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Feedback on my next trip! :) Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Vienna and Alps

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Jan 8th, 2012, 11:52 AM
  #1
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Feedback on my next trip! :) Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Vienna and Alps

Hi!
My husband and I are already planning our next trip in September 2012. Yay! After Greece, Croatia, Slovenia, France and Italy, it's now Germany, Austria and Czech Republic! We just a need a few ideas and tips for a few free days. We are in our early 40s and always prefer less touristy spots, with a few museums, walking trails and excellent food along the way. Here it goes!

6 nights in Berlin - I've lived there 25 years ago. Can't wait to return. The city has changed so much, what do you think of these 2 rentals (specially the area).
http://www.flipkey.com/berlin-vacation-rentals/p262898/
http://www.vrbo.com/268369

2 nights in Dresden (hotel to find). Any recommendations on things to see?

5 nights in Prague - What about these 2 apartments? Don't want to be smack in the middle of the tourist area...
http://www.flipkey.com/prague-condo-rentals/p197066/
http://www.flipkey.com/prague-condo-rentals/p159258/

Any side trips to the country to recommend? Marienbad? Others? I heard there are nice walking trails between Prague and Vienna...

4 nights in Vienna (apartment to find) - My 40th birthday gift is a night at the Vienna Opera. Can't wait!

5 nights to spare. We were thinking of splurging and staying in a nice hotel/spa in the Tyrol area, rent a car and visit the area. We will probably be leaving from Munich. Is 2 nights there a good idea or should be fly home from Vienna?

Thanks for all your input!

Jojo
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Jan 8th, 2012, 12:09 PM
  #2
J62
 
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My favorite outdoor/nature/hiking area in that region is the Saxony-Switzerland region at the border between Germany and Czech Republic. With 5 days planned for Prague you could easily do a 1 or 2 night stop over at Bad Schandau. All trains from Dresden to Prague stop there.

If you can get the same fare then flying into one airport and out of another (open-jaw) saves time and money of backtracking.

You could do something like fly into Berlin & out of Vienna on Lufthansa, probably for the same price as a round trip.
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Jan 8th, 2012, 12:17 PM
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Thanks! We will be flying with KLM, arriving in Berlin via Amsterdam. The fly-out city is either Munich or Vienna, depending on where we stay for the last stretch of our trip...

Since we will be renting an apartment in Prague, I guess we can to a day trip to Bad Shandau?

Merci!
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Jan 8th, 2012, 12:20 PM
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Actually, our aim is to have a bit of the country life after 20 days in cities. The Austrian Alps are not necessarily a must since we've seen the Julian Alps 2 years ago. Would 3 days in the area of Saxony-Switzerland be a good bet?
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Jan 8th, 2012, 12:24 PM
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Hi jojo,

as well as a day or two at Bad Schandau, I might add a day to Dresden - loads to do there. we were so impressed and I'd love to go back. there are boats that go up and down the Elbe or you could hire bikes and ride up and down the cycle path, visiting the little villages, palaces, wineries, etc.

there is far more to do in this area than you can do in a day trip from Prague and/or a day in Dresden.
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Jan 8th, 2012, 12:45 PM
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No, I would not do that area as a day trip from Prague. Dresden, yes, but not Prague.

Three days/2 nights in Saxony Switzerland area would be very nice, and give you a chance to not just hike, but also visit the Bastei and Koeningstein.

Whether you could fully occupy yourself for 3 full days may depend on the weather, but 2 nights would be nice.
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Jan 8th, 2012, 01:01 PM
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Dresden does look fabulous! Might add a night there indeed!
Danke!
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Jan 8th, 2012, 02:16 PM
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jojo - really a minimum of 2 nights is needed to see anything of Dresden. for a start the Zwinger is a gem of an art gallery that anywhere else would have queues going round several blocks. a fantastic collection which we enjoyed even more because in many of the rooms we wee the only people there.

then the Stadtmuseum - it was fascinating and again, quite deserted. we never got to see many of the other sights as we ran out of time.

if you add a boat trip or two [loads of palaces etc, to see] you can easily fill at least 2 full days.
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Jan 9th, 2012, 12:55 AM
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Bad Schandau makes a very good base for Saxon Switzerland. Since there's not really much on the internet in English, here's the link to my page on Virtualtourist with recommendations on things to do, transportation and outdoor activities:
http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/4166c/12ca7/

Definitely see fortress Königstein, do a steamboat trip and do some hiking.

A very nice hotel - moderately priced for its category - is the 5star Hotel Elbresidenz in Bad Schandau. Great spa!

Since you also asked about Dresden - here is my page on this city:
http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/4166c/1091e/

I.
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Jan 9th, 2012, 07:56 AM
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3 nights in Dresden it is then! Really looks like this is our kind of place. As for the "splurge" section, we were looking at these hotel spas in Austria. Are they a good bases to visit the area before returning the car to Munich?

http://www.hotel-theresia.com/design...l/ambiente.php

http://www.hotel-schwarz.com/

http://www.weissesroessl.at/en-roman...el-austria.htm
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Jan 9th, 2012, 08:12 AM
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Cesky Krumlov is a great overnight trip from Prague or could be a stopover on your way to Vienna. We took the bus from Prague, arrived in late morning and had lots of time to visit the castle etc. We spent the night and then took a shuttle to Linz (a beautiful drive in the fall) and caught the train there.
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Jan 9th, 2012, 08:19 AM
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Make sure you inform yourselves on spa etiquette in Germanic countries. It may not be the same as other places you've visited.
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Jan 9th, 2012, 12:15 PM
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Must be like Slovenia!
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Jan 9th, 2012, 12:30 PM
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I second a stop at Cesky Krumlov - I had to visit after seeing so many references to it when I was planning for Prague. A sweet town - loved the grounds beyond the castle. We stayed at Castleview apartments https://www.castleview.cz/en/
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Jan 9th, 2012, 01:01 PM
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Wow! Those apartments look fantastic, davispeets! We might just cut a night in Prague to fit in Cesky Krumlov!
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Jan 9th, 2012, 02:22 PM
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I also would highly recommend Cesky Krumlov.

In Vienna, we took a day trip to Melk on a Danube cruise - I'm glad we did that.
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Jul 10th, 2012, 10:53 AM
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In Dresden really don't miss a steamboat-cruise with the oldest and largest paddle steamer fleet in the world! Timetable, prices and everything about the fleet itself can be found here (in english):
http://www.saechsische-dampfschiffah.../fahrplan.html
You can see all the best sights, castles and mountains of saxon switzerland along the river from on deck or a salon chair inside. If you're by train you can easely switch over to the train to prague at Bad Schandau, because the railway Dresden-Prague follows the river Elbe through saxon switzerland. If you want to stay some days in saxon switzerland i would advise you better to stay in Königstein or Rathen than Bad Schandau, because you have the most famous sights "Fortress Koenigstein" and "Bastei" directly nearby by shuttle busses. If you decide for Bad Schandau perhaps with the only 5 Star Hotel in the region at the market place, don't miss a trip with the historic "Kirnitzschtal-Tram" directly to the Lichtenhain-waterfalls into the heart of the national park saxon switzerland: http://www.ovps.de/Verkehrsmittel/Ki...Fahrplan/4194/
If youre by (rent)car the best way is to leave the car in Dresden and go to saxon switzerland by steamboat (3 to 5 hours) and back by train (1 hour) to dresden (or the other way round-half the time by boat cause river downwards) and then directly from dresden to prague using the highway (german autobahn 17)that goes round saxon switzerland on a more direct and faster way. Always by careful with your car in and around Dresden and use secured parking areas because Dresden is, because of the newly open borders to eastern europe the "capital of stolen cars" in Germany at the time, especially german or czech made cars. Away from that you dont have to worry more about crime as in any other touristic city in germany, i think.
Little advice at the end: if you are here at the weekend 22./23.Sept., there are the anual wine-festivals in Radebeul and Meissen directly down the river outside the gates of dresden, wich you can easily reach by public transportation all through the evening and night from dresden within half an hour.
Have a nice trip and a pleasant stay in my hometown and around!
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Aug 26th, 2012, 08:21 AM
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Can't wait! Will definitely do the steamboat-train combo. We are staying 3 nights in Dresden at the Swissotel, coming from Prague. Our objective, if the weather is nice, is to bike around the river and take it EASY before moving on to bustling Berlin. 18 more days before we leave!
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Aug 26th, 2012, 08:26 AM
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Finally, this is our itinerary :
1 night in Munich (Novotel)
Rent a car and drive to Hinterglemm
4 nights at www.hotel-theresia.com
Drive to Vienna
5 nights at http://www.fewo-direkt.de/ferienwohn...enhaus/p755570
Train to Prague
5 nights at www.flipkey.com/prague-condo-rentals/p373355/
Train to Dresden
3 nights in Swissotel
Train to Berlin
5 nights at http://www.homelidays.com/berlin/app...t230054fr1.htm
Plane home
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