For my fall break, I was fortunate enough to travel to Prague and Budapest for 5 days with some of my closest friends. There are so many incredible places to go while studying abroad in Europe, due to the abundance of countries, the small distance, and low cost amongst them.
I have learned a couple of things that have helped me maximize my travel while I have been abroad:
- If you are looking for cheap airline deals, Easy Jet is your best friend. Even though the airline is subject to delays and you may only bring one carry on free of charge, the flights are substantially cheaper (my weekend round trip to Amsterdam was 69 pounds!)
- When staying in a new city, book a hostel instead of a hotel. Even though hotels will provide more comfort, hostels can be as cheap as 9 pounds per night (shoutout to my amazing stay in Prague). Hostels are a great way to meet more people, especially if you are traveling alone. In Budapest, I stayed at a “party hostel” that provided “family dinners” and group nightlife outings every day!
- Download the Lonely Planet guide on your phone. It will provide you with all the top places to visit: tourist sites, restaurants, activities, and more.
- Europe is a big fan of Citymapper. This app puts Google Maps to shame by providing you with all of the most viable public transport routes.
There are many popular places to visit in Europe: Italy, Spain, and France being the obvious.
However, I would strongly advise people search a little beyond and give an opportunity to places that are often forgotten or overlooked, such as the Czech Republic and Hungary. Visiting Eastern Europe was such an interesting and culturally immersive experience that changed the way I view Europe as a whole–specifically its politics and cultural divides.
If you are still not convinced you must visit gem cities of Eastern Europe, here are some sites that will change your mind:
Charles Bridge: Dating back to the 1300s, this Gothic bridge is embellished by dozens of Baroque statues and stretches across the Vltava River.
Old Town Square: Enjoy hot wine and trdelnik (chimney cake) on the most beautiful and colorful historic square in Prague that dates back to the 12th century.
Prague Castle: Dating back to the 9th century, it is the largest coherent castle complex in the world, with several Czech monumental buildings including St. Vitus Cathedral.
Széchenyi Thermal Bath: Relax in one of the 18 pools and saunas, or get a massage in the biggest natural hot springs baths in Europe.
House of Terror: Other than a memorial to political prisoners, it is the most immersive museum about the 20th century Nazi and Soviet terror regimes in Hungary.
Citadella: Take a small hike to the fortification located upon the top of Gellért Hill, where you can get the best views of the city of Budapest.
If you are a lover of history, architecture, and politics, Prague and Budapest are dream destinations you must put on your bucket list!
Bruna Giampietro, Study Abroad Correspondent
Bruna Giampietro is a junior at Boston University from São Paulo, Brazil. Her major is Public Relations, with a minor in Political Science. Bruna is involved with Alianza Latina, a cultural group that fosters a community for Latinx students at BU. She also hosts “Man Eater,” a feminist radio show on WTBU dedicated to shedding light on a variety of intersectional feminist topics. In her free time, Bruna can be found smashing the patriarchy, eating flamin’ hot cheetos and watching ASMR.