Unfortunately, traveling the world by plane has a nasty impact on the environment. Guest editor Larissa traveled by train to show you how beautiful Europe is when you see it from the ground.
Why travel Europe by train?
According to several environmental organisations, the best means to travel is by public transportation. I decided to book an Interrail train trip to explore Europe! This means you buy a ticket that is valid for 30 days and you can hop on or off at any European train station you would like. First of all, the beauty of Europe will pleasantly surprise you. There’s no need to travel half through the world to discover some picture perfect places. It’s closer than you think. This train tour through Europe ended up being one of the best trips of my life.
First stop: Czech Republic
Okay, to be honest, Prague was a bit too touristy for me. Aa a matter of fact, locals call Prague the Disneyland of Czech Republic and I totally understand why. However, the Alternative City tour showed us a lot of cool hidden gems! Additionally, I could really appreciate the cocktail scene. Go and discover bars like The Alchemist, this place has a mysterious look and feel. Tip: try the ‘choose your fate’ of the cocktail menu, I’ll say no more..
Moving on in Czech Republic, we visited a place I really loved: Brno. It’s a local city full of culinary highlights, local delicious wines, pubs and vegan ice creams. Hip and happening! From this little city it’s easy to discover some beautiful castles in Lednice and Valtice. At Valtice palace, you can even try out 100 amazing local wines under the ground. My favorite: number 43, Grand Reserve Chardonnay of 2016. Definitely a winner!
Next stop: Hungary
The city that surprised me in a good way was definitely Budapest. The city has four sides, the tranquil vibes at the river side, the bustling city with beautiful buildings and culinary highlights (tip: a dinner at Zeller Bistro with live music!), local hangouts in the ruin bars and total relaxation at the bathhouses. This city has a lot to offer, and I enjoyed every bit of it.
After we discovered the whole city in a couple days, we jumped in the train to Zamárdi. This weekend was all about partying and having a good festival time! At the Balaton Lake there was one of the biggest festivals of Hungary: Balaton Sound. Fortunately, the train station was at walking distance of this festival. As soon as we could, we got in our bikini to enjoy the sun, some drinks and dances during the day. After a refreshing shower, we had the whole night to dance again in our festival outfits while enjoying the music of among other Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano and Armin van Buren!
Last stop: Croatia
In Croatia the public transport is not as common, that’s why you can better stop the Interrail when you arrive at Zagreb and continue the trip with a rental car. Our first stop on our road trip through Croatia was the Plitvice Lakes. The best time to visit is early in the morning or late in the afternoon. We arrived around 4 a clock, which was a perfect time to wander around without too much other people. They say the short route takes you about 2 to 3 hours, it took us one and a half hour, so don’t worry about a long hike! Personally, I preferred the Plitvice lakes over the Krka waterfalls. But both are worth seeing during a trip trough Croatia.
In the evening we arrived in Sibenik. What a lovely town! It’s pure and authentic, very cute and filled with a nice ambience. We stayed at the Heritage Hotel Life Palace and you’ll enjoy the freshest breakfast we’ve had so far. All the ingredients they use in this town is locally produced. Too bad we had to leave after the breakfast to catch our boat to Brac island. By the way, they filmed parts of Game of Thrones in Sibenik, remember the city of many faces?
Last but not least, we ended the trip with some nice beach days at Brac island. This place is built to celebrate a nice tranquil holiday. We didn’t want to leave! At the famous beach ‘Zlatni Rat’ you can rent a beach bed for about 9,50 euro and enjoy the nice weather whole day long. This was exactly what we needed after the busy trip we’ve had travelling around in Europe.
Time & Cost
In conclusion, the whole trip took us 17 days in total, but it felt like months as we saw and experienced so much in such short amount of time. One youth travel ticket costed me €515,- for 2 persons and includes all the above mentioned stops. For adults above 27 years old ticket prices start around 285 per person. Your train ticket will be valid for 30 days so you have no rush! Accommodations are not included. I enjoyed every minute of the trip and recommend this to everyone who has the same addiction as I have: Wanderlust.