We’ve been very busy lately at Byond, working on creating an Eastern Europe travel extravaganza that features a blend of the regions most iconic cities – Prague, Vienna and Budapest – and plenty of quirky local activities such as riding a giant Ferris Wheel and ice skating in front of a castle (CLICK HERE FOR TRIP DETAILS).
So, who better to ask for recommendations on what to do than those who have actually been to these destinations? We asked a handful of travellers for advice on what to eat and do in these cities. Here’s what they said:
“The best way to discover the history of the town Is on a Segway” ~ Aakanksha Singh
For me, and my adventurous Mum, the best way to discover the history of the town was on a Segway – a battery-powered, self-balancing electric scooter! While there are organised tours, we picked up a local guide with two Segways, and after a few minutes of practice, we went off to explore Prague. We powered through the Old Town, The Jewish Quarters, the Prague Castle, St Nicholas Church and plenty of other must-see monuments and even the iconic bridges! Try the night one too, it’s even more exciting but you can’t count on it as a sight-seeing tour – just fun!
Old town is a great place to explore, shop, and eat street food ~ Ipsa Mohanty
Prague’s Old Town is dotted by a a hodgepodge of buildings, such as the Rococo Kinsky Palace and the Baroque St. Nicholas Church, to name a few. “My favourite site in Old Town has to be the Astronomical Clock” says Ipsa. This clock may be over 600 years old but it still ticks away with flair, and chimes every hour with a beautiful little mechanical show. “You can also find some good street food in Old Town. I would go back just to have the potato dumplings. Also, I’d recommend substituting water with beer. It’s cheaper and far more delicious.”
Ipsa also recommends visiting Salzburg, stating “It is a cute little town close to Vienna, which is known for being Mozart’s place of birth, the location where Sound of Music was shot, and also for the Salzburg Palace.”
“The ‘ruin’ pubs are really cool”~ aman singh chadha
Budapest’s ruin bars are the city’s social hubs. These dilapidated buildings decorated with mismatched furniture and local art pieces transform into friendly, colourful and chaotic bars, where you can get a large beer for less than Rs. 130/- “They have a grungy underground feel”, says Aman. “Plus, I don’t remember ever paying entrance or cover charges. Beers were 3 bucks or so. Very cheap really.”
“The Széchenyi Thermal baths are one of the most popular local attractions in Budapest” ~ Apsara Chidambaram
The Szechenyi Baths and Pool boast a direct source of mineral rich water that is channeled into several pools of different temperatures inside a Neo-Baroque building. I was a little apprehensive when I got there, never having been to a bathhouse before. Once I got in, I realised this was great fun – there is a method to ‘thermal pooling’ as I like to call it. You alternate between hot waters, sauna and ice cold baths. It’s a great place to relax, people watch and indulge in a game of chess!
“Of all the churches in the city, Karlskirche is the most interesting” ~ Irisha Poonawalla
Walking around the old town will have you checking off famous monuments and museums from your map in no time. Of all the churches in the city, Karlskirche was most interesting by way of architecture and the hub that it is. Intricate pillars on either side of a large domed building are signature of this church. The interior is fresh, current and airy. Try and catch a mass. What’s most fun is the crowd that the water sculpture outside attracts. From quiet readers to grungy musicians, from lean cyclists to chatty old folk – it’s the faces of the city, all at a glance.
“Don’t miss the Sachertorte” ~ Kat Webster
Sachertorte is the city’s signature dessert: a rich chocolate cake filled with apricot jam and topped with chocolate icing, and an essential culinary experience when you’re in the city. “And do visit the Schatzkammer and Kunsthistorisches Museums to see over 1000 years of history and priceless items such as the Austrian Crown Jewels and the Spear of Destiny.
If reading these personal recommendations makes you want to experience them for yourself, CLICK HERE for more information on our Eastern European getaway. This mixed group trip features a handful of the activities mentioned above – including Budapest’s Széchenyi Baths, Vienna’s cafe culture and Prague’s fascinating astronomical clock.