Life In London
Amali's blog: Where to travel in the holidays
I love to travel!
I'm very proud to have finally visited 20 countries and try to visit one new country every year, and because of my travelling and the places I've seen, I'd like to share some of my favourite destinations with you.
Here are 5 places that you can visit when you have a week or two off university that won’t break the bank. They will give you some brilliant experiences too whatever your interests:
Salzburg is a city that will steal your heart. The actual city centre is very small and can be walked across in 20 minutes. The whole city is surrounded by formidable mountains which adds to the natural beauty of the city. History lovers can explore Hohensalzburg Fortress while music lovers should absolutely visit Mozart’s birthplace, residence and the museum dedicated to him.
There are hiking trails in the mountains for the more outdoorsy and adventurous with many viewpoints from which you can take in the beauty of the city and the river. Many scenes from The Sound of Music were filmed in Salzburg such as the Do Re Me scene in the Mirabell Gardens. The Yoho hostel has a daily screening of The Sound of Music every night at 8pm to get your fix of Edelweiss.
A beautiful seaside town sheltered from the rest of the country by a mountain range, Split is the perfect stop for beaches and history. Split faces the Adriatic Sea which has the clearest blue water. While I found it far too cold to go swimming in October, that certainly didn’t seem to stop any of the locals. Split has many islands in the close proximity the biggest of which is Brac which is just a ferry ride away.
Split is also home to Diocletian’s Palace which is considered to be a living palace as it is still in use today. In the summer months, there is a demonstration of Roman guards in one of the squares. At present, the palace is filled with stores, stalls and accommodation which is a bit pricey. Another bonus is that the palace has free entry with the exception of certain locations!
Having lived in Seville for three months in my gap year, I am definitely biased when I say that it is my favourite European city. Game of Thrones fans will be pleased to hear that a few scenes were filmed in the Roman ruins on the outer rim of Seville in Italica which is definitely worth a visit.
To get the full Spanish experience, tapas and Sangria are a must and there is no better place than the Alameda de Hercules. This is also the place to be for bars and nightclubs. Seville has the Alcazar which is one of the residences of the Royal family and also has the world’s largest gothic cathedral. The River Guadalquivir runs through the city and there are grassy patches to sit at by the river, have a picnic and trail your legs in the water. Beware the height of summer in August – temperatures can rise as high as 45 degrees.
Bratislava is one of the most charming cities I have ever visited. Just a €14 train journey from Vienna; the old city is perfect to wander on your own and explore the side streets. Ice cream is €1 at certain places and there are a few markets where you can try traditional Slovakian food.
While most of Bratislava can be seen in a day, it is worth mentioning that they have a very good opera house which is on par with operas that can be seen in Prague. My recommendation is to do a free walking tour and learn about the history of the city which has several buildings and monuments from the communist era. You will also get to see the famous Blue Church where there is a five-year waiting list to get married.
Buda and Pest are divided by the Danube River meaning that the city Budapest is quite a large one and may require a few days to cover. For those looking to relax in luxury at a good price, Budapest has many thermal baths. There generally quite a few pools which are kept at different temperatures. Most of the baths are also very old and have lovely mosaics and decoration such as the Gellert Thermal Bath.
Budapest is also famous for its Ruin bars, many of which have now become permanent due to local appeal. Prepare to find yourself in a bar with communist graffiti, alien-like creatures and TVs from the 80s. Budapest also has the National Hungarian Museum for a rainy day or the history fan.
Happy (and safe) travels!
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