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Switzerland, Germany, Prague and Paris....

Switzerland, Germany, Prague and Paris....

Old May 11th, 2010, 11:48 PM
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Switzerland, Germany, Prague and Paris....

Our questions are as follows :

We are a party of three couples... having a need to feel, meet and experience the people of these diffrent cultures and countries.

Our trip starts in Switzerland, staying in Interlaken as a base, from 21 -27 May... We would like to know what the weather is like at during this time to help prevent us to overpack.
An indication of what not to miss during our stay... we can hire our own vehicle, we would like to make use of railway transportation, what is your suggestions? Is public transport good? Or should we rather hire our own vehicle?

On 27 May we start a self-drive trip to Prague via Germany, to arrive in Germany on 31 May. En-route, what should we not miss? And again, what is the weather like?

Prague, arriving 31 May until 7 June, we can cut it short if we can go to Poland... we shall be based close to the centre of Prague... here we need some guidance during our stay... as we have our own vehicle we can easliy make a trip to the countryside... What not to miss here, city and countryside

What is the best mode of transport from Prague to Paris.... we need guidance, rail or air?

Do you think that it is impossible to make a day trip to Poland, Krakow? Perhaps we can sleep over one night? Or is it just too far?

Paris... our last stop, there from 7 June to 14 June... Here we can hire a vehicle again and we would like to see some of the countryside once again... what mode of transport do you suggest here? For day trips or day tours, any good suggestions? We have some food lovers in our party? Any cooking tours? Cooking classes maybe not to miss... Weather once again

All your info would be so much appreciated!!!!
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Old May 12th, 2010, 12:20 PM
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wow - lot's of questions. let's start with weather? swhere are you from that may help with perspective. I would suggest you go to weather.com and look at the current weather for your stops. You leave in just over a week. Spring will be turning to Summer soon, so assume ahat it will be a little warmer. this time of year rain is always possible.

I would hire (rent) a cara for your travels throught Switzerland, Germany and Czech Rep. i would not bother in Paris. the rail system is very good and driving in central Paris is a challenge sometimes. From prague to Paris - I would fly - that is my choice, others may have a better suggestion.

For all these areas there is a lot to see and do - try doing some seraches on this board with city names and look for topics of interest or trip reports.

There are many cooking schools in Paris. The easiest IMO to manage is Cordon Bleu. You can review the course schedule on line and book in advance. Look for the Paris Campus, short courses, sort by date
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Old May 13th, 2010, 07:41 AM
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Thanks Seafox for response. I almost thought the questions were too many. The advice about transport are very helpfull thanks. I'll definitly will go to weather chennel thanks. Koeksie.
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Old May 13th, 2010, 07:59 AM
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From Prague, you need to fly to Paris. I don't think any other option would not suck. There's no high-speed rail in the CR, and by the time you get to Munich or Berlin, it will have taken about 4-6 hours by train. The fast trains from there will still have to cross all of eastern France.
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Old May 13th, 2010, 08:09 AM
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we can hire our own vehicle, we would like to make use of railway transportation, what is your suggestions? Is public transport good?>

Well in the Interlaken area - the Jungfrau Region cars are pretty useless - they cannot be driven in towns like Grindelwald, Wengen, Lauterbrunnen, Murren so once above Interlaken you basically have to take public transportation and this is so so fantastic you will be able to go everywhere you want by some kind of conveyance - mountain-climbing trains, aerial cable cars, etc.
You may want to investigate the Swiss Pass or Half-Fare Card. I am partial to passes because then you just hop on practically any train, bus, lake boat anytime - no waiting in lines at ticket windows - the 8-consecutive-day pass would cover you from the get go to the get out - you could use it even to go to the Swiss border and then rent a car in Germany, avoiding a drop-off fee perhaps for renting in Switzerland and returning in Germany.
Look at a Saver Pass - two names on one pass that is cheaper than two solo passes - and one person can use it by themselves if they want without problem.
For loads on Swiss trains and passes and alternatives such as the Half-Fare Card (this demands a calculation of what trips you will take as you still pay 50% with this card, which costs about $100 to buy - if only going to one base and staying put that may be the best ticket. But the Interlaken area offers many great day trips that can be pricey - such as boat rides on either lake that bookends Interlaken - or the fantastic excursion Lauterbrunnen-Murren-Gimmelwald-Stechelberg-Lauterbrunnen (my favorite excusrion in the Jungfrau area - even more than Jungfraujoch trains) and it is 100% covered by a Swiss Pass. With Half-Fare Card you have to calculate as you go along and ask 'do i want to spend 50% to do this - with the pass you just hop on board.
Anyway for loads on Swiss trains, passes, etc. i always highlight these fab sites: www.budgeteuropetravel.com; www.ricksteves.com; www.swisstravelsystem.com.
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Old May 13th, 2010, 11:53 AM
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Do you think that it is impossible to make a day trip to Poland, Krakow? Perhaps we can sleep over one night? Or is it just too far?>

Way too far from Prague by land - 8-10 hours each way by train - there is an overnight train between the two. Even reaching Poland from Prague is too far for a day trip i would think.
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Old May 16th, 2010, 11:42 PM
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Thanks for passes advice. Without that we would probably have taken the long way and many unneccesary euro's later.

Please could you advice me on a reasonable priced local airlines that fly between Prague to Paris.

Palenque! Didnt realise that Krakow was that that far. thanks.
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Old May 16th, 2010, 11:54 PM
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Intercity train travel is very easy to organise in Switzerland once you get there. In Geneva, if you go there, all travellers get a free travel pass to travel free of charge on all public transport - it's wonderful!
I can highly recommend Basel as a place to visit. It's pretty, clean and interesting. We hired a pushbike and rode around the whole city. A really interesting place to visit is the Kunstmuseum.
We travelled by train from Prague to Warsaw. We booked our tickets in Prague at the train station. It took us 8 hours to get from Prague to Warsaw. AND we did it with two small children. We paid slightly more and went 1st class, which was certainly worth it - we had our own compartment and plently of room. It's a great way to see the countryside & very stress free.
We also did a train trip from Warsaw to Krakow, then a day bus out to Auchwitz/Birkenau. Highly recommended. We then caught a train from Krakow to Berlin, Germany. This trip took 10 hours.
Please don't be put off by the travel distances and time......it's all a part of seeing things & experiencing a place. Time to sit and relax, with a glass of wine if you choose. Again, it's a lovely way to see the country side. You'd be amazed just how quickly the time passes. It's also a great opportunity to read up about the places you'll visit and make travel plans.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 12:09 AM
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For cheap flights: whichbudget.com
Easyjet and Whizzair both seem to fly Prague-Paris, but only Easyjet goes into CDG while Whizz uses Beauvais which is a longer trek to Paris. Both offer prices that can probably not be beat by trains connections if you can book in advance. Note that most intra-European low-cost carriers allow less weight for checked and/or cabin luggage. Surcharges for overweight luggage can be cruel.

Rental cars
If you rent in one country and drop off the car in another country, most companies put a hefty surcharge on your bill. You should check in advance and compare with a mix of seperate rentals and using rail for cross-border travels.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 07:49 AM
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Our trip starts in Switzerland, staying in Interlaken as a base, from 21 -27 May... We would like to know what the weather is like at during this time to help prevent us to overpack.>

Weather is very variable all year and esp at this time - i would expect neither really hot nor really cold but it depends on the altitude you are at - Interlaken - low level is rarely cold or icy at this time of year but up in like of Wengen, Murren you could get temps below freezing IME at times

But i would normally expect OK enough weather later in May like you are going - but also bring warm wraps and rain gear, as always in this area.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 01:08 PM
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Paris... our last stop, there from 7 June to 14 June... Here we can hire a vehicle again and we would like to see some of the countryside once again... what mode of transport do you suggest here? For day trips or day tours, any good suggestions>

one popular one goes by train from Paris to Bayeux, just a tad over 2 hours and then hop on mini-bus tours that take you by the some of the most significant D-Day Invasion sights - such as Omaha Beach and the Colville-s-Mer military cemetery - plus Bayeux itself is a gem - great cathedral and Queen Matilhda's huge tapestry documenting the 1066 Invasion by William the Conqueror of England.

For mini-bus tours for D-Day www.battlebus.fr (.com?) is one that consistently gets rave reviews but there are several others as well.
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Old May 18th, 2010, 06:59 AM
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Another excursion from Paris by train and minibus has you taking the TGV bullet train from Paris to Tours, where in front of the station minibuses await to take you to some of the finest of the really fine Chateaux of the Loire - castles built during the Renaissance not for defense but for beauty - by French nobles - anyway check out www.ACCO-DISPO.com - one firm doing these inexpensive trips for years - they shuttle you between the famous castles.
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Old May 19th, 2010, 12:57 AM
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thanks for above advice. we are leaving tommorow and now I'm not quite sure if our money is enough and only today to organise extra euro's, swiss frank etc. Can you give me an indication per day pp in Switzerlabd, Prague, and France? We have to buy our food.... etc..? thanks.
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Old May 19th, 2010, 10:40 AM
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per days depend on your level of living

Switzerland is really expensive - everything double at least prices here and many things, like restaurants, much more IME for equivalent places.

Economize by going the supermarket/picnic route - food prices will give you sticket shock as well but you'll save tons over any restaurant - from McDonalds on up.

Prague is much much cheaper - p.p. i'd say $100 a day is a litle like living it up

France is pricey as well but not nearly like Switzerland and they are in the Euro Zone and the Euro is tanking so $100 is practical if need be.

Whenever i go to Switzerland i bring in with me anything i think i will need to buy once there - anything!
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Old May 27th, 2010, 02:28 AM
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We are in Interlaken now... doing a self-drive tomorrow, saturday and Sunday before we enter Prague... we are driving to the Black Forest... We want to go see the Mercedes Museum/Factory in Stuttgard... Question... what rout do you recommend? What is on this route not miss out on... Your urgent reply will be much appreciated. Best way to enter Prague, self-drive or train???
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Old May 27th, 2010, 07:49 AM
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Tuebingen is a sweet regional town that would probably be on the route to Stuttgart - prestigious university adds a nice touch.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 07:51 AM
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Oops read your routing wrong - coming from Interlaken and going to Stuttgart - well Tuebingen is still on the way but you may also want to go via the Rhine Falls near Schlauffhausen - a huge cascade/waterfall or perhaps even put your car on a ferry and scoot across the Bodensee - their is a Graf Zeppelin Museum in a town near the boat dock on the Germany side.

Or drive via Lindau, at the eastern tip of the Bodensee - one of the cutest towns in Germany and lovingly situated on a peninsula sticking out into the lake.
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Old May 28th, 2010, 12:36 PM
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Best way to enter Prague - car or train - as always for large cities it is the train - if driving be sure your hotel offers parking (often a steep charge) as car theft and theft from cars is said to rife if parked overnight - that is why some rental companies charge a surcharge for taking a vehicle to the Czech Republic and others simply do not allow it at all.
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