Eastern Europe

Old Dec 21st, 2019, 02:01 AM
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Eastern Europe

Hello,
planning a trip with our 14yr old daughter to Eastern Europe for about 15 days in June 2020. We were thinking:
prague 3ngts
krakow 3 ngts
budapest 3 ngts
zagreb 2 ngts
Dubrovnik 2 ngts
kotor or Bar 2 ngts

Does it sound ok?
thanks,
subarna




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Old Dec 21st, 2019, 05:27 AM
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In that order?
How are you going to travel between those destination; trains, planes, automobiles, beam me up, Scotty?
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Old Dec 21st, 2019, 06:17 AM
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Hello,

It is doable, just keep in mind that Dubrovnik and Kotor are extremely crowded at this time of the year. If you have a good chance to see these cities on a future trip outside the April-October period you may want to skip them this time.

The route is logical and I'd do it this way:

Prague - Krakow night train
Krakow - Budapest bus(daytime)
Budapest - Podgorica flight Podgorica - Kotor bus
Kotor - Dubrovnik bus
Dubrovnik - Zagreb bus to Split and night train Split - Zagreb

Adding up the days I realised that you didn't plan for any travel days, you're not going to make this trip in 15 days. I recommend to skip Croatia and Montenegro and just focus on Czechia, Poland and Hungary,

Last but not least, please realise that these countries are not really in Eastern Europe, but in Central Europe and in case of Montenegro and Croatia(except Zagreb which is Central European) Southeast Europe aka the Balkans.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Europe

The real Eastern Europe is Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova.


Last edited by BDKR; Dec 21st, 2019 at 06:20 AM.
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Old Dec 21st, 2019, 06:50 AM
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I agree with BDKR that you do not have time for this trip. 15 days is not nearly enough. You did not allow for any travel time. Also, please keep in mind that 3 nights really only gives you 2 full days in a destination, and 2 nights gives you only one full day. I have been to all the places on your list, except for Budapest. Many people recommend 4 or 5 nights in Budapest. I would add at least one extra night to Prague and Krakow.

I like BDKR's suggestion of focusing on Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary for this trip. Alternatively, you could do Croatia, Montenegro, and Czech Republic, which is what friends of ours did last spring, and they enjoyed that combination, too.
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Old Dec 21st, 2019, 08:17 AM
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It really depends on what you want to see and experience, but I must agree with those who suggest that this trip is likely to be too ambitious.

Here's what I suggest: Figure out what, exactly, you want to see and do in each place; identify their opening hours, and figure out how long you will need to stay in each location to meet your goals. Figure out how long it will take to get from place to place. Add at least two hours on either side of your transportation time for getting to/from your lodging, checking in/out, packing/unpacking, getting lost/orieinted, etc. Then lay things out on a calendar. And somewhere in there, figure out all the things you are missing that are near locations you plan to include, and think about why you are skipping them in favor of spending a lot of time in transportation to go somewhere farther away.

Good luck!
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Old Dec 22nd, 2019, 02:32 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions. Ok touché didn’t account for the travel time/days, that’ll certainly*eat*into the time we are hoping to spend in each city. Yes I guess Montenegro and Zagreb/Bar can be avoided. But we’d really like to do Dubrovnik. You guys think it can be done if we extend the trip by a couple of days? Also if we do add on a day, does it make sense to do it for Prague or Budapest?

Does train work for this route i.e. Prague-krakow-Budapest-Dubrovnik? We are open to driving too.
Thanks,
Subarna
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Old Dec 22nd, 2019, 02:35 AM
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Ok sorry BDKR did mention a combination of train and bus for this route
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Old Dec 22nd, 2019, 03:40 AM
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<<We are open to driving too.>>

Have you considered the frightful cost of picking up a car in one country and dropping it off in another?
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Old Dec 22nd, 2019, 03:58 AM
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Originally Posted by StCirq View Post
<<We are open to driving too.>>

Have you considered the frightful cost of picking up a car in one country and dropping it off in another?
Regardless of the cost, it will be next to impossible to find a rental company willing to offer one way rentals to the Balkans.

The last time I tried driving to Dubrovnik was in 1981. Started in Maribor got as far as Zadar, at that time it was long and difficult drive .

https://www.seat61.com/international...Budapest-Split
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Old Dec 22nd, 2019, 04:33 AM
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Fifteen days and Prague, Krakow and Budapest is perfect. I would definitely forget Croatia for this trip. Not only were you not considering travel time you are not leaving any time for day trips from any of them. From Krakow for example, most people (myself included) want to see Auschwitz and the Salt Mines. They can be combined in one day but much better in two (I had planned to combine them but between traffic making the trip to Auschwitz longer than expected and just being rather worn out I broke it up into two days - and I travel much faster than a lot of people). I also enjoyed day trips from both Prague and Budapest. I think visiting a smaller town in addition to the major city in a country gives a nice contrast. Anyway, 5 days each is in no way 'too much'. And even if you only did those three in 15 days you won't really have 5 whole days each due to travel. And getting to anywhere from Krakow is not quick.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2019, 05:19 AM
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"But we’d really like to do Dubrovnik. You guys think it can be done if we extend the trip by a couple of days?"

You can do it if you extend the trip by a couple of days. LOT Polish Arlines is going to launch a direct flight between Budapest and Dubrovnik in June.
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Old Jan 1st, 2020, 10:49 PM
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hello guys, happy new year! Hope you guys had a wonderful Christmas?

so after a long discussion with my partner and keeping your suggestions in mind we thought the following itinerary was going to be more realistic:

• land in Kraków - 4 nights with a day trip to Auschwitz
• Prague 4 nights with a day trip Kutná hora (optional)
• Cesky Krumlov 2 nights
• Salsburg 3 ngts with day trip to Hallstatt
• Vienna 4 ngts ( fly back home)

does getting Eurorail passes work? Or will buying separate train passes, when we arrive work better?
please let me know what you guys think of the itinerary.
thanks,
subarna
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Old Jan 2nd, 2020, 01:36 AM
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What about mobile SIM cards?
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Old Jan 2nd, 2020, 05:13 AM
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Keep in mind with your new itinerary that you will "lose" a day with travel from Krakow to Prague (~7 hours via train).

I don't know that two nights are "necessary" for Cesky Krumlov; one full day and an overnight were sufficient for us but your interests may differ. I might add that additional night to Prague or Vienna.

Eurail passes are not worth it for this itinerary. Look at Seat 61 for the transportation logistics.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2020, 06:36 AM
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I think this is itinerary is much better! And I think you'll enjoy Salsburg - it's a lovely city!

I also agree that you probably don't need two nights in Cesky Krumlov. One night would probably be fine, and it can even be done as a day trip from Prague. But it is a very charming town, so if you want to be able to soak that in, then it's fine to leave the itinerary as it is with the two nights there!
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Old Jan 2nd, 2020, 07:35 AM
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I think two nights is fine for Cesky Krumlov, and might even be necessary depending on when you arrive in CK. We drove from Prague to CK, but we stopped along the way to see Chateau Hluboka nad Vltavou, a breathtaking 19th century castle. Then we had lunch in the town. So it was early evening by the time we arrived in CK. We did spend 2 nights there, and did not regret it. On our first full day there, we had a guided tour of the castle, then lunch, then wandered around the old town. And at night we went on a raft tour of the river, which was beautiful with the illuminated buildings. Went down 2 water chutes with the boatmen ringing bells. Maybe it was a little corny, but a lot of fun with people applauding from the bridges. I would not recommend seeing CK as a day trip from Prague because it is extremely crowded during the day. So much nicer at night when the daytrippers are gone and with beautiful illuminated buildings.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2020, 04:19 PM
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Much better!

I doubt that a pass would serve you well, but I could be wrong. For excellent information on trains in the area, consult "the man in seat 61":
https://www.seat61.com/
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Old Jan 2nd, 2020, 10:58 PM
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Ok great, the itinerary finally works😆 we were planning to drive down to CK as well and will probably will reach late too, hence the two nights. Also gives my daughter some “time to do nothing”
what did you guys do for mobile sims? Buy from there? Do you have any good multi country sims that anyone has used?
we are from a India and we have international SIM cards here too but we’ve only used them once, we found that getting them locally worked better. But does it pose problems for iPhones?

thanks a bunch,
subarna

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