Eastern Europe

Old Dec 22nd, 2014, 07:21 PM
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Eastern Europe

Hello, I am planning a trip to Eastern Europe and am looking at Prague, Budapest, Istanbul, and hopefully Croatia (Split and/or Dubrovnik). I am aiming for about ten nights. I am young, 23, and will be traveling with a friend (both male, if it matters). I will not be able to visit Europe in the foreseeable future; I am willing to be ambitious.

After some research it seems I may have to select between Istanbul / Croatia because I will have to backtrack on a train (too much time) or pay too much money to fly from Split. Is there a travel option I am missing? What would anyone suggest about this trip? Are those the best cities to visit in terms of visiting Eastern Europe?
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Old Dec 22nd, 2014, 08:57 PM
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Have you considered travel times? You are considering places that are not all that close to one another, and if you try to visit even 3 of these destinations, you will almost certainly lose a tremendous amount of time trying to get from place to place, rather than actually seeing those places.

FWIW, you might want to defer Istanbul (it easily merits a bare minimum of 5 days, even for ambitious travelers) and defer Croatia (until you can give it at least 2 weeks). With 10 nights, you can skim the highlights of Prague, Budapest, and MAYBE one other small city near to them; if you can push your timeframe out to 12 or 13 nights, you might be able to see Prague, Budapest, and one other relatively near city of your choosing.

Hope that helps!
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Old Dec 22nd, 2014, 09:39 PM
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Have you considered flying between cities? Fares can often be very, very good if bought far enough in advance.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2014, 09:59 AM
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Sorry - this is NOT Easter Europe - that would be Russia and the Ukraine - it;s CENTRAL Europe.

And agree with 10 nights (9 days at most) you should stick to two places if you actually want to see much of anything. I would do Prague and Budapest - with possibly 1 or 2 day trips. Yo can take a train from P to B but it;s about 7 hours. We flew once- but not sure if that's in your budget - and drove another time.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2014, 10:10 AM
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It would be a shame to miss Istanbul (which I'd favor over Croata), but what really fits in with Prague and Budapest is Vienna. Wonderful city with first rate everything. Have a look.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2014, 11:29 AM
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Sorry - this is NOT Eastern Europe - that would be Russia and the Ukraine - it's CENTRAL Europe.>

Sorry but you are once again wrong in regards at least to what by many maps is called Eastern Europe and there is an Eastern Europe railpass called that for some reason covering those countries - technically you may be rightr but in practice by bringing this up you are only confusing folks.

OP - you are traveling in what most call Eastern Europe.

Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia is called Eastern Europe by most sources - such as on these maps:

https://www.google.com/search?q=east...ml%3B800%3B539
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Old Dec 23rd, 2014, 11:30 AM
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I agree that Istanbul is much more interesting than Croatia. It also limits your travel to 3 locations which is better than 4 cities in 9 days. If you only want a superficial look at Prague, Budapest, and Istanbul it can be done in 9 days.

Plan wisely and download maps to identify the locations of the sights you want to see.

Fly into 1 city and home from another so you don't have to spend time and money backtracking.

Take a night train between Prague and Budapest so you don't lose a day traveling between them.

>

Eliminate 1 city - Istanbul (or Croatia).

>

They are some of the best cities in the area but there are many other cities that are equally interesting.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2014, 02:24 PM
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Historically - except for the few years of he Soviet era - the countries you are talking about were central euope for many centuries (except Turkey - a separate issue).

What rail pass companies choose to call these countries are immaterial - that is tourist speak - not a reflection of the history and culture of the countries involved (part of the Austro-Hungarian empire) with long links to western europe (unlike russia and ukraine - eastern europe with very few ties to the west of any type).
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Old Dec 24th, 2014, 02:04 PM
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What rail pass companies choose to call these countries are immaterial - that is tourist speak is NOT immaterial since this is a travel forum with predominantly tourist type questions; at this point the distinction is pure pedantry.
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Old Dec 24th, 2014, 04:18 PM
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I don;t think it's immaterial for someone to understand if they are truly going to eastern europe - which has a totally different culture, history and tourist infrastructure with limited availability of English speakers

Or they are going to Central Europe with a long tradition of connection to the west - so different culture, politics, tourist infrastructure and attitudes to foreigners and tourists.

How is one to have a clue what they are looking at if they don;t even know where they are?
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Old Dec 24th, 2014, 08:43 PM
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Technically Croatia is part of the Balkans and is neither Central nor Eastern Europe, and Turkey is part of Europe and Asia. But, with 10 days to spend in 4 countries, the OP has no time to concern themselves with "where they are" anyway.
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Old Dec 24th, 2014, 10:13 PM
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How is one to have a clue what they are looking at if they don;t even know where they are?

And tourists are expected to get this eye opener in the two weeks that they visit the various countries that belong either to Eastern Europe or Central Europe? Wishful thinking.
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Old Dec 25th, 2014, 09:19 AM
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I would expect tourists to have a basic general knowledge of where they are going (but apparently many don't).

But if one is traveling to these cities how can one possibly avoid learning SOMETHING about them while they are there - unless as one poster said - beer and sausages constitute the culture.
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