So my flight is paid for, my 2 month unlimited Eurail pass is paid for, and I have everything I need; Backpack, tent, sleeping bag, towel, etc. My Trip is supposed to be from July 1st to September 1st, but after a closer look at my budget, around 1400 Euros, that will only leave me with 23 euro a day.
My question is, should I stay the full two months a be broke, or stay less and have more money for museums and entertainment? Also, can you think of anything that would last a few weeks that I could do very cheaply? Like just food. Such as hiking the alps a little, or some sort of trek?Or of a way to really stretch my buck so I can stay the full time and see what I want to see? I just need help in general. Also will I be able to find places to just pop my tent for free?
I fly into spain, I will be there for 11 days, 5 in barcelona and 5 in Pamploma (1 day train ride). After that I want to see france, Italy, greece, Prague, and Amsterdam. I fly out of frankfurt germany.
You could start by arranging overnight train trips. That'll save you buying a bed.
As long as you ask the farmer, land owner etc., you'll find freebie pitches for your tent.
With the Eurail train ticket paid for and having a tent it is not as bad as it sounds. It is tight, but doable.
I usually spent about 25 EUR a day when I cycle-tour in Europe, this money goes to food from the supermarket (5-10 EUR), overnights at camping sites (5-15 EUR) and entry to some sights (what ever money is left after paying for food and accomodation). I also rough it about 50 % of the time and ask a farmer to borrow a patch of land for the night. With this method it a budget this low works out ok.
Hiking the Alps is not cheap, because you have to pay for staying at the mountain huts and eating the food from the huts. (About 25 EUR per night plus 10 EUR for the food, and there is no alternative to them.)
Finding places to pop your tent for free depends on the country. It is tolerated in Germany, Austria and allowed in Sweden. It is forbidden in Italy and in the Netherlands. (But I've met an American who camped in a park in the outskirts of Rome, go figure.)
Since you do not have bicycle and thus will have trouble getting out of the cities, couchsurfing or HelpXwould be an alternative for you.
Using night trains can also be an option, but check for additional supplements. On a lot of night trains you have to pay 30 EUR extra for a couchette or 10-15 EUR extra for a reclining seat, plus a small fee for the mandatory reservation of the seat or the couchette.
Staying the full time and seeing what you want to see will be difficult, though. Seeing what you want to see usually involves entry fees and some such. I would take a look at what it would cost you to change your Eurail passes and your flights. Look at travelling for 6 weeks.
Also look at the 10 days in 2 months or 15 days in 2 month Eurail pass. I know the 2 months unlimited pass is a better deal in general, but to make it worth the money you need to spent at least 2 hours each day on the train. The 15 days in 2 months Youth Pass instead means spending 15 times 5+ hours on the train to make it worth your money (Adult pass: 7+ hours).
BTW, with a budget as tight as yours you better draw up a more or less detailed initiary. Find out what you want to see, where you'll stay and how much it will cost you. You cannot leave things as vague as they are now. For example, to get from Italy to Greece you'll have to take the ferry. The ferry costs extra. And to get around the Greek islands you need to take ferries and buses, you cannot use the Eurail pass there. In Greece the Eurail pass only works on the mainland. And since the Eurail pass is not valid in Bulgaria you'll need to find a way to get to Romania or Croatia on the cheap from Greece.
EDIT: The more I think about it, the more it seems to me that you should skip Greece. During July-August Greece will be expensive and very hot. Instead I suggest going over to Croatia from Italy, continueing on to Hungary and other Eastern European countries covered by the Eurail pass like Romania or Hungary. These countries are cheap to travel in and thus healthier for your budget.
[ Edit: Edited on 16-May-2009, at 09:15 by t_maia ]
Post 4 was removed by a moderator
I signed up for Couch Surfers and it was way different than I thought it was! Sent a few hopeful messages, waiting for a reply.
Greece is always I place I wanted to visit but I'm pretty young and I know I will be doing this again, maybe I'll just save it for next trip if you think it would be cheaper. I'm really interested in traveling the appian way, is this something I can do and still see alt of interesting things along the way, or is it not worth it?
What do you recommend to see in Croatia/Romania? I'm really into caves and nature and castles, oh and fun
Is it worth it to check out Berlin before I head to Frankfurt? I've heard a couple good things.
One more question, sorry, what else is worth visiting in France other than Paris?
You made me feel a little bit easier about this too t_maia, thanks!
Unfortunately I cannot help you much with Croatia and Romania, I've never been there. (Similar with France.) But Croatia is a popular sun and beach destination and also has some nice old buildings. The recent history (the civil war between the ex-Yugoslavian countries) should also prove interesting. Romania gets lots of tourists who are into Vampires and who want to see the original Dracula castles - whatever you might think about that you are bound to see some interesting old buildings just by following the Dracula fans. France has some interesting spots in the Bretagne, Bordeaux and the Provence, that is all I know. The Cathedral in Reims is a must if you go from Paris to Germany.
Germany: Definitely visit Berlin before you go to Frankfurt am Main. There is almost nothing to see in Fkft, you could cover the main sights in the city in about half a day. Heidelberg one hour to the south offers more to see, but then it is very overrun and overrated - mostly thanks to the all visitors who fly out of Frankfurt.
Berlin however takes about a week to see properly. And the good news for you: Unlike other big cities in Europe Berlin is cheap. If you book far enough in advance you can easily find hostel beds for 10 EUR per night. There is also a camping site just off the main train station: http://www.tentstation.de/ Other interesting places to see in Germany would be Quedlinburg, Dresden, Wismar, Aachen, Trier, Cologne, ...
About Couchsurfing: You'll have better chances of finding a place to stay if you avoid the big tourist cities and focus on less-visited places instead. Say, hitting Bologna instead of Florence or going to Bremen instead of Hamburg. Sometimes finding a place to stay can mean sending as many as 50 messages.
About the Appian Way: What exactly do you want to do there? Do you want to hike the length of it? AFAIK most of the Via Appia is covered by modern roads, 4-lane car-only highspeed motorways. I looked a bit around the net, the only info I found about hiking the Via Appia was as a day trip from Rome's inner city to the outskirts on several German-language sites. Or were you thinking about the Via Claudia Augusta? That is an old Roman Road I know, because it is the easiest way to get across the Alps with a bicycle.
Where to stay:
http://www.campingparis.fr/ - paris
http://plusvillages.com/ - Venice, Rome, Florence
Camping Spartacus - Pompeii
http://the-tent.com/ - Munich
Croatia and Romania - I've done both many times.
Firstly a train is your best scenic option. There are trains from Zagreb to Timisoara and Brasov (via Beograd - Serbia). The trains are slow, but very cheap. If you've a Eurail pass - you're covered.
Zagreb is a fairly big place (around 1million inhabitants) with plenty to see if you're into old buildings and museums (which I am not - I had to change trains there en-route to Athens, so just found a restaurant - and ate my food very slowly) then you're spoilt for choice. However, I much preferred the south of the country. Dubrovnik - which is much smaller (just over 40,000), is wonderful and right on the coast. Take an island hopper boat from the harbour, down by the 'Old Wall'. Very nice and very cheap if you just turn up on the day - and don't book one in advance through a travel agent.... No need to at all.
Into Romania and a very different culture awaits you. That's what I love so much about Europe. As much as I like Canada, I've done East to West, a distance of around 4,000 miles and from the CAN-USA border to Northern Hudson Bay - and they're all so similar in many ways. Europe in a day - you can cross so many countries, all with different customs and languages.
Bucuresti - a huge city, is a place I just don't like at all. Just an opinion. It has a very good railway station (Bucuresti Nord) for destinations to all over Europe though, as are Brasov and Timisoara. Brasov is a fair sized city as well. The city square is beautiful - but there's not much else there to attract me. Timisoara is where the end of the Ceausescu era really started. It was one of the very first cities in Eastern Europe to witness protests and a revolution, before the "Wall" came down. Bullet holes still riddle many of the buildings in the beautiful city square.
There are two beautiful mountain ranges in Romania. One close to Brasov (check out Sinaia and Busteni - pronounced Bushten. A single 'i' at the end of a word in Romanian, is silent) where bears and wolves are roaming free - and another range pretty much covers the whole region of Transylvania. A beautiful town in Transylvania, is Sighisoara. In the summer, there is a free music festival there - over three days. Not the greatest entertainment in the world, but it's free. As for the vampire thing.... It's just a tourist trap close to Sighisoara, where vampire burgers and Dracula red ice cream are sold to vulnerable foreigners, at a premium cost!! Vlad's house is in Sighisoara. It's just a little terraced place up a side street and is half worth a visit. No more than that.
Just one more point of interest Id like to mention, is Tulcea. It's right over on the East side of the country and is on the Danube Delta. If you're into wildlife - this'll blow you away. Countless square miles of wetland, containing hundreds of different species of wild animals and birds. The delta is one of the largest in the world - and is just stunningly beautiful. Tulcea is easily reached by road and rail.
Enjoy your trip.
[ Edit: Edited on 17-May-2009, at 06:33 by Redpaddy ]
Berlin on a budget: http://berlin.admission-free.org/
Post 9 was removed by a moderator
Wow thanks t_maia and Redpaddy.
Croatia and Romania sound like fun. I love wildlife and hiking so Tulcea might sound like the place for me. As for Romania the Dracula thing isn't that interesting to me. I do like to see crypts and caves and ruins, but so far my online research hasn't shown me an good ones is Romania.
What about Budapest? Is that a good city to visit? I have gotten mixed reviews so I'm not entirely sure what to make of it. Is either Holland or Austria worth while (and Cheap) at all? I heard theres some breathtaking short hikes in both! Holland has neat architecture too.
Thanks for posting those links t_maia! They were helpful but I didn't think camping would be so expensive. I might just have to find a secluded spot out of town to do it for free somehow. As for Germany, Berlin sounds like a great place to visit. I will only stay 1 day in Frankfurt then fly out the next morning.
I just wanted to walk along the Appian Way. I studied Latin for a few years and though that have learned alot of its history. Thats kind of sad they covered it up though! The Via Claudia Augusta is looong! I'm not sure really about it, I was hoping to take in the sights while trekking the Appian Way. Does the Via Claudia Augusta have some nice scenery?