After only a week of living in Prague, my first venture into Europe was in the Southern German city of Munich. Under the organisation of an Erasmus student’s events company situated in Prague, we went on a day trip to Oktoberfest. This iconic Bavarian festival was something I have always wanted to experience, especially because my Grandad was a very proud Bavarian. The festival consisted of 17 large and 21 small tents, supplemented by small food stalls and fairground rides. Each tent was filled with singing and clapping and lots of very merry Germans. Many locals and tourists were dressed up in the traditional Bavarian outfits, the Lederhosen and Dirndls, making the whole experience feel very immersive.
Only a week after our trip to Oktoberfest, I travelled via FlixBus to the capital of Hungary, Budapest. This was another exciting trip for me as my mum had studied in Hungary on her year abroad, and her experience there was something that encouraged me to take a year abroad. This was another trip organised by an Erasmus student’s events company, where in which we stayed in a lively hostel called The Hive. This hostel is known to be one of the most popular in Budapest. I recommend when on a year abroad in Europe, to get involved with Erasmus events companies as you will find that they organise numerous affordable trips and account for most of the night life events for students at your university.
Whilst in Hungary, we went on a walking tour of the city which involved seeing the Parliament buildings, visiting Holocaust memorials and going to the Thermal Spa. One of my favourite parts of the trip was travelling across the river via the metro to Fishermen’s bastion lookout tower. Situated here are some beautiful lookout terraces, the architecture was incredibly unique, providing panoramic views.
In October, my friends and I travelled to the city of Krakow in Poland. Not knowing much about Krakow before going there, it is safe to say it exceeded my expectations. Not only was the old town so picturesque and grand, but the city had such a buzz about it. Our hostel was only a street away from the main square of the old town which made it easy to access all the dynamic restaurants and bars. A great advantage of Krakow to travel to as a student is its affordability in general.
Although our accommodation was on the expensive side due to leaving booking to the last minute and the busy time of year with travellers, all the food and drink we bought was such a reasonable price. With only a short amount of time in Krakow, we mostly explored the old town, visited the castle, and went up the lookout tower.
Our final venture of Central Europe in the Winter Semester was to Vienna, Austria. This was by far my favourite place we had travelled in the Autumn. As we visited Vienna in late November, we were lucky to catch the beginning of the city’s Christmas markets, which were impressive to say the least. Vienna was filled with festivities, with the markets lighting up almost the whole city centre. We made sure while visiting the markets to try the Viennese goulash that comes in the bread rolls, which was the most cosy, Christmassy thing to enjoy whilst strolling round the city. Vienna stunned me with its pristine and prosperous ambience, it appeared to be a very sophisticated, stylish city. In the daytime, we visited the Parliament buildings, the famous Spanish riding school, and the grand opera house.
My favourite part of this trip was my friends and I accidentally finding ourselves in an event where a famous DJ – Robin Schulz – happened to be playing on the Saturday night we were there. This was one of the most unforgettable and exciting evenings of my entire year.
More travel blogs to follow…