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Please Critique My Eastern Europe Itinerary

Please Critique My Eastern Europe Itinerary

Jun 10th, 2019, 04:47 PM
  #21  
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Thanks for that confirmation, yes2travel and kja Iím giving serious thought to dropping Dubrovnik, figuring I could do Croatia, along with a 3rd visit to Venice on a separate trip. I would definitely add one of my found nights to Prague in order to give me four nights there. I would lean towards adding the other night to Budapest, giving me 5 nights there, with four full days of non jet lag. (I recover on my European jet lag with a quick cat nap on my day of arrival and a good nightís sleep that first night ) But I will consider to maybe put it towards a fourth night in Sarajevo instead.

First world problems!!
MinnBeef is offline  
Jun 10th, 2019, 06:18 PM
  #22  
kja
 
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I don't think you'll regret making that change, MinnBeef!
And I think you'll find so much worth seeing in Croatia that you might not even make it to Venice when you do go.
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Jun 11th, 2019, 04:08 PM
  #23  
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kja and yes2travel and All:

So with dropping Dubrovnik I would definitely add one of those two nights to Prague to give me a total of 4 nights/3+ days there. Would you add the other night to Budapest or Sarajevo? I currently have 4 nights allocated to Budapest, although that includes my jet lagged arrival day. I have 3 nights (2+ days) allocated to Sarajevo. I feel like the list of sights in Budapest would be the argument for adding it there, but the ďexoticnessĒ and romance of how I imagine Sarajevo justify adding it there.

Another first world problem. Thoughts?.
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Jun 11th, 2019, 04:19 PM
  #24  
 
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Originally Posted by KarenWoo View Post
KJA and Yestravel, when you suggest walking the walls in the late afternoon, do you mean, for example, around 4PM?
Thank you!
Yes, 4-5 is good. The walls closed at 7 when we were there. The hours vary by season. It was primarily individuals walking when we went. One group of teenage boys came on at some point. We started around 4:30.

Budapest is much larger than Sarajevo and has more to see. Exotic and romantic are not 2 words I would ascribe to Sarajevo.

yestravel is offline  
Jun 11th, 2019, 05:00 PM
  #25  
 
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KJA and Yestravel, thank you very much. That's the kind of information I was looking for.
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Jun 11th, 2019, 06:08 PM
  #26  
kja
 
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Originally Posted by MinnBeef View Post
So with dropping Dubrovnik I would definitely add one of those two nights to Prague to give me a total of 4 nights/3+ days there. Would you add the other night to Budapest or Sarajevo? I currently have 4 nights allocated to Budapest, although that includes my jet lagged arrival day. I have 3 nights (2+ days) allocated to Sarajevo. I feel like the list of sights in Budapest would be the argument for adding it there, but the ďexoticnessĒ and romance of how I imagine Sarajevo justify adding it there.
Hard to answer!

Like yestravel, the word "romantic" would not capture my experience of Sarajevo, although "exotic" makes sense to me for the very small part of the city around the old silversmith's street. I think you'll see a similarity to Istanbul in that very small (and very interesting, IMO), area.

The words that come to my mind when I think of Sarajevo are "fascinating" and, perhaps oddly, "laid back." Fascinating because of the many signs of the ways that multiple religious groups lived together and created a productive synergy for so very long before devolving into neighbor-against-neighbor war; and the many ways in which the city has moved beyond the war, even as some buildings can't be renovated from war damage because documentation of property rights were destroyed during the war; and the many contrasts between cultures and ages and ethnic groups that still pervade this city; etc. And against all of that, I found it surprisingly laid back, with leisurely cafes scattered about and a welcoming friendliness that seemed less about tourism than about hospitality. I was there in 2009, so things could have changed.

One other thing I would note: Sarajevo is, at least for me, substantially more difficult to reach than Budapest, so if you have any doubt about whether you can see what you want in the time you have, adding it to Sarajevo might make sense. As I said, I gave it only 2.5 days, and wish I'd given it more.

I would also agree that the list of things to see in Budapest easily justifies adding your time there.

No bad choice (now that you've decided to defer Dubrovnik to a later trip), just a difficult one.

Hope that helps!
kja is offline  
Jun 12th, 2019, 11:05 AM
  #27  
 
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If it helps... we also skipped Dubrovnik during our first trip to Croatia and Bosnia. We drove Split - Split via krka, Plitvice, Jajce, Sarajevo, Mostar, more or less, and even went as far as Trebinje (because weather was going to be very bad in the mountains). We were never planning to visit Trebinje or Dubrovnik, which we found out was actually very close to each other when we were in Trebinje.

We visited Dubrovnik a year later and it was a great experience. It can also be overrun by cruise ship tourists at times, and itís expensive. We were there in 2017 in a very nice apartment @ 75Ä a night. Same apartment now goes at 130Ä a night, in October(!). Quite ridiculous, and that is one of the cheaper places.

Sarajevo is my favorite capital city in Europe, itís wonderful, enjoy!
FlyDriveHike is offline  
Jun 12th, 2019, 04:50 PM
  #28  
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FlyDriveHike thank you for that perspective. Something about Sarajevo calls to me and makes me want to have 4 nights there. Perhaps I add a night to Sarajevo and Budapest and simply go with 3 nights in Prague?

Decisions decisions.
MinnBeef is offline  
Jun 12th, 2019, 04:54 PM
  #29  
 
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Originally Posted by MinnBeef View Post
FlyDriveHike thank you for that perspective. Something about Sarajevo calls to me and makes me want to have 4 nights there. Perhaps I add a night to Sarajevo and Budapest and simply go with 3 nights in Prague?

Decisions decisions.
I think you will have a great trip no matter what you pick. Theyíre all great cities.
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Jun 12th, 2019, 07:31 PM
  #30  
kja
 
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Do you have any flexibility with your time in the days immediately after Sarajevo?
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Jun 12th, 2019, 08:11 PM
  #31  
 
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Let me test my understanding of your latest itinerary. I think it is:

Day 0: Fly from Minneapolis to Budapest, Hungary
NIghts 1-5: Budapest
Fly to Sarajevo
Nights 6-9: Sarajevo, BiH
Train to Mostar, BiH
Nights 10-11 Mostar (with a 1/2 day trip to either Medugorje or Pocitelj)
Train to Trebinje
Night 12: Trebinje, BiH
Taxi to Dubrovnik airport
Fly to Prague
NIghts 13-15: Prague, Czech Republic
Fly Home: Prague to Minneapolis

Your itinerary is a little different in that you are spending your last night in Trebinje (18 miles from Dubrovnik) and then the next day flying out of Dubrovnik airport.
"Dubrovnik: Pearl of the Adriatic.Perched in the brilliant blue waters of the Adriatic, the medieval and beautifully restored city of Dubrovnik is undeniably gorgeous and always beguiling"-National Geographic.
But you are not going to see it.
Wait till next time you say. There may not be a next time.
Minneapolis is 5,083 miles from Dubrovnik. Spend your last night in Dubrovnik old town.

Better yet.Yes you are missing something spectacular. Vienna and Bratislava are spectacular. Located between Prague and Budapest.

I would do this ( 2-1/2 days(3 nights) is about enough time for Eastern European capitals):

Day 0: Fly from Minneapolis to Sarajevo. Train to Mostar(2-1/2 hrs).
Nights 1-2: Mostar (with a 1/2 day trip to either Medugorje or Pocitelj)
Train to Sarajevo (2-1/2 hrs)
Nights 3-5: Sarajevo
Fly to Budapest
Nights 6-8udapest
Train to Vienna (2 hrs 40 min)
Nights 9-12: Vienna ( Day trip: train to Bratislava- 1 hr each way)
Train to Prague(4 hrs)
Nights 13-15rague
Fly Home Prague to Minneapolis

Notes
If you must have more days in any city increase the number of days on your trip.
This itinerary reduces the number of flights, no flight to Prague.
No jet lag issues in Budapest
Saves Dubrovnik and Trebinje for the next trip.
Adds 2 blockbuster cities.
If you have been to Vienna. Drop Vienna. Do 2 nights in Bratislava and add a night to both Sarajevo and Budapest.
dugi_otok is offline  
Jun 14th, 2019, 04:55 PM
  #32  
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dugi_otok You have my most recent itinerary exactly correct. And thank you for your very thoughtful recommendation on a revised itinerary to include Vienna. I had given serious thought to Vienna and did have it in my very first draft itinerary. I ended up dropping it primarily because my cultural interests tend to lie most heavily, relative to Europe, In Mediterranean cultures along with Islamic countries such as Turkey and Morocco. Iím also having a hard time letting Dubrovnik go, which looks stunningly gorgeous.

While I was going to limit my trip to 15 nights, I am now thinking to go as high as 17 nights (which Iíve done many times before) with the following itinerary:

Day 0: Fly Minneapolis to Prague
Nights 1-4: Prague
Day 5: Fly to Budapest
Nights 5-8: Budapest
Day 9: Fly to Sarajevo
Days 9-11: Sarajevo
Day 12: Train to Mostar
Nights 12-13: Mostar w/ 1/2 day trip to Pocitelj
Day 14: Taxi yo Dubrovnik
Nights 14-15: Dubrovnik
Day 16: Train or bus to Split
Nights 16-17: Split
Day 18: Fly home Split to Minneapolis

with this itinerary, there are only 2 flights intra trip. And while I realize there is more moving around here than many would find enjoyable, Iím not sure any of these destinations would merit more than an additional day than Iím planning for each.

Any huge swings and misses with this itinerary?
MinnBeef is offline  
Jun 14th, 2019, 05:12 PM
  #33  
kja
 
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Interesting! Even with the extra time, I'd add it to Prague, Budapest, and/or Sarajevo. With this plan, you'll have enough time for Dubrovnik, but only a taste of Split -- and you'll be skipping much of what many of us consider Croatia's highlights and skimming many of the other places you visit. But that's JMO and, as already said, you'll have a great trip no matter what you choose..
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Jun 14th, 2019, 05:23 PM
  #34  
 
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I think this works. Why would you take a taxi to Dubrovnik? There is a bus you could take for a fraction of the price. I don’t believe there is a train to Split. Have you read our TR, Five Weeks in the Former Yugoslavia? We haven’t written up Sarajevo yet, but it has Dubrovnik, Split and Mostar including pictures. Five Weeks in the Former Yugoslovia
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Jun 14th, 2019, 05:27 PM
  #35  
 
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I agree about the bus - it's 80 miles from Mostar to Dubrovnik. Also, look into taking a ferry to Split.
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Jun 15th, 2019, 01:45 PM
  #36  
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Oh yes, definitely not a taxi from Mostar to Dubrovnik. I must have still been thinking I was in Trebinje. (Hate to drop that). Definitely bus to Dubrovnik. And thanks for the ferry tip for Dubrovnik to Split. More scenic than the bus, I imagine .
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Jun 15th, 2019, 02:15 PM
  #37  
kja
 
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I'm going to do something I rarely do, which is to disagree with thursdaysd: For the trip from Dubrovnik to Split, I thought the views out over the water and islands from the bus far more stunning than the views of the hills from the water. BUT if you're taking the bus from Mostar, you'll get that view, so going back by ferry might make sense.
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Jun 15th, 2019, 02:59 PM
  #38  
 
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I tend to get bored on boats, but some people like them. I also figured that the bus ride from Mostar would cover some of the same ground. According to Rome2Rio they take about the same amount of time, and you get to see some of the islands on the boat. Plus you could move around.
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Jun 15th, 2019, 09:07 PM
  #39  
 
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The boat operating Dubrovnik to Split in April-May is the Catamaran Krilo Star (Kapetan Luka Line).
The schedule is Leave Dubrovnik 16:30, Arrive Split 20:45 (4-1/2 hr Duration) with short stops (passengers on/off) islands of Mljet, Korcula, Hvar, and Brac).

https://www.krilo.hr/en/

Last edited by dugi_otok; Jun 15th, 2019 at 09:10 PM.
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Jun 16th, 2019, 05:13 AM
  #40  
 
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Originally Posted by thursdaysd View Post
I tend to get bored on boats, but some people like them. I also figured that the bus ride from Mostar would cover some of the same ground. According to Rome2Rio they take about the same amount of time, and you get to see some of the islands on the boat. Plus you could move around.
We went on the ferry in the opposite direction a few weeks ago -- Split to Korcula and then Korcula to Dubrovnik. Like thursday, I'm not a boat person, although I do enjoy traveling by ferry places. The ferry ride got crowded and while you could move around certainly more than on a bus, it was not as enjoyable as other ferry rides I have gone on. If you can get a seat next to the window, the views are nice. There is no way to go outside while on the ferry. I've not driven that stretch other than the portion mentioned that you will see coming from Mostar and that is quite nice. A ferry would be a nice change.
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