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Czech Republic + Krakow Itinerary help needed

Czech Republic + Krakow Itinerary help needed

Feb 6th, 2009, 08:43 AM
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Czech Republic + Krakow Itinerary help needed

We are planning a trip to the Czech Republic flying into Prague and out of Krakow in September. We will have 14 full days on the land. We plan to rent a car in Prague (as we leave the city). Has anyone stayed at the Hotel Aria? It is in Mala Strana and sounds charming. Any help you can provide regarding how many nights in places would be helpful. We have been to Vienna and Budapest so were just going to focus on the Czech Republic and Krakow. How many nights in Prague? The plan is to drive from there to Czesky Krumlov and spend 2 nights? On to Plzen Karlovy Vary then on to Krakow. From what I have read, we want 3 - 4 nights in Krakow. What about Moravia? Should we add that in somewhere. We are wine people.
cavergirl is offline  
Feb 6th, 2009, 08:53 AM
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hi cavegirl,

someone else doing "my" trip. it's not fair. I want to do it!

we have planned the following, starting and ending in Prague [have you thought about car drop-off charges between the czech republic and poland? scarey!]

Prague [not stopping as we've been]-
Cesky Krumlov - Vienna via Melk - Bratislava - Krakow - Wroclaw - Dresden - Prague.

if you didn't want to go to Vienna again, from cesky krumlov you could go to Krakow via Olomouc.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Feb 6th, 2009, 10:43 AM
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cavergirl, great idea to limit the trip to 2 countries. In fact I'd narrow it down to 1. I'm working on a trip report for our trip to London, Prague, and Krakow, which was great, but next time I would definitely focus on only 1 country.

We loved Prague and Krakow, but if you are only spending a few days in each, there are certain basic similarities which can cause them to blur together a little in your memory, such as they both have a Jewish Quarter, an old quarter area, a main square, a communist museum, etc. I find I get to know a country better if I spend all my vacation in one country.

Anyway Prague and Krakow are great! We stayed at Dum u Velke Boty in Prague (House at the Big Boot), in Little Quarter or Mala Strana, which I very highly recommend. It's family run and family owned, and their service was fantastic, plus their recommendations for restaurants were more up-to-date than any guidebook.

Right down the street from House at the Big Boot is a little wine cellar which is very friendly, small, and inviting, with great prices for good wines! Hopefully I can post my trip report soon and I do think I've got the name of that wine cellar somewhere.

We booked 5 nights in Prague and ended up staying an extra night. Getting from London to Prague was tiring and it provokes anxiety in me to have to change hotels too often. So we ended up cutting out one stop (a little town in Czech Republic) so that we could add one night to Prague and take the train directly from Prague to Krakow. loved taking the train, 1st class.

You won't run out of things to do in Prague. With 6 nights in Prague, we never even got around to doing any day-trips because there was so much we wanted to see and experience in Prague!
Melissa5 is offline  
Feb 6th, 2009, 10:52 AM
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A couple of practicalities: As mentioned, the cross-border one-way car rental can be prohibitive, look into it before you commit. Also insurance-wise, make sure you're covered in both countries.

In the C.R. your car has to have a road-tax sticker, and if you show up at the border and it is missing (no good pleading ignorance...) you pay and pay. A rental car should already have it, of course, but...
DalaiLlama is offline  
Feb 6th, 2009, 11:01 AM
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cavergirl, click on my name and look for my Central Europe trip report. The first ten days were in Prague, CK, Olomouc and Krakow. It should give you some ideas.

Sounds like a great trip.

maitaitom is offline  
Feb 6th, 2009, 11:11 AM
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We spent about 3 weeks visiting CR and Krakow but it was 12 years ago. We spent 2 nights in Czesky Krumlov, which was just right, and then went to Telc and stayed a night. We loved Telc. It's a jewel box of a town with a square surrounded by multi-colored Renaissance era merchant homes.

From there we went through Brno towards Olomouc and as I recall once we got into the hills above Brno it was often beautiful. We spent 2 days in that area.

We were in Krakow 8 days and there is much to see and do there. One of my DH's best friends was living there at the time and we went on a lot of day trips with him, to the mountains, the salt mines and to Auschwitz. We spent several days just wandering around Krakow - it was a lively city.

We preferred CR in some ways - the food, the beer (10 cents a beer then), the intact towns. Driving was extremely easy w/ good roads. Of course 12 years ago there were almost no other cars on the road. I bet things have changed!

rosetravels is offline  
Feb 6th, 2009, 03:46 PM
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Thanks to all of you who have responded so far. I appreciate the heads up on the rental car drop off situation. We just booked our flights and haven't done any research yet on the rental car. It looks like returning the car back to Prague then training to Krakow might be the way to go.
cavergirl is offline  
Feb 6th, 2009, 03:52 PM
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Hi cavegirl; I just posted this but i'm happy to post again. You can go to the country or town [Krakow] and get downloads with much information. ENJOY Iris www.inyourpocket.com It was a great resourse for us when we were in those countries.
iris1745 is offline  
Feb 7th, 2009, 02:47 AM
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cesky krumlov we did as a day trip
it is a great place but id only do one night
lanejohann is offline  
Feb 7th, 2009, 04:01 AM
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We need information. Today both the Czech Republic and Poland have so much to see and do that simply deciding how many nights to spend somewhere won't get an meaningful answers about what to do. Beteen now and September you could read Fodor's Poland. One Polish itinerary focuses on the Vistula. Another could be on the Odra. Are you into castles? National parks? Perhaps breweries? How do you and yours earn your livings? Many professional groups and such welcome dedicated visitors. In Czech you could follow General Patton's routes. Tell us what you are interested in...
GSteed is offline  
Feb 7th, 2009, 07:31 AM
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Thanks Iris for the hyperlink.

And Gsteed, we are in our late 50s but we hike (we live near Lake Tahoe) and like outdoor activities. We also like to tour castles, villages and I know my husband is already thinking about the Czech beer. We go to Europe most every year, often in search of wine. That was why I asked about Moravia. I know it is a major wine region but haven't seen any postings about that area.
cavergirl is offline  
Feb 7th, 2009, 07:34 AM
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PS - I have Fodor's guide to the CR.
cavergirl is offline  
Feb 7th, 2009, 09:56 AM
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Cavegirl (you've gotta love that handle!)

Since you've begun to compile so much info, I'll only address a few questions:

That was why I asked about Moravia. I know it is a major wine region

It is..and it's "Znojmo Purple" is a good one. Znojmo is a busy little town surrounded by vineyards that you can schedule en route from Telc to Vienna. Yes, I highly recommend Telc (Teltsch, when ruled by the Austro-Hungarian Empire)..a unique oval town square lined with centuries old merchant homes (*as Rose Travels mentioned).

I spent a good many months during the 70's, 80's and 90's driving through these countries, and the changes over the past ten years have been nothing less than dramatic. DO check out the drop charges...I usually made my route plans in a sort of circular route so I could drop within the same country. Check with dropping in Olomouc which is a city worth visiting...it was called Olmutz during the Austro-Hungarian regime, and is featured in one of my books, as is aforementioned Znojmo (Znaim). I would think that there would be a train from Olomouc to Krakow...I don't know for sure.

You might want to closely map-check your plan to drive from Cesky Krumlov to Pilsen, then northwest to Karlovo Vary(Karlsbad) and then east to Krakow. KV can be seen as a day trip from Prague if you wish....I frankly suggest you cancel it out altogether.

Best wishes for an interesting, meaningful, educational and fun journey..

stu t.
tower is offline  
Feb 7th, 2009, 10:36 AM
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Actually my handle is cavergirl, not cavegirl (though I like that even better) because my high school was the San Diego Cavers. Anyway, I have been reading my travel book (oops is is Frommers, not Fodors guide) and it looks like as tower suggested, KV could be done as a day trip from Prague. It appears that most everything is 1 - 2 hours from Prague. Several posters mentioned Telc so have added that to the list. I think dropping the car somewhere in Moravia might be the way to go then training from there to Krakow (which may end up going back through Prague). At least it would save a little driving. How many nights/days should we plan for Krakow?
cavergirl is offline  
Feb 7th, 2009, 11:02 AM
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Hi cavergirl; A minimum of three days would be good. You have the 'salt mines' and Auchowitz as day trips. Some people don't like to visit Auchowitz because of the horrors, but for us, it was a must. To see the statues that were done as 'salt' was being mined, is incredible. A longer day trip is to visit the Black Madonna in Chestakova. Plus, there is plenty to do and see in Krakow. ENJOY Iris
iris1745 is offline  
Feb 7th, 2009, 11:26 AM
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Hey caver (almost cave) girl.

Speaking of caves, here is a restaurant you should try in Cesky Krumlov. From my recent trip report:

"Because of a post I had read on Fodor’s before we left, when we got to the main square I searched for a Chinese restaurant; not because I wanted to dine there, but because nearby was a set of stairs that I wanted to explore.

Sure enough, as I walked closer, there was the sign for Pivna KataKomby, and the door was ajar. I told Tracy that I would be right back and started to descend the dark, spiral staircase that lead to, well I didn’t know where I was headed.

At the bottom of the staircase there in front of me was another world. There was a beautiful bar with tables in one room and then I entered another room, and another, and another, all in a surreal, cave-like setting (the bears would have loved it). In the back, there was a large wood-burning pit where the restaurant’s grilled specialties are cooked.

As I neared the staircase to go back up, I heard a voice from above (no, not that one, it was Tracy). “Tom, are you ok?” she asked.

I told her I was more than ‘ok’ and that I had found the spot where I wanted to have dinner.

We decided on an early dinner, so Tracy and I made our way back to Pivni KataKomby a little before 7 p.m., with Kim and Mary joining us a short time later. We were seated next to the dumbwaiter, which for some might be vexing, but for us afforded the opportunity to get a closer glimpse of how a place like this functions.

Our two waitresses spoke no English, which just gave a more authentic feel to the restaurant. The grill was fired up in the back, and we were fired up to try some of the unique menu items.

Now, we are no foodies by any stretch, but as the evening progressed, we all realized we had stumbled upon something very special.

We shared an appetizer of crispy, fried bacon and onions that was delicious. It contained fried chunks of pork with white onions (al dente), seasoned with lots of black pepper. It was served with gherkins and salad.

I had ordered goulash soup, but it didn’t come, so it was on to the main courses, and every dish was plated so nicely that Kim took pictures of each culinary delight (you’ll have to wait for the blog to see them) before we started eating. As spectacular as they looked, they were even more terrific to consume.

I had the grilled skewer of chicken, pork and beef with fresh peppers and salad.

Mary had the specialty of the house, which was called a “Krumburger.” It was a huge hamburger patty that lay on a bed of fresh cole slaw. She also had a side dish of a baked potato with herbed crème fraîche.

Tracy ordered a pork tenderloin served “English-style.’ It came with asparagus, artichokes and peppers.

Kim’s grilled lemon chicken on a bed of arugula, peppers, tomato relish and grilled garlic bread was good, but his side dish, “gratin au potatoes,” garnered the evening’s “Wow” award.

These potatoes were absolutely amazing, and we all know because we all tried them. We figured there had to be about 50 thin layers of potatoes, with a touch of garlic and Parmesan cheese. It had a golden, crunchy top.

After we finished, I said, “Thank God they forgot the goulash soup. I can’t eat another thing.” As if on cue, our waitresses showed up with, you guessed it, my goulash soup. Being the consummate guest and a glutton for punishment (not to mention just a plain, old glutton), I ate all the soup and some of the rye bread, too.

All that food including five beers, one glass of red wine, two Campari, plus two bottles of 2005 Modry vino from Portugal (no driving tonight kids), came to 2,316 Kč., or about $150 plus tip.

maitaitom is offline  
Feb 7th, 2009, 11:58 AM
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Wow. I am salivating thinking about your meal. I will file that one away so we don't miss it. Thanks.
cavergirl is offline  
Feb 7th, 2009, 12:00 PM
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Your timing was great. I was just reading up the town in the wine area you mentioned. It sounds perfect. My guide books says you can do Telc and Znojomo in one day. I guess we would use Telc as a base for that.
cavergirl is offline  
Feb 7th, 2009, 01:38 PM
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Telc (Teltsch) is only 40 miles from Znojmo...when you drink the Deep Purple, as I call it, don't speed...your purple lips will be a dead giveaway to the Czech Highway Patrol!

tower is offline  
Feb 7th, 2009, 06:20 PM
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Suggest you consider this B&B in the heart of Moravia--we stayed there twice and found it very accomodating. Hiking, horseback riding, fine food & wine, castles, etc.
tomboy is offline  

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