Italy and Eastern Europe?

Dec 28th, 2004, 08:52 AM
  #1  
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Italy and Eastern Europe?

We're trying to decide between Italy and Eastern Europe for a 2005 trip. The low value of the dollar is deterring us from Italy (we've been before). However, for those of you who have been to both, will the prices be less expensive in Eastern Europe for similar accommodations, food, transportation, etc.? We're considering The Czeck Republic, Hungary, and Slovia. Thanks for any input in advance.
kywood1955 is offline  
Dec 28th, 2004, 09:27 AM
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Not to be difficult - but for the 47th time - Czech Republic, Hungary etc are NOT eastern europe. They are Central Europe - please look at a map. (Eastern Europe is Russia and other former USSR republics).

And yes, they are considerably less expensive for the same quality hotels and dining than western europe - although as in western europe you can be as thifty - or as expansive - as you wish.
nytraveler is offline  
Dec 28th, 2004, 09:38 AM
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Just returned from Prague, but never been to Italy. I found that accomodation prices there can vary, with the 3 star + places almost costing the same as other EU countries. But, if you stay in private B&B, pensions, or apartments, it can be really cheap. Of course, you won't enjoy fluffy beds and towels or nice furnitures. My apartment was equivalent to 50 euros per night (double). There were only 2 beds, some shelves, and a folding chair in it, plus a decent private bathroom. Breakfast included, but no service otherwise. That's during the end of peak season. Before making the trip, I considered going to Rome instead during the same period. Room rates were definitely higher (almost double).

As for food, Prague was cheap. If you go to local restaurants, you can easily order a decent entree for under 8 euros, plus 1-2 euros for each drink. (Recommend bringing a dictionary since Cz does not resemble English at all). Touristy places charge more, and they would have English menus. You can even buy food at cafeteria or deli like places for even cheaper.
mmyk72 is offline  
Dec 28th, 2004, 09:41 AM
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Be adventurous! Visit Poland. Many prices are low and lower. Marriott for New Years Eve at 100$ for two! per night. Tourist sites are wonderful. Consider Wroclaw and Lodz. Winter sports, try Zakopnane. Poles like Americans..of course much of the USA is inhabitated with Polish descendents. Fly into Warszawa or Krakow.
GSteed is offline  
Dec 28th, 2004, 09:53 AM
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HI
Prague is rapidly catching up in tourism and consumerism, but I still thought it much less expensive than other European capitals and much-visited cities. That applied to meals, gifts, and hotels, though last time I stayed in quite a highly-priced one, not so when I return in April.

The only thing I will caution is that Prague has wide variations in standards of accommodations especially at the lower price end (like London, in that sense). If you are looking for budget-minded accommodations, stick to places that are recommended here, or at other travel websites such as tripadvisor.com
elaine is offline  
Dec 28th, 2004, 10:06 AM
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Once again, who cares if its Central Europe vs Eastern Europe. Maybe geographically, it is central, but mentally, it is EASTERN.

Some of the countries are cheaper, some aren't. In Prague and Budapest, the decent to top hotels are going to run you about the same. Food is cheaper, though as is taxis and alcohol.

Is Slovia Slovakia or Slovenia?

I agree with GSteed. be adventurous and put away pre-conceived notions about Eastern or Central Europe. Don't compare it to Western Europe, but enjoy it for its own merits of which there are many.

Cheers,
Jan in Ljubljana
SloJan is offline  
Dec 28th, 2004, 10:18 AM
  #7  
rex
 
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<<Once again, who cares if its Central Europe vs Eastern Europe. Maybe geographically, it is central, but mentally, it is EASTERN.>>

In the Czech republic, I got the distinct impression that the Czech people care to be correctly identified as living in the center of the continent.

How the people living in a certain place think about themselves is perhaps more important than the absolute geography. In Mandan, North Dakota - - a good 1300 miles from the Pacific coast, they'll tell you that "this is where the West begins".

And study up recent issues of "Southern Living" magazine to feel at home as soon as you cross the Ohio River from Indiana into Kentucky.

Best wishes,

Rex

rex is offline  
Dec 28th, 2004, 10:42 AM
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I'm not sure how "mentally it's eastern europe". The Czech Republic is a part of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire (central europe ) not Russia (eastern europe) and in the early part of the 20th century was a democratically run country - with elections etc on the western european model. It has a long history of multi-ethnic, multi-faith tolerance and is a center of european literautre and music. Explain please, how this qualifies the country as Eastern!
nytraveler is offline  
Dec 28th, 2004, 11:52 AM
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There is no official definition of Eastern Europe. The term arose in the late 18th Century to vaguely describe those countries sort of east of Germany that were falling behind most of Europe in industrial and economic development.

At other times it included all countries under Soviet domination; or only those countries that were part of the USSR; or those plus the Balkans, or, or, or. But not Finland, usually.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Dec 28th, 2004, 12:07 PM
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We did a trip once where we flew into Venice, did Slovenia for a week, then went back to Italy and did the Veneto region - Vicenza, Verona and Padua.

Worked great especially since many people in Slovenia speak Italian (parts used to be Italy before WWI or II) and lots of the food is Italian. More speak German, but you can find someone to understand Italian usually. You can train into Slovenia easily from Venice. Geographically it's the easist to get to and the country is BEAUTIFUL. You can see info about our trip on our website:

http://groups.msn.com/bernsteinalbum.
Click vacations in the left column, then Italy/Slovenia from the page.

Hope this helps.

~gnr~
gnrbernstein is offline  
Dec 28th, 2004, 04:22 PM
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Here's an idea Do both

Do Northern Italy .. then take a train from Venice to Ljubljana, Slovenia. From there you can explore Slovenia and/or the Croatian coast.
sfowler is offline  
Dec 29th, 2004, 05:24 AM
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I have lived in Budapest and travelled often throughout Central Europe. I currently live in Slovenia. Slovenia is definitely Central Europe. The mentality here is very similar to most parts of Western Europe. In other words, their favorite word is not 'ninc'. Hungary and Czech Republic have the mentality of Eastern Europe. Perhaps it will diminish but it hasn't disappeared yet. The mentality is a holdover fro the Soviet era and is hard to explain. It can be seen as a chip on the shoulder, a lack of initiative in putting oneself out (to help in a biz environmen, for example), a lack of willingness for possible confrontation and also a lack of imagination. Is it changing Yes, but it's not there yet. Live there for awhile and then we can discuss it.

I do feel that it is pedantic to constantly correct, however.

Cheers,
Jan
SloJan is offline  
Dec 29th, 2004, 06:39 AM
  #13  
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I'm asking simple questions about the cost. Not commentary about other issues. I'll post on another site where perhaps I can get answers to the questions I asked.
kywood1955 is offline  
Dec 29th, 2004, 07:18 AM
  #14  
rex
 
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<<will the prices be less expensive in Eastern Europe for similar accommodations, food, transportation, etc.? [than in Italy]>>

Yes.

<<I'll post on another site where perhaps I can get answers to the questions I asked.>>

There is no other site where you can get the quantity and quality of info you can get here. If you want highly simplified answers, based on fewer and fewer qualified respondents, you can work your way DOWN the ladder of internet information resources, to the point that any answer you want to hear can be provided by someone who knows someone who once went there.

rex is offline  
Dec 29th, 2004, 09:03 AM
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Yes. Prices for accommodations, food, transportation will be lower in Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovenia(?) than in Western Europe - especially outside of the center areas of the major tourist areas.
bardo1 is offline  
Dec 29th, 2004, 09:26 AM
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Believe it or not, Rex, there are other sites that I actually find as, if not more, useful for planning travel. Virtual Tourist is one of these. I have found the ability to email people who live in the countries (and there are lots in both Central and Eastern Europe) unbelievably helpful. And I've never met with anything but a friendly, informative reply.
Grasshopper is offline  
Dec 29th, 2004, 10:35 AM
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Though I use this site frequently for information, I totally agree with Grasshopper. I use Virtual tourist often and communicate with people living in the country I am interested in through their site.
John is offline  
Dec 29th, 2004, 10:57 AM
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rex
 
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I think I was posting defensively, and have failed to acknowledge the value of VT. I was wrong to do that. The answers come quickly here, and there is a deep treasury of archival information. Putting down other sites is impertinent, and was ill-advised on my part.
rex is offline  
Dec 29th, 2004, 11:41 AM
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No problem Rex. I see that you are a member but haven't logged on in two years. You might take another look. It is just a gold mine of information.
Grasshopper is offline  
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