eastern europe: learning points

General

1) I traveled from city to city mostly by train. I bought a Eurail pass and made seat reservations in advance from home. But for some of the legs (especially Eastern European trains), seat reservations couldn’t be done online. I could only do it when I reached Europe. So as soon as I touched down at Frankfurt, I went to Deutsche Bahn (DB) office at the airport to make the reservations.

2) It’s actually a lot cheaper to do seat reservations in Europe than from home. But be careful – if you don’t reserve in advance, by the time you get to Europe all seats might be already taken up, especially during peak seasons. Decide wisely.



Salzburg

1) Unlike other parts of Europe, very few shops in Salzburg that accept credit card. And stuffs there are quite expensive. Must have something to do with its touristic reputation. Be sure that you bring ample cash to pay for food, tickets, tour and so on.

2) Most of the attractions are located within Altstadt (the old town) and within walking distance from each other. You can basically finish visiting them all in 2 days.

3) Staying in Altstadt can be quite expensive. Not very conducive either, because public vehicles are not allowed to go in there, making it difficult for those with heavy suitcases. I would suggest staying near the train station and take the bus from there to Altstadt.

4) From the main bus station (located just across the road from the train station), take bus number 3 or 5 or 6 to go to Altstadt. To return, take the same numbers but in opposite direction.

5) It’s cheaper to buy bus tickets in bulk at Tabak /Trafik (newsstand) than buying single tickets on the bus.

6) Calling all Sound of Music fans – you must go for the SoM tour! Must!

7) If you have half a day to spare, go for the Salt Mines tour at Berchtesgaden. It’s a bit pricey but a really fun experience.



Budapest

1) It’s cheaper to buy metro tickets in a book of 10 tickets (HUF 2,800 for 10) as compared to single tickets (HUF 320 for 1).

2) The parliament building can only be visited with guided tours. And they have certain times for certain languages. So make sure that you check the timetable before going.

3) If you are into spicy food like me, don’t forget to bring home some Hungarian peppers. They come in several versions – dried, ground or paste.



Zagreb

1) Zagreb is a really small city. You can finish visiting everything in a day.

2) The main attractions are around Ban Jelačić Square (the main square).



Ljubljana

1) Ljubljana is also a small city. Two days here would be nice.

2) If you are done with sightseeing, BTC City is a nice place to go shopping.



Bled

1) If you have the time, do a day trip from Ljubljana to Bled. Avoid taking a tour, it might cost you a bomb. Just take a bus. When you reach Bled bus station, you can easily walk to the lake.

2) If you are fit, try walking around the lake. It’s really nice.

3) A pletna ride to the little island is a must!



Frankfurt

1) The only place I found interesting in Frankfurt is Römerberg. The rest of the city is mostly occupied by tall shiny modern buildings.

2) Römerberg is also a great place to buy souvenirs. Many shops, many choices.

3) If you are travelling is a pack of 2 persons or more, it’s cheaper to buy daily group tickets. This ticket is valid on all sorts of public transports – train, metro, tram etc. And public transportation system in Frankfurt is fantastic!

4) Shopping anyone? For nice goods at retail price, go to Zeil. For nice goods at outlet price, go to Wertheim Village.

5) Allocate a full day at Wertheim Village. The journey from Frankfurt itself takes 2 hours. But it’s worth it.



Heidelberg

1) Take a train from Frankfurt for a day trip to Heidelberg to get a taste of German countryside. You can take ICE (speed train) from Frankfurt to Mannheim, then change to RE (regional train) from Mannheim to Heidelberg. Or you can take RE from Frankfurt all the way to Heidelberg, but it will stop at many stations along the way.

2) The castle is a nice place to visit. Go for the indoor tour (need to pay a little extra for this), which will take you inside the building and along the hidden alleys once reserved only for its occupants.

4 comments:

~jeet~ said...

tu dia...sekali buat summary..punya la banyak learning points :) thanks for sharing!!

dieya said...

No prob babe. Semoga bermanfaat buat sesapa yg nak pegi tempat2 ni.

rhrs said...

Slam Dieya, nak tanya dekat budapest awak stay kat hotel mana?

dieya said...

Budapest saya duduk kat Golden Park Hotel. Sangat convenient, seberang jalan je dari Budapest Keleti train station. Metro station pula betul2 depan hotel.