To be in Europe, it’s enough just to cross the border!

Traveling in Poland

Travel to Poland
Traveling around Poland is the first thing that comes to mind, especially since Krakow is worthy to see it! In fact, this is a beautiful city with many interesting sights and it’s not difficult to get here from the same Lviv. The price of the bus ticket Lviv-Krakow – from 350 UAH. and the passengers will be on the road for about six hours. That is, it can be a very good option for the weekend or for the May holidays! In addition, Krakow – the second in the country transport hub, so from here you can fly on a loukoste literally in any country in Western Europe! A trip to Poland requires obtaining a Schengen visa – this is a minus, but the fact that the Polish visa centers in almost all regions of Ukraine is a plus. The peculiarity of receiving Polish Schengen is that the embassy requires full payment for housing – this is a negative, and plus is that hotels and hostels in Poland are relatively inexpensive! Therefore, plan a trip to Poland without any doubts and fears.

In addition, Poland – one of the best for the hitchhiking countries of Europe! Usually budget travelers and stoppers pass by an international bus to Przemysl (a bus from Lviv costs from UAH 154, if you buy online, but if the visa issue is resolved, then you can take the bus for 50 UAH – if you sit right next to the checkpoint) and further freely travel both in Poland itself, and in Europe as a whole. And notice, tickets for buses to Poland can be bought on the site!

In Poland, the most eager to visit Krakow – as the ancient capital of the country, as well as the ski resort of Zakopane, especially when it comes to deciding where to go for the New Year or Christmas.

In addition to buses, many will be interested in wizzair wizzair Kiev-Katowice, but consider that the low cost of the ticket will have to add the cost of luggage and hand luggage, if it is large – after all it’s still a budget airline! So travel light! This is more economical. Also cheap flights to Poland can be caught from UIA and Polish national airline LOT.

Travel around the Czech Republic

Travel to Czech Republic
Traveling in the Czech Republic can also bring incredible pleasure, because most of the towns here have preserved a direct, medieval color, and especially the Czech Republic lovers of castles and antiquities! Planning a trip to the Czech Republic, of course the magnificent Prague, as well as the neighboring mineral spa – Karlovy Vary, are compulsory. Unbelievable pleasure can deliver visits to picturesque small Czech towns, Olomouc or Cesky Krumlov.

Buses to the Czech Republic are usually direct, but there are no loukosts for today. Also, UIA sometimes offers inexpensive flights to the Czech Republic, to be exact, to Prague. To be honest, the cheapest way to get to Prague is by bus. Although the journey will be quite long.

Journey to Italy

Who does not dream to go to Italy?

I was there, but damn, Italy is never enough! Travel to Italy before could be organized much easier – there were direct cheap flights both from Kiev and from Lviv. Today to make a trip to Italy you need to go to neighboring countries to buy a ticket for a cheap loukost.

Options to get to Italy from Ukraine:

bus Uzhgorod – Kosice (Slovakia) and the plane to Milan
bus Lviv-Karakov + plane at least to Rome, though to Venice, even to Milan
combination of air tickets in Budapest, Vilnius, Katowice plus air tickets to Italy
look for ankionic tickets from UIA.
I need a Schengen visa. Visa center is only in Kiev. Complete instructions how to plan an independent trip to Italy, which you can read in a separate article !.

Travel to Slovakia, Austria and Hungary

Organizing a trip to Slovakia today is easy, because there is a direct bus from Uzhgorod. Depending on the destination, the fare from 2 to 8 euros !!! And then – local domestic transport. The train from Kosice to Bratislava – up to 19 euros – by bus or train. An interesting fact is that Bratislava from Vienna is 49 km away. which will allow you to make a trip to Austria for a couple of days. After Vienna, you can go to Salzburg, and then to Munich, or from Vienna to Budapest by train for 13 euros (this is even cheaper than a bus). From Budapest to Kiev there is both a flight of a loukost, and a bus to Kiev, Uzhgorod, Lviv.

The route of a simple independent trip to Slovakia, Austria and Hungary looks like this:

Train Kiev-Uzhhorod
bus Uzhgorod-Kosice
Train Kosice-Bratislava
bus Bratislava-Vienna
Train Vienna-Budapest
plane Budapest-Kiev.
At the exit you at least visit: Uzhgorod, Kosice, Bratislava, Vienna and Budapest!

Traveling to Slovakia
If you stay in Slovakia the longest, then you can get a visa right here! By the way, you can organize a trip in the opposite direction. Such a rich trip will leave a lot of impressions! In Vienna, be sure to visit the confectionery of Castaletto!

Well, you can organize just a trip to Slovakia through castles and fortresses, which is also worthy and interesting! Tickets for buses to Slovakia can be bought or booked on the site.

Organization of independent travel in Europe

An independent journey through Europe, or rather its organization, consists of four parts:

transport;
housing;
visa (if needed);
Attraction.
Each of them should be considered separately, but in general the organization of an independent trip across Europe looks like this:

Tickets for transport are bought. Actually, from the availability of tickets, a further plan of traveling through Europe is being built, since it is the departure dates that determine not only the length of residence anywhere, but also a visa is issued, and it is of great importance for sightseeing of many sights.
The hotel is booked – the booking of accommodation is in any case necessary for a visa. You can find a hotel / hostel / apartment with a free cancellation of your booking and choose another one, if the conditions of the reservation permit. In any case, the hotel is the most flexible category from the whole plan. You can even cancel the reservation and then live on coaching and friends, but in any case, you need a reservation for applying for a visa.
Documents for a visa are given (and if necessary, before these on a passport for traveling abroad). As a rule, a copy of the tickets and hotel reservation are useful for obtaining a visa.
Sightseeing is the last point of the plan. It is important, but at the same time, you can sprinkle on the Internet and read about places worth visiting, on the eve of your departure or even while traveling.
Tickets for a bus, plane, train in Europe, as well as hitchhiking and blablacar

Tickets to Europe are the determining factor both for hotel reservations and for obtaining a visa, so this is the first thing to take care of. Tickets for a bus, plane, train in Europe, as well as hitchhiking and blablacar – these are the main ways of traveling modern independent travelers in Europe.

When planning a budget trip around Europe, the following options are considered:

air ticket: promotional offer of an ordinary airline (for example, an offer from the airline’s mailing list) or cheap low-cost airline tickets (eg wizzair or vueling). More information in a special article about loukosty Europe. Also through special sites aggregators you can search for cheap air tickets for all airlines.
ticket for the bus: today for regular passenger international flights you can buy a ticket online directly on the site. A direct flight is usually long, but you can plan a trip with transplants – which is cheaper and more interesting. For example, from Kiev (and other Ukrainian cities) can be reached by train, and from Lviv you can buy a bus ticket to Przemysl, Lublin, Warsaw or Krakow. From Uzhhorod it is convenient to go to Kosice (Slovakia) or Budapest (Hungary), where you can either take another European transport or spend a wonderful weekend.
It is convenient to buy a railway ticket from Ukraine to Moscow or St. Petersburg, but this can only be done at the railway station, since international train tickets are not sold online even in Europe. The exception is private railway companies.
Hitchhiking is a free transfer of travelers by drivers – a whole movement. Before planning such a trip – read how things are with the hitchhiking in this or that country and just in case, take money with you for public transport. But even if you have planned a hitchhiking trip, then the border is best crossed by bus – fewer questions on obtaining a visa and less queue at the checkpoint. For this purpose flights Lviv-Przemysl (Poland) or Lvov-Vishnevo-German (Slovakia) are good – these tickets will cost only a few euros – check the prices for bus tickets in the system.
blablakar – or a fellow traveler is no longer a free service, but you only pay for gasoline on a pair with the driver. It is often cheaper than public transport, and the driver is beneficial, because in this case the cost of his travel is reduced. By the way, drivers blablakar will also be extremely interesting – a self-paid hitchhiker :).

Accommodation in Europe: hotel, apartment, hostel, coaching

Housing in Europe is different for every taste and purse. Hotels can be both fashionable, and inexpensive and comfortable. Individualists can rent an apartment, apartment or even a villa, and budget travelers usually choose democratic hostels, or they live with foreigners for free. For nature lovers and thousands of stars above their heads – the campings.

Sites for booking hotels, hostels, places for camping, as well as apartments and apartments in Europe:

booking.com is the European leader in accommodation reservation. Here you can find both hotels and hostels, as well as camping sites and apartments. Here – the largest base of housing and for regular customers – the lowest prices. Although the main direction of the resource is hotels. Here you can find both the most expensive rooms and offers in guesthouses and home hotels, although if you are looking for hostels or apartments – pay attention to the following two resources. Also worth a visit booking, if you just need a hotel reservation with a free cancellation of your booking for a visa – this is the best service for these purposes. By the way, if you are planning a trip to Asia, then pay attention to the service agoda.com – this is the leader in Asia.
hostelworld.com – the best website for booking hostels in Europe and in the world. Typically, the site takes 10% of the cost as its collection, but given that the average European hostel costs about 12 euros per night – the money is quite small. There is much more choice of hostels than any other resources, as the conditions for them are the most profitable – the host does not have to “share” the service with profit and the management system is quite simple. By the way, you can find the hostel here and book directly from the hostel’s home site, although the savings in this case will be insignificant and it will be more difficult to resolve any issues.
airbnb.com – service for renting apartments and apartments, places in interesting, non-standard hotels, and also through it you can rent a bed in your house for money :). This kind of paid coaching. Those who prefer to have not only their own shower, but also their own kitchen – you here! The prices are different, as are the offers 🙂 From the guest sofas in the corner to their own villas.
couchserfing.org – a global community of travelers and their sympathizers – when foreigners accept tourists in their house for free. Initially, the community was organized to learn something new, but evolved into a service to find free housing not only in Europe, but all over the world. If your comfort zone allows you to live with strangers and longs for communication – this is the best option for housing in Europe. Especially will be interesting to those who want to start a love relationship in Europe! I often get romance stories through couchsurfing! Try to find love in Europe by couchserfing.org! There is no guarantee, of course, but it will definitely be something to remember and tell about!
Some travelers feel great on the couch with strangers (co-surfing), others in the tent, others in the hostel, and for some, the hotel must have 5 stars and a swimming pool. And here it is necessary to pay tribute: the hotel of the highest category and the cheapest hostel are significantly different and here it is necessary to decide in advance or TRY! I knew girls who with their hands and feet rested and said – the hotel is at least three stars, the amenities are only in the room … and then tried to spend the night in the hostel’s common room with the youth (and not only) from all over the world, that now only hostels at the time European travel and recognize !!! Break the template in action.

If you are a sociable person and love people, it is better to live by coaching: That is, foreigners are invited to stay with them for free. Why? Yes that would not be sour! This is an opportunity not only to look at the new country, saving on living, but also to get acquainted with the local residents, so to speak, in everyday conditions.

Visa to European countries

The visa to the European countries is necessary almost in all. Read about an independent visa in Europe and not only about how to find out if it is needed in a special article “Visa yourself.” For most countries, a Schengen visa is required, for Britain and Ireland – British, for Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Croatia, both a national visa and Schengen visa – issued by the visa center of any Schengen country country. But with Albania (90 days), Bosnia and Herzegovina (90 days), Chornogoria (90 days) and Serbia (30 days), Ukraine has a visa-free regime, but on different terms.

Find out more exactly where a Ukrainian in Europe needs a visa can be found on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine: mfa.gov.ua/ua/consular-affairs/travel-advice/entering-foreign-countries.

A frequent question about the financial security that is needed to obtain a Schengen visa. The amount of such security should be viewed on the site, but as a rule it ranges from 45-63 euros per day of stay. How much for the country, where you are going – see the website of the embassy, ​​visa center.

That is, if one person rides for a week (the day is counted from 00:00 to 24:00, that is, if you arrive in Sat and fly to Sat – it’s 8 days) – you need to have on the account of 441 euros. I recommend for any country to come up with a calculation of 65 euros / day stay – that is, in the case of 8 days – 520 euros. As a rule, a trip to this money goes, but if you have an ultrabudgetary option and you can borrow money, put it on the account, make an extract and then de withdraw the money and give it away. No one can check – bank secrecy.

Attractions in Europe

When it comes to sights in Europe, I always advise you to go to local tourist resources, as well as international forums, such as tripadvisor. The thing is that the tourist Russian-speaking community is always “in itself”. Experimenters little and new information is also little while our foreign “gather on reason” more advanced. Often I come across the fact that we overpay simply because of ignorance. For example, if you score “visiting the Vatican Museums” in Russian, then you will be offered a tour for 80 euros, and if you climb up to the English-language forums, you will find out that the entrance costs 15 euros + a walkie-talkie – 5 euros. Agree – the difference is substantial!

You can also watch thematic programs like “Eagle and Tails” to emphasize for yourself what you want to see. And be open to information on the spot! For example, you can give in to desire and go on a local excursion. So you knew that in Edinburgh you can go for a drive on a boat to the islands to watch seals? And this is one of my brightest memories of Scotland and I found out about it on the spot!

Paper guides and travel guides do not advise. Why? Their main readers are housewives. Do you need it?!?

As a rule, not only the country, but every European city has its own website and it is better to go to official resources – they have more information. Be sure to carefully review the information about: what to do, transport, TOP-10 sights of the city, non-standard offers. And also these sites often have information about musicals, theatrical productions, exhibitions and festivals! It is very advisable to choose something in the interests!

To make traveling special, memorable and not like everyone else, do something unusual. For example, in London, go to a musical (I was at the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the musical “The Phantom of the Opera” in the Royal Albert Hall), and you can go, say, to a football match or a musical festival. In Cologne – visited the world exhibition of the photographic industry Photokina, in Vienna – of course the opera, in Paris – Raphael’s exhibition. Another option of an unforgettable trip is to check your plans with the schedule of world tours of your favorite artists, for example, rock bands. I personally visited the adorable Nickelback. Each has its own interests, and Europe offers maximum opportunities for realizing any desires. Use it!

Also you can take advantage of the offers of local “coupons” – I somehow bought a walk on a boat on the Rhine from Mainz to Cologne for funny money and spent an unforgettable day.

Be non-standard!

Routes of trips around Europe

Routes of trips around Europe are built on two principles:

Where you want, because the power of a dream is boundless.
Where there are cheap tickets and discovering this you are lighting up this idea.
And yes, in fact, everything is so simple! I, like a travel blogger, are often asked where to go on their first independent journey through Europe: people, as often happens in other spheres of life, just do not know what they want. Think about the place, think about associations – what is Europe for you? Rome? Paris? London? If you are dreaming of London, then focus on a trip to the UK! A dream will lead you further than just an abstract desire for change! Read how it was with me. Do not compromise with a dream – it does not pay off. Tear your own patterns, because you have one life in this body. And dreams are not given without forces and opportunities to carry them out!

But if such a categorical answer is not for you, then try something simple.

The first independent journey can be in:

the CIS countries: how about Moscow, St. Petersburg, Minsk, Chisinau? The difference in the organization will be only in the fact that you do not need a visa, but you know the Russian language.
Asian Europe: a trip to Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey (Istanbul). It also does not need visas and most of the population knows the language. Also, the organization of travel will be similar, but you must be prepared that this is not Europe, but Asia. What is also intriguing, but for the first independent travel – a very good idea!
the Baltic countries: from Kiev to the same Vilnius or Riga there are inexpensive air tickets and there are direct international buses. Here you already need a Schengen visa, but on the other hand the older generation in these countries knows the Russian language, which creates unique opportunities and you can learn the “non-tourist” Baltic.
Eastern Europe: visit neighboring Poland, Slovakia, Hungary. They are noteworthy that there are inexpensive tickets for international buses, as well as prices for products at the level of Ukrainian, and in some cases even lower, which can not be said about Western European countries.
Southern Europe: Spain and Greece – these countries are generally cheaper both in terms of housing and nutrition, than the same France, Germany or the United Kingdom. Cheap airfare, both to Spain and to Greece, you can buy even direct. Usually inexpensive tickets for Kiev-Athens airplanes, and in Spain, a loukost vueling flies to Spain, which can save money on the flight.
The countries of Western Europe are much more expensive than Ukraine, not only for living, but also for basic products (of course, local cheeses and sausages are cheaper here if they were sold in Ukraine, but in general the food here is much more expensive). Accommodation even in the hostel is highly dependent on the city. The most expensive hostels in Venice, Paris, Vienna – if in general in Europe the average night cost is 12 euros, then in these cities – 33 (although this is not a record). Great Britain is even more expensive than France or Germany. To all these nuances you need to be ready.
Northern Europe is the most expensive. Food, accommodation and transport in Norway, Sweden, Iceland beat all records, but what nature is like! If your dream is to see the fjords or the Northern Lights – it’s definitely worth it! Especially since you can fly from Poland to Oslo for funny money!
Holidays in Europe

Holidays in Europe – this is when you do not want to decide anything, plan, and generally lie on the beach and go for one or two excursions. In fact, this site is not for such lovers. I perceive the rest as an active time, although it’s a good idea to spend a day or two on the beaches of Ibiza!

If your case – “doing nothing” with a good service – you need to look for offers from professional travel organizers and choose the most acceptable. There is nothing wrong with resting morally and physically in a good hotel on a pleasant beach in Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece. And for such fans nothing more profitable than the “package” has not yet been invented.

The only thing – be prepared for the fact that the company to which you gave money for the trip can at any moment burn out and then rest in Europe will turn into a “tin in Europe.” Such cases are the more, the more often things happen and all because companies are dumping due to competition and struggle for the holidaymaker and at some point will not be able to pay the bills. In this case, you run the risk of being left without money far from home.

In order not to fall into such situations, I travel independently and wish you that (or at least have an amount sufficient for a return ticket). You will know that how much it costs to travel and all the money will be with you.

Travel and you will be happy!