9 countries in 1 year! – My year in travelling

I know, I know, we’re already on day 15 of 2017 and I’m just now coming up with my last year’s travel roundup because, you know, stuff got in the way so I’ll make this quick and mostly visual. 🙂

  1. Stockholm, Sweden / February 24-28, 2016
    Tour of the city in celebration of my wife’s birthday.

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    Stockholm, Sweden
  2. Copenhagen, Denmark / April 29 – May 1, 2016
    Weekend city trip in celebration of my birthday.

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    Copenhagen, Denmark
  3. Zadar & Plitvice, Croatia / May 5-9, 2016
    Exploring Zadar with a day tour to Plitvice Lakes as extension to my birthday celebration.

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    Plitvice, Croatia
  4. Bratislava, Slovakia / July 26-29, 2016
    Exploring the city as first leg of Donauwelle.

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    Bratislava, Slovakia

  5. Vienna, Austria / July 29 – August 1, 2016
    Exploring the city as second leg of Donauwelle.

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    Vienna, Austria
  6. Budapest, Hungary / August 1-4, 2016
    Exploring the city as third leg of Donauwelle.

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    Budapest, Hungary
  7. Luxembourg, Luxembourg / August 20, 2016
    Family day tour of the city.

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    Luxembourg, Luxembourg
  8. Transylvania, Romania / October 19-25, 2016
    Road trip through Transylvania starting in Timisoara, ending in Bucharest.

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    Hunedoara, Romania
  9. Mallorca, Spain / December 24-27, 2016
    Road trip on the island of Mallorca in celebration of Christmas.

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    Mallorca, Spain

As you can see, it had been a very hedonistic year, one we won’t allow ourselves to have again in a very long time but it was good while it lasted and we will treasure these memories for a lifetime! It was a year that has inspired me to blog, to travel and see the world, and to learn. It has left me curious for more places and sometimes frustrated because there is only so much to see and we can’t always have enough resources to just go, let alone have the time. But I do look forward to our trips we got planned for this year and we’ll just have to make the most out of it. 🙂

So which one of these places do you guys think I liked best? And which ones appeal to you the most?

Donauwelle: Bratislava, Vienna, Budapest in 10 days

We called this year’s summer trip the Donauwelle. Literally, it means Danube Wave, and it’s a traditional cake often found in Germany and Austria. The goal was to visit three major cities where Europe’s second-longest river flows through:

Bratislava → Vienna → Budapest

We’ve been extremely busy these past few months because of our move to Berlin last month and that’s why I had not even prepared half an itinerary for this trip. It’s the first time we’re traveling with no plans whatsoever, we just did some minor research on the best sights of each of these cities. This has proven to be a little chaotic but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I was afraid it would be. I’m sure we’ve missed a few sights and some of our tours were badly timed but I am just glad we have survived it and we are back home with no regrets. 🙂

So here is an outline of our trip:

July 26-29, 2016 – left for Bratislava from Berlin SXF with Ryanair. Booked a studio apartment via Airbnb for three nights. Airbnb 116 € for 3 nights / Ryanair flight 50,98 € for two – Berlin SXF to Bratislava

July 29 – August 1, 2016 – left for Vienna via Twin City Liner (ca. 1h 30m boat ride). Booked a whole apartment via Airbnb for three nights. Airbnb 145 € for 3 nights / Twin City Liner boat ride 50 € for two – Bratislava to Vienna

August 1-4, 2016 – left for Budapest via Orange Ways (ca. 3h 15m bus ride). Booked a whole apartment via Airbnb for three nights. Airbnb 78 € for 3 nights / Orangeways bus ride 20 € for two – Vienna to Budapest

August 4, 2016 – flight back to Berlin with Easyjet. Easyjet flight 132,82 € – Budapest to Berlin SXF

Links to each individual post below:

Bratislava → Vienna → Budapest

Donauwelle: Budapest

Budapest has been… WOW. It’s not like we have expected anything less from this city, but I guess we never would have thought it would be this… cool.

August 1, 2016

We left Vienna at 12:30 via bus. About three hours later, we were in Budapest! We went straight to our Airbnb (we didn’t even stop for a Kürtöskalács even though the smell filled up the whole metro station), and by that time we were starved. It’s not like we did much planning about the whole trip anyway but our booking for the bus was supposed to be for 15:00 but that one was canceled so we took an earlier trip and, as a result, it left us hungry. My sister has been to Budapest before and she told us about how it’s all about food in this city, most especially MEAT. She wasn’t exaggerating.

Airbnb 78 € for 3 nights
Orangeways bus ride 20 € for two – Vienna to Budapest

Another thing we heard about Budapest was how it’s so much prettier at night for everything lights up and it all goes well with the water, which is the centre of the city, dividing the Buda and the Pest.

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Buda Castle lit up at night.

August 2, 2016

We had planned a trip to one of Budapest’s famous baths. Our bath of choice had been Szechenyi. It’s beautifully decorated with roman sculptures. You may choose to rent a cabin for more privacy, or settle for the lockers. On the main area near the baths were another set of small lockers for, say, your wallet or phone. It was a little crowded, though, but I guess it wouldn’t have looked any different somewhere else like in Gellert or Rudas baths this time of the year.

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Like, very crowded.
Entrance fee to Szechenyi Baths with cabin rental: 5200 HUF per person

After our bath, we went up to Buda Castle. You can either go by foot or take the funicular going up. I’m really the type of person who can walk for miles but when I’m with the wife (or with anyone else, really, because most people have trouble keeping up with me), we would always opt for the fastest and easiest way to get somewhere – preferably without much walking!

Funicular ride to Buda Castle Hill (roundtrip): 1700 HUF per person

Some time after, we went for some gelato. We’ve seen it on Facebook some time ago so we gave it a try. The reason why it’s so popular, aside from the fact that it tastes really good and they make it from organic ingredients, is that instead of scoops, it’s served in the form of a rose.

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Put a few more of these together and you get a bouquet of gelato, only at Gelarto Rosa.

August 3, 2016

We got up early today for our tattoo appointment. We stumbled upon a tattoo parlour that offers sessions even on short notice so we decided to each get one done. The artists at Invictus Tattoo & Piercing were nice and gentle and despite some delays, we got what we wanted done.

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For anyone travelling on a budget who wants to have a decent meal that will get you through the day, I can recommend Trofea Grill. Staff was really nice, and they make you feel like you’re sitting in a really fancy restaurant (even the decor says so) but it’s actually more laid back than it appears to be. It is visited by both tourists and locals, so one probably won’t feel underdressed in their walking shoes. We had lunch from the buffet table and they had a fixed price on both food and drinks.

After our big lunch, we just sat by the water, overlooking the Parliament, before heading to our next fun activity. We went to play an escape game! Claustrophilia offers two live room escape games and it can be played by a group of 2 to 5 persons at a time. We had so much fun! You enter a room and they give you one hour to get out. There’s a walkie-talkie that speaks up every once in a while when you’re in a bit of trouble to give some clues, so you can actually make the sixty minutes and not feel trapped. Also, the whole game is in English!

One-hour game at Claustrophilia: 8000 HUF for two persons

August 4, 2016

So that’s about it with our summer trip. It was finally time to go back home. Our flight was early in the afternoon so we didn’t really get to do anything more than pack our stuff and go. We bought some Kürtöskalács for the road and that was it. Budapest has been really nice and it’s definitely one of those places we would want to come back to soon. 🙂

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