Budapest, Hungary was the very first city that I stopped at, and it an incredibly great city to start off my Europe trip to. First of all, it was in Eastern Europe, so everything was a little cheaper than the rest of my trip. I initially stayed in Budapest for only a couple of nights and moved onto Vienna and Prague before coming back. I really enjoyed the vibe of Budapest, as it wasn't incredibly touristy or modern, but had such beautiful locations and views. I returned to Budapest with my Davidson Management Honors Program group, and we were able to see everything from the Parliament building to the Chain Bridge, to even trying the Budapest Baths! The Budapest Baths were definitely an experience I recommend for anyone who has never experienced it before, especially with a good group of friends. We were lucky enough to end our time in Budapest with a river boat cruise down the Danube River at night, and man were there some amazing sights!
I spent around five days with the Davidson Management Honors Program in Prague, Czech Republic. Prague had a similar vibe to Budapest, but was possibly even more beautiful. We had the opportunity of visiting various companies in the Prague region such as Czech Invest and the country's Ministry of Finance. Visiting both were probably one of the coolest experiences for me because I got to really see how a different country handled their finances and financial agreements with other countries and private organizations.
Some cool places that we visited were Cesky Krumlov, which was this little cute, almost medieval town that had views for days, kayaking, and cute restaurants and the like. Definitely a day trip worth taking! Additionally, we were able to visit the Petrin Lookout Tower, which was referred to the "Eiffel Tower" of Prague. If you climbed the stairs to the top of the tower, the views on the top were absolutely breathtaking. The perfect time of day to go out to this lookout tower was right when the sun was setting because then you are able to see the sunset over top of the city and the night lights begin to turn on. Also able to be beautifully viewed from this tower was the huge Prague Castle, which we also were able to check out. I always love exploring the royal of a country, and so seeing the insides of how old royalty lived was intriguing as always to me. Two friends and I also had the chance to go to the Prague Zoo, which was named one of the best zoos in the world, and I would definitely have to agree. I felt like I saw nearly the entire animal kingdom in less than 3 hours. As always, the Charles Bridge was a nice token of Prague that I will always remember, as following down the bridge and a little bit more into the city you would be able to find the John Lenin Wall, definitely a good photo-op. Finally, a little hidden fun in the city was at the House of Sparky, which is the biggest toy store in Central Europe. If you head to their main store in Old Town Prague, you should be able to find a extremely fun (but might I add, really scary) adult slide from the store's second floor to the first floor. Trust me, it's something you want to check out... just don't wear a skirt like I did!