Quick and cheap weekend getaways – How to spend time in Europe
With Ryanair, Easy Jet, Wizz Air, Flixbus, Eurobus and co. It became very easy and affordable to plan quick and cheap weekend getaway also here in Europe.
In Europe you can find an easy an well maintained Train network combining most of the important cities. It´s very convenient to simply buy a ticket from Paris to Basel, Vienna to Venice, Bucharest to Vienna, Hamburg to Warszawa or even Nice to Moscow.
Most of the train companies work with earliy bird specials, that allow you to purchase tickets early in advance with a huge discount. For example, I once traveled by train from Vienna to Zurich for about 29.-€. That is a fair price considering an 8 hour train ride. Same as a colleague once came to visit me in Vienna from Prague and paid about 15.-€ for it. The distance between Prague and Vienna by train is about 4 hours.
So you see, with the right time management and a little luck with the schedule, it is very easy to leave early friday to almost anywhere in Europe and come back on sunday. On some routes, there is even a possibility to get sleeper trains on some routes which play into your hands when trying to use all the time you have available on weekends.
Recent developements in the bus travel sector made it inexpensive to use bus companies for travelling within european cities as well. Companies such a Flixbus, Eurobus, Orangeways and many other smaller companies opened a door to cheap, and by cheap i really mean cheap, ways to travel withing europe.
Often times travelling by bus to major cities such as capitals, can come out much cheaper than by train. On the other hand you have to keep in mind that seldomly busses travel through night, which decreases your time budget in your destination. Less comfortable traveling and sitting upright the whole time on a seat in the bus is also an important point you should consider.
If you have a well thought through and planned program on the day you arrive in your destination I do not recommend you traveling by buses. The simply reason to it is the risk to get stuck in traffic jams or other events that can cause delays. Crossing borders leavign the European Union, or the Schengen area may cause also delays, when the bus is filled with passengers no holding any Schengen/EU Passports. That happened to me a few months ago on my way back from Venice to Vienna when the Slowenian border control checked the passport of a Peruvian passenger not holding a Schengen visa. We were stuck on the border for about an hour. They have let him go enter the Schengen area eventually but other border controls might not be so relaxed on that topic.
As I mentioned in the beginning, with Ryanair, Easy Jet, Wizz Air and co. It became very easy and affordable to plan quick and cheap weekend getaway also here in Europe. Around central Europe Ryanair was together with Easy Jet the most popular low cost airlines operating between mainland euope, europes islands and the mediterranean states.
For a very long time I avoided low cost airlines simply because I did not really take a closer look to their destinations. For long I had the impression, these airlines were connecting only major cities such as London, Berlin, Paris, Rome, Milan, Frankfurt etc. But recent developments on the market has made them a very attractive tool to plan quick and cheap weekend getaways.
They do what they should, they bring you from A to B without any further questions and complications. Their system is simple, you buy a ticket online, check in online, do adjustments online, print your boarding card, bring a small carry on luggage and have a nice weekend getaway.
They almost always fly to small airports close to major cities as well as small airports within the big cities. For example Ryanair does not fly to Paris Charles de Gaule, but to Paris Beauvais or instead of London Heathrow, to London Stansted. To get to the citiy center is usually not a problem at all, it is simply not so popular.
Seeing Less Touristic Places
Traveling to all those small airports in less popular countries gives you opportunities to visit places, most of your friends probably have never heard of. Along with that you can visit more authentic places, which are untouched by mass tourism so far.
The following are some example destinations:
From Bratislava (Slovakia): Brussels (Belgium), Burgas (Bulgaria), Paphos (Cyprus), Paris Beauvais (France), Athens, Corfu, Thessaloniki (Greece), Dubai (UAE), etc.
From Budapest: Prague (Czech Republic), Billund, Copenhagen (Denmark), Tampere (Finland), Eilat, Telaviv (Israel), Naples, Palermo, Rome, Lamezia etc. in Italy, Baku (Azerbaijan), Tirana (Albania), Sarajevo (Bosnia and Hercegovina), Kutaissi (Georgia), Reykjavik (Iceland) etc.
From Vienna: Tuzla (Bosnia nd Hercegovina), Varna (Bulgaria), Ohrid (Macedonia), Bergen (Norway), Gdansk (Poland), Nis (Serbia), etc.
From Memmingen/Munich West: Kiev (Ukraine), Cluj Napoca, Sibiu, Timisoara, Tirgu Mures (Romania), etc.
What Are You Waiting For?
Be courageous, go out into the blue or simple put GO SEE PLACES. 2018 gives you so many possibilities than never before to quench your wanderlust. There is nothing you can do wrong by visiting foreign countries and learn something about it.
Just be always respectful to the cultures you´re visiting as well as adapt to local customs. Bring no more than about 10kg of carry on luggage, check you passports and possible visa requirements and you are all set.
Thank you for reading, looking forward to recieve some comments.
Have agreat day and safe travels!