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Budapest to Athens!


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  • Added on: March 26th, 2014
Hello Bootsnall community, first time on here.

A friend and I are planning a trip from Budapest to Athens over two weeks, starting May 24th, 2014. with the following (rather loose) itinerary:
Budapest - Belgrade - Sarejevo/Mostar - Dubrovnik - Pristina through Montenegro - Ohrid - Athens via Albania (Pogradec).

We understand public transport is slow here but would two weeks (16 days) be enough time? Mind, we do not mind travelling a lot and want to visit every country on the way. (Couldn't stand looking at a map of visited countries with a white dot in the middle, travellers OCD I guess)

Excluding flights, what budget/day should we look at? Any recommendations regarding transport/unmissable sights?

Thank you!


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  • Added on: March 26th, 2014
Sounds like a LOT of bus time over a very short period. You've set yourself up a check-off-the-boxes-without-any-time-to-see-anything trip. If you're okay with that, then good luck and I hope you enjoy yourself.

We did a similar trip slightly further east 8 years ago (Athens-Budapest via Bulgaria and Romania, plus 4 days in Istanbul on the way up). Over 2 months. At the time, we spent about $40/person/day in Bulgaria/Romania, and $80/person/day in Greece and Hungary. I expect that similar budgets should still work today, except that every border you cross will add about $40 in extra transport costs - there's always a premium for international services - plus any necessary visas.

Since I haven't been through the former Yugoslav countries, I can't really speak for what to see there, but in Greece, for something a bit different, consider a stop at Delphi. As tourist destinations go, it doesn't see as many visitors as you'd expect, and the location just can't be beat. (Don't just take the first room offered where the bus'll be overpriced and likely not have the best view)


Budapest is fantastic, as I'm sure you've been told. Definitely sign up for a walking tour, along with any other big cities you visit.


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  • Added on: March 26th, 2014
Thanks for your reply!

We're okay with spending just a few hours in some of the places as our time is limited by my travel partner's work constraints. The only thing set in stone is our flight to Budapest, I guess we can just see how far we get and he can fly back from wherever we are at the time. I will continue on my own in that case. Thanks for the Delphi suggestion, it looks gorgeous! that's definitely added to the list. If budget allows, I might continue on my own to Bulgaria and Romania and perhaps Moldova. I won't be limited by time, so do you have any suggestions regarding things to see in this area?

We're EU nationals, so Visas aren't a problem anywhere in Europe except Belarus and Russia.

Budget wise, that sounds quite cheap if it includes transport costs. We did a road trip in Scandinavia last year so everywhere seems like good value compared to Norway ;)


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  • Added on: March 27th, 2014
I second all the advice.

The itinerary is heavy on bus time, you'd be better off cutting out half the sites and spending a few days in places you stop. It will be far more rewarding. But that's just me.

Secondly, I went to Delphi and you cannot beat the views and the site. It isn't as well touristed as you think it might be. It is truly fascinating.

Dubrovnik, for example, is supposed to be a wonderful walled castle city, and those are really worth exploring for a few days to soak up the 'atmosphere'

If you bus too much, you are too tired to enjoy much....

Oh, transport... Train in that area is surprisingly cheap and effective, and don't bother with a Europass in Eastern Europe. It just isn't cost effective.
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