Eurotrip Part 4: Czech Republic 🇨🇿, Austria 🇦🇹, Croatia 🇭🇷, Hungary 🇭🇺

The Croatian countryside
The view outside of the Flixbus in Zadar County, Croatia.

My summer travels in Europe has finally come to an end. The past month has been quite a whirlwind. After meeting up with friends in Paris, I flew to Prague for the next week. Then, I took a Flixbus down to Vienna to visit for a few days, and then visited a friend in Graz. Afterwards, I travelled to Tisno, Croatia for a music festival and explored more of Croatia for the following two weeks. Finally, I spent my last week in Europe in Budapest.

Overall impressions

I was finally back in the part of Europe where things are cheap again—with the exception of the coast of Croatia. In fact, I found Vienna to be slightly cheaper than some Croatian cities like Split and Tisno, which were filled with tourists.

I wish I had stayed a bit longer in some cities and explored more of the surrounding areas. In particular, I wanted to explore more of Austria, some smaller towns on the Croatian coast (e.g. Trogir, Šibenik, Zadar), and more of the islands off of Croatia’s coast. And if I had just a week or two longer, I would’ve travelled to Bosnia and Serbia, too. I guess there’s always a reason to return in the future.

Prague

Prague Old Town Square
Bird's eye view of Prague's old town square.

Prague is the city where beer is cheaper than water. And the architecture is pretty cool, too. In the summer, there seems to be plenty to do. The hostel that I stayed at organized a lot of daytime activities such as spray-painting the John Lennon Wall and paddleboating in the Vitava River.

Vienna

Schönbrunn Palace
The grounds of the Schönbrunn Palace.

I think I visited Vienna at the wrong time of the year. High culture attractions like the opera are closed in the summer. Despite that, I quite liked this city, and I wish I had stayed longer. The amount of history concentrated here was interesting and the cadence of life appealed to me. And the natural surroundings are gorgeous; the train ride from Vienna and Graz featured views of beautiful mountains and canyons. It is no wonder why Vienna is ranked as the most livable city in the world by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Graz

Graz
On top of Schlossberg park in Graz.

My friend showed me around this city for a day. It seems quite laidback and tucked in the Austrian Alps. I thought a single day was enough to see most of the city, but it does seem like a nice student town, too.

Tisno

Tisno
The town of Tisno.

I stayed here for a few nights for the last Soundwave Festival. Tisno seems like a small resort town catering towards British tourists. During my stay here, I mostly went to the festival. I also tried biking to Murter, but failed because I almost succumbed to heat exhaustion.

Split & Islands

Split
In the middle of Diocletian's Palace.

This city is crowded with tourists in the high season, but there’s a lot happening. The nightlife was quite varied and not just restricted to getting drunk on pub crawls. On the first night, I went to the outdoor cinema near Bačvice beach to watch Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again.

I found the city to be very walkable. The old city center is Diocletian’s Palace, a structure dating back to 305 CE and considered to be a living museum. I stayed in an Airbnb inside the palace, but in hindsight I should’ve looked for accomodation on other sites like Booking.com, too.

Hvar
Overlooking the port of Hvar.

Split is also the home base for many day excursions. I did two of them: one to the islands off of Split, and another to Krka National Park. I highly recommend doing one of them when in Split.

Waterfalls at Krka National Park
The Skradin waterfalls at Krka National Park.

Finally, I had arrived in Split at an interesting time. One of Croatia’s most famous singers, Oliver Dragojević, had recently died, which explained why many of the locals looked a bit upset. I was told it was a big deal because Oliver was from Split. So during my time here, I heard a lot of his music in restaurants and public places.

Makarska

Makarska
Panorama of Makarska.

I spent three nights in Makarska relaxing and enjoying the beach, which was right next to the old town. The scenery was beautiful, even by Croatian standards. I highly recommend a quick visit to this charming town on the Adriatic Sea.

Plitvice Lakes (but not quite)

The peak over Korenica
The peak overlooking Korenica. An hour after taking this picture, I sprained my ankle while trying to hike down from the mountain.

I was looking forward to hike through Plitvice Lakes National Park, however the evening before I sprained my ankle on a hike to a local peak. 😞😞😞 As a result, I had to go to Zagreb the next day to get it checked out. Thankfully, there was no fracture, but I had to book a hotel to recover for the next two days. So in the end, I didn’t get to visit Plitvice Lakes.

Budapest

Center of Budapest
The view of the center of Budapest from the Budapest Eye. Prominently featured is St. István Basilica.

My final destination of my summer Eurotrip was Budapest. I visited this city two years ago, and I remember it as one of my favorite destinations. That hasn’t changed; this city is still as great as I remembered. There is so much to do in the city, and I like its vibe. I think I won’t ever get tired of this city.

Sziget Festival
The crowds at Sziget, featuring MØ.

I also went to the Sziget Festival on Óbuda Island for the last three days. It was quite fun, although dusty. I suspect most people got a bit sick from the dust over the course of the festival.

Hungarian Parliament
Inside the Hungarian Parliament.

Final Thoughts

I’m really glad that I had the opportunity to go on this adventure. I didn’t want to jump into full-time employment immediately after college, and I’ve had the travel bug for quite some time. I’m glad that I visited new places, reconnected with old friends, and made a lot of new friends!

If you’re twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel – as far and as widely as possible.

— Anthony Bourdain


This post wraps up the series of travel posts for my trip this summer! If you enjoyed it and other posts on my blog, please subscribe to my newsletter below. 👇