Munich, Prague and ... ?

Old Oct 2nd, 2023, 04:17 PM
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Munich, Prague and ... ?

First time in Europe, traveling in March with wife and 14 year old. We have about ~9 days of time to work with after taking out the flights. We've pretty much locked in that we want to see Munich and Prague the most. My heavy lean for a third place is Vienna, as it seems to be in a solid location in relation to the other two places, I've heard wonderful things, and it knocks another country off the list. I just don't know if I'm making a mistake choosing Vienna over, say, Frankfurt, Dresden or even Salzburg. Or choosing a third major destination at all. This is with time and travel between places in mind. We don't want to feel rushed between destinations, but will definitely try to maximize our time. We will be flying open jaw to ensure we don't have to travel back to the original landing place.

Anyone have thoughts on this? While my guess is that it'll to end up coming down to flight options, does anyone have opinions on which airport would be best to fly into and which to fly out of?

Many thanks!
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Old Oct 2nd, 2023, 04:48 PM
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Flying open-jaw is wise. Can't really help you with airports. But would you consider, instead of another country, traveling to other places within the Czech Republic after you visit Prague? That might mean renting a car. Not sure how you feel about it. We have been to Prague twice. One year we visited Karlovy Vary, Cesky Krumlov, and Telc after spending time in Prague. This way you get to visit smaller cities and see the countryside. Another year, after visiting Prague, we took the train to Krakow, which is beautiful and very interesting. A lot of people do combine Vienna with Prague. Haven't been there yet so can't really comment.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2023, 08:16 PM
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I would definitely look into Vienna. I have spent quite a bit of time there and it pairs nicely with Prague. I would not lavish the same time on Frankfurt, although I am not one of the Frankfurt-haters you sometimes see here, but mainly because Vienna and Prague are of the same calibre in terms of architecture. It's been 30 years since I visited Munich so I usually avoid commenting on it, but although the architecture is not up there with the other two, there are other sites like the Deutsches Museum that bring it up quite a long way for me. If not Vienna, then Dresden. Or Vienna - Prague-Dresden would work too (all close, all with splendid architecture).

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Old Oct 2nd, 2023, 08:26 PM
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You donít really have a lot of time as you will lose time traveling between your primary destinations. I would stick with Prague and Munich. Prague as above and possibly Salzburg or a tour through the country to someplace like Neuschwanstein castle.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2023, 09:12 PM
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Is that 9 days total on the ground, or does that 9 days also include your flights to/from home? If you truly have 9 days on the ground, then adding Vienna would be an option but a very rushed trip.

However, if you really only have 7 days on the ground, you would not have the time to add another large city of which I echo above to consider additional time in either Prague and environs or Munich and environs (Salzburg is only about 90 - 120 minutes from Munich, Neuschwanstein is close by). Vienna is larger of the three cities you already mentioned; and, has a lot to offer and you might need additional time to truly devote to it.

Think of your itinerary in terms of nights versus days. 4 nights somewhere nets you 3 days sightseeing, 3 nights is 2 days, etc. Be mindful that time in transit and checking in/out of lodging add time you may not account for.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2023, 02:43 AM
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Salzburg, Dresden or Vienna make the most sense. Frankfurt makes no sense and is a whole load of congested motorways away.

But

you only have 9 days to visit Munich and Prague, which, once you have added in any nearby towns and cities, (easy visits that you really need to go to) there is not time to add in another major city like the above mentioned 3.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2023, 08:06 AM
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Thank you so much for all the insight. We're looking at 8 total days on the ground after doing some more flight research. Seems its best we stick with Munich (and surrounding) and Prague (and surrounding). I'm choosing Munich over Vienna in the end for a couple reasons. Vienna is very large, lots to see. I'd rather dedicate a longer trip to Vienna. Plus, I'm of German heritage, my mom lived there many many years ago, so Germany is tops on the list for our destinations. Then a small possibility, if it works, to squeeze in Salzburg given its proximity to Munich.

If anyone has some insight into surrounding towns for Munich/Prague that would be worth the visit, I'd really appreciate it!

From the above, I see...

* Germany (Deutches Museum, Neuschwanstein Castle, possibly Dresden though that's a hike north for both cities)
* Prague (Karlovy Vary, Cesky Krumlov, Telc)

I'll be doing lots of research in the coming days, but good to hear from insiders. Again, thank you
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Old Oct 3rd, 2023, 09:00 AM
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Pilsen (by train), where the beer comes from is a nice visit with a large central square but not much else going for it. Melnik and some of the castles up the river north is interesting (fine vinyards looking down on a river bend (well two join and you get to see the colours mingle)). You can hire bicycles to get there from central Prague, all on bike paths along the river.

Prague also has the Tea revolution (communism was overcome in tea houses not beer cellars in Prague).
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Old Oct 3rd, 2023, 02:54 PM
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I second just staying in Prague and going to surrounding areas. In particular, when I lived there I loved visiting:
Cesky Krumlov - adorable medieval village
Kutna Hora - pretty church and spooky bone museum
Moravian countryside - wine tastings and cave tours
Karlstejn Castle
Brno - smaller version of Prague

Also, in case you make time to go there - I'm probably in the small minority, but I LOVED salzburg and found Vienna only so-so. Salzburg was charming, the locals were friendly, and the Sound of Music tour is a kick.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2023, 03:48 PM
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I've been to Munich a few times as I really like the area. First time for 5 days for Christmas markets so just Munich and trip out to Augsburg and Neuschwanstein castle. Then about 10 days so based myself in Munich (5 days) then Salzburg (5 days). Another time it was another 10 days but it was Zurich (5 days) and Munich with a day trip to Salzburg (5 days). I've also been to Vienna once for a week so took a 2-night trip to Prague and day trip to Bratislava. Another time I spent 5 days with a day trip to Budapest. Each trip has been different, and I would still go back as I am going back to Prague next month for a few days as I will be coming from Poland.

So in my opinion, 8 days doesn't give you all that much time, but it will depend on your likes and what you have got to see. It all looks close but in reality, doing a day trip sometimes doesn't allow you to see all of it and makes for a very long day, even if that is your travel style. I know you've dropped Frankfurt and honestly, think maybe that can be for a future trip. When I went there, I did day trips out (Cologne, Mainz and Wiesbaden) as I went for Christmas markets and split my time with Paris. If I were to return, it would only be a starting point and I would move on.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2023, 07:07 PM
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Karlovy Vary is known for its spas and thermal springs. You buy a cup and walk around and fill your cup from the springs. KV is located in the mountains, and it has very beautiful architecture, very different from Prague and Cesky Krumlov.

Telc is located in Moravia. Itís a small city/town with a gorgeous castle and main square surrounded by colorful buildings. There are ponds on either side of Telc. Itís very pretty and different from KV, CK and Prague. So you get a nice variety. I remember driving out into the countryside and having a wine tasting at a wine cellar.

As Fleur de Lis says, Cesky Krumlov is a lovely medieval village with a great castle and a river running through it. On our drive from Prague to CK, we toured the Chateau Hluboka. Lavish and stunning!
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Old Oct 4th, 2023, 10:51 AM
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I am curious as to why you choose Munich on a first trip to Europe. Or even a tenth trip....
Prague, Vienna, and Krakow are all amazing. But in that short a time I'd only choose two.
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Old Oct 4th, 2023, 09:32 PM
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Thanks again everyone. Some good information here.

To shelemm, Germany has always been at the top of the list in Europe due to my heritage, my mother living there once and my love of German beer and food. My son plans to do a year abroad in Europe when he graduates high school and is planning to study German as a foreign language, so this could be somewhat of a preview for him. It's close enough to Czech, which was also a top destination. I understand there are MANY places to see in Europe, and Munich is probably not near the top in terms of architecture, views, things do to, bang for the buck, etc, but it fits the bill for the reasons mentioned previously. Krakow was also on the list until we realized our stay wouldn't last as long as hoped. We will be back, however.
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Old Oct 5th, 2023, 09:38 AM
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I'd choose Salzburg and then do Vienna perhaps in combination with Budapest as part of a longer second trip. Vienna with your current itinerary would be a lot to fit in such a short time period. Salzburg is beautuful and you coul dlaso visit the nearby lakes just half an hour to the south east of Salzburg. Google the Salzkammergut region...
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