Last Stop: A Day In Krakow + Our 20-Day Eastern Europe Trip Budget Breakdown!

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

First blog post of 2019! ❤

How was your New Year's Eve celebration?? We went to our cousin's house just a few blocks away from ours, had our dinner, watched Bird Box, reminisced our Christmas and New Year in the US several years ago, watched my pamangkin play the piano, and by 10pm, our family rushed back to our own house to prepare for our Korean media noche!

I didn't bother to finish this na before my usual year-ender post. But it's nice to say that FINALLY! We are down to my last Eastern Europe trip travel blog!

In here we will explore the city of Krakow in Poland, our last stop for the backpacking adventures before we headed back to our relatives in Oslo for about 2 days, and then finally head back to Manila. Here's how those last few days in Europe went down. Oh how time really flies by when you're having fun!

I'm not gonna lie, these blog series took me ages to finish mostly because of info overload. I cannot remember most of the names of the places that we've been to! Haha! But I can still remember what I felt in every single city.

For Krakow, it has a bit of a mystery in it having to carry a very long history that involves draculas, castles, and oppression. The streets look pretty much the same from the olden times, if not for tourists like me and my sister wearing our cameras around our neck. ๐Ÿ˜„ Anyway, here's an attempt to document our day in Krakow.

Bye Budapest!

I think the longest city that we stayed in was in Budapest. I kind of miss this city now, again it's one of my favorite stops because of the variety of things we were able to do while we were there (public bath house, Frida Kahlo exhibit, etc. More HERE).

We took another night train which was a bit of a horror experience for me, haha! I will even prefer our cramped sleeper train to Berlin for the bed and privacy. Our overnight train to Poland still has a cabin that we shared to que horror four giant teenage boys all occupying the side near the doorway HAHA!

Anyway, that's just a night with light sleep so tiis tiis nalang!

Was able to take pictures of our cabin before our "barkada" arrived, lels. Hindi na ako naka toilet since they came coz ang awkward to pass through huhu.

Hello Krakow!

We arrived in Poland and it was already day time aka our only day in the city. We found our way to our guest house right away just to take a shower, leave our stuff at the reception since we were still too early for check in, then -- no time to waste! -- went out in the streets right away to explore Krakow in less than 24 hours!

A Little About This Mysterious City Called Krakow

There are many things notable about the underrated city of Krakow. It is the second largest city in Poland, it was the country's former capital, and is even cited as one of Europe's most beautiful cities!

Their Old Town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, just exploring this part will give you a feel of their MEDIEVAL core. From gothic churches to stories on dragons and draculas, I really wanted to learn more about Krakow if only we had more time.

Where We Stayed

Ate booked for a private room in a guesthouse called the Hostel Benedykta. We got a bit lost looking for it as there were no signages outside its building--which looks either it is a monastery or an abandoned hospital from the outside. ๐Ÿ˜… We paid Php 2476 for an overnight stay in our own room (split into two) and it already has its own toilet and shower, so I guess it is good enough.

Diba very shady much, hahaha!

First hostel in our Euro trip with no lifts, so I won't complain na! Keri naman my small luggage.

I think they also have bunk beds option here, but buti nalang nag private room na si Ate for our last stop. We were too tired to adjust, haha!

Even the key to our room is very medieval ish!

Our humble room for a night in Poland. Okay naman sya, not the cleanest but bearable naman since we had enough space for our things, and had privacy during our sleeps and baths. Grabe naalala ko pala na dito ako pinulikat (cramps) while sleeping that night coz super lamig ng hangin from outside and we had so much walks na not only in Krakow but for the entire trip! Damang dama ko na yung pagod! 

My little corner:

Ate checking out our restroom:

Maliit lang sya but again it has everything that we need so okay na din.

Things To Do In Krakow

Ate booked for another free walking tour in the city, scheduled that afternoon so yey! I really really enjoyed this. Again, may ibang would like to explore cities on their own, but with our set-up na sobrang fast break per country I truly enjoyed getting to know more about the city from a local with these free walking tours. They usually just take about 1 to 3 hours max, and most cities in Europe may mga ganyan. Again, it might be boring or tiring to some but it's how you make the most out of it. Nakikinig talaga ako sa stories and talkies ni tour guide as if may quiz after the whole thing hehehe.

But before the tour, we had loads of time to just walk around, and even had breakfast (coffee!!). Ang ganda naman talaga ng location na napili ni Ate--very central. We were also right next to the Planty Park:

Where To Go In Krakow 
(According To Ate's List)

St. Mary's Basilica
Cloth Hall and Townhall Tower
Remains of medieval city walls with Barbican and St Florian Gate
St. Francis Church
Bishop's Palace and Papal Window
Planty Park
Kazimierz Jewish District
Wall Graffitti: Ding Dong Dumb
Schindler's Factory Museum
St. Joseph's Church
Nowa Huta
Bunkier Sztuki

One of my favorites in Krakow is the Saint Mary's Basilica, a Brick Gothic church located in the Main Market Square.

Every hour, in all four sides of the tower, there are trumpets playing on top of the tower. They said that this was formerly a signal of the opening and closing of city gates, or serves as warning for dangers. Now, the playing of the trumpet is a commemoration for the famous 13th century trumpeter who was shot in the throat while sending alarms before the Mongol attack.

Even from our hostel on our last day in Poland, I can hear the faint sound of the trumpet before we woke up for our departure day. It's so legit, as if I'll be forced to wear a corset or something hehehe!

Some photos from Krakow's Main Market Square (Rynek Gล‚รณwny), one of the largest medieval town squares in Europe.

Krakow's Cloth Hall:

Our tour guided pointed this out: the modern CCTV that we all know, and the medieval CCTV which is a knife, so people will be warned of their fate when they commit crimes lol. Ang dark ng jokes ni Kuya! ๐Ÿ˜…

Another historic gate in Poland, the Krakow Barbican that once served as the entrance / exit and defensive barrier of the royal city.

We then entered the beautiful Wawel compound which, for centuries, served as the residence of the kings of Poland and a symbol of Polish statehood. They have an Italian styled courtyard, and the Wawel Royal Castle, which represents nearly all European architectural styles from the medieval, renaissance and baroque periods. The castle is now converted into different art museums.

Forgot kung anong era but may significance din daw yung leaves sprawling across walls and houses.

Here is the Wawel Cathedral with its very diverse architecture style. The say that this is where Pope John Paul II offered his first Mass as a priest!

St. John Paul II and Krakow

Speaking of the well loved pope, Pope John Paul II hometown Wadowice is very near Krakow. The house where Karol Wojtyล‚a (Pope John Paul II) was born in May 18, 1920 is now a major museum. We spotted a few other Pope John Paul II commemorations while we were touring Krakow.

The statue of the late Pope near the Wawel Castle:

A picture of JPII in one of The Bishop's Place windows (Papal Window). They say that this is where Pope John Paul II will often hangout and talk to crowds in front when he was still an archbishop, and even as a Pope when he visited the town. Every April 2, John Paul II's death anniversary, people still go here to light candles.

We also spotted one of the schools where Pope John Paul II went to (Collegium Philologicum).

Didn't know this before we went here, but Krakow is a city that encourages art, especially street art. We also spotted a few famous wall arts of Krakow including the most controversial Ding Dong Dumb, painted by Italian artist Blu in 2011. 

And lastly, late in the afternoon and our last stop before dinner was in the Schindler's Factory Museum. Ate and I just walked through the exhibits, and it was pretty extensive and maybe even intense compared to the other ones we visited before this city. If I remembered it correctly, this was where I found a room on a dungeon. I heard faint sounds so I went down while Ate watched me from upstairs. It turned out to be a locked door where you'll hear reenactments of the tortured screams and wailings of women during the nazi regime. :(

"Life makes sense as long as you save people".

When we were on this part, Ate and I saw a Spanish tour group, and Ate said "Hala umiiyak na ang mga mamshies". Sayang we cannot understand their tour guide telling her last few insights, stories, or probably closing their tour with sad lines from World War II. But even then, our visit was very impactful.

Where To Eat in Krakow

And finally, sharing some of the food places we visited while in Krakow!

Fellow vegetarians if I have any here, Chimera Salad Bar is the best!! First of all, the dragon in their logo sets the medieval vibe of the city.

We picked several viands from a "turo turo" style (haha) counter, paid for it by the end, and looked for our seats to enjoy these healthy eats! Ang sarap and very fresh and clean the vegetables.

The titas had several coffee breaks during the entire trips, which Ate had laid in our itinerary na talaga hehehe. We went to hipster looking ones called Karma:

And Tektura:

And finally, our one and only dinner in Krakow is of course in a place that serves authentic traditional Polish cuisines like these yummy dumplings (pierogi). This place is called the Gospoda Koko:

Back In Oslo / Last Minute Pasalubong Shopping!

I can hear Ate finally breathing when we're back in our relatives' house in Norway. No more schedule to follow, directions to figure out, appointments to beat. I am sure it had been a very challenging but fulfilling tour experience for her, conquering Eastern Europe for the first time! For sure naman madali ako kasama so that's half the load off her shoulders, char, mwahaha!

Anyway, I had to take a picture of our first meal back in our "Filipino home" in Oslo. Our tito cooked  these for us:

We also had about one and a half day to go around the city. We went to malls nalang and groceries to buy chocolates and cheese for our family at home.

On our full day we went mall hopping, wala nang ligo ligo, I was even wearing my pantulog hahaha! My tita treated us to a burger place that also serves vegetarian option.

Then we packed our bags, ready to go back to my 10-step skincare routine, small bag, and comfortable bed at home. Flight back after a long trip is always that bittersweet!


I don't know how else I will end this blog series, so I thought of just sharing a breakdown of our budget for this trip!

Again a little hmm background. Hindi po ako the ultimate budget traveler, now are we luxury travelers because hindi ko afford mag hotel pa with my own money hehehe. Walang sponsored sa trip na ito, everything came from our own pockets except for my project with TEP Wireless, our internet for all the cities we went to. We went during the summer so we had a lot of coffee breaks in between, we mixed bunk beds life with private rooms, and we didn't go all out in shopping--but still able to fill up half of each of our luggage with chocolates and cheeses for the fam because #priorities. Hehe.

In short, we are typical working middle class on a European vacay! May this serve as your guide if ever you are planning to save up for your own Eastern Europe adventures in the future.

1) AIRFARE Php 45,000 Round Trip
With Thai Airways, bought during a Travel Sale. This is already inclusive of all meals, and has vegetarian options but must inform prior your flight.

2) ACCOMMODATION - Php 28, 519 Each

Generator Hostel - Stockholm (1st night) - Php 2339.07
City Backpackers Hostel - Stockholm (2 nights) - Php 5646.56
Wombats Hostel - Berlin (2 nights) - Php 3782.81
Prague EIA Centre Apartment - Prague (3 nights) - Php 6009.45
Westend City Hostel - Vienna (2 nights) - Php 2748.20
Cosy Central Apartment - Budapest (3 days) - Php 6755.57
Hostel Benedykta (158PLN) - Krakow (overnight) - Php 1238.35
Oslo - We are luck to have 3 relatives in this city so we stayed there for free

3) POCKET MONEY - Php 43,116

Ang galing, Ate was able to track this because hindi kami nagpa money exchange here in Manila. We either used her credit card so may records doon, or nag withdraw kami ng money per city sa ATM nila. Since iba iba ang denomination per city that we went to, this is the most practical para walang sosobrang pera.

Oslo - Php 7216.67 - Although free ang lodging namin dito, even food and other expenses like transpo, dito din kami pinaka nag grocery shopping kaya umabot ng ganyan ang gastos hehe.

Stockholm - Php 8990.37 - Medyo mahalia dito ang expenses since Scandinavian countries talaga ang highest cost of living.

Berlin - Php 6486.83

Prague - Php 4158.72

Vienna - Php 4377.68

Budapest - Php 9015.29

Krakow - Php 2871.29



6) TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES - Php 27, 313 (Inter-city trains, sleeper trains, plane)

GRAND TOTAL - Php 151, 215
Rough estimate, thank you Ate! For sure may side gastos kami here and there so there might be minor discrepancies. Now that I am staring at this cost, grabe minsan pala mas magastos pa ang 7-day Japan trip ko haha! Pwede na mag ipon uli!


Annnnd, that ends these lengthy posts! I don't know why I keep on doing this, blogging every single place that I've been to, not even knowing if a single soul is still reading these! But I guess I do still look back on my own posts from time to time. My first snowfall in New York City around this time in 2014. The first sip of Ichiran and why I still go back to that place every time I'm in Japan. All those little moments I get to re-cherish again just because of this blog. The cliche doing things for ones self holds true when it comes to my blogs. And I am ecstatic to find out that this blog, although I had several ones na before this, but this particular one will be celebrating its 10th year on April!!! ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ˜ซ I really hope you will stick around!


  1. Wow! That a whole bunch of adventure. I also wowed sa lagi ng kailangan to travel haha. Kelan kaya ako makakaipon non haha. This place is so beautiful. A mysterious one for me. ๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿงก thanks for the tour Ms. Ana ๐Ÿ’š
    Hindi kasi agad nag nonotify sa email ko ying blog post mo hehe buti na lang lagi ako online ๐Ÿ˜‚

    1. Awww thank you for visiting the blog! Will work harder, thank you!

  2. Thanks for sharing, Ana! Have always enjoyed reading your posts because it's very personal, unpretentious, sincere and easy to read. Appreciate your tips and generosity in sharing your don't have to but you still do it anyway and you do it well. Happy new year to you and your family! More ipon for 2019!

    1. Thank you for this!!!!! I try hard, I know it's a bit long na but will work harder to make posts aka stories that are interesting till end :)

  3. I read the whole blog. I've been wanting to write a blog like this. Like a diary and remembering all the clichรฉ things I did during my trip, giving tips how budget travel can be possible and sharing life learning from the trip. I'm still in the process of learning how to blog and reading you blog gives me ideas and confidence to start writing. Though I have already started since 2015, but the blog I did was more like a portfolio less words because I'm too embarrass to share my thoughts or I can say put my thoughts into words. Hahaha! Thanks for being an inspiration to me! Keep writing because you inspire people like me ;)

    1. Thank you, celebrating this blog's 10th year since I first posted on Blogspot :) This comment is very timely! :) I hope you start writing again :)

  4. Wow ramdam ko po ang saya mo Ms.Ana habang nagbabasa ako ng blog. Ang ganda ng mga lugar na napupuntahan po ninyo. Share ko po ito sa wall para po sa mga friends ko na yayamanin at mahilig magtravel ahaha...
    Gustong gusto ko ang blog mo bukod sa info na nakukuha ko ang ganda ng mga pictures super linaw. Feeling ko nandoon ako sa lugar na yun๐Ÿ˜‚

    1. Yey thank you in advance for sharing to your friends, and for appreciating the blogs!!

  5. Grabe Miss Ana ang dami mo na po palang magagandang places na napuntahan.. Through your blog I was able & will be able to know more of the cities na hndi ako ganun ka familiar with... Still can't get over with Buda-pesht๐Ÿ˜‚ (Seriously laughing again,& again) I've read some bloggers who travel also pero hndi ganun ka detailed yung mga write ups nila & you never fail to impress me.. godbless you po & hope to read more...

    1. Thank you so much for appreciating! Will work harder to improve pa my writing style na medyo napapa haba lalo hehehe!

  6. Super like this blog the experience you share and I'm so happy how you enjoy your travel blog as always naman po. Your one of the best travel blogger that I know ❤_❤ pictures Palang parang nag totour na din kami. super priceless moments. I suggest nasana po you can travel the provinces of our country on your next blog. know about our culture, historical place, and etc. ❤❤❤ Grabe talaga pd na i print sa Magazine ang blogs mo. #loveyouMs.Anna


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