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Need help in choosing a destination(s)... Please Help!

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Feb 20th, 2015, 09:35 PM
  #1
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Need help in choosing a destination(s)... Please Help!

Good Day All,

We are trying to plan a one month trip for next summer (July/August) and can't decide between a number of destinations/options.

The options are (trying to choose one):

1. The Baltic region: visiting three capitals starting from either Tallinn or Vilnius. The issue here is that there are no direct flights from Dubai to either cities, and so, we must take Finnair to Helsinki and go to Tallinn from there.

2. Poland: Spend the whole vacation between Warsaw - Olsztyn - Gdansk - Wroclaw - Krakow - Zakopane. The issue in this option if traveling between the cities which, due to the large number of cities, seems to be impractical.

3. Slovenia: Again, spend the whole vacation there between Ljubljana - Bled and the Julian Alps. No direct flights from Dubai, and so, will have to take a flight to the nearest point which in this case is Venice (and take a bus from Marco Polo Airport to Ljubljana).

4. Czech and Hungary (been to both before): revisit both countries and divide the time between Prague-Karlovy Vary - Budapest. I always prefer to discover new destinations yet I find the beauty of these three cities worth considering this trip as a valid option.

Our main concerns are weather (not too much heat), beauty of the cities, ease of traveling between cities and safety.

Would someone help me figure out which of the above options to choose and why. I don't have any preference, yet it is important to note that I have been to the cities in option no.4 and loved Prague, Karlovy Vary and Budapest. Also, we would very much like to stick to the above options only as we are solely interested in Central and Eastern Europe.

Truly appreciate your help
Kay
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Feb 21st, 2015, 12:30 AM
  #2
kja
 
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Such choices!

I've been to some of the cities you outline for each option, but not all of the cities for ANY option, so I'm probably not in a good position to comment. That said, I offer the following comments:

1. I enjoyed a few days in Helsinki, so if that is your ONLY concern, you might give some thought to giving 2 or 3 days to Helsinki (depending on your interests).

2. Krakow is, IMO, a gem and is well worth the inconvenience of reaching it. Warsaw, not so much, but -- depending on your interests -- worth a day or two or even three. I haven't been anywhere else in Poland, but if you have a month, I can't imagine that moving around would be TERRIBLY impractical! YMMV.

3. I LOVED what I saw of Slovenia, but I find it hard to imagine spending an entire month there. Granted, I travel HARD, but I saw most of what I wanted to see in charming Ljubljana and Bled in just 4 or 5 days -- and I stopped in a few other places in between! But I'm sure there is a lot that you could do and enjoy in Slovenia....

4. Can't disagree! I'm sure you are aware that these cities can be a bit overrun by tourists at that time of year.

Good luck!
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Feb 21st, 2015, 06:00 AM
  #3
 
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I also haven't been to many of the places on your list, but there are a few other options/logistical tweaks you could make to option 1 and 3 that I can see.

Option 1 - realize you are only interested in Central/Eastern Europe: does that include Russia? You could fly Emirates/Aeroflot nonstop to St Petersburg and spend time there first, before overnight sleeper train to Vilnius, and then kick off your Baltic itinerary. Summer is a fantastic time for St Petersburg, and definitely ticks your box of beautiful cities.

Option 3 - Another option instead of Venice would be to fly to Zagreb (flydubai flies there nonstop) in Croatia, then it's about a 2 hr 20 min train or bus to Ljubljana. Then you could see if adding Croatia at the end of the trip might make sense, if you haven't filled in all the time in Ljubljana/Bled/Alps.
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Feb 21st, 2015, 06:23 AM
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I see two options here, Helsinki and the three Baltic states, which can get warm but are worth the time,

Option 2 Slovenia (but I'd add more of the Dalmation coast to make it worthwhile).

Both will be wonderful but you need to want to see cities as well as enjoy the countryside.

All very pleasant, you will need to book hotels in prime place (Bled for instance) but in many places you can book a few days out.

Poland/Czech/Hungary all good but you've done before
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Feb 21st, 2015, 11:32 AM
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I vote for:

1. Helsinki and the 3 Baltic countries would be great. The ferry between Helsinki and Tallinn is nice and quite convenient.

3. Slovenia is beautiful but add something to it, otherwise you won't have that much to do there for the whole month. Even Budapest & Bratislava could be added to it.
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Feb 23rd, 2015, 11:37 AM
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Go with option 2!

Poland is lovely. You may skip Warsaw - it's not worth seeing. Krakow is "must see". Gdansk an areas - yeah. Polish sea is beautiful, with air full of iodine, with amazing sunsets, with nice beaches and great hotels. You should think of smaller places around the sea. And another great choice: Zakopane. It's totally touristy place but still amazing.
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Feb 23rd, 2015, 11:54 AM
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I vote for option 2 too. Go to Poland, I adore Polish sea and Tatra Mountains. Views are breathtaking, especially sunsets. People are polite and helpful. Food is good. I don't know how much money you plan to spend but if you're looking for something with higher standards, I know some great hotels.
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Feb 24th, 2015, 12:56 AM
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I agree avoid Warsaw
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Feb 24th, 2015, 08:10 AM
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Yes, Warsaw is ugly. :/ There're some places good to visit, but the whole city is not impressive at all. But WArsaw has great connections to other cities.
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Feb 24th, 2015, 01:23 PM
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Option number two. I love Zakopane and the Tatra Mountains. I've never seen as beautiful views as in Zakopane's area. Especially worth seeing is "Morskie Oko" - "Eye of the Sea", the largers lake in the Tatra Mountains. It is very popular destination, so full of tourists.
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Feb 24th, 2015, 02:54 PM
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Yes, Morskie Oko is the most incredibly amazing lake I've ever seen. I can't describe this specific colour of water. And views around are monumental! Just gorgeous lake, blue sky and high mountains.
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Feb 26th, 2015, 02:16 AM
  #12
 
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On the other hand, Polish sea is amazing too. I lie Tricity (Gdansk, Gdynia, Sopot) with great nightlife. And Ustka - one of the prettiest sea cities.
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Mar 3rd, 2015, 09:59 AM
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Option number 4.

Czech - because of delicious bear and amazing Prague.
Hungary - because of Budapest, one of the prettiest cities I've ever seen.

I know you've been there but you should come back.
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Mar 3rd, 2015, 10:54 AM
  #14
 
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Main thing is good use of time so as to not travel too much. So if to Poland I agree Krakow plus Zakopane but also Warsaw a good choice. An idea might be day trip to Auschwitz which I urge everyone to do.

Of course Helsinki and then flying to Copenhagen on to Oslo, Bergen would be good.
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Mar 3rd, 2015, 01:03 PM
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I recommend to choose one of the regions: NE, NW, SE or SW part of Poland. Try to create your itinerary by Poland Just Now website. Warsaw is approximately in the center part of the country, so it would be good place to start or end your trip.
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Mar 13th, 2015, 03:13 PM
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I would choose the second option. I adore Krakow, I love Gdansk. But I strongly dislike Warsaw.
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