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How to travel cheap

How to travel cheap: 4 places for 800€

Hey guys,

as you might have noticed, this year was a very active year traveling-wise – to be precise I went to four beautiful cities (I think that’s it for now): Budapest, Rome, Prague, and Pula. All of this is not possible because I have a very rich uncle or won the lottery.

All those four trips cost about 800€ all together including the transportation, accommodation, and food/other activities. Today I wanted to share my tips on how to travel in a cheap way.

Interested? Let’s go!

Traveling in winter is much cheaper than in summer.

When to go

It depends much on the time of the year you’re going. Really? Yes, everything gets more expensive during the holidays and summer.

We went to Budapest in January, to Rome in February, to Prague in May – all of them (kind of) outside of the season. Only Pula in August was an exception, but we just wanted the sea and warm climate so badly.

So pay attention to the time you’re booking your vacations. Also: sometimes a holiday in your country isn’t a holiday in your destination – that’s a good time to avoid masses of people and to save some money.

How long to go

While all of us would love to spend weeks on vacations if we could (me too!), with my lifestyle now I personally prefer short get-outs. So the trips I made were only 2-4 days long. It sounds extremely short but the way I spent the time on those days, it felt like a week-long vacation afterward.

View from the bus to Budapest

Transportation

On three out of four trips I went by bus. Due to Vienna’s very convenient location in the middle of Europe, you can travel to many beautiful places in only 3-4 hours – in my case Budapest and Prague. Mostly I check out CheckMyBus to see how the prices are and choose the cheapest bus option. Both buses to Budapest and Prague were around 30€ both ways for one person.

If you’re now thinking: Hmm, I don’t have beautiful capitals around my home town, then read this: We basically chose those locations BECAUSE they were close. So don’t be picky and make sure to check out every city, town, village, and piece of nature around you at a distance of a 3-4h ride. Whatever there is close.

Pula is reachable by bus as well – but it takes around 9h and costs 100€ for a person both ways. It’s so beautiful and charming though, it’s worth it.

Rome is not that close to Vienna, but here we were very lucky with the flights, which were 80€ both ways per person (You have most probably heard of these companies already: Ryanair and Vueling). It’s not good to fly too much, I know that. But Rome was a dream for a long time, so I don’t regret anything here.

Our room in Prague 1 minute after checking in. It never looked that clean afterward haha.

Accommodation

In all four cases I chose Airbnb – which was of course totally different in each city, but on average it was 45€ per trip and person (2-3 nights).

What do I look for when choosing the apartment:

  • It’s cheap and clean (no unnecessary luxury!)
  • It has positive reviews (nice and honest host)
  • It is as close to the center and/or a metro station as possible

Resulting in the fact that I lived in quite simple places you maybe won’t post on your Instagram to show off, but they were comfortable and served their purpose of providing a home in each place. If you want to travel cheap, stop being picky. As simple as that.

Metro in Prague.

Getting around

In Rome, Prague, and Budapest we took a 48h or 72h ticket for the public transportation (in Pula we bought tickets every time since there was no other option).

Though a time ticket is pricey sometimes, it gives you the freedom to
a) live in a place far from city center, tourist chaos, expensive restaurants, and bakeries and
b) get around easily without spending time on buying tickets all the time.

In the winter months, the metro is also a great way to stay warm! (Don’t get me wrong, we didn’t live there, but if you feel cold you’d rather take the metro from one place to the other.)

Lunch in Pula, in a place called Jupiter. Very nice and cheap restaurant!

Food & entries & other

It’s hard to generalize here, but here are some simple rules I try to follow:

  • Mostly only one meal per day out in a restaurant – saves you not only money but also TIME 
  • Looking up cheap and good restaurants upfront (e.g. on TripAdvisor) and going to them directly – like that you don’t end up in a shitty tourist place with terrible overpriced food. I mostly mark them all in a Google Maps, which I then use on the go, works also without wi-fi
  • Drinking tea/coffee at home instead of a cafe (apart from Budapest, it was so cold over there, we had to stop in cafes twice per day, but it’s also quite cheap there, so it doesn’t count)in all places I go to a supermarket to buy some tea and sugar (can’t live without) 
  • Having snacks & (tap) water with me in case of hunger attacks
  • Checking out ALL free things to do and see in the place
  • Never saving money on great views over the city (towers, churches, castles) – that’s a personal must as a photographer
  • Always skipping unnecessary tourist attractions with huge lines

 

I hope you like these tips and they will help you to start your own amazing and cheap trip to a place not far from home! Let me know if you miss some info and where you’d like to go next!

Kisses, Natalia

 

Prague Weekend Trip

Prague – Rock It In 3 Days

Today I’d like to share the photos and impression from the latest Prague trip in May with you. I know. It’s already 2 months, but well, #timemanagement sucks haha.

On all our travels this year we prepared before by checking what we want to see and by writing a rough daily schedule (with max. 2 points, which in reality always were like 4-5 haha). My part in this planning is looking for nice and affordable food places. This all we mark in a Google Map, which is then available at all times, even without internet when we’re on the go.

So, and today I want to share our plan and also spontaneous discoveries with you!

– Day 1 –

Arrive & check-in

We’ve found this cute Airbnb here, it was not too close to city center (walking would be too far) but it is really a great location to stay. The neighborhood contains some supermarkets, a winery, several bakeries, cafes and a daily market, also a crazy looking church and the TV tower.

Our bus was delayed more than 2h, so our first day only started around 4 PM. First stop: This Thai food festival between our place and the metro station Jiřího z Poděbrad.

 

Astronomical Clock

First things first: We started our journey in the city center and wanted to capture some cute photos of the famous astronomical clock – which was under construction partially. Also to warn some of you: This might be the busiest area of Prague. And if you’re not in love with huge crowds, I recommend coming at 5 AM or 21 PM or in January instead of May/June/July.

You can also go inside for 10€ per Person – but the line was so huge so we decided to skip this.

Church of Our Lady before Tyn

And on the square in front of the church a lot of crazy stuff is happening – also loads of people for some cool street photography shots. 

Havelska Koruna

If you are looking for some Czech food for a reasonable price, Havelska Koruna is your place! During lunch times there is a long line though, while at 6-7 PM it’s easy to find a seat – but also fewer dish options left. It works like this: You can mix your own lunch with some dishes, so a lunch can be two soups and potato. Or rice with two different meats. Or just soup, beer and desert. You got the concept, right?

I highly recommend this place!

Charles Bridge

We continued to the Charles Bridge and discovered there are two streets leading to it – one full of thousands of people, and one empty hidden one. We tried both, and I must say both have their benefits! Full street = nice street photography shots. Empty street = less stress.

  

Old Town Bridge Tower

I had the feeling not many people know about the possibility to go on top of the Charles Bridge Tower to have an amazing view over the whole river, bridge, and actually the whole town. The entry to the tower is 90Krone and it is opened from 10 AM till 8 PM. We came here at 7 PM so one hour before sunset to get the best hours. I don’t even know which photos to show to you because every 5 minutes the light changed and we had new amazing motives.

Walking towards the National Theatre

After the sunset, we decided to walk left from Charles Bridge towards the National Theatre. On the way we again saw a beautiful view over the castle and Charles bridge. The theater itself was very difficult to capture in a photo, but cool to see as well (what you can see are the legs of the horses on top of the theater). And that was day 1.

 

– Day 2 –

John Lennon Wall

As any other tourist in Prague we had to stop by the John Lennon Wall, but I must say there is not much you can do apart from taking the obligatory photo in front of the wall.

Petrin Hill

Have you ever noticed the tower which looks like the Eiffel Tower on one of the hills of Prague? It’s on the Petril Hill. We decided to skip the line for the train and hike up instead. Well, if you want to go out later at night, I recommend you the train. Trust me. Because this day really tore us off. Here you can see the Petrin Tower and the view from it – so beautiful!

Stadium & Towers

The photo community of Prague seems to love these two – especially the towers. The way here wasn’t easy, though. As this spot is not frequently visited by tourists, there is no signage or a way to ask people how to get here or away from here. We walked here from the Petrin Hill and took a bus back towards city center.

But this view really paid off, don’t you think?

Prague Castle

After some wandering around the city, we’ve made it to the Castle, but were already so tired, that somehow I have no nice photos to show. 

Wenceslas Square

And our last stop of the day was supposed to be this Square, but the main building was under construction as well. Well, the square is still pretty beautiful, isn’t it?

So we took some more street shots and headed back home.

Day 3

On the third day we had a bus back already, so we just were wandering around and seeing things that looked nice. In particular those:

The TV Tower close to our station Jiřího z Poděbrad.

Some metro love.

We tried to take a photo of the Dancing House, but there were so many cars around we couldn’t get a nice shot. So we walked back to city center next to Vltava and captured this magical moment (two red trams meet on the bridge).

Some more metro love.

And we walked into one church – St. Nicholas‘ Church, and it was just beautiful inside. We also went into the Communism Museum, it was pretty interesting!

And these were our three days in Prague! Especially impressing how many towers there are and that there are four different kinds of trams. Too many tourists but well, it’s also beautiful.

Did we miss something? Would you like to go to Prague, too? Let me know in the comments.

Burgtheater Wide Angle Vienna

Most beautiful attractions in Vienna

This past winter I spent many days walking around Vienna and taking wide-angle photos of the stunning architecture in the Austrian capital. Those are just a few of the amazing buildings here. If you know Vienna, you’ll understand why – almost every building in here looks like a masterpiece. A visual tribute to the most awesome city on Earth – quickly, before spring takes over here completely. 

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Vienna at Night: Long Exposure Love

Vienna is my favourite city on Earth, you might know that already. But I haven’t taken long exposure photos of Vienna at night since I moved here 1,5 years ago. Not until yesterday. It was so amazingly cool, seriously! Capturing 30 seconds in one photo is beautiful, especially if you do it at Karlsplatz or the Opera House at night. Welcome to the Vienna at Night Galery – mostly Opera and Schwarzenbergplatz.

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20 Random Things To Do In Barcelona (Or Wherever)

In the last Barcelona post, I have shown you what important and well-known spots to visit in Barcelona – something you can find on many other websites as well. Now I’d like to give you twenty inspirational and less serious tips about what cities have to offer apart from touristy spots – as seen in Barcelona. Take them half seriously and let me know in the comments what „adult“ things you sometimes would like to do and what you have done already. Cheers, your Natalia.

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Analog Summer 2015 – Vienna & Augsburg

Summer, warm evenings, ice cream and walks outside, fresh water tanks all over Vienna and too much sunlight for photography – the memories of summer 2015 came back with these analog pictures. It’s amazing how daily moments that seemed usual, now, in these pictures, seem magical. Do you sometimes also notice, how you forget to enjoy the moments and enjoy them only later in pictures? If not, you’re lucky. If yes, share please! And now enjoy my analog summer 2015.

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People of Vienna

It’s winter time in Vienna. Despite the cold and short daylight, I was walking around the city with my camera. Today I tried to capture some people inside the city in their natural situations. Come with me on a short trip through the city center of Vienna – a topic I would like to show more on the blog since it’s my home city right now.  Weiterlesen

Bratislava love

In September 2015 I spent one day in Bratislava – a truly underestimated place! Petra already told you her highlights, I will show you some cool places and motives of Bratislava today. And why now? End of 2015 I finally found some time to look through my pictures and look, I found those beauties to show you.

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Two days in Prague

Last weekend I spontaneously decided to make a short trip to Prague – In this post I’d like to show you some impressions and share the places we’ve visited. You will like this post if you are a) into moody city and street life photography and/or b) are a broke twenty something, thinking about going to Prague for two days and wanting to have an idea of what to do. Or c) you are interested in the short stories I will tell you about Prague.

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