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Help with Prague/Amsterdam Itinerary and Transportation

Help with Prague/Amsterdam Itinerary and Transportation

Apr 10th, 2007, 08:49 AM
  #1  
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Help with Prague/Amsterdam Itinerary and Transportation

I'm always so amazed by everyone's experiences and knowledge, so hopefully you all can help me sort out the initial "infrastructure" of our trip to Europe (first time going together!) this August. There are two of us flying from San Francisco to Prague (using miles both ways), getting in midday on August 8th (a Wednesday). We leave out of Amsterdam on August 15th at midday. We have friends who have offered us couches/guest rooms in both cities, but we are also up for one or two nights "out" on our own.

Question #1: What is the best way to travel from one city to the other to a) maximize our experience and b)not spend a wallet full of cash? Sky Europe only flies out of Prague on that Friday (early in the morning) or late on Sunday. Would we be short changing ourselves?

Question #2a: Everyone seems to rave about Bruges, so we wonder if we should tack it into the middle of the trip. If we flew out of Prague Friday afternoon to Bruges, and then took the train from Bruges/Brussels/Amsterdam on Sat. evening or Sunday morning, would this be too much to cram in to a week?

Question #2b: Is there somewhere else we should stop along the way instead of Bruges?

Question #3: Would an 11-hour train ride through Germany (3 or 4 trains) from Prague to Amsterdam on Saturday make the most sense or is the time spent on the train not worth it?

For now, I'll look through the older threads for suggestions on hotels, pensions, etc. in case we decide to go that route. Thanks so much!
rubies is offline  
Apr 10th, 2007, 09:23 AM
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If you are really determined to do this, I'd try to find some other airline, even if you paid a lot more. Prague and Amsterdam are pretty far apart for this to be a good trip in only a week, but at least do not throw in another stay in Bruges. That would be just awful to be doing all of that in only one week. At least stick to two major cities. I sure wouldn't leave Prague on Friday already, but Sunday would work. Then you'd have four days in Prague and three in Amsterdam or so.

But since you ask that, it is your trip -- do you generally want to leave a city after two days? Because if so, it could work for you, but Bruges is still not on the way between the two and I wouldn't think that a good idea. If you had to take the train between Prague and Amsterdam, I suppose you'd be stopping somewhere in-between in Germany, which may not be what you want to do with your vacation. Prague and Amsterdam are plenty.
Christina is online now  
Apr 10th, 2007, 09:29 AM
  #3  
 
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You are correct about the SkyEurope flights only being certain days of the week.

You could try flying on another budget airline to another city and changing there such as Germanwings to Cologne and then change to a train.

www.skjyscanner.net

Re the possible rail trip.

if you plan the timings right you should be able to do the train trip Prague-Amsterdam with only one change in Berlin; there are several directs to Berlin from Pargue and from Berlin to Amsterdam each day but you are right about the time it will take.
Dukey is offline  
Apr 10th, 2007, 09:30 AM
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Sorry..that should be www.skyscanner.net
Dukey is offline  
Apr 10th, 2007, 11:40 AM
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Like others, I think you'd be happier limiting yourself to two cities for a one-week trip.

The best train route I found would work like this:

Take the direct night train from Prague to Frankfurt. SparNight fares are very cheap. Book up to 90 days in advance at the German night train site, http://buchung.nachtzugreise.de. Book as soon as the 90-day window opens to get the best fare.

Take the morning direct express train from Frankfurt to Amsterdam. Fares are as low as 39 EUR. Book at the regular German rail site, www.bahn.de.
TimS is offline  
Apr 10th, 2007, 03:38 PM
  #6  
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Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. Yes, I think we'll stick to the two cities. We wanted to go for longer, but using miles it was either this or 16 days, and we didn't have that much in vacation time! TimS, I wasn't finding Praha to Frankfurt on the SparNight site. Do these only pop up at certain times of the year? This may be our best bet right now. Thanks!
rubies is offline  
Apr 10th, 2007, 04:20 PM
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You really have only 6 days on the ground altogether - including getting from Prague to Amsterdam. Three days is either city is OK - but not a lot.

Ifyou fly I would go with the Sunday flight - since you first day in Prague will be lost to jet lag.

Or - have you looked into train options? You could leave Prague at 8pm Sat night and arrive in Amsterdam at 11am sunday. Don;t know what fares you could qualify for - but there might be deals.
nytraveler is offline  
Apr 11th, 2007, 04:58 AM
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rubies,

You're right. I assumed that Praha-Frankfurt would be listed on the nachtzugreise site, but it isn't. However, that night train does exist. See www.bahn.de for the timetables. You can order tickets from that site, but you may have to pay full fare.
TimS is offline  
Apr 11th, 2007, 05:20 AM
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rubies,

I just took another look at the DB timetables. When I clicked on "details," a message appeared saying that SparNight fares are sold for Praha-Frankfurt.
TimS is offline  
Apr 11th, 2007, 11:46 AM
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Thanks, Tim! We'll probably do the full fare via bahn.de. I have a feeling the train will be the best option.
rubies is offline  
Apr 11th, 2007, 12:53 PM
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Last year I trained from Praha to Amsterdam, but at the last minute I decided to stop in Dresden for a day. I hadn't been there for 15 years and wanted to see the changes since the commies lost control. It is much better. I think it now has the best city tram system in Europe. My hostel was fantastic. More later if anyone is interested.

Back to the subject. My evening train from Praha to Dresden was €19.30.

The next evening I departed Dresden to Amsterdam in a 2nd class sleeper. The sleeper cost was €35. That was as far as Duisburg. I was in 2nd class but the cabine was superb. One of the toilets at the end of the car had a shower. Bring your own towel.

The train arrived in Duisburg an hour late so DB got me on the next train to Amsterdam, an ICE. I had paid €3 for a reservation but there were plenty of open seats and I could have saved the money.

The train fare from Dresden to Amsterdam was €126.20. (Yes, I save my tickets/receipts.)

The arithmetic came out to €180, now worth about $240. I guess you can do better. I could have bought a ticket straight from Praha to Amsterdam for less than what I paid for Dresden to Amsterdam.

Tips:

Avoid ALL approaches in the Praha train station, especially an old fart with a "porter" badge. This place is a den of panhandlers.

The "what to wear" question has no relevance in Praha. I've never seen so many jeans in any city in Europe. Wear those in Villnius and you will be treated like a dog.

The Praha station is not intuitive. Be early to figure it out.

The Praha station has luggage lockers so you can stash your goods after checking out of your hotel and go back to the city until your night train departs. The station also has an attended luggage storage but I don't know the operating hours.

If you like beer, or not, try a draft Budvar in Praha. Really refreshing. Pilsner Urquell is also delicious. Those are the home brews. Don't buy any crap from Germany if you are in Czech Republik.

Being as you are SFers I would get over to A'dam ASAP. Praha is beautiful but for the style of life I'm sure you are going to fall in love with Holland.

In Amsterdam if you are beach people go over to Zandvoort if Sunday is really warm. It's the most free spirited beach I've ever seen. I've lived in Holland and can tell much more but it would be off topic for your post. Use the search box above for loads of things to do and see in and around Amsterdam.

Bruges is a fascinating place. You need two nights so I would postpone it or beg your boss for an extra week.

Use Friday night, maybe Thursday night, for your travel from Praha to Amsterdam. Do not waste Saturday night on the train.



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