Destination

Traveling this summer: Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria

Gilles smiling with a backpack and a scarf
Gilles

As we have already told you in our previous articles, it will probably be possible for us to travel to Europe this summer. A good opportunity to discover or rediscover some European countries that have nothing to envy to the rest of the world!

Of course, if you come to travel this summer, don't forget to get the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) which will cover part of your health costs if something happens to you! Supplement your coverage with YUPWEGO and you will be ready to travel with peace of mind, especially during this period.

In the previous article, we told you about Greece, Cyprus and Iceland. Today, see you in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria!

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic is a country of castles, historic cities that seem to come straight out of a cartoon! It has 12 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, even though the country is not that big (80,000 km2). Let's go and discover it!

A tramway in the historic city centre

1) Prague

The capital is the tourist epicentre of the country. The first point of interest for tourists, its history and heritage have much to offer. You are advised to visit the Astronomical Clock, which is a true historical monument dating back to medieval times. You will only have eyes for it when it comes alive (sorry for your partner).

You can also visit Prague Castle, which is located on a hill overlooking the city of Prague. Its chapel is beautiful with its colorful stained glass windows, created by the most famous painters of the time. You will understand all the history of this country through its gardens and fortifications! Moreover you will have a magnificent view of the city and the Vltava river.

We advise you to go to the Žluté lázně, a place with grassy beaches. Here you can play volleyball, try water skiing or paddleboarding. You can also rent a boat or a pedal boat for a ride on the Vltava River. This sports and leisure complex is very popular in Prague, and will allow you to relax by the water! 

To protect yourself from the heat, don't hesitate to take a walk in the gardens, which are very popular in the city. Right in the centre of the city is the Františkánská zahrada garden, a real oasis of greenery . You also have the gardens around Prague Castle, which will keep you in the shade!

If you want to add a real cultural touch to your stay, you can go to a ballet at the National Theatre, visit the National Gallery with its beautiful Gothic paintings. 

Prague is a great place to spend the summer. With its beaches, shady gardens and stone streets, you will have enough to keep you warm!

Aerial view of Prague

2) Český Krumlov

It is located in South Bohemia, and its historic centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It lies on the meanders of the Vltava River, which meanders through the city centre, past its castle. Castle Sternberg is a must see. It dates from the 13th century. You will be able to climb its tower and have a magnificent view of the city. You can also visit the castle, but it is so large that it could take you several hours!

You will be able to discover the pictures of the Seidel workshop, famous photographers of the beginning of the 20th century who took a lot of pictures of the city, focusing on the life of the inhabitants. A good way to understand the living conditions of these people at the time. 

You will be lucky enough to be able to go to the open-air theatre, called the revolving theatre, because it has the particularity of rotating (it is literally in motion) around the stage during the performance! Situated in the gardens of the castle, you will live an unforgettable moment!

There is a lot to do at Český Krumlov. You can go to a festival in the city centre, enjoy a beer at the Eggenberg brewery, get some culture at the regional museum. You will be surprised by all that the city has to offer!

View of a Czech village

3) Krkonoše National Park

For nature lovers, this is where the highest mountains in the Czech Republic are located. Renowned for its unique landscapes and preserved ecosystems, from the alpine plain to the tundra, it has been listed as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO since 1992.

You are advised to leave from the town of Pec pod Sněžkou. You can reach the highest point by cable car or by trail if you have the courage! Once you reach the top, you will be rewarded with a breathtaking view of the Czech Republic and Poland!

Animals grazing in a park

4) Karlovy Vary

This jewel of Western Bohemia is the second most visited city in the country, known for its magnificent spas and the surrounding countryside. You will be captivated by the architecture of its buildings and monuments. 

The city was frequented by the European elite before the First World War. Strolling through its streets, you will be able to appreciate all the history and culture that emanates from it. 

The city hosts events such as the Food Festival and the Czech Film Festival. 

Above all, try the famous spas in Karlovy Vary, with their unique architecture that will immerse you in history.

River crossing the city

As you will have understood, the Czech Republic is a country rich in history and culture, not just Prague. There are so many castles to visit, so many parks, that we cannot name them all. It is a country rather unknown to tourists, that's why we encourage you to discover it!

Hungary

Hungary is not very far from Paris (1500 km) and yet it promises you a total change of scenery! Tourism, nature, history and relaxation are on the program! Let's go !

1) Budapest

Not to be missed, the Hungarian capital offers a multitude of things to see and do!

The Hungarian Parliament is a huge building built on the banks of the Danube. At night it is illuminated and is truly majestic! You can even visit it to appreciate its interior decoration.

The castle hill is a district with many things to visit. First of all you can visit the Royal Palace, or the Fishermen's Bastion which will give you a wonderful view of the Danube! This paved area is very pleasant to visit on foot, you will be immersed in the time of the knights! 

You can walk along the Danube to see the "Danube Shoes", a memorial in honour of the Jews who were shot in the river during the Second World War. They were asked to take off their shoes before being shot... A place full of emotions.

Budapest is a spa town. If you need to relax, you'll have a multitude of choices. It never hurts!

Photo of the Hungarian Parliament in Budapest, standing on the river bank

2) Hortobágy National Park

If you love nature you'll be in the right place! Situated two hours from the capital, in an agricultural region with fields as far as the eye can see, this park classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site will surprise you with the diversity of its animals. You will be able to see Prezwalski's horses, a thousand-year-old species with a very special appearance!

3) Visegrad Fortress

Located only 30km from Budapest, it was built on top of a hill to overlook the Danube and see the enemies coming! Enough to have a magnificent view of the river. Moreover, it has always resisted the Turkish invasions! 

This fortress is also called Cloud Castle, because it is located 350m above the river. You will be able to see the jewels of the Hungarian crown there, walk along the ramparts as if you were doing your guard tour! 

There are exhibitions inside, dedicated to the history of Hungary in the time of royalty.

A nice place to see if you like history!

Photo of a castle on top of a hill

4) The wine route

Yes, Hungary is a wine country! If you like good wine, you will enjoy it! There are vineyards all over the country, but the best known region for it is Tokaj. This is where the famous Tokaj wine, or the wine of kings, comes from. Its sweet taste, golden color and nectareous flavors made Louis XIV call it "wine of kings, king of wines". Of course drink it in moderation, especially if you came by car!

View of vineyards in Hungary

This concludes our tour of Hungary, but there is still so much to see and do. The city of Szeged is culturally rich, the village of Holloko will take you back in time, it has kept its authenticity! A beautiful country to visit!

Austria

Austria is a sublime country, with its dazzling architecture, places of culture, breathtaking mountain scenery, lakes and picturesque villages. All the conditions are there for an excellent trip!

1) Vienna

Impossible to go to Austria without visiting its sublime imperial capital, one of the hearts of European history! 

It was the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and is therefore home to architectural gems. I am thinking in particular of the Belvedere Palace, the Imperial Palace of the Hofburg, whose architecture will make you say "wahou" so impressive and elegant!

The Kunsthistorisches Museum, Museum of Art History, is considered one of the world's leading museums of ancient art. It houses major works by Raphael, Vermeer and Rembrandt. Enough to be cultivated!

There are so many things to do and visit in Vienna that you can't name them all! I am thinking in particular of the Spanish Riding School and its very special architecture, the Saint-Etienne Cathedral with its Gothic architecture or the Hundertwasserhaus district inspired by the works of Antonio Gaudi. A city rich in heritage and culture!

Image of a white stone building

2) Hallstatt

The village is a jewel on the shores of the Hallstättersee lake, from which it takes its name. The town offers a romantic aspect of Austria (gentlemen you should take your partner there) with its typical buildings and natural charm. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997, its pastel-coloured houses and wonderful landscapes make it a postcard setting! 

We advise you to take a walk in the village, to admire the old houses, the narrow alleys, to take some height to admire the view. 

You can also go to the Hallstatt Skywalk, to enjoy the most beautiful view of the village! You'll see you won't be disappointed! In the same vein are the 5 Fingers, which is a panoramic platform in the shape of a hand. Here too you will have a breathtaking view of the mountains and the lake. One of the platforms even has a transparent floor, if you want to scare yourself...

You can also visit the salt mines, which are the oldest in the world! You can learn about their history through films, watch a sound and light show on an underground lake.

Picture of a village by a lake

3) Melk Abbey

Situated only one hour from Vienna, on a rocky spur above the Danube, this cultural and historical site is not to be missed. It is one of the most beautiful examples of the Austrian Baroque style! 

Inside you can admire its magnificent architecture, with its churches, imperial apartments and especially its impressive library! We advise you to take your time once inside, to see all the details made by the artists who used the best possible materials to make this place what it is.

Although it is a tourist place, the Abbey always welcomes practising monks. You will be able to attend the daily prayers to soak up the atmosphere.

Photo of a golden-coloured abbey, with a religious statue in the foreground

4) Salzburg 

This is the town where Mozart was born, that's all... It is a typical Austrian town, nestled between the mountains and protected by the Hohensalzburg fortress, which dominates the city. The view from there is magnificent, and you can visit it since rooms such as the torture room, the dungeon or the golden salon are accessible to visitors.

You can visit Mozart's birth house, where you will discover the childhood of the famous composer. Upstairs there is an exhibition about his creations.

You can take a stroll through the gardens of Mirabell Castle, which is laid out in Baroque style with numerous marble statues and fountains. Of course you can also visit the castle, with its magnificent architecture. 

If you still have the soul of a child, go to the puppet theatre to spend a pleasant moment in a world famous place.

View of a fortress above Salzburg

Here ends our visit to these three countries. We're telling you again, but if you're thinking of travelling to Europe this summer, make sure you have your EHIC, and don't hesitate to supplement your cover with YUPWEGO insurance, especially in this period, you can never be too careful...

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