Where and how can you spend a free weekend? For all of you who enjoy trips abroad, we have prepared four offers. We present selected fun-facts and prices (current currency rates provided by Cinkciarz.pl) that may appear helpful for every tourist.
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The distance between Warsaw and Prague is slightly over 500 km. A popular means of transport for this journey is the car. It will provide you with comfort and most of all independence from public transport. However, the cheapest option would be to travel by bus. A bus ticket costs approximately 70 PLN, but the journey can last for more than 10 hours. Travelling by train is slightly quicker and takes 8 hours. The price of a train ticket is 65 euros (268 PLN). If you book online there is the possibility of getting a discount. The price could then be 29 euros (120 PLN).
What's worth seeing in the capital city of the Czech Republic? One of the most recognisable places is Charles Bridge. It's constructed with 16 supports, it is 516 meters high and 9,5 meters wide. It's the oldest stone bridge in the world this size. It contains a lot of baroque statues that attract tourists' attention. The most famous of them, is the statue of Saint John of Nepomuk. According to the legend, touching this statue can bring luck. In the holiday season the bridge is crowded with tourists. It is also one of the favourite places for street artists to perform. Access on the bridge is free.
The National Museum on Wenceslas Square can be very often spotted on postcards of Prague. You can find it in programs of many Polish travel agencies, despite the fact that its main building has been closed for four years. The Museum is undergoing intensive reconstruction. Before this it was open to tourists for 180 years. The re-opening of a part of this building is planned for this month. However, the whole renovation will last until 2018. Meanwhile, access to the open parts of the Museum costs 110 CZK (16.5 PLN).
Public transport in Prague works very smoothly and can be very helpful in moving between sights. Three metro lines, buses and trams will allow you to travel around the city in a fast and comfortable way. A ticket which is valid for 30 minutes costs 24 CZK (3.60 PLN), 90 minutes – 32 CZK (4.80 PLN), and a ticket for the whole day – 110 CZK (16.50 PLN). It's not worth risking travelling without. A fine for this costs 800 CZK (120 PLN). You can buy tickets at news-stands and at the machines at bus and metro stations.
When you are done sightseeing it is worth trying some Czech cuisine. It has a lot of followers all over the world, thus it would be a sin to be in Prague and not taste it. However, you should ignore the places which are aimed at tourists. Instead, go where the locals eat. This way you can try some delicious and cheap dishes. The prices of food are only slightly higher than in Poland, so it should not affect your budget. In Prague the so called short menu is very popular. Most often it is available on weekdays between 11 and 2 o'clock. It consists of a few dishes at very attractive prices. The approximate price of a dinner is 130 CZK (19,5 PLN). When it comes to Czech specialities, you should certainly try fried cheese, dumplings and pork knuckles.
It is virtually impossible to visit the Czech Republic and not try the local beer. In Poland it is considered as one of the best in the world. When wandering around the streets of Prague, you should easily find many places selling the local specialities. One tankard of beer costs approximately 35 CZK (5.20 PLN), although in many places the prices are higher than 60 CZK (9 PLN). A bottle of beer bought in a store costs between 12 and 25 CZK (1.80-3.80 PLN).
The distance between Warsaw and Berlin is slightly more than 500 km. Thanks to the A2 motorway and very good routes in Germany it is possible to cover this distance in 6 hours. Unfortunately, you will have to add the fees for specific sections of the Polish motorway (motorways in Germany are free) to the price of fuel. It is cheaper to go to Berlin by bus. The journey will take slightly more than 8 hours and a bus ticket costs 70 PLN. You could cover this distance in 5 hours by train, but in this case the price of a ticket is higher than 200 PLN. However, you can take advantage of PKP Intercity discounts – the company offers tickets for 29 euros (120 PLN) on selected routes.
Due to fierce competition, prices of accommodation in Berlin are not high at all. A room for two people in a decent hotel in the centre of the city, can be booked a few months in advance for approximately 100 euros (413 PLN). If you pick districts a little bit further away from the city centre, the price can decrease to 50-60 euros (206-248 PLN). If you decide on a hostel, the price will be approximately 30 euros (124 PLN). When booking rooms online in advance, it is possible to find generous discounts. There are people who are able to very often find a bed in a 10-person dorm, for only 9 euros (37 PLN). You can find many valuable opinions on the TripAdvisor website.
When planning to sightsee Berlin, you have to visit Reichstag. In order to enter the German parliament, you need to register at www.bundestag.de at least two days before your visit. If you don't, you can always head to the Office of Tourist Service, but you will receive permission to enter only if there are vacant places. The building can fit only 8 thousand visitors a day, and there are a lot more who are eager to enter. Entrance is free.
If you think that travelling around such a huge city is problematic, think again. Public transport in Berlin works very well. Currently, the German metro (U-Bahn) has 10 lines and over 170 stations. In rush hours the trains leave every 2-3 minutes and their punctuality is on a level of approximately 95%. One ticket will allow you to travel by tube, fast train (S-Bahn), bus and tram. One journey (maximum two hours) costs 2.60 euros (10.70 PLN). Most often tourists chose a whole day ticket, which costs 6.70 euros (27.70 PLN).
The Berlin TV Tower is a very characteristic part of the city's landscape. No wonder. It is 368 meters tall and is the highest building in Germany. Even though it costs 13 euros (54 PLN) to visit, the view from the top is worth every penny. Each year over a million tourists from all over the world visit the Tower.
Another place worth seeing is the Berlin Wall, a symbol of the Cold War and Germany's division. It went across the whole city and there are still a lot of it remains. Before its collapse, it was 156 kms long. It also consisted of trenches, barbed wire and landmines. In many districts of Berlin you can find monuments commemorating the events related to German history after World War II, which are symbolized by the Wall.
The strict city centre is full of street food. Prices are attractive and waiting time is short. There is a global opinion that the best kebab can be found in Germany. Even though it's typically a Turkish dish, there is a lot of competition when it comes to kebab booths. The most popular kebab in a bun costs approximately 3 euros (12.40 PLN). Another cult dish is the currywurst. It is a grilled sausage covered with curry and is often served with fries. The cost of this delicacy is approximately 2 euros (8.30 PLN). A two course dinner in a restaurant costs approximately 10 euros (41.30 PLN).
The distance between Vienna and Warsaw is approximately 550 km. Travelling by bus seems to be the cheapest option. The price of a return ticket should be around 200 PLN. The negative sides? The trip from Warsaw to Vienna takes 12 hours. Travelling by car is much faster. It should take a maximum of 8 hours, however the cost can be much higher due to road fees. Travelling by plane seems to be a very unattractive solution. One plane ticket can cost at least 500 PLN.
Even though it's difficult to count the tourist attractions in Vienna, art lovers should definitely spend some time visiting the Belvedere. In the 18th century it was the baroque palace of Prince Eugene of Savoy. After World War I the building was transformed into a museum. Its most popular collection includes paintings of Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoshka. A ticket granting access to every part of the building costs 13 euros (54 PLN).
Another must-see place is the Schoenbrunn Palace. Since 1996 it has been included on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list. It has over 1,4 thousand chambers, but tourists have access to only 45 of them. The Palace is visited by almost 8 million tourists per year. The cost of entrance is 11.50 euros (47.50 PLN), and the tickets can also be booked online via www.imperial-austria.at.
Near the Schoenbrunn Palace you can find the oldest zoo in the world – Tiergarten. The animals which live there are for example giant pandas, orangutans, African bush elephants, polar bears, cheetahs, koala bears and emperor penguins. The zoo is also a place which takes care of animal protection. The ticket costs 16.50 euros (68 PLN).
The most well-known Austrian dish is the Wiener Schnitzel. Austrians are also proud of their cheeses. Their production has a rich tradition. Different kinds of cheese are a very popular snack in Austria. The most popular are those manufactured at small farms. You can also find booths, on almost every corner, where sausages are sold for 2.50 euros (10.30 PLN). The average price of a two course dinner is approximately 12 euros (49.50 PLN).
The tradition of coffee drinking in Austria goes back to the 17th century. Today, Austrians drink the most coffee per citizen. This won't go unnoticed when walking around the streets of Vienna. The coffee culture is very significant in the capital city of Austria. Time, place and taste matter. A cup of coffee in Vienna costs between 2 (8.30 PLN) and 10 euros (41.30 PLN).
Our last destination abroad is Bratislava.The distance between Warsaw and the Slovakian capital city is approximately 530 km. Of course it would be most comfortable to travel there by car. However, it only pays off when dividing the costs of fuel and road fees between three or four people. Travelling by train seems unfavourable. In order to reach Bratislava you have to settle for train changes and the journey itself isn’t cheap. The best way to travel is by bus. A one way ticket costs 120 PLN and the journey takes approximately 11 hours.
Accommodation in Bratislava is certainly not the most expensive in Europe. A room for two people near the city centre will cost approximately 50 euros (206.50 PLN). If you were not scared by the famous horror film about a Slovakian hostel (“Hostel” directed by Eli Roth), you can pay at least 8 euros (33 PLN) for one bed.
One of the most characteristic buildings in Bratislava is the Blue Church of St. Elizabeth. It was built at the beginning of the 20th century, and its founder was the emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria. The blue colour is a theme of the outer, as well as the inner part of the church. It is also characteristic due to its unusual shape and elliptic tower. Visiting the church is free.
When visiting Bratislava, you must see the Bridge of the Slovakian National Uprising, also known as the New Bridge. This asymmetric line bridge is 431 meters long and has a characteristic support. At a height of 85 meters it’s crowned with a dome resembling a spaceship. The dome contains the UFO restaurant. Prices start from 30 euros (124 PLN), but despite that, the restaurant has a lot of customers.
Due to the fact that Bratislava and Vienna are only 60 km apart, a very popular way of spending time is a ship cruise along the Danube. It takes a maximum of two hours. A return ticket costs 35 euros (144.50 PLN).
Very popular dishes in Bratislava and Slovakia in general, are garlic soup, fried cheese, and dumplings with goats cheese. A local speciality that you can try in almost every restaurant, is baked duck, goose and turkey. The average price of one dinner is approximately 7 euros (29 PLN).
How to pay for all of this?
You will require euros in Berlin, Vienna and Bratislava. You can also pay in euros in many places in Prague, but there you will need most of all the Czech krona. It is worth exchanging the currency beforehand in Poland. A popular online currency exchange office Cinkciarz.pl offers more attractive rates than the traditional currency exchange offices, and also offers comfortable, pre-paid currency cards. They are secured with a PIN code and enable you to perform non-cash payments wherever Visa cards are accepted.