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Berlin to Prague by car

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Hello,
I started to plan an itinerary from Berlin to Prague. We most likely will rent a car.
We are 2 couples in our 50s, into culture, art, museums, history and pleasant comfortable travel.
We are planning to get to Berlin, stay there for 4 days, one of those days get to Potsdam for a day trip. Then rent a car and get to Dresden. On the way there we are thinking to make a stop at Wittenburg and Magdeburg. Then Dresden. Day trips to Saxon Switzerland one day and Meissen(?) on another. May be another day trip to Pirna.
We would like to spend couple of day to relax somewhere there, I was thinking of Bad Schandau. Or may be base in the Bad Schandau and make day trips to Dresden, Saxon Sw. and Meissen?
Then Prague for 2-3 days and back home.

I appreciate any feedback on the itinerary.

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    Meissen and Saxon Switzerland are on opposite sides of Dresden, if you look on a map. So Dresden makes a good base between them. I visited Dresden last year and day tripped to both Meissen and Saxon Switzerland, but I used public transportation. Both of those places are right on the S1 S-Bahn train line (albeit on opposite ends of the line), so you don't really need a car to see them. Maybe you would want a car if you want to do other stops, but Germany has a great train system that gets you just about anywhere you'd want to go.

    I did a night in Gorlitz between Berlin and Dresden. It's a nice town right on the Polish border; you can walk across a short pedestrian bridge right to the Polish side of town without any border check and have a Polish meal if you want (that's what I did). Gorlitz makes an easy day trip by train from Dresden, too.

    If you do rent a car in Berlin, dropping the car in Dresden and training on to Prague might save some money; usually dropping a rental car in another country from the pick-up country incurs a step drop-off fee. You probably won't need a car in Prague unless you want day trip to places you can't easily get to by train.

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    You'll have problems renting a car in Berlin and returning it in Prague - many car rental agencies don't allow taking it into Czech Republic, or only for a hefty surcharge.

    Magdeburg AND Wittenberg enroute to Dresden is too much. And Magdeburg is quite out of the way. My suggestion would be Wittenberg, maybe add a nearby small town like Torgau (enroute to Dresden). Even better would be to spend a couple of hours in the Gardens/Parks around Wörlitz/Dessau.

    Bad Schandau would be an excellent base if you decide to explore the National Park Saxon Switzerland. You can easily do day trips from there - and as Andrew said, easily by public transportation. Commuter trains run till after midnight (from Dresden), so you can even see a performance at the opera house or so.

    International trains also stop in Bad Schandau, you can take the Eurocity train to Prague (no changes). Specials for 19 Euro per person if you book ahead. It's even cheaper to take the regional train to Decin and hop in the train to Prague there (tickets available in the train).

    You could easily fill two weeks with things to do around Dresden and Bad Schandau, given your interests. It's really hard to make suggestions. Meissen, Fortress Königstein but also castle Weesenstein are *musts*, I think. A hike along the main crest of Schrammsteine massif, too, IMO. And Bastei viewpoint. The museums in Dresden. Zwinger, Frauenkirche, opera house ...

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    Hi Ingo and Andrew, thank you for your suggestions. Thank you for the excellent point regarding restriction of taking a car to Czeck Republic, I didn't think of it.
    We are considering a change in itinerary- may be spending less time around Dresden, get to Prague for 2-3 days and then continue to Vienna.
    So the whole itinerary is shaping like this
    Berlin - 4 days, day trip to Potsdam,
    Dresden and Saxon Switzeland - 2 days
    Prague - 2-3 days
    Vienna - 3 days
    I thought also of visiting Cesky Krymlov and Melk but not sure about publci transportation and how easy it'll be. Most likely, too many hops.
    What are the websites where I can see a train schedule in Germany, Prague and Vienna?

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    www.bahn.com should have all the train schedules, but you probably won't be able to buy anything beyond the German train tickets there.

    There is frequent bus service between Prague and Cesky Krumlov - google to find out the site with the schedules for Czech buses. You can take the train, too, but as I recall the train station is a little further out of town and may require a connection. You might look for a way to avoid going back to Prague and go directly from Cesky Krumlov to Vienna - not sure if that's worth doing.

    You could also rent a car in Prague, drive to Cesky Krumlov, and return the car somewhere like Brno, then take a train to Vienna from there (faster than taking the train from Prague). I did that in reverse a few years ago. I had to pick up my car at the Brno airport, but it's a quick bus ride from the tiny Brno airport to the train/bus station there. That might be easier than trying to do it by public transportation, not sure. I found driving in Czech Republic pretty easy.

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