This has been a little overdue for a write up, wanted to share my experiences solo on a very last minute journey. For context I got a new job and gave myself a little time off in between. Scoped out some flights, saw it was very cheap to fly into Prague and back from Paris. Loaded up the backpack and ran to the airport just a few days later.
Mission of the trip – to cover a fair amount of ground in a short time and get a taste of each city. I essentially wanted to get a feel for each place and determine if I would like to spend a longer stint there in the future. Typically this resulted in taking a free walking tour in each city .
Ended up with this schedule and plan of events:
# Lisbon: 0.5 day
This first bit was unexpected. Missed a tight connection because of a delay getting into Lisbon so I was delayed six hours. I didn’t let my excitement go to waste. Ventured into town, see what I could as quickly as possible. This really meant gazing at the Atlantic for a moment over coffee and breakfast and getting back to the airport. I have a planned stopover here in a couple of months that is longer and I’m now better prepared for it.
# Prague: 3 nights, 3 days
**Method of Travel:** Flew into Prague
**Accommodations:** Travel and Joy Hostel – private room to recover from jet lag/get into the swing of things. Alright place, nothing to write home about
**Notable Activities/Excursions:** Getting lost walking around admiring architecture, doing a really cheesy Pub Crawl, a night at the Prague Opera , a day trip to Pilsen/tour Pilsner Urquell, gorging on meat and potatoes anywhere because it was pretty cold out.
# Krakow: 2 nights, 3 days
**Method of Travel:** Overnight train from Prague – deluxe sleeper was a steal at around 50 USD, ended up having a room to myself. I believe a couchette could have been had for around 35 USD.
**Accommodations:** Greg and Tom Beer Hostel – this is the place to stay. The free dinner is absolutely phenomenal, I cannot believe it would be that good considering it is a really cheap party hostel. Not particularly comfortable or uncomfortable, just a place to stay with free food and beer and a central location.
**Notable Activities/Excursions:** Day tour of Auschwitz and the Wieliczka Salt Mines ; Vodka Tasting Tour highly highly recommended; Schindler Factory was interesting but not quite what you’d expect, go if you’re a history nerd.
# Bratislava: 1 night, 1 day
**Method of Travel:** Overnight train from Krakow – also sprung for a deluxe this time around but it was more costly and shared, just go for the couchette if available.
**Accommodations:** Wild Elephants Hostel – an *experience*. The only place I would ever stay in Bratislava, its simply a different world.
**Notable Activities/Excursions:** Such a short time that I really only had time to get a walking tour of the city and have a couple of meals, but it is a very small city so I don’t feel I missed too much in a short time. Its beautiful, its old, its nice to look at, it has a fun hostel.
# Budapest: 3 nights, 3 days
**Method of Travel:** Morning train from Bratislava, quick journey in just under two hours and for pretty cheap
**Accommodations:** Flow Spaces Hotel – its is pretty nice, very clean, but not very social. There are so many hostels in this city that its hard to choose honestly.
**Notable Activities/Excursions:** Day wine tour just outside the city, included a couple of wineries and a really nice lunch, booked via Airbnb; Nighttime river cruise was alright for 10 USD, probably would not want to pay much more; Ruin Bar Crawl was worth it to see the variety of spaces and narrow down where you’d like to head back to later in the trip.
# Paris: 2 nights, 3 days
**Method of Travel:** Cheap flight from Budapest
**Notable Activities/Excursions:** This leg was primarily for visiting my friends in Paris as I had been a few times before. I always have to head up to Montmartre though for that lovely view. It was nice to end the trip with some familiar places and faces.
Being able to cram so much into one trip is entirely possible, but probably only for the solo traveler. Planning last minute basically only gave me time to plan trains and accommodations that I had to plan what to do in the city on the fly. This worked out for the most part I’d say. Lots of folks fall into the trap of planning too much and missing some quality stuff that you only learn about once you get there. I personally want to spend more time in Czechia and Hungary after getting a little taste on this trip. All in all so much fun and I’m happy I jumped at the chance for such a journey. Reward yourself, pull the trigger. Happy to provide more details about specific tours if anyone wants. I also have some restaurant recs, I was able to find incredible food in each city. Happy to help this supportive sub.