Welcome back…Guess where we are headed on this week’s post?
They: “Sarah are you really certain about moving to the other side”?
Me: Well, I could certainly go see for myself, you know what they say about learning things you never knew ?
They: “Okay, that’s fine, but then we will have to send you food, provisions, toiletries, and all the luxuries you are used to, they certainly do not have them there”
Me: I’ll be fine! Or at least I better be… (truthfully terrified)
Crazy is what I was when I decided to leave Western Europe, I packed my belongings, bade my friends goodbye and relocated to “The other side” as it is called by most.
Central/Eastern Europe is not exactly a popular destination but guess what? It blew my mind away, the second I arrived, it EXCEEDED my expectations in ways I could never have imagined…picturesque castles, ancient towns and stunning countrysides! Believe me guys the artistry and craftsmanship are out of this world and absolutely amazing.
So, in today’s post, we will be exploring 5 different countries in 8 days on a very good Budget of 500euros! Starting off with Prague then moving to →Budapest →Bratislava →Vienna →Krakow. First things first, Central Europe is as the name implies….”central”. it is strategically located and thus very easy to navigate.
1. Kick off…’Praha’, Prague Czech Republic.
Still one of my favs…Guys did you know that Prague is now the sixth most visited destination in Europe? Replete with such a fascinating history, colorful baroque buildings, gothic churches with gorgeous art and architecture. This city is a must-see, amazingly they even have a beer SPA and a beer Museum can you imagine? Beer lovers get in here! HaHaHa…
“Czech” out a few photos…
Two days will certainly leave you longing for more, but you can do a lot like; Visiting the largest Castle in the world, or the Famous Charles bridge, the Golden lane, the old Jewish ghetto and you can also get to explore the old town. For party lovers, nightlife in Prague is a must! so while in Prague do make sure you visit Karlovy Lázně, Central Europe’s biggest nightlife spot and thank me later…lol. Now let’s take off to the next country!
2. Budapest, Hungary.
With a makeup of 3 unified cities, Buda and Óbuda on the west bank of the Danube, and Pest on the east bank, Budapest is a city with an enthralling heritage and a contemporary artistic style that has a way of making visitors feel welcome! From museums to thermal Spas to exploring the city there is something to tickle your fancy, trust me! In Summer it’s one of those cities that never sleep…Lit!
From Prague, Budapest is roughly 1 hour by flight, and can go for as low as 20euros if you are using budget airlines like Ryan Air, alternatively, trains and buses go for as low as 5euros on goeuro.com. Two days is reasonable enough to explore Budapest and do the major things like going to the AMAZING Parliament, the fisherman’s Bastion, Danube Promenade, Hero’s square, Margaret Island and even the famous Gellert Baths.
P/S- … I also believe that there is magic in Budapest, guess what? I was wandering the streets of Budapest this summer looking for someone to take photos of me and I had the privilege of seeing Will Smith do the “Kiki” challenge….so friends visit Budapest, and may the magic genie be with you …POOF…off we go to our 3rd country!
3. Bratislava, Slovakia.
The beauty of the Danube…laid-back but a very interesting place. This city possesses a juxtaposing throbbing social life and a gracious historic charm. I was not sure what to expect in terms of reception and perception of foreigners, however, upon arrival, I found them very warm and receptive.
On a one-day trip, you can visit and explore the whole city…lovely Castles to see, a beautiful Old town to explore and medieval churches to visit…Look at the lovely photo below of the blue church I found, doesn’t it look as yummy as a wedding cake? haha!
I loved and enjoyed the relaxed feeling in Slovakia, fresh air and rich culture.
For as low as 5euros you can get a Flixbus ticket from Budapest to Bratislava, and the trip is actually less than 3 hours.
4. Vienna, Austria.
I bet you didn’t know that for nine years in a row Vienna has been named “the best city to live in” …oh yes let that sink in!!! That been said if you are a lover of Jazz, Art and imperial palaces, then Vienna is the place to be! Lot of other things to see but my primary interest in Vienna is always for the amazing Jazz Festival.
Vienna is actually just an hour drive and for as low as 3 euros from Brastislava to Vienna so what are you waiting for! Next country number 5…
5. Krakow, Poland.
One of my “wow” cities in Eastern Europe…but sadly remains amongst the most underrated and undiscovered places in Europe…Charming city with perhaps the finest Old town you can ever see in the World!!! If you love fairy-tale architecture, insane desserts, stunning countryside and a rich history then Krakow is for you! The Amazing Wawel Castle, Cloth Hall, and the Old Jewish quarter are top places to visit. It boasts of a very rich culture and the food is damn goooood!! I specifically visited Krakow for the “Pierogi” and wow was worth it!
By the way, the only thing I and Yvette noticed in Krakow were the cute guys! Like seriously, how did it take us so long to discover this place filled with “milk and Honey”…HaHaHa! I even prefer Krakow to Warsaw the Capital cos the city is vibrant, culturally rich and very welcoming!
Two days is usually enough to explore Krakow, with tickets from Vienna to Krakow for as low as 10euros you can always make your way there by bus/ train and be there in a few hours.
TIPS, FOOD & WHERE TO STAY…
One thing I totally loved was the homemade dishes in Central Europe, very cheap and good quality. With about 10-15euros you can eat a very good meal and the desserts were amazing!!! (Photos below are few restaurants I recommend and my fav dishes).
All through my visits around Central/Eastern Europe, I chose to lodge with airbnb.com, I was able to find amazing homes with huge spaces and personalised services at affordable prices. On the average to rent a one-bedroom apartment per day I paid around 20-25euros. Cheaper options could be hostels which provide a great platform to meet other travellers/backpackers and make some new friends!
Dear friends, suffice it, therefore, to say that Central/Eastern Europe is not “The other side” as people from Western Europe perceived it to be! And to my concerned friends that were worried about me…. I have enough good food and all the luxurious things you thought I was gonna miss…lol. There is so much to discover on this end and soonest I will share a continuation of the remaining countries I’ve visited here. So yeah right, you gotta check back **wink**
….Alright then, time to take that vacation off work, book a ticket to an ‘unpopular’ destination and come discover for yourself just like I did…
P/S Do send me photos of your cute faces whenever you make that budget trip to the “Other Side”.
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