Europe, the continent of concentrated cultures and civilizations, is an ideal location for hopping from city to city in little time and yet experience a complete change of scenery. So, whether you are European or from another continent, you are doubtlessly craving to explore all of it. That would be a daunting task, however, it is manageable to see a lot within a limited amount of time. This is how we came up with this challenge – visiting 15 major European cities in 15 days, make the best out of it, seeing the most iconic symbols, and tasting their local specialties.
Easy, you say? We added an extra factor: stay within an average budget of €100.00 per day, including travel expenses, food, drink, and the various fees you need to pay for. Are you ready to undertake a marathon of culture, travels, fun, and exploration? Then book your ticket for Dublin, Ireland; this is where we are starting our European trip!15 days. 15 cities. €1,500.00 – this is how our program sums up.
Of course, we appreciate your opinion and we are always happy to get some tips from you about this European trip. You can do so by writing in the comment section at the bottom of each page.
- Day 1 – Dublin, Ireland
- Day 2 – London, Great Britain
- Day 3 – Paris, France
- Day 4 – Madrid, Spain
- Day 5 – Lisbon, Portugal
- Day 6 – Rome, Italy
- Day 7 – Zurich, Switzerland
- Day 8 – Berlin, Germany
- Day 9 – Copenhagen, Denmark
- Day 10 – Stockholm, Sweden
- Day 11 – Helsinki, Finland
- Day 12 – Warsaw, Poland
- Day 13 – Prague, Czech Republic
- Day 14 – Vienna, Austria
- Day 15 – Athens, Greece
Traveling across Europe in 15 days: Day 1 – Dublin
Welcome to the fair city of Dublin, our first stop in our European tour in 15 days!The good news about Dublin: it has become a much cheaper city than it was even four years ago. You will find much to do and at quite a low cost! Dublin’s city center is actually fairly small, the hub consists of a mere few streets. However, you will soon realize that size does not matter and that the bustle of the city is more than exciting. One of the main free attractions is Trinity College, Ireland’s oldest university containing fantastic buildings worth seeing, you can even slip into one of the amphitheaters and attend one of the classes.
Stroll across the beautiful campus and you might even make yourself a few friends among the students there. The Irish are anything but shy and it will not be long before they start talking to you. This will prove itself even truer if you hit Temple Bar in Dublin 2. This district is the most famous one in Dublin and you are guaranteed to find, between the numerous pubs, street shows, people singing, dancing or who knows what else?
If you feel like escaping the city life for a few hours, you can reach Phoenix Park by bus (€2.20). This huge green area is a haven of peace in the capital and it is also where the residences of personalities such as the President of Ireland or the ambassador of the United States are located.
Eating & sleeping
You can eat cheap in most fast-food restaurants, however it is usually a better value to go to a traditional Irish pub. There, you can get the stew of the day for as little as €5.00, which is often homemade. To quench your thirst, I recommend you try out the Porter House. They brew their own beer and offer an infinite selection of oddities – including chocolate beer or oyster beer! Expect about €3.00 for half a pint.
The cheapest way to stay overnight is to book a room in Barnacles Temple Bar House. You can get a bed in a dormitory for only €10.00 and you are but a few steps from the commotion.
Leaving the Green Island
As we are about to head to England, it is time to get back to Dublin airport, a few minutes away by bus (€2.20). Aer Lingus offers daily trips to London for €40.00 per person. Two hours later, you will have landed in Heathrow or Gatwick airport, both nearby London.
If you have any more tips to share on how to travel, get accommodation, or simply have a good time in Dublin, please share them in the comments below!
Total spent: €54.40 (+ drinks & meals – about €20.00)
Traveling across Europe in 15 days: Day 2 – London
London will make you feel that Dublin was a mere village. The capital city of England is the biggest in Europe in terms of population. Enjoy your day!
If you land in Heathrow, it is definitely easier and cheaper to make your way to London. For only £2.20, you can get a train to London’s city center and the service is ongoing every 10 minutes for a 20-minute journey. From Gatwick, you will need about 30 minutes and £18.00.
1,001 steps in London
As previously mentioned, London is quite a big city and you probably will have a hard time walking it through. The best deal is to buy yourself an all-day card for £8.00 (Zones 1-2). This will take you to all the major attractions in London. Among many others, the clock tower Big Ben, the suspension bridge Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, the fortress of the Crown Jewels or Saint-Paul Cathedral, and its legendary “whispering gallery.” Standing under the massive dome, you will be able to hear people standing diametrically across, even when murmuring.
For outdoor activities, you can enjoy a stroll across Hyde Park, the lung of London, and its biggest park. Trafalgar Square is famous for its pigeons in quite an impressive amount and Nelson’s Column. Following The Mall, you will reach Buckingham Palace, where the Royal wedding took place a couple of months ago. Literature fanatics will want to see the Globe Theatre on the Southbank, a circular building where Shakespeare used to give representations – a landmark of theatrical history. The list of places of interest in London could go on and on – this is just a mere sample of the most famous locations.
While you are on the Southbank, you should check out Saint Christopher’s Inn, one of the cheapest youth hostels you can get in Central London (£8.00). If you need to recover and grab a nice hot meal, I would recommend the George Inn, the last coaching inn in London. The settings are beautiful and the food affordable (£10.00) – quite a bargain in one of the most expensive cities in Europe.
That was it for London! Time to head for France, but this time flying is not the cheaper option. Book a car share from London to Portsmouth for some £10.00 and make sure you get there by 8:00 AM. LD Lines offers a £25.00 journey to Le Havre at 8:30. Don’t miss your ferry boat!
You are of course welcome to post some suggestions below on how to enjoy London at little to no cost. We are looking forward to reading from you soon!
Total spent, inc. travel: £53.20/€60.00 (+ drinks & meals – about £12.00/€13.00)
Traveling across Europe in 15 days: Day 3 – Paris
What is better than a beautiful afternoon on the French shore? Welcome to the continent. As you know, we are currently in the city of Le Havre, a harbor only a few hours away from Paris. Good news, you can get there quickly and cheaply. From the central station of Le Havre, there are trains every hour or so going to Paris. It only takes a little more than 2 hours and costs €18.00.
In the hub
Two hours later, you will find yourself at the very heart of Paris, Saint-Lazare station to be precise. While it is not as widespread as London, Paris is still a big city that will kill your feet before you have seen half of what you set out to do. So, first things first, buy yourself an all-day card, better known as Mobilis, zones1-2. This is sufficient to take you everywhere within Paris and costs €6.30. Time to do some free sightseeing and there is indeed a lot to see! The Eiffel Tower is probably the one monument you have your eye set on.
Personally, I would not bother climbing it – it is expensive, there are long queues, it is tedious and you do not have such an amazing view. Your call. Still, I highly recommend you visiting the area, especially at nighttime as the tower shines for a few minutes on the dot. The former royal castle, now known as Le Louvre, is also a beautiful walk outside, but from underneath as well (for free) which gives you the opportunity to see the Pyramide from above and below.
In the northern area of Paris, you can visit the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur in Montmartre. Not only is the building splendid, but the artistic area is a great stroll, and most importantly, being on a hill, you will have the perfect view over Paris. If you are in need of some green now, the Jardins du Luxembourg is the place to go. Other places of interest include Beaubourg, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Champs-Elysées or Saint-Germain-des-Prés.
As per usual, hostels are the cheapest alternative when it comes to accommodation. Young & Happy, located in the Quartier Latin (student district) has beds for as little as €9.95. Food is horribly expensive, as you will soon notice, however you can treat yourself in a “brasserie” at a fair price. It is more or less the French equivalent of fast-food. Try a “croque-monsieur” for €6.00 to €10.00 – these “brasseries” are very easily found throughout the capital.
Now off to Spain! As terrestrial transports are terribly pricey, it is cheaper and definitely much faster to buy a flight. While Ryanair is the cheapest company, it does not fly from central airports, which entails extra costs with shuttles. I would recommend you fly with EasyJet, which will take you to Madrid Barajas airport for €36.00. It flies from Charles de Gaulle airport, which is a bit outside of Paris – do not forget your ticket (€6.90). Departure is at 6:40 AM and arrival in Spain at 8:55 AM. Get your sunglasses and your sun hats ready!
If you have any exclusive tips to share with us on how to enjoy “la vie parisienne”, please post them below!
Total spent, inc. travel: €77.15 (+ meals & drinks €25.00)
Traveling across Europe in 15 days: Day 4 – Madrid
Spain, the country all of Europe envies for its eternal warmth and sunshine. Welcome to Madrid! As you get off the plane, the first thing you should do is get your transport card: ask for an “abono touristo T” for 1 day (€12.00) – that covers all your journeys in Madrid, including commuting to and from the airport.
Domingo en Madrid
Being in Madrid on a Sunday has some advantages, so try to do so if you can. The first one is that you can go to the “Rastro”, open until 2 PM. The “Rastro” is a flea market where you can find pretty much everything and anything, very often for half-nothing. Since we are talking about prices, Spain is a lot cheaper than most countries in Europe, so it would be a good idea to do some shopping if you had been planning to while on the continent.
As far as accommodation is concerned, the cheapest place I know is Hostal Welcome, in the southeast of Madrid, where you can stay for only €13.00 per night. If you have a gap to fill in your stomach, head for the La Latina district in the west part of Madrid. The area is famous for its tapas bars, even though tapas are mostly on a pay as you eat basis, some bars still give away free tapas with drinks, i.e. tortillas, olives, chorizos, among others. Another delicacy is the “chocolate con churros” – stick-shaped doughnuts to dip in chocolate sauce. A must-try.
Another benefit of being in Spain on a Sunday is that you get free access to some museums, including the famous Museo del Prado and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. You can expect worldwide known paintings and pieces of art in both of them as they shelter work from Dali, Picasso, or Goya.
In the streets of Madrid
The best souvenir you can bring yourself back from Spain is a nice suntan. Time to spend a few hours outside and enjoy some sunbeams! While doing so, take a look around you. Gran Vía is the main street in Madrid and has a lot of shops for shopping amateurs. The Palacio Real, the royal residence is a jewel of architecture, well worth seeing. Right across stands the Catedral de Santa María la Real de la Almudena de Madrid, one of Spain’s most significant religious buildings. You should also take a look at the Templo de Debod, an Egyptian temple reconstituted near the heart of Madrid, slightly northwest. If you want to see the very center of the city, then look out for the Puerta del Sol, the kilometer zero of all roads in Spain.
Are you feeling like a road trip across the Iberian Peninsula? That’s good because you have a 6-hour drive ahead of you to reach your next destination: Lisbon! Book your car share now for about €40.00.
Already been in Madrid and you have some good advice for us? We’re all ears – please write them in the comments below.
Total spent, inc. travel: €65.00 (meals & drinks: €10.00)
Traveling across Europe in 15 days: Day 5 – Lisbon
Beautiful Lisbon. Not only will you enjoy the same warmth you did in Spain, but you also have the Atlantic Ocean to behold which will ensure a constant breeze through the city. But enough talking about the weather, let us get down to Lisbon itself and reveal a few tips you want to know about it.
Much walking ahead!
Like Dublin, Lisbon is a small city for a capital, which means you can reach almost everything by foot. This is good news because Lisbon is a very pleasant city to have a walk-in. The city has many “miradouro”, terraces from which you have a fantastic overview. Among the trendiest districts, “Baixa” is the city center where most activity happens in the daytime, while “Bairro Alto” is the place to be as far as sunsets go. Alternative music, hectic night and erratic people are as much as you should expect there. You will probably learn some colloquial Portuguese as well, so keep your ears wide open!
As far as sightseeing goes, the Belém Tower, built in 1515, is probably THE best-known building in Lisbon. Right next to it, is the Jerónimos Monastry, a colossal building that you could hardly miss! Should you feel like visiting, you could buy a combined ticket for both edifices for €10.00. Overhanging the capital, the Castle of São Jorge is another tourist attraction you cannot afford to overlook. The fortifications make a great viewpoint. For more recent constructions, try the local streetcars. Tram 28 has been running since 1901 and it will cost you but a euro to hop in.
Unlike most European cities, Lisbon has preserved its streetcar system in the 1950s, making it one of the oldest ones in the world! Even more modern, the Vasco da Gama bridge, a 17-kilometer long bridge goes across the creek. Whether you like it or not is a matter of taste, it remains however one of the biggest bridges in the world.
Food, drinks & music
Again, hostels are the cheapest alternative for accommodation. Good news for you – we have a nice one for you for only €10.50 a night! Look for “Next Hostel”( http://www.nexthostel.com/), friendly staff, clean dorms, and breakfast included – why would you get a suite in a hotel? If you need a snack to keep on walking through the streets of Lisbon, you should try “Bacalhau à Bras”, made from codfish, one of the specialties of Lisbon and very affordable. If you have been craving for a nice coffee, what you must order is called “bica” – a strong black coffee, the real taste of beans. It can be bought in most cafés.
One last cultural note – do you know what “fado” is? It is a style of music that is incredibly melancholic, originating from Portugal. You will have to pay some €15.00 to see a live show in a “casa de fado”, although chances are that you hear some singers in the street performing some.
Well, that was it for Lisbon, was it not great? We are now heading across the Mediterranean Sea, direction Rome! Several bus lines will take you to the aeroporto Lisboa for only €1.50 (if you have small luggage). Alternatively, you can get one of the airport’s coaches for €3.50, with all the space you want, commuting every 20 minutes. The cheapest flight for Rome is provided by EasyJet and leaves at 11:40 AM to Rome (4-hour flight) for €88.00.
Anything you want to add? All suggestions are more than welcome, please share your tips below.
Total spent, inc. travel: €110.00 (food & drinks: €10.00)
Traveling across Europe in 15 days: Day 6 – Rome
Bellissima Italia! It is such a thrill to be in Italy, cultural swarming with oodles of sites and places to discover. But first, we need to get out of the Fiumicino airport and reach Rome, which is quite far. There is no need to panic though; here is what we do. First, find a newsagent in the airport to buy your Cotral bus ticket, which is cheaper than buying it directly from the bus driver (€4.50). Be aware that the bus ride is about an hour.
Like Lisbon, Rome is a city you will enjoy on foot better than on a bus. The weather is nice and the streets pleasant, so pack some good shoes to walk in. What you most likely know from Rome is the Colosseum. Getting in is a bit pricey, so perhaps it is best to enjoy it from outside. It will cost you €12.00 for a full-price ticket. Whilst strolling through Rome, you simply have to climb the Spanish Steps, a very animated area in Rome, which will also lead you to a haven of peace: the Villa Borghese. It is hard to believe you are still in the heart of Rome when beholding the beauty and the serenity of this park.
Another symbol of Rome is the Trevi Fountain. It is a well-spread tradition to throw a few coins in it, however if you need funding for your European tour, know that taking coins out of it is not illegal. Granted, you will come across as petty, yet it is still an option. Remember to cast a glimpse at the famous Pantheon and muster whatever energy you have left to ascend the Palatine Hill– many ruins of Ancient Rome are to be seen there.
Delicacies of all sorts
Italian food is known worldwide and its terminology has made its way into most languages. Time to compare what you can get at home to the real thing! You have to try a slice of pizza before you leave. Cheap and tasty, it would be a crime to overlook it. You can find them absolutely everywhere. For your sweet tooth, I recommend Giolitti, one of the Romans’ favorite gelateria (ice-cream parlor). Of course, this ice-cream will go down even better if you savor it with an espresso!
If you do not spend all of the night partying, one of the nicest hostels in Rome is Rome City Hostel in Tiburtino, where you can spend the night from €11.00.
Our next destination, Zurich, Switzerland is quite far away, but you can make it for a reasonable price by car sharing. Since the number of commuters is not that high, it is a good idea to book it early enough in advance, especially as you might need 2 trips (e.g. Rome-Milan & Milan-Zurich) All in all, you should be able to cover the fees with about €50.00.
Anything you want to add to our Italian adventure? All suggestions are more than welcome; please share your tips below.
Total spent, inc. travel: €65,50 (food & drinks: €20.00)
Traveling across Europe in 15 days: Day 7 – Zurich
Switzerland is such a unique country for so many reasons. It is somewhat a rebellious land in the middle of the European Union. The Swiss are proud of their neutrality and independence as you will soon find out. As a tourist, it does not make much of a difference, except that your Euros will not be accepted here – remember to stop by at the bureau de change!
Mountains, lakes & chocolate
Even though Zurich is not the capital of Switzerland, it is the most populated city and it has a lot to offer. However, you will discover the charm of Switzerland way before entering Zurich. If you have been following this guide, you should arrive by car. This is a great opportunity to experience the relief of the Alps (and overcoming your vertigo) while admiring fantastic landscapes of mountains, fir trees, and lakes.
Like most cities in Switzerland, Zurich is located near a major lake, which bears the same name as the city. What is more enjoyable than a walk along the shores of the quiet lake, as if time were standing still? Along the way, you will come across green areas, most notably the China Garden on the east coast or the arboretum on the west coast.
In the city center, the Altstadt (old town district) is one of the most popular areas with beautiful houses to behold and paved streets to walk through. In the north-east part of the city stands the University of Zurichwhose architecture should raise your interest. About 2 km south on the west coast of the lake lies the village of Kilchberg which is quite famous for being the cradle of chocolate manufacturers Lindt & Sprüngli! Although you cannot visit the chocolate factories, the smell emanating from them, and the omnipresence of chocolate should satisfy your appetite.
Should you feel like hiking for an hour or two, head towards Uetliberg, a 900-meter high chain of hills which has the best view over Zurich. Don’t forget to climb the tower at “Hochwacht” to get a better glimpse. Beware though – the tower can be shaky when the wind is up!
Breakfast, lunch and dinner: chocolate!
Accommodation is unfortunately quite pricey in Switzerland and it is even truer in Zurich. A bed in a dorm will still cost you at least €30.00. I would suggest you (City Backpacker – Hotel Biber), which is nice, clean, and affordable (€32.00). Expect to pay another €2.00 if you need bedsheets.
Swiss cuisine benefits from German, French, and Italian influences, needless to say, it is one of the finest in the world! Once you have consumed all the chocolate your liver can tolerate, try dried meat and cheese. 2. Akt is a very trendy place to go in the city center, especially to meet young people. Good mood and cheap food!
Now, while you still have your new German words in mind, time to head to Berlin! And to do so, we will use no other than… Air Berlin. The earliest flight (6:35 AM) is the cheapest – €60.00 and will take you to Berlin bang on time for breakfast (8:00).
Anything you want to add to our Swiss trip? All tips are helpful; please share them below.
Total spent, inc. travel: €94,00 (food & drinks: €25.00)
Traveling across Europe in 15 days: Day 8 – Berlin
Berlin Schönefeld Airport – Willkommen! After Zurich, Berlin will come across as quite an extreme change – it is a completely different city. A lot more eclectic and erratic. To get the flavor of the German capital, which is a big European city, you need to get yourself a day pass: go for the €6.80 one (zones ABC) which will cover all of your journeys until tomorrow morning 3 AM.
Since it is pretty early, let us get the touring starting right now. Out of U-Bahn Warschauerstraße station, you can see remains of what used to be the Berlin Wall (Mühlenstraße). What is still standing has become a support for all sorts of artwork. The mood is as unique as can be – the weight of a hurting past mixed with hopes for a better future along the Spree River. In the center of Berlin, look out for Potsdamer Platz, which has been recently refurbished and looks quite futuristic. There are also a few big brands if you are in a shopping mood.
Continuing westwards, you will encounter the famous Brandenburg Gate (Tor in German), the symbol of Berlin, and the threshold to “Unter Den Linden”. It is possibly one of the nicest streets in Berlin – literally “under the linden trees”. Walking down it, you will come across Friedrichstraße, another major street that is known for being the theatre of the former Checkpoint Charlie, one of the main gateways between the two Berlins.
Back on “Unter Den Linden”, keep walking and you will end up in the “Tiergarten”, the biggest park in Berlin, also home to a zoo and much more to see. Our next station is the Schloss Charlottenburg, which is a bit far; so I recommend you use your day pass. A ticket to visit the palace is €15.00; it is however definitely worth it.
Beer. Bier? Beer.
Generally speaking, Germany is quite cheap compared to the rest of Europe as far as food and hotels are concerned. You can book a bed in Singer 109 apartment-hostel for a mere €8.00 (!) and it is not even located outside Berlin (real good news). If you want to eat on the go, try some Currywurst, which can be bought almost everywhere for a few Euros. One of the most famous Currywurst outlets is Curry 36. And, of course, you must have a pint of German beer – the local one is called “Berliner Weisse).” Prost!
On the morning of your departure, consider putting on a long-sleeve t-shirt: we are now driving to Scandinavia! Although flying would be faster, the cheapest way to reach Copenhagen is to use car-sharing– you will make it in a few hours and for approximately €40.00!
If you have some personal experience with Berlin and all the fun it has to offer, we are interested! Please write all about it below.
Total spent, inc. travel: €55,80 (food & drinks: €15.00)
Traveling across Europe in 15 days: Day 9 – Copenhagen
The temperature keeps on dropping as we are continuing our European trip, but it is worthwhile, is it not? Copenhagen is one of these cities that is often underrated or unknown. It may not be the biggest city in Europe, but it would be such a shame to miss out on it – here are the reasons why!
Bring some crowns!
Besides the friendliness and the outstanding English of the Danes, the omnipresence of canals and green areas make Copenhagen an incredibly serene city. And, as it is not that huge, you can walk everywhere – no bus or train ticket needed. If you were lucky enough to secure a car share, you were probably dropped off in the city center.
So, before we head out and explore, let us sort out accommodation. For 135.00 DKK, you can stay at Danhostel, which is a top-class place to stay in. The hostel is pretty central to all of the conveniences you’ll want and need in Copenhagen. Next, what’s to eat and drink? Obviously a Danish hotdog! You can try the røde pølser (red sausage) from one of the pølsevogn, a cart where you can get hotdogs and they are indeed almost everywhere. If you happen to feel somewhat blotted after too many hotdogs, have a Carlsberg or an Ale no.16 – two of the nationally brewed beers.
Den Lille Havfrue
Since you are now full of energy (and sausages), time to do some exploring! Everything we will be looking at is very central – good news for your feet. The Rosenborg Castle is a fantastic piece of architecture, well worth visiting (75.00 DKK), especially the mirror-room. The Christianborg Palace is another major edifice in Copenhagen that you should at least see, even if you do not visit it. While you are at it, make your way to the Marmorkirken (the biggest cathedral in the city). If you are on a shopping spree, know that Strøget is famous for being the longest malls in Europe – there is nothing you can’t find here! Finally, explore the docks from Nyhavn all the way up to Langelinie, where you can see the Little Mermaid, a character eponymous of the tale from Andersen.
Now that you have fallen in love with Scandinavia, time to see some of it! We are going to go to Stockholm by bus, a 10-hour drive, yet it is a cheap and fun way to travel. Book your ticket with Swebus for 389.00 DKK.
How was your trip to Copenhagen? Would you like to share some tips with our readers and ourselves? Please do! We are looking forward to reading them.
Total spent, inc. travel: 599.00 DKK/€80.00 (food & drinks: 100.00 DKK/ €14.00)
Traveling across Europe in 15 days: Day 10 – Stockholm
Here we are, in the biggest city of Scandinavia – Stockholm! Composed of several islands, the Swedish capital is a beautiful city, at the crossroad of tradition and modernity. Everything you want can be found here and there is a lot of fun ahead of you.
The hub of Stockholm is Gamla Stan, a parcel of land between the two main parts of Stockholm. It is also the oldest part of the city where history has been happening. It is a real pleasure to walk through the streets full of this history and tradition. There you can see Storkyrkan the oldest cathedral erected on a place, which can be considered to be the cradle of Stockholm. Walking north-westwards, you can find the Stadthuset, Stockholm’s town hall, which is famous for being the theatre of the Nobel Prizes ceremonies. Who knows, you might get one of the prestigious rewards one day? From the top floor of the building, you have a very nice glimpse over Stockholm – do not miss it!
Now to the eastern part of the capital, approximately a 30-minute walk to, on the island of Skeppsholmen, stands the Arkitekturmuséet. Not only is the entrance to the permanent exhibition free of charge, but it is also a very interesting location if you are somewhat interested in design. Further to the east, following the direction of Djurgården, you will end up at a famous Swedish boat, rearranged as the Vasamuséet (110.00 SEK). An uncanny visit expects you! In the same area, Skansen, halfway between an outdoor museum and an entertainment park, is a nice location for some chilling time for about 100.00 SEK.
Finally, Swedish food (and not branded IKEA)
Unfortunately, Stockholm is not a cheap city to stay in. However, I have a few tips for you to make the best of your Swedish kronor. The hostel I would suggest is a bit more expensive compared to what we’ve reviewed so far, but it remains quite a good deal in Sweden, not to mention that the hostel is a really nice one. Budget 190.00 SEK a night. The Swedes are major coffee drinkers (rumor has it they drink an average of 5 cups a day!) but this is nothing like Italian espresso – the coffee here is not half as strong.
Still, be sure you stop by in a café to have a few cups and a pastry. Note that you only pay for the first cup in most places and get free refills. In Kornhamnstorg, Gamla Stan, there is a cool restaurant called After Bar & Kök, where you can get some tasty Swedish food at a very reasonable price (about 100.00 SEK per person).
Now that you’ve discovered the homeland of Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist, time to head for our next destination – Helsinki! You can reach Arlanda airport with a coach – booking your ticket online is only 99.00 SEK. Flying with Norwegian, you can get a flight to Finland for as little as 421.00 SEK. Have a nice flight!
Have you been to Stockholm yourself and want to share your experience with us? Please do! We cannot wait to read your comments.
Total spent, inc. travel: 920.00 SEK/€101.00 (food & drinks: 200.00 SEK/€22.00)
Traveling across Europe in 15 days: Day 11 – Helsinki
On top of touring Europe, you are gradually becoming an expert in geography – you should now know most if not all Scandinavian countries and their respective capitals by heart! Are holidays not the best cultural experience you could hope for?
So this is Helsinki, one of the most northern capitals in the world – have you brought your sweaters along? Not to worry if you were not expecting such a cold climate, there are plenty of stores that can provide you with typical Finnish woolly jumpers – and you can find some of the very high quality!
Minä en puhu suomea (or do you?)
Hop on bus 615 from the airport to reach the city center. This journey will cost you €4.00 and 35 minutes of your time, but once in central Helsinki, you can reach everything on foot. So what are we going to see? The most recognizable building around is the Lutheran Cathedral: it is big, on a pedestal, and sparkling white. Talking about religious buildings, there are many of them in Finland that are architecturally speaking quite interesting; however, I will not go into detail to keep this article of reasonable length. While you are in the middle of the city, stroll through the Kauppatori (market square), where Finnish life takes place.
Right next to it lies the Esplanadi Park, full of Finns enjoying the sunshine during the summer days. A nice sample of the Finnish sweet way of life! When you are done with the Helsinki city center, head north-west for the Sibelius monument. That sculpture is one of a kind and one of the most famous sights in Finland. Back to the southernmost part of Helsinki, you can catch a ferry that will sail you to Suomenlinna, an island in the middle of the Gulf of Finland – definitely a nice spot for only €4.00!
Cold weather – only one solution
So Helsinki is likely to be the coldest place you have visited so far. The good news is, there is no better city to go to a sauna! For only €8.00, you can get in at Hermanni and you will have access to a full, traditional Finnish sauna. Once you have had your relaxing time, check-in at Hostel Stadion. A night will cost you €20.00, however it is a fair deal given the price of accommodation in Helsinki. Among the numerous Finnish delicacies I have tried, I found myself weak for pulla cakes. To be eaten at any time of the day or the night!
Back at the airport via bus line 615 (€4.00), book a flight for Warsaw, Poland. Air Baltic has some of the best deals and you can fly there for €58.56. See you in Warsaw!
How was your own Finnish trip? Have you unveiled some great restaurants or fun locations? Share it with us in the comment below!
Total spent, inc. travel: €98.56 (food & drinks: €15.00)
Traveling across Europe in 15 days: Day 12 – Warsaw
Forget all the clichés you have ever heard about Poland – chances are, you are very mistaken. Poland has developed incredibly in the last few years and Warsaw is now in alignment with the rest of European capitals cities. Expect the unexpected from Warsaw!
Along the Vistula River
Just landed at Frédéric Chopin airport, buy a 1-day city travel card for 12.00 PLN. It is valid for 24 hours upon validation of your ticket. Head for the city center (Warszawa Centralna). In the heart of Warsaw, look out for the Royal Castle, where visits are free of charge on Sundays or only 10.00 PLN. In the same area, the Palace of Culture and Science has become one of the most recognizable landmarks of the city – and it is indeed quite impressive! Going south-east, you can find the Lazienki Palace and its exquisite garden. The admission to the park is free; the visit to the palace will cost you a few zlotys.
Following the banks of the Vistula River, head north and you should find the Sigismund’s Column on the Castle Square. If you are in need of more green areas, a visit to the Saxon Garden, which is quite near, should fulfill your desires of fresh air. As per usual, the old town is one of the most interesting districts of Warsaw.
Wódka and sernik
Poland has very nice dishes, try the typical kaszanka, a blood sausage and the fine placki kartoflane – potato pancakes. If you have a sweet tooth, you will not be disappointed with sernik (cheesecake), nor with makowiec – poppy seed roll. Poland is also the home of wódka; remember to try some – with reason! Pod Herbami is a really nice location for traditional Polish food at affordable prices. However, if you want to go cheaper, find one of the bar mleczny where you can eat for half nothing.
Log on now on CD to book your train ticket for your next destination – Prague! A night trip will spare you a stay at the hotel and costs around 310.00 PLN for the 13-hour trip.
Do you want to share impressions of your Polish trip with us? Please post your comments below!
Total spent, inc. travel: 332.00 PLN/€76.50 (food & drinks: 35.00 PLN/€8.00)
Traveling across Europe in 15 days: Day 13 – Prague
Prague Central Station. Although Prague is a large city, most of the sightseeing could be done in Prague 1, which will save you some koruna on transportation. And because it is a large city, there is a lot to see and visit, therefore you will want to select the things you really don’t want to miss out on or you can simply follow our guide.
Always time for an orloj
On the left bank of the river splitting Prague vertically, you should start with the Petřin Hill, which stands in the heart of the city and gives you a great view of all of Prague. Walking down the hill on the north side, you will encounter the Prague Castle. You can visit it for 350.00 CZK. In the same area stands the Lennon Wall, covered in graffiti and lyrics of the Beatles. Continuing eastward, toward the Vltava River, you might recognize the Charles Bridge, possibly the best-known bridge of Europe.
After crossing the historical bridge, follow Karlora and you will end up on the Old Town Square, bustling with tourists and for a reason. This is one of the most beautiful areas of Prague and the theatre of the Astronomical Clock, a masterpiece of clockwork. Finally, walking further east you will be led to Charles University, a leading pool of education and architectural experience. This is how much there is to see in Prague and without spending a koruna!
Since we have been saving so much on tourist attractions, we can focus on the nice regional specialties. The Czech Republic is known for its beer (pivo), arguably the best one here is Gambrinus. Smoked fish is also a popular entree, but if you want to eat a dish that is really unusual, have some head cheese. For more Czech specialties at a fair price, check out Klub Architektů.
That was it for Prague, we will discover some of the Bohemia Region by train; direction Vienna. Book your train ticket online, there are several journeys available and it only takes you 5 hours to reach Austria. Enjoy the beautiful landscape while you are at it!
If you have an insider tip you would like to give our readers, please feel free to do so in the comment section below.
Total spent, inc. travel: 1,085.00 CZK/€44.50 (food & drinks: 360.00 CZK/ €15.00)
Traveling across Europe in 15 days: Day 14 – Vienna
Is it not of the utmost romance to travel across Europe by train? I hope you enjoyed your trip to Vienna. As soon as you leave the central station, you will start to wonder if Vienna is an actual city or a museum; not only is it especially clean, but it seems almost all of the buildings are historical in some way. You will be spending a lot of time looking upwards!
If you took a morning train, you are probably getting hungry. Vienna is famous around the world for its Wiener Schnitzel, a slice of veal coated in breadcrumbs. In a minuscule pedestrian side street stands the restaurant Figlmüller, beloved by tourists and Austrians alike. The traditional dish is served for €13.90. If you can still eat after that consequent lunch, head for Albertinaplatz, where the Café Mozart is found. Austrians are proud of their café culture and the refinement of their premises. A slice of Sachertorte will do nicely with your Kanne of coffee.
Time to hit the town
I hope you can still get off your chair after so much eating – there will be a lot of walking involved in the next few hours! Right across the street stands the Albertina Museum. It always displays fantastic temporary collections, although you have to pay the price for them (€9.50). From there, walk Josefsplatz all the way up to Hofburg Palace. Again the admission fees are pricey – €10.50 – yet you should at least see it from the outside (for free). Eastwards, you can find St Stephen’s Cathedral, probably the hub of Vienna, with many souvenirs to buy or shopping to do.
Be sure that you will not be alone around here! Right behind the cathedral, the Mozarthaus is located, where the composer used to live. Another €10.00 if you feel like peeking in. Some 2 kilometers eastwards stands an uncanny piece of architecture – the Hundertwasserhaus. The façades are the most interesting parts of the building and if your curiosity needs to be satisfied, you can get in the main hall and the back garden for free. Going south for the Belvederegarten, you will find a huge park within its midst the Belevedere Palace – admission to the park is free. Finally, I advise you to walk along Opernring, arguably the most beautiful street in the Austrian capital, which the notable Opera House is also in.
Should you stay overnight, book a bed in the hostel Hütteldorf for the bargain price of €12.00. It lies in the western part of the city. Our journey is soon coming to an end – the last city we are visiting is quite remote and will require you to book a flight. For about €80.00, you can make Vienna-Athens in just over 2 hours.
If you have an insider tip you would like to give our readers, please feel free to do so in the comment section below.
Total spent, inc. travel: €103.90 (food & drinks: €25.00)
Traveling across Europe in 15 days: Day 15 – Athens
Were you starting to get worried about the lack of sun and beaches over the last few days? Your fears can be allayed; Greece is a typical paradisiacal destination! You can reach the center of Athens from the airport by train for €6.00. Then a 24-hour transport card only costs €4.00, whether you want it is your decision.
The best city to spend Euros!
Overall, Athens is one of the cheapest cities in the selected 15 in this guide. You can then get a lot for the Euros you have left. For instance, try a cheap and tasty snack – the Souvlaki, even better when served in Pina bread. It consists of grilled meat, with vegetables and tzatziki. All for around €1.00 in most places. You probably will want to scout the city for the best cafés – as you might know, frappés are a Greek specialty and you cannot skip the experience. Chances are it will be the best frappe of your life! One of the nicest places to go is Zonar’s, a high-street café, yet affordable, with a fantastic view and appetizing pastries.
Where all philosophy started
As the cradle of Europe, Greece has a long and rich history, therefore a large number of historical sites to lay your eyes on. The majestic Mount Lycabettus offers a unique view all over Athens, and a small hiking experience on its ascension. Southwards, the Acropolis is erected in a garden of ruins, among which temples, columns, and other vestiges of Ancient Greece. It is hard to fathom how long these structures have been standing there – a building that has been around for millennia. You may want to visit the museum, with admission fees of €5.00. Northwest lies the Ancient Agora, another site of ruins and traces of history.
When you have satisfied your lust for culture, it is time to get lost in the old parts of town. The neighborhood is known as Plaka and should fulfill your expectations of Athens; narrow streets, typical architecture, and the whole thing built like a labyrinth. Take the time to swing by the Academy of Athens – don’t you feel like the wisdom of Plato is running through you?
The nearest beach you are to reach is called Alimos, 10 km south of Athens. Granted it is not the quietest beach in Greece, but it is easy to reach with public transports. Enjoy the warmth of the Mediterranean Sea!
What did you do in Athens? Share your experience with us in the comment section below!
Total spent, inc. travel: €22.00 (food & drinks: €10.00)
This is the end of our adventure – I hope you enjoyed it. There are other cities worth visiting, such as Krakow, Poland; Hamburg, Germany; Ljubljana, Slovenia, or Oslo, Norway, among many, many other ones. It would take a lifetime to explore all of them! These 15 days were but a sample of what Europe has to offer and the multitude of secrets it contains.
It is time to do the maths – how much did the trip cost? In total, the “food & drinks” expenses were covered with €247.00 – just over €16.00 a day. The travel and accommodation costs accounted for €1,108.31. That’s a total of… *rolling drums*… €1,355.31 – we made it! €144.69 less than scheduled and an average of just over €90.00 per day. Challenge accomplished! You even have enough left over to buy souvenirs and send postcards.
Thanks for reading this guide!
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