Places to visit in Europe

Rome section
Hungary section
Leipzig section
Prague section
Vienna section
Graz section
Bratislava section
Bucharest section
Athens section
Milan section
Palermo section
Malta section
Toulouse section
Portugal section
Africa section
General section

my Places in Spain page
my Barcelona page
my Moving To Spain page


TripAdvisor's "Rome, Italy"
Wikitravel's "Rome"
Med Cruise Guide's "121 Things To Do In Rome: The Ultimate Guide"
Elyssa Bernard's "How to See the Pope in Rome"

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 an apartment 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" (AKA "Regina Coeli" ?). 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.


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).

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:

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.

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



Fairly cool weather except June-August.

Czech Republic is EU member but uses its own currency, Czech koruna (CZK), about 26 CZK per Euro.

Wikitravel's "Prague"
Wikipedia's "Prague"
TripAdvisor's "Prague, Czech Republic"


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


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

Bratislava, Slovakia

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


Wikitravel's "Bucharest"
Wikipedia's "Bucharest"
TripAdvisor's "Things to Do in Bucharest"


Wikitravel's "Athens"
Wikipedia's "Athens"
TripAdvisor's "Athens, Greece"



Palermo football banner Wikitravel's "Palermo"
Wikivoyage's "Palermo"
Wikipedia's "Palermo"
TripAdvisor's "Palermo, Italy"
The Crazy Tourist's "15 Best Things to Do in Palermo (Italy)"


Mainly about the capital city, Valletta, on the main island (Malta Island): Wikitravel's "Malta"
Wikitravel's "Valletta" (capital)
Wikitravel's "Mdina"
Wikivoyage's "Malta"
Wikipedia's "Malta"
TripAdvisor's "Things to Do in Malta‎"
Visit Malta

So, Malta at Christmas was nice, we had fun. Highlights were the cathedral, MUZA, an "adoration" event in St Publius church, and trip to Mdina. But too many churches were closed, and it was a bit cold and windy. Not one of our better vacations.


Wikitravel's "Toulouse"
Wikipedia's "Toulouse"
TripAdvisor's "Toulouse, France"
Toulouse Tourism
Lisa Alexander's "11 Top Tourist Attractions in Toulouse & Easy Day Trips"


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


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

Talked to someone who had been to Morocco in 2018, and he said it was bad, vendors grabbing you to keep you from walking away, flies all over the food.


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"

I didn't like Lima. The traffic is ferocious. The interesting bits are in separate places, so you have to travel a lot from one to the other. The weather (October) was grey, dusty, polluted. The beaches seemed poor (except for one in the NW, maybe called Magdalena) and I'm told the sea is polluted.

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