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Krakow, Budapest, Vienna, Prague planning for 2012 need help please

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May 30th, 2011, 04:49 AM
  #1
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Krakow, Budapest, Vienna, Prague planning for 2012 need help please

We are planning a May 2012 trip to Krakow, Budapest, Vienna and Prague. We have 15 days not counting our international travel time. Which city would be best to start with and then what order works best? We plan on trains and bus travel, have read about using Orangeways bus transport.
Some side trips that sound interesting are Cesky Krumlov, Melk Abby & Durnstein, Bratislava, Auschwitz, Wieliczka Salt Mines and a drive through the Tatra mountians.
Do you think there is enough time or have we added to many places?
We can fly into one city and out of another, thinking flying into Krakow and out of Prague.
Would love some suggestions about our early plans.
wlbox is offline  
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May 30th, 2011, 05:39 AM
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Way too many places for 15 days. Have you looked at travel time between cities? That will cut into your 15 days. I'll be spending 5 days in Krakow later this year. Prague, Vienna, and Budapest are good for 4 days each.

You can do the salt mine and Auschwitz in 1 day from Krakow; the salt mine stays open late so take a tour to Auschwitz in the morning, come back to Krakow for a late lunch and then take a late afternoon trip to the salt mine.

Driving (or taking the bus) through the Tatras will take a day. Cesky Krumlov will be a very long day or an overnight. Melk is easily reached from Vienna. I'm sure you don't have time for Bratislava.

I would remove one of the cities from your list, plan 5 days in each place which would give you enough time for day trips outside the cities and transportation time between cities.

I would definitely choose Krakow as one of the places and plan to fly home from there as Polish trains take forever to get anywhere. Fly into a different city to start your trip.

I would do Vienna, Prague, Krakow. Consider flying between Prague and Krakow as the train takes about 8 hours. There is 1 night train that doesn't have middle of the night transfers but it makes 14 intermediary stops which could wake you each time.
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May 30th, 2011, 05:51 AM
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Things to consider. Your flight plan would work. For trains, Krakow to Budapest, I would take a night train, as it would probably be over eight hours and conserve daylight hours. But only in a first class compartment, for safety reasons. Budapest to Vienna is perhaps three hours by train. Then on to Prague, about five hours. Another bus company you could research is www.eurolines.com We have used Eurolines and they were reliable. For information/download on some of the cities you are visiting see www.inyourpocket.com Another option might be, fly into Prague and out of Vienna. Non-stop flights, Prague to Krakow. Then Krakow to Budapest. Both just over one hour flight, but city center to city center, probably about five hours, or a bit more, each flight. Then train to Vienna. Sounds like a great trip. We have done a similar trip by train with only 13 days on the ground, so for me, four cities is very doable. Happy planning.
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May 30th, 2011, 05:58 AM
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I agree with Adrienne that you have too many cities on your list for 15 days. I would do either Vienna, Prague, & Krakow OR Budapest, Prague & Krakow. I've been to Prague & Krakow but not the other 2 cities. In 2003 we took a day train from Prague to Krakow, had to change trains, & it does take 8 hours. We took the overnight train back to Prague from Krakow & we did sleep well.

For both of our trips to Prague (2003 & 2009), we stayed 4 - 5 days. On our second trip to Prague, we overnighted in Cesky Krumlov for 2 nights. I would recommend at least one night in CK.

You can click on my name to read my trip report from August 2009. We went to Krakow in 2003 but I don't have a trip report for that trip. But I know we spent 5 days in Krakow, including side trips to Salt Mines & Auschwitz & spent a night in a castle near the Ukraine border, & returned to Krakow via the mountains.
Hope this helps.
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May 30th, 2011, 06:21 AM
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In 2008 we did a similar trip. We flew into Prague, spent 3 nights. We then rented a car and drove to Cesky Krumlov and spent 1 night. The followig day we drove accross the Czech Republic spending the night in Pribor, which ended up being a cute small town where Freud was from. The next morning we returned the car to the Ostrava airport and took the train to Krakow. We spent 2 nights in Krakow, which gave us three whole days as we took the night train (it leaves about 10:30 or 11pm)to Budapest. We stayed 3 nights in Budapest before taking the train (about 2 hours) to Vienna for two nights, then home.

For us this worked out great. We had enough time to see what we wanted to see in each place. Driving in CR was mostly out in the country, easy, and fun to see the small towns. We decided to drive that portion as we got a great rate through Autoeurope that at that time did not charge a drop fee as it was within one country. The night train is a good option from Krakow to Budapest because as I meantioned you get the whole day to sightsee. We took this trip in early April and at that time cheap flights between the cities we were going to were not available. If you are going at a time when they are then that is usually the cheapest route to go.

We loved central europe, have a great time!
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May 30th, 2011, 06:30 AM
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I agree with adrienne and Kwoo. There is never enough time. We did three days our first trip to each of these cities and had a great time. But have since returned to Prague twice and Krakow and Vienna once. Considering meeting friends in Krakow next year. These cities all have a different look and each one deserves to be visited. So, for me, the question is, do I intend to return to this area of Europe? If you do, you have great decisions to make. Another question is, what are you looking for? Prague and Krakow had little damage in WW2 and you have the feel of being in a very old city. Vienna and Budapest had much damage, but have been beatifully rebuilt. Richard
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May 30th, 2011, 06:37 AM
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I don't know the best plan for you, but I agree you have too many major cities for only 15 days. That leaves roughly 3 days per city and that isn't including some travel time and other things. Some of these places are very far apart. Ditto Cesky Krumlov is way too far way from the others to just throw it in (and transportation to/from will take a long time).

And I have ridden on Polish trains and the one I was on was very very slow, don't know why but it was. Maybe they have old tracks or something.

I really like Prague but dropping it off this schedule would kind of make sense logistically, I think. (fly into Krakow and make your way down to Budapest). Or, leave off Budapest. Then you could do Krakow, Vienna and then up to Prague by train. the train between Prague and Krakow does take up a day, as there is no good direct route. Which is why I think putting Vienna in the middle makes sense as you kind of have to detour and go through some other place anyway.
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May 30th, 2011, 11:29 AM
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thank you all for your suggestions. I just found out that I cannot use ff miles to fly into Krakow. So that in itself will change our plans.
Looks like it may end up flying into Budapest (direct flight from JFK) and then visiting Vienna and Prague.
Love this forum and all the wonderful help it offers.
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May 30th, 2011, 01:32 PM
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A couple of hotels to consider in good locations. One in Vienna and the other in Prague. www.kvu.at and www.utripstrosu.cz
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