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Best way to travel from Germany to Prague?


Best way to travel from Germany to Prague?

Old Jul 2nd, 2013, 12:19 PM
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Best way to travel from Germany to Prague?

We are traveling through southern Germany (Rhine, Mosel, Romantic Road and surrounds) with another couple in late September through mid-October. W plan to drive in Germany but have heard we shouldn't try to drive from Germany to Prague. We would like to several days in Prague. What is the best travel method between Germany and Prague? W initially planned to take the train from Munich to Prague and back. We have been told by a contact in Germany that is not a good choice. I would love to hear from other travelers who have spent time in both places and get your recommendations. Thanks!
kejohnson166 is offline  
Old Jul 2nd, 2013, 12:57 PM
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The train would be fine except it isn't a very direct route between Munich and Prague, I imagine that is why the advice was not to do it. Don't know. There is actually a nonstop bus that goes between Munich and Prague, you might look into that, it takes about 4:40, less than the train. But the train without connections is about 6 hrs, I think. There aren't very many of those, maybe one a day? I see one at 9:01 to 14:44. I believe the bus is called the IC bus.

I don't know about driving, I think there may be some rental or insurance issues with that, that car rental companies don't want you to do that in Germany. Others will know more about that.
Christina is offline  
Old Jul 2nd, 2013, 01:06 PM
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The problem with driving is that there are often huge one-way fees if you rent a car in one country and drop it off in another. In the past, we usually paid about 250 Euros. Find out from the rental company exactly how much it would be; even paying the fee may be more cost-effective than other methods. You just have to do the math and see .which method-train, car, or flying- saves you time, money, and fatigue in the end.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2013, 01:20 PM
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There is also a German Railways bus from Nurnberg to Prague if that is more convenient than Munich.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2013, 01:56 PM
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I took that bus. It's very nice and I do not like buses. It was not full; you can spread out. Grab a brown bag lunch in the train station or some place in the area as there are only very small snacks and beverages served.

If you rent a car in Germany you need to verify with the rental agency that it's OK to take the car into the Czech Republic. If you leave it in Prague there will be huge drop off charges.

The bus is so easy and cheap if you book a few months ahead. You won't want a car in Prague as you'll either walk or take the tram/metro.
adrienne is offline  
Old Jul 3rd, 2013, 03:31 AM
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Several choices:

1) Cologne to Prague by direct sleeper train, departs 22:28, arrives 09:26, from €59 with couchette, book at www.bahn.de/en

2) Berlin to Prague from €29, regular trains and a scenic ride along the Elbe valley, book at www.bahn.de/en

3) Munich to Prague from just €19 on a proper civilised train (not a cramped and uncivilised long-distance bus!) at www.cd.cz/eshop with self-print tickets.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2013, 05:57 AM
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The issue, as you mention, is that rail connections between Munich and Prague are poor. What could be a 3.5-hour car ride becomes a 6-hour train ordeal. The bus ride or combination of bus and train works out to between 4.5 and 5 hrs.

I imagine this is a lingering impact of the Iron Curtain, that east-west connections between southern Germany and the Czech Republic are not so smooth.

Provided it is allowed by your rental car company and you pick up and drop in Germany, you could drive there. However, you'll have to figure out what to do with your car in Prague, since you will definitely not need it there.

One option may simply be to drop the rental car after Rhine/Mosel and catch the night train from Cologne to Prague. After Prague you can pick up another car rental if you wish, for your Bavaria (Munich/Romantic Road) travels, perhaps from Nuremberg or the closest major city from Prague.

(The Rhine/Mosel area wouldn't really be categorized as "southern" Germany)
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Old Jul 3rd, 2013, 06:03 AM
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I see that Man_in_seat_61 has also suggested the CNL from Cologne - Prague as a potential option.

I also agree with the second suggestion re: Berlin. The connections between Berlin and Prague are much better. Even if you cannot incorporate Berlin into your plans, you could catch the train from somewhere like Dresden (a mere 2.5 hrs from Prague and a lovely city in its own right). Parts of that train trip are quite lovely and scenic.

I think the overriding issue is that Prague doesn't typically integrate conveniently with an itinerary focused on Bavaria/Munich and Rhine/Mosel. It seems to work better on a north-south axis (Berlin - Dresden - Prague - Vienna - Budapest) rather than east -west. You might be better off targeting somewhere like Salzburg as an alternative.
Woyzeck is offline  
Old Jul 3rd, 2013, 12:03 PM
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We have taken the German Railways bus and it is totally fine. The bus is perfectly civilized. A couple years ago they added a direct bus from Munich to Prague, so you don't have to take the train to Nuremburg to pick up the bus anymore.
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