Berlin Prague Vienna Budapest

Old Oct 23rd, 2013, 09:15 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 202
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Berlin Prague Vienna Budapest

Hi
We have traveled in last half of September the last 5 years to Croatia, Turkey, Ireland, Spain and Greece. These trips have all involved car rental and a little beach time. It is my wife's turn to run the trip. Her inclination and mine is to try and actually see a lot morre than most Fodorites would consider pleasant. We will probably have 11 full days in last half of 9/14 and will probably take trains since these are all large cities. Does any one have a concept of how long we would be on trains in total to make this work? My wife is very determined and even though I suggested that she knock off one or 2 cities, I have little hope that it will occur. We will probably fly into Budapest and out of Berlin or the reverse. Any suggestions?
James_P is offline  
Old Oct 23rd, 2013, 09:57 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 327
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Assuming no fodorites are paying for this trip, you are good... I am never clear who mandated the pace of trips (that said, I travel like a snail... My kids travel faster. It's all good)

You arrive in Budapest and have 3 more full days.
Travel to Prague, ( a long day but completely doable... Nearly 7 hours) And then spend 3 full days.
A shorter train gets you to Berlin (from memory, 4hours) and then you spend 3 full days.

Only question for me is do you try to see Dresden or Bratislava..... Which would break up the train rides.

Enjoy....
centraleurope is offline  
Old Oct 23rd, 2013, 10:07 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,055
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
centraleurope- your trip sounds great, but it skips Vienna. So if OP wants to include that too, it will be more like 2 days in each city. Yes, it is a lot of time on trains and not what I would choose, but I agree that if it is what you want to do then go for it!
msteacher is offline  
Old Oct 23rd, 2013, 10:24 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 327
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yeah, that was by design... I am just not a Vienna fan, msteacher (and I have tried). I would leave it at 3 cities.... And since Budapest and Berlin were firm, I elected to leave out Vienna ( so many hard decisions!)
centraleurope is offline  
Old Oct 23rd, 2013, 10:27 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 327
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Right... I think 3 cities makes sense. And since I am not a Vienna fan, I left it off.

With Budapest and Berlin fixed, it was hard for me to add it. But it surely is an option.
centraleurope is offline  
Old Oct 23rd, 2013, 10:31 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 202
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We have been to Vienna in 1977 and I would like to skip it, but I am guessing that will not fly with my trip planner. We are at the point that we are not revisiting countries that we have already been to. However, we did a 2.5 month trip to Europe in 1977 and since we went to almost all the European countries except for Switzerland and Greece, we have revisited them relative to that trip. Based on our prior travel pattern, I would like to spend at a minimum 1 full day in each city. In Athens we arrived on a Saturday morning and left on a Monday morning and that was enough time for us.
I will have to plot out the train schedule and see if my wife wavers when she sees how much time she is spending on trains versus sightseeing.
James_P is offline  
Old Oct 23rd, 2013, 10:34 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 327
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Budapest to Vienna is about 3 hours. To Prague maybe 4. To Berlin maybe 4 .

To me, the train part is not a big deal.... But that is my personal tolerance.
centraleurope is offline  
Old Oct 23rd, 2013, 10:35 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,038
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Definitely stop in Vienna, capital of a former empire. The museums are wonderful and if you like music ...
Bedar is offline  
Old Oct 23rd, 2013, 10:43 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 327
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Never delegate the trip planning James. Literally, we have been driving to the airport when my husband looks at me and says " where are we going?"
centraleurope is offline  
Old Oct 23rd, 2013, 11:39 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Without Vienna do centraleurope's routing - if also putting Vienna in then go Budapest-Vienna-Prague-Berlin - for excat train scheudles go to www.bahn.de - the German Railways site that has become a favorite with many for getting schedules for any European train - a good way to access the English schedule page of bahn.de is to go to the home page of budgeteuropetravel.com and click on the link 'Best online Railway timetable" or some such wording and up pops two boxes From: To: You put in a date and you'll get all the trains (well not loaded for next September but trains on these routes rarely change more than a few minutes. I reference this home page link because it also give several valuable tips for novices using the site.
For great rail info on Central European trains check out www.seat61.com; www.ricksteves.com. Many folks enjoy the benefits of first class on these trains and often does not cost that much more - rail fares in eastern Europe still being less than western Europe IME.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Oct 23rd, 2013, 12:39 PM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 202
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks. I went on the train website. It looks like the trains are doable. It would not give a price for the trips outside of Germany. I guess I have never taken trains between countries. We always had a car or flew. I guess that I will have to familiarize myself with the mystery of train travel. I went on the bahn site. I will have to try the other links.
James_P is offline  
Old Oct 23rd, 2013, 01:02 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 55,440
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
Having spent 3-4 days in each of these cities at different times, i think that 3 cities would be enough in the time you've got, given that you have to get between them, find the hotel, check in, get your bearing, check out, etc ,etc.

personally, i would always try to break up a holiday like this with some time in the country - by the time you get to Berlin, you'll have no idea what you saw in Budapest as opposed to Prague. Gee, where was that Chain bridge? try and do all 4 and it'll all be a complete mishmash by the time you get home and you'll need another holiday.

so i would opt for 2 with some down time in between, but it doesn't look as if that's on the agenda.
annhig is online now  
Old Oct 23rd, 2013, 01:36 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,561
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hmm, I'd consider going south from Berlin. Season changing, weather getting cooler, go south.

Budapest to Vienna is about 3 hours. To Prague maybe 4. To Berlin maybe 4

Um, some details in that sentence need filling in. Budapest to Vienna is 3 hours by train, 4.5 by hovercraft up the Danube.

Vienna to Prague by train is about 4 hours; from BUDAPEST to Prague, the train takes 7+ hours during the day and 9+ at night.

Prague to Berlin is about 4:40 by train.

i would always try to break up a holiday like this with some time in the country - by the time you get to Berlin, you'll have no idea what you saw in Budapest as opposed to Prague. Gee, where was that Chain bridge?

Um, although the reasons to go out on the countrysides are numerous and compelling, the icons of each city are probably easier to remember than the various icon-free countrysides. And if you spend enough time in each city, you'll understand the differences between Prague and Budapest just fine due to their vastly different ethnic, religious, political and social histories.

As for Vienna v. Prague - this comes down to your interests and purpose in going. We previously had this choice to make and went to Prague.
BigRuss is offline  
Old Oct 23rd, 2013, 02:34 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Bahn.de is great for train schedules all over europe - but prices only for trains starting in Germany. For other train prices you need to go to the site of the railroad for each country.

I am not making a recommendation on cities - since you don;t want mine - which is to do 2 in the time you have and actually see something more than the usual half-day city tour and an hour in the castle or cathedral.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Oct 23rd, 2013, 02:45 PM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 202
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would like a recommendations on cities. We have been seeing a country at a time. It is easier to do a country than 4 countries. I personally have balked at Germany because I felt that it was closer to the USA as far as being modern. However, TV and the internet and smart phones have brought most countries to somewhat the same place.
James_P is offline  
Old Oct 23rd, 2013, 08:41 PM
  #16  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 22,984
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I also think trying to see all 4 of these magnificent cities in a trip of 11 days is overly ambitious. If we knew why your wife wants to see them, we might be better positioned to offer advice.
kja is offline  
Old Oct 23rd, 2013, 09:18 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 327
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
As for order, either order is fine. In September, the weather should be nice. I would probably price the airfare and go whichever way is cheaper.

People always mention the boat. I never understand that. The Danube in this stretch is just not worth it for me. If you like boats, go for it. If not, I would dismiss the boat option.

As for prices.... These tickets are cheap. And I always just buy them at keleti right when I want to go. PalenQ is correct, first class will get you more space and the ticket will still be cheap ( I will allow bigruss to research the details!)

Lastly, I think you will notice a difference between the US and here. One difference is the fact many will not own an I phone (and few children will). It is just beyond the reach of the average working family. As an American living in Budapest, I am struck by the differences eac day.
centraleurope is offline  
Old Oct 24th, 2013, 06:10 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,055
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just to clarify my earlier comments, I agree that three cities is a much better option in the time you have. And if I were to cut one city, I also agree with centraleurope that Vienna is the one I would drop. I found it to feel like a standard European city, with little to make it feel special.

I personally loved Berlin, but you are correct that the architecture and overall feel of it is a bit more modern than the other cities you suggested. I loved the history in Berlin, but the most interesting parts are 20th century history. So it depends on what you are looking for.

And again, if you are dead set on seeing all four in one trip, it is physically possible, though many people would not find it particularly enjoyable. Consider carefully what you plan to see and do in each city. For example, a museum visit usually eats up half a day. Make sure you are giving yourself enough time to enjoy the sites that are important to you.
msteacher is offline  
Old Oct 24th, 2013, 07:22 AM
  #19  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 202
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I asked my wife why ahe wanted to see Prague and what she knew about it and she said she knew nothing about it. We are just in the initial planning stages.
James_P is offline  
Old Oct 24th, 2013, 08:36 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,561
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
However, TV and the internet and smart phones have brought most countries to somewhat the same place.

Someone hasn't been to central Asia, the Balkans or the ex-Warsaw Pact countries. We'll not mention any place in Africa . . .

Look: the fact is that Vienna is likely to be closest to Berlin in feel (although the latter is more modern because the Allies bombed it to blazes in WWII) due to language, culture, and ethnic makeup (Austrians are Germanic).

Czechs are Slavic, Hungarians are Magyar (not Slavic, closer to Finns and Estonians), they had different experiences under the various empires of Central Europe from medieval to Holy Roman to Austrian to Nazi to Soviet.
BigRuss is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:09 PM.