Archive for the “Europe” Category

6 Offbeat Things to do in Istanbul

This is a guest post by Emily Starbuck-Crone from Maiden Voyage Travel. When I went to Istanbul, the big historical sites – Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, the Grand Bazaar, and the Spice Market – blew me away. But I also wanted to find fun things to do that were less touristy. Locals ended up giving us some great tips. One advised my partner and I to go to the Basilica Cistern, and that was the first we’d heard of it. […]

How I Had a 10 Day London Vacation for $700

Back in September, I wrote the ultimate guide to travel hacking. It was a way for me to share tips and advice on how to travel cheaply without sacrificing comfort. And as I watched people’s reactions and answered questions about that guide, I hit upon an idea. It’s one thing to say, “Hey, this stuff works,” but it’s another to actually show that this stuff works. I decided that as I hopped, skipped, and jumped around the world, I was […]

More of My Favorite Hostels in Europe

Ages ago, I wrote a post about my favorite hostels in Europe. Since then, I’ve slept in a lot of new and amazing hostels around Europe. Here are some of the best: The Bulldog (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) Though The Flying Pig is one of my favorite hostels in the world, a great Amsterdam alternative is The Bulldog. It’s located right in the heart of the red light district and has a great bar, friendly staff, and the oldest coffee shop […]

The Ruin Bars of Budapest

One of the upsides to being an independent writer is that I’m my own boss. There are no deadlines, no one to pester me, and no outside burdens. I get to write about what I want, when I want—the good, the bad, and the ugly. However, since the stories on this blog are based on what I see and do, I have no one to say things like, “Matt! There’s a cool new trend in this city, here’s a plane […]

Interesting Facts About Poland

I’m in my other homeland of Poland. While most of my family came from Ukraine, some of my family tree’s roots spread out into Poland (as well as Germany). Right now, I’m visiting Krakow, learning about its Jewish history, exploring salt mines, and drinking Polish vodka before heading up to Warsaw. Poland doesn’t get as much attention as it deserves, so in order to spread the love, here are some interesting facts about this amazing country: The most popular dog […]

Halfway Home

Six months ago, I embarked on my last round-the-world trip. It won’t be the end of my travels, but simply the beginning of a new chapter in my life—one filled with shorter trips. It’s hard to believe that time has passed so quickly. It feels like only yesterday that I was exploring Sweden and Norway . The clock has moved so quickly that I feel little has been accomplished over the last six months. Yet at the same time, so […]

How to Conquer the City of Berlin

Berlin is a gigantic city. I knew it was big, but until I decided to explore it by foot, I never knew just how big. I came here for five days with the idea that I’d see all the major sites, some of the not-so-major sites, and get a feel for the city. I didn’t get a chance to see much of Germany’s capital the first time, and I was hoping this visit would correct that. But despite my intentions, […]

How to Survive Oktoberfest

“How many days are you at the Wiesn (Oktoberfest) for?” asked the German girl wearing her Bavarian dirndl across the table from me. “We’re here for five days,” I replied, putting down my stein of beer. As she heard this, her facial expression (and that of her friend) became a mix of shock, disbelief, and horror. “Five days! That is crazy! You’re a bit insane, huh?” she said jokingly. “I hope you survive.” And she was right. My friends and […]

The Cost of Traveling Far Eastern Europe

Over the summer, I left the popular European tourist trail and saw three of Europe’s lesser-visited countries: Bulgaria, Romania, and Ukraine. They’re located on Europe’s far eastern border and see few tourists. While Bulgaria sees a few more tourists because of its proximity to the Balkans and acts as a stop on the overland route from Turkey to Budapest, the farther north I went, the fewer travelers I saw. In Ukraine, I only encountered US Peace Corp volunteers and a […]

How to Spend Three Days in Helsinki

Helsinki seems to be off the normal “Scandinavian tourist trail.” Most people I know make it to Copenhagen or Stockholm (or sometimes Oslo if they can afford it), but they stop there. Helsinki never seems to be on the travel radar of most budget travelers I know. I’m not sure why. I guess Helsinki just doesn’t get the raving press that other places do. Which is a shame, because Helsinki was a pleasant surprise for me. Like most people, I […]