Eurotrip! I traveled for 2 months through 10 countries in eastern and central Europe; it was quite the adventure! I’ll write about my adventures in each country, but in the meantime, here’s a quick photo tour of my trip.
Sweden -> Finland -> Estonia -> Latvia -> Lithuania -> Poland -> Prague Czech -> Munich Germany -> Greece (5 islands!) -> Budapest Hungary.
I wasn’t planning on backpacking through Europe for two months. I had stopped working a couple of weeks before, and decided I wanted to take a trip before starting a new job. But where to go?
The Baltics intrigued me – the trio of former Soviet Union countries that border the Baltic Sea. I had only planned to travel for a 2-3 week trip to the Baltics – Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania – but loved it and kept extending my trip. I’d never been to any of those countries, and didn’t know anyone that had been to any of them either. Imagine visiting a place that wasn’t even a country when you were born. Fascinating!
To get into that region I flew into…
Stockholm, Sweden! Coincidently, I have friends in Sweden that I met on my southeast Asia trip. I stayed with a friend that I had last seen while snorkeling with whale sharks in the Philippines. Click that link to see what that was like.
Then I hopped a $37 flight to Helsinki for a quick stop in Finland. I met up with another friend that I met on my Asia trip – we had last connected for a few nights in Beijing. Five years later, reunion in Helsinki, Finland!
I didn’t actually realize how close Finland was to Estonia. I took a 90-minute ferry Tallinn, Estonia. It’s so easy to get to, and thus you can feel the influence of so many Fins coming to visit.
I loooooved Tallinn! There was just something about it that I was drawn to – I explain in more detail (with photos like this one below) in future posts.
Then I took buses to Riga in Latvia and then to Vilnius in Lithuania. It was so easy to get from city to city via bus (thanks Lux Express!). The Baltics are so interesting, with impressive architecture in each country.
I was planning to meet friends in Prague, but since I was passing through Poland anyway, I budgeted a 1-day stop in Warsaw and another in Krakow on the way over. I still need much more time in Poland, but it was on the way so I got about 24 hours in each.
I loved Prague – I had high expectations and it met them. I could have spent weeks exploring there. It was magical!
At that point I was (surprisingly) getting a little tired of old medieval cities. Prague is amazing, but towards the end I was ready to switch it up. I was craving something different – nature, wildlife, or a beach. Hello Greece!
It was expensive to fly out of Prague for some reason, but really cheap from Munich. I needed a few hours of WiFi to catch up on things anyway, so I hopped a bus that morning and headed to Germany. It just happened to be the first days of Octoberfest!
I arrived in Munich on that Saturday, just in time for the opening weekend of Octoberfest. I spent 2 days meeting new wonderful people dressed up like these (above). Then spent a day exploring Munich before hopping a flight to Crete.
I actually couldn’t even locate Crete on a map before I went, but I figured once I get to Greece I could island hop. Crete was much larger than I thought – nearly 6 hours from end to end, but so worth it. Beautiful beaches, affordable lodging, delicious food. I’m so glad I went!
While I was in Crete, my friend Cho was in Mykonos, so we met up in the middle in Santorini. A year earlier we sat next to each other at the same job, and there we were on separate trips meeting up on the other side of the world. So much fun!
Santorini’s famous for epic sunsets, and the views live up to the hype. Towards the end I met a new friend, so he joined my adventure as I continued on to the underrated island of Ios. Then Mykonos and Paros.
I went to 5 islands in Greece, each with a slightly different personality than the last.
Then historic Athens.
I finished my trip in Budapest, meeting up with some new friends that I met on the small island of ios.
Budapest turned out to be one of my favorite destinations of my trip. It rained nearly every moment of every day, yes I still loved it. I can’t even imagine how much I’d enjoy it if it was remotely nice weather.
I’ll be posting about every one of the places I’ve mentioned, with stories, highlights, and photography of my experiences. It was quite the adventure!