Flip-through: Brussels, Ferries, Notre Dame, and Ryanair madness

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Some of the stories that grabbed our attention this week:

Brussels and Bruges

Back from his trip to Belgrade for the Eurovision song contest, Alex of Spendthrift Shoestring jaunted off to Brussels on the Eurostar to see how the city has changed since his last visit in 2002. We enjoyed his musings on the city’s neighborhood and vibe, having just visited Brussels in March.

And yes, Alex, we also have a fondness for the Use-It fold-out maps to Brussels (and five other Belgian cities). These map-guides are, according to their creators, “no-nonsense, non commercial, made by locals,” and thus offer some candid (and amusing!) advice. When we visited Bruges, we “Used-It” nightly to find the city’s cool restaurants, bars, and cafes. You can print your own guide off from their website.

European Ferries

BudgetTravel.com reminded us yesterday to consider taking ferries between European cities. Ferries offer a fun and cheap transportation option around much of sea-lined Europe, including the Mediterranean, destinations from London, and around the Baltic. Overnight boats can also provide a savings, shaving off one night’s hotel bill. An overnighter from London to Amsterdam, for example, can be had for €59, including your own private bedroom and shower.

See also: our article on budget cruises in the Baltic.

Free concerts at Notre Dame

Olivia, in “High Culture on a Low Budget,” emerged from her studies this week to note that Notre Dame’s 7,800-pipe organis revved up most Sunday afternoons (around 4 PM), for free concerts. It is, according to Olivia, “the opportunity to hear some ultimate organ jams” for nothing. We be jammin’.

Ryanair’s extra baggage

Thank the skies for Hilary at “Less than a Shoestring” for straightening out those pesky Ryanair fees this week… again. After all, no week is complete without a Ryanair pricing shift! The airline’s baggage fee structure is enough to scare you away from bags altogether (which could be their intention, but isn’t very practical when you, you know, travel!).

Highlights include: Priority boarding is no longer gratis for those who take advantage of online check-in. Checking one bag will cost you €10 (and you still have to pay the €5 check-in fee as well), and then an additional €20 per bag thereafter (max three). Oh well, at least the ticket was “free.”

Have a great weekend, Cheapos!

About the author

Tom Meyers

About the author: Tom Meyers created and launched EuroCheapo from his Berlin apartment in 2001. He returned to New York in 2002, set up office, and has led the EuroCheapo team from the Big Apple ever since. He travels to Europe several times a year to update EuroCheapo's hotel reviews. Tom is also a co-host of the New York City history podcast, The Bowery Boys. Email Tom. [Find Tom on Google Plus]

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One thought on “Flip-through: Brussels, Ferries, Notre Dame, and Ryanair madness”

  1. Yes, you are absolutely right to remind us of the merits of taking ferries, and your London to Amsterdam example is a good one (via the Harwich to Hook route). In many parts of Europe, ferry travel blossoms with ever increased usage. This is especially true on the western Channel routes from southern England and Ireland to Britanny and Normandy. But in the northern North Sea market, 2008 sees many route withdrawals. Your readers may care to look at our 3 June newsletter (second item) where we looked at this topic. Just go to http://www.hiddeneurope.co.uk/barticle_info.php?articles_id=525.
    Susanne Kries & Nicky Gardner
    hidden europe magazine


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