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Central Europe ...4 weeks..Amsterdam/Budapest/Prague

Central Europe ...4 weeks..Amsterdam/Budapest/Prague

Jan 25th, 2016, 10:42 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 7
Central Europe ...4 weeks..Amsterdam/Budapest/Prague

Greetings
I' m traveling solo for a month once again, this time in Central Europe Sept 2016. I'm inquiring in regards to my pre/post cruise itinary which includes Amsterdam/Budapest and Prague. I'm incorporating a 2 week RiverBoat Cruise Amsterdam to Budapest. ( that also includes Germany, Austria/Slovakia).

I will be arriving 3 days pre cruise to see a little more of Amsterdam on my own.( I will have several days in Amsterdam on riverboat cruise as well). The cruise ends and disembarks in Budapest on a Tuesday morning. My intention is to split my remaining time which is 10 whole days/11 nights between Budapest and Prague. ( I will have already had several days in Budapest on cruise and I will be returning to Boston via Prague).

I continue to traveled solo for a month usually in Sept.now for the past three years. The travel experiences have been amazing to say the least. Much gratitude to all for the feedback,guidance and support which I've encountered from many amazing "Fodorite" travelers whom have so graciously shared their experiences with me. Your time/constructive comments are priceless to me. Especially, Bob the Navigator in addition to all the other amazing contributors. All the kind encouragement to travel solo has provided me with much inspiration to continue pursuing/enjoying these many wonderful experiences. I love my travel bucket list, its my new passion!
(Venice,LakeComo,Milan,Portofino,Santa Marguerita,Rapallo,Cinque Terra,Florence,Tuscan Hill Towns,Rome,Naples,Ischia,Capri,Sorrento,Positano,P raiano,Amalfi,Ravello,Pompei,Matera,Bari,Lecce,Otr anto,Gallopoli,Ostuni,Martina Franca,Locorotondo,Alberobello,Cisterno, Poligano-Amare,Barcelona,Paris,Provence,Nice).

Amsterdam Questions:
* any recommendations for lodging in Amsterdam that is reasonable... I am open to BnB's/hotels close to port/town. I have read it's quite expensive to lodge here. I will also have several days on the cruise in Amsterdam as well?

*any yummy food picks that are casual for solo travels?

*any must see sites, not really interested in red lite district...I enjoy unesco world heritage sites, sites/moving water/1 art museum/walking tours/music/architecture/wine~food tastings. I will be arranging soon for admission Anne Frank House? (Prefer local activities no day trips r/t short stay)


Budapest Questions:

* How to split remaining time as stated in intro above i.e. Tues Sept 13 -Friday Sept 16 Budapest then train to Prague for remainder Sat Sept 17 -Fri (fly home sat Sept 24) or another suggestion? More or less time Budapest? ( note; River Cruise also includes several days in Budapest pre disembark)


* Any lodging suggestions Budapest +\or recommended areas to stay,easy walking distance or tram travel to activities/sites?

* Suggestions any must see sites Budapest. I enjoy unesco world heritage sites, sites/moving water/2 art museums /walking tours/music/architecture/wine~food tastings/cafes~coffee~people watching?

Prague Questions:

* Train Experiences Budapest to Prague...
I've read trains are 2x/day,can't see/read foreign language weekend schedule?

What is best train site to buy ticket in English?

One place I read states can't buy too far in advance however if I don't buy 3-4 days in advance may not get seat on am train, it's a 7 hr trip.
Another thought should I fly?

* Any lodging suggestions Prague+\or recommended areas to stay,easy walking distance or tram travel to activities/sites?

* Suggestions any must see sites Prague. I've read that the Czech Republic is a super power for unesco world heritage sites approx 12, which I like plus the moving water/art museums /walking tours/music/architecture/wine~food tastings/cafes~coffee~people watching?

* Also I'd like to visit the Historic Centre of Cesky Krumlov.
I have three choices, need a lot of insight here, which is better choice and how to accomplish?

1. Visit as day excursion from riverboat cruise i.e. This one is easy but very limited experience,several hours only. ( the rivercruise offers 2 options for day tour Cesky Krumlov,Czech Republic or Salzburg,Austria not both)?

2. Train trip detour from Budapest on the way to Prague, don't even know if train comes close to this town, need guidance??

3. Plan a day excursion from Prague... By bus,train,private van tour???


Airline Flight Questions:

* I will obviously utilize open jaw flight option Boston => Amsterdam/Prague=>Boston, unless there's
a better option,any experiences with this flight trip?? The flights are pricey what's a good fare?

* Best fare Ticket purchase times sooner or later:
Sooner (next several weeks) vs later 12 weeks( early May 7th) before depart date Aug 26,
any thought/experiences?


Your feedback is greatly appreciated,
Peace
ButterFlyTravel is offline  
Jan 25th, 2016, 11:59 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 20,357
Use the German website bahn.de to check train schedules in English (even if you don't buy them there). It has schedules for most of Europe.

http://www.bahn.com/i/view/USA/en/index.shtml

The Czech website has an English version for buses/trains, though:

http://jizdnirady.idnes.cz/vlakyautobusy/spojeni/?lng=E

You can buy a train ticket to Prague in Budapest at the train station there. Just write down the destination, date, time and class (1st or 2nd) on a slip of paper and hand it to the agent at the station (who will probably speak some English anyway). Write the date European style - so 15/9/2016 for September 15th. I can't guarantee they won't sell out, but I'd be shocked if ALL trains sell out for the day you wish to train back to Prague, if you book a few days in advance. I don't know if there's a big discount for buying in advance like there is in other countries.

I doubt you'll find a sensible routing from Budapest to Prague via Cesky Krumlov without a lot of changes. One option is to stop in Vienna - you might find a shuttle from there directly to Cesky Krumlov. Or, just go direct to Prague and instead of the train take a Student Agency direct bus (several daily) directly from Prague to Cesky Krumlov. As I recall, taking the train to Cesky Krumlov requires a change plus doesn't take you as close to the center of town as the direct bus does.

If by chance you can get a better round trip fare to Amsterdam, you can probably find an easyJet flight from Prague to Amsterdam, but that might require you to spend an extra night in Amsterdam - or if you find a late flight home to Boston you could maybe find an early flight from Prague into AMS. Just a thought - that might not save you much money or might not be worth the extra hassle.

I can't think of any "don't miss" experiences in Prague that you wouldn't already find on your own. I loved Prague - it's a lovely, charming walking city above all.
Andrew is offline  
Jan 25th, 2016, 12:16 PM
  #3  
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Join Date: Apr 2014
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Andrew...ThankYou so much for all this wonderful info JoAnn
ButterFlyTravel is offline  
Jan 25th, 2016, 02:07 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I don't think it's true that if you don't buy a ticket 3-4 months in advance, you won't get one. Not sure where you heard that. I don't think that is ever true, and rarely could you not even get a ticket day of travel, although that could happen on real popular days and routes. Obviously, if they don't sell tickets farther in advance, you can't buy one, so they can't sell out.

I did a day trip to Cesky Krumlov from Prague in a day tour group. It was very easy to do that way logistically, they handled it all, and the prices for those day tours are pretty cheap in Prague. There are several good companies. Otherwise, I'd recommend the bus as there is no direct train route. I would NOT do it by yourself by train of those 3 options.

In Prague, I'd suggest you stay in the Old Town area, this is fairly common and covers a wide variety of hotels and choices. It is a bigger area than some people think, that does NOT mean you have to be right on Old Town square, that district is much larger. Or, Mala Strana across the river. I don't care for it that much, but some people like staying there, at least it is also fairly convenient.
Christina is online now  
Jan 25th, 2016, 03:32 PM
  #5  
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Join Date: Apr 2014
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Christina... Day tour company sounds good .. I'll check that suggestion out. ThankYou ! Also ( FYI the train ticket purchase was 3-4 days not months in advance Budapest to Prague, the website last time checked , could not buy much ahead). My concern was not sure if train runs on weekends, I'll be getting off the river boat on Tuesday am... Not sure where train station is located, wanted to buy at station ahead of time so no issue on day travel. I've previously visited train station when traveling North to South thru Italy/France purchasing ticket ahead of time. This has assured a good seat at decent price point as well as peace of mind re; logistically knowing where I'm going day of departure.
ButterFlyTravel is offline  
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