Traveling from Ukraine to Romania

… and first hitchhiking experience!

Public Transportation in Ukraine

 … or “Now That’s What I Call Cheap!”

Hitchhiking the Balkans 2014

Experience of a Lifetime!

The Invisible Exhibition

Experience life without sight. A must-see exhibition in Warsaw.

Visiting Sopot and Gdansk

My favorite thing about Sopot – the sea. Even if it’s the cold Baltic sea in March.  

Where to Stay in Warsaw, Poland

Just like most cities in the world, Warsaw offers a huge variety of accommodations. And as usually, it all comes down to the price you want to pay.
Photo of The Day – 2

Photo of The Day – 2

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No… it’s a an abandoned monument. In the 1960’s and 1970’s ex-Yugoslavian president Tito decided to build 25 monuments to commemorates the sites of WWII battles. Millions of people visited these monuments, not only to remember their heroes but to also reassure themselves that communism is good, powerful and… big. After the fall of the Yugoslavian Republic these huge monuments were completely abandoned and forgotten. While driving through the winding mountain roads of Bosnia and Herzegovina we stumbled upon one of these monuments in Tjentište, a village in the municipality of Foča. For a long time we couldn’t understand what this monument was and most importantly why it was in the middle of nowhere. But yeah, there it was. Cold. Abandoned. Communist. Feel free to visit the Balkans and find all 25 monuments –...
2014 Hitchhiking Tour Through the Balkans

2014 Hitchhiking Tour Through the Balkans

As I was planning the travels through the Balkans I got this “crazy” idea of hitchhiking all along. Most of my friends and family weren’t aware of my plans. I am sure that if I told people in advance, they would simply try to talk me out of it. “Oh it’s too dangerous”… It’s rather “Oh it’s too adventurous“. I always wanted to try hitchhiking and as I am not getting any younger, I thought this could be my last opportunity to hitchhike great distances. Before starting this journey I have met quite a few people who had a hitchhiking experience and they all loved it and recommended it. Well, it was my turn to try the good-old-hippy way of traveling. Why the Balkans? For some years I’ve been intrigued with the whole ex-Yugoslavia and the Balkan region. I like ćevapi, I wanted to try real rakia and I was curious about turbo-folk. The Balkans are not limited to these three items, however the region is known for it. There are many more obvious reasons to travel the Balkans now. First of all, many of these countries are still underrated and aren’t extremely touristy. The prices are low for the most part, people are friendly, history is rich. Schengen Area Issue It’s worth mentioning that one of my main reasons for visiting the Balkans: most Balkan countries are not in the Schengen zone yet! Most European Union countries are part of the Schengen zone. Countries in this zone abolished the borders and passport control between themselves and strengthened the border control with countries excluded from Schengen. All the countries...
Traveling from Warsaw to Lviv, Ukraine

Traveling from Warsaw to Lviv, Ukraine

In the beginning of June I had to travel from Warsaw, Poland to Lviv, Ukraine. The same question came up once again: What’s the cheapest way to get there? And as usual the choice consisted of flying, going by bus, train or car. First of all I checked out BlaBlaCar. A few rides were available, priced at around 60PLN ($20USD). However the dates didn’t work out for me and the single convenient ride was cancelled a few days before departure. Flying was out of question because the plane tickets were at $300USD. The train seemed like a good option. I like trains because they are comfortable and often overnight. Get on, fall asleep, wake up at your destination. I found someone’s blog stating the train ride from Warsaw to Lviv was about 120 zloty ($40) which seemed somewhat reasonable. Unfortunately the tickets were not available online since this was an international train (yep, that’s an issue). I headed down to the main train station in Warsaw, worked up my Polish skills since the cashiers at the ticket office didn’t speak English and tried to find that ticket. You can imagine my surprise when I was told the ticket costs around 250PLN ($80USD+). Only later I figured out the “120 zloty” price I found online was posted in 2009. Seems like the price doubled in 5 years. My last option was taking the Warsaw Lviv bus. I bought a ticket for $29USD through BusEurope. When I got to the bus station (Warszawa Zachodnia PKS) I didn’t find the bus right away since the bus I had to take was labeled...
Tips for Visiting Auschwitz Death Camp

Tips for Visiting Auschwitz Death Camp

Writing about Auschwitz-Birkenau is hard, visiting the death camp is even harder. While in Warsaw I have decided to spend a week-end in Krakow. A beautiful city in Southern Poland. I have been to Krakow in December 2010, when the city was cold and full of snow. The warm days of late spring promised a lot more. So off we went. After getting in touch with Michał on BlaBlaCar and arranging a ride to Krakow I had to figure out some activities for the week-end… besides going to bars. Most people who visit Krakow will do 2 things: Salt mines and the infamous death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau. To be honest I didn’t care so much about the salt mines, since I’ve heard it wasn’t all that impressive. Auschwitz, however, was a must-see. Getting to Auschwitz The city of Oświęcim (renamed to Auschwitz by Germans) is located 67km away from Krakow. Nazis built 3 concentration camps there: Auschwitz I, Auschwitz II – Birkenau and Auschwitz III–Monowitz. Most tourists will book a guided tour to Auschwitz directly in Krakow. Most tours cost 100-150zł ($35-50USD). This includes transportation from Krakow to Oświęcim and back. However, you can make that trip on your own, for a lot less. One way train tickets from Krakow to Auschwitz costs 9zł ($3) and bus ticket is 12zł ($4). This website will help you find the schedule for the trains and buses. I recommend taking a bus since it’s faster (1h15-1h20) and the local train takes over 2 hours to reach the city of Oświęcim. Some buses from Krakow will drop you off at the train station,...
The Cheapest Way to Travel Across Europe

The Cheapest Way to Travel Across Europe

You don’t need to be a millionaire to travel through Europe, however money helps. If you are on a budget, there are several things you can do in order to travel without breaking the bank. Flying in Europe Flying is actually one of the cheapest ways to get around Europe. Especially if you don’t have a particular place to go to and if you are traveling light. You can fly from Warsaw to Oslo for less than 15$, from Frankfurt to London for $30. $30 will also get you from Milan to Paris. However, flying with these “low-cost” carriers may be difficult at times. You are only allowed to bring a small carry-on because checked-in luggage will cost you more than the flight itself. You also must be careful when booking a ticket. Some of these companies try to impose a bunch of extras on you which significantly increases the price of the ticket. Some even require that you print your ticket in a specific way, otherwise they fine you. Be careful. Most known European low costs are Ryanair and WizzAir. Ridesharing in Europe Another cheap way of traveling around Europe is rideshare (aka car pooling). As I mentioned in a recent post (Traveling from Warsaw to Berlin) I used carpooling to get to Poland from Germany. I also went from Warsaw to Krakow and then back to Warsaw. I have also used this method in 2010, going from Berlin to Prague. There are many ridesharing websites but BlaBlaCar seems to be the most popular one at the moment. It’s often cheaper and faster than buses and trains. The...
Free Walking Tours in Warsaw

Free Walking Tours in Warsaw

The best way to see any city is by simply walking through it. Especially when you have a knowledgeable guide. This is exactly what I did in Warsaw: Free Walking Tours. I actually attended 3 of the 4 possible tours: Old Town Warsaw, Communist Warsaw, Alternative Warsaw. Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to do the Jewish Warsaw tour. The guides were great, friendly and they knew the history of their city in great detail. Our guide, Agnes, not only knew lots of cool stories and details about Warsaw and the world history in general, she also made us laugh quite often with her great jokes. – The Old Town Warsaw walking tour takes you through… well, the old town of the city. On this tour you will learn lots about the city, how it was destroyed and how it was rebuilt, mostly from looking at 18th century paintings of Warsaw. That’s the tour that will make you understand why the residents of Warszawa are so proud of their city. Everyday at 12 pm. and 6 pm. (summer schedule). – The Communist Tour concentrates on the USSR influence and another part of Polish and Warsaw history. A lot of historical facts will be told by the guide so you could understand why the communism was not the most favorite regime of the people. Of course you will be making a stop at the infamous Palace of Culture and Science and a few other “key” locations. Wed. Fri. Sun. at 10:30 am. (summer schedule). – The Alternative Warsaw tour is brand new. I think we were one of the first...