Planning a Euro Trip? Here's how I did my Budget Trip under 1,500 Euro *Links and Reccos included

Tripoto
22nd Dec 2018
Photo of Planning a Euro Trip? Here's how I did my Budget Trip under 1,500 Euro *Links and Reccos included by Akshita Kalia
Photo of Planning a Euro Trip? Here's how I did my Budget Trip under 1,500 Euro *Links and Reccos included 1/1 by Akshita Kalia

We've all seen European Christmas in movies and the stunning New Year fireworks at Champs Elysees and like any other traveler, this was on my list and little did I know I'd been checking this one off so soon.

Hubby and I were browsing through flights for Sri Lanka for our Christmas break. Quite surprisingly, return tickets for DEL-CMB which are usually around Rs. 20k were costing us about Rs. 28k - that definitely didn't seem worth it. As luck would have it, an ad pop-up said 'DEL-AMS Rs. 35k' so we we clicked on that harmless ad and that's how our European Sojourn happened!

So here's a recap of our 10 days in the Winter Wonderland,

*Reccos/links/tips given below*

Umm, so we spread some love wherever we went ;)

Photo of Frankfurt am Main, Germany by Akshita Kalia

At the Iron Bridge where people 'lock' away their love

Photo of Frankfurt am Main, Germany by Akshita Kalia

The much awaited Christmas market

Photo of Berlin, Germany by Akshita Kalia

Brandenburg Gate

Photo of Berlin, Germany by Akshita Kalia

The Holocaust memorial

Photo of Berlin, Germany by Akshita Kalia

Somewhere near the Berlin wall..

Photo of Berlin, Germany by Akshita Kalia
Photo of Amsterdam, Netherlands by Akshita Kalia

Couldn't decide which one so picked ALL of them. We all do that, don't we?!

Photo of Amsterdam, Netherlands by Akshita Kalia

The quintessential Canal picture

Photo of Amsterdam, Netherlands by Akshita Kalia

Well, we ate cheese, A lot of it!

Photo of Zaanse Schans, Zaandam, Netherlands by Akshita Kalia
Photo of Zaanse Schans, Zaandam, Netherlands by Akshita Kalia

Do you spot that house at the back? My dream retirement home *sigh*

Photo of Zaanse Schans, Zaandam, Netherlands by Akshita Kalia

Happiest when I'm travelling..

Photo of Zaanse Schans, Zaandam, Netherlands by Akshita Kalia

Such pretty corners you'll find all across this quaint town

Photo of Brugge, Belgium by Akshita Kalia
Photo of Paris, France by Akshita Kalia

Such colourful streets make for pretty backgrounds

Photo of Paris, France by Akshita Kalia
Photo of Paris, France by Akshita Kalia

And, sparkle and sparkle..

Photo of Paris, France by Akshita Kalia

Planning my next vacay.. ;)

Photo of Paris, France by Akshita Kalia
Day 1

We were four of us traveling - hubby and I from Del and two from Bangalore. We needed to land at the same city so after multiple permutation and combinations, landing in Frankfurt and departing from Paris seemed most viable financially. We kept only 1 night in Frankfurt since there's not much to do here. *Must, must try the Frankfurter with some Gluwein*

Tried the local food and roamed about the city to see some sights - that pretty much summed up Day 1 and out stay at Frankfurt.

Day 2

*Frankfurt to Berlin - Train (Rs. 1,600 pp - Flixtrain)*

We were super pumped to visit a Christmas market and more so, because this one was one of the oldest Christmas market in Berlin. Hogged on Currywurst and sipped Gluweihn/Hot Chocolate while walking through our First Christmas market. You can easily spend half a day here.

In Germany, people spend their Christmas Eve at home with their families and most of the attractions & restaurants shut by lunch. Fortunately, one Christmas market was open till 6pm after which we headed to see the Brandenburg Gate since its Outdoor and was open too.

Day 3

Since this was the one full day we had in Berlin, we decided to be all touristy and cover the main spots. We choose a Free Walking tour for this (linked here).

We covered all the main spots in this 3 hour tour and we then went back to the sights we liked to spend more time there. Alternatively, you could choose to use Google maps to do a walk around or cycle around tour yourself. Also, there's this really fun group beer-drinking while cycling tour which seemed so much fun, unfortunately, we couldn't try that.. you can choose from many free, tip-only, and paid tours, according to your taste and budget.

Day 4

*Berlin to Amsterdam - Flight (Rs. 6,000 pp - Easyjet)*

So we reached Amsterdam around lunch. Our first three days were quite packed with sight-seeing so we decided to take the remaining day off and just leisurely walk around the dam square in A'dam, and also, SHOP! Did I tell you? Primark is the Best. Place. EVER!! I picked up tshirts for Rs. 80 and shirts for about Rs. 240. Everything - cosmetics, apparel, footwear, was a steal here and good quality too. Its a pilgrimage spot for all girls who enjoy shopping (like there are girls who don't? Lol).

Day 5

Anywayyy.. so Day 5, up and out early and fresh, after a light day 4 - we headed to the Heineken Factory for a tour *two freshly brewed beers included*

After the tour, we headed to Dam Square again to explore the Red Light district and other areas along the canal. There are some companies that run dedicated tours for this area too.

You'll find sweet treats at every nook and corner in Amsterdam - macaroons and delish pastries, ice creams and the indigenous Stroopwaffle - there's so much for someone with a sweet tooth, and for savory too, so ensure you leave some time each day where you can indulge in the local food.

Day 6

Day 6 was reserved for a full day tour to the windmill village aka Zaanse Schans. Situated on the banks of Rive Zaan, this small village is absolutely scenic and mesmerising!! Wooden houses, dutch craft shops, a cheese factory and plenty of windmills -there's so much to see in/around this area.

I'd recommend a full day visit and maybe even a night's spend in one of the BnBs for those who enjoy serenity. There are some dutch bakeries where you can gorge on some waffles, pancakes, quiches and hot chocolate.

Day 7

We decided to break the journey from Amsterdam to Paris with a one night stop at Brugge. You could visit Brussels instead. We picked Brugge out of the two because we'd heard just so much about this tiny place where time just stands still, and boy were we glad!

There isn't much to do here though - one market square where there are places to eat and the numerous canals that run through the town that you could enjoy the view at. We walked around the town trying the famous BELGIAN waffles, chocolates and fries.

For anyone who enjoys pace, you could skip this place cause the place becomes dead after 9!

Day 8

Next came the most exciting leg of our trip - PAH RHEE!

We were in Paris for only two days and two nights including New Year's Eve so we decided to make the most of the limited time and cover as much possible.

On the first day, we covered the main touristy spots in the nearby region and kept the other side of Paris for the second day -

Day 1: Eiffel Tower, Tuileries, Seine River, Louvre (didn't go inside cuz not art connoisseurs), Palais Royal, Arc de Triomphe and then Eiffel again at night time.

Day 9

Day 2: Notre Dame, Rue Cremieux, Sacre-Coeur, Sainte-Chapelle and just streets around the area

New Year's Eve! We had planned to bring in 2019 at Champs Elysees, however due to the yellow jacket protests, we decided to stay away from that area. Nevertheless, we did get to see some fireworks in the Parisian sky on the last night of our trip :)

A nice breakfast, a stolen jacket and a few macarons later, we were at the Airport bidding this city adieu..

*THE DEETS*

Flights: Rs. 38,000 (DEL-Frankfurt) booked on Makeymytrip

Accommodation:

Please book accommodation about 2 months advance for the best rates

1. Frankfurt: Centro Hotel National - A two-min walk from the train station; Breakfast included; Rs. 2,000 pp per night approx

2. Berlin: Ivsberg Hotel Berlin Messe - Spotless rooms, decent sized with a cutesy balcony; Breakfast included; Rs. 2,7o0 pp per night approx

3. Amsterdam: We stayed at a friend's place but a hotel should cost around Rs. 3,000 pp per night

4. Brugge: Ibis Budget Brugge Centrum - Centrally located, Small rooms but clean; Value for money since we had only one night in Brugge; Rs.2,500 pp per night approx

5. Paris: Ibis Issy Ies Moulineaux - A bit far from the city centre but close to public transportation; Good breakfast, clean rooms; Rs.2,500 pp per night approx

Total: Rs. 24,000 for 9 nights per person

3. Internal flights/trains: Rs. 12,000 (1 flight, 2 trains and 1 bus journey)

Booked via Flixbus, Goeuro & EasyJet

4. Food: Rs. 2,000 to 3,500 per day per person for two meals (Main + Drink) + snacks/munchies (Breakfast included in hotel tariff) | The hubby enjoys a glass or two of beer with all his meals and I'm a sucker for desserts so yeah! *Try a mix of mid-prices restaurants and local vendors throughout the trip and Fixed Menu restaurants are a blessing*

Total: Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 30,000

5. Visa and Travel Insurance: Rs. 6300 + 700 approx | VFS Global | Policy Bazaar *Please check the country with the highest visa issuance rate and apply your Schengen from that country*

6. Miscellaneous including Tours/Tickets/Public Transport: Rs. 1,000 per day approx. Public transport is well connected and extremely convenient to use across all these countries.

Note: In case you need any details about each of these cost elements, feel free to reach out and I'll be more than glad to help out :)

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