Central Europe - 16 Days

Old Feb 19th, 2015, 09:27 PM
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Central Europe - 16 Days

hi Everyone,

I will have about 16 days in central Europe in between visiting some family in Germany and attending Exit festival in Novi Sad. This will be June/ July 2015.

I had originally been thinking of doing Prague, Vienna, Budapest, but have now been considering adding in Krakow. I do understand that adding in an extra city would make it rushed and minimise my time in each place.

So I was hoping for opinions on what everything thinks the best plan would be this is what i am currently considering
Day 1-4 - Prague (over night train to Krakow)
Day 5-7 - Krakow (overnight train to Vienna)
Day 8- 11 Vienna
Day 12 - Vienna - Budapest (I know this wont take the full day)
Day 13 - 16 - Budapest

Or should I cut Krakow or Vienna and add the extra days to the other cities. If I was to do this which city would be better to cut (I know this is VERY subjective and everyone likes different things) or is there somewhere else I should be considering ?

I am not big into partying and will be travelling alone. I generally just enjoy walking around cities and exploring. I am not big into art galleries and wouldn't want to spend large amounts of time in museums/galleries but do still enjoy them.

I prefer warmer weather (though I know there isn't really much difference between the two) and enjoy doing out door things. I also love trying different foods and am happy to explore places besides bigger cities

I have been researching all the cities and come up with some things I would want to see in them all, but I was hoping for some personal opinions.

Thanks in advance
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Old Feb 19th, 2015, 10:16 PM
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From what you say of your interests, I'm not sure you have a bad choice -- just a difficult one!

If you are willing to fit Krakow in, I don't think you'll regret it -- it is quite special IMO!

I appreciate that you are seeking personal opinions, but all I can say is: I loved every one of these cities! But then, my interests are apparently different than yours -- I can spend hours on end in museums and only leave because of closing hours. (And I did that in each of these cities.) We can all tell you what worked for us; only YOU can decide what will work for you.

To decide whether this trip will work for YOU, and how to allocate your time, I think you need to check the opening hours of the things you most want to see and plot them on a calendar.

Hope that helps!
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Old Feb 20th, 2015, 01:35 AM
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Your new itin looks fine. Krakow offers a couple of interesting things 1) 2 concentration camps 2) a salt mine, while the golden centre is certainly worth a day on its own it only really makes sense as a trip if you add 1 and 2 (the salt mine is the best one I've seen but do make the language tour guide of your choice).

Prague in July will be heaving with people, if you like that then no worries.

Budapest spas, one of the main reasons for going to Hungary for me, will be busy in July but not as busy as Prague.

Not sure about Vienna, I'd think the Viennese will be out of town in prep for the main summer holiday.
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Old Feb 20th, 2015, 06:18 PM
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Thanks for the replies, I know being July in Europe everywhere will be busy which is why I am thinking of prebooking everything, but I just wanted to make sure my itinerary wasnt super rushed.

Or if maybe people had suggestions of somewhere else in this general area that was easy to get to and would be nice to see.
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Old Feb 20th, 2015, 06:34 PM
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At that time of year, I think you would do well to pre-book!

And just to be clear, I didn't say that your plan is not super-rushed. For MY tastes, it would be too rushed! What I said was that you need to figure out whether it will work for you or not.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2015, 10:21 PM
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Yes Kja i think it is too busy, i kinda get excitied about trying to fit as much in. but it reality it would be exhausting I think I will drop Krakow and will just have to save up for another trip
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Old Feb 23rd, 2015, 12:08 AM
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I think you are wise to give serious consideration to your time frames.

I, too, hate realizing that I've tried to fit too much into a trip (but I ALWAYS do) and then trying to decide what to cut. When deciding what to cut, I try to think about what places will be easiest or hardest to visit on another trip, or which might be most or least likely to fit into another trip. Maybe you've already done that! I only mention it because Krakow may be the place that would be hardest / or least likely to fit in another trip and so might be a place you DO want to include on this journey. Just a thought....

Again, you'll see some wonderful things no matter what you decide.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2015, 10:33 AM
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Good job with planning your trip. I hope you can make it. Krakow is a great choice - one of the most popular tourism cities in Poland; so beautiful. It's sad that you think of dropping it. But maybe next time you may go only to Poland and see more than Krakow, for example Wroclaw, Mazury or Polish sea.
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Old Feb 24th, 2015, 07:07 AM
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Yeah, the sea looks great every time of a year. Some places are touristy, some really quiet. Krakow isn't quiet but full of points to see. Beautiful historic city.
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Old Feb 24th, 2015, 07:14 AM
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for lots of good info on trains in those countries I always spotlight these info-laden sites: www.seat61.com (check for discounted ticket info); www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com. Also check out the European East Pass that covers Austria, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia - unless you are booking discounted tickets in advance (way in advance often to get the limited in number discounted seats which are also typically non-refundable non-changeable) then compared to full-fare the pass may be a good deal - not sure but check it out.
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Old Feb 24th, 2015, 12:48 PM
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Have you taken overnight trains before? If not if a light sleeper you may not sleep much as there is always a modicum of noise sometimes more than a little - a private cabin lessens the noise from others like the ubiquitous snorers and folks getting up and going out to the loo during the night, etc. but those cost much more usually.

Just a note in case you're a light sleeper - you may arrive wiped out. Now I have taken literally hundreds of overnight trains and rarely found any problems and so do many other folks.
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Old Feb 25th, 2015, 09:33 AM
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Vienna to Budapest is but a few hours by train but you can take an express boat there that takes a little longer but is oh oh so much more romantic - going down the Danube.
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Old Feb 26th, 2015, 01:07 AM
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How much money do you plan to spend? It's better to cut Vienna than Krakow. Vienna is pretty expensive. I prefer Krakow's buildings. I don't know exactly how to explain it, but Vienna is ugly looking at the whole city. But it's beautiful looking at smaller pieces.
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Old Feb 26th, 2015, 06:42 AM
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I agree. Krakow has completely different atmosphere than Vienna. Better atmosphere, in my opinion. More friendly. There's something special in whole Poland, not only Krakow - people are really nice and friendly. And the food is great.
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Old Feb 26th, 2015, 08:42 AM
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and the prices in Poland much cheaper than in Austria! Much much cheaper across the board.
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Old Feb 26th, 2015, 11:56 AM
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Yes, Vienna seems to be really expensive if you've been to Poland before.It's the difference between Western and Eastern Europe.
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Old Feb 26th, 2015, 03:00 PM
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Krakow is exceptional - one of my very favorite experiences in decades of European travels - by far the nicest city in Poland - a real authentic old-world flare and little of the socialist commie architecture still staining most Polish cities - except on its outer preceints.

Krakow is part of the national patrimonh - former seats of the kings or whatever they were called rulers of Poland - a castle, nice riverfront setting - fabulous famous marketsquare - one of the very largest in all of Europe.

Take time to go out to Nova Hutna - a new socialist planned town - the saying goes that "Rome wasn't built in a day but Nova Hutna (sp?) was!"

But the new town was also where the Polish pope gained fame - think was his base or some close relation.

Also be sure to travel south of Krakow a few miles to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Wieliczka Salt Mines for not just a tour on tunnels but mines that feature immense rooms with chandeliers - works of art in the salt - when I went on the tour an former Wieilczka salt miner (mines no longer active I think) did the tour. We all had to put on hard-hats for the effect. That was several years ago so not sure what the tour is like now.

Of course for many but not all a day trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau is a must - easily done by train or bus or escorted tour.

1 day for rather compact Krakow itself - 2 days day tripping - there's a minimum of 3 days and more would not be boring.
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Old Feb 27th, 2015, 05:05 AM
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https://www.google.com/search?q=nowa...=1600&bih=1075

Nowa Hutna - much different than ancient Krakow but so interesting IMO.
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Old Mar 4th, 2015, 07:38 AM
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Agree, Krakow is a perfect place for tourists. There is so much to see! PalenQ mentioned really good places nearby, like Wieliczka (plus Bochnia) and Auschwitz-Birkenau.
But I prefer other parts of Poland, like the seaside - Tricity, Swinoujscie, Ustka. I know, it's not for your trip. But maybe next time.
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Old Mar 4th, 2015, 11:29 AM
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I never heard of Bochnia but another interesting place to go near Krakow - thanks!
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