Summer trip to Eastern Europe

Old Nov 9th, 2011, 01:55 PM
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Summer trip to Eastern Europe

My husband and I are celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary this year and are interested in taking a trip to Eastern Europe. The areas we are looking at are either Prague/Budapest/Vienna or Prague/Croatia (including Dubrovnik). We would be traveling in late July/early August. Any recommendations you have regarding which places to visit, things to do, places to stay, and overall trip expectations would be welcome! We both love experiencing all that Europe has to offer - historical sites, culinary specialties, shopping, and just the culture in general. Although we have been to Europe in the past, we stayed in the more western countries and were on an escorted tour so much of our trip was planned for us. For this trip, we will be completely on our own (with help from a travel agency) so we would appreciate any advice/suggestions that you may have. Thanks so much!
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Old Nov 9th, 2011, 02:03 PM
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My preference would be to stick to the three Austro-Hungarian capitals.
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Old Nov 9th, 2011, 02:27 PM
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How much time do you have? Someone else asked a similar question not too long ago, maybe you will find it in a search. While Croatia certainly has historical sites, etc., I really consider it more of a nature destination. Unfortunately, July and August are high season along the coast, so based on that and your wishes listed above, I think the three cities would be a preferable trip.
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Old Nov 9th, 2011, 02:46 PM
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There is no Eastern European destination in your list, all those are Central European.

As for the remainder of your post - read the readily available information on Fodors and other sites (that should not be mentioned by name here). Also, for information on any former Soviet bloc countries, go to www.inyourpocket.com.

Note that Croatia is nowhere near Prague, so you will have to take one or two flights from Prague to wherever you want to go in Croatia or vice versa. And getting from wherever you end up in Croatia back to the US will require some travel-planning dexterity because there are no direct flights to the US.
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Old Nov 9th, 2011, 02:57 PM
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My wife and I visited the same 3 cities (Prague, Budapest and Vienna) plus a few more along the way in our visit to Eastern Europe a few years back. My trip report below may give you an idea of what to expect. I liked Prague the most and do stop in Cesky Krumlov, a pretty medieval town in the Czech Republic.

Ronald
http://prague-vacation.blogspot.com/
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Old Nov 9th, 2011, 03:52 PM
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We plan on staying anywhere from 10 - 12 days. Thanks for teh information Ron - I will take a look!
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Old Nov 9th, 2011, 06:01 PM
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Well, first of all - you're going to central europe (yes, much of it the old austro-hungarian empire). Eastern europe would be Russia or Ukraine.

The areas you're talking about - unless you go to very small villages, have very well-organized tourist infrastructures and many people who speak English. No reason not to do this on your own - as long as you have done some planning. However in 10 to 2 days you should do 2 or at most 3 places - or you won't have time to see much of anything.

I have been to all several times and prefer Prague and then Budapest as being most interesting - although Vienna has a ton to see and do. I would reco at least 3 days/4 nights in any one of them to really get a feel for the country.

As to what to see/do - check out several guidebooks and then pick what interests you most. Prague and Budapest will probably be slightly cheaper than Vienna - but not a huge amount any longer.
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Old Nov 9th, 2011, 07:07 PM
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I loved all of the places you mention and found them all easy to see independently, but I agree with the others that Prague/Budapest/Vienna might make more sense than Prague/Croatia (including Dubrovnik). For perspective, I spent about 3 to 4 days/nights each in Prague, Budapest, and Vienna (and I could have easily used more time in each of them); I spent about 3 weeks in Croatia (of which about 3 were based in Dubrovnik, so only about 1/2 my time was in the city itself). The difference, as others hint, is that Croatia is a country with many wonderful, but small, destinations spread over a huge area. I thought it easy to get around, but it does take time and you would probably need to do much more planning to decide on what you want to see and what you want to do.

Hope that helps!
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