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.
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 organ is 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!