I have a free week at the end of August in between two work events. I will depart from Berlin and fly Swiss Air via Zurich. Later in mid-September, my current schedule sends me back to Berlin and then to Warsaw. I am trying to chill in another country that has the following characteristics:
Safety--no country is safe from terrorism anymore, but there are ones that have a much lower chance of being attacked than others. I am also paranoid of theft, though I am a frequent traveler without mobility issues.
Lower costs--I find Switzerland to be super expensive. Germany is cheaper but Poland is even better. I would like to save some $ while I travel and not have to worry about a second mortgage.
Good internet connections--this is a must because I need to check work email constantly and rely on Google Maps for directions. Wifi connections in hotels and wireless data connections MUST be good. I love Greek islands but their internet connections are almost always poor. So, Greece is out of consideration.
Good transit--I’d rather not drive, though I have my international driving permit with me. Frequent and reliable public transit is highly desirable.
Reasonably good food...I suppose this is on everybody’s wish list. I travel to Switzerland often for work, but find the food there to be outrageously priced and skimpy in portions. Would like a change from this. Also, some of my travelmates have digestive and metabolic health issues. So, places offering a healthier diet with abundant leafy vegetables (vs. red meat + potatoes in Germany) would be beneficial.
Good coffee--my travel companions are coffee snobs (third wave coffee). Of course, I understand that great coffee is harder to find in more remote locations.
Milder summer weather--I am used to hot, dry weather. Humidity is uncomfortable to me. Also, I experienced a heatwave in Europe before and it was unbearable (few places have A/C). No place can be immune from this, but I would like to avoid it as much as I can.
So far, I am thinking of Slovenia and Slovakia, which are both under the radar for mass tourism (at least for Americans) and cruises. I haven’t been to either.
Slovenia is nice because there are the Alps in the north and the Med coast. It’s a small enough country that I can visit both zones in a short amount of time without much advance planning. My biggest reservation is that hotels in Ljubljana seem to be ultra pricey, especially without advance booking. Many say that it’s even more expensive than in Vienna. I did my search for places with free wifi, a gym, and air conditioning--there isn’t much left. Perhaps it’s because major chains haven’t really expanded into this capital city yet.
Slovakia is also a smaller country. I heard that Bratislava is a pretty cool city. It’s an inland country but offers some unspoiled natural landscape to explore. Some spa towns look interesting.
Which of these two places fulfill the above criteria better? I am used to traveling in Europe and am OK healthwise. Life has been incredibly busy lately and I don’t have much time to plan. Would like to explore places before they become overcrowded and overpriced like Prague.
Thanks a million!