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Please Critique Our Prague to Stuttgart Itinerary

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We are planning a two week trip to Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic in late August. Our flights into Prague and out of Stuttgart have been booked so our start and end points are fixed, but everything in between is still subject to change. Please let us know if we have allocated the appropriate amount of time for planned activities and point out any flaws in our logistical planning. We are early risers and energetic travelers, so we are not afraid of a full agenda. We also like to have a plan, but will change it on a whim if something unplanned catches our attention.

Monday – Arrive Prague at 1:00pm via connection in Frankfurt. Not sure how long it takes to get from airport to hotel (and haven’t settled on a hotel yet, but assume we will be staying in Staré Mesto), and figure that by the time we get checked in, drop our bags and grab lunch it will be at least 3:00 before we head to Prague Castle to visit the Picture Gallery (which we understand is free on Mondays) and purchase tickets for next day’s visit. Enjoy views of the city from the castle grounds and try to orient ourselves, before heading back to the hotel.

We understand that entry onto the Prague Castle grounds is free, but that tickets are required to enter the buildings. We also understand there are two types of tickets to Prague Castle: the Long Tour and the Short Tour. We are thinking the Short Tour will work for us since it includes entry into the Old Royal Palace, St. George's Basilica, Golden Lane and Daliborka Tower. The short tour does not include entry into the Powder Tower, the Picture Gallery, and the Convent of Saint George, but since we can see the Picture Gallery without a ticket on Monday, we will only miss the Powder Tower and the Convent. Please let us know if you think skipping these two is a mistake.

Tuesday – Return to Prague Castle, rent the audioguide and take the Short Tour described above. We assume this will fill our morning and we will visit St. Vitus Cathedral and Charles Bridge after lunch.

Wednesday – We’ll explore Josefov in the morning and Staré Mesto in the afternoon. In the Jewish Quarter we plan to visit the Staronová, the Jewish Museum and Old Jewish Cemetery before heading to Old Town.

Thursday – Wander Malá Strana, visit St. Nicholas Church (climb the bell tower?), and see gardens. Looking for self-guided walking tour suggestions if you have any.

Friday – Take 7am shuttle to Ceský Krumlov to arrive by 10am, check in and explore the town. Wondering if we have planned enough time here and looking for hotel recommendations.

Saturday – Another early start with shuttle to arrive Vienna by 10am, check in and head to the opera to buy tickets for the 1:00 tour then follow Rick Steve’s Vienna City Walk including a visit to Kaisergruft and the St. Stephen’s Cathedral tour.

Sunday – Browse the Naschmarket and then make it to the Spanish Riding School by 11:00 for a performance by the Lipizzaner Stallions (we understand that SRO tickets go on sale at 9:00am the day of the performance). After the performance we'll have lunch (maybe a picnic in the Burggarten) and visit Hoffburg Palace in the afternoon.

Monday – still considering options for this day, but possibilities include Schonbrunn Palace, Danube Towns, or Vienna Woods. Not sure about logistics for sights out of town.

Tuesday – Depart Vienna by train to arrive Salzburg by 11:00. Check in and catch the 2:00 Sound Of Music Tour (Anyone used Bob’s Special Tours?).

Wednesday – Hallstatt, Eagles Nest tour, or just enjoy Salzburg. If visiting Hallstatt or taking the Eagles Nest tour would we be better off picking up the rental car today and driving ourselves or taking an organized tour out of Stazburg?

Thursday – pick up rental car just across the border in Freilassing, Germany and start Bavaria drive. Need recommendations on best way to get from hotel in Salzburg to rental car in Freilassing. We plan to make our way to Garmisch-Partenkirchen by 11:00 and take the train and cable car to the top of Zugspitze. After visiting the summit we’ll return to the car and drive to Schwangau and spend the night (perhaps at the Alpenhotel Allgau).

Friday – We’ll make an early visit to Neuschwanstein in hopes of beating some of the crowd, and then head to Stuttgart with perhaps a stop in Ulm along the way. (Other stops to consider?). Friday evening we will have dinner with our daughter (who is in Stuttgart on an internship).

Saturday – day trip with our daughter to either Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Burg Hohenzollern, or other nearby destination (her choice) and then drop off the rental car when we return to Stuttgart that evening.

Sunday – see Stuttgart with our daughter (we’ll let her be our guide).

Monday – Fly back home.

Thanks in advance for your input.

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