auto trip eastern europe,need help!!

Old Jan 29th, 1998, 04:23 PM
marvin richman
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auto trip eastern europe,need help!!

Driving prague,budapest,krakow,prague,need interesting places to visit,towns to stay or if the entire trip is a smart thing to do, not much avail in published travel books about this area,any ideas would be helpful(trip to take 14 days).Thanks shelmar.
Old Jan 31st, 1998, 12:34 PM
Bill Piller
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Go to one of the big bookstores or contact Barnes and Noble or Magellan web site.
We rented an Avis car in Budapest and drove all over Hunbary and then went on to Prague. No Problems. But get a book first.
Old Feb 1st, 1998, 07:09 AM
Ben Haines
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Dear Mr Richman

The trip you summarise on Fodors is a good thing to do, but might be better by rail. Trains run several times daily by day, with restaurant cars, and every night overnight. Driving in the city centres (other than Budapest) is banned, and parking outside the centres is a trial. Trains run straight to city centres, and taxis from station to hotel are cheap. You can find rail prices on, under "point to point", or there may be a railcard to suit you. In either case you'd add thirty or forty dollars a person a night for a second class sleeper (and save a hotel bill), or five dollars a day for express train supplements. If you'd like a sketch of times please ask me.

Now to towns on the way. Between Prague and Budapest you should think of Breclav, Bratislava, Komarom and Komarno. Betweeen Budapest and Krakow of Eger and Kosice. Between Krakow and Prague of the Tatra mountains. You'll find that the Lonely Planet guide book to East Europe covers them all, and describes hotels.

Old Feb 3rd, 1998, 02:53 AM
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An auto trip around Eastern Europe could be quite fun! I've driven lots of times in the area, and can only offer that althought the distances may not be huge, give yourself lots of extra time to get from one city to another. Most roads are not great, and many roads are one lane in either direction. I disagree with the report that driving in city centers is not permitted - I live in Prague and it's only banned here once or twice a year on extremely bad smog days, and I drove a few months ago with no trouble in the thick of Krakow. Parking in the city centers is not great, but again, you can find a spot - bring change for the Prague meters, and use the paid parking lots (guarded) in Krakow. Also, be wary of which rental companies you rent from, and if they have any restricted areas. Some of them will not allow you to take cars into Poland - others say that you can, but only the smaller models. Check ahead and be specific on where you're going. If you find yourself in a restricted place with your rental car, you're personally liable for everything! Have fun and drive carefully - passing is a competition sport in this part of the world.
Old Feb 3rd, 1998, 08:24 PM
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You have gotten some very good advice above and I agree with both -- there are relative merits to both the train and a car. The roads that you would be traveling are excellent to really bad. The trains are very nice and relaxing, but you can't get off mid-trip to explore easily. As for parking, Krakow and Prague are not easy. You have to park in proper parking lots. The tourist center of Prague Wenceslas Square, etc.) IS closed to all traffic. You can park outside of it. Krakow (where I lived for two years) is definitely closed in the dead center, but otherwise you can park in one main lot near the old town. Budapest driving is a little crazy! So be prepared. It is like London or New York. One last idea of places to visit -- the writer up top alluded to the Tatra mountains. I would recommend two days in Zakopane for a true dose of Polish local moutain charm. The Poles call Zakopane affectionately "the Aspen of Poland" and it is the premier ski and hiking resort in the country. Nevertheless, it is also fun and relatively unspoiled. Take the gondola up to the top of the Kasprova mountain. Or better, hike up, although be prepared for a 4 hour serious workout.

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