15 things I learnt about Croatia

I just came home from the beautiful Croatia on Sundays and I’m ready to share my thoughts on the vacation with you.

  1. Croatia can be found in Europe and is surrounded by 5 countries: Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia and Montenegro. Most of its territory is fenced by the Adriatic Sea so it serves as the ultimate beach holiday destination.
  2. Its capital is Zagreb and the most popular places for vacation are Dubrovnik, Zadar, Split and Trogir.
  3. Croatia and Spain has most of the merits in Europe that are protected by the UNESCO World Heritage.
  4. The territory of Croatia has been ruled by the Greeks, the Romans and the Habsburg dynasty throughout history.
  5. Croatian population is about 4 million. 10% of the population consists of ethnics like Serbs, Italians, Germans and Hungarians. People are nice and helpful and most of them speaks at least a few words in English, and it is always enough to make yourself understood.
  6. 90% of the Croatian population is Christian.
  7. Croatia has more than a thousand islands and many spectacular natural sights. The most famous one is the Plitvice Lakes National Park, but Krka National Park and Kornati Islands are worth a visit as well.
  8. Famous Croats include the 2Cellos duo, movie maker Goran Visnjic and Krist Novoselic from Nirvana. Although Nikola Tesla was Serbian by nationality, he was born in a now-Croatian town called Gospic.
  9. Croatian inventions are ties, high speed photography, torpedos, speedometers and benzodiazepines.
  10. The transportation in Croatia can be tricky sometimes. There are not always pedestrian crossings, drivers don’t always care about traffic signs or speed limit and buses never come on time.
  11. 20% of the country’s GDP comes from tourism so everything is very expensive. For example, when we went from Zadar to the Krka National Park, we had to pay twice for the highway, for the parking, for entering the park, for using the toilet and for eating a fruit salad.
  12. Typical Croatian dishes are seafood based such as black risotto, brodetto and buzara. They also have strukli (strudel). The most famous Croatian beers are Karlovacko and Ozujsko.
  13. While walking in different towns, I noticed that hydrangeas, lavender, fig, olive trees and evergreen species can be found everywhere.
  14. Maverick cats often invade the street or sometimes the buildings. In the Church of St. Donatus in Zadar there were 4 newborn cats with their mummy upstairs (!!).
  15. You can find many of the Game of Thrones scene locations in Croatia, such as Dubrovnik (King’s Landing), the Fortress of Klis (Meereen) and Split (Daenerys’ Throne Room).

Stay tuned for more blog posts about Zadar, Sibenik, Nin and the Krka National Park!

15 things I learnt about the Czech Republic

I’ve been to the Czech Republic only twice in my life. First when I was 12 and spent 3 weeks in Austria, I visited the nearby Český Krumlov and České Budějovice. Then a couple of years ago I went to see Prague. In these couple of days I grew to like this country a lot and I can’t wait to go back someday!

  1. The Czech Republic can be found in the middle of Europe surrounded by Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Poland.
  2. It was as many citizens as Hungary (approximately 10 million people).
  3. Prague, the city of a hundred spires and the historical center of Bohemia is the capital of the country.
  4. Its currency is the Czech Koruna.
  5. Most of the country’s income comes from tourism.
  6. It is one of the most non-religious countries of the world.
  7. Although Czech is the second hardest language to learn, Czech and Slovakian people can understand each other easily.
  8. The oldest university of Europe, Charles University can be found in Prague. It was founded in 1348.
  9. Hungary and the Czech Republic had many mutual rulers while they were both regulated by the Habsburg Dynasty from 1526.
  10. Famous Czech people include Bohumil Hrabal, Franz Kafka, Antonín Dvořák, Alfons Mucha, Miloš Forman and Ivana Trump.
  11. Contact lenses and sugar cubes are Czech inventions.
  12. Czech beer such as Pilsner Urquell, Budweiser, Kozel and Staropramen are famous worldwide.
  13. Traditional Czech food include roast pork with bread dumpling and cabbage, beef stake tartare, fruit dumplings and deep fried cheese.
  14. The most common souvenirs you can find in shops are made from Czech glass or crystal, Mucha or beer related.
  15. One of our tour guides told us if people want to shoot movie scenes that takes places in Venice and want to spare money, they shoot in Prague. If the same situation happens with Prague, they go to Budapest. Hellboy, Immortal beloved, The illusionist and Casino Royal were filmed in the Czech Republic.

15 things I learnt about Austria

I can proudly call this country my second home, because I spent 3 weeks there when I was 12, one month when I was 21 and 6 weeks when I became 22. Although I’ve been to a lot of places, there are still many to visit. Can’t wait to go back someday! 

  1. Austria lies in the middle of Europe, and it is surrounded by Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and the Czech Republic.
  2. It is the 12th richest country if the world concerning the GDP.
  3. Its capital is the beautiful Vienna, that has 1.8 million people of population.
  4. Its territory was occupied first by Celtic tribes in the ancient times. The famous Venus of Willendorf was found in Austria, it dates back to the paleolithic age and is now in the Museum of Natural History in Vienna.
  5. Its history can not be separated from the Hungarian because of mutual monarchs, wars and other events. We Hungarians call them our ‘Austrian borther-in-laws’.
  6. The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914 started World War I.
  7. The most famous Austrian people are: Erwin Schrödinger, Sigmund Freud, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Gustav Klimt, Billy Wilder, Johann Strauss (both of them), Franz Schubert and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
  8. Austrian German is their national language and it is not identical to German.
  9. Austrian people are very polite and always ready to help. They are used to foreigners in their country. Although they speak English perfectly well, they don’t always show it. They all lead healthy lives by doing sports and eating food only of very good quality.
  10. The most famous Austrian movies, the Sissi trilogy was made about Queen Elisabeth, played by Romy Schneider in 1955.
  11. The Christmas fair in Vienna is very popular among tourists from all over the world…
  12. … and of course because of the Alpines, Austria has many ski resorts.
  13. Glühwein or mulled wine is a spicy drink that brings Christmas in your mouth. They are always sold at Christmas fairs in different mugs every year.
  14. Famous Austrian dishes are Wiener Schnitzel (very thin, deep fried meat), Frittatensuppe (cattle soup with cut pancakes as paste), Marillenknödl (noodles filled with apricot), Kaiserschmarrn (thick pancake-like paste with fruit or jam), Apfelstrudel (strudel filled with apple) and Sacher cake (chocolate cake filled with jam, chocolate on top).
  15. Their very famous chocolate, the Mozartkugel was made by a confectioner from Salzburg and it won a gold medal of the Paris World’s Fair in 1905. It is a pisctacchio marzipan mix coated with nougat.

15 things I learnt about Barcelona

This July I spent 6 days in Barcelona with a friend of mine. These couple of days made me adore this city and now I have the desire to discover other parts of Spain as well. Here are the most important things I learnt about it:

  1. Barcelona is the second largest city of Spain.
  2. It is the now the capital of Catalonia.
  3. It is the largest and most popular city of the Mediterranean coastline.
  4. Legend sais Barcelona was founded by Hercules. Although other sources suggest, it was founded 400 years later by the Romans. We may never know, but it surely  became part of Kingdom of Aragon in the Middle Ages.
  5. The most beautiful, creative and popular buildings in Barcelona were all made by Antoni Gaudí in Art Nouveau style. Sagrada Familia, Parc Güell, Casa Batlló, La Pedrera and Park de la Ciutadella are must see attractions!
  6. Barcelona has 9 UNESCO heritage sights, most of them are Gaudí buildings.
  7. Las Ramblas is the perfect place to find souvenirs.
  8. If you have the chance, go to the market, Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria every day, because they sell amazing smoothies and fresh fruit, and daily liquid and vitamine intake are very important!
  9. Famous people born in Barcelona include Joan Miró, Daniel Brühl and Álvaro Soler.
  10. Barcelona is the hometown of the famous football team, FC Barcelona. The Camp Nou Experience include a tour and a museum dedicated to the team.
  11. Ed Sheeran loves Barcelona so much, that he wrote a song about it to his new album, Divide.
  12. Catalan people doesn’t like to be called Spanish. They are currently fighting for independence.
  13. You can find paella in most of the restaurants (and other seafood as well). But if you are not into that, almost all of them serve pizza as well.
  14. Cliché or not, everybody should taste sangria!
  15. No doubt that the best Spanish dessert is churros! It comes in many forms, my favourite was the one filled with Nutella!

15 things I learnt about Poland

Last year I spent July in Poland, more specifically in Katowice with IFMSA internship. In addition, all foreign students went on trips on every weekend. To Kraków, Wroclaw and Gdansk. It was one of the best times of my life, and I cherish all the memories I have.

Here are some things I learnt about this beautiful country during my stay there.

  1. Poland in more than 3 times bigger than Hungary. Its surface is 312 000 square kilometres while Hungary’s is 93 000 square kilometres.
  2. It is surrounded by Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Kaliningrad and the Baltic Sea.
  3. The Kingdom of Poland was founded in 1025.
  4. Polish weather is unpredictable. We can state, that it is almost 10 degrees less in the summer than in Hungary with random surprising rains. (Today it’s 23 degrees in Warsaw, for example.) So prepare warmer clothes, even you are travelling there in the summer.
  5. Although Poland’s capital is Warsaw since 1596, the former capital, Kraków is more popular among tourists. Kraków has been the city of kings, and even Polish people say you should rather choose to visit it over Warsaw.
  6. Therefore, Kraków is a bit crowded all through the year.
  7. Polish people are really kind and they like having guests.
  8. Polish and Hungarian people has a special bond. As the proverb says: Polak, Węgier — dwa bratanki,i do szabli, i do szklanki. Which means, Pole and Hungarian, two brothers, fight and drink wine together. This friendship dates back to the Middle Ages. The two nations had mutual kings, like Louis the Great. March 23rd is Hungarian-Polish Friendship Day in both countries.
  9. Hungarian and Polish folk embroidery has many similarities.
  10. All Polish cities are well reserved and very clean.
  11. Both local and intercity transportation facilities are well equipped.
  12. Polish dishes often contain pork and cabbage. Usually in the same dish.
  13. Their most famous traditional dish is pierogi, which is basically a dumpling that can be filled with almost everything and can be eaten appetizer, main course and dessert as well. During my one month in Poland, I ate pierogis filled with pork, cabbage, cottage cheese, salmon, spinach and peach.
  14. The best Polish street food is definitely zapiekanka, which is a hot sandwich made of a long baguette. It exists in many forms, but my favourite was the one with mushrooms, pickles, ham and cheese.
  15. Their national alcohol is vodka.

15 things I learnt about Slovenia

Tomorrow I have to say goodbye to this beautiful country, hopefully not for eternity. Here are the things I learnt about Slovenia this week.

1. Slovenia’s population is only 2 million people.
2. Its capital is Ljubljana and its second biggest city is Maribor.
3. While Piran is basically a small Venice, Portorož reminds people of Monaco.
4. The current FLOTUS is from a small town called Novo mesto.
5. Unlike Hungarian castles, their Slovenian neighbours are in perfectly good condition.
6. Confectionaries are hard to find, but there is ice cream on every corner.
7. Slovenian youngsters are able to wear jeans and long black trousers in 30 degrees. For me, that counts as a superpower!
8. Slovenian people are nice and always ready to help. Most of them speaks Italian or German and a little bit of English.
9. There are bakeries everywhere.
10. Hydrangeas can be found everywhere in the country. They can be used as indicators: in acidic soil they have blue flowers while in alkalic it’s pink.
11. Churches are usually not open for visitors.
12. I was not bitten by any mosquitoes which is a miracle, because it seems, everywhere I go I’m their favourite snack.
13. In bigger towns, you have 8 seconds to cross the street. Nobody can do it, not even bikers, but drivers are patient.
14. There are bike roads everywhere.
15. Slovenia is not cheap but definitely worth a visit.

The following weeks I will post about all the cities I visited in Slovenia (with photos, of course): Maribor, Ptuj, Postojna, Predjama, Piran and Portorož. So stay tuned! 🙂

Click here for more information about Slovenia!

Fun facts of Budapest

Throughout the years I’ve been to Budapest many times. I always like spending time there because I can breathe the history in on every corner while walking down the street.

Here are 10 fun facts about the Hungarian capital:

  1. Budapest is a cultural, political and economical center.
  2. 20% of Hungary’s population (2 million people) lives in the capital.
  3. It’s history reaches back to the celtics, who founded the city. Then the Roman Empire ruled this region. The Huns only occupied it in the 9th century.
  4. It existed in two parts (Buda and Pest) until 1873. It was almost named Pestbuda.
  5. There are 14 birdges over River Danube. They became the symbols of Budapest.
  6. Freddie Mercury liked the Hungarian Parliament so much, he wanted to buy it.
  7. You can find the hand of our first ruler, St. Stephen in St. Stephen’s Basilica. The Holy Right leads the parade on 20th August.
  8. It has many thermal baths, so it’s quite popular among tourists.
  9. There is a Columbo statue in the middle of the city.
  10. Budapest also has a Statue of Liberty. A woman holding a palm frond can be found on Gellért Hill.

Here are the places I especially like in Budapest:


Click here to find out more about Budapest!