It’s really happening?!

16 days, 4 countries and a couple of backpacks.

I have so many far-fetched and imaginative ideas that many remain just that, ideas. But this time my latest idea has actually come to life, and on Saturday my boyfriend and I will be setting off on our longest trip together for a couple of weeks exploring a few countries in Europe.

We did a mini version last year, with 10 days checking out Berlin, Cologne, Bruges and Brussels. I absolutely loved it, and it confirmed to me that I do actually enjoy travelling about and not just a city break every now and then. So we’re off for as long as our 9-5 jobs would allow.

To get the most out of our budget, we’ve pre-booked all of the flights, trains and hotels. I’ve always had it in my mind that £70 a day would be a reasonable backpacking budget for Europe, and I’m keen to test this theory while we’re away. I’ve kept a track of all our expenses so far, and hopefully I’ll be able to see what it realistically costs to spend time in each city. But don’t get me wrong, I won’t be missing out on things to try and stick to that budget. We’ll just see what happens!

This will be my first trip with a backpack. Last year we took a suitcase with us, but dragging it over the picturesque cobblestones again didn’t appeal to either myself or my boyfriend, so this year we’re taking backpacks. Practically it makes more sense, because that darn suitcase was a pain in the butt to get about and on and off trains. But I’m a bit worried because my bag doesn’t look like it’ll fit enough in it. I always take ‘what if’ things, like spare clothes, straightners in case I want to straighten my hair, a sewing kit, etc. We’re not going anywhere that is even slightly remote, so if we need everyday things we’ll be able to pick them up where we are – I’ll have to be strict with myself! I’ve also got a small bottle of travel wash, so we can wash some clothes if need be.

So the plan…

London – Copenhagen – Hamburg – Dresden – Prague – Vienna

– Innsbruck – Munich – London

Yep, it might be too many cities, but London doesn’t count because it’s home.

Yep, it might be a bit ambitious.

Yep, I am most definitely looking forward to it!

If you’ve got any recommendations of things to do in any of these cities, I’d love to hear them!

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12 Comments

  1. December 3, 2015 / 6:57 pm

    Ohh! You have to visit Blankenese in Hamburg 🙂 and the big Stadtpark – it’s really lovely. Also, if you like nice coffee (or tea) try World Coffee near Jungfernstieg 🙂 and say hi to Hamburg from me haha 🙂

  2. December 3, 2015 / 9:34 pm

    Sounds like an awesome trip! I loved the Augustiner beer garden in Munich and the city was so much fun!

  3. December 3, 2015 / 10:27 pm

    SO EXCITING!!! Have an amazing time, can’t wait to see/read/hear all about it!

  4. December 13, 2015 / 3:15 pm

    I know Munich pretty well and I have a few suggestions – if you’re on a budget, the Viktualienmarkt is great for lunch. Personally I’m a fan of the Suppenkuche as I get sick of all the meat and they always have something vegetarian. You can get a big bowl for not much money and it’s filling, though it is always busy.
    If you’re interested in going a little off the tourist track, I’d recommend Schwabing and Maxvorstadt for their cafes and bars. I love the streets and cafes around St Ursula church, though it might be a little cold to sit out at the moment! The history of the are is also quite dark – it was an avant-garde centre from 1900 through to the 1920’s, but there are a lot of echoes of the Nazi past too. You can wander into the Ludwig Maximilian University where Hans and Sophie Scholl handed out their leaflets, and I always find it surreal walking past Hitler’s favourite restaurant, Osteria Bavaria (now Italiana) which is still up and running (pretty expensive I think). It’s not far from the Brown House at Brienner Strasse, which was the national headquarters of the Nazis, and Koenigsplatz, which is where the rallies were held and is still (I think) quite a cold and imposing space. Interestingly, if you look up when standing at the main entrance to the Haus der Kunst near Odeonsplatz, you’ll see mosaic patterns that on closer inspection feature the swastika design – not many people notice that.
    The streets in the Glockenbachviertel around Gaertnerplatz are also good for less touristy drinks on a night. Trachtenvogl on Reichenbachstrasse is as close as Munich comes to hipster, and last time I was there we encountered a man who was trying to make traditional Lederhosen a part of that look. In the day I like the nearby Fraunhoferstrasse area, where Fraunhoferstrasse itself but also Hans-Sachs Strasse and Jahnstrasse have an interesting mix of more independent shops, cafes and restaurants. It’s not far from there to the Museuminsel, where you’ll probably be too late in the year to join people on the beach (a stony beach, but still a beach!) as you cross the Wehrsteg that links Museum to Praterinsel!
    I have a love-hate thing with Munich, but writing this has made me realise I miss it!

  5. December 13, 2015 / 3:18 pm

    Actually I have loads of tips for Vienna, Hamburg and Dresden too – I lived in Germany and spend a lot of time in Austria now so just let me know if you need any more!

      • December 13, 2015 / 4:36 pm

        I’m very jealous – I love Vienna, I’m doing a PhD on Viennese art and literature at the moment! The Ringstrasse is amazing to walk around – I always find it bizarre because it seems like the entire city and that street in particular is too big for Austria now it’s lost so much of its empire, so it has this slightly sad, faded glory about it. I also love the Leopoldmuseum, because of the Schiele, though there are so many museums and most of them are great.
        The Naschmarkt is a food market which can be good for cheap lunches, though it’s fairly well-known. Mariahilf is a nice area – Margaretenstrasse has lots of bars, it’s good on a night. I’d definitely go to see the Flakturm on Schadekgasse, which is one of the only old anti-aircraft guns left post-WWII. It’s probably a bit cold for the beach bars with sand, but some of the waterfront bars on the Franz-Josef Kai can be nice and some are on boats so heating isn’t such an issue!
        I have a soft spot for the fairground at the Prater, it used to be seen as a bit of a vice den back at the turn of the 20th century but now it feels slightly old-fashioned and abandoned. There’s a ferris wheel which is a bit expensive but quite fun.
        There is also the old Zentralfriedhof in Simmering which is half the size of Zurich. Some of the architecture is great, it’s kind of surreal how huge it is.
        It is a bit of a cliche but I like the old cafes – Hawelka is quite dark and wood-paneled, and the Buchteln cakes are really good, it’s a little more peaceful than some of the others as well. Central is where most of the famous authors used to meet and it’s incredible inside, definitely worth paying a little bit more to experience it.

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