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Help with 13 day intinerary on East Europe (Berlin/Prague/Vienna/Budapest)

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Apr 23rd, 2016, 12:56 PM
  #1
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Help with 13 day intinerary on East Europe (Berlin/Prague/Vienna/Budapest)

So, last year we made a tour from Amsterdam to Munich, and January 2017 me and my mother are going to East Europe.
We have 13 days at our disposition and I am not sure where to go exactly, and how much time to spend in each place.
We tough about starting in Berlin, than Prague, than Vienna and take one day to visit Budapest from Vienna (and back same day, can Budapest be seen in a single day?).

The 13 days would not be used only for these cities, with exception of Berlin (which we plan on going no further than Potsdam) we would use a few days to visit cities nearby, specially in the Czech Republic (kutná Hora, benesov, etc) and Austria (Salzburg, Bratislava, etc). So as you can see, it's a somewhat tight intinerary.

Should I sacrifice one city to use more time in some other? Which? How should I distribute the time?

We will go from Sao Paulo to one of these cities and back by plane, the rest will be done by train.

To complicate things a little more, the affordable flights we can choose are:

Sao Paulo -> Berlin
Vienna -> Sao paulo

Sao Paulo -> Vienna
Prague -> Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo -> Prague
Budapest -> Sao Paulo

And any round trip to these cities (which I presume would make things more complicated, as the train travel time would increase a lot, to come back to the departure city).
Any other option (even to nearby towns like Bratislava or Munich, or the reverse choice of these are increadibly more expansive, for some reason).

As much as I enjoy a lot visiting museums, my mother doesn't really, except one or maximum 2 in each city (if it takes no more than half a day to visit both, lol) (I will move to Germany in 2 years to study at Berlin or Leipzig so I will have plenty of time to visit museums later), what we are looking for is places with nice architecture (specially historic places, such as castles, fortresses, bridges, etc, altough a few modern places like Potsdamer platz wouldn't hurt), and places with historic importance in general (checkpoint Charlie, Berlin Wall, Reichstag, Prague Castle, etc).

Well, that's it, a very big post, but with a lot of information and I would appreciate any help to build the intinerary.
Thanks in advance.
Danzmann is offline  
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Apr 23rd, 2016, 01:45 PM
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Berlin-Prague-Vienna would be a marvellous trip. Three cities with a lot to see (even with a museum limit). All three some 4 to 4,5 train hours from each other. There are tons of guide books to get inspired (and to realize that 3 or 4 days per city isn't too much).
Use this train planner to see what day trips are feasible: www.bahn.de/p_en/view/index.shtml (Budapest or Salzburg are 2,5 hrs one way; better limit to things closer by, such as Melk or Eisenstadt).
PS. Don't call it »Eastern Europe«. It's by all standards »Central«.
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Apr 23rd, 2016, 02:00 PM
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No, it is quite impossible to see Budapest as a day trip. It is worth at least as much time as Vienna, especially if you are not doing many museums in Vienna.

Print off a blank calendar sheet and lay your trip out day by day, including travel time.
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Apr 23rd, 2016, 02:28 PM
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It is not impossible, as I did it and enjoyed the day a lot (day trip to Budapest from Vienna). I do not believe that someone should never visit a place, if that is their only chance, if they can't spend several days there. These folks live in Sao Paulo, after all, I imagine they aren't dropping into Hungary that often.

What I do recommend is using a day tour company, which is what I did, as they make the logistics much easier and you can even nap on the bus if you wish on return (we got back in the evening some time, maybe 8 pm, not sure). There are plenty of those at reasonable rates. The guide we had in Budapest lived there and was excellent.

I can't swear this is the company I used, but this is an example -- 13 hours (7 am to 8 pm) and 109 euro. https://www.viennacitytours.com/tour...by-minivanbus/

The only problem with those tours is because they are one day, we did not have time to spend inside museums, it was more outside things, views, and we saw the palace and church up there (Matthias), etc. But the description tells you what you see. And given someone doesn't like museums, that would be fine, anyway.
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Apr 23rd, 2016, 02:43 PM
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I did Bratislava as a day trip from Vienna - just an hour by train.

Budapest is a longer day trip so not sure about how much you would really get a chance to savor this gem on the Danube but you would see its physical beauty and plan for a return trip.

For train info on central European trains check www.seat61.com - good dope about discounted tickets if you book in stone often far in advance; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com. Look into the Eastern European railpass that lets you hop virtually any train in Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic and Slovakia and Poland. Great especially if going first class which is IME much more relaxed than a more crowded and congested 2nd class which however is not a cattle car either.

Q- Do Brazilians ever have a fondness to go to Portugal? Seems few I talk to think much about any cultural ties? Why if so?

Cheers
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Apr 23rd, 2016, 02:51 PM
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Since you will be moving to Berlin to study in two years, you might skip Germany this trip and just visit three non-German cities such as Vienna, Prague and perhaps Budapest. Limiting yourself to three cities will mean that you have enough time to get a flavor for the cities. Remember that it takes four nights in a place just to have three full days.
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Apr 23rd, 2016, 03:48 PM
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As I thought, we should visit just 3 cities than.
I know about these day trips to Budapest but now, looking at TripAdvisor and some guides, there's just too much too see to visit in a day, if we do Berlin-Prague-Vienna we should spend this day someplace else, like hallstadt.

Now, should we do Berlin-Prague-Vienna or Prague-Vienna-Budapest?

I will be living in Germany soon, but my mother won't.
I don't know which one would be best to keep.

PalenQ
most people just travel to Portugal because of the language, it's a third world country here, few people talk good enough english to travel around.
People here tend to travel to France or Italy as their price is not much above that of Portugal's.
There's very few cultural ties too.
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Apr 23rd, 2016, 06:29 PM
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Sorry you are just trying to do way to many places.

If I understand (and I must admit I'm confused by what you say) it looks like you actually have 12.5 days on the ground) not counting the day you leave home (so 1/2 day the day you arrive) and the day you leave.

In your place I would do only 3 cities and actually get to see something of them. I would do Berlin, Prague and Vienna - much as I love Budapest you need at least 3 days to see much of it.

Prague is the must do since it is the only one of these cities not flattened in WWII - since Chamberlain handed it over to try to appease Hitler. So the architecture in the whole city is organic - original some back to the 11th and 12 century (many places in berlin and Vienna are either newer or restored/rebuilt in the 50's/60's).
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Apr 23rd, 2016, 09:09 PM
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Based on your available flights and trip time, I would fly into Prague and out of Budapest and visit Vienna in between. If you have 13 nights on the ground that will allow you 4 nights in two cities and 5 in another. Depending on your interests, that extra day can be spent in Melk, Cesky Krumlov, or any number of other interesting places. Plus, if time allows, you may be able to fit in day tips from the other locations.

You will be moving to Berlin at a later date and will see that then. Hopefully, your mother might be able to visit you there.
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Apr 24th, 2016, 11:10 PM
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We live in Vienna and have traveled to all of the cities on your itinerary. With 13 days of course you could certainly "sample" all of them, albeit at a rushed pace; with recognition of the time lost to movement logistics (train travel, checking into/out of hotels, navigating a new city, and so forth); and with the realization that you will not "see everything."

Like others have suggested, I would drop Berlin and consider a Prague-Vienna/Bratislava-Budapest itinerary, and divide the time based on your interests and side trips. This itinerary includes more castles, palaces and sights of historic import than you ever thought existed.

Happy Planning!
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Apr 25th, 2016, 12:04 PM
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Check out the Wachau Valley - an easy and tremendous day trip from Vienna - take a train to Melk (visit the very famous Melk Abbey) then hop on a boat downstream to Durnstein - fames wine town with famed ruined castle in whose donjon richard-the-Lion-Hearted was held for ransom once - and take boat or bus to Krems for trains back to Vienna.

http://www.canstockphoto.com/images-...au-valley.html

a day away from museums and churches and into nature and vineyards along the prettiest stretch of the whole Danube many say.
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Apr 25th, 2016, 11:02 PM
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PalenQ, I respect that you love the Wachau Valley train-boat combination, but the OP is traveling in January. The boat will not be operational; the vineyards will be barren; most heuriger will be "Auf Urlaub;" and access to the castle ruins might even be closed.
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Apr 26th, 2016, 11:11 AM
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Oops - January - did not see that - no to the barren Wachau Valley then! Sorry.
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