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Prague and Vienna - need help with itinerary

Prague and Vienna - need help with itinerary

Aug 20th, 2009, 12:28 PM
  #1  
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Prague and Vienna - need help with itinerary

Hello all,
I am flying into Prague with my wife the morning of September 4 and flying out of Vienna morning of September 12. If you could help with itinerary, places to stay, places to eat, day trips, connection between the two main destinations and how many days to spend in each city I would truly appreciate it.
As far as hotels are concerned we like a clean room in a clean place within walking distance of main attractions. Doesn't have to be fancy and walking distance may be a 10-15 minute walk. I wanted to include a day trip to Karlovy Vary, but we are not sure if we should stay there overnight (in which case, do we make a two-day reservation in Prague, a day gap, another day in Prague at same hotel and ask them to keep our suitcases in storage for one day?) or come back to Prague. Also, what's the best way to get there without renting a car. Is there anything else to see outside of Prague?
Getting to Vienna from Prague may involve a flight (not sure if it's practical - hauling suitcases in and out of airport, waiting for planes, getting through security checks), a train ride (do i need to buy tickets in advance? how expensive is it?) or a bus ride. I am looking for maximum convenience at reasonable cost.
My wife wanted to include Budapest and I was thinking about half a day trip to Bratislava. Can Budapest be a day trip, or should we plan to stay there overnight? What's the best way to get there? What are the must see places in Vienna and do you have hotel recommendations there as well? Should we see places around Vienna or is there not enough time for that? We like to get as much out of this trip as we can without exhausting ourselves emotionally and physically.
Thank you very much in advance for responses to any of the questions above!
ismolyan is offline  
Aug 20th, 2009, 12:41 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
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see my trip log on Prague
frenchwow is offline  
Aug 20th, 2009, 12:47 PM
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My family and I were in Prague in May, took a four day side trip to Vienna, and then returned to Prague.

The Prague-Vienna train takes about four hours, if I recall correctly. Tickets can easily be purchased at the station with a credit card. Seems to me (again, if I recall correctly) that they ran about $80 USD, one way. Given all the hassle associated with air travel, I'd say that it's the only sensible way to go.

Traveling light or heavy? If fairly light, consider taking the city bus and metro from the airport to your hotel in Prague. It's easy to do (I'll give you specific directions if you're interested) and it's an enormous savings. Use the U and S Bahns in Vienna...again, easy to do, and much cheaper than using an airport shuttle or van.

I'd skip Budapest entirely....eight days aren't enough for Prague and Vienna alone!
RedStater is offline  
Aug 20th, 2009, 12:57 PM
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Correction, second class train tickets Prague-Vienna were $65 USD a head, purchased at the station the same day as travel. The metro will get you from your hotel to the station, no problem.
RedStater is offline  
Aug 20th, 2009, 01:51 PM
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I went to Prague/Vienna in December 2008. I stayed at the Old Town Square Hotel in Prague. I really enjoyed the hotel, the rooms are quite nice and the location is perfect. You are right in the middle of everything and it is an easy walk everywhere. I took the train from Prague to Vienna(the hotel got my ticket for me). I traveled 2nd class which was just fine. The only complaint I had was that the train station in Prague was a bit creepy(I am female and was alone, if I had been with someone perhaps I would have felt differently). There are tons of restaurants everywhere in Prague and most are very reasonably priced. In Vienna, I stayed at the Royal hotel. Not the best in my opinion, but the rate was good and the location can't be beat. Vienna is beautiful and I found the people to be very polite and helpful. There are tons of things to see in Vienna. Get a guide book to decide what is best for you. Don't miss having a coffee and a slice of sacher torte. The cafe's in Vienna are to die for!
elcon is offline  
Aug 20th, 2009, 02:06 PM
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I agree with Red Stater for a different reason -- Budapest isn't worth a day-trip, it's worth a multi-day stay. Besides, it's four hours from Vienna and about seven from Prague, so a day-trip is not practical. Google Star Hotels Prague and you'll come up with some good options for the city.

Of course there are other places to see outside Prague. Do some research and you can come up with a long list.

For Vienna, check out the K&K hotel chain, which is Austrian. Their breakfast spreads are great and the rooms are modern and clean. There are also two K&K Hotels in Prague, one in Old Town and one near Wencelaus Square. If you pick a K&K in Prague, stay in the Old Town location, not Wencelaus Sq.

Bratislava is very close to Vienna, but I'm not sure it's worth losing one of your very few days to see because you really have just seven full days to tour around.
BigRuss is offline  
Aug 20th, 2009, 02:37 PM
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hi ismolyan

if you have look at www.travelzoo.com you will find a top-of -the-range hotel in Prague with very good rates at the moment.

if you only have a few days in Prague, you probably don't have time for Bratislava, which I would leave for antoher time, and use as a base for touring Slovakia.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Aug 20th, 2009, 05:16 PM
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ttt
tdk320n is offline  
Aug 20th, 2009, 06:36 PM
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bjl
 
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I just returned from Austria in late July. I agree that going to Budapest warrants more than a day trip. I spent 2 nights there after Vienna and wished I had more time.

In Vienna I stayed in the 1st district at Pension Riedl. I liked the location because it was central but yet not in the center of the tourist area (Stephansdom, museum quarter, Hofburg areas). A young gentleman working at the front desk was cheerful and helpful with my millions of questions. The location is walkable to Stephansdom particularly, but a little far with tired feet! Two subway stops were nearby the pension. The subway is easy to use and convenient! The tram ran in front of the pension and is also easy. I did not take the breakfast at the pension, but there is a grocery nearby called Billa where you can get something cheaply and feel like a local.

For a day trip outside of Vienna I went to the elegant spa town of Baden. Hiked up through the park, through the woods (!) to a restaurant called Rudolfshof where I had lunch. Then walked back down through a lovely residential area and found a free classical music concert beginning in the park, attended by mostly locals. Baden can be reached by a train or by a tram.

In Vienna itself, highlights for me were the day at Schonbrunn, the Opera House tour, the National Bibliothek. Food was delicious everywhere, and pastries were plentiful....

Vienna's central city is elegant, beautiful, and clean.

Let us know what you decide.
bjl is offline  
Aug 20th, 2009, 06:43 PM
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WE just returned from the Czech Republic. YOu can read my trip report, which you might find helpful. We stayed at the Pension Dientzenhofer in Mala Strana and really enjoyed it. There are numerous day trips from Prague - Kutna Hora, Castles (Krivoklat, Karljsten, etc.).

Karlovy Vary is a 2-hour drive by car from Prague - perhaps you could rent a car for the day.
Kwoo is offline  
Aug 20th, 2009, 06:47 PM
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An interesting day trip from Prague might be Dresden (little over 2 hours)
danon is offline  
Aug 20th, 2009, 06:48 PM
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p.s, second Baden, only about 20 min by tram from Vienna.
danon is offline  
Aug 20th, 2009, 07:05 PM
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We spent 7 nights at the Hotel Kampa Garden located on Kampa Island. It is a superb and quiet location right under the Charles Bridge (there is a stairway up to the bridge) with marvelous views of the city, borders a nice park, has some very good nearby restaurants and is an easy walk to the old town sights. The rooms are quite nice and the price is low. The hotel is completely non-smoking. The included breakfast is plentiful and decent but nothing special.

We also took a side trip to Vienna for 4 nights. We went by bus and returned by train just to see the difference. The bus was comfortable, took about the same time as the train, was a fraction of the train price and left us in the center of town.

In Vienna we stayed at the Best Western Tigra and loved the hotel. The rooms were extremely nice, the buffet breakfast one of the best we had at any hotel ever, the location within the ring convenient and for me, the "icing on the cake" was the provenance of the building. It is where Mozart stayed with his father when he was introduced to Vienna. Mozart returned there as an adult and had an apartment in the same building.
basingstoke2 is offline  
Aug 20th, 2009, 08:18 PM
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If you can afford it, the Kaiserin Elizabeth in Vienna is a great hotel, and well located.
RonZ is offline  
Aug 20th, 2009, 08:43 PM
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Just a brief suggestion...forget Bratislava. Budapest deserves five days to a week as does Prague. Both cities are wonderful with loads to see. Apologies to Bratislavians but geez it still needs time for revival after the former Communist occupants ruined things there.
chocobon is offline  
Aug 20th, 2009, 08:50 PM
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Whatever you do, do not miss the heurigen; a trolley ride just outside Vienna. Choose a less touristy one or ones, and enjoy the local wine & food at its best. Make sure to check out the Dorotheum auction house whilst in Vienna. Make certain that you have lunch (stand-up) at Trzesniewski in Vienna. It is a delightful experience and shouldn't be missed. If you don't speak German, just point at what looks good to you!
chocobon is offline  
Aug 21st, 2009, 05:24 AM
  #17  
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Thank you all for all the suggestions and keep them coming. I just realized I have another question: electronic communications. Is WiFi a norm nowadays in Prague and Vienna or do I really need to look for it? I realize some hotels may have it included and others will charge for it, but I am more concerned with my ability to get on the internet. Also, if anybody happen to have a Verizon blackberry (the curve) - any way to make the thing work in that part of Europe or do I need an international blackberry for that? Thanks again for everybody's participation - I am making a list of all the suggestions to take with me on the trip
ismolyan is offline  

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