Thursday, May 10, 2018

Summary of My Solo Trip To Europe & Travel Expenses

A quite number of friends and blog readers of mine actually requested for my Europe trip itinerary. Let me be clear here. It's not that I'm not willing to share but because for this time around, I wrote it down instead of typing in the computer. Yes, a handwritten itinerary like the old-school time. 

2017 Europe Itinerary

Besides referring to the Lonely Planet and few travel books I got from the previous MATTA Fair which held in Kuala Lumpur, most of the times I was fully relied on the sim card I bought from Taobao (my friend helped me to purchase it cause I can't read Chinese. Yes, I'm a banana) 

Lonely Planet Europe

In case you unable to purchase from Taobao, don't worry cause I found Malaysia's online site that selling travel sim card - Hello1010 (check out their site here). Of course the price would be slightly higher comparing to Taobao but I can't find any better online store than this one. Why I don't use pocket WiFi? Let me do a simple calculation. The cheapest rental rate per day is RM28 and because I will be travelling for 18 days, the total I have to bear all by myself is RM504. One of the downside of travelling alone - no one to share the cost with. 

Hello1010 Travel Sim Card

Here is the summary of my trip to Europe covering 6 different countries and 9 cities:

Day 1: 8th September 2017 BKI → KUL
Initially I supposed to fly with Thai Airways with short transit in Bangkok but due to all the flights delayed caused by MAS, they compensated me by switching to fly with Emirates.

Day 2: 9th September 2017 Dubai → Copenhagen, Denmark
Landed in Copenhagen's Kastrup Airport. Exchanged money in the airport and took train headed to Central Station. Didn't wander around the city much cause not in the mood due to missing luggage.
Stay: Copenhagen Backpacker Hostel

Day 3: 10th September 2017 Copenhagen → Budapest, Hungary
Flew with Norwegian from Copenhagen to Budapest. Took bus 100E from the airport to the city center. Shopping around Vaci street (one of the main shopping and restaurant street in Budapest) cause I don't have any extra clothes to wear. Visited St. Stephen's Basilica, Szechenyi Chain Bridge, Matthias Church and Fisherman's Bastion.
Stay: Essential Hostel

Day 4: 11th September 2017 Budapest, Hungary
Kicked off my day by visiting Great Market Hall. Then, proceed to Liberty Statue or Freedom Statue, Liberty Bridge, Shoe on the Danube Bank, Hungarian Parliament Building, Hősök Tere, Széchenyi Thermal Bath and Buda Castle. 
Stay: Essential Hostel

Day 5: 12th September 2017 Budapest → Vienna, Austria
Took train from Budapest-Keleti Railway Station to Wien Hauptbahnhof (Vienna Main Station). Bought Vienna Card (24 hours - €13.90, 48 hours - €21.90 or 72 hours - €24.90) for unlimited public transportation ride and discounts for the museums and art galleries. Visited Schonbrunn Palace, St. Stephen's Cathedral, Graben Shopping Street, Imperial Hofburg, Wiener Rathaus and Vienna Opera House. I even visited Cafe Central for a cup of Viennese style coffee and cake.
Stay: Wombats City Hostel Vienna - The Lounge

Day 6: 13th September 2017 Vienna → Salzburg, Austria
Took OBB train from Vienna to Salzburg Hauptbahnhof (Salzburg Main Station). Upon reaching the hostel, I signed up with them for a Panorama Tours: Sound of Music. It offers two tours daily; leaving at 9:15am and 2pm and the duration takes about 4 hours covering Leopoldskron Palace, Hellbrunn Palace, Mondsee and Mirabell Garden. Once the tour completed, I went to Mozarts Geburtshaus (Mozart's birth house) but it was closed by the time arrived. 
Stay: International Youth Hostel Salzburg

Day 7: 14th September 2017 Salzburg → Hallstatt, Austria
Left Salzburg to the magical town of Hallstatt. Took bus #150 from the bus terminal outside of Salzburg Hauptbahnhof (Salzburg Main Station) to Bad Ischl. Once arrived Bad Ischl, board on the train to Hallstatt. Continue the journey by taking ferry to across the Hallstatt Old Town.
Stay: Gasthof Bergfried

Day 8: 15th September 2017 Hallstatt → Cesky Krumlov → Prague
From Hallstatt to Prague, I booked shuttle service from CK Shuttle with a brief stop at Cesky Krumlov before continue another second leg to Prague. If possible, do include this picturesque town of Cesky Krumlov besides visiting Prague. I was utterly regret for didn't plan my trip well.
Stay: Ritchie's Hotel & Hostel

Day 9: 16th September 2017 Prague 
Because my train to Krakow was expecting to depart at 11.09pm, I have almost a day to venture around Prague. Visited Old Town Square, Astronomical Clock, Charles Bridge, Prague Dancing House and hiked up the hill for Petrin Lookout Tower. Then, continue to Lesser Town for St. Nicholas Church, Prague Castle and John Lennon Wall. Took overnight train to Krakow which takes about 8 hours train ride. 

Day 10: 17th September 2017 Krakow, Poland
Arrived in Krakow Glowny, the Central Train Station of Krakow. Check-in into my hostel for quick bath. Practically I didn't do nothing much when arrived Krakow cause I need to do my laundry. Right after I done with my laundry, I went to Galeria Krakowska, a shopping mall nearby my hostel because it rained whole day and I can't do any sightseeing. 
Stay: One World Hostel

Day 11: 18th September 2017 Krakow 
It's bright and sunny day on the second day in Krakow. Therefore, immediately I went to Old Town for Cloth Hall (Sukiennice) and St. Mary's Basilica in Main Square. Then, continue to picturesque street of Kanonicza for Saints Peter and Paul Church. Next, Wawel Hill for Wawel Castle, Wawel Cathedral and Dragon's Den. Ended my tour in Krakow by visiting Kazimierz, once a former Jewish quarter.
Stay: One World Hostel

Day 12: 19th September 2017 Krakow → Warsaw, Poland
From Krakow to Warsaw, I took PolskiBus which the journey took about 5 hours bus ride and arrived in Dworzec Autobusowy Warszawa Zachodnia (Warsaw West Bus Station). To get to Central Station, board on the train heading to Centrum Metro Station. I was being penalised while taking bus from central station to my hostel. Another bad day again!
Stay: Dream Hostel

Day 13: 20th September 2017 Warsaw, Poland
Did sightseeing around Warsaw including Stare Miasto (Warsaw's Old Town), Wilanow Palace, Chopin Monument and Lazienki Palace in Lazienki Park, Warsaw Uprising Museum and Warsaw Uprising Monument. I bought a 24-hour ticket to get around Warsaw by using the extensive public transportation including bus and train.
Stay: Dream Hostel

Day 14: 21st September 2017 Warsaw → Helsinki, Finland
Flew with airBaltic from Warsaw Frederic Chopin Airport to Helsinki with short transit at Riga, Latvia. From Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport, I took airport train P or I to get to the city centre.
Stay: Hostel Diana Park

Day 15: 22nd September 2017 Helsinki, Finland
Started my day by taking bus to Sibelius Monument. Then, took bus to the market square (known as Kauppatori in Finnish) for Old Market Hall, Uspenski Cathedral and Helsinki Senate Square. I even took ferry to Suomelinna, a World Heritage Site. Bought a HSL Day Ticket which includes unlimited ride on bus and ferry.
Stay: Hostel Diana Park

Day 16: 23rd September 2017 Helsinki → Copenhagen, Denmark
Finally, back to Copenhagen again by flying with Norwegian, a low cost airline but it offers free WiFi to all passengers on its transatlantic flights. Done with check-in into the hostel, straightly took bus to Nyhavn, The Little Mermaid, Amalienborg Square, Amalienborg Palace and Frederick's Church. Before going back to the hostel, I stopby and wandered around the City Hall, Statue of Hans Christian Andersen, Tivoli Gardens and more. 
Stay: Danhostel Copenhagen City

Day 17: 24th September 2017 Copenhagen → Bangkok → Kota Kinabalu 
My flight leaving Copenhagen was expecting to depart at 2.25pm. Hence, I took the opportunity to visit Christianborg Palace before leaving the capital and largest city of Denmark. Home sweet home on the next day with Thai Airways. 

2017 Thai Airways
My virgin experience flying with Thai Airways. And guess what, they served pork as in-flight meal.

CURRENCY
Travelled across 6 different countries, four different currencies were involved. As some of the currencies are not easily found in Malaysia, hence I decided to change to Euro first and changed at the respective country upon arrival.
  • Countries like Austria and Finland are using Euro.
  • Denmark's national currency is Danish krone. The ideal place to exchange currency is at the Central Station. €1.00 = 6.90 Kr on average*
  • The official currency for Hungary is the Hungarian forint (HUF). I found out Great Market Hall offers the best rate. €1.00 = HUF295 on average*
  • The currency for Czech Republic is koruna. €1.00 = CZK24.80 on average*  
  • Poland's national currency is Polish zloty. €1.00 = PLN4.2350 on average*
*The rate I exchanged in September 2017

TOTAL TRAVEL EXPENSES 
I have shared majority of the breakdown of the total damages in the previous posts. Here, I simplify everything for easy reference - which including means of transportation, hostels, entrance fees, food, shopping and misc I spent throughout the 16 days in Europe.

PARTICULARS
AMOUNT
RM
Flight with Thai Airways

Cities
Budapest – 2 days
Vienna – 1 day
Salzburg – 1 day
Hallstatt – 1 day
Prague – 1 day
Krakow – 2 days
Warsaw – 2 days
Helsinki – 2 days
Copenhagen – 2 days

Transportation
CK Shuttle
Overnight train

Miscellaneous
Travel sim card (Bought from Taobao)
2,591


805
496
572
676
318
370
619
1,473
1,286


319
177


95
TOTAL:
9,795
Bear in mind by the time I exchanged to Euro last year, the rate was €1.00 = RM5.12 which consider very high cause currently the rate for Euro is RM4.76. Deng! Feel like want to cry now. 

As for my travel and shopping haul, most of the times I bought fridge magnets, postcards and stamps in each and every city I visited.

2017 Europe Travel Haul 01 Fridge Magnets

2017 Europe Travel Haul 02

And hereby I'm proud to conclude that this is my final post for my solo trip to Europe travelogues. Like finally! Now I'm thinking which travelogues should I blog next - New Zealand, Tokyo, Hokkaido, Sweden & Norway, Vietnam or even Nepal and Bhutan.

Previous Posts on my 2017 Solo Trip to Europe

6 comments:

  1. Very neat handwriting!
    The magnets.. very nice, especially the Krakow one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. Yes, the Krakow magnet is very cute indeed.

      Delete
  2. Very neat handwriting . Easy to read :)

    No chance to be doctor LOL. Just joking ya.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha. Many of my friends also said "cannot be doctor one" after seeing my handwriting

      Delete
  3. a friend who is reading you blog says it's way better than any travel books. Very informative.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I like your total damage or travel expenses section, it will give me some idea at least how much to spend on the city or country.

    ReplyDelete

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