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Please critique itinerary - Hungary, Austria and Czech Republic

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Apr 15th, 2012, 02:08 PM
  #1
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Please critique itinerary - Hungary, Austria and Czech Republic

My 2 DDs and I are planning a 2 week trip to Central Europe this summer. Here is our proposed itinerary, we don't like to change hotels too much, prefer to do a base "camp" and day trips:

July 14 - arrive in Budapest, rent an apartment - any suggestions for 3 people? preferably with 2 bed, ba. What part of town should we investigate - Pest or Buda? Need air conditioning. Spend 6 days sightseeing in Budapest (Jewish sights like Doheny synagogue, Opera house, Gellert Baths, Raoul Wallenberg sites) with side trips like a cruise on the Danube, a visit to Herend factory/Lake Balaton, Miskolc (where my family hails from) What sights should we be sure not to miss? Restaurant suggestions?

July 20 - board train in morning for Vienna, arrive around noon. Need hotel (triple) for 3 nights. Will spend Fri, Sat, Sun sightseeing in Vienna. Need art musuems, architecture, sightseeing & restaurant recommendations.

July 23 - take bus or train from Vienna to Cesky Krumlove ? Spend afternoon sightseeing. Need overnight triple room and dinner suggestion. Spend Tuesday morning, afternoon sightseeing, bus/train to Prague.

July 24 - arrive in Prague, want to rent 2 bed, 2 ba apartment for 5 nights in Old Town with air conditioning or well located to sightseeing. Need restaurant recommendations. Want to concentrate on Jewish Prague, visit Castle, Charles Bridge, Wencelaus Square, art musuems, what else to see?

July 29 - return home

We do not want to rent a car. We probably won't do any tours, maybe hire a guide for day trips. Suggestions for apartments, hotels in Vienna, Cesky Krumlov, restaurants, any sightseeing we shouldn't miss would be much appreciated. Comments on itinerary would be helpful. We want to work in a "spa day", probably in Budapest for steam, massage, facials, etc. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance for your help!
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Apr 15th, 2012, 02:42 PM
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blh
 
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We rented an apartment in Prague that was in a great location. It actually had three bedrooms and two baths - but don't think there was any air. Have no idea if it would be available - but they had lots of apartments: http://prague-stay.com/accommodation...t-apartment-c/

In Cesky Krumlov, we stayed at Hotel Konvice: http://www.en.stadthotel-krummau.de/

In Vienna, at Pension Sacher: http://www.pension-sacher.at/?url=pa...l&lang=English
This apartment is across from St Stephen's Cathedral - it is wonderful - but stays very full - so you would just have to check availablility.

We used a shuttle from Cesky Krumlov to Vienna: www.shuttlebus.cz
and also a shuttle from Prague to Cesky Krumlov: Prague airport shuttle [[email protected]]

These shuttles are a little pricey, but it's hard to get in and out of Cesky Krumlov on the train - you have to change trains (and train stations). The bus is somewhat easier - goes direct - but we just didn't want to chance it. You can research it - some on here have done both ways and can make recommendations.
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Apr 18th, 2012, 06:32 AM
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We stayed at Hotel Zlaty Andel in Cesky Krumlov and loved it. The location is excellent, right on the main square. There were 4 of us & our room had 2 bedrooms. I don't remember the price, it was August 2009, but I do remember the price was reasonable, and included a very delicious & hearty breakfast buffet.

You can click on my name to read my trip report from August 2009; I give restaurant names & sigtseeing. If you have the time while in Prague, be sure to visit the Vysehrad area. It's on a hill overlooking the Vlatava River; there is a lovely small church, Sts Peter & Paul, the very beautiful National Cemetery, and remains of an old fortress. It is a quieter part of Prague, which is a nice change after the crowds in Old Town Square, on Charles Bridge & the Castle area.
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Apr 18th, 2012, 08:45 AM
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How old are the girls?

Pest is more active (Deak Ter, Liszt Ter, Danube waterfront) and has more major sites (St. Istvan's Cathedral, Jewish Quarter, Parliament, Andrassy Utca, Heroes Sq and City Park, Opera House, Imre Nagy statue) than Buda (Castle and surrounding area, Fisherman's Bastion, Gellert Hill). Szoborpark is technically in Obuda, I think.

The "Raoul Wallenberg sites" are in and around the Dohany Street Synagogue. Major hotels will have airconditioning, upscale apartments may too, general availability is likely lacking.

Airconditioning in Prague may also be hit-and-miss so investigate closely. Karlstejn Castle is an easy day trip and so is Terezin.

We stayed about 60 meters from the Mala Strana Tower of the Charles Bridge - easy access to Kampa Island, 10-15 min walk to Old Town Square and Josefov, 5 min walk to the tram that passed by the Castle (which is UP UP UP hill from Mala Strana and not walkable from Old Town unless you really want a long hike). Do not stay near the Castle. Wencelaus Square is only slightly interesting; Old Town, Castle, Vinohrady are more so.
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Apr 18th, 2012, 02:18 PM
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The girls are 21 and 24. How safe is Budapest, Vienna and Prague? Likely, I will be too tired to go out after dinner from walking and sightseeing all day, so they will probably want to visit some nightlife. They will have a few beers, but not the kind of kids to make me worry about their behavior. Just want to ensure the neighborhoods are safe. I speak pretty fluent Hungarian, they know a few words, but no German or Czech.
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May 11th, 2012, 08:09 AM
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So, an update and critique on what we have planned so far:

Arrive Budapest July 14 - we booked an apartment in Pest on Henzelman Utca, not too far from the Hungarian Museum

We will be touring Budapest doing a Jewish heritage tour, visiting museums and cultural sights

Hoping to book a 1 day countryside tour - perhaps Szentendre? Tokay? Herend? Lake Balaton?

Depart for Vienna on July 21 - we are staying at the Mariott inside the Ringstrasse near Stadtpark

Haven't narrowed down tourist sites to visit? The Nachmarket for sure, perhaps a Danube river boat ride? Schoenbrun palace?

Hired a car service to take us to Prague on July 24 with a stop in Cesky Krumlov. We will only have about 4 hours there, so a visit to the castle and lunch probably

Prague July 24-29 staying at the Hilton (border of Old and New Town)

looking for a day trip from Prague perhaps to see some castles or breweries?

Any help with top 10 things to do in Vienna, Budapest or Prague would be helpful as well as "off the beaten path". Thanks!
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May 11th, 2012, 09:52 AM
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From Prague, a day trip to Terezin will make a lasting impression. Last check, I gave you a couple of suggestions above.

Take a Danube sunset cruise in Budapest.

Visit the KGB Museum and Szoborpark in Budapest too.
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May 11th, 2012, 10:42 AM
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All 3 cities have a very comprehensive tourist infrastructure and you can get by just fine with English only (although not necessarily true in small villages away from capitols in Czech and Hungary).

Daughters shuld check out the Let's Go Guides and the Torne Tree section of hte Lonely Planet web site to get info on student type night life (versus big $ glitz and glamour). Bsic rules are hte same as everywhere else - no specail concerns.
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May 11th, 2012, 01:23 PM
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Just curious, how much for the transfer to Prague?
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May 12th, 2012, 06:43 AM
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Big Russ, I appreciate all of your suggestions. We are not going to Terezin. Both my parents are/were survivors, had friends who were survivors. Mother was president of the largest survivor group, in South Florida, for many years. Have been to Yad Vashem in Jeruselem, other Holodcaust and Jewish museums. Incredibly, neither parent was interred in concentration camp.

Instead, as my father spent much time in Budapest with Raoul Wallenberg at the Swedish embassy, we will be doing a Jewish tour in Budapest with special emphasis on the Wallenberg sites.

Bob, don't feel comfortable sharing our information on cost, as it was developed specifically for what we want to do. If you want to contact Mike and get a quote, here is his information:
http://mike-chauffeur.cz/
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