Prague Czech Republic

10 capitals round trip

This is the ultimate round trip for those who wish to spend their holiday on seeing as many countries and cultures as possible without spending a fortune. The trip includes 10 capitals in southeastern Europe. As all the cities have well connected international airports nearby you can start the trip in any of the cities, hence you can let the cheapest flight decide where you start your budget round trip ūüôā

Here is a summary of the 9-day schedule:

Doing the trip in 9 days is at the limit of what is possible when travelling on budget, if you have more time at your disposal, like e.g. 14 days, you would of course, be able to see much more of the respective cities and countries, for each day on the tour we have added a suggestion for additional sights and cities to see, in case you do a prolonged version of the round trip.

At the end of the post, we have made a budget, roughly showing the cost of the trip.

Day 1:  Prague

First stop on the round trip is Prague, from the V√°clav Havel airport is takes you about 30 min to 1 hour to get to any part of the city. As Prague really has a lot to offer you should plan an overnight here, for the purpose of the continuous travel it would be wise to pick some accommodation in some area from where you can easily reach the main train station or the Florence bus station either on foot or by metro. Here are the top five things to see in Prague:

  1. Prague castle (Hradńćany) and the St. Vitus Cathedral, absolutely the most amazing sight in town!
  2. Charles Bridge, world famous bridge over the Vltava river.
  3. VyŇ°ehrad (Upper castle)
  4. Wenceslas Square
  5. Old town square

In general, spend as much time as possible walking around (or use the tram) in the old town area, there are so many beautiful squares, museums and buildings to see on both side of the river Vltava.

NOTE: The Prague astronomical clock at the old town square is something you should for sure see, but in many guides ‚ÄúThe hourly Walk of the Apostles‚ÄĚ is recommended as a must see, however, believe me I‚Äôve been there and done that, it’s nothing you need to spend valuable time waiting for.

Prolonged trip Czech Republic:  Visit the cities Karlovy Vary, Olomouc and Plzen and also the 4 Czech National parks, Krkonose, Podyji, Sumava and Ceske Svycarsko are something to consider.

Getting around in Prague: Metro, tram and city buses, 30 min ticket ~ 1 Euro, 24 hour ticket ~ 4 Euro. You also have sightseeing buses (Hop on – Hop off) and old timers which are fairly expensive.

Accommodation: In May hostel a bed is available from about 10 Euro, in July / August from about 20 Euro.

Price level in Czech Republic: Big Mac Index 2.91 (US 5.06)

Currency: ńĆeŇ°ka kruna – CZK (Use ATM or exchange at the official tourist office in the center of town)

From Prague you should continue your trip to Bratislava. As you will not be staying overnight in Bratislava you should plan to leave Prague fairly early.  You have the following travel options available.

  • Bus from the Florenc bus station to Bratislava which costs around 15 Euro (Travel time about 4 hours 30 minutes)
  • Train from main train station to Bratislava train station, price from 25 Euro (Travel time about 4 hours)

Bratislava Slovakia

Day 2: Bratislava & Budapest

Regardless whether you arrive by train or by bus to Bratislava first thing to do upon arrival is to store your luggage, both the Mlynské Nivy Bus terminal and the main train station have luggage storage office, once you fixed that part you are ready to explore Bratislava. From both bus and train station you have city buses towards center of town. In Bratislava the top five things to see are the following:

  • Devin Castle, great view on the city
  • Bratislava Castle
  • Old Town square with the old town Hall
  • St. Michael’s Street and St. Michael’s Gate
  • Primatial Palace in Bratislava

In addition to these sights you have several interesting museums and old churches, and just walking around in the small streets of the old part is something to recommend.

Prolonged trip Slovakia: Visit the cities Banska Stiavnica, Bardejov ¬†(both on UNESCO heritage list), KoŇ°ice, Levoca, make sure to see the Spis Castle and the Dobsinska Ice Cave (Both on UNESCO Heritage List). If you like visiting great nature spots, Slovakia has an impressive 9 national parks, the most popular being Tatra National Park and the Paradise National Park.

Getting around in Bratislava: tram and city buses, 30 min ticket 0.90 EUR, 24 hour ticket 3.5 Euro.

Accommodation: In May hostel a bed is available from about 10 Euro, in July / August from about 15 Euro.

Price level in Slovakia:  IMF World Economic Outlook Database $0.54 ($1.00 US)

Currency: Euro – EUR

Once you are finished seeing the center of Bratislava, it time to move to the next destination on the round trip which is Budapest, between the two capitals you have the following travel options:

  • Bus from Bratislava to Budapest which cost about 10-15 Euro (Travel time about 2.5 to 3 hours)
  • Train from Bratislava Main Railway Station to Budapest Keleti pu. railway station, price from 25 Euro (Travel time around 3 hours)

NOTE: As it is a bit of hassle moving between the bus station and the train station in Bratislava, I would recommend that you take transport towards Budapest, from where you stored your luggage, also pay attention to closing time of the luggage storage. (should be 9pm, but double checking will not harm). Make sure to pre-book accommodation in Budapest where you will arrive late.

Budapest Hungary

Day 3: Budapest

After a good night sleep it is time to explore Budapest, but before you head to the center of town, you should bring your luggage to either the Keleti Train Station or the Népliget Bus terminal, depending on weather you will continue from Budapest to Belgrade by train or bus in the evening. Both the bus and the railway station can easily be reached by Metro.

NOTE: Alternatively you can also leave your luggage at the Budapest Luggage Storage, Régi posta utca 7-9.

If you plan well, you should have about 10-12 hours to see Budapest, which is not enough if you wish to see all sights, museums and historical buildings, but you should for sure be able to see all the top sights, my favorite sights are the following five:

  • Castle Hill / Buda Castle (UNESCO heritage site)
  • Parliament Buildings and Crown Jewels
  • Heroes’ Square and the Millennium Monument
  • St. Stephen’s Basilica
  • Fisherman’s Bastion

Prolonged trip Hungary: Visit the cities Village of Holl√≥kŇĎ and P√©cs and Pannonhalma Abbey in Gyor, caves Aggtelek and Domica as well as the national parks Hortob√°gy, Aggtelek National Park and the Lake Neusiedl, all sights and cities included in the UNESCO Heritage list.

Getting around in Budapest: Metro, tram, trolleys, city buses and boats, single ticket from about 1 Euro, 24 hour ticket 5.5 Euro. You also have sightseeing buses (Hop on – Hop off) as an alternative!

Accommodation: In May hostel a bed is available from about 5 Euro, in July / August from about 10 Euro.

Price level in Hungary:  Big Mac Index 3.05 (US 5.06)

Currency: Hungarian Forint – HUF

As mentioned above, the next step on your round trip is Belgrade which conveniently can be reached by overnight bus or overnight train.

  • Overnight bus from Budapest main bus terminal to Belgrade costs about 25 Euro and has a travel time of about 6 hours.
  • Overnight train from Budapest Keleti to the main railway station in Belgrade, price from about 15 Euro, travel time around 7 hours.

Belgrade Serbia

Day 4:  Belgrade

Once you arrive in Belgrade, you should leave your luggage at the storage facilities at the BAS bus station or the railway station (Located next to each other), luggage storage should be open from 6am, once that is done, grab some breakfast, e.g at the Mcdonalds at the Slavija Square which is 1 km walk from the train station or a few stops by tram.

As you will spend the whole day in Belgrade, you have plenty of time to explore the city, here are the things you should not miss out on:

  • Belgrade fortress
  • Fortress Kalemegdan
  • Skadarlija (the heart of the old town)
  • St. Michael’s Cathedral
  • St. Sava Temple (Hram Svetog Save)

Prolonged trip Serbia: Visit the cities, Novi Sad, Nis and one or more of the 8 Serbian UNESCO heritage sites, Studenci Monastery, Sopocani, Stari Ras, Visoki Decani, Patriarchate of Pec, Our Lady of Ljevis, Gracanica Monastery and Stecak. Also the five National parks, Tara, Derdap, Kopaonik, Fruska Gora and Sar Mountain are something to consider when staying longer in Serbia.

Getting around in Belgrade: Tram, trolleys, city buses, single ticket from about 0.40 ‚ā¨ (40 RSD), 24 hour ticket 2.5 ‚ā¨ (280 RSH).

Accommodation: In May hostel a bed is available from about 5 Euro, in July / August from about 10 Euro.

Price level in Serbia:  No index prices, but it is quite cheap compared to US or western Europe.

Currency: Serbian Dinar – RSD

In the evening (after 8pm) you should leave Belgrade and travel towards Skopje in Macedonia, the travel options are:

  • Overnight bus from Belgrade from main bus terminal is available from about 20 Euro, travel time with bus is about 7-8 hours.
  • Overnight train from Belgrade‚Äôs main railway station you can take the Balkan Express train to Skopje railway station, price from about 20 Euro, travel time around 9 hours.

Skopje Macedonia

Day 5:  Skopje & Podgorica

Around 6am – 8am in the morning you should arrive to Skopje, as the railway and bus station are located next to each other you will in either case leave your at the bus / train station and in the neighborhood you also have plenty of options to get some breakfast. If you feel like needing a shower probably best option is to rent a hostel bed, although you will not be sleeping in Skopje.

Skopje, despite being less known, as a tourist destination actually has quite a few interesting sights and city parts which are worthwhile seeing, here are some of the most popular:

  • Old Bazaar
  • Macedonia Square, Plostad Makedonija
  • Mother Teresa Memorial House
  • Stone Bridge (Mehmed II)
  • Holocaust Memorial Center
  • Fortress Kale

In addition to these sights, there are numerous museums and historical buildings which you could add to the list.

Prolonged trip Macedonia: Visit the Lake Ohrid and the region around it which is a UNESCO Natural and Cultural Heritage site, also the 3 Macedonian National parks Pelister, Mavrovo and Galicica are something to consider.

Getting around in Skopje: city buses, single ticket from about 0.50 ‚ā¨ (30. MKD), interesting is that lots of the busses are london double decker style, so if you catch a seat on the upper level, you have a ‚Äúsightseeing‚ÄĚ included in the bus fair.

Accommodation: In May hostel a bed is available from about 5 Euro, in July / August from about 7 Euro.

Price level in Macedonia:  Global property guide, cost of living index 0.35 $ (US 1.00$)

Currency: Macedonian Denar – MKD

From Skopje you will be travelling by bus to Podgorica in Montenegro, for this trip you basically have two options, either you can leave in the afternoon and sleep in Podgorica, or you can take an overnight bus between the cities. Train is not an option when travelling between these cities.

Podgorica Montenegro

Day 6:  Podgorica & Sarajevo

Due to its fairly small size Podgorica is not a honeypot when it comes to sight, so you might not want to spend too much time here, what you should see are the Millennium Bridge, Saborni Hram Hristovog Vaskrsenja and the Clock Tower, as this would not take that long, you can consider to take a bus to Budva which is 1 hour 30 min from Podgorica, here you will find a beautiful old town and a fortress which is worthwhile seeing, in the early evening hours you will have to head back to Podgorica to catch the overnight bus towards Sarajevo, alternative to that plan is to leave Podgorica early afternoon and then sleep in Sarajevo.

Prolonged trip Montenegro: Visit the cities Budva, Kotor (UNESCO), Ulcinj, Herceg Novi, Bar and Tivat, also the Steńáci Medieval Tombstone Graveyards which was recently accepted as at UNESCO Heritage site is something to consider, for those who prefer wonderful nature, there are 5 national parks, Biogradska Gora, Lovcen, Lake Skadar, Prokletije and National park Durmitor which is a UNESCO Heritage site.

Getting around in Podgorica: city buses, single ticket from about 0.40 ‚ā¨.

Accommodation: In May hostel a bed is available from about 8 Euro, in July / August from about 12 Euro.

Price level in Macedonia:  Global property guide, cost of living index 0.40 $ (US 1.00$)

Currency: Euro ‚ā¨

Sarajevo Bosnia

Day 7:  Sarajevo & Zagreb

The first morning task in Sarajevo is to leave your luggage at the bus or train station which are located next to each other. If you arrive to Sarajevo in the morning, you will also find several options for breakfast around the stations. Once you have finished your breakfast it is time to explore Sarajevo, the city has quite a few things to offer, but as your time in Sarajevo is limited you should make sure not to miss the following:

  • Sarajevo War Tunnel
  • Gallery 11/07/95
  • Bascarsija (charming old part of Sarajevo)
  • Jewish Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Museum of crimes against humanity and genocide 1992-1995

Prolonged trip Bosnia and Herzegovina: Visit the cities Mostar, Trebinje, Konjic and Jajce, the country has 3 UNESCO inscribed monuments, Mehmet Pasa bridge in Visegrad, Old bridge area in Mostar and the Stecak Mediaeval Tombstones. The countries 5 national parks, Una, Sutjeska, Kozara, Hutovo Blato and Blidinje also are great places to see.

Getting around in Sarajevo: city buses and trams, single ticket from about 0.80 ‚ā¨.

Accommodation: In May hostel a bed is available from about 8 Euro, in July / August from about 12 Euro.

Price level in Bosnia and Herzegovina:  Global property guide, cost of living index 0.39 $ (US 1.00$)

Currency: Bosnian Marks – BAM

Early afternoon you should catch the bus from Sarajevo to Zagreb (Price around 25 ‚ā¨), which is a 8-hour bus travel, which means you should arrange for late arrival in Zagreb and find accommodation close to the bus station, as you will need to leave your luggage there in the morning.

NOTE: on this route there are currently no trains, so bus is the only option.

Zagreb - Croatian National Theate

Day 8:  Zagreb & Ljubljana

In the morning, once you have dropped off your luggage at the bus station, you should take a tram to the center of town, where you will find the main sight of the city, you will have about 6 hours for sightseeing, which should be enough time to see the most interesting stuff, what you should not miss is the following:

  • Zagreb Cathedral
  • Tkalciceva Street (great place to stop for lunch)
  • Upper Town (Gornji Grad)
  • Main Square (Jelacic Square)
  • Dolac Market

Prolonged trip Croatia: Visit the cities Dubrovnik, Split, Trogir, Sibenik which all have UNESCO Heritage sites, also consider the towns Zadar as well as Pula, Rovinj and Porec in Istria. A must see is the national park Krka and national Park Plitvice lakes (UNESCO) but also the 6 other national parks, Risnjak, Mljet, Brioni, Velebit, Paklenica and Kornati are fantastic places to visit.

Getting around in Zagreb: city buses and trams, single ticket from about 0.80 ‚ā¨.

Accommodation: In May hostel a bed is available from about 10 Euro, in July / August from about 15 Euro.

Price level in Croatia:  Global property guide, cost of living 0.54 $ (US 1.00$)

Currency: Croatian Kuna – HRK

Mid afternoon you should head to the bus station and catch a bus towards Ljubljana (Price around 10 ‚ā¨) which is only a two – two and a half hour drive, in Ljubljana you have the rest of the day at your disposal, here you can see what to see on a short visit to Ljubljana. The night you will be spending in Ljubljana.

Prolonged trip Slovenia:Visit the cities Piran, Maribor, Koper and Portoroz. Slovenia has 3 UNESCO Heritage sites, ҆kocjan Caves, Prehistoric pile dwelling around the Alps, Heritage of Mercury Almaden and Idrija. In terms of nature sights, the top places to see are the Julian Alps with National park Triglav, Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj and of course the world famous Postojna caves.

Getting around in Ljubljana: city buses, single ticket from about 1.20 ‚ā¨.

Accommodation: In May hostel a bed is available from about 12 Euro, in July / August from about 20 Euro.

Price level in Slovenia:  Global property guide,cost of living 0.67 $ (US 1.00$)

Currency: Euro ‚ā¨

Ljubljana Slovenia

Dragon’s bridge

Day 9:  Vienna

In the morning you will leave Ljubljana and travel to the last capital of the tour which is Vienna, travel options from Ljubljana to Vienna are:

As Vienna is the last capital on the round trip, you basically have the rest of the 9th day to explore the city, if you have booked a return plane ticket from Prague you still have a bus ride or a train trip of 4-5 hours which you should add to your itinerary. If you have to get to Prague on the 9th day, you will have a very limited time in Vienna, which means you should focus on taking a trip with the hop on hop off sightseeing buses. If you plan to spend more time in Vienna, you should have plenty of stuff to see, like:

  • Belvedere Palace (Museum)
  • Old town center
  • City Hall square
  • Mozarthaus Vienna
  • Gloriette

One can for sure, easily spend 2-3 days on seeing all the sights in Vienna.

Prolonged trip Austria: Visit the cities Salzburg (UNESCO), Innsbruck, Graz (UNESCO), Linz, also the following UNESCO sites, Wachau Cultural Landscape, Hallstatt-Dachstein / Salzkammergut Cultural Landscape, Palace and Gardens of Schönbrunn are something to consider, if you prefer to visit great nature location you could visit some of the 8 national parks.

Getting around in Vienna: city buses, metro and trams, single ticket from about 2.20 ‚ā¨.

Accommodation: In May hostel a bed is available from about 10-15 Euro, in July / August from about 15-30 Euro.

Price level in Austria:  Global property guide,cost of living 0.92 $ (US 1.00$)

Currency: Euro ‚ā¨

Belvedere palace ,Vienna Austria ,with beautiful floral garden

Budget for the 9 day round trip

The budget for a trip like this obviously depends on one’s personal preferences in terms of accommodation and dining, the costs we have list below is the budget version

Cost of accommodation:

  • If you do the 9 day version of the round day trip, budget accommodation will cost you somewhere between of 50-100 ‚ā¨, depending on when you travel. The accommodation cost is based on Hostel prices, if you are more people travelling together, you can probably find apartments for round about the same price.

Cost of Transportation:

  • The transportation between the cities will cost from around 180-200 ‚ā¨ (TIP: If you do not not travelling in the main season, you might be able to get some really cheap tickets for some of the routes, especially if you book ahead.)

Cost of Living:

  • In a budget version you should be able to cover cost for food, drinks and public transportation for about 25 ‚ā¨ a day in average, which means 225 ‚ā¨ for all 9 days.

So total budget (Excluding flight) ¬†you will need to do the day round trips to 10 capitals in Europe is around 500 ‚ā¨.

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