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#151 Aeros

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 07:43 PM

I'll be staying in Hostels most likely, so London shouldn't be too expensive if I end up going.
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#152 todesengel

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 07:54 PM

I'll be staying in Hostels most likely, so London shouldn't be too expensive if I end up going.


No, it will still be insanely expensive. The only way to make London inexpensive is if you don't buy anything, don't go out to bars, only eat takeaway, and don't club. If you have the self restraint to do that in a city with some of the best bars, clubs and shopping in the world, go for it :P.

Seriously though, if you're on a budget it isn't worth it, even if you're staying in hostels. I've heard one too many stories about crazy nights out with hostel buddies that resulted in spending 2 or 3 hundred bucks in a night. Double that if you're into drugs.

That said, it's a fucking awesome city, so go if you want, just don't plan on it being cheap ;)
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#153 seraphim

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 08:15 PM

No, it will still be insanely expensive. The only way to make London inexpensive is if you don't buy anything, don't go out to bars, only eat takeaway, and don't club.


mate, even take-out is expensive in london!
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#154 swisloc

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 08:46 PM

the other big incentive most first time european backpackers have in going through london is the cheaper airfare, but from my experience, this can be easily offset by the cost of flying out of london, as it is virtually the only portion of train transportation that is not covered on eurail passes (the chunnel).

Paris is not THAT much more expensive to fly to, and good flight deals can also be found to Frankfurt, Zurich, etc...but yeah, i'd go for the center of the continent and move out from there. Another strategy that i've used is to fly to Italy and make a giant counterclockwise circle around the continent (through switzerland/austria, prague, germany, holland/belgium, france, spain), finishing by renting a car in Barcelona and driving through the pyrenees, across the french and italian riviera and down through italy to fly back out from rome. especially in the summer, i found this to be a perfect capper to the trip (and it can be done much quicker than it seems). This one was longer than the one you have planned, but i would highly reccomend it.
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#155 englandmj7

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 11:07 PM

Skip Turkey and check out eastern Europe for 5-6 days. Croatia and Slovenia are beautiful and cheap. Croatia, in particular, is fastly becoming a very popular tourist destination, so get there while the going is good. It is on the Mediterranean, has alot of history, pretty girls, good food, great drinking. Several of my friends were there a couple months ago and rented a yacht to take them on a 3-day tour of the islands for a total of $700 (split between 6 guys at about $100 a person).........the place is great.

http://www.lonelypla.../europe/croatia

I would also press Prague as well.

Lastly, Lisbon is fine if you have seen the rest of Europe, but it is really a bit daft for a tourist stop if you only have a month. Great city nonetheless, but there are a hundred others I would recommend over it.

Of all the traveling I have done in my life, I have had infinitely more fun in the slightly less developed countries of the world. Then again, if you have never seen Rome/Paris/London, etc. I suppose you should do them once.
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#156 soundune

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 02:50 AM

here is where you should go from my many traveling experiences (trust me):

Turkey: Istanbul to Kusadasi (all night on bus) then Kusadasi to Bodrum (about half a day , again)

--spend 4 days in Istanbul; stay in the Sultan Hostel, spend 3 days in Kusadasi (ask for at the Sultan for their sister hostel with a pool in Kusadasi), spend 7 days (if you can, forever!) in Bodrum (again, talk to the people at the Sultan)

Croatia: GO STRAIT TO DUBROVNIK!!!

--Spend 7 days (if you can, forever, again) stay at a Sobe (croatian b&B) they'll be easy to find because you'll be mobbed by old people asking you to stay at their sobe

Spain: def. go to Madrid and stay at the Cat's Hostel (one of the BEST in Europe)

--Spend at least 3 days in Madrid and at least 3 in Barcelona (stay at Kabul hostel - probably the craziest party hostel in the city if not all of Europe)

Germany: yes, go to Berlin! and you have to stay at the Circus Hostel (probably THE best in Europe) also def check out Munich. Stay in Berlin at least 3 days, same for Munich

Italy: you have to go to the cinque terra, also florence. you MUST go to lago maggiore and only if you have extra time lago di como.

............as you can see 1 month is not all that much. but i can promise you, from many summers of experience (i lived in Europe for 18 years!) you can rely on my advice.

PLEASE pm me if you want in depth info I love to help fellow travelers! ciao & buon viaggi
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#157 soundune

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 02:54 AM

aeros, damn - just saw that you're in seattle as am I! i'm going to the UofW, if you are at the U I'd be more than happy to help out. some friends and i did a three month trip last summer. started with the world cup in germany and ended in spain a loooong time later. peace
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#158 nairb49

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 03:31 AM

done similar trips a couple times. I'm assuming you're backpacking.

Some things to consider:

1-If its your first time, going by train via europass will definitely give you a better "feel" for the countries and culture.

That being said, a trip for only a month may lead you to choose to fly. Airlines like easyjet, flybmi, ryanair are all extremely cheap and will save you loads (literally days) of time if you want to get to the destination fast.

Depends how you want the trip to go down. Personally, I suggest cutting down on places you visit and taking the train.
I have a soft spot for london, and while it is very expensive, I love it.

My first backpacking trip, I flew to london (return ticket for 600), spent a few days there. Flew easyjet to amsterdam (25euro or so) and activated my europass. From there, we planned our trip in a circle of western europe. Being our first time, we wanted to see all the "cliché" sites (eiffel tower, spanish steps etc).

So, Amsterdam to Brugges (gorgeous, highly recommended), Brugges to Paris, Paris to Barcelona, Barcelona to Nice, Nice to L'Aquila (tiny town in mid-italy, VERY highly recommended), L'Aquila to Rome, Rome to Neuchatel(gorgeous) to visit friends in school, Neuchatel to Strasbourg, Strasbourg to Amsterdam and back to London to fly out.

For your tentative route, I would say leave Turkey and Lisbon for next time, as they are kind of out of the "bubble" and you would lose a couple days in travel. Definitely hit up as many friend's places as you can, always nice to save a few bucks and see some buddies.

This all happened in about a month and a half, though the last few cities were quick stops basically on our way back to fly out of london. So about 5-6 days in each city.

Hostels are a good choice, but don't rule out 1 or 2 star hotels in the smaller cities, which can be a nice change every now and then to have private bathrooms/towels etc.

As far as money, my personal opinion is not to bother with traveller's cheques. Unless you're staying in the ultra-touristy areas (I hope you're not), they aren't so useful, and are generally a pain to try and find outlets to cash them in etc etc.

Debit card is very easy to use, and the fees aren't all that high.Take out a few hundred euros at a time, and you shouldn't incur more than 30-40 bucks in fees (if that) compared to much more for travellers cheques.

Have fun! Let us know what your final plans are!
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#159 todesengel

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 04:17 AM

aeros, damn - just saw that you're in seattle as am I! i'm going to the UofW, if you are at the U I'd be more than happy to help out. some friends and i did a three month trip last summer. started with the world cup in germany and ended in spain a loooong time later. peace


Seconded (I'm at UW too). 3 years back I spent 6 months backpacking around central Europe, Italy, the balkans and Turkey, so if you're planning to go to any of those places I'd be more than happy to give some pointers.
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#160 englandmj7

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 05:27 AM

here is where you should go from my many traveling experiences (trust me):

Turkey: Istanbul to Kusadasi (all night on bus) then Kusadasi to Bodrum (about half a day , again)

--spend 4 days in Istanbul; stay in the Sultan Hostel, spend 3 days in Kusadasi (ask for at the Sultan for their sister hostel with a pool in Kusadasi), spend 7 days (if you can, forever!) in Bodrum (again, talk to the people at the Sultan)


Kusadasi is world-renowned for being an overrun by British/Irish tourists (in the vein of Crete, most of Greece, and Tenerife, etc.). I have friends who have been there in the past year and they said the sheer number of hooligans and knackers made it feel like the worst of the UK came over for a holiday. I wouldn't want to be anywhere where this is the situation.
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#161 todesengel

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 05:47 AM

Kusadasi is world-renowned for being an overrun by British/Irish tourists (in the vein of Crete, most of Greece, and Tenerife, etc.). I have friends who have been there in the past year and they said the sheer number of hooligans and knackers made it feel like the worst of the UK came over for a holiday. I wouldn't want to be anywhere where this is the situation.


I've heard about the same about most of southwest Turkey (including Kusadasi and Bodrum). Shitloads of Brits and Germans on holiday. If you want to get away from it, you've gotta go to the east.
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#162 faust

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 06:22 PM

Heh, you are going to get as many conflicting replies as possible. Why? Because Europe fucking rocks. Awesome culture, heritage, architecture, fashion, food, beautiful people, and a notion of quality of life that Americans have no clue about. It's hard to go wrong really, so my best advice is to relax - don't try to squeeze in too many places. I agree with those who advise to skip London, it's the most US-like place in Europe. Concentrate on continental Europe instead. Personally, I don't understand how you can visit Europe without Amsterdam or Prague - they are both gorgeous and fun. I also have a soft spot for Belgium (from fashion to beer), and Amsterdam -> Antwerp -> Brussels -> Paris are VERY close to each other.
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#163 soundune

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 06:52 PM

basically, what the above guy said. europe is amazing, anywhere you go you'll have a blast.

but, in defense of Kusadasi and Bodrum. Yes, there are many german and dutch tourists, and they do detract, but it's still a fun place! damn, it must be for so many people to enjoy it (not a good reason, i know) but from my personal experience (and I do hate an over run destination) I still had tons of fun.

also between the two locations you can knock out 3 of the 7 ancient wonders of the world, and those in and of themselves are reason enough to go! ciao
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#164 swisloc

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 07:18 PM

Heh, you are going to get as many conflicting replies as possible. Why? Because Europe fucking rocks. Awesome culture, heritage, architecture, fashion, food, beautiful people, and a notion of quality of life that Americans have no clue about. It's hard to go wrong really, so my best advice is to relax - don't try to squeeze in too many places. I agree with those who advise to skip London, it's the most US-like place in Europe. Concentrate on continental Europe instead. Personally, I don't understand how you can visit Europe without Amsterdam or Prague - they are both gorgeous and fun. I also have a soft spot for Belgium (from fashion to beer), and Amsterdam -> Antwerp -> Brussels -> Paris are VERY close to each other.


agreed. i think there is a desire from those of us who've been to the continent several times to suggest off-the-beaten-path and more out of the way places, as we have had great experiences there. conversely, the first time I went to europe I ONLY went to London, southern England, Northern France and the Loire Valley, and Paris, and had an amazing time (and you can't get more touristed than these areas). my point - you will have fun and be blown away REGARDLESS (as faust said).

that said, maybe you should stick to a handful major cities this time around (with side day trips from there). just the european understanding of "city" is so jurastically different then ours as it has been developed over a thousand years (some of the major european cities are that old or much older). If you travel to fast you will miss why a cafe in Paris, or a piazza in Rome, or walk along a canal in Amsterdam, or a beer on a wood bench in Prague have actions unto themselves in contemporary culture.
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#165 nairb49

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 11:07 PM

i agree with both faust and swisloc, I feel the exact same way, and did much the same.

first time was big cities with tourists, next time was smaller off the path cities. both were amazing experiences.
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#166 swisloc

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 04:43 PM

starting to plan my vacation time for the year and was considering doing several smaller trips vs. one big trip. i live in NYC, so the options for quick flights to nice places to spent five days are so are quite varied. anyone been on a great trip recently that fits this discription?

Also, i'll be traveling with my girlfriend and we are kinda over the shoe-string budget/hostel thing. we like cheap local places, but we also like to be comfortable. we will probably take three or so of these trips this year.

some ideas we've had:
Dominica
Coastal California/Big Sur
Iceland

thoughts?
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#167 englandmj7

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 05:51 PM

It always depends, to me, on where you have been already. I live fairly close to Big Sur, and have been there, and when all is said and done, airfare to get here, plus car rental, plus food/lodging, etc. wouldn't be worth the hassle/money to me. It is nice, but if you can go virtually anywhere in the world and haven't seen alot of places, then I wouldn't advise simply coming to California.

Iceland I hear is insanely expensive, so if you are into "affordable" I don't think that is your place......plus, it will be bumfuck cold this time of year.

If you haven't been yet, then there is absolutely no better place in the world to go than Southeast Asia. You will stay in beautiful hotels for half of what it would cost anywhere else, the weather is excellent all year round (except for a small rainy season), the people are great, and the scenery is amazing........
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#168 swisloc

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 06:01 PM

It always depends, to me, on where you have been already. I live fairly close to Big Sur, and have been there, and when all is said and done, airfare to get here, plus car rental, plus food/lodging, etc. wouldn't be worth the hassle/money to me. It is nice, but if you can go virtually anywhere in the world and haven't seen alot of places, then I wouldn't advise simply coming to California.

Iceland I hear is insanely expensive, so if you are into "affordable" I don't think that is your place......plus, it will be bumfuck cold this time of year.

If you haven't been yet, then there is absolutely no better place in the world to go than Southeast Asia. You will stay in beautiful hotels for half of what it would cost anywhere else, the weather is excellent all year round (except for a small rainy season), the people are great, and the scenery is amazing........


well, too answer your question, i've traveled a lot, but tend to prefer traveling less to cities these days since i live in a big one. southeast asia is first on my list of places i'd like to go but i think it warants a lot more time than i can give it this year. If i can only get five or so days at a time, spending all that time on the plane seems out of the question.
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#169 englandmj7

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 06:14 PM

well, too answer your question, i've traveled a lot, but tend to prefer traveling less to cities these days since i live in a big one. southeast asia is first on my list of places i'd like to go but i think it warants a lot more time than i can give it this year. If i can only get five or so days at a time, spending all that time on the plane seems out of the question.


In that case, fly to Mexico and then go to Cuba from there. The place is fucking awesome, and as soon as Castro dies (which will be soon), it is going to suck (better for the people, but worse for tourists)............
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#170 poly800rock

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 06:49 PM

nicobar islands kid......
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#171 swisloc

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 06:55 PM

nicobar islands kid......


ooooooh. looks nice, bit too far for this time around, though.
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#172 zoire

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 07:02 PM

In that case, fly to Mexico and then go to Cuba from there. The place is fucking awesome, and as soon as Castro dies (which will be soon), it is going to suck (better for the people, but worse for tourists)............


is it cheaper to go that route, as opposed to fly directly to cuba or take an all-inclusive package? what transportation do u take in mexico?
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#173 englandmj7

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 07:36 PM

is it cheaper to go that route, as opposed to fly directly to cuba or take an all-inclusive package? what transportation do u take in mexico?


You cannot fly from the U.S. to Cuba.
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#174 down4nyhc

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 08:37 PM

there are many travel agencies in NYC that buy bulk airfare straight from the airlines. they sell so much they get them dirt cheap and are able to resell them cheap as well. these aren't the ones that advertise in voice. they're legit and many times they are some of the top sellers for some airlines. i've met a guy that sold egypt air and lufthansa from some shit hole in astoria. you'd never think he was regularly having
lunch with the president of lufthansa.

check these guys:

Rta Travel Of Nj Inc
3985 65th Pl, Flushing, NY 11377
(718) 507-2500



they almost always have cheaper flights and packages than anyone out there. i know it looks weird but they've been in business forever.
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#175 therealcas

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 07:21 AM

i concur with englandmj7 on iceland...it is really expensive. if you go out alcohol is around 17-24 dollars a cocktail and a shot is around 6 dollars. unless you can afford to head up there you should go. its beautiful. and a must see attraction is the blue lagoon its a man made lake that is filled with water runoff from a powerplant. sounds sketchy but the water is around bath water temperature and you can swim all day for 20 dollars.
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#176 swisloc

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 02:23 PM

i concur with englandmj7 on iceland...it is really expensive. if you go out alcohol is around 17-24 dollars a cocktail and a shot is around 6 dollars. unless you can afford to head up there you should go. its beautiful. and a must see attraction is the blue lagoon its a man made lake that is filled with water runoff from a powerplant. sounds sketchy but the water is around bath water temperature and you can swim all day for 20 dollars.


man, i knew iceland was expensive, but that's really expensive. the reason we were considering it was it a relatively short flight from new york. plus driving the ring road seems like something that MUST be done at some point.
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#177 aDj

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 09:14 PM

In that case, fly to Mexico and then go to Cuba from there. The place is fucking awesome, and as soon as Castro dies (which will be soon), it is going to suck (better for the people, but worse for tourists)............


Or fly to Toronto and then to Cuba.
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#178 poly800rock

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 10:06 PM

i will never go to a scandinavian country on a budget again....I went to norway a few years ago for a spring break vacation....beer was $13, cigs $12 a pack. hostel/hotel was $50 a night..better money spent in Asia
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#179 Kasper

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 10:20 PM

man, i knew iceland was expensive, but that's really expensive. the reason we were considering it was it a relatively short flight from new york. plus driving the ring road seems like something that MUST be done at some point.


i will never go to a scandinavian country on a budget again....I went to norway a few years ago for a spring break vacation....beer was $13, cigs $12 a pack. hostel/hotel was $50 a night..better money spent in Asia


i studied in Norway and visited every scandinavians countries and i must concur, DO NOT GO THERE IS MONEY IS AN ISSUE. it's seriously more, much more expensive than you think. and the biggest problem is that the stuff where you feel the difference the most is that fun stuff that you want to do as a tourist (drink beer, eat at the restaurant, sleep in a nice hotel etc).

Cuba is really nice and it's definitely worth the visit and the hassle of having to fly to mexico or Canada. it's probably the second most popular destination for eastern canadian (after florida) so you can find package for dirt cheap (5 days all included package at a 4 star resort can easily found under 1000$ CDN or about 850$ US) and flight from new york to toronto or montreal are quite cheap as well so it could be an attractive option.

There's tons of other Caribbeans or central American option out there so it shouldn't be a problem finding somewhere to go. it's a bit farther (but still reasonable) but i would also recommend Costa Rica, beautiful place, good food, good beaches, tons of stuff to do etc.
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#180 mwrenchd

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 10:45 PM

It's been a few years since I was there, but I absolutely loved the Dalmatian Coast in Croatia. It's gotten a lot of buzz the last couple years, so I imagine prices are a bit higher now. However, compared to the regular Mediterranean spots, it's probably still pretty cheap.

There are no direct flights from NYC that I know of, and if that's changed it would be to the inland capital, Zagreb. There are, however, discount carriers that fly direct to Split or Dubrovnik from Dublin and London, which are quite easy and relatively cheap to get to from NYC. If you are travelling in peak summer season, there are also overnight ferries from Venice and Ancona (if you do this, definitely pay for the higher cabin rates- they are almost always re-branded mid-1970s Soviet cruise ships and the cheap "cabins" are foul).

Anyway, most people go to Hvar or Dubrovnik, both of which are absolutely lovely. The other southern Dalmatia coastal towns & islands are all quite nice too, from what I hear.

I also highly recommend staying away from the hotels. They are overpriced and pretty shitty. If you're staying for 5 days, get an apartment rental, which is easy to arrange in the tourist office when you arrive. I got a hilltop apt w/ a balcony overlooking the harbor, 10 min walk from everything, for about $35/night with no advance reservation.

One other thing worth mentioning- everyone under the age of 40 speaks perfect English. And the older people are still helpful and do their best to communicate. A nice respite from bitchy western Europe.
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