WHY YOU SHOULD TRAVEL EUROPE BY TRAIN

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.

travelling by train
Ready to travel Europe by train!

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..

Prague
Seeing Prague from above

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!

Lednice castle

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.

Budapest

Zamárdi

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!

Travel Europe by train

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.

Plitvice
The stunning Plitvice lakes

Krka waterfalls

Sibenik

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?

Sibenik

Brac island

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.

Brac island

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.

Love,

Larissa

Budapest » A Citytrip To ‘The Pearl of the Danube’

Just a short two hour flight from Amsterdam and you’re in Budapest. Budapest is the capital of Hungary and is also known as The Pearl of the Danube – a title the city rightfully carries with pride. Buda and Pest used to be two separate cities and were divided by the Danube. The two were joined together in 1873 to form one big capital known as present day Budapest. This city breathes history and with so much to do and see it definitely deserves a top spot on your city trip bucket list.

Sightseeing Heaven

Start the day early in Buda, and make sure you’ve got your camera ready and your walking shoes on because your first day in Budapest is going to be a sightseeing fest. Imagine yourself back in the 13th century whilst walking around Buda Castle, enjoy the marvelous architecture and views at the Fisherman’s Bastion and walk over the first permanent stone bridge, the Chain Bridge, that connects Buda and Pest together whilst enjoying your view over the Danube. Once in Pest don’t forget to check out St. Stephen’s Basilica and last but definitely not least wander around the impressive and gigantic Parliament.

Chain Bridge Budapest
Chain Bridge

Budapest
Fishermans Bastion 

Parliament by day Budapest
Parliament by day 

Gliding down the Danube

After having strolled around the city for hours your feet probably need some rest. And when you’re visiting The Pearl of the Danube a boat trip on this river shouldn’t be left out whilst exploring this city. There are many operators in Budapest that offer boat trips up and down the Danube, and some of them also make a stop on the little island between Buda and Pest called Margaret Island. Some tours are including drinks and dinner but here are also tours that just offer a boat ride. Make sure you pick a company that offers unlimited 24-hour boat rides so that you can go on a day tour, and on a day night tour. You haven’t been to Budapest if you haven’t seen it by night, it’s just magical!

Sightseeing Budapest

What time is it? Spa o’clock!

Budapest is not only famous for its countless historic buildings, it is also famous for its thermal baths. There are many natural hot water springs under the city and therefore a lot of spas have made they’re appearance ever since the old days. Go to one of the many spas to relax, play a little chess and enjoy some more gorgeous architecture. Try to go early cause I have been told the spas can get a bit dirty at the end of the day…

Budapest has so much to offer, and the above is just a small glimpse of it. Whether you’re planning a short visit or you’re going to stay there for a week: you’ll love this city.

Love,

Evelien

*Evelien is one of our guest bloggers who currently travels and lives in Australia. Follow her on Instagram (@eefexplores) or check out her website!