I'm leaving for Vienna, Austria next Tuesday (August 21st) and I'll be studying music there for roughly four months. I'll probably be traveling to surrounding countries, however I have not made up my mind which countries/cities I want to visit. Here is my list of potential countries (* are guaranteed visits and the rest are just possiblities). Any suggestions to tourist sites, sites that tourists usually never visit, and must see places are welcome! Remember, I am on a fairly tight budget here...
*Austria *Germany (Munich) Italy Slovakia (Bratislava considering it is close to Wien) Hungary (Budapest) Poland England (though it is VERY expensive and far away from Vienna) Croatia Czech Republic Russia (though corrupt and expensive)
The problem with some of the countries (such as Slovakia, Cz. Rep., Hungary, and Poland) is that their languages are complex and just figuring out the enunciations will be a chore. I have been looking on the internet for enunciation methods, however am coming up short. Additionally, I'm not sure how English-Friendly some of these countries are and if anybody could rate them from 1-10, that would be a lot of help. :)
My second question is:
In a school pamphlet, it says (in a nutshell) to try to not act touristy. Now if I want to take pictures of landmarks and I'm not indigenous to the land, how the hell is that avoidable? :lookaround:
I didn't make it!
Tell everyone you are Canadian and not American. You'll be liked more =p
Afterburner;3859169Tell everyone you are Canadian and not American. You'll be liked more =p
Aren't people supposed to judge you by character rather than location? ;)
I guess being American is the one exception to that rule...
Hey, Jeffro, if you get on AIM I can give you some tips.
7th December 2003
In general you'll find lots of people who speak a bit of English in Germany, especially in the larger cities/tourist-magnets, so that shouldn't be a problem.
Germany is also a bit more expensive than some of the other countries though, if you want to travel by train better book your tickets in advance (you can save a few percent like this) and look if you can't perhaps get some kind of discount for students. It may even be cheaper to travel by plane over longer distances (you should take a look at all the cheap airlines operating in Europe, like germanwings, Ryanair etc.), you'll have to buy tickets early for that though. Most of these things are booked over internet, so make sure you have a credit-card (Visa or Mastercard work quite well I think).
I think wether you pretend to be American or Canadian doesn't make much of a difference, people here dislike American politics, not American people.
Don't worry about acting touristy, as long as there is a Japanese/Chinese tourist-group around your touristness will go unnoticed :)
There are of course many other interesting cities in Germany, I can't tell you much about München since I live in the north/west, so I could only tell you more about cities like Düsseldorf, Köln, Essen or Aachen.
As for Czech Republic, I visited Prague once, it is a beautiful city with lots of tourism, so lots of people speak English there. Last time I was there it was also relatively cheap unless you run straight into common tourist-traps.
Russia is not expensive if you speak Russian and not more corrupt than most of the other Eastern European countries. If you don't speak Russian you'll be in trouble though, near tourist-locations everything is more expensive, away from those locations you don't always find people who speak English. You will also need a different visa for Russia (not sure how that works with most EU-countries for Americans, but I guess if you have a Schengen-visa you can travel around in those without a problem). If you are on your own I strongly recommend at least learning the basics (cyrillic, a few sentences) before going there and to read up about travelling in Russia in guides or the internet.
Italy is a good choice if you like good food and there are lots of nice cities as well. Milan or Rome, for example. From my experience it is more difficult to get along with only English there unless you stick close to tourist-locations.
PM me if you have questions about anything specific :)
Um be shure to eat in ITALY!!!=p Italian food taste alot better were it origanaly came from.
And in Italian Italian food, the real thing, pasta is not everywhere. I'd say Belgium, 80% of people speak english, the countryside sucks, the cities are slightly artistic (in my opinion, i guess i'm just used to it...) and very historic, excellent food, and there's good beer! :p Oh and i forgot, the weather sucks too... :p
Well i'm from England and have travelled around the home continent a bit, not many tales or tips, but i'll help where i can. Correct Germany is more expensive but it is a beautiful country and the people are friendly and their Beer is the best around. Anywhere in Europe really you'll get spoken to in English, when i went with school i wanted to talk here and there in German and French but i never got the chance because they insist in speaking your language! And of course its German in Austria.
One tip that is very important though is that public toilets and motorway (freeway) service stations you need to pay to use toilets. It's usually only 50c but if you don't have it correct change then it hurts haha.
With regards to acting like a tourist, there's nothing wrong with it! Remember people from the same country go round with their camera as well, and people have respect that you're interested in their country. But like i said, they will respect you if you speak their language as much as possible, you'll be fine to speak English if they speak it first if you see what i mean. Working at main motorway service station we have a lot of travellers, and it's annoying if they're say Spanish and start speaking in Spanish to you, it seems like they expect you to speak it as well! What i do like however is if Germans come in and try to speak English and i do try to speak German as well.
Anyway, i'm sure you'll have a great time! If you weren't planning to try and visit Saltzburg as it is a beautiful City!
my advice is that when travelling in large cities or on underground railways keep you bag in front of you!! i have seen loads of people having there bags slashed and there wallets and stuff taken, so yeah keep your stuff close.
If you're wondering why I'm never on AIM, it's cause my computer bit the dust. Anyway PM me if you got any more questions, especially on Vienna ;)
Question: where are you staying anyway?