Places to visit in Europe
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This page updated:
March 2016




Rome section
Hungary section
Prague section
Vienna section
Bratislava section
Portugal section
Africa section
General section

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Rome

TripAdvisor's "Rome, Italy"
Wikitravel's "Rome"
Med Cruise Guide's "121 Things To Do In Rome: The Ultimate Guide"

Our experience 5/2016:

Arriving at the airport, there is a train-ticket kiosk right at baggage claim; buy tickets there while waiting for your luggage. We used the FR1 train. When validating tickets near the train, put ticket in with the arrow reversed (pointing toward you) ! Train has no real space for luggage, which is strange.

We stayed in this apartment. Fine apartment, nice landlords, very convenient location (in Trastevere, about 2 blocks from the train station, and 2 blocks from stop for Tram 8 into center). The only bad surprise: there is a €3/person/day "tourist overnight" tax in the major tourist cities of Italy, so we had to pay that.

We found eating in Rome to be pretty expensive. A simple bread-2sodas-1pizza-1spaghetti meal usually was €35 or so. We found the lasagna and spaghetti and pesto dishes to be disappointing, and the pizza pretty good.

We bought the 7-day Metro/bus/train pass, which was very convenient (just carry it with you, never have to use it except when entering Metro). Validate it before the first trip you take. €24 apiece, and we took about 20 trips in 6 days, so it was cheaper than buying single-trip tickets. The pass doesn't cover the train to/from the airport.

We went to St Peter's twice, once to see the basilica, the other time to see the Pope in an "Angelus". Both were nice, but there wasn't much to the "Angelus", just the Pope talking. Capitoline museum had lots of art, good view of the Forum, but left me a bit cold. Palazzo Doria Pamphilj also stuffed with art, stunning building, wonderful. Couldn't get tickets for the Borghese Gallery; have to buy them well in advance.

Best sites were the churches: free, and full of art and decoration. Every time you see a church somewhere, try to go in. And some of them have free concerts.

Clothing: prices at street-vendors seemed to be about the same as prices inside stores. Many clothing shops close around 8 or 9 ?

If an ATM says "we're going to do a Mastercard transaction", don't do it. Both ATMs I did use didn't say anything about a fee, and no fees were imposed.






Hungary

Budapest:
TripAdvisor's "Budapest, Hungary"
Wikitravel's "Budapest"



From airport:
ATM in the baggage-claim hall to get cash. Also grab maps from stands.

When we were there 1/2016, global exchange rates were about 289 HUF / USD and 315 HUF / Euro.

No passport check, since we were flying from Spain. Outside baggage check, turn right to buy ticket for 200E bus and Metro to city (about HUF 600).

Ways of getting into the city:

Budapest train to Kosice Slovakia [I know someone in school there]: from Keleti station. From airport, 200E bus to Blue M3 Metro, transfer at Kalvin ter station, take Green M4 Metro to Keleti palyaudvar station (end of line).

Metro:
Can buy tickets at machines or counter. Validate in little yellow machines before taking escalator down to platforms.

Single-trip ticket: HUF 350.
Add a transfer to a bus: another HUF 170 or so.
Single-day unlimited pass: HUF 1650 (so pays off if you're doing about 5 trips or more).

You can not buy passes at the airport, only single-ride tickets. You will need to go to a Metro station to buy a pass.

Hotel / hostel:
We stayed in Marco Polo Top Hotel:
E87 for 4 nights TripAdvisor's "Marco Polo Top Hotel"

We were there in January, when probably most hotels and hostels are 3/4-empty. I expect they are very crowded in the summer "high season".

The staff is wonderful, friendly, extremely helpful.

The Wi-Fi is only in Reception and Bar, not in the rooms. Breakfast not included in room rate, but is generous and reasonably priced.

Too-small bedspreads.


Things to see and do:

Medical:
FirstMed is an English-speaking medical clinic near the Szell Kalman ter (M2) metro station. A 800 sqm facility on the 5th floor of the Hattyu Haz building includes 10 exam rooms, a laboratory, x-ray and mammography. They take international medical insurance and do direct billing with major insurers. Expect U.S. style service and care but also similar prices.

Though less expensive, especially if you are a European citizen with the European Health Insurance Card, public care can be a long wait and there is no guarantee that you will find an English-speaking medical professional.


Language:
Plenty of English spoken, written on signs, announced in the Metro trains.






Prague






Vienna

Wikitravel's "Vienna"
Wikipedia's "Vienna"
TripAdvisor's "Vienna, Austria"





Bratislava, Slovakia

Wikitravel's "Bratislava"
Wikipedia's "Bratislava"
TripAdvisor's "Bratislava, Slovakia"





Portugal

Eurail's "Portugal by Train"
Algarve Bus.Info's "Travel by plane, bus or train between the Algarve and Spain"















Africa

Kate's Travel Tips' "How to get from Spain to Morocco & 3 beautiful cities you need to see!"






General



Awesome web site: Travel with Dick and Jane

Kate's Travel Tips' "Everything you need to know about visiting Istanbul"
Kate's Travel Tips' "How to save money on flights when you travel in Europe"


Wikipedia's "Supranational European Bodies"






Lima, Peru



[Definitely not in Europe, I know.]

Peru map


Wikitravel's "Lima"
Travellerspoint's "Lima"
Time's "Lima: 10 Things to Do"
A Chinese Nomad's "Backpacking Guide to Peru"
SmarterTravel's "Tips on Lima Warnings or Dangers - Stay Safe!"
GoBackpacking's "Lima Travel Guide"
Touropia's "10 Top Tourist Attractions in Lima"
Tony Dunnell's "Top 10 Things to Do in Lima, Peru"
Lonely Planet's "Lima"
Wikipedia's "Lima"
TripAdvisor's "Lima"
PeruMira's "46 Museos de Lima Metropolitana - Peru"







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