Prague, Vienna, Budapest?

Old Dec 19th, 2003, 12:40 PM
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Prague, Vienna, Budapest?

We are thinking about going to Prague, Vienna & Budapest in June. We are undecided as to whether to take a tour (and sit on a bus for all thiose hours) or tour the cities ourselves and take a train between them. We have mastered the trains in Western Europe and Scandanavia. How is the rail system in these areas. Is it easy to navigate, comfortable, etc? Whish way would you go? $$ are not an issue, ease, independance and convenience is. Thanks
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Old Dec 19th, 2003, 12:46 PM
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ira
 
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Hi joey,

We have taken the train from Vienna to Prague and found it to be up to the standards of France, Germany and Italy.

In addition to trains, you can also take a boat from Vienna to Budapest. That's more fun.

I wouldn't sign up for a tour.
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Old Dec 19th, 2003, 12:50 PM
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Personally, I would take trains, but then I love train travel in Europe. You might want to add Bratislava to your trip. We were there for only a short visit in Aug and really enjoyed it, we would love to go again. Very few tourists. It is 1 1/2 hours from Vienna, 2 1/2 hours from Budapest and 4 hours from Prague. Budapest and Prague are wonderful, easy to get around in cities with so much to see and do.
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Old Dec 19th, 2003, 02:29 PM
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Definitely do not take a tour. All of these cities are easily managemable by yourselves - good infrastruture and plenty of English spoken. Trains are fine - or rent a car.
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Old Dec 19th, 2003, 03:23 PM
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Although, I'm not a tour person and I
have travel must of Europe on my own.
If you happen to decide on a tour I
can recommend the one I took to this
cities (mainly because I travel as a solo woman and safety is always an issue.)The company is Far & wide and the tour is called Vienna,Salzburg ,
Prague & Budapest, it's a 16 day tour
but I added 3 more - 2 in Vienna @ the beginnig and 1 extra in budapest at the
end. What I liked about these tour was
that it would take you to each city, give you a day sightseeing tour and the
rest of the 2 of 3 days you're on your own. The tour guides are very nice and
helpfull. The hotels that they use in
general are good. The Vienna hotel is
not the most fancy one but has a great location, is nice looking and clean a 4 star hotel. All others are good.
Vienna- biedermeier
Salzburg- europa
Prague- dorint Don Giovanni
Budapest- inter-Continental.
The companie is based in Oregon and
they have a website. www.getours.com
and a 1-800-5525545. I'm planning to go again but these time on my own, since I know the cities already.
Beside the transfering between countries you could do these trip on
your own. It is a beautiful trip.
Good look! mile.
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Old Dec 19th, 2003, 04:38 PM
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Please do not book with Far and Wide! They have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as noted in this press release from their website:
http://www.farandwide.com/press007.html
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Old Dec 20th, 2003, 04:59 AM
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Although I've been to these cities on my own -- no organized tour -- it is possible that what a tour offers might prove a cheaper package than you can get on your own. Or, it may not.

Either way, I would recommend at least a 1/2 day sightseeing tour in each city for orientation purposes.

The train between Vienna and Budapest is quite good. The boat is said by some to be less than you would expect. We flew Budapest-Prague because of time considerations, but if it suits your schedule, I'd not worry.
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Old Dec 20th, 2003, 05:42 AM
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My daugher and I took the tour in May with Far and Wide. European Tours informed me they have taken over Far and Wide. Looking at their brochure it is very much like what we took last year. For a first time traveler to these cities we found the tour to be very good and much easier then a first time on ones own. Tour guide was excellent and t mentioneed above gave you alot of free time.
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Old Dec 20th, 2003, 05:53 AM
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The title is Grand European Tours-website is getours.com
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Old Dec 20th, 2003, 09:35 AM
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Joey: We visited those three cities in May and consider it one of the best trips we have taken. Did it all on our own very easily, with research on the internet and the help of kind Fodorites.

We flew into Prague and out of Budapest, and took trains in between. I researched the hydrofoil from Vienna to Budapest and it is very expensive and apparently not very scenic on the parts of the Danube traveled. Also the seating is in an enclosed area and smoking is allowed.

I decided which trains we wished to take before we left home and printed oout the itineraries. Used the German site http://www.bahn.de/pv/uebersicht/die...l_guests.shtml). While in Prague we went to Cedok Travel Agency and had our train tickets in a matter of minutes. The trains were fine. We had a compartment from Prague to Vienna, and from Vienna to Budapest sat in a regular car. We went second class, but did have seat assignments.

We had excellent hotels in Prague and Budapest and an okay hotel in Vienna. If I can help further with web sites or other info let me know. I'll keep checking this thread.

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Old Dec 20th, 2003, 07:15 PM
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Bettyk: I did not know that Far & Wide
have filed bankruptcy.That's probably why the new brochure that I received was
under the name of European tours and the web address is getours. Thanks for the info. also I notice that the prices
per tour where about $2000 more. Sad,
because at least in these particular tour they where very good. thanks.
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Old Dec 20th, 2003, 07:35 PM
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Giovanna: could you please tell me how long it took the train ride from Prague to Vienna and from Vienna to Budapest. And is it safe for 2 women travelling by
themselves? I'm plannig to go back with my mom these time. I was thinking on
flying between both Prague and Budapest
but maybe taking the trian is better, also what is the average $ for an adult per trip, if you happen to know.
We are planning to do Ansterdam,Belgium
and then Pague and budapest from which
we would fly out to Amsterdan and then to Seattle.
I would appreciate any info. thanks.
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Old Dec 20th, 2003, 07:45 PM
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I am hoping to make a similar trip in mid-May. Have you found a good airfare yet? The best I have found is $800 or so, but I am not willing to pay that much. Frequent flyers seats for those cities were gone weeks ago. PJK
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Old Dec 21st, 2003, 06:56 PM
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Thanks for all of the encouragement to go it alone sans tour. With that out of the way, what do you suggest for hotels in the 4-5 star range?
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Old Dec 21st, 2003, 09:54 PM
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The Marriott on the Danube in Budapest is very nice and all rooms have a river view. Standing on the balcony at midnight and seeing the castle and the Chain Bridge all lit up is a sight I will never forget. The #2 trolley runs in front of the hotel and the metro is nearby. It's a great location to walk to many places as well.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2003, 07:08 AM
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Joey: Highly recommend the hotels we used in Prague and Budapest: Maximilian Hotel, Hastalska 14; Phone 420 22180, [email protected]. We paid €206 and had room 308.

Hotel Victoria 1, Bem rakpart 11; Phone 1 457 8080; [email protected]. We paid €102 and had room 42.

Mile: I will go through my notes and get back to you on travel times and costs.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2003, 12:30 PM
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Giovanna: thanks . I'll wait.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2003, 03:05 PM
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We went on a similar trip last November with Paul Laifer tours. We took extra days so spent 4 days in each city. Flew into Prague, flew to Vienna, and train to Budapest if I remember the order right.
We typically go on our own with internet hotel reservations, but felt we needed a little help in central Europe. This is the first time we went on a package vacation. It worked out beautifully. We were picked up at each city, had a city tour and the rest of the time on our own. We took the 2nd or 3rd level of accomodations and they were fine especially the Hotel Josef in Prague. Our hotel in Vienna could have been better, the Astron Suites; I would request for an upgrade there. The Starlight Suites in Budapest was very nice with a great location. We had one of our best vacations.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2003, 07:55 PM
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Have stayed in all of the following and can recommend them as relaible and in good locations. (When traveling on one's own I find location to be most important - why waste time treking all over town on the subway?)

Not the most in terms of charm (they were for business) but good choices if you get great rates:

Prague:

Intercontinental - 5* right on the river at the edge of the Old Town

Renaissance 4* (I think they sometimes have very good rates) in the New Town but only about 3 block from the Old Town

Budapest:

Hilton 4* (near the castle with great views out over the river)

Marriott 4* and Intercontinenetal 5* - on the Pest side right near the river - many with good views)

For vienna there are tons of choices - just be sure you are on or inside the ring - preferably not too far from Stephanplatz.

Hope this provides a place to start.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2003, 10:50 AM
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We are also in the same situation, thinking about Prague, Budapest and Vienna. Around june 13 until the 3th of July 2004.
Leaving from Montreal. Which itinerary would flow better from one to the other? How many days at each to visit?
Open to take the train, but from where to where? Can the same train take you to Paris? Bratislava would be interesting also. Other suggestions to visit. Do the hotel rate compare to France?
Would the easiest be to land in Vienna, 3-4 days and then the train towards the others cities?
Sorry for the many questions, I will also look into the other posts that suggested hotels.
Thanks everyone.
My English isn't too bad from a French Quebecer??
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