prague sitetrips

Old Oct 31st, 2000, 03:36 PM
  #1  
karen brodeen
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prague sitetrips

We will be in Prague in late Nov. for a week and would like info on recommended daytrips outside the City,including spas, and how to get there. Do you recommend public transportation or spending the extra money for tour companies? (None of us speak Czech) How practical would it be to go to Vienna or Munich by train for an overnighter?
 
Old Oct 31st, 2000, 03:41 PM
  #2  
MED
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I recommend Karlstejn Castle or Karlovy Vary. I went with a group and we took a bus so I don't know the best way to go. I've heard differing opinions about the train system in the Czech Republic but I'm probably going to give it a shot fairly soon since I'm leaving for Prague on Sat. I'll post my opinions when I get back.
 
Old Oct 31st, 2000, 04:00 PM
  #3  
Vickie
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Cesky Krumlov is my recommendation. It is absolutely beautiful. If you decide to make the trip, you might want to stay overnight as it is near the borders of Germany and Austria. We stayed in Cesky Budejovice, which is about 10-15 miles away, but if I went back I would try to stay in Cesky Krumlov though Cesky Budejovice is definitely worth a visit. I don't know whether any tour companies in Prague would do day trips. You said none of you speak Czech. When I went neither I nor the person I was with spoke Czech and it was not an insurmountable problem, but at times it was a problem. I think most Czechs second language is German although a few people (those who deal with tourists-- hotels, better restaurants, etc) do speak some English. Don't expect the average person on the street to speak English though; they don't. Even in the train station, the people there did not speak English. I was there in '97.
 
Old Nov 1st, 2000, 08:26 AM
  #4  
Art
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Hi Karen, I was there last year and took a day trip to Cesky Krumlov. I arrainged it from my hotel. It is a very worthwhild site, an almost untouched 13th century village and castle. I also recomment Karlovy Vary as a side trip. Also don't forget to relax in a sidewalk cafe in Stare Majestro(old town square) and peopole watch. I also do not speak Czech and did not have any problems. I did find my German handy at times but used it more in Humgary. Great travels
 
Old Nov 1st, 2000, 08:30 AM
  #5  
Emily
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I went to Karlstein Castle and it was closed. Make sure you know that it's open before you go. I would recommend Berlin for an overnight trip. It's an incredible city and not that far.
 
Old Nov 1st, 2000, 08:52 AM
  #6  
Richard
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In May of 1998 we opted to stay in Karlstejn and take the train into Prague. The train was fine and incredibly cheap. We spent a couple of nights in Cesky Krumlov, drove to Karlstejn and then on to Karlovy Vary. We also speak no Czech but had no problems, most menus were in Czech and German. If you go to Karlovy Vary, have dinner at the Hotel Pupp, we had a dinner that included everything from an aperitif (Becherovka) to dessert for about $50.00 for two including wine.
 
Old Nov 1st, 2000, 10:01 AM
  #7  
Howard
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Another place worthy of a day trip, not mentioned yet, it the town of Kutna Hora...about an hour away from Prague by either bus or train. Not speaking Czech was not a problem.

I would agree with previous posters that Cesky Krumlov is great....but it is a bit far...amybe 3 hrs from Prague by bus....as a daytrip.

Howard
 
Old Nov 1st, 2000, 03:02 PM
  #8  
Christina
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I did not take any daytrips but to Cesky Krumlov, as it was my first trip to Prague so I wanted to fully explore the city and had lots of plans for that. I had sort of OD'd on castles etc that year, anyway, and had seen the one in Prague and the one in Cesky Krumlov so did not want to tour a lot more. Also, I was there for the Spring International Music Festival and had some plans for that. However, I do recommend Cesky Krumlov very highly as a day trip. It is a unique town and, depending on your travels, in an area that you may not easily stumble across again. My second choices were Kutna Hora, Dresden and Terezin concentration camp. Dresden is not far at all by train, only 2 hrs?, and that is a good German train, so is efficient and quick (I think). I don't think those day trips are overly expensive for what you get (convenience and saving time); most things in the CR are reasonably priced, and those are no exception. Cesky K was not too far for a day trip if you take a tour bus so you don't spend a lot of time on public transportation, etc--it's not that big so, frankly, one day there was enough for me. I can't recall the exact price but it was only about US$75-100, I am pretty sure. That included some entrance fees and the RT bus trip and the guide; it was very good and we had a special tour of the chateau by an English-speaker which was wonderful; those are the kinds of things a tour group plans well and you might mess up or spend a lot more time on your own. I would probably spend the money for a tour group except maybe for the closest castles, which I think are pretty easy to get to; Karlovy Vary might be fairly easy, also, and Kutna Hora. I spoke a very little Czech having studied at least 6 months ahead and they really appreciated it as I think I was a real anomoly (I could describe, for example, the exact type of metro pass I wanted, or order a full meal, or give directions to the cab driver, etc in Czech. It was true in my experience that the metro pass clerks, service people outside main tourist centers, etc, did not speak Czech, and I did venture outside the main areas as I had some things I wanted to see elsewhere, like Dvorak's home. I did not speak Czech much, though, but luckily I could read some as I did get sort of lost out in the burbs on one wrong tram line that for some reason I ended up on; it was no problem as I could read some street signs, etc, and knew where I had gone wrong. It's certainly not necessary in the city center; those clerks speak English very well, as did my cab driver. I think Vienna or Munich would certainly be feasible as long as you don't want to come back soon. I would not bother for just one day in Vienna; as I said, if you want some German feeling, you could go to Dresden instead of Munich.
 
Old Nov 2nd, 2000, 03:04 PM
  #9  
karen
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Thanks for the postings. MED-I look forward to your comments when you return, especially since you will be there this month and the guidebooks seem to say there isn't much open outside of Prague in Czech. in the winter. (I wonder if some of the info as to what is open and dining is outdated in them since things seem to be changing more and more each year because of open tourism. The Iron Curtain was just lifted in 1989.) I also have ordered a Czech phrasebook for when we venture out.
 
Old Nov 3rd, 2000, 08:11 AM
  #10  
Lisa
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Karen,

I just came back from Prague last week. The weather was very mild. We went to Dresden Germany and stayed overnight in a castle overlooking Dresden (very cool) and went by train. Took closer to 3 hours. We took a train from there to Karlovy Vary and it took 6 hours and stopped every 4 minutes. We took a bus from Karlovy Vary back to Prague and it was only about 2- 21/2 hours. Much quicker. So check both buses and trains with times. There are fast trains and slow trains. The cab ride to the train station was much more than the price of the train ticket. Only use AAA taxi. They are the most reasonable. In Karlovy Vary we stayed at the Hotel Kolenade overnight and it was nice on only $66 U.S. We had dinner at the Hotel Promanade and it was the best meal we had (and we had lots of good ones). Venison pate', eggs with cavier, ham with horseradish appetizers. Chateaubriand(spelling) for 2, soups, desserts, water(no alcohol) for about $30 U.S. and they gave me a flower. The food is wonderful, especially if you try the international cuisine. We didn't try the cure while were were there(wish we had, but were a little worried about the results and being on a bus for 2 hours). Have a great time. I am ready to go back already (All my dreams are still overseas since I've been back). If I can answer anything else, let me know. Lisa
 
Old Nov 3rd, 2000, 06:10 PM
  #11  
karen
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Lisa-What did you see in Karlovy Varni that was worth the trip(besides the meal)? Also, what is the cure? Cured ham?
 
Old Nov 5th, 2000, 04:40 PM
  #12  
cherie
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Go see the castles at Lenice and Valtice. They give small group (2 or more people) tours and are close to eachother in Moravia. We went be car and just followed a map. Be ready for gas prices! I see your sign-on has garnet in it. Buy garnets in CZ: they're called granites and are indiginous to the region.
 
Old Nov 6th, 2000, 05:03 PM
  #13  
Christina
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I was just sorting my Czech garnet jewelry last night to give away (I believe the word in Czech is granat for garnet, that is the name of several shops I purchased from--Cesky Granat was one, very good) and saw my CC receipt and my complete RT to Cesky Krumlov day trip from Prague ended up being only US$35, about half what I remembered. That was a very good deal. I booked it through Martin Tours at the Namesti Republicky metro stop, but there were other companies doing the same trip for about the same rate.
 

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