Budapest Vienna Prague

Mar 27th, 2014, 06:20 AM
  #1  
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Budapest Vienna Prague

Hi
My wife and myself have been going back and forth on how to do this trip. The following itinerary would have us renting a car when we leave Budapest and returning the car to Budapest at the end of the trip. It saves us $430 to fly into and out of Budapest as opposed to flying into Budapest and out of Prague. We have 10 days excluding our arrival day and our departure day. I am going to research this, but I wanted some feedback on how easy it would be to find lodging in Vienna and Prague with parking. I would define us as superficial travelers and do not stay in a place as long as others on the travel sites.
Arrv Budapest 3 nights
Road trip starts –
See three towns along the Danube bend
Szentendre
Visegrad
Esztergom
Overnight Sopron
Next stop Melk in Austria
Overnight
Next stop Vienna
Overnight
Cesky Krumlov (Czech republic)
Overnight
Prague
Then back to Budapest
James_P is offline  
Mar 27th, 2014, 06:30 AM
  #2  
 
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Need more time in Prague and Budapest. The Habsburg-o-philes will say you're shortchanging Vienna.

Considering the short distance from Budapest to Vienna, taking two nights to get from one to the other seems a bit much.
BigRuss is offline  
Mar 27th, 2014, 06:33 AM
  #3  
 
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Next stop Melk in Austria
Overnight
Next stop Vienna>

Drive along the wonderful Wachau Valley from Melk to Durnstein - stop and then go onto via Krens to Vienna - the most beautiful stretch of Danube perhaps from the sea to the German mountains!
PalenQ is offline  
Mar 27th, 2014, 06:46 AM
  #4  
 
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Have you looked at the driving time? The first day you leave Budapest you have a minimum of 5 hours driving with 4.5 of the hours on secondary roads. This driving time does not allow for road works, traffic, etc. that may slow you down. It leaves little time to visit 3 towns. I realize you don't want to stay in any place very long but you'll barely have time for lunch.

Melk is close to Vienna, about an hour on the train, that I would stay in Melk 2 nights rather than packing up and moving hotels and finding your way around Vienna with a car. Driving is about 1.5 hours and then you have to find your hotel.

I wouldn't bother going to Prague. It about 2.5 hours from Cesky Krumlov so you won't even have a full day in Prague. The southern Czech Republic is so pretty I would stop in a couple of small towns enroute to Budapest (Telc, Trebic, etc.).
adrienne is offline  
Mar 27th, 2014, 07:04 AM
  #5  
 
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Living in Vienna, and having just gone to Esztergom this past weekend on a day trip, I think you are trying to fit too much into your schedule. The drive from Budapest to Sopron, if you are planning to "see" the three cities listed, is woefully underestimated. That route is not all autobahn; and you very well may find yourself behind tractors moving in and out of the vineyards. Consider dropping one or two cities on your route from Budapest to Sopron and you will be fine. Sopron to Melk is almost 2 hours; as adrienne suggests, skip the Czech Republic, go straight on to Vienna from Hungary and see Melk as a day trip. You really do not have time to fit the Czech Republic into your holiday.
fourfortravel is online now  
Mar 27th, 2014, 08:11 AM
  #6  
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Thanks for the feedback. This is my wife's turn to plan the trip. She just recently added Vienna back into the trip. I also think that there is a certain amount of checking cities off the list. She is a very enthusiastic person and has been reading alot of travel books related to the trip and everything sounds so good.
James_P is offline  
Mar 27th, 2014, 08:23 AM
  #7  
 
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<< everything sounds so good >>

Choosing locations is always a difficult task. With 2 exceptions, I've always been happy with the places I've visited. A check list doesn't let you see the town/city. Better to watch a travelog sipping a glass of wine.

Everyone travels differently but when people post here for opinions that says that they are in doubt about their itinerary and either need to cut back, or, less frequently, add more.

Everything you have on the list is great but you won't see the greatness as you'll need to hop back in the car and head for the next place.
adrienne is offline  
Mar 27th, 2014, 08:29 AM
  #8  
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We might skip Vienna since we have already been there (in 1976).
James_P is offline  
Mar 27th, 2014, 09:28 AM
  #9  
 
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James, we visited Vienna in 1999 for a week, and now we live here. Suffice it to say that a fair amount has changed. Try to appreciate that you will never "see it all," but if what you want to do is "check off cities," then your itinerary as stands will cover that.
fourfortravel is online now  
Mar 27th, 2014, 09:31 AM
  #10  
 
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I'd say drop the rental car. Travel between the major cities by train. and fly open jaw in and out of Prague and Budapest. You might save some money dropping the rental car making the $430 higher airfare not quite as bad.

We did Prague, Vienna, Budapest for 10 days 2 years ago and 3 nights in each city was barely enough.
robertcoon is offline  
Mar 27th, 2014, 11:22 AM
  #11  
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We are vacillating between train and car. we took a trip to Greece last year and rented a car when we left Athens and had a great time. The year before we went to Spain and did the same thing when we left Madrid. We did not book lodging except in the city we flew in and out of. We have had a good time because we got a blend of city and country. My wife wats to see some of the countryside, but a car in the city is a liability.
We took a 2.5 month honeymoon in 1976 in Europe and we parked in all major cities including Rome , London and Madrid. However, times have changed. I live in Chicago so I am aware of the parking situation. I figured that if we skipped Vienna, we could deal with Prague somehow.
James_P is offline  
Mar 27th, 2014, 11:57 AM
  #12  
 
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Prague is notorious for car thievery - your rental contract may not permit driving there.
BigRuss is offline  
Mar 27th, 2014, 12:27 PM
  #13  
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I found a rental car co that would let me go there, but that might tilt it toward trains and open jaw flights. I think that my duaghter said not to take overnight trains to Prague because of thievery. have you heard this?
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Mar 27th, 2014, 05:37 PM
  #14  
kja
 
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I'll join the choir saying that you are trying to do to much! It obviously depends on your interests, but honestly, you would spend a LOT of time on the road and comparatively little time in the places you say you want to visit. If you do proceed with this plan, you will need to be extremely selective in what you do see in any of these magnificent cities. I would find that to be very, very frustrating.

I'm surprised that your rental car quote was so much lower than an open-jaw flight. Just to be sure: You searched for a "multi-city" route, not separate one-way flights? That can make a HUGE difference to the costs.
kja is offline  
Mar 27th, 2014, 06:54 PM
  #15  
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For some reason, it is quite a bit more expensive to fly out of Prague than into Budapest. I did check open jaw and it is $2,000 apiece to fly to Budapest and out of Prague to/from Chicago. We are going to probably take the train and fly open jaw. Swiss air seems to be the cheapest.
James_P is offline  
Mar 27th, 2014, 07:04 PM
  #16  
kja
 
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I don't think you'll regret traveling by train.

And I'll urge you to visit Budapest and Prague, skipping Vienna on this trip -- these cities each simply offer TOO much to fit into the time you have! Instead, add a day trip from each of your anchors. You will still find yourselves figuring out what to skip!
kja is offline  
Mar 27th, 2014, 07:25 PM
  #17  
 
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When are you traveling? I looked at 2 random dates, one in August and one in September from ORD on United. The August fare was $1,500 and the September fare was +- $1,000.
adrienne is offline  
Mar 27th, 2014, 08:31 PM
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Wow! Way too much for the short time you're spending. My husband and I did your itinerary in reverse last May. We used public transportation everywhere. We did 4 nights in Prague, took a train to Regensburg Germany for a quick sightsee and on to spend 2 nights in Passau Germany, rail from Passau to Linz where we got a shuttle van to Cesky Krumlov (2 nights), shuttle van back to Linz where we picked up rail to Vienna (5 nights in Vienna), rail to Budapest where we spent 4 nights.

While in Vienna, you can get a rail/cruise combo pack at Westbahnhoff through Austrian Rail (OEBB)to see the abbey at Melk and some Danube sights.

We had an advantage in Budapest, as my husband has relatives there who drove us to Szentendre, Visegrad, and Esztergom. That was still a very full day on narrow roads. I would suggest looking into a hired guide for the day rather than renting a car. You will want to have time to walk around the castle at Visegrad. It is also fun to take the stairs all the way to the top of the dome in Esztergom.

My best advice would be to slow down so you are able to enjoy and relax more. My husband and I thought we were allowing enough time, but we still didn't get enough and are going back again this year with a slightly different itinerary.

Best wishes for your trip!
glkenny is offline  
Mar 28th, 2014, 06:18 AM
  #19  
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Hi
We are traveling 9/18 - 9/30/14. This trip is being organized by my wife. I am the driver if we drive which I do not think I will. I looked at the parking rates in Prague and the cheaper ones were 17 euro a day and that is on the outskirts. I think I will work to get Vienna out of the mix. I think that if we just hit the big cities and did not see anything else hitting all 3 would be OK. However, I think that my wife has side trips that she will feel required to take. The shuttle van might be a good way to get to Cesky Krumlov.
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