Travel on a Shoestring Carnival: Europe #2

February 2, 2008

in Carnivals, Drink, Europe, Lodging, Museums, Public Transport, Russia, Sports, Travel

Welcome to the second Travel on a Shoestring Carnival for Europe. Here you’ll find European travel tips for those without a lot of money to spend. This week’s carnival is another quite manageable one, with entries sorted geographically for your reading ease.

Central and Eastern Europe

First up is a peek into the hallowed halls of the Hermitage, with Olivia Giovetti’s advice on enjoying St. Petersburg: The State Hermitage Museum at High Culture on a Low Budget. My last visit there was also prefaced by a viewing of Russian Ark (on the day it was released in theatres in St. Pete), which does add a certain something, I must agree. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aq8rRy6MKyM&rel=1] My tip for the palace cum museum: get thee a map in advance (the Lonely Planet guidebook has a good guide to the museum) and plan your route before you arrive; if you get there and just start walking around, you will quickly wear yourself out — they claim that viewing everything on display requires an 11 km trek (not including the walk from Gostiny Dvor metro station or standing in line before you even begin your visit)!!!

If your legs are still up for it after all that walking, Janelle Nanos of Intelligent Travel invites us to try our hand at Skating Rinks Around Europe. Now if only it were actually cold enough here to keep the ice frozen . . .

Warmer still, Alex M presents Who Else Wants to Sochi? posted at Discover Eastern Europe: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus. Between meager tourist sites (since there aren’t many, I wonder how he could forget the dendrarium or that statue of the reclining lady?), Alex fails to mention either of the actual major draws to this Black Sea resort town: the beach or the mountain skiing. Remember Sochi plans to host the 2014 Winter Olympics?

Western Europe

This section starts with a couple how-to posts for newbie travelers. Tip Diva presents Top Ten Tips – Traveling In Europe, saying, “Traveling in Europe can be many things to many people. It can be a backpacking trip while you’re in college, or it could be the romantic trip of a lifetime that you take when you’re retired. Either way, there are some things you should probably know” before you set out.

If you take the Tip Diva’s advice and consider hostels for accommodation, you’d be smart to read Christopher Cook’s guide to selecting your sleeps at Choosing A Hostel Is Like Choosing A Friend: things to think about when trying to find a place to sleep posted at -noambit -Travel Europe-. Christopher writes, “Hostels should be chosen to fit your lifestyle and the type of trip you are on. This article covers what to look for and what to expect in and from European hostels. Chosen wisely, the place you lay your head can make every day of your trip the best it can be.”

Cash Money Life advises time-strapped travelers to consider Bus Tours – A Vacation Value! He writes, “My wife and I took our honeymoon cruise through the Western Mediterranean, and enjoyed a stay in Barcelona. We especially enjoyed saving money by taking the bus tours, which offer outstanding value to tourists!” Whether a hop-on-hop-off bus tour offers a real value compared to a public transportation day pass is an issue which I (and his commentators) would take issue with; however, there is a time and place for everything, and I can imagine that with restricted mobility or severe time constraints, a bus tour may offer a viable and relatively inexpensive alternative to taxis.

Alfa beer glassesWe wrap up this week’s carnival with Sheila Scarborough’s thoughts on marking time in local brews and inexpensive, authentic souvenirs in Dutch daily life: swing by the brouwerij (brewery) at the Perceptive Travel Blog. Ah, the things we never knew we’d miss, right Sheila?

That’s all she wrote till next time. If you’d like to see your post on budget European travel in this carnival, submit using our online form. Next week, we’ll be back to North America, Central America and the Caribbean. Submit your posts for that carnival before next Wednesday!

{ 1 trackback }

January Roundup
02.02.08 at 8:28 pm

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Patrick 02.02.08 at 5:57 pm

I think local bus lines and subways are probably cheaper than the bus day passes, but they don’t come with the audio tours, and guides who can help you find certain locations or answer questions. They are also designed to take the quickest or most scenic route to get tourists to the main tourist locations. The tube, of course, has no view or photo ops. I have done both types of travel before, and I agree with your assessment – if you are strapped for time or are not an experienced traveler, the bus tours are probably your best bet. If you know what you are an experienced traveler and have a clear plan of action, then a day pass for the local transportation is probably better. :)

Thanks for including my article. :)

2 poetloverrebelspy 02.02.08 at 6:07 pm

Patrick, are you trying to tell me you’ve never taken pictures in the tube? Mind the gap!

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