Hamburg: An Introduction to a Port City!

Hamburg: An Introduction to a Port City!

Moin! Moin!

So I went to Hamburg a couple of weeks ago!

And I was very kindly invited by Hamburg Marketing, to join them on a press trip.

But OMG!

I so need to go again!

Grandfather and “The Tall Young Gentleman” sailing in Mardorf.

To be clear, Berlin will always be my first (1st) love so nothing is going to take that away.

Not anywhere in Germany.

But it’s nice to see the competition!

Now the thing is, I’ve been to Hamburg many times, but I’ve never been to Hamburg as a tourist!

Not Ever!

Why is that, you might ask?

To be honest, I simply don’t know!

There’s usually no time to dilly-dally in Hamburg. But this time, there was!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

It could be that Hamburg is so close by, that one always thinks, “I’ll go there later!”

It could be that Hamburg is an inter-city hub, so I’m always changing trains, and passing through Hamburg!

It could be that most of the time, I’m on a business trip. And short of having a quick drink, one doesn’t really have time to dally, as time is money people!

I wanted to change this.

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The Hamburg stand at ITBBerlin was very busy & here’s why – An artificially intelligent tourism robot!

If you recall, almost a year ago, I went to the International Trade Fair in Berlin, otherwise known as ITB Berlin, and met up with some of the marketing people of Hamburg.

You could say, that we actually met on Twitter, ‘cos a British blogger – Eat Shoot Sleep Travel asked me about the traditional Fish Market in Hamburg, and I didn’t know!

Cringe!

The fellows at Hamburg.com saw this, reached out and said,”Hey! Come to Hamburg. See for yourself!”

She wanted to know about the Fish Market in Hamburg. Ha! Ha! I still don’t know!

Now the funny thing is.

I don’t like to travel in December.

It’s my birthday month, and my “rest” time.

It’s also the festive season.

And when I say festive. I mean the German Christmas Market daaarling!

The Christmas Market is not to be missed in Hamburg. Or anywhere else in Germany!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

However, I had a tiny wndow where I could travel so I reached out to my Hamburg contact, thinking I’ll probably be there in about 6 weeks, and she told me that they could add me in at very short notice.

Very short notice indeed.

I was escstatic.

Thanks so much Hamburg Marketing!

My first official press card ‘back in 2014. Yeah!

However, once I confirmed it, a very important client also contacted me, so I ended up arriving one day earlier than the other participants, and leaving earlier too.

It would have been ideal, but my hotel had lost the press package that should have been waiting for me, and by the time I had contacted everyone to find out where it was, all the tourist sights had closed!

I never did find my press package, but that’s a story for another day!

Book your hotel here!

Right! We’re in Hamburg. Where to start?!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

Right!

Where to start?

WHY GO TO HAMBURG?

HafenCity – Hamburg – Summer in Germany – Simply the Best!

Hamburg really isn’t that big, so follow my footsteps and don’t just talk the talk, but walk the walk too!

A BRIEF PIECE OF HISTORY:

Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg!

Hamburg, otherwise known as the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, is the second-largest city in Germany, and has a population of about 1.8 million people!

Just so you know, Berlin, with a population of just 3.55 million people, is the federal capital, and the largest city in Germany!

And let me tell you, it doesn’t even feel like a city…!

Hamburg: An Introduction to a Port City!

Hamburg lies in a very strategic position with Continental Europe to the South and the Nordic States to the North. The North Sea is to the West and the Baltic Sea is to the North-East.

Hamburg stretches out on the River Elbe, has many small islands and lakes, and borders the states of Schleswig-Holstein with lovely places like Lübeck and Lower Saxony.

Hamburg is the type of city that I respect because like Berlin, Manchester and London, it’s a City State and has existed since the time of the Holy Roman Empire!

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History & Glory days at the Internationales Maritimes Museum Hamburg, Germany!

Hamburg is also a member of the medieval Hanseatic League, a World Heritage UNESCO site, with signs of wealth and glory all over the region. Of course, during the Great Fire of Hamburg, and during the Second World War, the importance of the harbour made it an important target, such that many parts of the city, was destroyed.

During the 13th – 16th century, Hamburg was considered second only to the port and city of Lübeck, as a central trading hub for sea-borne trade.

With the discovery of the Americas and the emerging transatlantic trade, Hamburg exceeded all other German ports, and became the main Central European hub for freight travel, transatlantic passengers and from 1871, the principal port of trade in Germany!

Wow!

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The Hamburgers in Hamburg. Rich, wealthy, and confident – Prof. Peter Tamm.
© Christian O. Bruch

Hamburg, like Liverpool leads to the sea, and it’s waterside – the river Elbe – is so placed that Hamburg has the second largest port in Europe, the oldest Stock Exchange in Germany, and is the seat of Berenberg Bank – Germany’s oldest private bank, and the second oldest bank in the world!

It’s famous for being one of Europe’s most well-known entertainment districts, otherwise known as the St. Pauli Reeperbahn Quarter, and is also proud of the fact that Hamburg introduced The Beatles to the world!

In fact, Hamburg boasts the city with the wealthiest Germans, and the most millionaires in the country!

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FACTS AND FIGURES

The Hamburg Harbour is so important that the district is actually called HafenCity!

The Hamburg Harbour is so important that the district is actually called HafenCity.

Hafen means harbour.

Hamburg: An Introduction to a Port City!

DID YOU KNOW THAT THE PORT OF HAMBURG IS…

  • The largest seaport in Germany
  • The second-busiest port in Europe. After Rotterdam!
  • A hub for the entire Baltic State region!
  • The third (3rd) largest sector in the German economy
  • As old as the hills, having been founded by the Holy Roman Emperor – Frederick I,  in 1189!
  • Home to 8,700 ships per year
  • Home to 7,300 logistics companies
  • Home to 280 berths
  • Home to four (4) state-of-the-art container terminals
  • Home to three (3) cruise terminals
  • A hub for more than 2,300 freight train services
  • Able to handle cargo weighing 138.2 million tons!
  • Able to handle 50 speacialised facilities handling freight of all types and sizes
  • Able to handle 43 kilometers of quay, for seagoing vessels and ships
  • The top 18 largest container port in the world!
  • The Leading hub for the Baltic trade route
  • Responsible for more than 1,300 freight trains per week
  • A leading employer of over 3 million people, not only in Hamburg, but Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony, and even Berlin, as corporate professionals have been to take the 90 minute-non-stop-intercity express train to commute to Hamburg, ‘cos the money is fabulous, and it’s really not that far away!
  • Making a turnover of €258 billion+

I don’t know about you, but I find this type of stuff enormously impressive!

Book your hotel here!

TAKE ME THERE?

How to use the train in Europe: 10 tips to help you.

You know how much I love trains.

They’re just so comfortable and full of ease. And if you’re on the European Continent, it’s the easiest and sometimes, cheapest way to travel.

If you’re coming from North Europe, South Europe, Britain or anywhere over the water, I recommend flying!

Get a train ticket and travel through Europe!

I went to Hamburg from Berlin. And since this was a press trip, a train was booked on my behalf.

If you’re anywhere in Germany, it’s quite easy to use the Deutsche Bahn – German Trains by either booking from 6 months ahead on the long-distance train Sparpreis Aktion Saver Fare ticket from €19.90. Or by using the ICE – InterCity Express trains Sparpreis Saver Fare ticket across Germany, costing as little as €29.90!

And the wonderful part?

Children under 15 travelling inter-city or inter-country, with their relatives, usually travel on the European train, for free!

Children and grandchildren aged 15 and under, travel for free, as long as you include them when booking your ticket.

Yep!

For free!

“The Tall Young Gentleman” didn’t look too happy that for Switzerland, we took the Sparpreis Europa city night line train!

But don’t forget, if you’re in Germany already, or planning to travel to Eastern Europe by train, DO NOT buy the Eurail train pass. There is simply no need, as the tickets are far cheaper if you book them on the Deutsche Bahn website. And as for Eastern Europe, tickets go for peanuts, if you book them on their own train websites too!

If you need any help with booking trains, contact me for a European travel consultancy, and I’ll book them for you. Do that here!

You really couldn’t get any better than that!

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IS IT GOING TO BE CROWDED?

All are welcome in Hamburg. And depending on when you visit, not crowded at all!

I didn’t think so.

I suppose, it depends when you go!

Hamburg is a really nice city, but I don’t see it as an OMG-we-have-just-got-to-go-visit-Hamburg type of place!

Not yet anyway.

It’s too far North for a start!

WHAT IS HAMBURG REALLY LIKE?

Nikolaus Storzenbecher / Klaus Störtebeker in Hamburg – Germany’s most famous piratate!

I was in Hamburg for 2.5 days and it’s definitely a city that I would like to visit again.

I found Hamburg to be very pleasant.

Some people think that they can compare it to Berlin.

I don’t think so!

It’s very different.

Certainly, the Altona-Altstadt or Old Town is most beautiful, and the Schanzenviertel Quarter has “edge,” but Hamburg is a place that you can take your parents to, and they won’t be shocked.

Shock your parents by taking them to the Reeperbahn in St. Pauli. – Hamburg’s Red Light District!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

Unless they go to the Reeperbahn.

Ahem!

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I DON’T SPEAK GERMAN!

We won’t put you in the Schirmerturm Tower if you can’t speak German!

Not.

A.

Problem.

You’ll find that a lot of of young people speak English.

‘Better than yourself sometimes!

And French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic. Most of the major languages really.

AM I GOING TO LIVE IN A HUT?

You’re not going to live in this abandoned hut, so don’t worry!

Hardly.

It’s Germany!

I’M ON A BUDGET. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Don’t be frightened. It’s Germany. The standard of hostels will always be high!

There are plenty of hostels to be had.

And since it’s Germany, the standard will always be high, and you’ll have a good time.

Since I was on a press trip, I didn’t need to worry about this.

Book the best hostels in Hamburg here!

I’M LOOKING FOR A BIT MORE LUXURY, IS THERE SOMETHING FOR ME?

Sometimes, it’s alright to admit that hotels are better than hostels!

Delightfully so!

As I told you previously, I arrived earlier than the other press hacks.

And let me tell you, even though this wouldn’t be my first (1st) press trip, but effectively, my fourth (4th), I always feel a little nervous about the sleeping arrangements.

WOULD I GET MY OWN ROOM ON A PRESS TRIP?

Don’t laugh! Would I get my own room on a press trip?

Don’t laugh.

I always do of course, but still, I constantly worry, and it brings me out in a sweat since nobody actually tells you!

And because I arrived one day (1) day before the others, I was placed in a grown-up more corporate-like hotel called the Scandic Hamburg Emporio, while the others were in a young-ish boutique hotel called the Fritz im Pyjama Hotel.

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My bedroom at the Scandic Hamburg Emporio Hotel!

At first, I was a little disappointed not to be placed in the same hotel as everyone else, but when I saw my room at the Scandic Hamburg Emporio, I soon forgot all about it!

The wonderful thing about this hotel was not only the location being right next door to the Laeiszhalle Concert Hall – the home of the Symphoniker Hamburg and the Philharmoniker Hamburg, a five (5) minute walk from the famous Gänsemarkt Square, but also the view from my huge wall-to-wall window, was pretty fantastic.

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Don’t you think the Laeiszhalle Concert Hall – Home of the Symphoniker Hamburg and the Philharmoniker Hamburg – is pretty fantastic?
©Thies Raetzke

It suited me just fine.

More details next week!

Book Scandic Hamburg Emporio, the Fritz im Pyjama Hotel, or your own Hamburg Hotel here!

WHAT ABOUT TRANSPORT POSSIBILITIES?

Using the train in Hamburg
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

Hamburg has plenty of variety in trains, trams, buses, and bikes.

I used the overground and underground trains, as well as the tram. Hamburg isn’t as big as Berlin, so public transport was very easy to use.

I was given the Hamburg Card which made unlimited travel on public transport around the city so much easier, included discounts at more than 150 tourist attractions, which proved very useful in my spare time! You can get your Hamburg Card here.

As well as the Hamburg Official Digital travel guide App. Free of charge!

You won’t get lost…!

Book your hotel here!

ANYTHING ELSE?

Victoria’s Hamburger Labskaus. Try it!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

Try a Hamburger Labskaus!

What’s a labskaus? I’ll tell you next week!

Yay!

MY VERDICT:

On the river Elbe in Hamburg!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

I like Hamburg.

It’s a wealthy waterside city.

Sold!

WOULD I COME AGAIN?

Totally!

Book your hotel here!

HAMBURG: AN INTRODUCTION TO A PORT CITY!

Hamburg: An Introduction to a Port City!

This article is part-sponsored, and even though I was invited on this trip as a guest of Hamburg Marketing, Visit Hamburg, Deutsche Bahn and the Scandic Hamburg Emporio Hotel, all opinions and the good times that I had in Hamburg, are my very own!

I went on a press trip to Hamburg. Watch out for more details next week!

I’ll be continuing my last visit to the UK and telling you all about my visit to Belgium later in the season!

I’ll be at the Press Conference of the exhibition: Eduardo Paolozzi. Lots of Pictures – Lots of Fun, organized by the Whitechapel Gallery, London, in collaboration with one of my favourite art galleries – the Berlinische Galerie, otherwise known as the Museum of Modern Art! Taking place in Berlin, on the 8th of February, 2018.  Admission is free of charge to the public from 18:00 on the day!

I’ll be at the Medientournee of Atout France – the France Tourism Development Agency, taking place on the 8th of February, 2018. I’m going to be quite busy that day!

I’ll be at the UK Germany 2018 Launch Party on Valentine’s Day – on the 14th of February, 2018. Tickets are free of charge, so if you’re in Berlin, join the party!

I’ll be at Berlin’s most famous film festival – The 68th showing of the Berlin International Film Festival, otherwise known as the Berlinale, taking place between 15th – 25th February, 2018.  Everyone’s most excited! Tickets are on sale from 12.02.18.

I’ll be at the ITB Berlin or the Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin – the world’s leading travel trade show, taking place between 7th – 11th March, 2018. You can buy tickets here.

Save the Date!

I’ll be there. Will you?

If you’re not in Berlin in February, then where the hell are you?

February is going to be great!

See you next week!

Ships and boats are everything in Hamburg!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

Hamburg: An Introduction to a Port City!

Have you ever been to Hamburg? Do you like ports and harbours?  Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

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How to use the train in Europe: 10 tips to help you.

How to use the train in Europe: 10 tips to help you.
How to use the train in Europe: 10 tips to help you.

So a fortnight (two weeks) ago, I told you about how many countries that I travelled to in 2016. And if you’re just joining us, it was 10!

I also told you how I did it, and the plans that I have for 2017. 

In 2016, I’ll be travelling to thirteen (13) countries.

Most of them will be in Europe, and plenty of them, I’ll be reaching by train!

How to use the train in Europe: 10 tips to help you.
How to use the train in Europe: 10 tips to help you.

But why?

Why the train?

Why not fly?

Why not fly?
Why not fly?

Well, to Russia, I’m thinking strongly of taking some sort of ship or cruise, and to England and Ireland, perhaps flying would be quicker….!

And then again. Perhaps not!

But the fact remains.

I live in Berlin.

In Germany.

Germany - my adopted country!
Germany – my adopted country!

And Germany is right in the center of Europe.

It has airports, train stations, bus stations, bicycle stations, cars and every possible means of transport.

I travel a lot for leisure and pleasure, and many a time, the adventure is in the getting there rather than the destination itself!

Zoooooop! Don't say it! @eatdrinkandrun.com
Zoooooop! Don’t say it!
@eatdrinkandrun.com

And let’s not forget the hassle, long queues and stringent baggage requirements that airlines require these days. Quite frankly, for a 1.5 hour flight you’re looking at arriving the airport (if flying to the UK) at least 2 hours before, if flying inter-continental, at least 3 hours. Not to talk of actually getting to the airport itself!

Luckily for me, Berlin has excellent local public transport that is cheap, efficient, clean, and reliable. I can’t say the same if you’re trying to get to London Heathrow, which is the busiest airport in the world. And equally as complicated, if you don’t know your way around London.

Me!
Me!

Being that I live in Berlin, makes it an extremely easy way to travel.

In fact, travelling by train through the European continent is one of the most comfortable ways to travel with ease, from one country to the other. And by far, one of the cheapest!

Is it any wonder that one of my favourite forms of transport is the train!

WHY TRAVEL BY TRAIN IN EUROPE?

How to use the train in Europe: 10 tips to help you.
How to use the train in Europe: 10 tips to help you.

There are many reasons why travelling by train in Europe is a most excellent idea, here are some below:

  • It’s cheap:
Travelling by train is a cheap as a bunch of locally grown flowers!
Travelling by train is a cheap as a bunch of locally grown flowers!

I bought a twelve-hour (12) direct train ticket from Berlin to Budapest. In first class for €69.00. Second class was just €10.00 cheaper at €59.00! I couldn’t believe it, so I bought it! My child was free of charge!

I bought a seven (7) hour train journey (second class) train ticket via the Hungarian Railways or MAV at a cost of 11,780 Ft or €38.40 to travel from Budapest to Prague. Child included in the cost!

A five (5) hour train journey ticket (second class) to travel from Prague to Berlin in August, was just €29.00! My child cost nothing at all!

Over the Landwasser Viaduct in Switzerland. ©Michaa Ludwiczak / Getty
Over the Landwasser Viaduct in Switzerland.
©Michaa Ludwiczak / Getty

For Switzerland, we took the Sparpreis Europa city night line train, and the eleven (11) hour return ticket journey from Berlin – Lucerne – Berlin, including reserved seating in July. Cost just €98.00. My child was free!

As a matter of fact, our return ticket from Berlin – Copenhagen – Berlin was a mere €58.00! And even though we actually missed our connection on the way home, and had to buy another ticket…it was still a sweet deal!

  • Kids travel for free:
Children under 15 travelling inter-city or inter-country, with their relatives, usually travel on the European train, for free!
Children under 15 travelling inter-city or inter-country, with their relatives, usually travel on the European train, for free!

Throughout last summer, I took an international train every weekend, and the price for our son – The Tall Young Gentleman was nothing at all!

His fare was completely and utterly free.

Yep!

Free of charge.

Nada!

Children under 15 travelling inter-city or inter-country, with their relatives, usually travel on the European train, for free!
Children under 15 travelling inter-city or inter-country, with their relatives, usually travel on the European train, for free!

In Germany, children under 15 travelling inter-city or inter-country, with their parents, grandparents, or relatives, travel on the German Rail, otherwise known as Deutsche Bahn (DB), train for free!

Note that if you book Spar Preis Europa trains with the German Rail on this version, your children will be free of charge too!

Other European countries do the same and either have free transport for children, or special prices for families too.

In Stellshagen – Mecklenburg-Vorpommern – Germany.
Our son as a baby – 20 months old!

On our last visit to the UK, we bought an Advance Single train ticket – via the National Rail – from Manchester Oxford Road to a station in Cheshire. Our adult tickets for a 30 minute inter-city train were £3.00 each, and £1.50 for our child. Our Express Train tickets from Manchester Airport to Manchester Oxford Road (in the city) were just £5.00 each per adult, and £2.50 for our child.

  • Delays are minimal and compensated:
The German Rail / Deutsche Bahn train leaving Berlin.
The German Rail / Deutsche Bahn train leaving Berlin.

When travelling by European train, there is very little fuss to it, and far fewer delays than flying

In fact, European Regulation (EC) 1371/2007 on rail passengers’ rights and obligations (2009), state that passengers are entitled to standardised rights in the rail sector in Germany and in Europe.

If there are delays of at least sixty (60) minutes or more, you are entitled to compensation, and if you were to take a taxi, or another mode of transport up to €80.00, you could have that refunded too. Make sure you get the correct documentation at either the train station concerned, from another station, or from the train staff!

  • Luggage:
Get a train ticket and travel through Europe!
Get a train ticket and travel through Europe!

Train travel means that there is plenty of room for your luggage. And if you wished to take the kitchen sink with you (within reason), you probably could. No need to worry about how heavy your luggage would be and how much. There is relatively little or no fuss. In many cases, the railway staff would even help you carry your bags!

No when was the last time that you saw airport staff carry luggage for anyone!

  • Personal space:
You can strech your legs in the corridor of the Polish Train.
You can stretch your legs in the corridor of the Polish Train.

Unlike air or bus travel, there is room to move around, and really stretch your legs. And depending on how long the journey is, they sometimes have some dedicated time for passengers to go outside, buy some refreshments, get some fresh air, take photographs, or get some WiFi!

  • The social factor:
On the Czech-infused train from Berlin to Budapest!
On the Czech-infused train from Berlin to Budapest!

The European train is a little like the Indian train in the sense that you actually get to meet people. And talk to them.

I mean, you’re sitting elbow to elbow, you’re probably going to an international country, the passengers are either locals or tourists themselves, and to be frank, everyone is quite interested in your journey. And if you’ve got a bottle of booze somewhere.

All the better!

So now to the real McCoy!

HOW TO USE THE TRAIN IN EUROPE: 10 TIPS TO HELP YOU

How to use the train in Europe: 10 tips to help you.
How to use the train in Europe: 10 tips to help you.

Depending on where you are coming from, you need to:

1.  Get a train ticket:

Get a train ticket and travel through Europe!
Get a train ticket and travel through Europe!

The cheapest way to ease into buying train tickets through most European countries (not all), is to actually book through the Deutsche Bahn portal on the local German English version not the UK or USA version! Note that for Germany, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Holland, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland, if you’re going by train, I don’t recommend that you do so by InterRail or EuroRail passes, if you’re only travelling to one country, as the prices are ridiculously expensive and children have to be paid for!

The snag is to book tickets with the national train companies, directly. On their own websites, or through the German Rail otherwise known as Deutsche Bahn. Most websites have an English version. Some can be admittedly slightly hidden, but persevere, or contact them directly by calling, or via Email!

Get a train ticket and travel through Europe!
Get a train ticket and travel through Europe!

But don’t forget. Not all train companies allow you to pay online, or even to buy local tickets at local prices! Some train companies only allow you to buy a Eurail ticket if you’re buying from abroad, and which you can only pay for with a credit card. For more info on that check here..  And some do, but you either have to buy the ticket on the train, or have to pay online and then collect the train tickets once you’re in the country itself, or change the language of the website!

For train travel all around the world check out the website of The Man in Seat Sixty-One . . . or Deutsche Bahn.

A goat on the train? Ah well, anything can happen. I've seen worse. Swans for example!
A goat on the train? Ah well, anything can happen. I’ve seen worse.
Swans for example!

But remember, if you’re using the Deutsche Bahn website, change the location to Germany and use the English word for Deutschland which is Germany! NOT the UK/Ireland one! And then change the language to English!

2.  Check online for best routes:

A map of the European High - Speed Train Network!
A map of the European High – Speed Train Network!

Many train companies have their own website which you can access for routes so that you can see where you want to go. Or better yet. Where they actually go, and how to get there!

3.  Do your research:

Do you need to get a bus and then the train? Or vice-versa in Barcelona. Spain?
Do you need to get a bus and then the train? Or vice-versa in Barcelona. Spain?

I live in Berlin and the Polish border is just under two hours away as such, there are discount prices from the German Railway Service known as Deutsche Bahn or DB. You can get a one-way single ticket from Berlin to Stettin or Szczecin in Poland, for just €11.00. Reduced tickets for €8.30. If you want to make a day of it, a day ticket would be €22.00 and €16.60 respectively. You could use it for every local transport in Stettin and the ticket is valid until 03:00 the next day!

Or you could get the German Regional tickets also known as the Länder-Tickets. These are fantastic bargains as the Berlin-Brandenburg regional one day ticket is only €29.00 and can be used by up to 5 people! That’s right! 5 people can travel on this ticket and they don’t have to be related! This ticket is valid from 09:00 to 03:00 the following day, and on the trams and buses in Stettin (Szczecin), and can be used to get to the Polish border!

Yeah well, no promises on the Bogus Bus!
Yeah well, no promises on the Bogus Bus!

You sometimes see people hustling for ticket holders in Stettin (Szczecin) ‘cos if you have 5 people travelling together that’s €5.00 each. A bargain if ever I saw one!

You can get this ticket from the VBB Verkehrsverbund Berlin-Brandenburg website or DB online. For more information check here and here.

4.  In fact, if you are in Germany, why not hop to some of our neighbouring countries too:

"The Tall Young Gentleman" didn't look too happy that for Switzerland, we took the Sparpreis Europa city night line train!
“The Tall Young Gentleman” didn’t look too happy that for Switzerland, we took the Sparpreis Europa city night line train!

It might take you a while, but you can take the train from Berlin to London for as little as €59.00, to Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Italy, Denmark, Croatia, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia, and Poland for as little as €39.00 per single ticket or one way trip!

And if it’s not too far away. And being that this is Europe we’re talking about, so it isn’t! Fares can sometimes go as low as €19.00 for destinations such as to Prague for example!

The Deutsche Bahn building in Berlin!
The Deutsche Bahn building in Berlin!

For more information check here.

5.  Reserve your seat:

Me relaxing at the Berlin Music Video Awards.
Me relaxing at the Berlin Music Video Awards.

Now as a blogger, I’m always online in some form or the other, and it really surprises me how travellers and tourists leave their train bookings until the very last minute!

Believe me. Don’t do that!

It was lovely having a Bristol cab and driver waiting for me!
It was lovely having a Bristol cab and driver waiting for me!

Trains are popular in Europe. And if the destination is on a well-worn track, then the trains will be packed. And if it’s the weekend or a public holiday, you won’t get a seat, and will be forced to stand….!

In the summer, it’s not unknown for teenagers to be sitting on the corridor floor with their mates for a few hours.

But they can cope. Can you?

Try to reserve a seat on the European train!
Try to reserve a seat on the European train!

Now if you really don’t want to pay for a reserved seat, then the trick is to either go to the very front of the train, or the very back of it. And be quick about it!

However, if you’ve got luggage or kids, somebody from your party ought to sprint in and bagsy a couple of non-reserved  seats, or you might as well do the decent relaxing thing, and reserve the seat of your choice, in a compartment that you prefer.

Our tiny Czech train in the middle of no-where!
Our tiny Czech train in the middle of no-where!

Having said that, lots of small rural or regional trains have no possibility to reserve seats at all, so either jump in and turn left, or go upstairs!

6.  Take some refreshments with you:

Take some refreshments with you!
Take some refreshments with you!

If you’re on a regional or rural train, no refreshments will be sold on the train. And don’t even think that you can buy “something” at the next station as countryside train stations are either tiny little things, or simply non-existent!

Generally, super-clean-fast-efficient-modern-high speed trains have restaurants and trolley service throughout the train, but you can’t be sure that you’ll like either what they’re offering, or the prices!

Refreshments on the European first class train usually include a small bottle of wine or beer. But not always!
Refreshments on the European first class train usually include a small bottle of wine or beer. But not always!

‘Best to bring your own stuff if travelling in second class. Refreshments are usually given for first class customers and usually include a small bottle of wine or beer. But not always!

7.  Talk to the locals:

Don't be afraid to talk to locals or your fellow travellers on the European train!
Don’t be afraid to talk to locals or your fellow travellers on the European train!

My fellow travellers were always very helpful and we usually spoke in a mixture of English or German and a splattering of whatever the local language happens to be. With a lot of hand gestures, acting, drawing, and generally making quite a fool of myself, they usually understood what I was asking! The local travellers always helped us get off at the stop that we usually required too.

Many a time just looking anxious, or “other,” tends to open a conversation. And really, you don’t ever have to worry. The locals will help you. Just ask. Promise!

The locals will help you. Just ask. Promise!
The locals will help you. Just ask.
Promise!

In some cases, even the train driver will help you!

8.  Be prepared:

Have the correct documentation with you when travelling on the European train, and be prepared!
Have the correct documentation with you when travelling on the European train, and be prepared!

When travelling through Europe, you’re likely to go through different countries, each with it’s own distinct flavour of technology. In highly advanced countries such as Germany, Switzerland, Holland, and the Nordic countries, technical equipment will be at it’s highest, with power outlets either in between your seats, on the table, or on the side of the wall near the window!

In less advanced nations such as in Eastern Europe and even in Southern Europe, not so much!

There might be wifi and a power outlet. And there might not!
There might be WiFi and a power outlet. And there might not!

There will be WiFi, but it probably won’t work, or will be spotty at best. And there will be no power outlets! On our 15-hour train journey to Hungary, I spent hours searching the train for a plug-hole. And where was it?

In the restaurant, hanging dangerously on the wall of the heavy main train door, or in the toilet!

Er No!

Have the correct documentation with you when travelling on the European train, and be prepared!
Have the correct documentation with you when travelling on the European train, and be prepared!

Oh by the way. Europe isn’t a country. It’s a continent, so if you’re travelling on an international train, you must take your passport with you!

Train officials never used to check people in the past due to the European law of Free Movement, but as a result of strengthened alertness due to the increased height of terrorism, and to ensure our safety, they are now. So make sure you have everything in order.

Otherwise, you’ll be escorted off the train and your holiday could end right there!

9.  If you miss your train stop, don’t panic:

How to use the train in Europe: 10 tips to help you - don't panic!
How to use the train in Europe: 10 tips to help you – don’t panic!

Once travelling through Poland, I realized that we had missed our train stop as the countryside scene that was I expecting, did not show up on my horizon!

Hmm!

I couldn’t really look outside the window as the window was blocked with passengers in the corridor.

I couldn’t check the train map that you normally see in the corridors either as I couldn’t get to the corridor, and I didn’t have an iPhone in those days.

We had missed our train stop! Oh no!
We had missed our train stop! Oh no!

A girl in her early 20’s noticed that I kept attempting to leave the compartment. She confirmed that I had missed our stop.

OK. I’ll get off at the next stop!

Oh, I’ve missed that too!

And the train is now going East further into Poland, whereas I was supposed to be going to the sea which was in the West!

We got off the train!
We got off the train!

We got off the train.

Unfortunately, the train officials weren’t really very helpful and pointed at contrasting directions, so I decided to look around the station myself and peek onto other platforms and lo and behold, the connecting train that I wanted was still ON THE PLATFORM!

I checked and double-checked that it was indeed the right train, then we hopped on!

Then we hopped back on the train again!
Then we hopped back on the train again!

I so bugged the train conductor as per how many stops we had left, and what time we were expected to get to a certain seaside village, as there are no announcements and no destination indicators.

It was a case of watching and counting, each and every train stop…. 75 minutes later, we were there!

10.  If it all goes bananas, use your head:

Use your head at foreign train stations!
Use your head at foreign train stations!

There are 101 ways to travel through Europe, and the train is just one of them.

Sometimes it makes sense to choose another form of transport to get to your final destination.

It isn’t the worse thing in the world if you do!

HOW TO USE THE TRAIN IN EUROPE: 10 TIPS TO HELP YOU

How to use the train in Europe: 10 tips to help you.
How to use the train in Europe: 10 tips to help you.

This article is not sponsored, and the excitement of using the train in Europe, is my very own!

For travelling across Europe, or from Germany, please contact: Deutsche Bahn or take a look at my country destination page and book your hotel here!

It’s January!

I’ll be making an announcement this month that will either having me jumping up and down like a Jack-in-the-Box, or crying over my hot cocoa! Find out throughout January!

The 10th British Shorts Film Festival is taking place from 12th – 18th January, 2017

Berlin Fashion Week will take place from 17th –  20th January, 2017

The British Council Literature Seminar – #BritLitBerlin – will take place from 26.01.17 – 28.01.17

The 67th Berlin International Film Festival, otherwise known as the Berlinale, will take place from 09.02.17 – 19.02.17

Strictly Stand Up – The English Comedy Night will take place at the Quatsch comedy Club on 15.02.17. Save the Date!

If you’re not in Berlin in January, it’s a darn shame!

January is going to be dramatic!

How to use the train in Europe: 10 tips to help you.
How to use the train in Europe: 10 tips to help you.

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

How to use the train in Europe: 10 tips to help you.
How to use the train in Europe: 10 tips to help you.

Have you ever used the train across Europe? What are your stories? Spill the beans!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern – On a budget!

How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern - On a budget!
How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern – On a budget!

Europe is wonderful!

It’s a continent and mass of a huge number of countries with an amazing number of languages, cultures and styles. Is it any wonder that I decided to organise  Victoria’s Summer European Challenge Campaign!

I mean, wouldn’t you?

Oh, the summer!

My challenge was to visit a European city. Every weekend, through the summer holidays.

My challenge was to visit a European city. Every weekend! How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern - On a budget!
My challenge was to visit a European city. Every weekend!
How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern – On a budget!

Every weekend!

For six (6) weeks!

And only to travel.

By train!

So let’s see how we’re doing.

A Danish girl in Denmark!
A Danish girl in Denmark!

I started off with Denmark and hopped off to Copenhagen.

Is Copenhagen a European city?

Yes. Tick!

This train was what I was expecting.
This train was what I was expecting.

Did I travel only by train?

Well, I booked my train with Deutsche Bahn – German Rail – and received a paid ticket for my seat on a German train, and was sent to….

I got this bus instead!
I got this bus instead!

Er….a coach – bus.

Organised by Deutsche Bahn.

Which took us through Northern Germany, on a ferry across the Baltic Sea!

Copenhagen was great and you can read all about it below:

So let’s go to the next destination.

The next country that I went to was Switzerland, and the city that I decided to visit was Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern!

SWITZERLAND

What about Swiss fondue! How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern - On a budget!
What about Swiss fondue!
How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern – On a budget!

Switzerland, otherwise known as the Swiss Confederation, is a small federal state or Bundesstadt!

It is situated in both Western and Central Europe, and is bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east!

Switzerland thankfully, has a long history of neutrality and has not been in a state of war internationally, since 1815!

In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to numerous international organizations.
In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to numerous international organizations.

In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to numerous international organizations, is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association, but notably even though it’s not a part of the European Union, or the European Economic Area, it nevertheless, allows free movement of travel, trade and living, for EU member states.

Although a small country of just eight million people, Switzerland consists of four (4) main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French, Italian, and Romansh – a sort of Swiss Romance language.

I live in Germany and Switzerland is practically next door but…

Shock & Horror! I had never ever been to Switzerland!
Shock & Horror!
I had never ever been to Switzerland!

Shock & Horror!

I had never ever been!

Mainly ‘cos it’s frightfully expensive!!

And so, I decided to cough up, and just go for it. And with a demanding growing lad too.

But where to go?

How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern - On a budget!
How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern – On a budget!

I opted to go to Lucerne.

Gulp!

My task?

To visit Lucerne. Sleep in Lucerne. Eat in Lucerne. And survive the horrendous prices. With young boy tween in tow.

Here we go.

Eeeek!

HOW TO SPEND 48 ASTONISHING HOURS IN LUCERNE, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS LUZERN – ON A BUDGET!

How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern - On a budget!
How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern – On a budget!

Lucerne is a city in the German-speaking part of central Switzerland and is the capital of the Canton of Lucerne, and the capital of the district of the same name!

With a population of 80,378 people, Lucerne is the most populous city in Central Switzerland!

Owing to its location on the shore of Lake Lucerne, Lucerne has long been a destination for tourists.

The official language of Lucerne is Swiss German, which is very different from German-German and very sing-songy…!

TAKE ME THERE?

Switzerland has excellent transport connections.
Switzerland has excellent transport connections.

Lucerne has excellent connections. If you’re flying, you would usually come into Zurich or Basel, and then a car or train ride away, would be about an hour. You can also come in via boat or rent a car.

We came in by train.

As you know, Victoria’s Summer European Challenge Campaign is to travel through the summer by train. Being that I live in Berlin, makes it an extremely easy way to travel.

In fact, travelling by train through the European continent is one of the most comfortable ways to travel with ease, from one country to the other. And by far, one of the cheapest!

The snag is to book tickets with the national train companies, directly.
The snag is to book tickets with the national train companies, directly.

The snag is to book tickets with the national train companies, directly. On their own websites, or through the German Rail otherwise known as Deutsche Bahn. Most websites have an English version. Some can be admittedly slightly hidden, but persevere, or contact them directly by calling, or via Email!

The cheapest way to ease into buying train tickets through most European countries (not all), is to actually book through the Deutsche Bahn portal on the local German English version not the UK or USA version! Note that for Germany, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Holland, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland, if you’re going by train, I don’t recommend that you do so by InterRail or EuroRail passes, if you’re only travelling to one country, as the prices are ridiculously expensive and children have to be paid for!

Take the train! How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern - On a budget!
Take the train!
How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern – On a budget!

Last year, I bought a twelve-hour direct train ticket from Berlin to Budapest. In first class for €69.00. Second class was just €10.00 cheaper at €59.00! My child was free of charge!

I bought a seven (7) hour train journey (second class) train ticket via the Hungarian Railways or MAV at a cost of 11,780 Ft or €38.40 to travel from Budapest to Prague. Child included in the cost!

I bought a five (5) hour train journey ticket (second class) to travel from Prague to Berlin. In August for just €29.00! And don’t forget, on the German inter-city Deutsche Bahn trains, children under 15 years old, travelling with their relatives, are free and cost nothing at all!

As a matter of fact, our return ticket from Berlin – Copenhagen – Berlin was just €58.00!

"The Tall Young Gentleman" didn't look too happy that for Switzerland, we took the Sparpreis Europa city night line train!
“The Tall Young Gentleman” didn’t look too happy that for Switzerland, we took the Sparpreis Europa city night line train!

For Switzerland, we took the Sparpreis Europa city night line train, and the eleven (11) hour return ticket journey from Berlin – Lucerne – Berlin, including reserved seating in July. Cost just €98.00. My child was free!

In a future post, I’ll be giving you tips as to how to prepare yourself when travelling on a European train!

IS IT GOING TO BE CROWDED?

Tourists were refreshingly diverse in Lucerene. ©Emanuel Ammon/Luzern Tourismus
Tourists were refreshingly diverse in Lucerne.
©Emanuel Ammon/Luzern Tourismus

We went to Lucerne in July, and I didn’t think crowds were more or less, than any other top European country in peak summer months.

I did notice that tourists were wonderfully more diverse, with many coming from other European nations of course, the US, and Asia.

Switzerland is a small nation with a lot of natural scenery and water, if you really don’t want to see a single soul, I don’t think it would be that difficult!

WHAT IS LUCERNE LIKE?

Switzerland is enormously clean, tidy, and orderly.
Switzerland is enormously clean, tidy, and orderly.

We were only there for two (2) days but I found Lucerne fascinating.

It’s in Switzerland, so it’s enormously clean, tidy, and orderly.

The people were friendly, relaxed, helpful, and full of smiles. In fact, loads of people were just relaxing and swimming in the lake, many were strolling, and you got the impression that these were people happy with their lot.

Lucerne is picture postcard pretty with bridges that reminded you of Venice, and castles that left you in no doubt that you were in a country of city and culture. Everywhere you looked was an impressive monument, building, castle or church, but a few paces away you would find cows in the field gently chewing away!

A few paces away you would find cows in the field gently chewing away, in Lucerne!
A few paces away you would find cows in the field gently chewing away, in Lucerne!

In front of you would be a majestic palace, and around the corner would be a flea market. The trains were super punctual but at the same time, if you went to a local tavern, the waiter would spend 20 minutes chatting while you drank your beer. You had the distinct impression that the people of Lucerne understood their city, and were happy to share it with visiting tourists.

It’s a city of history, but a living one, that breathes.

I DON’T SPEAK GERMAN!

We won't put you in the Schirmerturm Tower if you can't speak German!
We won’t put you in the Schirmerturm Tower if you can’t speak German!

Not a problem. Everyone pretty much speaks English, with many of the locals speaking German (of course), French and Italian too!

AM I GOING TO LIVE IN A HUT?

Nope! Switzerland is one of the most advanced nations in the world, so  it won’t be necessary for you to live in a cave!

I’M ON A BUDGET. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Switzerland is expensive. And so is this Jaguar car!
Switzerland is expensive. And so is this Jaguar car!

Not a lot I’m afraid.

Switzerland is expensive.

Terribly expensive and sadly, there’s no getting around it!

However, have no fear, there are hostels that cater to the more budget conscious traveller, and we were in one of them!

Knowing that Swiss prices would turn my hair grey, I opted to book a private double room at Backpackers Lucerne hostel.

I like to mix things up a little! How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern - On a budget!
I like to mix things up a little!
How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern – On a budget!

Whenever we go on a family holiday, I like to mix things up a little in order to experience a wide variety of accommodation possibilities, to meet the locals, and to stretch our budget in a more comfortable way.

In Copenhagen, I decided to book a family friendly budget hotel. This time around, we were going for the cheap and cheerful option of a hostel.

Backpackers Luzerne is a hostel that is located 15 minutes from the train station, right in front of the lake, near a local park where friends and family were hanging out, napping, listening to music, on a picnic, or just playing boules!

I had booked a private twin room which came with bed sheets, a large wooden wardrobe, a wooden table, two chairs, a mini-lamp with a mini bedside table, a private balcony with a further two chairs, and free WiFi.

Going to a hostel, gets you up early! How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern - On a budget!
Going to a hostel, gets you up early!
How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern – On a budget!

There were only two plugs on one side of the room, and one plug on the other, and neither of them could actually reach the table, which wasn’t that great with a laptop, kindles, phones, iPads, and all the other paraphernalia, that people travel with today.

I usually write at night and I wasn’t really able to, as there was no way to work with such a tight space with mini-facilities, without disturbing my son as he slept. So imagine my annoyance, when I found out that there were rows of tables, on the floor landing, with a million plug holes, just for this very purpose!

Whaaaaaat!

If only I had known earlier!

A kitchen is necessary so that we can have.....noodles! How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern - On a budget!
A kitchen is necessary so that we can have…..noodles!
How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern – On a budget!

The hostel had two kitchens, a large common room, and shared bathrooms and toilets on every floor. As well as  laundry rooms, and an extra open space with mirrors and sinks so that you could do your basic toiletry, outside the bathroom shower!

They also had bathroom scales which I thought was pretty nifty.

We paid just CHF 70.00 or €65.00 and we also got a discount ‘cos children get a CHF 8.00 or €6.70 reducction!

For what it was, this hostel was delightful and I highly recommend it.

Tick!

I’M LOOKING FOR A BIT MORE LUXURY, IS THERE SOMETHING FOR ME?

Is luxury available? Sure! ©Christian Perret/Luzern Tourismus
Is luxury available? Sure!
©Christian Perret/Luzern Tourismus

Most likely!

But this challenge wasn’t that sort of trip, and after losing so much money in Copenhagen, I thought it prudent to spend less, and experience more!

WHAT SHOULD I DO WHEN I GET TO LUCERNE OTHERWISE KNOWN AS LUZERN?

We only went for two (2) days so this was a a bit of a whirlwind cultural family trip. We were kindly given complimentary Luzern Museum Cards for the weekend which at CHF 36.00 or €33.00 per person, greatly reduced the cost of having to pay individually.

Thanks so much!

There is plenty to do in Lucerne. You can:

There is plenty to do in Lucerne so "The Tall Young Gentleman" & I made our own independent walking tour instead! Seen slightly before walking on the medieval Chapel Bridge, Water Tower, and Spreuer Bridge in Lucerne!
There is plenty to do in Lucerne so “The Tall Young Gentleman” & I made our own independent walking tour instead!
Seen slightly before walking on the medieval Chapel Bridge, Water Tower, and Spreuer Bridge in Lucerne!
  • Go on a free walking tour. We booked with Free Walk Lucerne but they didn’t turn up, so we did our own independent walking tour instead!
  • Explore the history and architecture of Lucerne.
  • Marvel at the magnificent views of the Alps.
  • Imagine how it would have been many years ago at the 3D-Panorama Alpineum.
  • Take photographs of the splendid buildings in Lucerne.
  • Walk by the riverside and walk through the 14th century Chapel Bridge, the Spreuer Bridge, and various other bridges and footpaths, where you can take as many selfie photographs as you like!
  • Check out some of the lovely churches and places of worship which are just bursting to be visited.
Myself walking by the riverside and walking through various bridges and footpaths, where you can take as many selfie photographs as you like!
Myself walking by the riverside and walking through various bridges and footpaths, where you can take as many selfie photographs as you like!
  • Discover the country manor house of the Richard Wagner Museum.
  • Spend a fun day running around the interactive Historisches Museum Luzern where you can follow a topic on display, go to the circus, and if you’re young enough. Watch a movie!
  • Get to grips with one of the most famous sights in Switzerland, immortalizing how local Swiss people took part in a remarkable act of solidarity, by rescuing over 87,000 French soldiers in the harsh winter of 1871! We were enormously impressed by the Bourbaki Panorama Luzern. Go see!
  • You know how much I like Art, so is it any wonder if I recommend the Rosengarten Collection Lucerne. This museum is a unique collection of 20 world-famous artists of the 19th and 20th century.
  • If you have more time, try out the actual Museum of Art Lucerne.
Rent a pedalo or a boat. How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern - On a budget!
Rent a pedalo or a boat.
How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern – On a budget!
  • Take a ride on Europe’s oldest railway.
  • Stroll freely through the cobbled side streets in the historic Old City.
  • Rent a pedalo or a boat.
  • Go on a steamship cruise. Sadly, we were unable to do the same, as we got drenched in a rainstorm!
  • Cliiiiiiiimb every mountain. Ford every stream. Follow every rainbow. ‘Till you find your dream!!
  • Go swimming.
  • Hike in the mountains or around the Lucerne Lake Region.
  • Go into castles.
  • Climb the Water Tower and many other royal buildings or fortresses.
  • Visit the many number of churches.
  • Take in all of the cute Swiss chocolate boxed houses.
Join a festival. How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern - On a budget!
Join a festival.
How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern – On a budget!
  • Join a festival! While we were there, the Blue Balls Festival was on, but throughout the year, there are many other Lucerne festivals too!
  • Go people-watching inside the flea market and the farmers market.
  • Merely ramble along the historical streets. 
  • Check out the various cafes, bars and restaurants for a quick bite and a few rounds of Swiss beer and cheese!
  • Go shopping.
  • Our favourite place was the magnificently lovely Glacier Garden Lucerne which takes visitors on a 20 million year journey through time from the sub-tropical palm-fringed beaches of millions of years back, through the Ice Age right up to the present day! Our best bit surprisingly, were the Museum and fascinating mirror maze. What fun we had!
  • Don’t forget to see the lion monument and take a selfie. You can’t miss it!

WHAT ABOUT TRANSPORT POSSIBILITIES?

Swiss punctuality is legendary. How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern - On a budget!
Swiss punctuality is legendary.
How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern – On a budget!

Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern, is pretty small. Everywhere is walkable, but local trains and buses are simple to use. Buy tickets for zones, rather than individual journeys.

You can also use your bicycle or take a ferry or ship across the many marvellous lakes!

We didn’t use local transportation however, Swiss punctuality is legendary, so if you want to connect to other Swiss cities, the train is best!

ANYTHING ELSE?

How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern - On a budget!
How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern – On a budget!

Now, let’s be realistic. Anywhere in Switzerland is horribly expensive.

Prepare for really high prices, and either suck it up or go elsewhere!

I mean, we went to a lovely lake-side pub for a small glass of beer and a soft drink.

And the cost? A hefty CHF 25 (swiss francs) or €23.00 not including the tip!

You’ve really got to wonder how they do it!

After that, we went to the supermarket and stuck to sandwiches, salad and cake!

I hate cooking at the best of times, and on holiday or city breaks, I definitely don’t cook! But if YOU do, there is plenty of opportunity to cater for yourself.

MY VERDICT:

How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern - On a budget!
How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern – On a budget!

I was impressed by Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern.

It’s lovely. It’s old. It’s got history, art and culture, and looks cute and flowery. It’s not your average budget destination, but if you plan carefully, you can make it work!

I’m just so sorry that I hadn’t visited earlier!

WOULD I COME AGAIN?

Absolutely!

I intend to do just that and can’t wait to visit again.

Let’s do it!

HOW TO SPEND 48 ASTONISHING HOURS IN LUCERNE, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS LUZERN – ON A BUDGET!

How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern!
How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern!

This article is not sponsored, and even though we received complimentary Luzern Museum Cards, all opinions and the wonderful Swiss lakes and houses that I was fascinated by, are my very own!

Throughout the summer month of August, all the museums in Berlin will be open each and every day! This will conclude with the bi-annual Die Lange Nacht der Museen otherwise known as the Long Night of Museums taking place on 27.8.16 from 6p.m. in the evening ’till 2a.m in the morning!

Mexico Week at KaDeWe will take place from 15.08.16 – 03.09.16, to introduce Mexico’s culinary diversity. Mexican food producers will present authentic foods, beverages and ingredients, many of them available in Germany, for the very first time!

I’ll be attending a media walkthrough on 18.08.16. Holaaaaa!

The Pop Kultur Festival is a new festival based in hipster Neukölln, over three (3) exciting days of new international and German bands, live concerts, performances, talks and reading, taking place from 31.08.16 – 02.09.16.

Berlin Art Week will take place from 13.09.16 – 18.09.16 so if you like contemporary art, this is the place for it!

I’ll also be attending the Down Under Berlin Australian & New Zealand Film Festival, which is the largest film festival in Europe dedicated to Australian and New Zealand film!

Save the Date!

August is going to be exciting!

I’ll be there. Will you?

As usual, you can also follow me via daily tweets and pictures on Twitter & Facebook!

If you’re not in Berlin in August, what are you waiting for?!

Watch this space!

How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern - On a budget!
How to spend 48 astonishing hours in Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern – On a budget!

Have you ever heard of Lucerne, otherwise known as Luzern? Have you been to Switzerland?  Did you keep to your budget? Have your say!

See you in Berlin.

If you like this post or if you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com