To Travel With Reviews Australia 2023

Bellroy carry-on travel backpack review.

Bellroy Transit Backpack, Carry-on Travel Laptop Backpack, Water-Resistant Woven Fabric (fits 15" Laptop) - Black

Rating: 4.5

Specifications:

  • Best for: Day/overnight trip, everyday use, carry-on
  • Capacity: 28L
  • Weight: 1.1 kg
  • Material: Water-resistant Woven Fabric made from Recycled Water Bottles

It is no surprise that one of the best backpacks Australia offers is by Bellroy. They are one of the Australian backpack brands respected for their quality products, and their carry-on backpack is easily among the best travel backpack Australia offers – for several reasons.

This is a lightweight backpack for travel Australia offers that opens right up, similar to a suitcase. The size is a comfortable 28 litres, with space inside for a 15 inch laptop in a separate compartment. Its size makes it one of the small travel backpacks Australia offers, but also one of the best everyday backpack Australia options.

Internal compression straps allow you to make maximum use of the main compartment by compressing everything to save space. There is also a separate compartment for things like dirty socks or gym gear. You’ll also find a side water bottle holder, a top pocket for easy access to lose items (like your wallet or phone), and a front pocket.

This is one of the unique backpacks for overseas travel constructed from woven material which is made from recycled water bottles. The shoulder straps are quite thin on this backpack, but there is a chest strap for additional support.

  • Possibly the best lightweight backpack for travel
  • Environmentally friendly and made from recycled water bottles
  • One of the good quality backpacks Australia offers
  • The shoulder straps are quite thin

>> Click here for more details and the latest price.

Peak Design 45L Travel Backpack Review

Peak Design Travel Line Backpack 45L (Black)

  • Capacity: 45L
  • Weight: 2.1 kg
  • Material: 400D nylon

This versatile backpack from Peak Design suits digital nomads who need to fit all their gear inside. You can pick it up in a range of neutral colours. The carrying capacity is expandable from 30L to 45L making it the best backpack for airplane travel and a great choice for those looking for smaller, daily outing backpacks too.

It’s not a surprise this model is one of the best rated travel backpacks – it has well thought out internal compartments and pockets for strategic organisation of your stuff. It also has a padded laptop or tablet sleeve as well as compartments for a camera and other digital equipment storage.

Definitely consider the Peak Design 45 L if you need a versatile and lightweight travel backpack.

  • One of the best backpack for travelling Australia with plenty of compartments
  • Rear, front and side access
  • Tripod and monopod holders
  • Pricey model but you get the best design and quality

Rating: 5.0

  • Best for: Long trips, hiking
  • Capacity: 55L
  • Weight: 1.77 kg
  • Material: 210D nylon mini hex diamond ripstop

This large red backpack is one of the best backpacks for backpacking travel. This is one of the quality backpacks Australia offers, with a main compartment that has 55 L of space so you can fit plenty of essentials for your hiking trip or extended getaway. There’s a lockable zipper on the main compartment and for the padded laptop and tablet sleeve.

This Osprey backpack comes with a detachable daypack – very useful if you want to travel to your main destination and then go out for the day or on a small hike. It also has removable sleeping mat straps so you don’t have to carry your mat in your hands or take up space inside the bag. Definitely check this one out if you need the best budget travel backpack that comes with all the features you’d expect from a top shelf bag.

  • Detachable daypack for the best travel daypack Australia
  • Sleeping mat carry straps
  • Multiple sizes to fit a range of torso lengths
  • Just one internal big compartment – not the best for those that love to organise

>> Click here for more details and the latest price on eBay.

Osprey Porter 30 Travel Backpack Review

  • Capacity: 30L
  • Weight: 1.27 kg
  • Material: Nylon

This black U-zip Osprey is one of the best lightweight backpacks for travel via plane since it meets carry on restrictions and weighs just 1.27 kg! With a total volume of 30 L, you get enough space in the bag without it being bulky. It can also be adjusted to fit your frame better.

With the big main compartment and zippered top pockets for better organisation of small items, you will have easy access to all your essentials during your trip. There’s also a front panel for books, travel documents and more, as well as a padded laptop/tablet sleeve. Definitely a contender for the best backpack for plane travel!

  • Comfortable stowaway shoulder straps and hip belt
  • Zippered front panel organisation pockets
  • Zippered toiletries pocket
  • One of the best backpack brands for travel
  • Not the best fit for tall people – check the straps and hip belt distance before buying

Cafele Durable Travel Laptop Backpack Review

Backpack,Large 17.3in Durable Travel Laptop Backpack, College Backpack, RFID Anti Theft Pocket Big Business Computer Bag,Water Resistant School Bookbag for Teens Men Women,Gifts Grey

  • Best for: Day/Overnight Trip, Everyday Use, Carry-On
  • Capacity: 32L
  • Weight: 0.73 kg
  • Material: Polyester with High Density Nylon Lining

The Cafele Durable Travel Backpack is probably the best backpack for laptop and travel at this price. At around 32 litres, it’s spacious without being cumbersome and super affordable for a mid-sized backpack.

This Australian travel backpack is loaded with features. It is water resistant, offers a large main compartment in addition to secondary pockets, with plenty of space for keeping organised. It offers a breathable design which allows for ample airflow, making it comfortable for wearing for longer periods. It’s organised and comfortable design could make it the best business travel backpack 2023.

Additionally, there is an external USB port that can be connected to a power bank for convenient charging on the go, a RFID pocket for protection, suitcase straps and heaps of different colours and designs, making it the best travel backpack for men or women.

Of course, it is not one of the best quality travel backpacks out there, and it could do with additional padding, however, the price is unbeatable for all that it offers.

  • One of the best lightweight backpack for travel Australia
  • One of the best priced backpacks for travelling overseas
  • RFID protected pocket and external USB port
  • Plenty of colours and designs to choose from
  • Could do with some additional padding

Black Wolf Cedar Breaks 75L Backpack Review

Rating: 4.0

  • Best for: Long trip, hiking
  • Capacity: 75 L
  • Weight: 3.5 kg
  • Material: 1000D polyweave EXCEL (main pack), 600D ripstop PU (daypack) INVISTA Cordura base

This magenta backpack is on the larger side with a 75 litre capacity. It’s also packed with great features making it one of the best travel backpacking backpacks.

There are 10 lockable zippers to keep your gear safe. It has a well organised system of internal pockets with a twin compartment and a detachable daypack with a protected pocket. With the built in rain cover and compression straps, the backpack is very versatile for different uses.

If you need to take a fair amount of stuff with you, but don’t want to lug around a giant bag, definitely consider these Black Wolf backpacks for traveling abroad. The added functionality of the detachable daypack is also so handy for travellers.

  • Micro Glide Gel for a comfortable fit
  • Shoulder and sternum strap
  • Built-in rain cover
  • On the heavy side – 3.5 kg

KROSER Travel Laptop Backpack Review

KROSER Travel Laptop Backpack 17.3 Inch Large Computer Backpack Stylish College Backpack with USB Charging Port & RFID Pockets Water-Repellent Day pack for School/Business/Men/Women-Black

  • Capacity: 22L
  • Weight: 1.22 kg
  • Material: Water-Repellent Fabric

A lot can be said about this KROSER travel backpack as it packs a lot of features into its 44 litre design. This is best backpack Australia offers at this price range and size.

Super convenient for travel, this backpack features a water repellent design, space for a 17 inch laptop, a convenient top handle and luggage straps. There is a chest belt for back support, and super convenient side compression straps for saving space. This all makes it one of the best backpack for long term travel options.

This is also one of the travel packs Australia offers with a built-in USB port, an RFID protected pocket, a large central compartment, a front flap for loose items, and a third compartment which is great for pens, notebooks or a passport. Its reflective design makes it one of the best large backpacks for travel at night.

If there is a downside, it’s that this backpack lacks bottom padding, meaning it is a bit unstable when standing on its own. However, this is a small compromise as it comes at a great price.

  • Side compression straps
  • Space for a 17 inch laptop
  • Possibly the best affordable travel backpack
  • It is not stable standing on its own unless filled

Everki ContemPRO 117 Travel Backpack Review

EVERKI ContemPRO 117 Large Spacious 18.4-Inch Gaming or Workstation Laptop Backpack with Rain Cover (EKP117B)

  • Capacity: 42L
  • Weight: 1.28 kg

The Everki ContemPRO is among the best backpacks for plane travel for both business professionals or gamers who need the whole kit and caboodle with them.

This is one of the best backpack for travel Australia options that opens up nearly fully for easy packing and unpacking. It offers some of the most comfortably padded shoulder straps on the market, and offers a unique design with two large side pockets, and a large central compartment.

With space for an 18.4 inch laptop in a beautiful felt lined compartment, this is one of the largest capacity laptop bags. You’ll find a convenient headphone hanger in the central compartment, and a keyboard slot with an open design – handy or bothersome for some people.

The travel back pack has a top pocket for phone or wallet, side water bottle or gadget pockets, chest/luggage straps that function as both, and includes a weather cover for protection in harsh conditions.

Whilst this may not be one of the top travel backpack brands, it still offers a sturdy design with strong zippers and plenty of space.

  • The best backpack for travelling gamers
  • Large side pockets
  • Super comfortable shoulder straps
  • Some of the accessory pockets are not fully enclosed

Thule Subterra Backpack Review

Thule Subterra Backpack 34L

  • Best For: Day/overnight trip, everyday use
  • Capacity: 30 L
  • Weight: 1.16 kg

This lightweight backpack is one of our top choices for the best backpack for work and travel with its smart and modest exterior design and cheerful orange interior. You get a padded slot on the back for your laptop with safe edge construction as well as an extra pocket for your tablet.

If you’re big into organisation, you’ll love this bag – tons of pockets and features for keeping things in their places like pens, cables etc. and a water bottle holder on the exterior. If you’re looking for the best budget backpacks for travel, definitely consider this one – despite the great functionality, you’re able to get this bag at a reasonable price.

  • Padded laptop and tablet sleeve
  • Power pocket to charge your devices easily
  • Topples easily – can’t seem to stand up on its own

Hynes Eagle Travel Backpack Review

Hynes Eagle Travel Backpack 40L Flight Approved Carry on Backpack, Blue-2018

  • Capacity: 40 L
  • Weight: 1.05 kg
  • Material: Polyester

This all black casual/smart backpack by Hynes Eagle has a 40 litre capacity and is practical to use as your carry on for international flights. Handily, you can easily convert it from a carry bag to a backpack to best suit whatever situation you’re in.

For those who like to be organised, this backpack includes three packing cubes of different sizes. There are also exterior compression buckle straps for adjustments based on your height, a sternum strap, and a waist strap for stability.

It also features a front zippered pocket with multiple interior slip pockets. Despite all the accessories and useful features, this model also happens to be one of the best cheap travel backpack models.

  • Packing cubes of different sizes
  • Suppressible shoulder straps
  • Great price and among the best cheap travel backpack options
  • Limited padding for your bag – you can fix this by putting your laptop against your back coupled with a jumper or something soft

I hope you enjoyed this guide and find it helpful in choosing the best travel backpack for your next trip! Looking for other travel essentials? Read about the best packing cubes , best carry on luggage , best carry on backpack , best hiking backpacks , best duffel bag , best sleeping bag , best camera bag , best water filter or find all my guides to the best camping gear here .

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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By Shan Hutchinson

Shan grew up in Tasmania, moved away and then came back with her family twenty years later. She loves re-discovering her home state and sharing it with you here.

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Best backpacks in Australia

We read hundreds of customer reviews and compared key product features to find the best backpacks you can buy in australia..

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In this guide

The best backpacks in Australia

How did we pick this list, types of backpacks, how to compare backpacks, backpacks vs suitcases, three things to consider, compare backpacks, frequently asked questions, best rated backpack brand award breakdown.

Best backpacks

Top Pick for

Overall backpack

Samsonite Paradiver Light 74775

Laptop backpack

KROSER Laptop Backpack

Backpack for work

Samsonite Tectonic 2

Gym backpack

ProCase Water-Resistant Gym Bag

  • Best overall backpack: Samsonite Paradiver Light 74775
  • Best travel backpack: Osprey Farpoint 55
  • Best camera backpack: Endurax Camera Backpack
  • Best wheeled backpack: Samsonite Guardit 2.0
  • Best laptop backpack: KROSER Laptop Backpack
  • Best nappy backpack: HapTim Multi-Function Large Baby Diaper Backpack
  • Best backpack for uni: Jansport SuperBreak One Daypack
  • Best backpack for work: Samsonite Tectonic 2
  • Best cycling backpack: Lixada 18L Water-resistant Breathable Cycling Backpack
  • Best anti-theft backpack: Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Backpack
  • Best waterproof backpack: Earth Pak Waterproof Backpack
  • Best gym backpack: ProCase Water-Resistant Gym Bag

For this list, we picked backpacks based on actual customer reviews and ratings on Amazon and key product features. For every category, we carefully chose parameters based on our research and determined products with the highest review score within those parameters.

Read more detail on our methodology below.

Samsonite Paradiver Light 74775

Best overall backpack.

  • Lightweight and waterproof
  • Good value for money
  • Too small for some
  • Zipper breaks easily

Why we chose it

Our pick for the best overall backpack is Samsonite's Paradiver Light 74775. It has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars from over 1,200 Amazon reviews .

This Samsonite Paradiver bag is made from polyester and PU materials. It weighs 0.8kg and has a 15.6" laptop compartment. The bag features a bottle holder, a mobile phone pocket and a key hanger. Additionally, it has a tablet sleeve and a padded backside. It has adjustable straps as well.

Customers gave positive feedback on the backpack's versatility, affordable price and ease of use. It's pretty lightweight while being able to store many items, including a large laptop and a small tablet. It is also waterproof, according to reviewers. The backpack has a simple design that could work as a business or casual bag. However, some found that it's not spacious enough for their needs. The zipper also easily breaks, but it's covered by a 2-year global warranty.

Osprey Farpoint 55

Best travel backpack.

Osprey Farpoint 55

  • Comes with heaps of features
  • `There are more affordable options in the market
  • Not suitable if you want a carry-on backpack

For the best travel backpack, we selected the Osprey Farpoint 55. It has a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon . This backpack is also part of our list of the best travel backpacks available online .

With a 55-litre capacity, the Osprey Farpoint is designed for backpacking and trekking. It has a removable daypack for quick trips. It also features a mesh ventilation back panel, cushioned carry handles and a lockable opening to the main compartment. Additionally, it has a lockable padded laptop and tablet sleeves.

According to reviewers, this large backpack is a fantastic choice if you love outdoor adventures. It has tons of features, including an internal compression strap system, mesh pocket for dirty items and removable sleep pad straps. It is durable and lightweight, according to customers. It's not the cheapest backpack out there, but most buyers said it's a worthwhile investment for backpackers.

Endurax Camera Backpack

Best camera backpack.

Endurax Camera Backpack

  • Spacious enough for camera gear
  • Some said it's too narrow for fast lenses
  • Arm straps are flimsy

If you're looking for the best camera backpack available online, we recommend the Endurax Camera Backpack. On Amazon , it has a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

The Endurax Camera Backpack is equipped with padded dividers and an organised pocket for photography gear. It has a roomy main compartment which can fit 1 camera body with a lens attached and 4 extra accessories. Apart from being waterproof, it features padded shoulder straps and a chest strap for added comfort. It also fits a 14" laptop.

Customers praised the product's sturdy build, organised storage spaces and sleek design. It has a hard shell to protect your gear when travelling. Reviewers also mentioned that it has plenty of room to fit heaps of camera accessories. However, it is too narrow to fit fast lenses. The backpack's arm straps are also flimsy, with several customers reporting that they tear after just a couple of months.

Samsonite Guardit 2.0

Best wheeled backpack.

Samsonite Guardit 2.0

  • Great for travelling
  • Features a cover to ensure dirty wheels won't mess up your clothing
  • Heavier than other backpacks
  • Not waterproof

With a rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon , we picked the Samsonite Guardit 2.0 as the best wheeled option.

Samsonite's Guardit 2.0 features 2 wheels and carrying straps so you can move with ease despite carrying tons of items. It has a smart sleeve function for better organisation. The backpack can also fit up to a 15.6" laptop. Additionally, it has a pocket for cables, a pen loop and a service pocket for other small essentials.

This wheeled backpack is the perfect companion if you carry loads of items during your travel. It is also compact enough to fit in overhead compartments. Customers loved its high-quality construction that is made to last for years. The wheels are also smooth, suitable for manoeuvring through crowded airports. It's heavier than most backpacks, but it's not a huge issue for most buyers.

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KROSER Laptop Backpack

Best laptop backpack.

  • Made of environmentally friendly materials
  • Design makes it difficult to fit full-sized documents
  • Flimsy zippers

The KROSER Laptop Backpack is our pick for the best laptop backpack. It has a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars from over 9,000 reviews on Amazon .

KROSER's laptop backpack is made of eco-friendly canvas poly fabric that is durable and water-repellent. It can fit a 15.6" laptop and features a built-in USB port for easy charging. Apart from a reinforced steel frame, the backpack also has 1 open pocket and a mesh pocket for storing smaller items.

Customers loved the backpack's spacious main compartment, affordable price tag and stylish design. In addition to a laptop, it can fit tons of items, including a tablet and a small lunch box. However, the steel frame makes it a bit difficult to fit documents and other paperwork inside the bag. Several reviewers also reported that the zippers came undone after just a few weeks of wear, but this seems to be an isolated concern.

HapTim Multi-Function Large Baby Diaper Backpack

Best nappy backpack.

HapTim Multi-Function Large Baby Diaper Backpack

  • Features tons of storage space
  • Has insulated pockets for baby drinks
  • Some found the straps uncomfortable
  • Bulkier than other nappy backpacks

For the best nappy backpack, we recommend the HapTim Multi-Function Large Baby Diaper Backpack. It has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon .

With a 25-litre capacity, this multi-function nappy backpack offers tons of storage space for all your baby items. It has 18 pockets for easy organisation and a double-decker design, allowing you to make the most of the bag. It also has a strap for attaching the bag to a stroller when out for a walk.

The general sentiment is that this is a solid option if you're on a budget. It is affordable, roomy and quite lightweight. It also offers tons of storage space, suitable for both casual strolls and long trips. However, some customers said the straps are uncomfortable. The bag is also a bit bulky, which may be a con if you prefer a more sleek design.

Jansport SuperBreak One Daypack

Best backpack for uni.

Jansport SuperBreak One Daypack

  • Lightweight
  • Fits a 15.6 inch laptop
  • Only has 2 compartments
  • May be too small if you carry tons of documents

With a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars from over 17,000 reviews on Amazon , we selected Jansport's SuperBreak One Daypack as the best uni backpack.

The Jansport SuperBreak One Daypack is made of durable polyester material and features a spacious main compartment. It also has a small front pocket with an organiser for smaller items. It has padded shoulder straps and a 2/3 padded back panel for added comfort. At just 0.3kg, this backpack is lightweight as well.

Customers praised the product's thick, durable material, lightweight construction and simple design. It goes with any outfit and can store tons of items, including 2-3 textbooks, a binder and other small essentials. However, it might be too small if you carry loads of paperwork and gadgets.

Samsonite Tectonic 2

Best backpack for work.

  • Sturdy and durable
  • Comfortable even when filled to the brim
  • Doesn't fit all laptops

We recommend the Samsonite Tectonic 2 as the best backpack for work. It has a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon .

The Samsonite Tectonic 2 is made from poly ballistic fabric with diamond ripstop accents. It has a padded laptop compartment that fits most 17" laptops. It has a smart sleeve on the back to ensure that it's secured to an upright position. Apart from a top quick-access pocket for small essentials, it has elasticated side pockets and a tablet pocket with a business organiser.

According to customers, this backpack is a pricey but durable option for work or travel. It has tons of pockets for easy organisation. It also has padded straps that are comfortable even when the backpack is filled to the brim. Several reviewers loved its sleek jet-black colour, perfect for more professional work settings. However, some others reported that it doesn't fit all laptop sizes.

Lixada 18L Water-resistant Breathable Cycling Backpack

Best cycling backpack.

Lixada 18L Water-resistant Breathable Cycling Backpack

  • Tear and water-resistant
  • Only 18 litres
  • Yellow strips aren't reflective enough for night use

For cycling, we picked the Lixada 18L Water-resistant Breathable Cycling Backpack as the best backpack. On Amazon , it has a rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars.

Made of tear and water-resistant nylon fabric, this Lixada backpack has an 18-litre capacity, adjustable shoulder straps and reflective strips. It also has a mesh and poriferous EVA design, and a detachable pouch for storing your mobile and other small items.

The general sentiment is that this is an affordable cycling backpack for day trips. It is lightweight and comfortable, thanks to its mesh design and multiple straps. Customers said it's also spacious enough to carry a small tablet and laptop. However, it might be too small if you plan to carry tons of items like textbooks, gear and a lunch box. Several others also found the strips aren't bright enough for night use.

Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Backpack

Best anti-theft backpack.

Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Backpack

  • Features a 5-point security system
  • Water and dirt-resistant
  • Doesn't fit laptops bigger than 15 inch
  • Inside pocket is too small

Travelon's Anti-Theft Classic Backpack is our pick for the best anti-theft option. It has a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars from over 1,500 Amazon reviews .

Travelon's Anti-Theft Classic Backpack features a 5-point locking system, including lock-down straps, a slash-resistant body and locking compartments. It also features RFID blocking slots to protect your identity from electronic pickpockets. According to the company, this backpack is dirt and water-resistant as well.

Customers loved the backpack's sleek design, durable construction and reasonable price point. It offers tons of storage, allowing you to carry all your essentials and more. Several reviewers added that it's lightweight and comfortable to carry even on extended periods. However, the bag is too small to fit laptops bigger than 15".

Earth Pak Waterproof Backpack

Best waterproof backpack.

Earth Pak Waterproof Backpack

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Straps get uncomfortable when filled with heavier items
  • Doesn't offer tons of pockets for easy organisation

We recommend the Earth Pak Waterproof Backpack as the best waterproof backpack available right now in Australia. It has a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon .

This backpack is made of durable waterproof material to ensure your items stay completely dry when travelling, camping or fishing. It features a roll-top close and a reinforced strip for added security. It also has side pockets, an outer pocket and a splash-proof zipper on the outside, allowing you to reach your items quicker.

According to reviews, this backpack is 100% waterproof, keeping water away from their items even on heavy downpours. It has a large capacity, suitable for quick day trips or as a waterproof work backpack. However, it doesn't offer heaps of pockets for easier organisation. Several customers also found the straps uncomfortable once the bag was filled with heavier items.

ProCase Water-Resistant Gym Bag

Best gym backpack.

  • Durable and compact
  • Drawstring closure isn't as secure as a zip system

With a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon , we picked the ProCase Water-Resistant Gym Bag as the best option for the gym.

This drawstring gym backpack is specifically designed for swimming and other outdoor sports. It is water-resistant and features separate wet and dry compartments, allowing you to organise your wet and dry items. The backpack also has a small zipped front pocket for easy access.

Customers loved this backpack's compact design and durable material. It is lightweight and easy to carry. Reviewers also loved its affordable price point, while others said it helps keep their items dry and sweat-free. The bag is also big enough to carry everyday essentials, but it won't fit a laptop. Several customers wished it had a zipper closure instead of a drawstring for better security.

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  • We compared over 90 backpacks from 32 brands.
  • We then assessed hundreds of customer reviews and ratings on Amazon.
  • The products on this list are chosen by our editorial team and are not selected based on commercial relationships.

Why you can trust our picks

We considered the following brands of backpacks:

  • AmazonBasics
  • American Tourister
  • High Sierra
  • Kenneth Cole
  • Klein Tools
  • Under Armour

For this list, we carefully picked backpacks with the highest customer ratings on Amazon. We ended up with a total of 95 products to compare.

We then researched each product and its features. We also considered ratings and customer reviews on Amazon. We came up with what we believe are the 12 best backpacks you can get in Australia right now.

Best Backpack

Best Rated Backpack Brand: Herschel

Herschel is a great all-rounder backpack brand with high scores for durability, design, comfort and value for money. It beat out big competitors like Kathmandu and Macpac to be crowned this year's award winner.

Quick facts about comparing backpacks

  • There are many different types of backpacks available including travel, hiking and everyday bags.
  • The most important factors to consider when buying a backpack are how you'll be using it, comfort, size and price.
  • Backpack prices range anywhere from $20 for a basic everyday pack up to $800 or more for high-end travel and hiking backpacks.

Backpacks come in a wide range of shapes, sizes and styles. However, there are a few main types of backpack to choose from:

  • Travel backpacks. Designed for everything from weekends away to round-the-world backpacking odysseys, travel bags offer more freedom and flexibility than suitcases. Some models feature an internal frame (external frames are not as practical and are increasingly rare) to help you carry heavier loads and transfer the pack weight to your hips, but there are plenty of frameless models available as well. They generally feature an assortment of storage compartments to help you organise your gear, while some also come with portable daypacks that can be detached for shorter day trips.
  • Hiking backpacks. Hiking backpacks come in a wide range of shapes and sizes depending on the types of treks you plan to tackle. Some are daypacks designed for carrying food, water and some spare clothes on shorter hikes, while others are big, heavy-duty packs for carrying everything you'd need on a multi-day adventure. Many heavy-duty hiking backpacks feature internal frames to help transfer the load from your back to your hips, but frameless packs are also available.
  • Everyday backpacks. Designed for the commute to and from work or at university, these packs do away with the internal frame altogether. They're lightweight and only suitable for carrying lighter loads, but they can double as carry-on luggage when you're catching a flight or as a handy daypack for short hikes.
  • Kids' school backpacks. An essential item for the younger members of the family, kids' backpacks come in all manner of colours and designs. They often feature adjustable straps and multiple zipped compartments, and sometimes come with matching accessories such as drink bottles and lunch boxes.

To find the best backpack for your needs, consider the following factors:

How you'll use it

How you'll use your backpack is a crucial factor that will determine the type of bag you buy. For example, if you're looking for a heavy-duty pack you can take on multi-day hiking treks through rough terrain, you'll need something very different to someone who wants a pack they can strap on their back while they cycle to work.

Think carefully about what your backpack will need to do before you start shopping.

If possible, head in-store to put a backpack through its paces before you buy. If the store allows it, take along all the gear you'll need to carry and load it into the bag. Try a few on to check they're the right size for you, if the shoulder straps are comfortable or dig in, and if there's enough airflow between the bag and your back. Also, check whether the straps can adjust to suit different loads and carrying conditions and if the bag is contoured to match the shape of your back.

Size and storage capacity

The backpack you choose will obviously need to be large enough to hold everything you need to carry around, but this will also need to be balanced with other practical considerations. Check if the bag, when fully loaded, will be lightweight and comfortable enough for you to carry. Also, is it a practical size to take on crowded public transport? Can it fit in an overhead compartment on a plane as a carry on bag?

Storage organisation

Check if there are multiple compartments to help you arrange your items and how easy it is to access the space. Traditional backpacks are "top-loaders" but many travel bags open like suitcases for easier access. Look for compartments for special items, such as padded laptop compartments and easy-to-access compartments for those items you need to use frequently, such as your keys, wallet and phone.

Consider what sort of protection the backpack will provide for the items you're carrying. Is it padded to protect against bumps or being dropped, or is there a special padded compartment for items such as laptops? Is it waterproof or at least water-resistant? Are there lockable zippers to help prevent theft?

Quality of construction

Next, take a closer look at how the bag has been put together to make sure it'll stand up to the daily rigours of life on the train, backpacking around the world or hiking through the wilderness. Is the material suitable for how you plan to use the pack? Are the zippers strong and durable? Are the buckles sturdy and secure?

You can pick up a no-frills backpack for everyday use for as little as $30. But if you're looking for a specialist hiking or travel backpack, prices can range anywhere from $50 up to $500, with some even more expensive models available.

In many cases, choosing a backpack will mean prioritising substance over style. But if you're shopping for a bag you can wear into the office every day, you'll also want to consider the way it looks.

Some bags come with wheels so they can be pulled around when you get tired of carrying the weight on your back.

The biggest advantages of backpacks are their versatility and practicality. If you'll be on the move a lot, potentially climbing lots of flights of stairs, a backpack will definitely come in handy. They can also be useful if you'll be venturing off the beaten track a little bit, and they're easier to run with than a suitcase – so you can make it to the gate in time if your connecting flight is delayed.

But if you're travelling somewhere and you plan on staying in one place, a suitcase might be a better bet. Suitcases are easy to wheel around airports, they're easy to pack and unpack, and hard-shell suitcases in particular can stand up to plenty of punishment.

Find out more in our suitcase and luggage buying guide .

Before deciding on the best backpack for your needs, consider the following:

  • Potential for injury. Carrying a heavy load in a backpack, or carrying it incorrectly, can cause back pain and even spinal problems, especially in children. With this in mind, take care not to overload your backpack and make sure to pack it with the heaviest items close to your back. And if you're looking for a travel or hiking backpack to carry a big load, look for a padded waist belt that helps transfer the load onto your hips.
  • Backpack sizes. Many general-use backpacks are "one size fits all". However, some hiking and travel bags come in an array of sizes (small, medium, large, etc.) based on the length of your torso. Check the manufacturer's specifications for more details, and get yourself properly measured up in-store if possible.
  • Women's backpacks. Some manufacturers now offer a range of women's backpacks. More than just a different colour scheme, these bags are specifically designed to suit women's body shapes and may be well worth a look if traditional backpacks aren't comfortable enough.

Carry-on luggage buying guide

We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.

Learn how we maintain accuracy on our site.

How do you clean a backpack?

Empty your backpack and use an old toothbrush soaked in mild detergent to remove stains and dirt. Then, fill a basin or bathtub with warm water and 1 tablespoon of mild detergent. Soak the backpack for 30 minutes. Then, scrub all nooks and crannies of the backpack before rinsing it with clean water. Use a towel to remove excess water and let your backpack air dry.

Can backpacks cause back problems?

Carrying a heavy backpack can cause back problems. If you typically carry your bag on just 1 shoulder, this can also cause pain in your lower back.

How should a backpack sit on your back?

The backpack straps should sit about 2 inches below your shoulders. It also should end on your waist, not extending towards your hips. The straps shouldn't dig on your shoulders as well.

How much should your backpack weigh?

Your backpack should generally weigh less than 20% of your body weight. For example, if you weigh 55kg, your backpack should weigh less than 11kg.

2020 Best Rated Backpack Brand

Kantar logo

2019 Best Rated Backpack Brand

Roy Morgan

Ericka Pingol

Ericka Pingol is a writer for Finder specialising in best guides. Using tested methodology, Ericka has been helping Australians choose the right product across hundreds of categories since 2020. Ericka has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of the East, Manila. As well as being passionate about helping people save money when shopping for their latest purchases, Ericka has a background in writing about property investment, personal finance and health. When not writing best guides, you can find her lost in the pages of a good book or experimenting with watercolour painting.

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The Best Mini Backpacks of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

Keep your hands free and valuables handy with our top picks

small travel backpack au

Tripsavvy / Tamara Staples

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more .

Mini backpacks can be the niche fashion accessory you need to complete your outfit. They can also serve a specific purpose at home and on your travels. Heading out on a sightseeing tour and need a way to carry the essentials without being weighed down by a larger backpack? Want to keep your phone, e-reader, and maybe a snack or two handy on the plane without having to unload your carry-on from the overhead bin every time you need something? These are just two scenarios where a mini backpack is a perfect solution. 

When choosing yours, things to look for include the right balance between compact size and useful capacity, pockets and pouches to keep your belongings organized, adjustable straps that fit comfortably, and, of course, the right colors and materials to go well with the rest of your wardrobe. To help you narrow down the many options out there, our travel experts tested 21 mini backpack brands in the laboratory and in real life. We scored each for design, capacity, comfort, durability, and value.

Our overall winner was the lightweight yet spacious, attractively convenient Paravel Mini Fold-Up Backpack. The other mini backpacks we tested and rated highly are listed below.

Folds into a zippered pouch

Deceptively spacious

Optional monogramming 

Receiving perfect scores across the board from both of our testers, Paravel’s Mini Fold-Up Backpack features water-resistant Negative Nylon (recycling up to ten plastic bottles per bag). The material is extra durable, resulting in zero signs of wear and tear at the end of our test period. It’s also ultra-lightweight, a factor that combined with the backpack’s super soft straps to make it very comfortable to wear—even on bare skin. We loved the capacity and were able to fit everything on our list with space to spare. 

We also loved that despite its small size, the backpack offers a secret interior pocket (great for keeping valuables such as keys or your wallet within easy reach) and an exterior pocket that’s roomy enough for a large-model cell phone. One of our favorite features was that the backpack folds flat and zips together into a tiny pouch, making it ideal for packing into a larger bag for “just in case.” It’s the ideal travel companion, whether you’re attending an event across town or packing for your next vacation. 

Finally, there are six bold colors, including Safari Green, Scuba Navy, and Canyon Yellow. And, with optional monogramming available in a choice of more than ten complementary colors, personalizing your purchase couldn’t be easier. 

Dimensions: 10 x 12 x 6 inches | Weight: 0.44 pounds | Materials: Recycled nylon

Multiple interior and exterior pockets

The rear zippered pocket conceals valuables

Padded straps are easy to adjust

Some may prefer a more luxurious fabric

Made of sturdy nylon with a polyester lining, the AOTIAN Mini Backpack is an ideal everyday choice with padded straps that are easy to adjust, even on the go. We found it very comfortable to wear for extended periods. We loved the oversized, smooth-pulling zippers and the backpack’s surprisingly large capacity. We could fit everything on our list with space to spare for at least a few extra shirts or a water bottle—while tablets or iPads of up to 9.7 inches are easily compatible. 

The multiple zippered and non-zippered interior and exterior pockets were a particular highlight for us, making organization simple and keeping essentials within easy reach. We especially loved the rear zippered pocket, which is excellent for concealing valuables, and the elasticated side pockets for your water bottle or umbrella. After the test period, the backpack showed no signs of wear and tear. It comes in six colors, from Deep Blue to Hot Pink, to suit every style preference. 

Dimensions: 9.4 x 12 x 4 inches | Weight: 0.68 pounds | Materials: Nylon and polyester

Minimalist style

Comfortable, easily adjustable fit

Choice of beautiful colors 

No interior organization

Retailing for approximately a fifth of the price of our overall winner, the Madison & Dakota Mini Backpack offers a simple yet stylish and functional design. It features strong polyester with a padded back panel and padded straps. We found it easy to adjust the fit and comfortable, although the backpack rode a little too high for our liking. Other features include top carry handles and easy-grip dual zippers. 

The backpack is small yet mighty, with plenty of storage space. We fit everything on our list with ease. The only drawback is the main compartment is unstructured, which makes it difficult to keep things organized. A roomy front pocket was the backpack’s saving grace in this respect. Finally, we really liked the bag’s aesthetic, especially given its rock-bottom price. There are nine rustic shades, including Peach, Sangria, Almond, and Kale, all with zippers and a diamond-shaped lash tab in contrasting leather.

Dimensions: 4 x 10 x 13.5 inches | Weight: 0.66 pounds | Materials: Polyester

Durable, water-resistant material

Superb interior and exterior organization

Padded back panel and straps

Perhaps a little too structured for casual use

The ideal companion for days out on the trail, the Borealis Mini Backpack from The North Face fits well and is comfortable even when fully loaded, thanks to easily adjustable padded straps and a padded back panel lined with breathable, sweat-wicking mesh. It features recycled ripstop nylon and polyester, with a non-PFC durable water-repellent finish that helps to protect your belongings if you get caught in the rain. The backpack survived our test period without visible wear and tear. 

We loved the organization options, which include a zippered interior mesh pocket, a spacious front zippered pocket, external water bottle holders, and a quick-draw smartphone pocket. You can also use the adjustable front bungee system to attach larger items—an extra layer, perhaps, or a hydration system. With a place for everything, we never had to waste time rummaging around for what we needed. The backpack has attractive two-tone colorways, including Lunar Slate/Lime Cream and Black Heather/Burnt Coral. 

Dimensions: 8.65 x 4.15 x 13.5 inches | Weight: 0.75 pounds | Materials: Recycled ripstop nylon and polyester with DWR finish 

Padded, easily adjustable straps

Dedicated tablet sleeve

Impressive capacity

No water bottle holder

The Dakine 365 Mini 12L Backpack is an excellent low-volume, unisex choice made from bluesign-approved recycled polyester and nylon. It features a water-repellent finish and is durable enough to look brand new at the end of our test period. We liked that the lightly padded shoulder straps can be made both super long and very short for added comfort—so much so that we barely noticed the backpack even after wearing it for extended periods. 

We also appreciated the thoughtful organization options. These include a dedicated tablet sleeve in the main compartment (which features a padded bottom panel for added protection), a zippered front compartment for smaller essentials, and a small, concealed zippered pocket on the back of the backpack. The overall capacity was impressive—we could fit multiple shirts, a water bottle, a phone, a wallet, keys, sanitizer, and more. Finally, colorways range from solid to two-tone and patterned, with reflective accents for nighttime safety. 

Dimensions: 15 x 11 x 7 inches | Weight: 0.61 pounds | Materials: Recycled nylon and polyester

Simultaneously compact and spacious

Comfy, lightweight fit

Stylish design and color choices

No small interior pocket

Available in professional Black or Cocoa and several more eye-catching colorways (think Bone White/Coral or Sage), the Rover Pack Mini from Topo Designs is our favorite pick for commuters. We love that it has water-resistant, recycled nylons ideal for bad weather days, with a cinch-top closure that helps to keep everything inside dry. It’s super adjustable in terms of its compression straps, buckle closures, and shoulder straps, with sturdy buckles and zippers that are both high quality and easy to operate. 

We found the padded straps and adjustable fit made it comfortable to wear for hours on end. It’s also a very versatile choice: small enough for when you just want to carry the essentials, but also with plenty of space for longer days. The backpack’s compactness made it easy to wear on the subway or bus without impacting other commuters. Regarding organization, it boasts a zippered front pocket and a top flap pocket for smaller items, side slip pockets, and an integrated tablet sleeve in the main compartment. 

Dimensions: 13.5 x 8.5 x 3.75 inches | Weight: Not published | Materials: Recycled nylon

Thoughtful organization

Padded laptop and tablet sleeves

Comfortable, contoured shoulder straps

Considerable price tag

The Bellroy Classic Backpack Compact is certainly not a budget choice, but its higher price tag is justified by its durable recycled nylon construction (which survived our testing unscathed) and its versatility. After all, it is one of only a very few mini backpacks that can fit a laptop. We loved its thoughtful, purpose-built organization features, including padded laptop and tablet sleeves, an internal zippered mesh pocket, and a front zippered pocket with a built-in key clip. There’s even a soft-lined pocket for sunglasses on top. 

Overall, it offered plenty of room for everything on our list. At the same time, it was wonderfully compact and comfortable to carry even when fully loaded, thanks to the contoured, rolled-edge shoulder straps. The padded back panel provides additional lumbar support. You can choose from six stylish colors, including Bronze, Navy, and Ranger Green. Two options (Saltbrush and Limestone) are leather-free, while the others have sustainable leather accents. 

Dimensions: 15.7 x 10.2 x 7 inches | Weight: 1.1 pounds | Materials: Recycled nylon, optional leather accents

Cute, vegan leather aesthetic

Very spacious

The rear opening affords peace of mind

A little larger than the average mini backpack 

If you’re looking for an option that comes with peace of mind included, the CHERUTY Anti-Theft Mini Backpack is a great pick. Made of water-resistant vegan leather in a rainbow of color choices (from Burgundy to Tan or Blue), its unique main compartment opens at the back to protect it from potential thieves by your body when worn. It’s a very effective tactic, although we did find that it made it slightly less convenient to get things out in a hurry. With adjustable, removable straps, the bag can also be worn as a tote or shoulder purse. 

We found it super comfortable, even without padded straps. It fit nicely on our tester’s back and was so light that it was barely noticeable. It’s also incredibly spacious, with space for a 9.7-inch tablet and everything on our list with room left over. Organization features include two interior slip pockets, a zippered interior pocket, two exterior side pockets, and a front zippered pocket. Overall, the backpack’s functionality, safety, and chic style made it well worth the very reasonable cost. 

Dimensions: 12.6 x 5.9 x 12.6 inches | Weight: 1 pound | Materials: PU vegan leather

Luxe yet functional aesthetic

Amazingly varied organizational options

Lightweight, padded comfort for all-day wear

Material is a little too casual to dress up

Dagne Dover’s Small Dakota Neoprene Backpack may cost roughly three times the price of our overall winner, but we feel that it’s made to last and more than justifies its cost by offering the perfect balance of style and substance. The neoprene material is vegan, water-resistant, and hand-washable, with a Repreve lining made from recycled plastic bottles. It stood up impeccably to our durability tests and felt so lightweight that it was barely noticeable even after hours of wear. The straps are easy to adjust and lightly padded. 

Where this backpack particularly excels is in its organization features. The main compartment features an air mesh tablet sleeve, two mesh pockets, and a front panel with three integrated zippered sections perfect for small items (think chapstick or headphones). There are two zippered side pockets, a front pocket with D-ring and elastic loops, and a detachable key leash. The backpack is also much more spacious than it appears, making it incredibly functional. Six colors include Heather Grey, Dark Moss, and Camel. 

Dimensions: 9.5 x 5 x 13 inches | Weight: 1.8 pounds | Materials: Neoprene, recycled plastic fabric

TripSavvy’s Picks 

Our favorite was the Paravel Mini Fold-Up Backpack , which we loved for its durable lightness, intelligent storage options, and foldable design. If you’re looking for a budget alternative, consider the Madison & Dakota Mini Backpack .

How We Tested

We tested each backpack in our testing lab and in the real world. First, we evaluated how easy it was to fit a list of essentials, including a phone, wallet, and keys. Then, we wore the backpack a minimum of seven times throughout a two-week test period for many activities ranging from running errands to walks around the city. We scored each on a five-point scale for design, capacity, comfort, durability, and value. Overall scores determined our category winners. 

What to Look for in a Mini Backpack

Before choosing a mini backpack, consider the activity you will most likely use it for. Are you wearing it in the city for casual strolls or dates with friends? If so, the primary concern could be a fashionable aesthetic that complements your style. Do you need it for traveling? An anti-theft design could give you peace of mind while exploring. For commuters, a slim profile that won’t be too bulky on the subway is a plus, as is some level of weather-proofing, whereas hikers may prioritize durability and a little more space for snacks or extra layers. 

Mini backpacks can feature many different materials. Two of the most popular are nylon and polyester, chosen for their blend of lightness and durability. If you’re often out in all weathers, opt for one with a water-repellent coating; or one made of naturally water-resistant material like neoprene or leather. Leather is a top choice for fashion backpacks since it is classically stylish and can easily be dressed up or down. For a more ethical alternative, consider vegan leather. Recycled and responsibly sourced materials also score sustainability points.

The basic premise of a mini backpack is simple: it’s a regular backpack but smaller. However, specific style details can vary quite a bit. Some have removable straps that convert them into a tote or shoulder bag. Others have a standard zippered opening, while others use a roll-top and buckles (or a drawstring and flap top) to protect contents from the elements. Shapes differ, too, from streamlined rectangles to boxy, statement-making squares or classic, curved profiles with functional exterior pockets. Some mini backpacks even open via a zipper at the back to protect your valuables from thieves. 

Pockets and Other Features

Mini backpacks can be super minimalist, with very little organization at all. This unstructured style suits some travelers, allowing them to pack the bag however they wish, but for others, at least a few designated pouches and pockets are preferable. Options to look out for include a zippered front or side pocket to provide easy access to smaller items like your metro card, side water bottle, or umbrella pouches and interior zippered pockets for keeping your valuables secure. If you plan on packing your tablet, a padded electronics sleeve is a bonus. Many people also like the idea of a key leash to prevent unnecessary fumbling at the door.  

A mini backpack is much smaller than a traditional backpack, typically ranging in capacity from 5 to 15 liters. They have space for your phone, wallet, keys, and perhaps an extra layer or make-up items, but not much more. For some people, they’re as much a fashion accessory as a practical purchase; others simply prefer their compact size. This could be because they find regular backpacks too bulky for a petite frame or because they have limited items to carry but prefer the freedom of movement offered by a backpack versus a small purse or tote.

Luggage rules and restrictions vary from one company to the next, so it’s impossible to guarantee how an individual airline will classify your mini backpack. But, more often than not, small backpacks are considered personal items alongside purses, laptop bags, and briefcases. This means you can take them onboard with you for free, in addition to your carry-on luggage. A good rule of thumb is that personal items should fit beneath the seat in front of you. This is especially true on budget airlines which often charge for space in the overhead luggage compartment.

Mini backpacks are great for any situation where you might want to keep essentials handy without carrying much more, for example, on a casual trail hike or city sightseeing tour while on vacation, running errands, or going out for a meal back home. They make a useful addition to a larger carry-on bag when traveling since they can be stowed beneath the seat in front of you or kept on your lap for easy access. They’re also lighter than regular backpacks, making them a good choice for petite people or those with back or shoulder pain. For commuters, they take up less space on crowded transport and streets.

Why Trust TripSavvy

Jessica Macdonald is TripSavvy’s Africa travel expert and a regular contributor of commerce articles relating to adventure and family travel. Having visited more than 50 countries worldwide for everything from scientific research trips to city breaks with friends, she is well versed in the benefits of a great backpack, big or small. This article is supported by the results of real-life and laboratory testing carried out by the TripSavvy team.

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The 9 Best Mini Backpacks of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

Mini backpacks from Paravel, Dakine, Dagne Dover, and more earned top scores for durability, comfort, and style.

Anna Popp is a Commerce Writer at Travel + Leisure where she tests, researches, and writes about travel products. Since living overseas in 2018, Anna has been a travel writer and began reviewing products in 2021.

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Travel + Leisure / Tamara Staples

Bigger than a crossbody bag but smaller than a typical backpack, a mini backpack is the perfect hybrid that combines practicality and style. And don’t let the word “mini” deter you from investing in this style because the capacity of some of these bags will certainly surprise you.

We don’t take luggage tests lightly here at Travel + Leisure (or any test for that matter) so we thoroughly researched and identified 21 mini backpacks to try in our New York City lab to start. Then, we continued the assessment by sending out the bags to be further evaluated in everyday settings like flights, commutes, and errand runs. Comfort, durability, design, and capacity were the biggest factors we took into consideration to compile our list of the best mini backpacks and we’re certain one of these bags below can match up with your next adventure.

Best Overall

Paravel mini fold-up backpack.

  • Capacity 5 /5
  • Design 5 /5
  • Durability 5 /5
  • Comfort 5 /5

The backpack folds up into a small pouch so it can easily be tossed in a bigger bag.

There are only two pockets for organization.

This uber-portable backpack from Paravel earned its spot as the best mini backpack after scoring highly in design, comfort, and durability in both lab and real-world testing. The mini backpack has a solid capacity for its size and easily fits items like a tablet, a wallet, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, and a small pair of shoes. And, best of all, when the backpack isn’t needed anymore, it folds up into a compact zippered pouch the size of a small wallet so it can be tossed into your personal item or stored at home without taking up much space.

The discreet zippered pocket on the back of this bag is ideal for a passport or cash and there is a small front pocket for keys or chapstick, too. While there could be a few more pockets for organization, most fold-up bags don’t have any at all so it’s better to have two than zero.

Made out of a super lightweight nylon material, the backpack is virtually weightless which lightens your load while packing , and the pack still feels durable against daily wear and tear. The straps are woven nylon that won’t dig into your shoulders and they can easily be adjusted to fit your back and shoulders no matter where your day takes you.

The Details: 12 x 10 x 6 inches (unfolded); 4.5 x 5 x 2 inches (folded) | Recycled nylon

Travel + Leisure / Tamara Staples

Best Budget

Madison & dakota canvas mini backpack.

  • Comfort 4 /5

The main compartment is spacious enough for a water bottle, snacks, books, and a wallet.

The fabric doesn’t have any padding so the backpack might not protect fragile items if it’s tossed around a bit.

If you’re not completely sold on a mini backpack, this bang-for-your-buck Madison & Dakota mini backpack is a great way to test the waters without spending too much. This basic bag has all the necessary components for everyday use including comfortable padded straps, a large main compartment, and a helpful front zippered pocket for smaller items. There is a solid amount of space for storing bulkier items like a water bottle or a lightweight jacket, or you can easily pack it full of smaller items like pens or snacks with plenty of room left over. The polyester material is fairly thin which means you’ll want to be careful if you’re traveling with a tablet or other fragile items, but the fabric is very lightweight. Thanks to the padded and adjustable straps, the pack is easy to toss onto your shoulders and plenty comfortable. Plus, the tote bag handles on top have a snap closure so the sack can be picked up and carried by hand, which is helpful for going through the TSA security line quickly or hoisting it into an overhead bin.

The Details: 13.5 x 10 x 4 inches | Polyester

Best Anti-theft

Cheruty backpack purse.

The anti-theft design includes discrete pockets for tucking away valuables while traveling.

There is a slight learning curve for opening up the backpack and finding all of the pockets.

Getting your phone, wallet, or passport stolen on vacation can put a real damper on your trip so we recommend the Cheruti Anti-theft Mini Backpack for its thoughtful, anti-theft design. Unlike a typical backpack, this one has a zipper in the back of the bag to open up the main compartment so you’ll never have to check behind your shoulder to make sure the zipper is closed. Inside the bag are a variety of discrete zippered pockets for organizing items like a tablet, passport, wallet, or keys. There isn’t much padding in the back or straps but the PU vegan leather material doesn’t add much weight or feel cumbersome to carry. One unique feature is that this backpack comes with a removable tote strap so you can carry the protective, stylish bag both of those ways, or use the top handles instead.

The Details: 12.6 x 12.6 x 5.9 inches | PU vegan leather | Fits 10-inch tablets

Best Sustainable

Topo designs rover pack mini backpack.

  • Durability 4.5 /5
  • Value 4.5 /5

The lightweight recycled nylon material and ample padding make this pack virtually effortless to wear.

The front buckle and drawstring closure make it less convenient to swing the bag around to quickly grab something out.

This rugged mini backpack from Topo Designs is a champion when it comes to comfort, durability, and sustainability. Its 100 percent recycled nylon fabric is dyed from certified dye mills without harmful chemicals and the backpack has a Fair Wear certification for production, ensuring the welfare and safety of garment factory employees. Although the backpack looks small at first glance, the 10-liter capacity can fit a range of small and large items including a tablet in the back slip pocket and lip balm or keys in the small front pocket. Since the top has a buckle and drawstring closure, it’s not as convenient to grab something out of your pack but the double closure does provide peace of mind that your items are tucked away safely while traveling. With adjustable straps for a customized fit and a fully padded back panel, the backpack provides hassle-free comfort whether you’re trekking through the woods or the concrete jungle.

The Details: 13.5 x 8.5 x 3.75 inches | Recycled nylon | 10 liters | Tablet sleeve

Best Classic

Dakine mini backpack.

The larger capacity and traditional design resemble a regular-sized backpack.

The laptop sleeve isn’t padded or zippered.

The 12-liter Dakine Mini Backpack offers a generous capacity for a mini backpack, as it’s able to fit laptops up to 14 inches long. Resembling the style of a typical school backpack, the timeless design makes this bag versatile for running errands or going into the office. The 600-denier recycled polyester material is impressively lightweight without feeling flimsy, and this water-resistant fabric boasts excellent durability designed for long-term use. To keep the contents of the pack safe, the bottom panel is padded for extra protection (especially if you do pack electronics).

While the slip pocket in the back for a laptop or tablet isn’t padded or zippered, all of the contents remained secure despite the backpack being dropped off a counter during lab testing. There isn’t much padding around the backpack but the material is soft enough that the adjustable straps and back panel don’t cause any discomfort while wearing it for long periods of time.

The Details: 15 x 11 x 7 inches | Polyester | 12 liters | 14-inch laptop sleeve

Best for Hiking

The north face borealis mini backpack.

The back panel and straps have an impressive amount of padding for extra comfort while trekking.

The side pocket is slightly awkward since it isn’t quite big enough for a water bottle.

If the outdoors are calling, you’ll want to be prepared with all of your hiking essentials in North Face’s comfortable and lightweight Borealis mini backpack. Whether you’re packing items like a beanie, neck gaiter, or even a lightweight layer, the front compression straps help keep items packed tightly so they won’t shuffle around while on the trail. Although the side pocket is a bit too small to fit a water bottle, there is plenty of space in the main compartment for a bottle and you can easily use the side pocket for a phone or other small items you want to quickly access.

The best part of this athletic-style backpack is the thick and breathable padding on the back panel and adjustable straps as that adds impressive comfortability for wearing the pack for long periods of time. And, if you want to use this bag for non-outdoor related activities, there are a variety of interior pockets for tech like a tablet sleeve and slot for phone chargers.

The Details: 13.5 x 8.6 x 4.15 inches | Recycled polyester | 10 liters

Best for Commuters

Bellroy classic backpack compact.

  • Design 4.5 /5

This style has a variety of useful pockets for a laptop, tablet, phone, notebook, and more.

It can be a little tricky to open up the main compartment because the zipper is hidden under a hooded cover.

Heading into the office? Bellroy’s mini backpack has all the organization you need without the hassle of lugging a bulky bag around. Designed with ample storage for technology, the laptop sleeve is ideal for a computer 13 inches or smaller and there is a super convenient top pocket for a phone, too. For tablets or eReaders, there is a small slip pocket on the front of the laptop sleeve so you can pack this bag up with everything you need for work or school.

When you’re packing up tech, you’ll likely need a spot for chargers or other accessories, so we love the spacious mesh pocket for storing smaller items since you can easily see the items tucked away in that spot. While the main zipper can be a little tricky to locate because of the edged fabric that hides the zipper, it gets easier to locate the more the bag is used. Come rain or shine, this comfortable, padded backpack is made with durable, water-resistant recycled fabric so you won’t have to worry about the pack getting damaged whether you commute via bike, train, car, or on foot.

The Details: 15.7 x 10.2 x 7 inches | 16 liters | 13-inch laptop sleeve

Best Splurge

Dagne dover dakota backpack.

Saks Fifth Avenue

The neoprene material is lightweight, water-resistant, and feels super premium.

Dust and dirt cling onto the material easily but it does come with a drawstring bag for storage.

The sporty Dagne Dover Small Dakota Backpack is made with a sleek, plush neoprene material that feels ultra high-end. From the gym to a restaurant, this versatile mini backpack has an impressive enough capacity for a small grocery haul, a lightweight jacket, or large 32-ounce water bottle. When it comes to comfort, this backpack truly shines thanks to its thick neoprene that adds extra cushioning in the back panel and straps so, no matter how heavy a load is, the bag won’t dig into your shoulders. Plus, the wide-tooth zipper glides like a champ even when the backpack is filled to the brim.

The pockets proved to be perfect for storing a variety of items, especially the discrete front panel pocket and slip pocket for a tablet. The key leash in the main compartment makes it easy to locate your keys without having to dig around and, when you get home from running errands, the backpack comes with a storage bag to prevent dust or dirt from clinging onto the backpack.

The Details: 13 x 9.5 x 5 inches | Neoprene | 8 liters

Travel + Leisure / Jhett Thompson

Best Organization

Aotian mini nylon backpack.

There are just the right amount of pockets to stay naturally organized without it feeling too intricate.

This is one of the smallest mini backpacks we tested.

It’s not always easy to stay organized on the go but thanks to the plethora of pockets built into the Aotian Mini Nylon Backpack, it’s easier than ever to find a spot for everything. There are three different-sized compartments for storing a variety of everyday essentials. Working back to front, the largest compartment can hold bigger items (like a tablet up to 10 inches long) in a handy slip pocket and the middle compartment is best for medium-sized items like a wallet, deodorant, or charger. Although the front pocket is the smallest, it’s ideal for miniature items including lip balm or a roll-on perfume stick. The straps are made out of sturdy nylon fabric and they can quickly be adjusted while you head out the door. This was one of the smallest backpacks we tried but it still packs a punch with a generous capacity and a durable nylon exterior and a polyester lining that showed no signs of damage after a lab test and real-world testing.

The Details: 12 x 9.4 x 4 inches | Polyester, nylon | 10-inch tablet sleeve

Other Mini Backpacks We Liked

Of the 21 mini backpacks we tested, the ones below almost made our list but they ultimately fell short during testing due to slight issues with comfort, durability, and capacity.

Itzy Ritzy Mini Diaper Bag : This spacious bag has stylish gold hardware and it’s functional for being out of the house with kids thanks to the removable changing pad. However, the straps aren’t very comfortable due to a lack of padding and metal buckles that rest awkwardly on the chest when adjusted.

Gymshark Mini Backpack : The faux leather and polyester backpack has a sleek look (and a spacious capacity for sweatshirts and cameras) but, when the backpack is packed full, it looks lumpy and flimsy. Plus, the back panel and straps have no padding so the comfortability score was on the lower end.

Adidas Linear Mini Backpack : This sporty bag is very lightweight and comfortable to wear, making it the perfect pack for the gym but the other athletic and outdoorsy bags we tested had a few more pockets for organization. 

Carhartt Mini Backpack : Spacious and super durable, this canvas Carhartt mini pack certainly lives up to the brand’s reputation for durability and ruggedness. However, the straps are made out of nylon without any padding so they weren’t the most comfortable, and we wish there were a few more pockets for storage. 

T+L researched and identified 21 mini backpacks in a variety of shapes and sizes (all miniature, of course) and began by testing each pack in our New York City lab. Then, we sent the backpacks out into the world for further evaluation in everyday settings like running errands, commuting, and traveling via airplane, train, or car.

In the lab, we examined the design of each pack by looking at every pocket, zipper, and buckle to get a feel for the materials. Then, we loaded up the bags with essentials like wallets, lip balms, keys, small water bottles, extra shirts, and hand sanitizer to judge the capacity. At the end of lab testing, we tossed the packs off of a counter to see how durable they were, and if the contents packed inside remained safe while being tossed around.

While lab testing was helpful to take a magnifying glass to each pack, we continued using the mini backpacks in day-to-day life to get the most well-rounded testing notes. We used the bags for gym visits, grocery store trips, flights, and more to continue judging the comfort, durability, design, and capacity. After all of the testing was complete, the backpacks noted as having generous padding for comfort, spacious interiors that are intuitive to pack, and durable materials that will stand the test of time earned the highest average scores overall.

Tips for Buying a Mini Backpack

Look for pockets for organization.

One of the best things about a mini backpack is that it should provide a bit more space and storage solutions than a purse. To stay naturally organized while out and about, look for a bag with multiple compartments, interior pockets, and exterior pockets, too. If you like to travel with a tablet or laptop, search for a small backpack with a sleeve that will fit the dimensions of your device.

Padding equals more comfort

Mini backpacks are generally lighter in weight due to their smaller size (which helps when wearing the bag for long periods of time), but the best way to prioritize comfort is by investing in a pack with lots of padding. The back panel and straps should have cushioned or thick fabric to prevent digging in and other discomfort. In addition, more padding can also protect the contents of your bag from being damaged in case of falls or rough handling.

The typical size of a regular backpack is about 20 to 25 liters so anything less than 20 liters is on the smaller side. In general, a mini backpack will have a capacity of 8 to 16 liters with most sitting at around 12 liters. The typical dimensions of a mini backpack will be near 12 x 10 x 5 inches, give or take a few inches.

Mini backpacks might surprise you with the amount they can hold. While it ultimately depends on the capacity and dimensions of your specific backpack, you should have no issues fitting essentials like a wallet, lip balm, earbuds, a phone charger, and keys. Other larger items you may be able to fit include a tablet, small laptop, lightweight jacket, and a water bottle.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Anna Popp is a Commerce Writer at T+L where she writes nearly all of the team’s tested articles whether products were evaluated in the lab or a real-world setting. Anna participates in every travel test and, for this one, she tested the Dagne Dover Small Dakota Backpack by using it to do light grocery shopping — and discovered the bag can fit an entire loaf of bread with minimal squishing.

Love a great deal? Sign up for our T+L Recommends newsletter and we’ll send you our favorite travel products each week.

small travel backpack au

The Best Carry on Backpack in Australia for 2024

Photo of author

Written by: The Adventure Lab

Last Updated: July 15, 2022

We are reader-supported and may receive a commission on purchases made through links on this page.

Carry-on backpacks can be the best way to conveniently transport your gear during air travel. They allow you to pack in a surprisingly large amount of luggage while remaining lightweight and compliant with airline restrictions. 

However, with so many options on the market, it can be hard to find the product that is right for you. In this article we break down everything from design, to accessories, to durability to help you find the carry-on pack that best meets your specific needs.

Our top pick: Osprey Farpoint 40L Ultralight Travel Backpack

small travel backpack au

Osprey is one of the most trusted names in the outdoor gear world and with this pack they integrate their high-end tech with travel functionality.

Designed for comfort, yet not compromising on features and durability, it’s hard to look past the Farpoint if you’re in the market for a great carry-on travel pack. This backpack is built for total all-round use and for versatile, on the move, light packers.

Whether It be a city or a campsite, its minimalistic design and customisable setup (it can be transformed in a duffel bag) makes it perfect also as a carry-on bag for airplane, train or bus travel.

  • Trusted market leader in outdoor gear
  • Very lightweight and comfortable
  • Multiple carry options
  • Suitable for everyday use
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Excellent value for money
  • Not too many accessories or compartments for devices
  • Design may seem too minimalistic for some

Kathmandu Litehaul 38L Carry-On Pack

small travel backpack au

The Kathmandu Litehaul one of our favourite lightweight  travel packs  thanks to its incredible external size to internal storage ratio (dimensions are 55cm x 32cm x 30cm).

This makes it an excellent option for those wanting to maximise the gear they can transport while still remaining within airline luggage restrictions. It comes with a myriad of accessories including an Air pod system, tuck-away zip belt, external laptop pocket, lockable main zipper and more.

To top it off it is made of polyester recycled from plastic bottles.

  • Impressive internal capacity despite its small size
  • Opens up like a suitcase for easy access
  • Can also be carried like a suitcase (good for airports once shoulder straps packed away)
  • Feature packed
  • Environmentally friendly
  • 38L may be too small for some travellers
  • Side pockets if packed can impact space availability of the main compartment

Osprey Fairview 40L Womens Travel Backpack

small travel backpack au

The Osprey Fairview is similar to the Osprey Farpoint but designed specifically with female travellers in mind. Like its male counterpart it is crafted for maximum performance in all settings and situations.

At 53.3 x 35.6 x 22.9 cm it is smaller than the Litehaul and Farpoint but still scores highly in airplane carry-on compliance.

  • Light and comfortable for extended travel
  • Impressive hide-away strap system
  • Variety of colours options
  • Sleek design
  • Works well as cabin luggage
  • Location of laptop compartment may not be best for weight distribution
  • When the main compartment is full the front compartment space is less usable

NOMATIC Water Resistant 40L Travel Bag

Water Resistant NOMATIC 40L Travel Bag TSA Checkpoint Compliant Duffel/Backpack

Nomatic as a company is quickly making a name for itself with its top of the line highly technical and effective backpacks.

Not only is this pack completely water resistant making it a great outdoors bag, but it is also completely TSA approved and designed for maximum efficiency while travelling. It is also the most accessorized bag on this list with RFID pockets, cord organizers, laptop and tablet pockets and more.

  • Designed to be the ultimate modern light backpack
  • Impressive storage space
  • Top of the line water resistant nylon lining
  • High TSA compliance
  • Layout may be considered counterintuitive by some users

Hynes Eagle 38L Flight Approved Weekender Carry On Backpack

Hynes Eagle Men Backpack 38L Flight Approved Weekender Carry on Backpack Travel Backpack with 3pcs Packing Cubes Black

The Hynes Eagle 38L is an affordable compact bag that still packs a punch, with numerous accessories including compression straps, handy front organizer pockets and multiple carrying options backed by a sleek design.

  • Clever, spacious design
  • Highly water-resistant polyester and nylon exterior
  • Compartments work well for organisation
  • Straps may lose grip faster than other counterparts
  • Likely to be less durable than more high-end options

Carry-On Backpack Buyer’s Guide

Want to know what to look out for on your search for your perfect travel pack

Below we discuss the key considerations:

It might seem obvious but how can you effectively choose a backpack the right size for a trip of any given duration? The perfect backpack should be able to comfortably fit and protect your most crucial travel equipment.

This could range from a few changes of clothes and footwear to documents (passports, insurance documents etc), toiletries, medication and electronic equipment.

A good backpack should be able to reasonably fit whatever is needed for the voyage comfortably, as well as offering basic protection from the elements for more fragile belongings.

Perhaps most importantly, you need a carry-on backpack that will comply with airline restrictions.

Below are links to the carry-on rules for some of the more popular Australian and International carriers:

INTENDED USE

Your choice of backpack should reflect your destination. Mountain, jungle, wilderness or urban settings all present different challenges in choosing the correct gear.

Nowadays backpack engineering is an incredibly high precision effort with many different facets. There are state-of-the-art backpacks for every use. From tech-savvy duffel bags compliant with airplane regulations to models intended for hardcore trekking, hiking and camping all the way to backpack brands that try their best to make both ends meet.

RELATED: The Best Wheeled Backpacks

DESIGN AND ACCESSORIES

As backpack technology and design improves, there are a number of features and accessories that are becoming mainstays in terms of providing the level of functionality that users demand.

  • Some of the most important features to consider are:
  • Separate pockets and compartments (including shoe pockets, hidden pockets, RFID or Radio Frequency ID pockets, sunglasses pockets, book and document compartments and for the tech-savvy, laptop and camera compartments)
  • Retractable sleeves
  • Adjustable, comfortable and customisable straps
  • Water-resistant covers for rain
  • Lockable zippers
  • Magnet clips
  • Material resistant to other elements such as snow, mud, dirt and sand

Choosing the right balance between accessories, spaciousness and design is an integral part of opting for the right backpack.

DURABILITY AND WARRANTY

Another extremely important factor is the lifetime of your backpack. Regardless of use, all travel gear will eventually succumb to some wear and tear. Try and understand the strengths and weakness of the backpack’s structure and material and make sure it comes with a reasonable warranty (most companies on our list offer extended or even lifetime warranties) on any product.

A great carry-on backpack can really elevate your travel experience to the next level. When choosing your pack be sure to consider your personal preferences and style of travel, in conjunction with the various considerations mentioned in our buyers guide. While any of the products on this list would make an exception travel companion, our top pick is the  Osprey Farpoint  thanks to its exceptional design, durability, and value for money. Happy travels!

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best travel backpack carry on

The Adventure Lab

15 Travel Backpacks to Help Streamline Your Next Trip

Now boarding: your most organized self.

calpak travel backpack

Every item on this page was chosen by an ELLE editor. We may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.

But don’t just take it from me. “Being hands-free while traveling is essential, which is why a backpack is the perfect type of bag to use for all trips,” says Matilda Sandstroem, co-founder and designer at Adventurist Bags . “It will also distribute weight better than a one-shoulder bag, which will be crucial for longer travel days.” Plus, Sandstroem points out that a stylish backpack can double as your day bag once you arrive at your destination and is perfect for housing a light layer, camera, or snacks. (Good luck trying to bring that duffle bag to the Trevi fountain...)

The Everywhere Zip Backpack

Matching Luggage

Away the everywhere zip backpack.

Medium Intrecciato Backpack

Bottega Veneta Medium Intrecciato Backpack

Flap Backpack Large

Luxury Brand

Rimowa flap backpack large.

Metro Backpack

Monos Metro Backpack

Kånken Classic Backpack

Fjallraven Kånken Classic Backpack

Luka Laptop Backpack

Calpak Luka Laptop Backpack

Travel Carry On Backpack, 40L

Amazon’s Choice

Lubardy travel carry on backpack, 40l.

Borealis Laptop Backpack

The North Face Borealis Laptop Backpack

Outbreaker Backpack 35L

Best for International Travel

Tortuga outbreaker backpack 35l.

The Expandable Backpack

Best Expandable Backpack

Beis the expandable backpack.

To give you even more insight, I combined my own research with Sandstroem’s and that of the experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute to bring you the definitive guide to the best travel backpacks. Whether you’re packing a weekender bag or looking for the best bags on Amazon , here are 15 backpacks that make stellar travel companions.

Away Travel is known and loved for its suitcases—I, for one, swear by the bigger carry-on —so you can bet the brand makes a damn good carry-on backpack, too.

Colors: Garnet, Navy, Black, Coast

Dimensions: Width: 12 inches; height: 17.7 inches; depth: 5.9 inches

Customer review: “I needed a backpack that I could use for business travel that would allow me to really pack it in for international work. This bag has a ton of space and several pockets to keep items organized. I recently returned to the office and find that its great as a daily bag for all of my needs. I even get lunch into the main compartment.”

If traveling in style is a priority for you, more power to you. This leather backpack from Bottega Veneta is the best way to take to show your fellow travelers that you have taste.

Colors: Surf, Space, Mud, Black, Ardoise

Dimensions: Width: 11.8 inches; height: 18.1 inches; depth: 5.5 inches

Rimowa is like the Rolls Royce of luggage brands. And in case no one has told you lately, you deserve the best of the best.

Colors: Black, Slate Gray

Dimensions: Width: 14.5 inches; height: 17.3 inches; depth: 6.3

See that pouch on the front? It provides the perfect amount of extra storage for easy access to necessities and detaches in a snap—literally.

Colors: 10 options

Dimensions: Width: 11.5 inches; height: 16.5 inches; depth: 6 inches

Customer review: “It looks sharp, I’ve already gotten compliments. It is super spacious inside which is perfect for both travel and in a professional setting since it fits everything from spare shoes to my lunch. The compartments actually make sense for organizing.”

Fjallraven: the bag that everyone has, but no one knows how to pronounce. While these bags don’t offer much in the way of organization or storage, they are extremely durable and available in a ton of colors and sizes.

Colors: 27 options

Dimensions : Width: 10.75 inches x height: 14.5 inches x depth: 4 inches

Customer review: “This Fjallraven has been to and all around Japan with me, and recently I started back to University…It’s not too bulky but surprisingly holds a lot.”

Calpak’s Luka bag is an organizer’s dream because it’s chock-full of pockets. This versatile pack is great for everyday use or as a day bag while traveling.

Colors: 13 options

Dimensions: Width: 12 inches x height: 16 inches x depth: 7 inches

Customer review: “This backpack has been great so far! I use it for daily commutes, and it fits my 16” laptop in that compartment with ease. It is also great for being outdoors, got stuck in the rain and my laptop remained dry.”

A waterproof, high-capacity pack + a clamshell opening – an expensive price tag = the ultimate travel backpack.

Colors: Black, Blue, Grey, or Pink

Dimensions: Width: 13.38 inches x height: 20.74 inches x depth: 7.87 inches

Customer review: “Backpacked for 10 days in Greece with this! My friends bought $100+ backpacks, and mine worked just as well for a fraction of the price. I was able to fit a large packing cube with PLENTY of clothes, two pairs of shoes (sandals), a curling iron, a sweater, and my toiletries in this bag!”

The genius product testers over at the Good Housekeeping Institute rated this the overall best travel backpack . As someone who has regularly used this as a carry-on for nearly six years, I’d have to agree. It stands up to the test of time and is great for short trips or as a day bag.

Colors: Lime, Taupe, or Orange

Dimensions: Width: 12 inches x height: 19.5 inches x depth: 6.5 inches

Customer review: “Awesome backpack. Large, spacious, and full of compartments. Suitable for any type of trip, I love it.”

Calling all fellow backpackers and hostel hoppers! If you’re trekking through Europe, or anywhere else for that matter, it’s best to keep your luggage light. This durable, waterproof Tortuga pack is the largest allowed carry-on for international flights, making it perfect for your next adventure.

Colors: Black

Dimensions: Width: 13. 8 inches x height: 21.7 inches x depth: 7.9 inches

Customer review: “Just returned from a two-week tour of Norway and Iceland, five different hotels, four flights. Outbreaker…made it so easy to effortlessly stay on the move…This was our first carry-on-only trip of this length, and I loved the ease of check-in and airport departure it gave us. With the hip belts to carry most of the weight, we did not suffer any back or shoulder strain.”

If there’s one thing for certain, I don’t need another backpack. But after reading the reviews for this Beis bag...I just might have to get one for myself. It has specialized features like an expanding section and a water bottle holder that can be used in or outside the bag.

Colors: Black or Beige

Dimensions: Width: 13 inches; height: 15 inches; depth: 5-7 inches

Customer review: “Love how much room this backpack has! I took it on a trip to Italy and it was light/compact enough to put in luggage but can fit so many things. The design of this backpack is a 10/10 for me.”

Dagne Dover Dakota Neoprene Backpack

Dakota Neoprene Backpack

Dagne Dover bags are super popular right now, and with good reason. Fashionable and versatile, they’re perfect for everyday use or as your designated school bag. Plus, Dagne Dover products are made with Repreve technology, meaning they’re sustainable.

Dimensions: Width: 13.25 inches x height: 17.5 inches x depth: 5.25 inches (for large size)

Customer review: “I love this bag and its many pockets and pouches. I can easily organize everything with its numerous zippers, and it stores my laptop perfectly in the back. It’s super light, which is great for a backpack, but thick and good quality with its neoprene.”

Adventurist Backpacks Adventurist Classic

Adventurist Classic

Not only does Sandstroem design these bags with style in mind, but for every backpack purchased, 25 meals are provided for American families in need.

Colors: 7 options

Dimensions: Width: 13.5 inches; height: 15.5 inches; depth: 6 inches

Customer review: “I’ve had this backpack for almost a year now and I have only good things to say! I got the sand color and even through hiking and using it a lot it still looks great! It’s water resistant so I don’t have to worry about bringing my camera, and it’s also super cute and makes my hiking outfits look great! Can’t recommend it enough, if you’re thinking about getting one, do it!”

L.L. Bean Stowaway Pack

Stowaway Pack

The Good Housekeeping Institute voted this pack as the best lightweight bag . If you’re camping, hiking, or just trying to lighten your load, it’s a fantastic option that’s both durable and spacious.

Colors: Gold, Teal, Loden, Navy, or Black

Dimensions: Width: 10 inches x height: 19 inches x depth: 7 inches

Customer review: “Great bag. Love all the pockets, and it’s lightweight. Like how it can roll into a pouch.”

Osprey Daylite Plus Daypack

Daylite Plus Daypack

At first glance, you might underestimate how much this backpack can hold. But don’t be deceived; it secretly holds a ton of stuff. That’s just one of the many reasons the Good Housekeeping Institute rated this Osprey as the best travel daypack .

Dimensions: Width: 11 inches x height: 18.9 inches x depth: 9.45 inches

Customer review: “As a backpack hoarder, I’m always on the search for the perfect functional backpack. I bought the Osprey Daylite Plus to use on vacations where I’d also need to lug my work laptop along. I wanted something that is light enough to use on hikes and will work as a personal item when flying.”

Timbuk2 Parker Commuter Backpack

Parker Commuter Backpack

Business trips shouldn’t be a chore...well, not more so than the actual business part. But packing for business trips definitely shouldn’t be a pain. Allow Timbuk2 to take the hassle out of packing.

Dimensions: Width: 13.4 inches x height: 20.5 inches x depth: 5.5 inches

Customer review: “After using this pack for a couple weeks commuting, I can confidently say that it’s more functional, well designed, and comfortable than any other pack I’ve owned. The materials and build are incredibly high quality, and it sits perfectly on my back without adding strain, even when fully loaded with a laptop.”

.css-1wfsl5s{font-family:SaolDisplay,SaolDisplay-fallback,SaolDisplay-roboto,SaolDisplay-local,Georgia,Times,serif;font-weight:normal;margin-bottom:0.625rem;margin-top:0.625rem;text-align:center;}@media(max-width: 48rem){.css-1wfsl5s{font-size:2.375rem;line-height:1.2;}}@media(min-width: 48rem){.css-1wfsl5s{font-size:2.375rem;line-height:1.2;}}@media(min-width: 64rem){.css-1wfsl5s{font-size:3rem;line-height:1.2;letter-spacing:-0.0225rem;}}@media(min-width: 73.75rem){.css-1wfsl5s{font-size:3rem;line-height:1.2;}}.css-1wfsl5s b,.css-1wfsl5s strong{font-family:inherit;font-weight:bold;}.css-1wfsl5s em,.css-1wfsl5s i{font-style:italic;font-family:inherit;} What to consider when buying a travel backpack

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  • Size: Don’t just eyeball it based on what size you think you want; the precise measurements matter. Each airline has its own size restrictions for carry-on bags, and these are particularly varied between domestic and international flights. “ Since you may be flying on a lot of different airlines in the future, it may be best to choose the smallest common denominator that way your backpack is sure to fit no matter which airline you travel with,” Sandstroem says.
  • Security and durability: “ With most of us carrying around expensive electronics such as laptops, tablets, and camera gear, it’s important to find a backpack that will adequately protect your belongings,” Sandstroem says. “ Whether you’ll be throwing your bag on the ground, storing it under the seat of the plane, or tossing it in the overhead compartment, make sure to look for something that has both front and back padding.” You’ll also want to look for a bag that offers a padded laptop compartment that will fit your device. Some precautious customers might also opt for a bag that includes locks or some other anti-theft mechanisms.
  • Weight and material: The more lightweight, the better. “ It may seem like a couple of pounds won’t make much of a difference, but after hours of traveling, you’ll be happy to be rid of any extra weight,” Sandstroem says, noting that materials like polyester or nylon are both lightweight and durable.
  • Organization and features: You might find that a bag with an abundance of pockets or separated sections provides more ease of mind. It’s certainly simpler to keep organized. Or, if you’re someone who keeps their belongings grouped in different pouches, you can probably do with a more open-concept bag. Bear in mind any additional features that might make a difference for you, like a key leash, water bottle pocket, shoe bag, or chest straps.

Meet the Experts

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Matilda Sandstroem is the co-founder and primary designer for Adventurist Bags. The emerging brand is based in Denver and focuses on minimalist travel bags. For every bag purchased, Adventurist Bags donates 25 meals to Americans in need via non-profit Feeding America.

Why Trust ELLE

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Every product featured on ELLE.com is independently researched, tested, or editor-approved. We only recommend products that we stand behind, and the merchandise featured on our site is always driven by editorial and product testing standards, not by affiliate deals or advertising relationships. Any content created in partnership with advertisers is marked as such.

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  • (3) 5.0 out of 5 stars. 3 reviews

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  • (17) 4.8235 out of 5 stars. 17 reviews

.lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } Delsey Delsey Chatelet Air 2.0 Backpack 15 Laptop in Angora White ... 2 padded sleeves for a laptop and tablet for easy organization. Soft-touch lining includes a removable pouch purse for small accessories. Hidden front pocket for easy access to items you need on the go; smart band on the ... Delsey Chatelet Air 2.0 Backpack 15 Laptop in Angora White Add Delsey - Delsey Chatelet Air 2.0 Backpack 15 Laptop in Angora White to wishlist

  • (10) 4.9 out of 5 stars. 10 reviews

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're looking for a sense of safety for your hand luggage while travelling, your search ends here. . colour: charcoal. day tripper backpack in grey charcoal add flightmode - day tripper backpack in grey charcoal to wishlist.

  • (1) 5.0 out of 5 stars. 1 reviews

Online only .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } Gaiam Performance Hold Everything Yoga Backpack in Black Gaiam - The Gaiam Performance Hold Everything Yoga Backpack is the perfect on-the-go companion for yoga or everyday travel. The zippered exterior sleeve secures nearly any size mat and doubles as a pocket when not ... Performance Hold Everything Yoga Backpack in Black Add Gaiam - Performance Hold Everything Yoga Backpack in Black to wishlist

Online only .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } samsonite locus eco n2 laptop backpack in black ... , the locus eco backpack is an environmentally conscious backpack. featuring adjustable straps ... sleeve which enables you to stack your bag on your suitcase for hassle-free travel. 42.0 x 30.0 x 18.0 cm. colour: black. locus eco n2 laptop backpack in black add samsonite - locus eco n2 laptop backpack in black to wishlist.

  • (22) 4.5 out of 5 stars. 22 reviews

.lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } Samsonite Classic Leather Slim Backpack in Black ... look. The Smart Sleeve enables you to stack your bag on your suitcase for hassle free travel. This collection made from top quality grain leather adding sophistication while providing durability, proving this collection ... Classic Leather Slim Backpack in Black Add Samsonite - Classic Leather Slim Backpack in Black to wishlist

  • (156) 4.7885 out of 5 stars. 156 reviews

.lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } Brixton Commuter Backpack in Golden Brown Brixton - The Commuter Backpack combines daily storage with innovative details. Its built with water- ... and a protective lid to keep out the elements. Traveling with the commuter is made seamless by the rear trolley ... Commuter Backpack in Golden Brown Add Brixton - Commuter Backpack in Golden Brown to wishlist

.lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } samsonite locus eco n1 24l laptop backpack in black ... , the locus eco backpack is an environmentally conscious backpack, that also doesnt disappoint ... which enables you to stack your bag on your suitcase for hassle-free travel, handy quick access top pocket 42 (h) x 30 (l) x ... locus eco n1 24l laptop backpack in black add samsonite - locus eco n1 24l laptop backpack in black to wishlist.

  • (42) 4.8333 out of 5 stars. 42 reviews

.lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } Samsonite Classic Leather Slim Backpack in Cognac Brown ... look. The Smart Sleeve enables you to stack your bag on your suitcase for hassle free travel. This collection made from top quality grain leather adding sophistication while providing durability, proving this collection ... Classic Leather Slim Backpack in Cognac Brown Add Samsonite - Classic Leather Slim Backpack in Cognac Brown to wishlist

  • (182) 4.7418 out of 5 stars. 182 reviews

Online only .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } TATONKA City Pack 25L Backpack in Black ... ergonomically shaped shoulder straps make the backpack very comfortable to wear.,Features Ventilated ... straps (item 3258) can be attached to the backpack, Use of recycled materials, Laptop compartment suitable for ... City Pack 25L Backpack in Black Add TATONKA - City Pack 25L Backpack in Black to wishlist

.lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } high sierra access 3.0 eco pro wheeled backpack in black ... backpack, the collection offers easy portability and access to your belongings while travelling ... the bag from abrasion. the access 3.0 eco pro wheeled backpack is designed for life. solid ; active ; recycled pet polyester, ... access 3.0 eco pro wheeled backpack in black add high sierra - access 3.0 eco pro wheeled backpack in black to wishlist.

  • (3) 4.3333 out of 5 stars. 3 reviews

.lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } High Sierra Crossover Backpack in Black ... easy and secure tech storage. The Crossover backpack boasts a large main compartment that allows ... an additional option for carrying your bag. The Crossover backpack is designed for life, backed by a lifetime warranty. ... Crossover Backpack in Black Add High Sierra - Crossover Backpack in Black to wishlist

  • (4) 4.75 out of 5 stars. 4 reviews

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.lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } high sierra academy 3.0 eco backpack in marine blue ... and in the office as the most wanted backpack from high sierra.,features:15 lockable padded laptop ... pipping for night safety, side beverage pocket,high sierra backpacks are made for life, backed by a lifetime warranty ... academy 3.0 eco backpack in marine blue add high sierra - academy 3.0 eco backpack in marine blue to wishlist.

  • (8) 4.375 out of 5 stars. 8 reviews

.lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } Samsonite Leviathan 17.3inch Laptop Backpack 29.5L in Black ... full equipped backpack for the modern business person, Large volume backpack with Perfect Fit ... bag on top of a suitcase, Padded, ergonomic, adjustable backpack straps, Tablet compartment Carry On ; Polyester ; 50 x 36 ... Leviathan 17.3inch Laptop Backpack 29.5L in Black Add Samsonite - Leviathan 17.3inch Laptop Backpack 29.5L in Black to wishlist

  • (41) 4.878 out of 5 stars. 41 reviews

Online only .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } Slimbridge Military Tactical Backpack 80L in Green ... Preparing for an adventure far away. Take our Military Backpack with you. A product designed to support your ... issue of space and convenience we have designed a backpack that is very easy to carry and provides ample ... Military Tactical Backpack 80L in Green Add Slimbridge - Military Tactical Backpack 80L in Green to wishlist

  • (1) 3.0 out of 5 stars. 1 reviews

.lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } High Sierra Access 3.0 Eco Backpack in Marine Blue ... to get to your belongings, the Access 3.0 Eco backpack will keep you on the move. Features:Rain cover included, ... back panel with suspension backpack straps for ergonomic comfort,,High Sierra backpacks are made for life, ... Access 3.0 Eco Backpack in Marine Blue Add High Sierra - Access 3.0 Eco Backpack in Marine Blue to wishlist

  • (30) 4.8333 out of 5 stars. 30 reviews

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Online only .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } traderight group military tactical hiking backpack in black ... military backpack is made of waterproof fabric. it has a large main compartment, bottom zipped pocket, top zipped pocket, large zipped front pocket, and 2 zipped side pockets. it is ideal for camping, hiking, travelling ... military tactical hiking backpack in black add traderight group - military tactical hiking backpack in black to wishlist, online only .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } traderight group military tactical hiking camping rucksack trekking backpack 80l in blue ... military backpack is made by waterproof fabric it has a large main compartment bottom zipped pocket top zipped pocket large zipped front pocket and 2 zipped side pockets. ideal for camping hiking travelling and trekking ... military tactical hiking camping rucksack trekking backpack 80l in blue add traderight group - military tactical hiking camping rucksack trekking backpack 80l in blue to wishlist, .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } high sierra jarvis backpack in deep black high sierra - high sierra's jarvis backpack is designed with a lot of features. a fully padded and dedicated 15.6 laptop ... keep all your items safe and secure. this backpack is comfortable as well, featuring s-shaped mesh ... jarvis backpack in deep black add high sierra - jarvis backpack in deep black to wishlist.

  • (22) 4.7273 out of 5 stars. 22 reviews

.lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } High Sierra Access 3.0 Eco Backpack in Black ... to get to your belongings, the Access 3.0 Eco backpack will keep you on the move. Features:Rain cover included ... back panel with suspension backpack straps for ergonomic comfortHigh Sierra backpacks are made for life, ... Access 3.0 Eco Backpack in Black Add High Sierra - Access 3.0 Eco Backpack in Black to wishlist

  • (30) 4.8 out of 5 stars. 30 reviews

.lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } High Sierra Academy 3.0 Eco Backpack in Black ... and in the office as the most wanted backpack from High Sierra. ,Features:15 lockable padded laptop ... pipping for night safety, Side beverage pocket,High Sierra backpacks are made for life, backed by a lifetime warranty ... Academy 3.0 Eco Backpack in Black Add High Sierra - Academy 3.0 Eco Backpack in Black to wishlist

  • (13) 4.7692 out of 5 stars. 13 reviews

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  • (28) 4.6429 out of 5 stars. 28 reviews

.lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } Samsonite Tectonic 2 Laptop 26.5L Backpack in Black Samsonite - A practical and durable backpack that offers a variety of modern features paired with Samsonite quality. 15.6" padded laptop compartment, ergonomic shoulder straps, soft grip carry handle, organisational ... Tectonic 2 Laptop 26.5L Backpack in Black Add Samsonite - Tectonic 2 Laptop 26.5L Backpack in Black to wishlist

  • (60) 4.75 out of 5 stars. 60 reviews

Online only .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } PIERRE CARDIN Leather Business Backpack in Cognac Brown PIERRE CARDIN - Keep and store your essentials and valuables in the Pierre Cardin leather laptop backpack, which features a modern, stylish design that is ideal for commuters, students, and professionals alike.Features: ... Leather Business Backpack in Cognac Brown Add PIERRE CARDIN - Leather Business Backpack in Cognac Brown to wishlist

Online only .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } samsonite avant iii laptop 17l backpack in black ... needs. features:padded top handle for a soft-touch and secure grip., organisational compartment., padded, ergonomic, adjustable backpack straps., 15 laptop compartment. carry on ; polyester ; 42 x 29 x 13cm ; 2yr ; ... avant iii laptop 17l backpack in black add samsonite - avant iii laptop 17l backpack in black to wishlist.

  • (19) 4.7895 out of 5 stars. 19 reviews

.lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } RVCA Healing Backpack in Copper ... community. RVCA ticks all the boxes for the mens and women's surf and skate culture.Features:Backpack, Compartments: 1 main zip up compartment, 1 front zip up pocket, internal laptop sleeve, Straps: Adjustable straps ... Healing Backpack in Copper Add RVCA - Healing Backpack in Copper to wishlist

Online only .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } samsonite varsity backpack iii 20l in black ... interiors, varsity has been designed for lightweight versatility. in addition, varsity is a well-featured backpack with multi-pockets for organization, laptop & tablet pocket. there is a perfect solution for protecting ... varsity backpack iii 20l in black add samsonite - varsity backpack iii 20l in black to wishlist.

  • (16) 4.625 out of 5 stars. 16 reviews

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Online only .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } zefal z hydro enduro cycling bag backpack w/hydration water pack 3l blue/black zefal - made for long rides, the zefal hydration pack z hydro enduro 3l - blue & black is a hydration bag that comes with a 3l water bladder.,it is made from peva and is guaranteed to be bpa-free. the large opening makes ... z hydro enduro cycling bag backpack w/hydration water pack 3l blue/black add zefal - z hydro enduro cycling bag backpack w/hydration water pack 3l blue/black to wishlist.

  • (1) 4.0 out of 5 stars. 1 reviews

Online only .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } ZEFAL Z Hydro Race Cycling Bag Backpack w/ 1.5L Hydration Water Pack Black/Red ZEFAL - The Zefal Hydration Pack Z Hyrdo Race 1.5L - Black & Red makes the perfect companion for short rides and the zipped pocket means you can take along the essentials. This minimalist bag is lightweight and moulds to ... Z Hydro Race Cycling Bag Backpack w/ 1.5L Hydration Water Pack Black/Red Add ZEFAL - Z Hydro Race Cycling Bag Backpack w/ 1.5L Hydration Water Pack Black/Red to wishlist

Online only .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } roxy sunny palm beach backpack in quiet green roxy - roxy is the only exclusively female action-sports brand in the world. since 1990, they have created products for girls who love the beach and mountain lifestyle. their products are created for women, by women, ... sunny palm beach backpack in quiet green add roxy - sunny palm beach backpack in quiet green to wishlist, online only .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } samsonite marcus eco backpack in black samsonite - the perfect, environment conscious casual business companion, made with textiles engineered from 100% post-consumer recycled pet plastic bottles. equipped with a smart sleeve allowing you to stabilise your ... marcus eco backpack in black add samsonite - marcus eco backpack in black to wishlist.

  • (20) 4.8 out of 5 stars. 20 reviews

Online only .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } Samsonite Mirre Backpack 19L In Black Samsonite - Mirre is our on-trend sporty collection. Be bold and be prepared for weekdays and weekends. Multi-pocket organisation, Contrasting, branded zip pullers, Exterior water bottle pocket, Compatible with Pureum ... Mirre Backpack 19L In Black Add Samsonite - Mirre Backpack 19L In Black to wishlist

Online only .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } .lazyload-placeholder { display: none; } samsonite haeil backpack 18l in red samsonite - haeil is samsonite red low price point line with basic square shape. it's equipped with mesh back panel which provide comfort fit. the various pockets including front big pocket, makes it easier to access. ... haeil backpack 18l in red add samsonite - haeil backpack 18l in red to wishlist.

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Home » Europe » Moscow

EPIC MOSCOW Itinerary! (2024)

Moscow is the heart of Mother Russia. Just the mention of this city conjures images of colorful bulbous pointed domes, crisp temperatures, and a uniquely original spirit!

Moscow has an incredibly turbulent history, a seemingly resilient culture, and a unique enchantment that pulls countless tourists to the city each year! Although the warmer months make exploring Moscow’s attractions more favorable, there’s just something about a fresh snowfall that only enhances the appearance of the city’s iconic sites!

If you’re a first-time visitor to Moscow, or simply wanting to see as much of the city as possible, this Moscow itinerary will help you do just that!

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Best Time To Visit Moscow

Where to stay in moscow, moscow itinerary, day 1 itinerary in moscow, day 2 itinerary in moscow, day 3 and beyond, staying safe in moscow, day trips from moscow, faq on moscow itinerary.

Here is a quick look at the seasons so you can decide when to visit Moscow!

The summer months (June-August) are a great time to travel to Moscow to take advantage of the enjoyable mild temperatures. This is considered peak travel season. Bear in mind that hotel prices rise along with the temperatures!

when to visit moscow

If you’re planning a trip to Moscow during fall (September-November) try to plan for early fall. This way the temperatures will still be pleasant and winter won’t be threatening.

Russian winters (December-February) are not for the faint of heart as Napoleon learned to his peril. Some days the sun will be out for less than an hour, and snow is guaranteed. Although winters are exceptionally cold, this is when you’ll get a true glimpse of the Moscow experience!

The best time to visit Moscow is during spring  (March-May). The temperatures will begin to creep up and the sun begins to shine for significant portions of the day. Hotel rates will also have yet to skyrocket into peak ranges!

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With a Moscow City Pass , you can experience the best of Moscow at the CHEAPEST prices. Discounts, attractions, tickets, and even public transport are all standards in any good city pass – be sure invest now and save them $$$ when you arrive!

Moscow is a large city with many accommodation options to choose from. Staying in a location that fits with your travel plans will only enhance your Moscow itinerary. Here is a brief introduction to a few great areas of the city we recommend checking out!

The best place to stay in Moscow to be close to all the action is Kitay-Gorod. This charming neighborhood will put you within walking distance to Moscow’s famous Red Square, thus cutting down on travel time. This will allow you to see more of the city in a shorter amount of time!

where to stay in moscow

It’s surrounded by restaurants, cafes, bars, and shops. If you’re a first-time visitor to Moscow, or just planning a quick weekend in Moscow, then this area is perfect for you!

Another great area to consider is the Zamoskvorechye district. This area of the city offers a blend of new and old Moscow. It has an artsy vibe and there are plenty of fun sites you can explore outside of the main touristy areas of Moscow.

Of course, as in all areas of Moscow, it’s close to public transportation that will quickly connect you with the rest of the city and make your Moscow itinerary super accessible!

Best Airbnb in Moscow – Exclusive Apartment in Old Moscow

Exclusive Apartment in Old Moscow

Modern and cozy, this apartment is in the heart of Old Moscow. Bordering the Basmanny and Kitay-Gorod districts, this two-bedroom flat is walking distance to the Kremlin and Red Square. Safe, quiet, and comfortable, this is the best Airbnb in Moscow, no question!

Best Budget Hotel in Moscow – Izmailovo Alfa Hotel

moscow itinerary

The Izmailovo Alfa Hotel is a very highly rated accommodation that provides all the components necessary for a comfortable trip to Moscow. There is an on-site restaurant, bar, fitness center, and an airport shuttle service. The rooms are modern and spacious and are equipped with a TV, heating/air conditioning, minibar, and more!

Best Luxury Hotel in Moscow – Crowne Plaza Moscow World Trade Centre

moscow itinerary

If you’re touring Moscow in luxury, the Crowne Plaza Moscow World Trade Centre is the hotel for you! Elegantly furnished rooms are equipped with a minibar, flat-screen TV,  in-room safes, as well as tea and coffee making facilities! Bathrooms come with bathrobes, slippers, and free toiletries. There is also an onsite restaurant, bar, and fitness center.

Best Hostel in Moscow – Godzillas Hostel

moscow itinerary

Godzillas Hostel is located in the center of Moscow, just a short walk from all the major tourist attractions and the metro station. Guests will enjoy all the usual hostel perks such as self-catering facilities, 24-hour reception, Free Wi-Fi, and security lockers. This is one of the best hostels in Moscow and its wonderful social atmosphere and will make your vacation in Moscow extra special!

Godzillas Hostel is one of our favourites in Moscow but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.

An important aspect of planning any trip is figuring out the transportation situation. You’re probably wondering how you’re going to get to all of your Moscow points of interest right? Luckily, this sprawling city has an excellent network of public transportation that will make traveling a breeze!

The underground metro system is the quickest and most efficient way to travel around Moscow. Most visitors rely exclusively on this super-efficient transportation system, which allows you to get to pretty much anywhere in the city! It’s also a great option if you’re planning a Moscow itinerary during the colder months, as you’ll be sheltered from the snow and freezing temperatures!

moscow itinerary

If you prefer above-ground transportation, buses, trams, and trolleybuses, run throughout the city and provide a rather comfortable alternative to the metro.

Moscow’s metro, buses, trams, and trolleybuses are all accessible with a ‘Troika’ card. This card can be topped up with any sum of money at a metro cash desk. The ticket is simple, convenient, and even refundable upon return to a cashier!

No matter which method you choose, you’ll never find yourself without an easy means of getting from point A to point B!

Red Square | Moscow Kremlin | Lenin’s Mausoleum | St. Basil’s Cathedral  | GUM Department Store

Spend the first day of your itinerary taking your own self guided Moscow walking tour around the historic Red Square! This is Moscow’s compact city center and every stop on this list is within easy walking distance to the next! Get ready to see all of the top Moscow landmarks!

Day 1 / Stop 1 – The Red Square

  • Why it’s awesome: The Red Square is the most recognizable area in Moscow, it has mesmerizing architecture and centuries worth of history attached to its name.
  • Cost: Free to walk around, individual attractions in the square have separate fees. 
  • Food nearby: Check out Bar BQ Cafe for friendly service and good food in a great location! The atmosphere is upbeat and they’re open 24/7!

The Red Square is Moscow’s historic fortress and the center of the Russian government. The origins of the square date back to the late 15th century, when Ivan the Great decided to expand the Kremlin to reflect Moscow’s growing power and prestige!

During the 20th century, the square became famous as the site for demonstrations designed to showcase Soviet strength. Visiting the Red Square today, you’ll find it teeming with tourists, who come to witness its magical architecture up close!

The Red Square

The square is the picture postcard of Russian tourism, so make sure to bring your camera when you visit! No matter the season, or the time of day, it’s delightfully photogenic! 

It’s also home to some of Russia’s most distinguishing and important landmarks, which we’ve made sure to include further down in this itinerary. It’s an important center of Russia’s cultural life and one of the top places to visit in Moscow!

In 1990, UNESCO designated Russia’s Red Square as a World Heritage site. Visiting this historic site is a true bucket-list event and essential addition to your itinerary for Moscow!

Day 1 / Stop 2 – The Moscow Kremlin

  • Why it’s awesome: The Moscow Kremlin complex includes several palaces and cathedrals and is surrounded by the Kremlin wall. It also houses the principal museum of Russia (the Kremlin Armory).
  • Cost: USD $15.00
  • Food nearby: Bosco Cafe is a charming place to grat a casual bite to eat. They have excellent coffee and wonderful views of the Red Square and the Moscow Kremlin!

The iconic Moscow Kremlin , also known as the Kremlin museum complex, sits on Borovitsky Hill, rising above the Moscow River. It is a fortified complex in the center of the city, overlooking several iconic buildings in the Red Square!

It’s the best known of the Russian Kremlins – citadels or fortress’ protecting and dominating a city. During the early decades of the Soviet era, the Kremlin was a private enclave where the state’s governing elite lived and worked.

The Kremlin is outlined by an irregularly shaped triangular wall that encloses an area of 68 acres! The existing walls and towers were built from 1485 to 1495. Inside the Kremlin museum complex, there are five palaces, four cathedrals, and the enclosing Kremlin Wall with Kremlin towers.

The Armoury Chamber is a part of the Grand Kremlin Palace’s complex and is one of the oldest museums of Moscow, established in 1851. It showcases Russian history and displays many cherished relics. Definitely make sure to check out this museum while you’re here!

The Moscow Kremlin

The churches inside the Moscow Kremlin are the Cathedral of the Dormition, Church of the Archangel, Church of the Annunciation, and the bell tower of Ivan Veliki (a church tower).

The five-domed Cathedral of the Dormition is considered the most famous. It was built from 1475–1479 by an Italian architect and has served as a wedding and coronation place for great princes, tsars, and emperors of Russia. Church services are given in the Kremlin’s numerous cathedrals on a regular basis.

The Grand Kremlin Palace was the former Tsar’s Moscow residence and today it serves as the official workplace of the President of the Russian Federation (Vladimir Putin seems to have bagged that title for life) .

Insider Tip: The Kremlin is closed every Thursday! Make sure to plan this stop on your Moscow itinerary for any other day of the week!

Day 1 / Stop 3 – Lenin’s Mausoleum

  • Why it’s awesome: The mausoleum displays the preserved body of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin .
  • Cost: Free!
  • Food nearby: Khinkal’naya is a charming Georgian restaurant with vaulted ceilings and exposed brick. It’s a popular place with locals and right next to the Red Square!

Lenin’s Mausoleum, also known as Lenin’s Tomb, is the modernist mausoleum for the revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin. It’s located within the Red Square and serves as the resting place for the Soviet leader! His preserved body has been on public display since shortly after his death in 1924.

It’s located just a few steps away from the Kremlin Wall and is one of the most controversial yet popular Moscow attractions!

Admission is free for everyone, you’ll only need to pay if you need to check a bag. Before visitors are allowed to enter the mausoleum, they have to go through a metal detector first. No metal objects, liquids, or large bags are allowed in the mausoleum!

Lenins Mausoleum

Expect a line to enter the building, and while you’re inside the building, you’ll be constantly moving in line with other visitors. This means you won’t be able to spend as long as you’d like viewing the mausoleum, but you’ll still be able to get a good look. Pictures and filming while inside the building are strictly prohibited, and security guards will stop you if they see you breaking this rule.

The mausoleum is only open on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday – unless it’s a public holiday or a day scheduled for maintenance. The hours it’s open for each day are limited, make sure to check online before you visit to make sure you can fit this into your Moscow itinerary for that day!

Insider Tip: The Lenin’s Museum is there for people to pay their respect; remember to keep silent and move along quickly, it’s not intended for people to congregate around. Also, men are not allowed to wear hats and everyone must take their hands out of their pockets when inside the building.

Day 1 / Stop 4 – St. Basil’s Cathedral

  • Why it’s awesome: A dazzling designed cathedral that showcases Russia’s unique architecture. This cathedral is one of the most recognizable symbols of the country!
  • Cost: USD $8.00
  • Food nearby: Moskovskiy Chaynyy Klub is a cozy cafe serving food items and pipping hot tea; it’s the perfect place to go if you’re visiting Moscow during the winter months!

Located in the Red Square, the ornate 16th-century St. Basil’s Cathedral is probably the building you picture when you think of Moscow’s unique architecture. Its colorful onion-shaped domes tower over the Moscow skyline!

The cathedral was built from 1555-1561 by order of Tsar Ivan the Terrible. It was designed with an iconic onion dome facade and enchanting colors that captivate all who see it. Fun fact: If you’re wondering why Russian churches have onion domes, they are popularly believed to symbolize burning candles!

This iconic cathedral has become a symbol of Russia due to its distinguishing architecture and prominent position inside the Red Square. It’s one of the most beautiful, wonderful, and mesmerizing historical cathedrals in the world!

St. Basils Cathedral

The interior of the church surprises most people when they visit. In contrast to the large exterior, the inside is not so much one large area, but rather a collection of smaller areas, with many corridors and small rooms. There are 9 small chapels and one mausoleum grouped around a central tower.

Visiting the inside is like walking through a maze, there are even small signs all around the cathedral tracing where to walk, and pointing you in the right direction! The walls are meticulously decorated and painted with intricate floral designs and religious themes.

The church rarely holds service and is instead a museum open for the public to visit.

Insider Tip: During the summer months the line to go inside the cathedral can get quite long! Make sure to arrive early or reserve your tickets online to guarantee quick access into the cathedral!

Day 1 / Stop 5 – GUM Department Store

  • Why it’s awesome: This is Russia’s most famous shopping mall! It’s designed with elegant and opulent architecture and provides a real sense of nostalgia!
  • Cost: Free to enter
  • Food nearby: Stolovaya 57 is a cafeteria-style restaurant with a variety of inexpensive Russian cuisine menu items including soups, salads, meat dishes, and desserts. It’s also located inside the GUM department store, making it very easily accessible when you’re shopping!

The enormous GUM Department Store is located within the historic Red Square. It has a whimsical enchantment to it that sets it apart from your typical department store.

A massive domed glass ceiling lines the top of the building and fills the interior with natural sunlight. There are live plants and flowers placed throughout the mall that give the shopping complex a lively and cheerful feel! A playful fountain sits in the center, further adding to the malls inviting a sense of wonder and amusement!

The GUM department store opened on December 2, 1893. Today, it includes local and luxury stores, including Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Prada, and many more! There are numerous cafes, restaurants, and even a movie theater inside!

GUM Department Store

For a special treat, head into Gastronom 1. This 1950s-style shop sells gourmet food items, like wine, freshly-baked pastries, cheese, Russian chocolate, and of course, vodka! Also, be on the lookout for a bicycle pedaling ice cream truck with an employing selling ice cream!

The ambiance is simply amazing, a trip to this idyllic shopping mall is an absolute must on any Moscow itinerary!

Insider Tip: Make sure to carry some small change on you in case you need to use the restroom, you’ll need to pay 50 rubles – or about USD $0.80 to use the bathroom in GUM.

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Novodevichy Convent | Gorky Park | State Tretyakov Gallery | All-Russian Exhibition Center | Bolshoi Theater

On your 2 day itinerary in Moscow, you’ll have a chance to use the city’s excellent public transportation service! You’ll explore a few more of Moscow’s historic highlight as well as some modern attractions. These sites are a little more spread out, but still very easily accessible thanks to the metro!

Day 2 / Stop 1 – Novodevichy Convent

  • Why it’s awesome: The Novodevichy Convent is rich in imperial Russian history and contains some of Russia’s best examples of classical architecture!
  • Cost: USD $5.00
  • Food nearby: Culinary Shop Karavaevs Brothers is a cozy and simple place to have a quick bite, they also have vegetarian options!

The Novodevichy Convent is the best-known and most popular cloister of Moscow. The convent complex is contained within high walls, and there are many attractions this site is known for! 

The six-pillared five-domed Smolensk Cathedral is the main attraction. It was built to resemble the Kremlin’s Assumption Cathedral and its facade boasts beautiful snowy white walls and a pristine golden onion dome as its centerpiece. It’s the oldest structure in the convent, built from 1524 -1525, and is situated in the center of the complex between the two entrance gates.

There are other churches inside the convent as well, all dating back from many centuries past. The convent is filled with an abundance of 16th and 17th-century religious artworks, including numerous large and extravagant frescos!

Novodevichy Convent

Just outside the convent’s grounds lies the Novodevichy Cemetery. Here, you can visit the graves of famous Russians, including esteemed authors, composers, and politicians. Probably the most intriguing gravestone belongs to Russian politician Nikita Khruschev!

The Novodevichy Convent is located near the Moscow River and offers a peaceful retreat from the busy city. In 2004, it was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The convent remains remarkably well-preserved and is an outstanding example of Moscow Baroque architecture! 

Insider Tip: To enter the cathedrals inside the complex, women are advised to cover their heads and shoulders, while men should wear long pants.

Day 2 / Stop 2 – Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure

  • Why it’s awesome: A large amusement area in the heart of the city offering many attractions!
  • Cost: Free! 
  • Food nearby: Check out Mepkato, located inside Gorky Central Park for a casual meal in a cozy setting. There are indoor and outdoor seating options and the restaurant is child-friendly!

Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure is a large green space in the heart of Moscow. The park opened in 1928, and it stretches along the scenic embankment of the Moskva River. It covers an area of 300-acres and offers a lovely contrast from the compact city center.

You’ll find all sorts of wonderful attractions, from boat rides to bike rentals to tennis courts and ping-pong tables, and much more! there are an open-air cinema and festive events and concerts scheduled in the summer months.  A wide selection of free fitness classes is also offered on a regular basis, including jogging, roller skating, and dancing!

Although many of the options you’ll find here are more suited for outdoor leisure during the summer, you’ll also a selection of winter attractions, including one of Europe’s largest ice rinks for ice-skating!

Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure

If you’re trying to decide what to do in Moscow with kids, the park also offers several venues designed specifically for kids. Check out the year-round Green School which offers hands-on classes in gardening and art! You can also feed the squirrels and birds at the Golitsinsky Ponds!

The park is very well maintained and kept clean and the entrance is free of charge, although most individual attractions cost money. There is also Wi-Fi available throughout the park.

With so many attractions, you could easily spend all day here! If you’re only planning a 2 day itinerary in Moscow, make sure to plan your time accordingly and map out all the areas you want to see beforehand!

Day 2 / Stop 3 – The State Tretyakov Gallery

  • Why it’s awesome: The gallery’s collection consists entirely of Russian art made by Russian artists!
  • Food nearby : Brothers Tretyakovs is located right across the street from the gallery. It’s a wonderfully atmospheric restaurant serving top quality food and drinks!

The State Tretyakov Gallery was founded in 1856 by influential merchant and collector Pavel Tretyakov.  The gallery is a national treasury of Russian fine art and one of the most important museums in Russia!

It houses the world’s best collection of Russian art and contains more than 130, 000 paintings, sculptures, and graphics! These works have been created throughout the centuries by generations of Russia’s most talented artists!

The State Tretyakov Gallery

The exhibits range from mysterious 12th-century images to politically charged canvases. The collection is rich and revealing and offers great insight into the history and attitudes of this long-suffering yet inspired people!

All pictures are also labeled in English. If you plan to take your time and see everything inside the museum it will take a good 3-4 hours, so make sure to plan your Moscow trip itinerary accordingly! This gallery is a must-see stop for art lovers, or anyone wanting to explore the local culture and history of Russia in a creative and insightful manner! 

Insider Tip: When planning your 2 days in Moscow itinerary, keep in mind that most museums in Moscow are closed on Mondays, this includes The State Tretyakov Gallery!

Day 2 / Stop 4 – All-Russian Exhibition Center

  • Why it’s awesome: This large exhibition center showcases the achievements of the Soviet Union in several different spheres. 
  • Food nearby: Varenichnaya No. 1 serves authentic and homestyle Russian cuisine in an intimate and casual setting.

The All-Russian Exhibition Center is a massive park that presents the glory of the Soviet era! It pays homage to the achievements of Soviet Russia with its many different sites found on the property.

The center was officially opened in 1939 to exhibit the achievements of the Soviet Union. It’s a huge complex of buildings and the largest exhibition center in Moscow. There are several exhibition halls dedicated to different achievements and every year there are more than one hundred and fifty specialized exhibitions!

All Russian Exhibition Center

The Peoples Friendship Fountain was constructed in 1954 and is a highlight of the park. The stunning gold fountain features 16 gilded statues of girls, each representing the former Soviet Union republics. 

The Stone Flower Fountain was also built in 1954 and is worth checking out. The centerpiece of this large fountain is a flower carved from stones from the Ural Mountains! Along the side of the fountain are various bronze sculptures.

You will find many people zipping around on rollerblades and bicycles across the large area that the venue covers. It’s also home to amusement rides and carousels, making it the perfect place to stop with kids on your Moscow itinerary! Make sure to wear comfortable shoes and allow a few hours to explore all the areas that interest you!

Day 2 / Stop 5 – Bolshoi Theater

  • Why it’s awesome: The Bolshoi Theater is a historic venue that hosts world-class ballet and opera performances!
  • Cost: Prices vary largely between USD $2.00 –  USD $228.00 based on seat location.
  • Food nearby: Head to the Russian restaurant, Bolshoi for high-quality food and drinks and excellent service!

The Bolshoi Theater is among the oldest and most renowned ballet and opera companies in the world! It also boasts the world’s biggest ballet company, with more than 200 dancers!

The theater has been rebuilt and renovated several times during its long history. In 2011 it finished its most recent renovation after an extensive six-year restoration that started in 2005. The renovation included an improvement in acoustics and the restoration of the original Imperial decor.

The Bolshoi Theater has put on many of the world’s most famous ballet acts! Tchaikovsky’s ballet Swan Lake premiered at the theater in 1877 and other notable performances of the Bolshoi repertoire include Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker!

Bolshoi Theater

Today, when you visit the theater, you can expect a magical performance from skilled singers, dancers, and musicians with the highest level of technique!

If you don’t have time to see a show, the theater also provides guided tours on select days of the week. Tours are given in both Russian and English and will provide visitors with a more intimate look at the different areas of the theater!

The stage of this iconic Russian theater has seen many outstanding performances. If you’re a fan of the performing arts, the Bolshoi Theater is one of the greatest and oldest ballet and opera companies in the world, making it a must-see attraction on your Moscow itinerary!

moscow itinerary

Godzillas Hostel

Godzillas Hostel is located in the center of Moscow, just a short walk from all the major tourist attractions and the metro station.

  • Towels Included

Cosmonautics Museum | Alexander Garden | Ostankino Tower | Izmaylovo District | Soviet Arcade Museum

Now that we’ve covered what to do in Moscow in 2 days, if you’re able to spend more time in the city you’re going to need more attractions to fill your time. Here are a few more really cool things to do in Moscow we recommend!

Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics

  • Hear the timeline of the ‘space race’ from the Russian perspective
  • This museum is fun for both adults and children!
  • Admission is USD $4.00

The Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics is a museum dedicated to space exploration! The museum explores the history of flight, astronomy, space exploration, space technology, and space in the arts. It houses a large assortment of Soviet and Russian space-related exhibits, and the museum’s collection holds approximately 85,000 different items!

Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics

The museum does an excellent job of telling the full story of the exciting space race between the USSR and the US! It highlights the brightest moments in Russian history and humanity and is very interesting and fun for all ages!

If you’re a fan of space or just curious about gaining insight into Russia’s fascinating history of space exploration, make sure to add this to your 3 day itinerary in Moscow!

The Alexander Garden

  • A tranquil place to relax near the Red Square
  • Green lawns dotted with sculptures and lovely water features
  • The park is open every day and has no entrance fee

The Alexander Garden was one of the first urban public parks in Moscow! The garden premiered in 1821 and was built to celebrate Russia’s victory over Napoleon’s forces in 1812!

The park is beautiful and well maintained with paths to walk on and benches to rest on. The park contains three separate gardens: the upper garden, middle garden, and lower garden.

The Alexander Garden

Located in the upper garden, towards the main entrance to the park is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with its eternal flame. This monument was created in 1967 and contains the body of a soldier who fell during the Great Patriotic War!

The park stretches along all the length of the western Kremlin wall for about half a mile. Due to its central location in the city, it’ll be easily accessible when you’re out exploring The Red Square.

It provides a bit of relief from the city’s high-energy city streets. Bring a picnic lunch, go for a walk, or just sit and people watch, this is one of the best Moscow sites to wind-down and relax!

Ostankino Television Tower

  • Television and radio tower in Moscow
  • Currently the tallest free-standing structure in Europe
  • Make sure you bring your passport when you visit, you can’t go up without it!

For spectacular views of the city, make sure to add the Ostankino Television Tower to your itinerary for Moscow! This impressive free-standing structure provides stunning views of the city in every direction. The glass floor at the top also provides great alternative views of the city!

Ostankino Television Tower

It takes just 58 seconds for visitors to reach the Tower’s observation deck by super fast elevator. The tower is open every day for long hours and is a great site in Moscow to check out! There is even a restaurant at the top where you can enjoy rotating views of the city while you dine on traditional Russian cuisine or European cuisine!

The tower is somewhat of an architectural surprise in a city that is not known for skyscrapers! To see the city from a new perspective, make sure to add this stop to your Moscow itinerary!

Izmaylovo District

  • The most popular attractions in this district are the kremlin and the flea market
  • Outside of the city center and easy to reach via metro
  • Most popular during the summer and on weekends

Travel outside the city center and discover a unique area of the city! The Izmaylovo District is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, and one of the coolest places to see in Moscow! The two main attractions we recommend checking out are the Kremlin and the flea market.

The Izmailovo Kremlin was established as a cultural center and molded after traditional Russian architecture. This colorful complex is home to several single-subject museums, including a Russian folk art museum and a vodka museum!

Izmaylovo District

Next to the Kremlin is the Izmailovo open-air market, which dates back to the 17th century! The market is connected to the Izmailovo Kremlin by a wooden bridge. Pick up all your Russian souvenirs here, including traditional handicrafts, paintings, books, retro toys, and Soviet memorabilia!

You will find many hand-made and hand-painted options available at higher prices, as well as mass-produced souvenir options at lower prices!

Museum of Soviet Arcade Games

  • Closed on Mondays
  • Filled with old arcade games that visitors get to try out!
  • The museum also includes a small cafe and burger shop

For something a little different, check out the Museum of Soviet Arcade Games! The museum features roughly 60 machines from the Soviet era, including video games, pinball machines, and collaborative hockey foosball! The machines inside the museum were produced in the USSR in the mid-1970s.

Museum of Soviet Arcade Games

The best part is, most of the games are still playable! Purchase tickets and try the games out for yourself! The museum also has a neat little screening room that plays old Soviet cartoons and an area with Soviet magazines! This unique attraction is a fun addition to a 3 day itinerary in Moscow, and an attraction that all ages will enjoy! 

Whether you’re spending one day in Moscow, or more, safety is an important thing to keep in mind when traveling to a big city! Overall, Moscow is a very safe place to visit. However, it is always recommended that tourists take certain precautions when traveling to a new destination!

The police in Moscow is extremely effective at making the city a safe place to visit and do their best to patrol all of the top Moscow, Russia tourist attractions. However, tourists can still be a target for pickpockets and scammers.

Moscow has a huge flow of tourists, therefore there is a risk for pickpocketing. Simple precautions will help eliminate your chances of being robbed. Stay vigilant, keep your items close to you at all times, and don’t flash your valuables!

If you’re planning a solo Moscow itinerary, you should have no need to worry, as the city is also considered safe for solo travelers, even women. Stay in the populated areas, try and not travel alone late at night, and never accept rides from strangers or taxis without a meter and correct signage.

The threat of natural disasters in Moscow is low, with the exception of severe winters when the temperature can dip below freezing! Bring a good, warm jacket if you visit in Winter.

However, please note that Russian views on homsexuality are far less accepting than those in Western Europe. Likewise, Non-Caucasian travellers may sadly encounter racism in Russia .

Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance for Moscow

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing .

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

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SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

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Now that we’ve covered all the top things to see in Moscow, we thought we’d include some exciting day trips to other areas of the country!

Sergiev Posad (Golden Ring)

Sergiev Posad Golden Ring

On this 7-hour guided tour, you’ll visit several scenic and historic areas of Russia. Start your day with hotel pick-up as you’re transferred by a comfortable car or minivan to Sergiev Posad. Admire the charming Russian countryside on your drive and enjoy a quick stop to visit the Russian village, Rudonezh!

You’ll see the majestic Saint Spring and the Church of Sergiev Radonezh. You’ll also visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, one of the most famous Orthodox sites in Russia!

Lastly, you’ll swing by the local Matreshka market and enjoy a break in a nice Russian restaurant before returning to Moscow!

Day Trip to Vladimir and Suzdal

Day Trip to Vladimir and Suzdal

On this 13-hour trip, you’ll discover old Russia, with its picturesque landscapes and white-stoned beautiful churches! You’ll visit the main towns of the famous Golden Ring of Russia – the name for several cities and smaller towns north-east of Moscow.

Your first stop will be in the town of Vladimir, the ancient capital of all Russian principalities. The city dates back to the 11th century and is one of the oldest and the most important towns along the Ring! Next, you’ll visit Suzdal, a calm ancient Russian town north of Vladimir with only 13,000 inhabitants!

The old-style architecture and buildings of Suzdal are kept wonderfully intact. If you’re spending three days in Moscow, or more, this is a great option for exploring the charming areas outside the city!

Zvenigorod Day Trip and Russian Countryside

Zvenigorod Day Trip and Russian Countryside

On this 9-hour private tour, you’ll explore the ancient town of Zvenigorod, one of the oldest towns in the Moscow region! As you leave Moscow you’ll enjoy the stunning scenery along the Moscow River, and make a few stops at old churches along the way to Zvenigorod.

Upon arrival, you’ll explore the medieval center, including the 14th-century Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery. Next, you’ll take a break for lunch (own expense) where you’ll have the chance to try out the Russian cuisine! Next, you’ll visit the Museum of Russian Dessert and sip on tea at a Russian tea ceremony.

The final stop of the day is at the Ershovo Estate, a gorgeous place to walk around and enjoy nature!

Day Trip to St Petersburg by Train visiting Hermitage & Faberge

Day Trip to St Petersburg by Train visiting Hermitage and Faberge

On this full-day tour, you’ll enjoy a a full round trip to St Petersburg where you’ll spend an exciting day exploring another popular Russian city! You’ll be picked up from your hotel in Moscow and be transferred to the train station where you’ll ride the high-speed train ‘Sapsan’ to St Petersburg.

Upon arrival, you’ll start the day by touring the Hermitage Museum and the Winter Palace. Next, you’ll visit the Faberge Museum, where you’ll explore the impressive collection of rare Faberge Eggs! In the afternoon, enjoy a sightseeing boat ride and a traditional 3-course Russian lunch.

If you’re spending 3 days in Moscow, or more, this is an excellent trip to take!

Trip to Kolomna – Authentic Cultural Experience from Moscow

Trip to Kolomna - Authentic Cultural Experience from Moscow

On this 10-hour tour, you’ll escape the city and travel to the historic town of Kolomna! First, you’ll visit the 14th-century Kolomna Kremlin, home to the Assumption Cathedral and an abundance of museums!

Next, enjoy lunch at a local cafe (own expense) before embarking on a tour of the Marshmallow Museum – of course, a marshmallow tasting is provided!  Your final stop is the Museum of Forging Settlements, where displays include armor and accessories for fishing and hunting.

Discover this beautiful Russian fairytale city on a private trip, where all of the planning is taken care of for you!

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Find out what people want to know when planning their Moscow itinerary.

How many days you need in Moscow?

We recommend that you spend at least two or three days in Moscow to take it all in.

What’s the best month to visit Moscow?

The best time to visit Moscow is over the spring, from March to May as temperatures are mild, crowds are thin and prices are reasonable.

What are some unusual things to do in Moscow?

I mean, queuing up to see an almost 100 year old corpse is pretty unsual! Check out Lenin’s Mausoleum if you fancy it!

What are some fun things to do in Moscow?

The Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics is a fun place to explore the famous space race from the perspective of the ‘other side’!

We hope you enjoyed our Moscow itinerary! We’ve made sure to cover all the Moscow must-sees as well as some unique attractions in the city! Our addition of insider tips, favorite food stops, and day trips from Moscow is an added bonus and will guarantee you make the most out of your exciting Russian vacation!

Immerse yourself in the modern and traditional Russian lifestyle! Get lost in museums, witness awe-inspiring architecture, and indulge in Russian cuisine! Spend the day strolling through all of the charming sites of Moscow, admiring the beautiful scenery and discovering the city’s fairytale-like enchantment!

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And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links . That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!

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TravelAwaits

Our mission is to serve the 50+ traveler who's ready to cross a few items off their bucket list.

19 Unique And Fabulous Experiences In Moscow

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  • Destinations

Thinking of visiting Russia? When visiting such a famous city, one must, of course, visit the iconic landmarks first. Moscow has plenty of those, most of them in the center of the city, which is very well-planned for tourists. Once you’ve seen the sights that are on most travelers’ lists, it’s time to branch out and visit some of the lesser-known sites, and there are some fascinating places to see and things to do.

I know this list is long, but I just couldn’t help myself. You probably won’t have the time to see them all. But that’s okay. Just scroll through the list and choose what sounds the most interesting to you. Where possible, make sure to book in advance, as things can get crowded, especially during high season.

Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow, Russia

1. The Red Square, Kremlin, And Surroundings

Red Square (Krasnya Ploshad) is the heart and soul of Russia, and where much of the country’s history has unfolded. This is the most famous landmark in Moscow and indeed the whole country, it’s an absolute must-do! The square is always full of people and has a rather festive atmosphere!

Saint Basil’s Cathedral

This is the famous church with the rainbow-colored, onion-domed roof. The cathedral was commissioned in the 1500s by Ivan the Terrible and according to legend, the Tsar thought it was so beautiful, that he ordered that the architect’s eyes be cut out afterward, so he could never build anything more beautiful! He wasn’t called Ivan the Terrible for no reason!

Lenin’s Mausoleum

The “love-it-or-hate-it” of tourist attractions in Russia. A glass sarcophagus containing the embalmed body of Russian revolutionary, Vladimir Lenin. It may seem a bit bizarre to display the mummy of a person, but it has been there for almost half a century and the 2.5 million visitors who come each year, clearly feel the queuing and thorough body search are worth it, to be in Lenin’s presence.

Pro Tip: no photos and no loud talking are allowed inside the Mausoleum.

Eternal Flame

There is an Eternal Flame in honor of an unknown soldier on the left side of Red Square. The hourly changing of the guards is worth seeing.

The Kremlin is the official residence of the Russian president. You can see it from the outside, or you can take an excursion to one of the museums located inside. This is the biggest active fortress in Europe, and holds a week’s worth of attractions! Once behind the 7,332-feet of walls, there are five squares, four cathedrals, 20 towers, various museums, and the world’s largest bell and cannon to see. Worth a special mention is the Armory Chamber that houses a collection of the famous Faberge Eggs.

Pro Tip: You can only go inside the Kremlin if you are part of a tourist group.

Interior of the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscos

2. Bolshoi Theatre

Bolshoi Theatre translates to “The Big Theatre” in Russian, and the building is home to both the Bolshoi Ballet and Bolshoi Opera — among the oldest and most famous ballet and opera companies in the world.

Pro Tip: It’s hard to get an inexpensive ticket, so if you’re reading well in advance of going to Moscow then try buying tickets on the official website . Last-minute tickets cost around $250 per person. If this is out of your budget, about an hour before a performance, you can try buying a ticket at the entrance from a reseller. Most can speak enough English to negotiate the price.

Tour the Bolshoi Theatre: You can take a group guided tour of the Bolshoi Theatre which focuses on the history and architecture of the theatre and behind the scenes. There’s an English language tour that lasts 2 hours and costs around $300 for a group of up to six.

GUM, a popular department store in Moscow

3. Luxury Shopping At GUM And TSUM

Russia’s main department store, GUM, has a stunning interior that is home to over 100 high-end boutiques, selling a variety of brands: from luxurious Dior to the more affordable Zara. Even if shopping is not on your Moscow to-do list GUM is still worth a visit; the glass-roofed arcade faces Red Square and offers a variety of classy eateries. TSUM, one of the biggest luxury malls in town, is right behind the Bolshoi and GUM. It’s an imposing building with lots of history, and worth a visit just for its design and its glass roof.

Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow

4. Christ The Savior Cathedral

This is one of Russia’s most visited cathedrals and is a newer addition to the gorgeous array of Muscovite cathedrals, but don’t let its young age fool you. After perestroika, in the early 90s, the revived Russian Orthodox Church was given permission to build a cathedral on this site. It did the location honors and built the largest temple of the Christian Orthodox Church. The façade is as grand as you’d expect, but it’s the inside that will mesmerize you, with its domes, gold, gorgeous paintings, and decor!

The cathedral is located just a few hundred feet away from the Kremlin and was the site of the infamous Pussy Riot protest against Putin back in 2012.

Pro Tip: Bring a shawl to cover your hair as is the local custom.

Gates at Gorky Park in Moscow

5. Gorky Park

Moscow’s premier green space, Gorky Park (Park Gor’kogo) is the city’s biggest and most famous park. There is entertainment on offer here for every taste, from outdoor dancing sessions to yoga classes, volleyball, ping-pong, rollerblading, and bike and boat rental in summer. In winter, half the park turns into a huge ice skating rink. Gorky Park is also home to an open-air movie theater and the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art. There is also Muzeon Art Park, a dynamic contemporary space with a unique collection of 700 sculptures. It is located right in front of Gorky Park.

6. Sparrow Hills Park

If you take a walk from Gorky Park, along the Moscow River embankment, you’ll end up in the city’s other legendary park, Sparrow Hills. Although the park doesn’t offer as many activities as its hip neighbor, it has a great panoramic view of the city

Pro Tip: You can take a free walking tour to all of the above attractions with an English-speaking guide.

River cruise in Moscow

7. River Cruising

One of the best ways to experience Moscow, and see all the famous landmarks, but from a different angle, is from the Moscow River. Take a river cruise. Avoid the tourist crowds. There are little nameless old boats that do the cruise, but if you are looking for a more luxurious experience take the Radisson Blu cruise and enjoy the sights with some good food and a glass of wine.

Moscow Metro station

8. Metro Hopping

Inaugurated in the 1930s, the Moscow Metro system is one of the oldest and most beautiful in the world. Started in Stalinist times, each station is a work of art in its own right. I’d recommend touring the stations between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. This way, you’ll be able to properly see it without the crowds. Ideally, I’d recommend taking a tour with a knowledgeable guide with GuruWalk, who will tell you stories of forgotten stations and how the history of the country is interconnected with the metro development. If going by yourself, then I definitely recommend checking out: Mayakovskaya, Ploschad Revolutsii, Kievskaya, Kropotkinskaya, Kurskaya, and Novoslobodskaya stations.

Visit the free Moscow Metro Museum: For real train enthusiasts, located in the southern vestibule of Sportivnaya station is a small free museum. Here you can take a peek into the driver’s cabin, see a collection of metro tokens from different cities, and see different models of a turnstile, traffic lights, escalator, and more.

Moscow State University at dusk

9. Moscow State University View

In his effort to create a grander Moscow, Stalin had seven skyscrapers built in different parts of town; they’re called the Seven Sisters. The largest of these buildings and the one with the best view is the main building of the Moscow State University. Although this is a little outside the city center, the view is more than worth it.

Izmailovsky Market in Moscow, Russia

10. Izmailovsky Market

Mostly known for the city’s largest flea market, the district of Izmaylovo is home to a maze of shops where you can get just about anything, from artisan crafts to traditional fur hats, handcrafted jewelry, fascinating Soviet memorabilia, and antiquities. It’s also one of Moscow’s largest green spaces. There are often no price tags, so be prepared to haggle a bit. Head to one of the market cafes for a warming mulled wine before continuing your shopping spree.

The History of Vodka Museum is found here, and the museum’s restaurant is the perfect place to sample various brands of the national drink.

Once you’ve covered the more touristy spots, Moscow still has plenty to offer, and the places below will also be full of locals! So for some local vibes, I would strongly recommend the spots below!

The skyscrapers of Moscow City

11. Moscow City

With a completely different vibe, Moscow City (also referred to as Moscow International Business Center) is like a mini Dubai, with lots of impressive tall glass buildings. Here is where you’ll find the best rooftops in towns, like Ruski Restaurant, the highest restaurant both in Moscow City and in Europe. Moscow City is great for crowd-free shopping and the best panoramic views of the city.

Art in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow

12. Tretyakov Gallery

Tretyakov Gallery started as the private collection of the Tretyakov brothers, who were 19th-century philanthropists. They gave their private collection to the government after their deaths. If there is just one museum you visit in Moscow, I recommend this one!

Tsaritsyno Museum Reserve, former residence of Catherine the Great

13. Tsaritsyno Museum-Reserve

Tsaritsyno was a residence of Catherine the Great more than two centuries ago. It became derelict during the Soviet era but has now been fully renovated. With its opulently decorated buildings, gardens, meadows, and forests, Tsaritsyno Park is the perfect place for a green respite in Moscow.

Kolomenskoye Museum-Reserve in Moscow

14. Kolomenskoye

A 10-minute metro ride from the city center is Kolomenskoe Museum-Reserve, where you can get an idea of what Russia looked like 200 years ago. You’ll find ancient churches (one dating back to the 16th century), the oldest garden in Moscow, and the wonderful fairytale wooden palace of Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich, father of Peter the Great.

Ostankino TV Tower in Moscow at night

15. Ostankino TV Tower

Built in 1967, Ostankino TV Tower was the tallest free-standing construction in the world at the time, it’s still the 8th tallest building in the world and the highest in Europe. It’s also the best observation deck, with a glass floor and 360-degree views. The speedy elevators take you 1,105 feet in next to no time.

Pro Tip: You need to book in advance; entrance is based on specific ticket times and the capacity is limited and only a certain number of tourists are allowed per day. Don’t forget your passport, you’ll need it to get through security.

The floating bridge of Zaryadye Park in Moscow

16. Zaryadye Park

Zaryadye is a newly opened, landscaped urban park so new you won’t find it in a lot of tour guides. The park is near Red Square and is divided into four climatic zones: forest, steppe, tundra, and floodplains, depicting the variety of climatic zones in Russia.

These last three suggestions are a little quirky, but all are really worth checking out.

17. Museum Of Soviet Arcade Games

Release your inner child playing on 66 arcade machines from the Soviet era! What a great way to spend a couple of hours when tired of visiting museums and palaces. The staff speaks excellent English and are happy to explain how the games work.

The rooftops of Moscow, Russia

18. Moscow Rooftop Tour

Take a 1-hour private Moscow rooftop tour with an experienced roofer. I can just about guarantee none of your friends will be able to say they’ve done it! For your comfort, I recommend wearing comfortable shoes. Take your camera, there are some amazing photo opportunities out there!

A pool at Sanduny Banya in Moscow

19. Sanduny Banya

This classical Russian bathhouse opened its doors in 1808 and is famous for combining traditional Russian banya services with luxurious interiors and service. If you enjoy spas and saunas, then you should experience a Russian bathhouse at least once in your life! Go with an open mind and hire a specialist to steam you as it’s meant to be done — by being beaten repeatedly with a besom (a leafy branch)! This is said to improve circulation, but is best done by a professional!

So there you have my list of things to do in Moscow. I could have gone on and on and on, but I didn’t want to try your patience! There are so many things to do in this vibrant city that you’ll definitely need to allocate several days for exploring.

Here are some other reasons to visit Moscow and Russia:

  • 7 Reasons To Put Moscow On Your Travel Bucket List
  • Russia 30 Years (And 30 Pounds) Ago
  • Massive Mysterious Craters Appearing Again In Siberia

Image of Sarah Kingdom

Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, before moving to Africa at the age of 21, Sarah Kingdom is a mountain climber and guide, traveler, yoga teacher, trail runner, and mother of two. When she is not climbing or traveling she lives on a cattle ranch in central Zambia. She guides and runs trips regularly in India, Nepal, Tibet, Russia, and Ethiopia, taking climbers up Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro numerous times a year.

COMMENTS

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    The best backpacks in Australia. Best overall backpack: Samsonite Paradiver Light 74775. Best travel backpack: Osprey Farpoint 55. Best camera backpack: Endurax Camera Backpack. Best wheeled ...

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