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boyreporter May 18th, 2011 06:24 AM

Itinerary help requested: Which two cities should we pair?
Hi all

Looking to put together a four-day trip that figures to cover two cities. We like to walk around all day and look at buildings, mostly; nightlife isn't very important, and one of us isn't big on museums. We did central Paris in three days and used the fourth for Bruges/Brussels; Rome was three days and Florence one, although if there hadn't been so many wonderful churches to visit, two days of Rome probably would have been enough. Barcelona was two days, with two day trips.

I'm eyeing Germany and the countries that border it: Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria. We're fortunate enough to be able to do this once a year, more or less, so we're not necessarily into capital collecting; Prague and Vienna, which seems an obvious choice, is probably about right for two days each, but we're happy to do one of them and a nearby, more minor city, and save the other for another trip.

So what do you recommend? Munich and Salzburg? Warsaw and Krakow? Prague and Brno? Vienna and Bratislava? Vienna and Budapest? If you need a tiebreaker, go with the pair that are closest together and cheapest to travel between.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

northie May 18th, 2011 06:49 AM

Vienna and Graz for my money

TanjaN May 18th, 2011 08:47 AM

When do you travel? Maybe there is an interesting event or festival which can help with your decision.

How do you travel between the two cities? The austrian train company sometimes has special offers between Vienna and other Cities.

By the way - I can recommend Vienna absolutely. There are a lot of interesting things to see and do.

boyreporter May 18th, 2011 09:04 AM

We'll be traveling in the second half of September, and looking to travel cheaply, either by train (just saw that Ljubjana to Venice is only 39 euro) or plane.

Can you recommend a nearby city/day trip from Vienna?

Travelforbeer May 18th, 2011 10:46 AM

I vote for Munich and Salzburg- But be careful as there is a big carnival in Munich the last 2 weeks in September...

danon May 18th, 2011 10:57 AM

a day trip from Vienna?

have not been there, but might be something different - Bratislava?

boyreporter May 18th, 2011 11:06 AM

A day trip would be ideal, for round-trip ticket purposes, but a three-hour train/bus trip wouldn't be out of the question.

TanjaN May 18th, 2011 11:27 AM

Bratislava is very close to Vienna (about 80km). Budapest is about 250 km from Vienna. I haven't been there but I heard it is very beautiful.

If you decide for Munich (Oktoberfest in September), Salzburg or Innsbruck is not so far (both about 2 hrs by car) and both are beautiful cities and not that big - maybe you can make a triple-city-trip.

Cowboy1968 May 18th, 2011 11:43 AM

Second half of September is Oktoberfest in Munich. Don't go unless you really really want to go to the beer carnival.
Expect hotel prices double or triple of the usual rate.

Vienna-Budapest isn't really a major/minor pair.

If you look for diverse impressions, keep in mind that lots of Central Europe has been part of the Austro-Hungarian empire at some time and with lots of influence in arts, style, and architecture from the German empire (the older one) so Budapest does not look that different from Vienna or Berlin than London looks from Paris. Not saying that the former three look identical or that it would be boring to pair any of those.

Other pairs that offer some diversity could be:

Vienna - Salzburg (emperial city / "alpine" small town)
Prague - Dresden (easy connection by direct trains and quite different)
Munich - Luzern (if Switzerland is on your list)

Guess there are many more, just beware of Oktoberfest in Munich in September.

boyreporter May 18th, 2011 12:07 PM

Thanks, Tanja, for the Innsbruck suggestion. It's beautiful.

boyreporter May 18th, 2011 12:08 PM

Cowboy -- Oktoberfest wouldn't be a problem in Dresden?

Cowboy1968 May 18th, 2011 12:12 PM

Nope. Oktoberfest is only in Munich.

boyreporter May 18th, 2011 12:44 PM

Will it also be unbearably crowded walking the streets/trying to find a place to eat? Seems like with Salzburg and Innsbruck so close, you could swing it so that you only spent one night in Cologne and still had a couple of days to see the city.

Christina May 18th, 2011 01:13 PM

I'd also suggest Prague and Dresden or Vienna plus Salzburg.

To throw a new combo in, which I've done, Krakow and Wroclaw. Because that really is a major and minor. You couuld do Warsaw instead of Wroclaw, I haven't been there, if it appealed to you. But Wroclaw still has a lot of authentic buidlings and is very pleasant and has a lot to see--at least for a couple days.

boyreporter May 18th, 2011 01:31 PM

Thanks to everyone. Innsbruck and Wroclaw are both very appealing, and Graz is interesting too. And I appreciate the heads-up about Oktoberfest.

PalenQ May 18th, 2011 02:18 PM

If traveling on more than a few trains in Austria, Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia then look at the European East Railpass - especially in first class, which I recommend for any tourist with luggage and in general for a much more relaxed journey for folks on the trip of a lifetime. Check out these fab IMo sites for lots on trains in those countries -;;

PalenQ May 19th, 2011 02:02 PM

Vienna and Bratislava would be paired IMO - I did a daytrip by train from Vienna to Bratislava - 45 mins or so only - and IMO a half-day or whole day is very sufficient for Bratislava, whose historic old town, sweetly restored, is compact - you could also take a hydrofoil there on the Danube that would put you smack in the center of the old town.

annhig May 19th, 2011 02:12 PM

with only 4 days, I'd stay put in one place.

it'll be cheaper than moving around and if you stay somewhere like Vienna, there'll be loads to do.

Paul1950 May 20th, 2011 11:31 AM

Prague-Berlin was great for us, though they might be slightly farther apart than you want. We did have 3-1/2 days in each city. The train takes about 4-1/2 to 5 hours depending on which train you take.

joannyc May 20th, 2011 11:38 AM

Melk is a day trip from Vienna.

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