Train Travel in Eastern Europe

Feb 5th, 2002, 11:46 PM
  #1  
Chris
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Train Travel in Eastern Europe

We are planning a trip to Eastern Europe during September with pre-booked accommodation starting in Budapest and travelling by train to Vienna, Prague, Krakow and Warsaw. Will be in each city about 4 nights. Would like to book onward train travel when we arrive in each place to save on advance booking fees. Just wondered if this is practical or if we do need to book before we leave home.
Also plan to purchase the Eastern Europe rail pass and wondered if we should pay the extra for 1st class rather than 2nd.
Looking for advice on both issues and any other comments!
Thanks, Chris.
 
Feb 6th, 2002, 12:35 AM
  #2  
Hiho
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1) There should be no problem in waiting until you are there to book your next leg 2) I think 2nd class is fine...and your trips are not long ones..if you want some additional comfort, and don't mind spending more $$$$, do first (but 2nd is certainly adequate) 3) Look carefully before buying a pass..you are making a limited number of trips, and it is likely that the pass is much more than individual tkts. There is porbably more money wasted on those passes....

One other commeent - at least at one or two stops..try to get out of the main city for a day..to a smaller town or sight..don't limit yourself to just the big cities
 
Feb 6th, 2002, 02:51 AM
  #3  
Ben Haines
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I agree with Hiho that you need not book in advance. You can book journey by journey. But more comfortable is to pay Wagons Lits Carlson on the Dorotteer Utca in central Budapest a slight fee to book everything in one go. You'd leave your credit card, and go round the corner to Gerber's for coffee and cake while they do the computer work and paper work. I'd say book second class. The only snag is that over the sections Prague, Krakow, Warsaw second class has eight seats in a compartment. If these are all taken you are a bit cramped. No matter: you just walk along to first class, and pay the train conductor a supplement to transfer you.

I agree with Hiho: I'm not sure you need a rail pass. The January edition of the Thomas Cook European Timetable shows second class fares in euros, with express train supplements, thus
Budapest to Vienna 37
Vienna to Prague 49
Prague to Kraskow about 60
Krakow to Warsaw 16
Total 162 or 180 US dollars. How moch is the railpass ?

Please write f I can help further. Welcome to Europe.

Ben Haines, London
 
Feb 6th, 2002, 04:28 AM
  #4  
Ben Haines
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I agree with Hiho that you need not book in advance. You can book journey by journey. But more comfortable is to pay Wagons Lits Carlson on the Dorotteer Utca in central Budapest a slight fee to book everything in one go. You'd leave your credit card, and go round the corner to Gerber's for coffee and cake while they do the computer work and paper work. I'd say book second class. The only snag is that over the sections Prague, Krakow, Warsaw second class has eight seats in a compartment. If these are all taken you are a bit cramped. No matter: you just walk along to first class, and pay the train conductor a supplement to transfer you.

I agree with Hiho: I'm not sure you need a rail pass. The January edition of the Thomas Cook European Timetable shows second class fares in euros, with express train supplements, thus
Budapest to Vienna 37
Vienna to Prague 49
Prague to Kraskow about 60
Krakow to Warsaw 16
Total 162 or 180 US dollars. How moch is the railpass ?

Please write f I can help further. Welcome to Europe.

Ben Haines, London
 
Feb 7th, 2002, 12:42 AM
  #5  
Chris
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Thanks guys for the info - it's great to hear we can book in Budapest. The coffee and cake idea has sealed it! The cost of Eastern European railpass purchased in NZ is 183 Euro (2nd class) or 262 Euro (1st) for any 5 days in a mth (after conversion from NZ dollars). Will consider your comments.
We have been poring over the travel guides & websites and are considering the following options for some day trips:
Budapest - The Danube Bend ie. Szentendre/Eszerfergom
Vienna - West along the Danube
Prague - Cesky Krumlov
Krakow - Auschwitz, Wiecliezka salt mine, Zakopane
Warsaw - no ideas for day trips
The no of nights per city will change as we sort the sights & day trips out. Any suggestions/comments re day trips appreciated. Thanks,Chris
 
Feb 7th, 2002, 10:45 AM
  #6  
Ben Haines
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Dear Mr Bell,

These are good day trips. Directly west of Vienna the Danube valley is wide and dull, so you'd do better to go from West station to Melk, take a boat from there to Krems an der Donau, and return to Vienna by train.

Ben Haines
 
Feb 8th, 2002, 06:44 PM
  #7  
Alice The Magyar
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Train travel in Central Europe is cheap!Hungary is in Central Europe not Eastern. Poland is Eastern Europe. I Payed $35.00 round trip from Budapest to Vienna. I just found my ticket stubs, 9,900 forints round trip, and the exchange rate was 280 forints per USA $1. I went in June it was not that crowded. I guess if you really like to travel first class then you should buy the pass. But if you want to meet the locals and have a great time too, don't go first class. But Whatever you decide to do, Just have a great time! you will love it I am sure. Alice
 
Feb 8th, 2002, 06:49 PM
  #8  
Marc David Miller
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Wouldn't you just meet more prosperous locals in first class than in second?
 
Feb 10th, 2002, 05:33 PM
  #9  
Chris
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Sorry, got my Central & Eastern's mixed up! It's highly likely we will book 2nd class (and meet the locals). We asked the question as we weren't sure about the standard. 2nd class sounds fine!
Really looking forward to this holiday. September seems too far away!!!
Chris
 

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