Christmas at Europe. A dim light casting a soft light to a wall of brick, horse cradle inching it’s way over cobble stone, while snow are falling softly, blanketing everything in sight into a world of white. Family are rounding the table inside the small houses, devouring traditional Christmas meal.
Who hasn’t dream of spending their Christmas in Europe and entering the world of that perfect postcard Christmas picture? Anyone who has been reading Christmas stories growing up must want it, or they are just bitter disillusioned people. No, but joking aside, that’s how I imagine spending Christmas in Europe would feel like.
And that’s exactly what I have done : Spending my Christmas holiday in Europe!
I am from Southeast Asia and therefore, going to Europe seems like a very big trip – long distance, very different culture, and expensive cost – expensive plane ticket – so I make a point to try to do and see as much as possible, filling the 20 days with 10 country and 20 cities, something I kind of regret doing as I can’t really soak the atmosphere, but it’s still awesome anyway! I want to share the awesomeness with you slowly, one by one, city by city, chronologically. Please keep in mind that this is written from Southeast Asian point of view. And now, first, I want to share my schedule and how I plan it to be!
I went from 16th December 2015 to 4th January 2016, from Jakarta to Berlin via Doha, and then back from Amsterdam to Jakarta, also via Doha, Qatar.
16 December – before going to Europe, getting a free tour of Doha from Qatar Airlines!
16 – 17 December – Berlin, Germany
19 December – Hanover, Germany, and back to Berlin and going to…
21 December – Krakow, Poland – Second day in Poland, and we love it!
22 December – Zakopane, Poland – The winter Capital of Poland, and we do ski here! Yuhu!
23 December – Back to Krakow, then to Budapest, Hungary! We arrive at midnight though
24 December – Christmas Eve in Hungary 🙂
25 December – Going to Vienna, Austria, to celebrate Christmas!
26 December – Go to Bratislava, Slovakia, and then to Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
27 December – Prague, Czech Republic – which is full of people – tourists.
28 December – Go to Innsbruck, Austria, a city surrounded by mountains
29 December – After half day in Innsbruck, we are going to Venice, Italy! My dream destination!
30 December – Still in Venezia, until we need to board the bus to…
31 December – Rome, Italy! And of course, Vatican
1 January – Going in rush to Pisa, Florence, then Milan, Italy. It’s a chaos!
2 January We should be going to Zurich, Switzerland, then Paris, France, but I canceled it. We stay in Milan then go directly to…
3 January – Brussels, Belgium. And then we go to our last destination, Amsterdam, Netherland…
4 January and from there we go back. Hello Jakarta!
List of the country with the cities :
Germany : Berlin, Hamburg, Hanover
Poland : Wroclaw, Krakow, Zakopane
Hungary : Budapest
Czech : Prague, Cesky Krumlov
Austria : Vienna, Innsbruck
Slovakia : Bratislava
Italy : Venice, Florence, Pisa, Rome, Milan -and Vatican
Belgium : Brussels
Netherlands : Amsterdam
I will update and give the link to each location (or maybe day).
To go to Europe and back, I am using Qatar Airline. Inside Europe, I use buses. Why buses when there are EuroRailpass which of course should be more comfortable and convenient? Because the schedule will conflict if I try to use only trains, and going with bus after having a quite expensive Railpass even with the student discount (for me) is a waste. And in my destinations, the trains are not really reliable, they said. It comes out somewhat cheaper than the Raillpass. I will specify the transport used in each of the locations I used it.
I use mainly hostel or room from either Hostelworld, Hostelsclub, or Booking.com. Actually I’d been wanting to try to couchsurf at couchsurfing.com, but I travel with 2 other people and only want to stay two nights at max, so I’d prefer to not bother people 🙂
Airplane ticket : IDR 16,000,000, or 1,200 Euro
Accommodation and buses : 710 Euro
Food and others : roughly 300 Euro more ( I will try to get specific later)
There are a lot of discount around for travelers under the age of 26, especially in Europe. I, for one, apply for IYTC, International Youth Traveler Card from the ISIC program. This has a lot of benefit, but the one I get the most benefit for is the airplane ticket, as it goes from 1,500 Euro to 1,200 Euro if we order the ticket from a specific travel agent, STA. Quite significant, I’d say. I will blog about this later, but I recommend to apply if you are qualified!
That’s the main part, I think, I will come up with a more specific post for each part. See you there!