The last of my travels, to Budapest, Amsterdam, and Prague, were all such unique experiences and I wish I could elaborate more on all of them, but time caught up with me at the end of the semester. These three cities were all together the best trips so far, with Amsterdam at the top of the list. Of course I had my expectations of the city, between the Red Light District, Coffee Shops, and liberal attitude, but it was more exciting than I imagined. We went on a canal tour of the city – cheap and definitely worth it, I saw and learned so much of Amsterdam than I would have otherwise. Being able to see Tiesto play in his hometown – at the Heineken Music Hall, only added to the trip.Wandering around the city was the best part still, around every corner was something interesting to see. So many little shops, street food vendors, and canals. You could walk from a really nice, clean residential area to the Red Light District in three blocks.
Originally, Budapest wasn’t at the top of my list of places I’d wanted to visit, but we happened to find a flight home that cost only 2 euro and couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I’m so glad I ended up being able to visit the city, I don’t know when else I would’ve been able to experience Hungary otherwise and I’m so glad I did. Surprisingly enough, Budapest had the best food – it’s famous for Paprika everything, goulash, and hot chocolate – all which were delicious. The nightlife was much different than Milan but really fun and different. Szimpla, an alternative pub-like place in old ruins, was one of the most interesting places I’ve been. It was full odd decorations and graffiti with of different rooms hidden throughout. We ended up sitting in an outside are (even though it was freezing) to escape the noise and crowd a little bit, and met some people from the UK; its funny realizing how automatically drawn you are to other English-speakers no matter where you travel. A must in Budapest are the markets – the biggest one is indoor and has two floors, one for food and one for clothes, souvenirs, etc. Everything there was incredibly cheap, perfect for buying holiday gifts for home.
Although it was so cold North of Italy, it was beautiful to walk around with Christmas decorations set up – especially in Prague! I The city had countless Christmas markets and trees lit up everywhere. There were vendors selling mulled wine & hot chocolate on almost every street to help us warm up a little. If I had to study abroad again in a different city, Prague would probably have been my second choice – there was so much to see and do in the city, and it was unbelievably cheap compared to Milan. I swear nothing cost more than 5 euro, even a trip to the grocery store. Our hostel, the Mosaic House, was also the most fun and modern/clean of all the places I’ve stayed – definitely recommend it to anyone visiting Prague. I knew we picked the right place when the band at our hostel ended with Wagon Wheel… in Czech.