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Austria and which Central European Country - Trip Ideas for 2010

Austria and which Central European Country - Trip Ideas for 2010

Jun 22nd, 2009, 03:46 PM
  #1  
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Austria and which Central European Country - Trip Ideas for 2010

We haven't taken this year's summer vacation, and I'm already thinking ahead to next year!

Due to kids' school schedules, trip would be in early June. Don't know yet how many days we'll have. It woud be me, DH, DD (11yo), DS (15yo).

I'm guessing that in early June, there would still be a lot of snow in the Austrian Alps, so limited hiking?

Last year, we visited the Czech Republic (incl time in Prague), Slovakia, and Hungary (incl time in Budapest). We liked it, loved the rural areas and visited many castles. We discovered that we really prefer (need?) some time in a big, cosmopolitan city as part of our trip - so our trip would include Vienna, and Salzburg, because we love Salzburg. We would also spend some time in Halstatt and other rural Austrian locations.

We're very active at home, and live in the mountains, so wouldn't do a huge amount of outdoor activities. Love rural areas AND big cities. Have no hesitation driving anywhere or apprehensions about languages (see prior note re other Central Europe trip). We really like history and old stuff, especially castles, art (paintings) and music. NOT into shopping or sitting on beaches. I won't talk about good food - that's what we go to Italy and France for (that's said in a positive way).

Given all that, what other countries or locations would you suggest? Poland (Krakow, or is it Cracow?)? I've thought about flying into Trieste, then spending a couple days in Istria (Croatia), then going through Slovenia up to Austria. Or starting somewhere in Poland, and ending in Austria. The parts of Croatia that really appeal to me are Split and Dubrovnik, but they're pretty far south to include with the rest of our ideas. (Germany's a possibility, but we prefer Austria, and want to include somewhere that us grownups have never been before.)

I love this part of trip planning, just throwing ideas out (and yes, we have a bunch of guidebooks from the library at home right now). Make sure I don't forget any great destination ideas!
Lexma90 is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2009, 05:44 PM
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We recently went through the same "dilemma" - what to do with another 2 weeks after finishing in Italy - how lucky we are that these are our "problems". I ended up using the skyscanner website and looked for great airfares to a whole host of cities. Incredibly cheap flights are available. Finally we decided on Budapest and Berlin.
Happy planning!
PRLCH is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2009, 03:53 AM
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I agree - it's a great dilemma to have. We mainly fly one carrier, Lufthansa, because it's the only airline that flys direct from our home city all the way to Europe. From, we can get pretty much anywhere, and the fare isn't really any different with the destinations we'd be considering.
Lexma90 is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2009, 09:35 AM
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Any suggestions?
Lexma90 is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2009, 10:22 AM
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I'm a little unclear whether you've been to Germany or not. If not I'd sure put that on the list. If so, which parts? There's a big difference between north and south (and east and west for that matter). We've been a few times and haven't repeated destinations.

We haven't been to Poland, though our daughter did love Krakow and Warsaw.

And what about Budapest?
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Jun 23rd, 2009, 10:57 AM
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If you like cosmopolitan cities and history, how about London?
The Tower of London is worth a visit. The Beefeaters are fun to talk with, and who doesn't enjoy seeing pretty jewels? The Brits are really friendly, and it's a fun city to explore.
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Jun 23rd, 2009, 01:25 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. Yes, I wasn't explicit, but DH and I have been to Germany, and as we have limited time (don't we all), for countries we're visiting again on this trip, we'd choose Austria.

We enjoyed London, and it definitely fits the "big city with culture" requirement, but we're looking for somewhere new for this trip.

Budapest was an interesting city - that was part of our trip to Central Europe last year, along with eastern Hungary, Slovakia, rural Czech Republic and Prague. I guess we're thinking about something like that trip, but including Austria and a country we haven't been to.

We haven't YET been to: Poland, Slovenia, Croatia, anywhere south of that on the Dalmatian coast, or anywhere in Eastern Europe. (We haven't seen much of northern Europe, either, but we're saving that for a year when we have to travel in July/August.)

Thanks!
Lexma90 is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2009, 01:41 PM
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Poland is large and varied, so you may enjoy it a great deal and its regions will have their own separate charms.

Krakow is nice, but it cannot hold a candle to Prague (or Budapest -- I'll get some grief for that last, I'm sure). You may want to look at Poznan, Wroclaw (pronounced "vrotswav"), the Silesian countryside, Lodz (pronounced "wooj" -- polish has a letter that's an "L" with a slash through it and is pronounced as a W, the "L" in Wroclaw and Lodz is that letter; pardon the TMI aspect) and other areas.

We enjoyed Gdansk. It's a small and very nice city, great main square and waterfront, easy day trip to the excellent Malbork Castle, near the beaches on the Baltic (we didn't partake, we were there in December and 'twas a bit chilly), and historically important.

Unlike London, Poland is in Central Europe. The inyourpocket.com website will give you lots of information (although I'm guessing you're familiar with it having been to C. Europe before).
BigRuss is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2009, 08:09 PM
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Here's a suggestion...(been there, done this)...

Fly into Dubrovnik. Take the ferries up through Korcula to Split/Hvar. Then, take the overnight ferry from Split to Ancona, then the morning train up to Padua (arrives around 1:00 PM), which is worth a day for all of the "old stuff" (oldest European university, oldest tree at the botanical gardens, etc.) Then, on to Venice (thirty minutes away). Overnight sleeper car from Venice to Vienna. Two weeks.

Ferries are great for traveling with youngsters as they have freedom to roam around without having to keep an eye on them all the time. However, the coastal section of Dalmatia between Dubrovnik and Split is wonderful driving/village territory (the bus isn't bad either).
metlc is offline  
Jun 24th, 2009, 10:52 AM
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Thanks for the GREAT ideas! I'll look into them. I was thinking about Gdansk yesterday, as I was looking at the map in the Poland guidebook, and remembering the early days of Solidarity. It's good to hear it would be a good area to visit for other reasons, too, and I would be interested in seeing Gdansk from the aspect of recent history; that's something we really got a lot out of in Prague and Budapest.

I checked out the ferries, which is a possibility, except that we'll be in the area of Ancona, and Venice, as part of our trip to Italy this fall. Do the ferries run from Split to Trieste or directly Venice? That would work better for us. And I agree that the coastal drive between Dubrovnik and Split would be good (though driving all the way from Dubrovnik to Austria would be too long).
Lexma90 is offline  
Jun 24th, 2009, 11:44 AM
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Slovenia is next to Trieste and worth 5 days of your time--and then on to Istria. It is all very close.
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Jun 24th, 2009, 02:20 PM
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Bob - thanks. I was thinking some time in Slovenia might be good, but any time there would of course be at the expense of time in, for example, Austria. How would you allocate the 5 days? Any time in Ljubljana? Maybe 1 day? It seems cute, but in terms of cities, seems like we'd prefer Salzburg (and Vienna).
Lexma90 is offline  
Jun 24th, 2009, 03:23 PM
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It does depend on time, of course. I think that Ljubljana deserves 2 days and Lake Bled another day--which is on the way to Austria. We also like Piran on the coast opposite Venice. But, I would not detract from the Salzkammergut area of Austria--one of my favs.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jun 26th, 2009, 12:14 AM
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I was just in Croatia for 2 weeks. The coast is absolutly beautiful. I loved it. Split and Dubrovnik would definatly be worth a couple days apeace in my opinion. I really would recomend hitting some islands. I went to the island of Hvar and Korcula. They were really relaxing, fun, and entertaining. We rented boats, and just cruised around.
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