The summer of 2014 was an excellent time of the year for me. Most of my vacations were directed to one destination or another. Two summers ago, I went to Greece. Three summers ago, I went to Italy. This summer, I decided I wanted something new, so I chose to visit more countries and just turn my vacation into a longer road trip Europe. I began my vacation in Hungary, went through Austria and Germany, then finished it in the Netherlands. While most of these countries have Germanic origins (except for Hungary), their styles were completely different and definitely worth it. I recommend this trip to anyone interested in a little something of everything.
(Photo credits: mike_20)
The infrastructure is probably the best part about Hungary. The country has some excellent highways, but you better become familiar with the speed limits upfront. Their cops are not so friendly and the fines are quite high. Me and my friends got over a fine by chitchatting a little and handing some cigarettes.
(Photo credits: Bokeh & Travel)
All in all, Budapest is the capital of this country. It is huge and has some decent attractions. It is somewhere between the Germanic style from the west and the eastern communism. The Buda Castle Hill is the most attractive place because you can see it from any part of Budapest. The site consists of more building and streets, so exploring all of it might take more than a day. We spent a few hours around, took some pictures and left. We saw the parliament and local opera house too, but we could not get in. The Heroes’ Square is worth a little attention too, since it is huge and provides plenty of possibilities – rest, have a drink, go shopping and admire people.
Reaching to Wien
(Photo credits: magdeburg)
We crossed the border to Austria and headed straight to the capital – Wien. I visited plenty of countries, but I have never seen a more cultural city before. Wien is a living museum. Everything looks like a museum, from regular homes to shops, cars and streets. If you ever get there, visit the historic center. There are a lot of museums and institutions. Most of them can be visited. You may not have enough time, so stick to the ones that interest you the most.
(Photo credits: hedbavny)
Make sure that you do not skip the Kunsthistorisches Museum, which is breathtaking. The local zoo might be nice to visit if you have a kid, but other than that, reach to The Third Man Museum as well. I think this museum is unique in the world. It is just different and attractive in a way that I cannot describe. Just make sure that you do not miss it.
Germany, too serious for us
Once we got to Germany, we were surprised by the high level of… civilization. Germans are like robots. They are strict, hardworking and concise. They know what they have to do, so they do it. There are plenty of large cities to visit. We expected Germany to look traditional and old fashioned, with blond girls and pony tails serving beers, but it is actually a technological machine. I think Germany has the best highways in the world. If you have a car, take it there.
(Photo credits: mhbs)
We went through Munich, but we did not stay long. Instead, we stopped in Frankfurt for a few hours. Local attractions look like they were installed specifically for tourists, so they are one after another.
We visited The Main Tower for a breathtaking view, the Römerberg (some sort of historic center), the Embankment Museum and the Museum of Modern Art. We ate at the Cider Taverns (there are plenty of them). Literature fans might want to visit the Goethe House too, while the St. Pauls Church is probably the largest one in Frankfurt. If you plan to break your bank account, hang around the Shopping Street Zeil and you will.
(Photo credits: stoer-signale)
The Netherlands was the last destination of our vacation. This country is completely different from the others we have been through. This is the place to combine culture, traditions, old fashioned and colorful houses, narrow streets and a completely crazy lifestyle. Amsterdam is the most important pole in the Netherlands. This is one of the few places in the world where prostitution and specific drugs are legal. It might be worth visiting the Red District in the evening, yet you might be surprised by the girls shown in window displays. On a cultural note, you should visit the Room of Riddles and the canal on a boat. Taste the local lifestyle, so hop on a bike and visit the surroundings, but do not skip the local cuisine either. Sometimes, it might be worth stopping and just smelling the flowers around you. This is what the local lifestyle in the Netherlands feels like – an amalgam of opposite things to do at once. I loved it!