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Czech with Poland/Hungary for 12 days trip

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Jul 1st, 2013, 02:48 AM
  #1
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Czech with Poland/Hungary for 12 days trip

I'm in midst of trying to plan for a 12 days trip to Central Europe on this September or next April.

My initial plan would Prague, Cesky Krumlov and Brno for 6 days and 5 nights and then Krakow, Salt Mine and Auschwitz for 5 days and 4 nite and potentially Wroclaw if there is any time left.

But I notice there is no direct flight from Prague to Krakow, the only flight is connecting via Warsaw which I am not fond to take because this would means extra hours on the flight. Another alternative is to take out Krakow and substitute it with Budapest instead.

It would seems Prague and Budapest are easily doable on a 12 days trip and there are direct flight from Prague to Budapest, but my top choice in Central Europe are Prague and Krakow as I am a big fan of architecture and lovely old medieval towns.

First sight Poland and Czech Republic does seem to be the best place to visit as most of the big cities such as Prague and Krakow are beautifully preserved and were not much impacted/destroyed WW2. Budapest is interesting as well but I would imagine it is much more modern compare to both Prague/Krakow.

Any advice itinerary or route or cities to visit are much appreciated.
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Jul 1st, 2013, 03:02 AM
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You are correct about Budapest. Most notable buildings date from the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Buda Var and surroundings were mostly rebuilt after WW2 (though restored to their earlier glory). The city is beautiful and interesting, nonetheless. We certainly enjoyed our visit there. You can see many of the sights easily in a week and their public transportation is great.
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Jul 1st, 2013, 03:25 AM
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I would skip Brno and use the time in Wroclaw if you can although it's a long train ride from Krakow.

For your itinerary you would go from Brno to Krakow rather than from Prague. It's a full day of train travel. There's not much activity going into and out of the Brno airport; most flights use Bratislava.

With 12 days you're probably better seeing Prague, Wroclaw, and Krakow and skipping Cesky Krumlov and Brno.

I enjoyed both Prague and Krakow more than Budapest but lots of folks love Budapest.
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Jul 1st, 2013, 07:19 AM
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Prefer Budapest to Krakow and the notion of "modern" doesn't apply that well - it's not akin to the Canary Wharf district of London.
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Jul 1st, 2013, 07:49 AM
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Personally, while I think one COULD spend 5 days in the Krakow/Auschwitz area, the 3 days we spent (1/2 day salt mine, 3/4 day Auschwitz, 1/2 day town square) were ample to get a good sense of the area.

If you're a "big fan of architecture and lovely old medieval towns", you should include Budapest. A guide there told us that during the 1890's, there were 10,000 multi-story buildings erected. To me, the center part of the city contained many art-deco type apartment buildings, appearing as though we had time-travelled back to that period. Very attractive town; any reconstruction seems to have been done with the intent to have it fit in with the old.

We have not been to Wroclaw or Brno, but have been to Krakow, Prague, Krumlov, and Budapest, and points between. Krumlov is picturesque, but with your time and travel-mode constraints, you might have to cut it. I suspect if it were me, I'd include it, and cut out Wroclaw and Brno, but admittedly I've not read much about them.
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Jul 1st, 2013, 09:12 AM
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I visited all of these places last fall (except Budapest a few years earlier). I only stopped in Brno to pick up a rental car. You can read my trip report (many pictures) by clicking on my name above.

Is it not possible to fly into Prague out of Krakow? Or take your own flight to/from Krakow or Wroclaw to another city you depart out of?

I loved Prague. I recommend visitors to Czech Republic see more than Prague, but with your limited time I'd probably skip Cesky Krumlov, which wasn't a highlight of my trip.

I enjoyed Krakow, Budapest, and Wroclaw but all for different reasons. I guess I'd see Krakow over Budapest all else being equal just because there is more history there of interest to me (Auschwitz, occupation museum, etc.). But Budapest is very worth a visit of a few days, too.

Wroclaw was almost completely bombed out during WWII and was rebuilt. So you won't find many old buildings there. Still, it's a lovely town. I took the long train ride from Wroclaw to Krakow because I prefer trains, but many people take a much faster, modern bus (only about 3.5 hrs by bus I think, supposedly with WiFi, comfortable, etc.)
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Jul 1st, 2013, 10:42 AM
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Haven't been to Krakow, so can't speak for it. It is somewhere I would like to go however.

Wife and I went to Prague, Vienna, and Budapest last year. Budapest was by far our favorite of the 3. Really is an amazing city.

We traveled by train - 2.5-3 hours between Prague and Vienna, and 2.5-3 hours between Vienna and Budapest as i recall.
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Jul 1st, 2013, 11:18 AM
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Kevin; One stop flight Prague to Krakow takes 3 hours and 15 minutes flying time.

Non-stop flight Prague to Budapest takes 1 hour and 20 minutes flying time.

So you lose 1 hour and 55 minutes with the one stop.

Getting to the airport and then to the hotel will probably take the same amount of time for each flight.

There is a 9:15am flight Prague to Krakow, with a stop in Warsaw and arrives in Krakow at 12:30pm.

Seems reasonable if someone wanted to go to Krakow.

Plus the air fare is cheaper. www.kayak.com and www.inyourpocket.com/poland/krakow
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Jul 1st, 2013, 08:31 PM
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Judging from the response, I can see fair bit of people who prefer Budapest over Krakow. I would personally like to visit Budapest but somehow Krakow with its beautifully preserved medieval town seems to provide the egde over Budapest for me.

Just did some light reading and notice there are several cities in Poland such as Torun and Gdansk that might well worth a visit, but as all these cities alongside Wroclaw are quite far apart from each other and from Krakow it will be a nightmare (will lose too much time travelling on the bus/train) to travel to some of these cities from Krakow on a limited time. Besides that, travelling to cities that looks pretty much the same from each other might not provide a contrast that let's say visiting Krakow and Warsaw will provide in terms of the difference in culture and achitectural.

One drawbacks of the flight via Warsaw to Krakow is this will tempt me to stay at least one night in Warsaw since I am in Warsaw anyway.

My revise plan would be then Prague-> Brno/Cesky Krumlov -> Warsaw -> Krakow -> Auschwitz -> Krakow -> Salt Mine -> Wroclaw -> Warsaw -> Prague.

But the main problem is I would need to backtrack quite a lot on the trip because I prefer flight over train/busses if the journey by train is more that 5-6 hours. Also I am assuming there is a flight from Brno/Cesky Krumlov to Krakow via Warsaw, otherwise it is back to Prague for the flight to krakow.

Alternatively if it is not feasible to do that trip in 12 days, my last choice would be Prague + Brno + Cesky Krumlov + Budapest. This would be seems less hectic as there is less travelling between cities and would be cheaper compare to Prague + Krakow combo.
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Jul 1st, 2013, 08:59 PM
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Yes, if you can't fly open jaw (into one city, out of another), then some backtracking will be required. You'll either need to train or fly back to Prague at the end. And if you don't like long train rides, you'll probably be flying. As pointed out by Iris, though, flying between Prague and Krakow via Vienna doesn't look too bad.
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Jul 1st, 2013, 09:04 PM
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Krakow has varied and interesting architecture as it escaped Allied and Nazi bombing and is central for a trip to Auschwitz.
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Jul 1st, 2013, 09:07 PM
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Brno and Cesky Krumlov are not near each other. They are at least 3 hours apart (probably farther). It looks like you're treating them as one town but they're not.

You would not go from Prague to Brno to CK to Warsaw as that is not the best route. Prague to CK and then Brno makes more sense. There will be more transportation options from Brno since it is a city whereas CK is a very small town.

You can stay in Krakow and visit Auschwitz and the salt mine. No need to change towns/hotels.

Why return to Prague (unless you live there)? Better to get a flight home from Krakow or Warsaw.

If you choose your alternative itinerary then do Prague, CK, Brno, and Budapest. Krakow is cheaper than CK (quite an expensive town).

<< Judging from the response, I can see fair bit of people who prefer Budapest over Krakow. >>

Hmmm...2 people said they prefer Krakow over Budapest; 1 person said he prefers Budapest over Krakow.
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Jul 1st, 2013, 10:50 PM
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Was trying to say that I will opt for either Cesky Krumlov or Brno, as like you mention that there are not near to each other.

The reason I needed to fly in and out from Prague is because the ticket flying in to Prague and out of Warsaw is way too expensive. My only concern would be if there is any flight from Brno to Warsaw/Krakow as I am not keen on the long journey via train from Brno to Krakow.

Understand that the route that I have in mind doesn't sounds too perfect right now, but I am trying my best to fit Krakow and Prague on a single trip whenever possible.

Dropping Warsaw,Krakow & Wroclaw and replacing it with Budapest would seem cheaper as there is direct flight, and less backtracking compare to going back from Wroclaw -> Krakow -> Warsaw -> Prague. Not mention less travelling time means I can spend more time in each of the cities.

End of the day if it is not feasible I might have to drop Wroclaw and just opt for 2 cities each from Czech and Poland.
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Jul 1st, 2013, 11:56 PM
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I prefer Vienna and Prague to Budapest, but I know others see it differently. Cesky Krumlov is a beautiful place to spend a day. Brno is not. The most interesting urban sight in that region was the abandoned, obsolete Tatra factory, and nearby a spanking new Japanese car factory (I think Nissan). Depending on your tourist tastes, Olomouc (architecture) or even Mikulov (wine, Jewish cemetery) would be a better use of time.

We loved Krakow. Extensive art collection, outstanding main square, historical interest, and relatively inexpensive for excellent food and lodging.

There is an overnight train Prague-Krakow.

You should be able to book an open-jaw ticket from the USA for only a teeny more than a round-trip.
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Jul 2nd, 2013, 02:51 AM
  #15
 
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If it's a choice of CK or Brno then CK wins my vote by a million miles.

When you looked at ticket prices to fly into Prague and out of Warsaw did you look at 2 one way tickets (very expensive) or a multi city ticket (usually not much more than flying into and out of the same destination).

Since you only have 12 days, and it's difficult to get to/from Krakow, I would stay in the Czech Republic and explore other towns besides CK. You can do a day trip from Prague to Kutna Hora or other places and from CK you can visit Telc, Trebic, Olomouc and then return to Prague.
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