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prague, vienna, budapest trip questions (flight + itinerary)

prague, vienna, budapest trip questions (flight + itinerary)

Dec 17th, 2007, 09:53 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 118
prague, vienna, budapest trip questions (flight + itinerary)

Hi everyone,
I am considering to going to Prague/Vienna/Budapest in May (after reading many great trip reports on this forum!) This will be my first real long trip as a solo traveler. I have some questions that I hope you can all help me out with:


1. In general, how many hours/ minutes should I allow for connection time? (the stop from Toronto to Prague will be in Amsterdam). Kayak has tickets with stopover times ranging from 1h30 to 3h30. Will I have to claim my baggage and go through customs/security at Amsterdam before continuing onto Prague?
(by the way, would 3h30 be enough for a quick trip into downtown Amsterdam?)

2. This is the itinerary that I have in mind:

May 16- overnight flight to Prague
May 17- arrive in Prague, spend 3 nights in Prague (17, 18, 19)
May 20-23- 3 nights in Vienna, one of these days will be a day trip to Bratislava (20, 21, 22, 23)
May 24- 2 nights in Budapest (24, 25, 26)
May 27- depart Budapest

Does anyone have any suggestions on this itinerary?
Instead (or in addition) to Budapest, I was going to add in Cesky Krumlov. (so i.e. I would travel from Prague to Cesky to Vienna, then fly back to Toronto from Vienna.) Any input on whether or not Cesky is 'good' enough to replace Budapest? Or do I have enough days to go to Cesky AND Budapest?

I am not really a museum person; I am more into aimless wandering/walking, taking tons of photos, strolling through markets, small stores, natural scenery, and cafes. I hope that this is enough time to cover these cities.

3. I tried to book ticket prices on bahn.de, but the site told me that 'advanced booking not available.' Is there another way I can book them in advance?

4. Instead of taking a day trip from Vienna to Bratislava, I was considering stopping there (for maybe 6-7 hours) on the way to Budapest. The only question is: are there lockers at the train station at Bratislava?

Thanks in advance to everyone for your help!!!


roundbunny is offline  
Dec 17th, 2007, 09:56 AM
  #2  
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 118
p.s. sorry, i just realized that I messed up on the # of nights that i typed above.

so it is:
17, 18, 19- 3 nights in prague
20, 21, 22, 23-4 nights in vienna
24, 25, 26- 3 nights in budapest

thanks!!!
roundbunny is offline  
Dec 25th, 2007, 11:02 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 2
We are taking the same trip this august.My only change is 3 nights in prague, 2 in cesky krumlov, and 2 vienna, and 2 in budapest.

we are going to cesky krumlov because there is also bike riding, and someone said rafting there, so it will be the "nature" part of the trip.

we are also not into museums, so i am anxious to hear about your findings when you return. i spemt all day yestday scoping out hotels, etc, if you want any further info.
have a great trip!
jsnatowitz is offline  
Dec 25th, 2007, 07:35 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,572
No need to book train tickets in advance for Prague-Vienna and Vienna-Budapest. Swing by a train station or travel office in Prague a day or two before the trip, it's plenty time.

You simply have to make up your mind about doing smaller picturesque towns in the Czech Republic (and nearby Germany and Austria, places like Linz and Passau) or stick to the capital cities of Prague and Bratislava and Vienna and Budapest. It is your call.

Rent some travel tapes and DVDs, peruse some picture books at your library, read some trip reports here and on Frommers and on Lonely Planet, and decide.

You can take buses to those country towns like Cesky Krumlov, trains can take forever. Simply book your trip in one of the many travel agencies after you get into Prague, and book a hotel in advance based on your research. Go to idos.cz for transportation in the Czech Republic (trains and buses).

Vienna has more to offer than what you can see in only 1 1/2 days (which is what you have after the trip from Prague and the sidetrip to Bratislava and the trip to Budapest).
DalaiLlama is offline  
Dec 27th, 2007, 12:28 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 975
Another possibility would be to spend half a day in Bratislava by taking the Twin Liner catamaran from Vienna. Boat goes from city center to city center and only takes an hour. We did this in October and loved seeing both capitals, but did feel a few hours was adequate for Bratislava.
nyse is offline  
Dec 27th, 2007, 12:40 PM
  #6  
ira
 
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Posts: 74,225
Hi RB,

With your short time in Vienna, I wouldn't recommend a daytrip to Bratislava.

Play it by ear.

I am very leery of any connections under 90 min. I think that 2 hr is the best time.

Your luggage should be directed through to Prague.

You will have to go through passport control in Amsterdam.

I think that the Czech Rep is not a Scehengen country. You will have to go through passport control and Customs in Prague.

>would 3h30 be enough for a quick trip into downtown Amsterdam?

Probably not. It's about 0:20 hr into town. You will have to come back about 2 hr before boarding time in order to go through security.

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Dec 27th, 2007, 12:52 PM
  #7  
 
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I spent five days in Prague a few years ago, with a day trip to Cesky Krumlov. I took a day "tour" so that I didn't have to bother with public transportation. You can sign up for the tours at little kiosks all over Prague (and to other small towns as well). In my opinion it was not worth an overnight, it's quite small and I felt I saw most of it on the day trip. I have not been to Budapest or Vienna (but an currently planning for that trip for next July) but I wouldn't think Chesky could "replace" Budapest. I had five days but since you only have three I wouldn't do it. My photos of Prague and Chesky are at www.pbase.com/annforcier

As I said, I haven't been to Vienna and Budapest but from the research I've done I'm planning on 4-5 days in Budapest and 3 in Vienna with a day trip to Bratslavia. I think you could do it as a stopover but as I understand it's less than an hour from Vienna so it would be a good day trip.

To answer your question about connecting in Amsterdam. I would go for the 3 and a half hour flight and no, you definitly do not have time to go into Amsterdam. But the airport is fabulous, even has a small branch of the major Amsterdam art museum (free) and some great shopping, so if you end up with an hour or so to kill it will be easy. Since you'll be coming from outside the EU and then continuing on within it I'm pretty sure you do go through passport control. I just connected through there last summer (to Madrid) but now I can't quite remember which lines I stood in when, definitly there were some. But like I said, great airport, I usually try to connect through there if I can.
isabel is offline  
Dec 27th, 2007, 01:26 PM
  #8  
clz
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 69
We did your itinerary (in reverse) but we wished we hadn't spent the time (a day) in Bratislava. We just didn't care for it, although I know others recommend it. We stopped in Cesky Krumlov too and thought it was really lovely.

If you don't have to have each night set before you leave, I'd wing it. When you get there, you can decide if you want to stay longer in any particular town. I think your total vacation time is enough for you to see each of the three cities, it's just a matter of figuring how much you want to do in each.
clz is offline  
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