Gay Europe …on a Discount. Savings Everywhere, if You Look Hard Enough

 



I love EUROPE!

It is SO Romantic with it’s old history and breathtaking architecture! Many people think Europe is expensive…and it can be. But it can be fun and inexpensive as well. You just have to plan.

PRAGUE is still on the Czech Crown. They now expect to join the EURO by 2014!  (They keep pushing it off!) Food and drink in ordinary shops and restaurants in Prague is generally cheaper than in Western Europe. Drinks in ordinary pubs is markedly cheaper.

Clothing can be hit and miss. Some cheap things, some more expensive. But overall,   Prague is amazing city at great prices. 


Don’t bother exchanging money before you go. The simplest means of obtaining currency in Prague is to withdraw Czech Crowns from a cash point machine (ATM). They accept debit/credit cards backed by Visa, Mastercard/EuroCard, Maestro and American Express. You normally get an excellent exchange rate, but check with your own bank what their international card transaction fees are.
You may pay 2 fee’s.

Tips are welcomed by staff working in the tourist industry in Prague, although generally tipping is relaxed and workers do not chase them. 5% is appropriate. 10% they will love you.

Live like the locals – get an apartment. Don’t rely on expensive hotels. If you want an authentic experience, check out apartments. Stay right in a neighborhood, shop at the corner market for wine and cheese and snacks to fill your  fridge. Who needs room-service?!


Also worth checking out are guest houses and boutique hotels. OUR FAVORITE  is TEMPLE PRAGUE . Temple Prague comprises of three separate venues. Club Temple, Temple Hotel and the newly-opened Coffee Bar. You can always be assured of a warm welcome at Temple Prague. It is ran by an American fellow and his all male staff is  amazing!

The building and rooms have been painstakingly restored and really beautiful. Situated directly between Club Temple and Monty Bar, Club Temple Hotel is ideally and centrally situated to enjoy both Prague’s lively gay scene and also major tourist attractions.

 


They offer a selection of suites and standard rooms to match all tastes and budgets. Range is about   $65 – $120 american dollars. Their friendly and helpful staff are on hand to take care of your every need during your stay with them.  

Like any other city, tourists can be an easy mark. I found Prague to be  a very safe city to walk around. Public transport, even at night, is used by everyone, young and old alike. The town is very walkable.  Assaults are extremely rare. As in any city though, the tourist is a target for the unscrupulous: Pickpockets are skillful, so keep a close eye on valuables at all times – don’t use your back pocket for your wallet and avoid hanging your handbag on your chair in public places.

Beware over-charging in restaurants and clubs by checking the bill thoroughly. In taxis, insist the taxi driver puts the meter on or  agree a price before you enter the taxi. – The Prague rent boys were more aggressive than the pickpockets!  I seemed to run into them everywhere I went!  But they are very nice. Most are quite adorable in fact. Honest guys just trying to make a living.  When a young man says, “Do you want to go make some business?” he is looking to be paid for services.  But even that, is very inexpensive.


PARIS is stunning also and romantic! But HOW DO YOU DO PARIS CHEAP, you ask?

Restaurants can be outrageous. You can have a couple burgers and 2 glasses of wine for $70 easily! The BEST meal I ever had WAS NOT indoors at a fancy restaurant..but on the river, al fresco.  Shop at the local markets. Grab some fruit, cheese, wine, sausage and some pastries and have a fantastic lunch on the banks of the Seine River! Spectacular views – and deliciously romantic. In the summer months, people even sun bathe out there, nude!

One good thing about dining in restaurants; Paris SLASHED their restaurant VAT tax this past summer from 19.5% down to 5.5%. SO that helps a lot on the bill.

BIKES – you can rent a bike  for  $1.50 a day! Discover the city on a Velib. Pick up and drop off at 1,400  locations all over the city.

The $3.50 Swim! Visit the floating Josephine Baker pool. La Piscine Josephine Baker is more of a swimming pool barge that is situated on the bank of the River Seine.

This floating swimming pool is open all year round and has a roof that retracts so that it becomes open air in the summer months and the pool can cater for around 300 people.

La Piscine Josephine Baker is situated in the 13th arrondissement of Paris permanently moored at the Quai Francois Mauriac on left bank of the River Seine and replaces the Piscine Deligny that sank a few years ago.



Take in a movie. at the vintage Art Moderne Theater – Forget the mega multiplex! This is a real theater!

EXPLORE – In the spring and summer, locals flock in droves to the banks of the Canal Saint-Martin to picnic and strum guitars, sip on wine and smoke joints!  Cafés and quirky boutiques flank the water and iron footbridges.

On Sundays, two streets running parallel to the canal, Quai de Valmy and Quai de Jemmapes, are reserved for pedestrians and cyclists—perfect for renting a bike and seeing the city from a fresh angle.





TRAINS – the train is a great way to explore Europe.

THIS IS THE BEST TIP OF ALL.  I am all about efficiency. And after all, don’t you want to make the most of your vacation time?   Plan to sleep on the train in between cities. You’ll save money and make the most of your time. Think about it…explore London or Rome or Paris by day. Have a nice dinner somewhere. Then instead of staying at a pricey hotel, you head for the train station. Snuggle up in your little Schlafwagen (sleeper). Sip on wine as the night fades  away. Sleep all night as the train transports you through fields and pastures, and when you wake up, you are in a new country!

There are also cheap  flights for city-hopping between countries. FLYLC has fares as low as  $10 one way!  Just watch for any added fees. Also places like  Travel Zoo offer last minute updates and sales.

Gay Hostels in another way to save some big bucks – and maybe meet some other fin single people!  Stay in London for about $45 a night  or  Madrid, Spain for about $30 a night.


Think outside the box when you travel and avoid the tourist traps. 

It’ll be fun and exciting!