May 29, 2013

Busking in Zürich
Zürich is the first bigger city after Vienna that we visited this year. From the last trip we learned that smaller cities can be better for street music, but Zürich was on our way so we thought we should see how it is going in the biggest city in Switzerland.

You don't need a special permit, but performances are banned in the city center. You are allowed to play just in the shore of the lake. Every 20 minutes you have to change your place.
click here for more details!
Map -where you can legally play

Our experiance:
We spent 3 days in Zürich. The first days it was raining all the time and it was really cold also! So we couldn't look around that much in the city as we usually do. The whole city seemed very grey and kinda boring. We got the information about the rules earlier so first we went to the lake but there was very few people walking around. So we went back to the center and played there for 40-50 minutes and made 70-80 francs(about 55 euros)! It was really good but we couldn't play longer because of the cold but we were happy.
Rain, rain and more rain...

On Sunday the weather was the same but even less people so it wasn't that great as before. We tried to play at Helmhaus with not too much luck so after an hour playing in the cold we just went home with 30 francs. Amazingly we didn't met any policeman for two days. And we were scared of the reactions of the shop owners also, but they were really kind and even payed us. And from a close by buliding some girls threw a paper plane with four francs on it out of the window. :)
paper plane
The next day the weather got better and it was really sunny, but next to the lake was still bad to busk. Also there were a lot of gipsy accordionists playing there... So we ended up playing in the center again which was good again but after 15 minutes the police came and told us that we are not allowed to play there. It seems like the police is active just on sunny days :P But the city looked very different in the sunshine! We missed the sun so much! We set next to the lake for a bit and enjoyed the blue sky. In the last weeks it was really cold and rainy and we even got snow showers in the very end of spring! :(
sun, sun, sun!!! :)
chillin' next to the lake
Zürich has shown us that it can be a really good city to busk, but if you play by the rules it's just not the right city to play. If you just stop for one or two days I think it's worth it to try it in the center till the police kicks you out, but probably the second time they won't be that kind and they might give you a fine.

May 26, 2013

Busking in St. Gallen

We heard a lot of good stories about Switzerland, but still we were a bit scared how the people will react and how strict are the rules in the country. St. Gallen gave a very good first impression :)
St Gallen
You have to get a permission from the police. They give out 3 permissions per day which you have to pay 20 CHF for.

Vadianstrasse 57 9001 St. Gallen
map for busking
  • you can get this permit for 2 days in a month
  • you can play 20 minutes in one place than you have to go on another street but after 20 minutes you can go back to the same place
  • a group can be up to 3 people
  • no drums allowed
  • you are not allowed to play inside the marked zone Multergasse, Marktgasse
  • you are allowed to play on Barenplatz and Spisergasse on Thursay and Sunday
  • Tape recorders and amplifiers are not allowed
  • performances in the surroundings of the mainstation are fobidden

Our experiance:
We had just one day to play in St Gallen and we didn't have any swiss francs so we were quite desperate to play somewhere and make some money. We found a little passage next to a Post office and we played there for half an hour and we made 28 swiss francs(22.5 euros) so we were really happy but we couldn't play longer because of the cold. 
We went back an hour later but after two songs the police stopped us and told us about the permission. They were extremly kind. They gave us a map and a businness card where we can find the police station. We went there and we got the permit for 20 francs .
We played an hour and a half more and we made around 70 swiss francs(56 euros) so we were really satisfied. The people really apprechiate music in St Gallen :) Everybody's smiling at you even the police.

The rules are quite okay. Maybe 20 minutes is too short and 2 days in a month is not enough but if you're just passing by it's a really nice place to play!!!

best places:
I guess anywhere in the center is just fine :)

We had a nice time in St Gallen though the weather was really crapy and we spent just one day in the town. We're looking forward to seeing the rest of Switzerland!

May 24, 2013

Most adventurous hitchhiking ever

After our experience in Salzburg we were quite sure that it won't be that hard to get to St Gallen since it's just 211 km from Innsbruck and it takes about 2 hours by car so it seemed impossible to not make it in one day even if we would have to wait a lot... We were wrong. It was the most interesting, adventurous and longest hitchhiking we have ever done in this short distance. It took us 2 days, 7 rides , an ambulance car, an incredible night, a lot of good hearted people and a crazy lady to get to Switzerland. We thought it's worth it to share this story so here are the details.
We started at around 1pm from Innsbruck and we had to wait a bit more than two hours to get 20 km further and than we had to wait another 2 hours under a tree with hundreds of huge bugs and we started to go insane after waiting so long...But just before we almost gave up all our hope a car took us another 20 km.
St Gallen - bite! :)
We're going crazy!!!
And than it started to rain so we had to take cover. After it stopped raining we wanted to take our hitchhiking position back when an ambulance car started honking. We didn't think it was for us, but we were the only ones walking it that direction. The ambulance guys saw us before and they came back for us to take us a bit further. It was really fun! :) I mean it doesn't happen very often that you travel with an ambulance car without any serious reason.
In the ambulance car
The ambulance car as a taxi :)

We felt a bit lost because we had no idea where we are anymore. We took one more ride back to the highway and right before it got dark a really nice guy took us close to the Swiss border. The town name was Feldkirch. We knew that we can't hitchhike anymore. It was dark and it was raining quite hard.

We found a bar with free wifi and sent some desperate couchrequests that maybe somebody will answer and we don't have to camp outside. At around 11pm we left the bar and went searching for a nice place to camp. Well everything was wet, it was really dark and we were tired, so we pitched the tent in the middle of the city in a small park. A guy called us form CS but he wasn't in town so he couldn't help. We went to "sleep" in the tent tired, wet and cold... and after half an hour the phone rang at 00.30pm...
Castle on the way
We were really excited! We knew that it means that we don't have to sleep outside!!! The funny thing was that we camped right in front of the building where our kind new host lived! We were really happy, satisfied and relaxed. Grzegorz (our host for that night) made us hot tea, we could take a nice wam shower and we could sleep in a very comfortable warm bed. Best night ever!!!
Here is a little drawing based on this story :)
Our little hitchhiking story :)
The next day we started to hitchhike in the wrong direction, but an old couple still stopped and they went out of their way and they took us to the Swiss border than a crazy lady picked us up from there who later started yelling at our host on the phone but everything turned out to be just fine.

We feel really lucky because we met so many kind and helpful people just in two days!!! People are great! :)I think we will never forget these two crazy days.

May 23, 2013

Visiting Innsbruck:

It's a must see city in Austria! Innsbruck is surrounded by huge mountains. Everywhere you look you can see some snowy peaks(in the very summer all of the snow melts). There are many things to do and to see in this beautiful city.
Since the busking was good and the weather wasn't that bad all the time we had the opportunity to look around. We had a very great host in Innsbruck and she lended us her bikes so we could get everywhere easily. We were amazed by the mountains, the river and the whole town. We coudn't take aur eyes of the snowy peaks.
The first day we just biked around the city and took hundreds of pictures of everything in every possible angle. :P The buildings are really nice also. In Austria they take good care of the cities in general.
We got a really sunny day in the weekend and we decided to hike a little bit and went up on Hungerburg where you can get an amazing view of Innsbruck. We didn't hike for a long time so it took a while till we got to the view point but it's totally worth the effort :)

View from Hungerburg
tips on what to do in Innsbruck:
Green Inn
Beautiful view
  • There are many many hiking possibilities around the city
  • If you are lazy to hike you can get a great view of the city from Hungerburg. you can get there by a cheap bus. or if you have more money you can go even higher on the mountain with a gondola.
  • in winter this is one of the best place to do wintersports
  • Walking by the river side - The water is so green! And it's really beautiful!!
  • Get lost in the city! 
View from our window
We had a really really good time in this city and we fall in love with it. Probably this won't be the last time we visit it. :)
Busking in Innsbruck

After the bad experiance in Salzburg we were a bit sceptical about playing in Innsbruck. And we also heard that you might have to pay a lot for the permit... In the end there was no reason to worry about. It was one of the best cities in Austria, we have ever played! :)
You have to get a permission to play in the city and you have to pay some money for it. We got different kind of information about the amount they ask(the police said that it's not much but another guy said it can be over 15 euros... which is a lot). Also you can play in a place for half an hour than you have to change your spot to another. It is not allowed to play in front of "the golden roof" (the main attraction in Innsbruck).
Little passage
Our experiance:
We were a bit afraid of hitchhiking, because we've never done it before in Austria and we heard very mixed stories also. But we tried it anyway and it was really easy. We had to wait for 20-30 minutes and a car stopped which took us all the way to Innsbruck. We might have been just lucky.

Since the last week we didn't make too much  money we decided to play without a permit and let the police inform us first. We didn't see anybody playing on the street, so we didn't have competition at all. But we know that there are some buskers in town that usually play in Innsbruck.
Town square
Innsbruck was a great place for us! In the city there are many passages with a really great acoustic. And there are many other possible spots to play. We played in two of the passages and both of them were great! Although from one of them the police sent us away when they passed by car because we didn't have the permit. They were nice and they gave us the address where we could get the permit.  But we couldn't really get it because it was already weekend and the office was closed so we played anyway.

places for busking:
  • Town square (for bands or loud instruments)
  • Burggraben (as we heard a lot of people play in front of the terrace but we played in the passage)
  • Museumstrasse (we are quite sceptical about this place because it's very noisy, but the police told us this place as an example)
  • maybe the smaller streets can be good also but the shops are really close to each other and the people working there can get easily annoyed. Also if you play without a permit it might not be the best place. The police checks it more frequently
  • railway passage (it's not attractive at all(i mean how it looks), but the acoustic is great! Locals use it but they apprechiate good music)
  • and probably there are more spots that can be good but we don't know about
So for us Innsbruck was great in any kind of weather condition and we left the city with full pockets :)

May 17, 2013


After a week of rain we had a lot of sun in Salzburg but it didn't mean that the money will be better.

Busking law in Salzburg:
As far as we know it stayed the same.(read it here) So you're not allowed to play on the shopping street(though we saw quite a few people playing there). You need some kind of permission to play in the city. Unfortunately we don't know more details, but apparently the council of Salzburg doesnt't really like street musicians. We met a band from Sweden (they play really good) last year and they told us that they contacted the coucil and asked about the rules via e-mail. In the answer the coucil asked them politely not to come to Salzburg and play on the street.
And this time we saw even less buskers than last year.(most of them quite bad)
Not the best busking place

Our experiance:
When we arrived to Salzburg it was still raining but we thought we should go to the same old place that we found last year, and play there a little bit(it's a little passage). One or two people walked by per minute but we played anyway. After 3 songs we had 7 euros and we thought it might be a good place after all but it was really cold so we went home. We thought wrong.
The next two days we spent in Salzburg were really hot and sunny but the busking was quite bad. In two days we made here as much a in Vienna in a very everage/bad day. Also the shop owners are not that welcoming either.
We sang a bit in the passage the second day and a lady came out from a shop(which was actually quite far) and asked us to leave because other musicians will follow us and play here and than she has to send everybody away. We left but in the late afternoon we went back for half an hour because we didn't have any other option. The next day a little hand written paper was scotch taped on the wall and it said: "no music allowed". So basicly they kicked us out "gently" :P
We sang on the bridge a little but we weren't that succesfull either so the last day after trying to sing an hour and barely made 8 euros, we decided to abort the mission and went home.
Salzburg and the river

The story may sounds bad and depressing but it wasn't that bad for us. We stayed with a friend we made last year, we ate good, and went up to the castle(almost because the entrance was quite expensive "8 euors") and enjoyed the wiev of the city. We hope our luck with busking will take a turn for the better in Innsbruck :)

May 14, 2013

When we went to Salzburg last year, we saw this big lake with the mountains next to the highway and we were amazed by its beauty, but we never thought that we'll spend 4 rainy but amazing days in this place.

Well we didn't have the chance to do it(really bad weather), but in summer there are a lot of tourists (The Sound of Music, american musical was shoot here) so I think you can give it a try. And you won't regret it anyway 'cause it's really beautiful!

Our experiance:
We wanted to go to Salzburg straight but we came across Mondsee on Couchsurfing and we decided to stop here.
Unfortunately we couldn't play on the street because it was raining almost all the time and the turists stayed away from Mondsee, and also we didn't feel like playing in the rain for two people.
The first day was really nice and sunny, but we had a lot of luggage with us so we set on a bench next to the lake and stared at the mountains for hours.
The lake :)
The next days we mostly stayed inside but we didn't mind it because we got to know some wonderful people. We spent most of the time with our host, her cute dog, friends and family (and playstation:P) and we had a lot of fun, great conversations and really good meals together. :) The last day we went around the lake and saw a huge waterfall.
If you catch good weather there are many wonderfull things you can do.
view from the boat
Tips on what to do:
  • taking a long walk in the town
  • hiking any of the mountains
  • swimm in the lake
  • walking around the lake
  • take a small boat ride on the lake (13 euros/hour for a small electric boat)
  • staring at the lake
  • see natzi bunker
  • and so much more :)

Mondsee was a wonderful experiance and I'm sure we'll go back there again!

May 10, 2013


From the last trip we really fell in love with this city though our busking experiance wasn't very good. This time we had more luck with busking and we had time to relax on rainy days.
Change in the law:
Till now the city didn't have any restriction on playing on the streets. Because of that the last years the number of buskers grew really fast and the shops and the people living in the center started complaning more and more so the city had to make some change in the rules.
The rules in German
  • Musicians can play alone or in groups up to 5 members in the band
  • You can play between 11.00-14.00pm and between15.00-21.00pm
  • you have to be 5 m away from shop and house entraces and also you have to be 50 m away from other street musicians, churches and from schools
  • in one place you can play for 30 minutes and than you have to move at least 100 meter from the first spot. The spot cannot be used by other buskers for 30 minutes.
  • you're not allowed to use amplifier or drums
  • You cannot ask directly money from the people
  • You can get a Platzkarte by showing your id or passport in the City hall, and every member of the group has to have this card. You can get 3 of these cards per week (it means you can play 3 days in a week)
All in all it's not that bad. The police gave us a paper with the informations while we were playing.
On the paper you can find the rules and a small map of the city.
If you play in the read part of the map you have to go to the City hall and get a permit. It doesn't say anything about paying for it.
On the other hand outside of the red area you can play without a special paper by the same rules.

  • More information here:

Rathaus, Landhausgasse 2
8010 Graz
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 7.00-14.00

Our experiance:
We were really looking forward to visiting this city again. We made some good friends here and it was nice to meet them again after a year. :)
Markus joined us a little bit :P
Say hi to the camera :)
Even the busking was a bit better than last year or at least it wasn't worse. We played in the same spots (most of them are outside of the red area). We couldn't play for some days because of the heavy rain and storms, so we could take our first brake. 
The last day was wonderful again! Everything happened so spontaneously and it was so natural. We played in front of the University for free food and a bit of money than we went gerilla gardening had nice talks with people, and at night we went to an open air concert where we had some beers and a lot of fun! :)
It feels so good to be on the road again and just let things happen around you. 

May 7, 2013

New addition to our "team"

Right before we left from Szeged we went into a music shop and bought a melodica! :D If a harmonica and an accordion would have had a child, it would probably be a melodica :) The sound it makes is very similar to both.
Melodica :)
We started practicing some songs in Stadtpark with it and probably in some weeks we'll try it out on the street. It really goes well with the guitar. We are really curious how the people will react to it :).

May 6, 2013

Vienna once again

In the end of May we left Hungary again for a new busking tour!!! :) And it started very smoothly with a lot of sunshine, a bit of rain and a lot of fun.
View of Vienna

Change in the law:
The busking law in Vienna didn't change since last year as far as we know. We heard from a busker that actually now it's easier to get the permit . You have to go to an outside district (unfortunately I don't remember which one) and ask there. The bad thing is that the city will give you a list of when and where you can play in a day for 2 hours only. As we heard there are still free spots in the city(they also changed)but we don't know them either...
For more information you you can call this number(I got this number when I went to one of the district offices to ask if I can play without a permit in Karlzpaltz like we did last year. But of course they didn't know the answer and they gave me this number. Hope it helps):
Stadtinformationszentrum: +43 1 525 50
Rathaus, Eingang Friedrich-Schmidt-Platz 1 Fahrplanauskunft
at Karlzplatz again
Our Experiance:
We were really really excited when we arrived at Vienna. Whenever we played in this city we always had a great time and the money was also really good. We didn't go to ask for the permit because we just stayed for a week. The busking spots we used are still as good as they were the first time. And amazingly we didn't have any problem with the police.

But a lot of things have changed in a year also because of the new law. The center which was full of buskers, is now quite empty compared to how it used to be. The musicians, streetpainters and performers have dissapeared from Stefansplatz. 
Also we didn't have a lot of competition in our spots (click here, and you can read where we played before). From time to time there was some buskers here and there but really just a few(or we really lucky that nobody played our spots). For us it was more relaxing to play in Vienna because we didn't have to look for a spot for two hours and we didn't really have to wait for others to finish. And the money was really good also.:)
Relaxing in Stadtpark
So the first week of our trip was wonderful. We've played a lot, met with friends and enjoyed the sun when it was out :)