Traveling Vienna, Croatia and Budapest
Traveling to Europe is not so expensive as you may think!
Europe is no doubt everyone's favorite place to explore as it is so vast and culturally very rich. Each and every country in Europe has its own different charm and significance that you can't help but notice the beautiful small cities and countries filled with a beautiful aroma making you fall in love with it. Europe is also famous for being the most romantic continent as every country offers a dreamland. Vienna, Croatia, and Budapest can be best described as the epitome of Baroque architecture and man-made beauty. These three different places are mesmerizing and traveling is not too expensive if you plan a 2-week trip and have enough time to explore it even by a bus and stay either in hostels or less expensive hotels then you can save most of your money. These three are closer to each other and hence makes a perfect small trip to small countries. Let me first start by telling you about each one of them and what makes these worth exploring.
Vienna's imperial grandeur is the example of the powerful Habsburg monarchy. Their home for more than six centuries, the Hofburg palace complex, incorporates the Burgkapelle (Imperial Chapel) are all architecture marvels. Other awe-inspiring palaces include the baroque Schloss Belvedere and the Habsburgs' 1441-room summer residence, Schloss SchAnbrunn, while 19th-century marvels such as the City Hall line the magnificent Ringstrasse encircling the inner city. One of the Habsburgs' most beautiful and worth visiting is the famous Ringstrasse palaces and the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, which houses the imperial art collection. It's filled with precious works by Old Masters, and world's richest coin collections. Vienna has always been the cultural hub of Austria. All the famous artists and history makers like Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, Johann Strauss (father and son), Johannes Brahms and Gustav Mahler, among many other, has given this city the enchanting musical notes which still softly makes you fall for it. The history of music is what makes it even more interesting, for instance,
There are plenty of incredible venues where you can catch performances today include the acoustically renowned Musikverein, used by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the gold-and-crystal main opera house, the Staatsoper, and the very famous multistage Konzerthaus. As much as their music is breathtaking, the food is no less. The Viennese appreciation of the finer things in life extends to its spacious coffee-house 'living rooms' serving delicious cakes, their elegant restaurants; and fine Austrian wines and vine-draped Heurigen (wine taverns) in the vineyards fringing the city. You can find everything there either good or too good. It is worth a visit if you want to travel the small wonder and experience the life in Vienna.
Top 5 Places to visit in Vienna:
Hofburg Imperial Palace
Croatia's island coastline is obviously its main attraction. The first thing that soothes your eyes is the clarity of the water. Imagine lying on the white pebble beach and the water is sparkling in shades of emerald and sapphire. There are long sandy stretches too - perfect for lazing around and finally completing that novel which was left unfinished due to your hectic work schedule, so take a sip of refreshing drink there and have the best time of your life. It is also famous for its adventure streak too- water-based activities like snorkeling, diving, kayaking, windsurfing, and sailing makes your trip even more enjoyable. Situated right between the Balkans and central Europe, this land has been passed between competing kingdoms, empires, and republics for centuries. There are beautiful museums that cover the vast European history, from the prehistoric to the post-communist, telling a story that is both fascinating and bit horrifying.
Apart from crystal clear waters, an almighty mountain is waiting for you look at it with astonishment.
The Dinaric Alps, which stretch all the way from Italy to Albania, covers much of the coast. The limestone karst has a wonderland of peaks, caverns, river canyons, waterfalls and picturesque lakes. If you further explore it, you will experience the change of scenery into rolling farmland. People who are more into traveling on foot and are crazy about adventures can enjoy the numerous hiking and biking trails, rock climbing, rafting, and zip lining.
Sharing food and drink is a bigger part of its culture, which takes us into the deeper side of this island- Croatian hospitality and the quality of local produce. Simple home-style cooking is a feature of family-run taverns, but many people are experimenting with the traditional foods. Everything is hence perfect there, from scenic views to delicious food.
Top 5 places to visit in Croatia:
Plitvice Lakes National Park
Budapest's beauty is slightly God's magic; humankind has played a major role in shaping this enchanting face too. Architecturally, the city is a treasure, with enough baroque and art nouveau buildings to make everyone fall in love with it. Budapest is standing tall with its rich history which can be seen in the old building and in the kind smiles of the people living there. You can actually experience the mark of the horrifying past there on the buildings from WWII and the 1956 Uprising. There are sad reminders like the Shoes on the Danube memorial too and also the House of Terrors narrates the full story.
There's a lot more to Hungarian food than goulash, Budapest's reputation as a food capital dates largely from the late 19th and the first half of the 20th century and, despite a fallow period under communism, the city is once again gaining much attention. The visit in Budapest is incomplete without the famous hot springs. As a result, 'taking the waters' has been a Budapest experience since the time of the Romans. The choice of bathhouses is admirable - you can choose among Turkish-era, art nouveau and modern establishments. The overall visit to this small city is not going to disappoint you in any way.
Top 5 places to visit in Budapest:
Hungarian National Gallery
Hungarian Parliament Building
Hungarian State Opera House
Traveling by bus to save money:
You can save a lot of money by traveling in a bus as it is very cheap and the best part of any trip is the journey. These are not far from each other, so you cannot get very tired of traveling by bus.
Traveling by bus from Vienna to Zagreb is not only the cheapest option but also a fairly fast solution. One way ticket price is around 25 Euro and the travel time is about 5 hours. Each there are 6-7 departures operated by 5 different bus companies (Croatiabus, Crnja Tours, Particula, AP Varazdin, AP Imotski). Important to know is that the buses depart from either Vienna VIB station or the bus station at the station centre, so make sure to check which departure location suits you the best.
As the buses have to pass both the border between Austria and Slovenia as well as Slovenia and Croatia, it occasionally happens that border procedure leads to a delay in the arrival time, so make sure to plan in a "buffer" if you need to continue your travel from Zagreb.
There are a couple of daily buses from Budapest to Zagreb run by Volanbusz. Journey time is around 5 hours.
During summer, there are also direct bus services from Budapest to the Croatian coast, with most routes running once a week. The Adria Express goes to Rijeka, Opatija, Pula, Rovinj, and Porec (in total, 11 hours to Porec). The Dalmatian Express runs from Budapest to Split. Finally, the Montenegro Express goes all the way from Budapest to Budva, including a stop in Dubrovnik en route. Again, details of these routes can be found on the Volanbusz website.
You can also start your trip from Budapest and can end it in Vienna from there you can have a return flight. Make sure you make no less a 2-week trip so that you are in no hurry and can spend enough time in traveling without getting worried.
Cheapest stays in Vienna, Croatia, and Budapest
If you're a solo traveler then you can stay at hostel rooms which you'll be sharing with other tourists, they are a lot cheaper and you can also find out about some offbeat places from the fellow travelers. If you're traveling with family then there are many hotels which are not very expensive and offers great service. In short, staying in these three places is comparably less expensive from other cities and countries of Europe.
Making an Itinerary
Before planning your trip, make a proper itinerary so that your budget stays uptight and you get to explore most of the best and famous places. Stay at least 2-3 days in each place so that you get to experience most of it. Plan your days keeping the traveling time too by the bus or train, whichever suits you and your budget.
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