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Central Europe [Part 11]: Slovakia, My 60th Country

 << Previous Post: 2D2N In Budapest, Hungary <<

Apparently, there are 3 main international railway stations in Budapest; Keleti (Western), Nyugati (Western) and Deli (Southern). As mentioned in my previous post, Budapest Keleti is the largest transportation joint for railway travel and most of the times I arrived at Budapest Keleti. However, as we're heading to Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia, the train departs from Budapest Nyugati as this station serves trains heading north. 

From where we stayed in Budapest which is pretty near to Budapest Keleti Railway Station, we took public bus to Budapest Nyugati Railway Station which was about 20 minutes ride. We bought the single ticket from the vending machine and it costs HUF350 (approx. to RM4). You can purchase the ticket from the bus driver but the cons are the price of the ticket is higher and there is a possibility that the driver may not have change or may refuse selling you the ticket on board during the peak hour. Hence, it's wise to get the ticket from the nearby vending machine. 

#1: It's advisable to purchase the ticket from the vending machine.
And please remember to validate (stamp/punch) the ticket your ticket once boarding the bus or tram. 

#2: Opppsss. Actually this is our coach but I think this person was drunk and slept inside it.
We had no choice but sat on other coach.

The train ride from Budapest to Bratislava is fully covered under Eurail Global Pass and after nearly 3 hours of train ride, finally we had arrived Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia. And this marks the 60th country I've visited to date. 

Most of the international trains stop at Bratislava Hlavná Stanica (Bratislava Main Train Station) and from here, you can either take bus or tram to the city center. We got the 24-hours tickets from the ticket vending machine before boarding any of the public transports to the city center. And always remember to validate the ticket immediately in the validation machines on the bus or tram once hopping inside. 

#3: Bratislava Hlavná Stanica (Bratislava Main Train Station) 

#4: We got the 24-hours tickets from the ticket vending machine

Because we spent two nights in Budapest (Hungary), we had no choice but to shorten our trip in Bratislava. Initially, I planned to spend at least 3 days 2 nights but at the end, we only have less than 24 hours in Bratislava. 

1) Devin Castle 
As we arrived Bratislava pretty early, hence we decided to venture out of the town to Devin Castle, which is about 20 minutes with bus no. 28 or 29 from Bratislava Main Station. Locally known as Hrad Devín, the castle standing on a massive rock hill above the confluence of the Danube River with the Morava River. 

Opening Hours: 10.00am to 5.00pm (Closed on every Monday)
Admission Fee: €6 (April to October) and €3 (November to March)

#5: Bus 28 or 29 from Bratislava Main Station to Devin Castle 

#6: Devin Castle is part of the oldest history in Slovakia 



2) The Church of St. Elizabeth or known as Blue Church 
From Devin Castle, we went back to the town for a short sightseeing. We stopby at The Church of St. Elizabeth, commonly referred to simply as the Blue Church for obvious reasons. Both the interior and exterior of the church are painted in shades of pale blue and decorated with blue majolica; even the roof is tiled with blue-glazed ceramics. .  

#9: The Church of St. Elizabeth, simply known as the Blue Church

#10: Unfortunately on the day of our visit, it was closed.

3) Bratislava Old Town
Bratislava has one of the smallest historical centers around but the charm is more concentrated and compact. The streets have been completely renovated over the last ten years, bringing life back here. Since then a multitude of cafes, bars and restaurants of all kinds have opened here, accompanied by a few souvenir shops and fashion stores.



4) Čumil, Man at Work
In Slovak word means watcher, Čumil is bronze statue resting at the top of a manhole who tipped his top hat to everyone he passed on the streets of Bratislava. Situated in the middle of Old Town, your trip to Bratislava is incomplete without saying Hi! to Čumil and make sure to take photo with it as it's one of the most photographed objects in Bratislava. 

#13: Čumil. the watcher in Bratislava

#14: One of the most photographed objects in Bratislava 

5) Savouring Traditional Slovak Dishes
Ended our night at Slovak Pub which is not far away from our hostel by savouring few of Slovak dishes before leaving this capital city of Slovakia. And these are what we ordered:

  • Bryndzové Halušky - Potato dumplings
  • Bryndzové Pirohy - Sheep cheese dumplings 
  • Kapustové Strapačky - Potato gnocchi with cabbage and bacon

  • Kapustnica - Traditional cabbage soup with sausage, sour cream and bread
  • Kofola - A popular Slovak cola drink


#17: Hostel Folks in Bratislava 

#18: A double room with shared bathroom 

Hostel Folks  
Date Stayed: 3 November - 4 November 2022 (1 night) 
Total Room Rate: RM220 for a double room with shared bathroom (Booked from Booking.com

Things I Like About This Accommodation:
  • Location just right in the smack of the city centre 
  • Large and organised lounge area. They even have Playstation too (my husband spotted this)
  • Although the hostel located on 1st floor, there's a lift within the building. Don't have to worry about carrying heavy luggage. 
Things I Dislike About This Accommodation:
  • Only two toilets/bathrooms available 

#19: As always, magnet, postcards and stamps are part and parcels of my travelling life. 






Hostel Folks



24-Hours Ticket


Admission Fee

Devin Castle


Food and drinks

Burrito for lunch (Shared)

Slovak Pub for dinner





























Note: €1.00 = RM4.65 as at October 2022
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Central Europe [Part 10]: 2D2N In Budapest, Hungary

 << Previous Post: Day Trip To Lake Bled From Ljubljana <<

Two days two nights in Ljubljana is indeed short and brief but at least, we managed to cover few places in our list, including a day trip to Lake Bled. The next city and country we're heading to is Budapest, the capital city of Hungary. I've been to Budapest before back in 2017 but this will be my husband's first trip there. The train ride from Ljubljana to Budapest is significantly long, nearly 9 hours and because of that, we decided to take the earliest train which is around 5am.  

#1: As the train ride from Ljubljana to Budapest is pretty long, hence I prepared breakfast and lunch to munch inside the train.

#2: Slovenian Train

#3: The train is pretty new and comfortable too. It even features power socket, free WiFi, clean toilet and a cafeteria. 

#4: Hello Budapest again after 5 years. 

#5: Budapest-Keleti Railway Station, the main international and inter-city railway terminal of Budapest

Actually my original plan was either to skip Budapest or perhaps, a day trip only as I've been to Budapest before but something came out. So at the end, we booked a stay for two nights in Budapest itself. 

#6: A double-bed room ensuite with private bathroom 

#7: Fully furnished communal kitchen 

East Station DeLuxe 
Date Stayed: 1 November - 3 November 2022 (2 nights) 
Total Room Rate: RM320 for a Double Room with Private Bathroom (Booked from Booking.com

Things I Like About This Accommodation:
  • Located right opposite of Budapest-Keleti Railway Station   
  • There are plenty of shops, restaurants and cafes underneath of our stay such as Starbucks, KFC, McDonald's, Burger King, Spar supermarket, and more. 
  • Fully-furnished communal modern kitchen with fridge, kettle and microwave. 
Things I Dislike About This Accommodation:
  • No lift and required to climb few flight of stairs before reaching the entrance
  • The window of our room was facing the balcony where the guests will walk through in order to access into the building. This makes our room with less privacy as the people might see through our room from the outside. Would be nice if they can tinted the window.    

National currency for Hungary is Hungarian Forint, or HUF. Although Euro (€) is accepted in places such as restaurants, markets and touristy places but I found out that the conversion rate given at these places were relatively lower. Hence, try to change as little as possible at any money changer as the rate is €1 to HUF403 (as at November 2022). Fortunately, debit and credit cards are widely accepted even at a fast food restaurant. 

Since this is not my first time to Budapest, hence there are few places I revisited for the second time along with my husband. However, there are even some places I went for the very first time too. 

#9: Get ready to explore Budapest once again

1) Danube River Cruise
I didn't get to experience this before during my maiden trip to Budapest and since we didn't have any river cruises throughout our 22-days Central Europe trip, hence we decided to go and try the one in Budapest. Right after we check-in into our stay and left our luggages, from there we walked to Danube River. The river cruise departs every half an hour with the price of €13.50 during the daytime and €19 for the evening session. It's an hour long sightseeing cruise with one complimentary drink (choice of champagne, wine, beer, soft drinks and mineral water).

#10: We just walk-in and bought the tickets on spot.

#11: One of the most fascinating sights of the historical city of Budapest 


#13: One complimentary drink given during the cruise 

2) Savouring Hungarian Classic Dishes At Drum Cafe 
After done with the Danube River Cruise, it's time to fill up our hungry tummy. My husband found this little touristy place that serve traditional Hungarian food in affordable and reasonably price. 

#14: Drum Cafe - Opens daily from 8am to 12am 

#15: Traditional Hungarian food we ordered: 
  • Bean & beef goulash soup 
  • Chicken breast paprikash with fresh made Hungarian dumplings garnish 
  • Poppy seed langosh cake 
#16: Our total bill is HUF6,950 (approx. to RM80). Pretty affordable for three dishes with a drink. 

Drum Cafe 
Address: Budapest, Dob u. 2, 1072 Hungary  
Opening Hours: 8am - 12am daily 

3) Exploring Fisherman's Bastion, Matthias Church and surrounding area 
Been here before but still, it's one of my favourite places to visit in Budapest. On our second day in Budapest, we're blessed with excellent weather with clear blue sky and it's exactly the perfect time for phototaking. Like they said, "Take Nothing But Pictures. Leave Nothing But Footprints".

#17: Fisherman's Bastion, one of Budapest's best known monuments 

#18: Terrance that offer panoramic view of Budapest

#19: 2017 vs 2022 

#20: Statue of Stephen 1 of Hungary 

#21: Matthias Church 

4) Visiting Great Market Hall
Another of my favourite place in Budapest and I did a post about this before -  here. Also known as Central Market Hall, it's the largest and indoor market in Budapest. You can find all sort of things here; ranging from daily products such as fruits, poultry, vegetables and pastries at the ground floor and variety of souvenirs on the first floor. Want to try Hungarian authentic local food? This is one of the places to be. 

#22: Great Market Hall - the largest and oldest indoor market in Budapest

#23: Langos - a feast of deep fried dough with various toppings

Great Market Hall
Address: Budapest, Vámház krt. 1-3, 1093 Hungary  
Opening Hours: 6am - 5pm (Monday)
                            6am - 6pm (Tuesday to Friday)
                            6am - 3pm (Saturday)
                            Closed on every Sunday 

5) Dining at the most beautiful cafe in the world - New York Cafe 
New York Cafe in Budapest is an Italian Renaissance-style masterpiece with exquisite chandeliers and frescoes reminiscent of the Sistine Chapel. Although some people commented that this cafe is overrated, but it always gets incredibly busy. It took us more than than 30 minutes to get a table. And I have to say it's the most overpriced cafe I ever dined in before.  

#24: New York Cafe in Budapest claimed to be the most beautiful cafe in the world

#25: Two sets of pastry and drink cost us HUF18,837 (approx. to RM220)

New York Cafe
 Budapest, Erzsébet krt. 9-11, 1073 Hungary  
Opening Hours: 8am - 12am (Opens daily)

6) Watching Backstreet Boys Perform Live in Budapest Arena
This explains why we intended to overnight in Budapest for two nights instead of just doing a day trip. Out of surprised, my husband got us Backstreet Boys tickets while we're travelling in Greece. Watching our teenage year beloved boy band performing live with the songs both of us grew up with - that feelings are totally indescribable. One of the unforgettable memories in my travelling life. 

#26: Backstreet Boys DNA World Tour in Budapest 

#27: Anyone here is big fan of Backstreet Boys?

I personally think Budapest is not just a perfect vacation for couple, but it's also best to travel along with friends and families too. I did a solo travelling to Budapest back in 2017 and I don't have any safety issues at all. As long as you take the usual precautions, such as avoiding walking through the dark alley and always be aware of your surroundings. 
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Central Europe [Part 9]: Day Trip To Lake Bled From Ljubljana

 << Previous Post: Ljubljana, Slovenia's Charming Capital City <<

The primary reason why I want to visit Slovenia so much is due to this magical and remarkable Lake Bled. It's becoming more popular and well-known lately that you will spot the beauty of this emerald-green lake with picture-postcard church sits on the tiny island appeared on almost all social media, travel brochures, magazines and more. Therefore, it's such a shame if your trip to Slovenia is incomplete without a visit to Lake Bled. 

Initially, I was planning for one-night stay in Lake Bled but I found out there's nothing much to do around the lake during night time. Moreover, it's doable to do a day trip from Ljubljana to Lake Bled. And that's explain why we stayed in Ljubljana for two nights. 

Getting to Lake Bled from Ljubljana is pretty simple and easy. You can either opt for bus or train and we chosen to travel via bus instead. Both Ljubljana railway and bus station are located next to each other at the north side of the city center. Buses depart at least hourly from Ljubljana and the bus ride will take a mere 1.5 hours. The reason why we don't opt for the train is because Bled Railway Station located 5km away from the lake and you need to get another bus or taxi to reach the lake. 

#1: Taking bus from Ljubljana to Lake Bled 

#2: Make sure to buy the bus tickets at the station first, before boarding the bus. 
And they accept cash only.  

If you are planning to hike up to the viewpoint in order to get best view of Lake Bled, I wouldn't recommend to alight at Bled main bus station. Instead, alight at Bled-Mlino bus stop, which is just one stop ahead after the main bus station stop. Unless you don't mind to walk extra miles from the main bus station to the trailhead. Only after the hike, both my husband and I walked back to the main bus station to get on to the bus back to Ljubljana. 

#3: Bled main bus station. But I don't highly recommend to alight here if you are planning to hike up for the viewpoint 

#4: Alight at this Bled-Mlino bus stop as it is more nearer to the trailhead.

#5: We hiked the Mala Osojnica trail. 
It stated it takes 30 minutes of hike but I think this is more relevant for the "angmo" cause their legs are long fast. 

#6: Hilltop viewpoint where it offers iconic panoramas of Lake Bled 

#7: For us, it's quite a challenging hike where there were few paths are pretty steep, uneven and rocky. It even involves sloping metal staircase. 

#8: They said "The best views come after the hardest climb" and it's so true. 
It does require some effort but the payoff is great when you get a breathtaking view of the lake and beyond like this.

Lake Bled Hiking Tips:
  1. It's best to get there early in order to beat the crowd. 
  2. Wear sturdy and comfy walking shoe. Try to avoid wearing slippers, sandals or even high heels as the hiking trail is pretty steep, uneven and rocky. 
  3. Bring water and some snacks along to avoid dehydration and fill your hungry tummy after the hike. 
#9: The beauty of Lake Bled from afar 

#10: Thing you shouldn't miss when in Bled is eating Bled Cream Cake (Blejska Kremna Rezina) 
Almost every shop in Bled serve this but the best one is at confectionary Zima (not far away from Bled main bus station) 

#11: Apart from hiking to the viewpoint, there are plenty of fun things to do in Bled 

#12: Drinking water is everywhere in Bled

#13: Bled is pet-friendly town. This restaurant even serves meal for your furkid 

#14: Dropby souvenir shop to get postcard and fridge magnet before leaving the town 

#15: Bled is such a lovely and charming town to visit 
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