A few months after we started dating, we were talking about travel and how we both wanted to see so much of the world – right then we promised to ourselves that we would end up taking one “big” trip every year. From then, we have taken “big” trips to Peru and Greece. When we were trying to decide where to go for 2017, it took a little while – its soo hard to narrow down from basically a list of every country in the world. Finally, we settled on checking off the bucket list item of Oktoberfest and the rest of the trip fell into place afterwards, well pretty much.
We decided that as much as we haven’t seen that much of Germany or Western Europe, we wanted to explore the less touristy areas of Eastern Europe. We have found during traveling some of our favorite experiences are sitting on a bus or in a restaurant and not understanding a lick of whatever language they are speaking. It’s in these moments that we are truly experiencing other cultures and other ways of life – and this is the main reason why we travel.
So Eastern Europe here we come!
Length of Trip
7 Days (but more like 6.5 with travel)
4 Days in Munich/Oktoberfest
Again, since we have full time jobs, we tried to maximize the amount of time we had in Europe. Our 11 days of travel were spread over two weekends allowing us to only take 7 days of PTO. We left on Thursday night after work and arrived in Budapest on Friday afternoon. On the reverse, we left Monday afternoon, giving us a 1/2 day to explore and still getting us back to the states for “dinner” on Monday.
Where We Visited
Prague, Czech Republic
We originally were going to add Poland instead of spending so many days in Munich, but then we ended up deciding to spend more time with our friends. If you are planning to just see Eastern Europe (aka taking out the Oktoberfest leg of our trip), you can definitely add Poland or Slovenia to your trip for those few extra days.
This might seem like a lot of places for 7 days, but traveling in Europe is totally different than most places and especially the states. Most places are only a few hours away and for all the places we visited, there was an easy train we could catch. Overall, we never felt like we were too rushed in a city and if we were to do it again, I think we would only add one additional day in Prague and maybe would have spent the night in Eger.
Where We Stayed
For lodging, we ended up splitting our time between AirBnB’s and a hostel. Both options for us seemed to be cheaper in price as well as in fantastic locations – close to the hustle and bustle in the heart of the city.
Budapest. We stayed at this airbnb and it was PERFECT. It was located just a block away from the subway/bus station, on a quiet side street, and super walkable to so many different areas of town. We loved being able to either turn right and walk towards the river or turn left and walk up to the Ruin Bars just a few blocks away. The biggest perk of this place was the view! It was located on the top floor of the building looking perfectly towards the towers of the Great Synagogue. We loved being able to open the doors in the morning when we were getting ready and see the sunrise over the synagogue towers. As for the accommodations, it wasn’t anything extravagant, but it was the perfect amount of space for two people and had everything you would need in a place to stay. If you are headed to Budapest, definitely look into Martha’s amazing apartment.
Prague. I finally gave in and let Nate talk me into staying in a hostel for the first time in Prague. This one didn’t let him down. It was modest accommodations, just a small space for the two of us, but the location was perfect walking distance from both the train station and all the touring sites. It was super nice to be able to walk up (since we arrived late at night) and have someone in English give us recommendations and welcome us to Prague. Overall, I don’t know if we would stay here again, but it definitely suited our needs for the two nights we were there and was definitely cheap enough not to break the bank.
Munich. Lets just say, if you want to stay in Munich during Oktoberfest, BOOK EARLY! We made the mistake (or maybe not mistake) of waiting until a month before to start looking at lodging. We searched high and low for a few days closer to city limits with no luck (for anything cheaper than a $1,000/night), so we were forced to look a little more towards the suburbs. I don’t know how we stumbled upon this house rental, but once we got there, we realized it was actually the perfect set up (well besides staying in the city for a small fortune). We were located right off the S7 train in one direction and the U3 train in another direction, which got us any where we wanted to go. [S7 goes to the main train station downtown and to transfer for the airport; the U3 stops just a few blocks from Oktoberfest as well as direction to the center of Marienplatz, the main center square.] And once you got off either train, it was only a 5 minute walk until you were in the comforts of this two bedroom apartment. We honestly have nothing but great things to say about this apartment.
Future posts to come detailing out our visit to each of these fun Eastern European cities. 🙂