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5 weeks Central Europe in May/June - suggestions welcome

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Apr 22nd, 2017, 12:40 PM
  #21
kja
 
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Should be great!

You might want to add a day to Krakow, but of course, that depends on your interests and preferences. While there, do consider trying to see the Lady with an Ermine -- she is quite special.
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Apr 22nd, 2017, 12:44 PM
  #22
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Thanks kja! I think you're right about Krakow as I look at it - so much to see.

It's so helpful to draft this out - I just had another thought that we should keep that middle section open (i.e. Telc) and go south to Zagrab/Plitvice at that point depending upon the best imminent weather. We don't mind longer driving days (everything is a long driving day in Canada!) so that's an interesting hole to keep for now.
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Apr 22nd, 2017, 12:49 PM
  #23
kja
 
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The Plitvice Lakes are stunning, but you might want to defer seeing them until you can give Croatia and Slovenia a bit more time. Just a thought! There are sooooo many wonderful places to see -- it can be quite a challenge to choose, can't it?
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Apr 22nd, 2017, 12:53 PM
  #24
 
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Out of curiosity, why more nights in Budapest than Krakow? Not saying that is a bad choice, just wondering what your thinking was there. I guess Budapest is a lot bigger. Do you have plans to see more things there? Of the three, I liked Prague and Krakow the best, just in terms of charm.

Even if I'm not fixed on my dates, I like to book places I can cancel - booking.com is great for this - or at least figure out where I would stay if I were going for sure. So I'd pick two or three places in each town you haven't booked yet, in places you might visit, and at least have them at the ready to check when you are ready to commit; hope at least one choice is still available.

June might be a nice time to drive through Moravia and southern Bohemia and see the towns. I did that in September 2012 and the area felt a bit sleepy, like it was more of a summer destination. Some nice towns though, as mentioned above. Cesky Krumlov is one of them, just way overhyped.

Are you visiting Rothenburg ob der Tauber near Nuremberg? (Maybe you've visited before?) It's a very touristy little old town, but it was lovely. There's a reason it is popular.
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Apr 22nd, 2017, 12:57 PM
  #25
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Andrew - because we're spending 2 nights near Auschwitz it is kind of like 5 nights in Krakow?

I agree about booking.com cancellable --- actually am holding reservations now in a couple of places.
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Apr 22nd, 2017, 12:59 PM
  #26
 
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I have stayed in a couple of these apartments in Budapest and highly recommend them. (Very comfortable beds!)

http://budapestvacationrentals.com/S...n_Rentals.html

I wrote about the first one:

"The owners are clearly captivated by Budapest. Between the info on their website, and the collection of notes in the apartment, it’s hard to think of a question they haven’t anticipated. And the apartment showed the same loving attention to detail, from the spa bag with extra towels to the food in the fridge, from free calls to the US to the addictive Nespresso machine, it was truly a home away from home."

I am another not overly impressed by Ceske Krumlov, and was glad I elected to stay in Ceske Budejovice and day trip, which allowed me to visit a second castle.
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Apr 22nd, 2017, 01:23 PM
  #27
 
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Oh, I didn't get that you had two nights near Auschwitz. That makes more sense.
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May 5th, 2017, 11:33 AM
  #28
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Our itinerary continues to evolve......due to availability in Vienna I want to book there so this is what I'm now thinking - I've added a night to Budapest (have two sets of friends of friends we're planning to see) and have now abandoned going into Germany (Munich/Nuremberg) which reduces our geography nicely

Day 1 - arrive Prague - apartment in Old Town
Day 2 - Prague
Day 3 - Prague
Day 4 - Prague
Day 5 - Prague
Day 6 - drive to hotel near Auschwitz
Day 7 - visit Auschwitz (have booked private tour)
Day 8 - drive to Krakow
Day 9 - Krakow
Day 10 - Krakow (Salt mine day trip?)
Day 11 - drive to Budapest (have booked apartment in 7th)
Day 12 - Budapest
Day 13 - Budapest
Day 14 - Budapest
Day 15 - Budapest
Day 16 - Budapest
Day 17 - Drive to Plitvice Lakes
Day 18 - Plitvice Lakes
Day 19 - Drive to Zagreb
Day 20 - Zagreb
Day 21 - Drive to Vienna
Day 22 - Vienna
Day 23 - Vienna
Day 24 - Vienna
Day 25 - Vienna
Day 26 - Vienna
Day 27 - Vienna
Day 28 - Telc area/daytrips
Day 29 - Telc area
Day 30 - Telc area
Day 31 - Prague airport
Day 32 - AMS
Day 33 - AMS
Day 34 - AMS
Day 35 - AMS
Day 36 - return to YYZ

We have spent quite a bit of time elsewhere in Croatia (3+ weeks in Rovinj/Split/Dubrovnik/etc) but the weather was too cool then for Plitvice. I like the idea of a break from cities and this itinerary has two.

Would appreciate comments!

TIA
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May 5th, 2017, 12:00 PM
  #29
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What about this area in Vienna? Walking distance to major sites?

https://www.airbnb.ca/rooms/6407411?...-06&s=_f-QrjQl
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May 5th, 2017, 01:43 PM
  #30
 
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Hi, Elizabeth--A big ring around Vienna is not enough to go on. Please share major cross streets if not the address.

I know it says you'll get the actual address after you book, but try emailing and asking for it.
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May 5th, 2017, 02:00 PM
  #31
 
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Well, it's clear it's outside the Ringstrasse to the east. Not my preference. Also ask how far to the nearest metro station - in distance, not time.
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May 5th, 2017, 02:18 PM
  #32
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I like this location but it's just recently been listed with no reviews. Also no elevator (although I don't yet know what floor). Have emailed the "owner" for more info

https://www.airbnb.ca/rooms/18073297
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May 5th, 2017, 04:23 PM
  #33
 
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No reviews? No way.
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May 5th, 2017, 05:31 PM
  #34
 
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I've never used AirBnB (partly because I like to make last-minute changes to my schedule, and many AirBnB places have cancellation fees). But I have looked at them more than once. One thing that struck me is how useless may of the reviews seem. They are ALMOST COMPLETELY positive: how nice the host was (great - but...who cares?), only the good stuff about the place. These reviews seem very much at odds with reviews I read elsewhere (that seem more realistic).

I've heard anecdotes from people using AirBnB. Mostly they are good but SOME have been weird/negative experiences. But I have *NEVER* seen those types of reviews on AirBnB. This makes me fear they are filtering out the more critical/negative reviews. Even the best places occasionally get dinged by SOMEONE!

As for me: last (only) time in Vienna, I stayed far from the ring (a 10 minute S-bahn ride in so easy) because I got a great deal on at Renaissance (Marriot) on Priceline. Honestly, it wasn't a big deal in Vienna where the trains are very fast and efficient. (I tried the same sort of thing in Budapest but it didn't work out as well.)
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May 5th, 2017, 05:53 PM
  #35
 
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Actually, I tend to agree about the AirBnB reviews. I think they are so positive because the "guests" are also reviewed by the "hosts". After realizing the damage that AirBnB can do to rental markets and objecting to the idea of turning residential buildings and neighborhoods into informal hotels, I have pretty much given up on the whole idea.
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May 6th, 2017, 08:11 AM
  #36
 
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I have to say that it DOES make a difference to me how nice the host is whether you are staying in a hotel or a B&B. We have used airb&b successfully several times in the US and Europe; we will only book a place with almost perfect scores and lots of them. The reviews of the guest and the host are blinded until both complete them, or until a deadline passes, so there is not much incentive for the guest to post a glowing review when the property does not deserve it.
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May 6th, 2017, 08:14 AM
  #37
 
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The AirBnB #6407411 is a decent location, highly residential, and as it goes in nearly all of Vienna, safe, including at night. Based on the reviews the flat is located at the Sechskrügelgasse Straßenbahn Line 0 (tram), meaning you are one connection from the U3 and to points around the city. You're not really within walking distance to anything but Stadtpark; Stephansdom is a little more than a kilometer from the flat, for reference.

At the U3 connection to Tram 0 (Wien Mitte) there is a major chain grocery store, particularly helpful if you plan to prepare meals in the flat. The neighborhood does not have a wealth of non-Austrian restaurants; I have a couple of friends who live in that area who grouse about this point. I wouldn't expect too much English to be spoken at the neighborhood bakery or Gasthof, either.

I hope this is helpful.
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May 6th, 2017, 09:02 AM
  #38
 
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"so there is not much incentive for the guest to post a glowing review when the property does not deserve it."

There is an incentive to at least not post bad reviews, since future hosts can read your reviews.
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May 7th, 2017, 07:23 AM
  #39
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Thanks for all the help.

The apartment above is 300 metres from Rochusmarkt.

I've now booked this one (cancellable) on booking.com - across from the Opera - at twice the price of the other one.

http://www.abieshomes.com/homes/opera.html

I am leaning towards the Opera one -- due to my husband's bad back I try to find accommodation as close as possible to sightseeing - I don't like to add walking to walk/sightsee (if you know what I mean). And I am open to a splurge in Vienna for the right place.

Comments are appreciated. Thanks
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May 7th, 2017, 07:44 AM
  #40
 
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Looks nice, have you checked for an elevator? Maybe AC?

Last time I went to Vienna I stayed at the Opera Suites just across from the Opera and liked the location.
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