I want to go somewhere between Cairo and Dublin.
June 29, 2009 2:14 PM   Subscribe

Where should I spend my final week, after a summer of study abroad? I am open to almost anything, only limited by my pocketbook.

I am a 20-year-old female who has been studying, traveling, and volunteering in Europe and Egypt all summer.

I love exploring new places, with a penchant for the odd or beautiful, and have less interest in partying or otherwise engaging in activities that could be done back in the U.S.

Where have I already been? A day or two in Dublin, Barcelona, Padova, Venice, Berlin, and their surrounds. Two weeks in Prague, one in Krakow, and am presently partway through five weeks in and around Cairo.

The free week is August 1-7.

I would prefer to stay in one area, so that I have the freedom to relax and explore it fully. I'm on a tight budget, and intend to couchsurf/stay at hostels.

I'd love to hear about some of your favorite experiences, and welcome completely random recommendations. I'll be sure to update when I decide! ^-^

A few possibilities:
-Jordan (but I'll have to return to Egypt as plane tickets are prohibitively expensive out of Jordan, which adds considerable travel time)
-other parts of the Middle East (kind of worried about traveling alone as a female, though)
-Greece (relaxing on an island sounds rather inviting)
-Budapest (highly recommended by several different travelers I met in Eastern Europe)
-Istanbul (MeFites seem to be big fans)

What do you recommend?
posted by ananda gale to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
posted by The World Famous at 2:20 PM on June 29, 2009

I love Budapest and it is super cheap. I stayed at Boomerang Hostels, which gave us a huge apartment to ourselves for almost nothing. The food is fantastic too. I suggest Cafe Kor. Don't forget a glass of Tokaji wine. Good tea houses too. But I went on the off season in the winter. My main concern in the summer would be crowds and heat. Budapest overall though is very cheap and very beautiful. I felt like a princess when I was there. No eating at the grocery store and sleeping in a room with 20 people like when I was in Norway...
posted by melissam at 2:26 PM on June 29, 2009

Florence is really great. The best place I went in my two trips to Italy. I was only there 2 or 3 days, but could have easily enjoyed more time.

Bavaria (Munich and surrounding area) is awesome. I can't wait to go back. Garmisch-Partenkirchen, in particular is beautiful. I was there in the fall and I could only imagine the mountains to be that much more amazing in Aug.
posted by chiefthe at 2:30 PM on June 29, 2009

I have to recommend Greece. You can take a full day in Athens to see the main attractions, then fly to an island and relax. I stayed on Crete, and in addition to a bunch of small, quiet beaches, Rethymno has great nightlife. I flew Aegean Air, and the fare (at the time) was very cheap.
posted by kgroesser at 2:31 PM on June 29, 2009

Greece. Fly into Athens, go down to the port, and book a ticket to a less-touristed island (NOT Mykanos. Try Santorini, or another of the Cyclades.) You'll be good for hostels, you can eat out of the market and shops all day for tuppence, and it really is as beautiful as it looks.

It's very hot, of course, but it is August.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:35 PM on June 29, 2009

I'm currently in Munich, and I'd have to say that Bavaria will be very nice around that time. There are lots of lakes and beergardens in the vicinity and it's never too hot. It's just ridiculously green and beautiful all the time.

I was in Santorini, Greece recently and recommend it highly. Some of the most relaxing 5 days I've ever had, just snorkeling, tanning, and riding on quads around the island. If you go, try to stay at the Anny Studios (not hotel or hostel). It was quite inexpensive, and just a minute walk from the beach. Oh, and get the Gyros at Grandma's! (Yes, it will be hot. But the water is so nice!)

I'm also considering Budapest in that time frame, having made several good Hungarian friends while studying.
posted by JauntyFedora at 2:45 PM on June 29, 2009

Response by poster: Thank you to everyone who commented! I apologize for taking so long to reply...

I don't have a favorite flagged because I found all your replies inspiring. In the end, I made my decision based largely on where I could find the cheapest flights.

I ended up flying in to Munich, which was a beautiful city and quite enjoyable to explore (Surfers! free tours!). I randomly decided to go to Salzburg, Austria, for two days, which was very easy and cheap because of the Bayern Ticket. Salzburg is picturesque and endlessly fascinating as a place to explore, so I definitely recommend that you go! It's even possible to visit Ludwig's unfinished castle, Herrenchiemsee on your way to Salzburg. ^-^
posted by ananda gale at 5:40 PM on August 18, 2009

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