Wanting to explore Europe but don’t have the luxury of time to do it? Always dream about exploring the unique areas in Europe but unsure about how to do it? Well, it is possible to fulfil your dream and you are going to find out “How To Plan For 14 Days Eastern Europe Trip Within €1000 Euro Budget” in this article 🙂
Typically Europe can be an expensive area to travel. However, if you follow my plan for your 14 days Eastern Europe trip which includes visiting Balkans area countries, you will realise that it can be cheaper than what you would expect.
Disclaimer: The budget for accommodation will not be added in this article as it can vary a lot and is really depends on individual preference from a bed in a hostel (cheap) to a 5-stars luxury hotel (expensive). And of course, shopping expenses will not be inclusive in this €1000 budget too. 🙂
Getting the flights to Europe (Example from Asia)
Depending on where you are travelling from to Europe, taking Asia for example, I usually prefer travelling with the Middle Eastern airlines. They offer good timing (departing around midnight and arrive in Europe in the early morning, which let you earn an extra day in Europe), quality services and most importantly, they offer competitive prices, usually ranged from €550 to €850.
Day 1: Flying to Europe (Budget: €588 to €849)
From Singapore to European cities. I would usually choose Emirates or Qatar Airways due to the competitive prices and good transit time, but recently for my trip to Europe, I tried Turkish Airlines (even though they are consider as European Airlines) and I must say I am truly impressed by their superb quality services, especially the meal services were AMAZING! The airline crew was super friendly and attentive too. When I was getting on my transit flight from Istanbul to Budapest, the pilot even opened his window and wished me a good flight! Very personalised services and friendly people. Perhaps amazing is an understatement to describe my wonderful experience with Turkish Airlines.
Check out the video below for my Vlog review of my flight experience.
Day 1 – 3: Budapest, Hungary
Budapest, the capital city of Hungary and in my opinion is the best place to start your Eastern Europe adventure. The city is chill, relax and romantic. It is divided into two sides by the Danube river, Buda – the old city area with hilly roads and castles, and Pest – the new city area with many fascinating architectures.
Top 5 Things To Do in Budapest, Hungary
#1 Széchenyi Thermal Baths (Budget: €16)
Soak yourself in one of the largest medicinal baths in Europe. With 18 pools, 10 saunas, steam cabins and several massages therapy to choose from. The Neo-Baroque Palace bath is something you shouldn’t miss in Budapest.
#2 Buda Castle (Budget: Free)
Built in 1265, the Buda Castle is a historical royal castle for the Hungarian kings. Explore the National Gallery, the Castle Gardens, the Royal Palace where you are treated to an amazing view of the entire cityscape. Remember to watch the change of guard which happens every hour outside the castle.
#3 Fisherman’s Bastion (Budget: Free)
Well-known for its amazing panoramic views of the city of Budapest, Fisherman’s Bastion is a terrace in Neo-Gothic and Neo-Romanesque style built in the 19th century featuring pointed towers and turrets. Reminiscent of the fairytale castles. The terrace offers picturesque views of the city and my recommended location to take picture of the Pest side of the city with Danube river, Hungarian parliament building and Chain bridge.
#4 Hungarian Parliament Building & Széchenyi Chain Bridge (Budget: Free)
The chain bridge is a suspension bridge that connects between Buda and Pest together. The first permanent bridge across the Danube river in Hungary in 1849, and was the longest suspension bridge in Europe during that time. This beautiful bridge is decorated with the Hungarian coat of arms and guarded by a couple of stone lions on each side of the bridge. The best spot to see the magnificent Hungarian Parliament Building that was built after Hungary gained independence or was separated from Austria, is from the Buda side of the Danube river.
#5 The Labyrinth of Buda Castle (Budget: €4.8)
There are some caves underneath the Buda city, these caves served as the refuge as well as the hunting ground for the prehistoric man half million years ago. The Labyrinth is situated in the complex of caves and cellars beneath Castle Hill. It also served as a large shelter and hospital during World War II. Turks also used it back in the 16th century as military purposes. Inside here, there’s a tomb and chamber of Count Dracula. According to the story, he was brought from Transylvania to Budapest and held captive in this cave. Eerie enough! Only suitable for thrill seekers. PS: Remember to bring your own torch or ensure you have enough battery for your handphone to use as a light source as it is really dark inside.
Which Area To Stay?
Definitely the Pest side of the city. I would recommend staying at the Király Street area where all the nightlife and actions are every night. You may take a stroll during the late evening after dinner and go back to your accommodation easily without transportation. Centralise location and walking distance to all major sites and many subway stations around the area. The only flip side is the noise, so make sure you choose a good hostel/hotel with sound proofed windows especially if you are a light sleeper.
Day 4 – 5: Zagreb, Croatia
About 3 hours 20 mins drive from Budapest, you would arrive at the medieval town and the capital city of Croatia – Zagreb. This city has a special mixed of medieval towers, palaces built in the 19th century, open-air markets and cathedrals, making it a beautiful spot to explore in the Balkans. Thing is, Zagreb is not big in comparison to Budapest, Vienna or Prague, hence you don’t need to spend too many days to appreciate the beauty of this city.
Top 5 Things To Do in Zagreb, Croatia
#1 Take a day trip to Plitvice Lakes (Budget: €60)
I need to emphasise, highlight and repeat, the Plitvice Lakes National Park is a MUST do if you ever come to Croatia! You MUST NOT miss it. This is one of the oldest national parks in South Eastern Europe and has a total of 16 beautiful lakes that can be seen from the surface and is interconnected by a series of many waterfalls! The colours of the water change constantly due to the minerals, organisms in the water and of course, the angle of the sun! This stunning natural wonder of the world is one of the most beautiful national parks I ever been.
I did my day trip to Plitvice Lakes from Zagreb with ‘Zagreb Day Trips’. You can easily book and sign up for the trip with them as they provide great service to the Plitvice Lakes with a comfortable minivan, instead of the usual big buses filled with too many travellers! My guide on the trip was Iva and she was funny, knowledgeable and professional. Her in depth knowledge about the lakes is amazing and she is a damn good driver! haha
Company: Zagreb Day Trips
Address: Tratinska 13, 10 000 Zagreb
Tel: 00385 1 3877 294
#2 St. Mark’s Church (Budget: Free)
What gave me the feeling that I’m in Croatia is actually the St.Mark’s Church built in the 13th century. Unfortunately, you can’t enter the church to visit but people are here to see the unique Croatian roof tiles representing the coats of arms of Zagreb and the Triune Kingdom of Croatia.
#3 Sunset at the top of Zagreb 360° (Budget: €4)
To get a good view of the city, the only place to be would be the Zagreb 360° observation deck. I would suggest going during the sunset hours, where you can get the view and photos during daylight, sunset (which was amazing) and also the night city lights. There are live bands playing during the day and evenings and it is a great place to chill, or have some drinks and even your meals there.
#4 Zagreb Cathedral (Budget: Free)
Built and completed in 1217, the Zagreb Cathedral was once destroyed by the Mongols in 1242. At the end of 15th century, the Croatians built this beautiful Renaissance walls to defend themselves against the Turks during the Ottoman empire period. Today, Zagreb Cathedral remains the tallest building in Zagreb.
#5 Nikola Šubić Zrinski Square (Budget: Free)
The Zrinski Square and Park is located in the central heart area of Zagreb. This park has a special rustic look and gets filled with music during day time. In the evening time, it is a place where free outdoor movie screening is held which is a popular summer pastime in Zagreb. The park transforms into a lively pub scene in the evening too, which was quite a sight to see.
Which Area To Stay?
Definitely the town area near to Jelacic Square. The nearer it is the better because all major sites are around Jelacic Square. For day trips usually, you are required to gather at Zrinski Square which is near to Jelacic Square as well.
Click here to continue PART 2 Day 6 to Day 14: How to plan for 14 days Eastern Europe Trip within €1000 budget (Continue)! Includes things to do in Vienna, Austria; Slovenia; Bratislava, Slovakia; and Prague, Czech Republic.
Spending vacations in Europe is a true bliss! Blessed with fairy-tale cities, romantic setting, fine food, and stunning architecture, Europe is no less than paradise on earth. A trip to Europe is pretty expensive. If you are looking forward to traveling Europe on a budget, read Europe travel blogs. These blogs will give you Europe travel guide and give you information about how to reach your dream destination, where to stay, where to dine, and where to hang out with friends without burning a hole in your pocket. Fly to Europe this vacation and indulge yourself in some adventure!