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: Vienna

The second leg of our trip was Vienna. Its city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and it’s pretty obvious why. If you’ve never been to Vienna, you’d be surprised by how many buildings were actually preserved to make you feel like you’re walking in a different century.

July 29, 2016

We left Bratislava today via boat that took us to Vienna. By land, it would have only been 80km away, about an hour drive. You can even take the bus for only 10€. I chose to proceed by boat because I thought it would be interesting. It’s not the cheapest option, but we wanted to actually do something on the Danube as part of the Donauwelle. It was a 90-minute ride, and it took us straight to Schwedenplatz, Vienna. We’ve arrived at around noon and went straight to our Airbnb. We each bought a 3-day ticket, which later on proved to be worthy because we did take public transportation quite often, as it is the best way to get around. Our Airbnb was close to U6 stop Dresdner Straße, and the area was mostly populated by students, not much by tourists.

Airbnb: 145 € for 3 nights
Twin City Liner boat ride 50 € for two – Bratislava to Vienna
72-hour Wiener Linien public transportation ticket: 16,50€ per person

After checking in, we went to the city centre for some lunch. I had my first Wiener Schnitzel, and it was about the size of my plate.

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After that, we went to Stephansplatz to see the famous Stephansdom and just walked around a little bit in the area before heading to Wien Prater. We went on the ferris wheel and it was nearly empty at around 21:00. It gave an interesting view of the rest of the amusement park’s lights from the top. The ride lasted about 20 minutes.

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Stephansdom

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View from the top of Wiener Riesenrad, looking over the rest of the amusement park

Tickets for 20-minute ride on Wiener Riesenrad: 9,50€ per person


July 30, 2016

Today was an extra exciting day for me because we were bound for the Sigmund Freud Museum. It’s located in Freud’s old apartment/practice. This experience sort of brought me back to my college days, back when I was striving for a degree in Psychology and where Dr. Freud has been an important figure in our studies. In case you’re wondering, his famous couch is not part of the exhibit but it can be found instead at the Freud museum in London.

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Entrace fee to Freud Museum: 10€ per person

We’ve walked some more today around the Ring for some of the best sights in Vienna and just sat in the park when we got tired. One of the best luxuries you can have in this city, in my opinion, is peace. I was surprised about how easy it was to to find a quiet spot where you can just sit back and stop thinking about all the things that stress you out.

Back to the Ring, we got lost in all the old buildings. It was hard to keep up with all of them and we really found ourselves not knowing what building we were taking a picture of anymore. But there is one that really stood out, though, and for obvious reasons:

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I mean, how can it still be photogenic despite bad conditions?!

July 31, 2016

A place I wished we had gone to sooner is Donauinsel. In English, it literally means “Danube Island”, and that’s basically what it is, found in between the Donaukanal and Große Donau. There are a couple of places to just grab drinks from, and there’s also a footbridge leading to the mainland. It’s great for people watching and just enjoying the warm weather by the water. The park is also great for picnics.

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Footbridge from Donauinsel leading to the other side of town.

Our last stop was Schönbrunn Palace, a place one shouldn’t miss when in Vienna (or you can try but somehow everything leads to it anyway, so). We didn’t take the tour inside the palace itself for it’s quite pricey and it seemed so crowded (we witnessed the constant stream of tourists exiting the palace). Instead, we just walked around the park and admired the landscape. The park’s entrances can be found on either end of the premises.

All in all, Vienna, for me, has been a nice and short stop-over. Our stay has not been that eventful but, to say the least, it was quiet and peaceful and maybe that’s exactly what we needed. I still haven’t gotten over the price of coffee, though.

Next stop → Budapest!