My Spring Travel Plans: A Month in Central Europe

I am excited to announce that I will be spending April backpacking around Central Europe! With the prospect of full time employment in my future, I figured that I need to take advantage of my month long uni holiday and explore an area of the world that I’ve been dying to see for years. The trip will be a bit of a whirlwind and I know I’m probably trying to do too much in such a short amount of time, but sometimes a shorter, crazier schedule makes me a better traveler.

I’ve planned my itinerary and done some preliminary research, but I really need your help to make this trip a great one. I value personal recommendations above all, especially when it comes to food, so if you have been to any of these cities please leave a comment or shoot me an email with your must sees, must dos, and must eats. Also, if you’ll be in any of these cities in April, let me know. I will be traveling solo and would love to grab a coffee or drink!

Berlin

Berlin has been at the top of my travel wish list for years, so I am very excited that it will be my first stop. I plan on visiting the dome of the Reichstag Building, exploring the East Side Gallery, and taking a couple of free walking tours. I want to eat currywurst and doner kebabs and go street art hunting. There’s also a growing craft beer scene in Berlin that I plan on checking out.

Reichstag Building in Berlin by jiuguangw on Flickr via Creative Commons

Warsaw

Warsaw isn’t somewhere that I’ve been dying to visit, like Berlin, but the more research I do, the more I can’t wait to spend some time there. I am looking forward to an introduction to Polish food, including pierogies and eating at a milk bar. I’m a huge fan of neon art and Warsaw is home to a Neon Museum. Warsaw also seems like a great place to learn more about Polish history.

Krakow

My biggest reason for going to Krakow, and Poland in general, is the chance to visit Auschwitz. People always look at me kind of strangely when I tell them I am very excited to visit a concentration camp, but as someone who studied history at university and has had a deep interest in WWII and the Holocaust since childhood, visiting this deeply tragic place is important to me. I’ve also been told that Krakow itself is a beautiful city with a great nightlife.

Budapest

After Berlin, Budapest is probably the city I am most excited to visit. From its beautiful Parliament building to the string of bridges crossing the Danube, Budapest looks like will be a nice place to wander around and photograph. Budapest also seems to be quite the foodie city and I am ready to try as many paprika infused dishes as possible. If there’s time, I’d like to take a day trip to Eger to sample some of the region’s famous wine.

Budapest’s Chain Bridge by Flickr user SF Brit via Creative Commons

Bratislava

Bratislava is the city that I know the least about. The travel blog consensus seems to be that it is a fairly small city that could be seen in less than a day. I will be spending two full days in Slovakia’s capital so I will have more than enough time to explore the medieval city center and baroque palaces.

Vienna

I’ve heard mixed reviews about Vienna. Some day it is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, while others call it boring. I will have a couple of days to make up my mind, during which I plan to wander around the city center, making plenty of stops at the famous cafes for coffee and apple strudel. My friend Kasey told me about a day trip that involves cycling along the Danube to different wineries, something I am very interested in doing.

Salzburg

Salzburg is probably best known for being the home of the Von Trapp family in the Sound of Music. While I don’t plan on partaking in any themed tours, I will spend a lot of town admiring the well preserved baroque architecture in the city center and I may take a day trip further into the Alps. I’d love to visit a picturesque German-style village.

Bled

Bled is a town in northwestern Slovenia located in the Alps and on a large lake. This will be a stop to take in some nature- hiking Bled Castle and just enjoying the scenery. I’d also like to visit nearby Triglav National Park to do some hiking and possibly white water rafting.

Lake Bled via Wikicommons

Ljubljana

Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital, seems to be regarded as one of the most underrated European cities. It is another city with a well preserved historical center, but Ljubljana is also supposed to have a very interesting art scene and be one of the greenest city’s in Europe with many parks. As this will be my last stop, I will probably spend a lot of time figuring out exactly what Slovenian cuisine entails and lazing about the Ljubljanica River.

What recommendations do you have for these cities? Where would you most like to visit?

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