Being a master’s student doesn’t allow ample time for traveling, so you must take opportunities as they come. When I discovered AMS would have a two week break in the springtime, I knew I had to take full advantage. My boyfriend, Steven of MGSCM, and I started planning our trip quite early in order to find the best deals and spots. After careful consideration, we landed on a popular route that included Prague, Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest. Many friends joined us along the way and made it my favorite trip to date.

We started out in Prague and were joined by Emma, Andreas, Mark, and Matt of MGSCM, Johnny of MOF, and his girlfriend. We enjoyed a walk across the Charles Bridge, a view of the John Lennon Wall, a hike up to Prague Castle, and traditional Czech cuisine at Lokál (highly recommended). While everyone continued on to different destinations, Tyler of MGM joined us for our last two days in Prague. We saw Vyšehrad, a famous historic fort and cemetery, explored old town (and all the wonderful Easter decorations), visited a cat café, and enjoyed countless Pilsners.

After Prague, it was time to continue to Vienna. Although we only spent 36 hours here, it was quite lovely. We visited Schönbrunn Palace, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and the Museumsquartier. I was impressed by how clean and quaint the city was. This was a great city to relax in after an exciting week in Prague

Bratislava was a late addition to our spring break trip. While it is a lesser-traveled European city, I’m so glad we went. From our research we found Devín Castle, dating back to 5th century B.C., and knew we had to make a day trip out of it. While there are busses that take you close to the castle, Steven and I decided to Uber because of the convenience (we had our 20-pound travel backpacks on us). The castle was hands down one of the coolest things I’ve seen in Europe. They had clear signage, a little museum with historic items, and fabulous views of the surrounding area. Afterwards, we ventured back to old town where no cars are allowed and enjoyed some popular ice cream and beers. Soon after we caught our bus and traveled onwards to  Budapest.

Budapest was definitely my favorite city of the trip. The city exudes hip, young vibes. We stayed at an amazing Airbnb closely located to top sights and the popular Jewish quarter. We ventured to Buda castle, Parliament, and St. Stephens Basilica. My favorite day was spent at the famous Széchenyi thermal baths. Steven and I spent 4 hours rotating between indoor and outdoor baths of various temperatures. If you ever visit Budapest it is an absolute must do. We also spent two nights at Szimpla Kert, a popular ruinpub with funky music and décor.

I was super lucky to be able to do something so great for spring break, as some of my classmates had to begin work on their internships and projects. If you are looking for an easy route to explore multiple cities, I recommend this one. The plane, bus, and train travel between cities was easy and cheap. The trip provided some much needed relaxation and fun before our last few months as AMS students!

– Meredith Young –