Polter-Cow (spectralbovine) wrote,

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From Boisterous Budapest to Beautiful Barcelona

Some astute readers may have noticed a few references to an impending trip to Europe, specifically Budapest and Barcelona. In two weeks, I will be on my way to Europe on the company dime. My boss and I are going over there for some Investigator's Meetings at which I will give a half-hour talk in each city. Also, there will be face time with people involved with our clinical trial and such, but basically they are flying me across the Atlantic to give a half-hour presentation twice. I will have three or four days to explore each city when we're not stuck in a meeting all day (and a couple of those days will be on the company dime as well, so I can eat well). And my nights will generally be free, not that I'm a nightlife kind of person.

What should I see and do while I'm in Budapest?

In Budapest, we will be staying at the Boscolo New York Palace. I will need a hostel for two nights; does anyone have any recommendations? In looking for hostels in the same area as the hotel, I found Broadway Hostel, Big Fish Hostel, All-Central Hostel, and Thumbs Up Hostel. Broadway Hostel is mentioned in the Lonely Planet guide, so it looks promising. I'm not sure what to look for and consider in a hostel, though. (EDIT: I'm staying at the Red Bus Hostel, which came recommended by a friend of missquita's and is mentioned in both the Lonely Planet and Rough Guide books. It has its own used bookstore!)

I know there are a lot of museums in Budapest, but I don't know which are worth going to. Where should I eat? What Hungarian celebrity should I stalk?

What should I see and do while I'm in Barcelona?

In Barcelona, we will be staying at the Hotel Arts Barcelona. I will need a hostel for two nights; does anyone have any recommendations? The concierge recommended Barcelona Mar and Center Rambles, and I'm leaning toward Barcelona Mar, but there appear to be a bunch of hostels even closer to the hotel that I don't know much about. (EDIT: I've booked the Barcelona Mar.)

I know there's a lot of great architecture in Barcelona, but I don't know what's worth seeing. Where should I eat? What Spanish celebrity should I stalk?

If you have been to Budapest or Barcelona, please give me your expert advice! But if you haven't, I could really use any general European travel tips, as I've never traveled to another country without my family before, so I'm kind of afraid of being on my own in an unfamiliar environment. Don't I need to buy some sort of adapter so I can charge my camera and other electronic devices? How much cash should I carry around with me? Should I pretend to be Canadian? How am I supposed to get around? Do I need to worry about travel insurance? What the hell is travel insurance anyway? What should I buy or not buy over there? Will I be harassed by customs agents? I've never done anything like this before.
Tags: ethicalmedical.net, personal, pimpings, reader participation

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