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Transport Questions for Potential Prague and Budapest Trip

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Transport Questions for Potential Prague and Budapest Trip

Old Jun 27th, 2007, 08:23 AM
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Transport Questions for Potential Prague and Budapest Trip

I'm currently trying to figure out what to do with my Thanksgiving trip this year. I'm kicking around the idea of flying into Prague and out of Budapest, but am hoping you can help provide some guidance about best transportation options:

1) Current open jaw flights for this trip (via Washington DC) are at $661 - very decent. But both legs (IAD - PRG and BUD - IAD) only have 55-60 minute layovers in Frankfurt. Is this doable? All flights are on Lufthansa...don't know if that makes a difference in terms of terminal location or connection logistics.

2) What's the best way to get from PRG to BUD? Was looking at train options and it looks like a long train ride...which means I may want to rethink my city combinations. I will be travelling by myself (solo female 33) and would prefer not to do an overnight train.

Thanks!
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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 08:39 AM
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There is however an overnight train Bud-Prag
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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 09:08 AM
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I've never traveled solo before (without going on a tour) and am a little nervous about an overnight train (which is something I haven't done before either). Do you have more information about this overnight route? (I don't even know where to look)

Thanks.
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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 09:18 AM
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The scenery on that rail route isn't very memorable IMO and the trip takes what...more than 7 hours.

You could check train schedules using the GermanRail site www.bahn.de and click on international Guests

Use Praha for Prague.

There is very infrequent budget airline service between these two cities according to www.skyscanner.net

Don't suppose you'd be interested in Prague-Berlin or Prague-Vienna?
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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 09:18 AM
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overnight train leaves Prague nightly at 23.05 arrives Buda 7:53am in morning.

Night trains have been popular all over Europe for long - europeans don't bat an eyelash at using them.

However i understand your angst and if you're a single traveler you may want to get a private single compartment that would be ultra secure and you would not be in with strangers as in multi-person compartments - there are doubles as well if you have two people.

There is an attendant with the sleeping car where the singles and doubles are who keeps an eye on things, serves up drinks and snacks (not free), etc. so should be very safe.

If in Prague a while you'd probably have no trouble booking there but i feel you may want to have everything secured ahead of time. In the U.S. this means going thru someone like RailEurope and paying a bit of a premium price over buying in Prague - but still the cost would be less than a typical hotel and you save time and arrive in the city centre. For any RailEurope product i always advise calling BETS 800-441-9413 for their expertise, great service and lack of some of RE's fees. You can usually only book up to 2 months or 60 days in advance. I don't know any online sources to book this train though there may be some that tap into the local rail network at lower prices.

To experience a night train may be fun - bring you food and drink onboard and in your private cacoon relax.
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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 11:20 AM
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Dukey - Thanks for the tip. I actually did consider Prague with Vienna for ease of travel, but a girl friend will be in Budapest that week, so I thought it would be fun to combine some solo travel with some friend travel.

PalenQ - thank you so much for the tips. I will definitely consider it, especially if they have private cars. I'd rather do that trip at night if it's safe and not waste precious daytime on sitting in the train. If I'm up for a solo adventure, I might as well be open to all kinds of new experiences. Thank you.
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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 11:39 AM
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Rather than paying extra at RailEurope check the BahnDe site, find the trip you're interested in and print it out. Take it with you and while in Prague go to the Cedok Travel Agency and buy your tickets. http://www.cedok.cz/incoming/

You might even be able to e-mail Cedok and have them suggest train routing for you and have the tickets ready for you when you get there.

We traveled from Prague to Vienna and Vienna to Budapest and did exactly what I've suggested. The agent in Prague spoke very good English, thought my choices were fine when I showed her my printouts, and we had our tickets and were on our way in less than half an hour. No charge for her services.

I have long files on Prague and Budapest and would be happy to e-mail them to you if I can. I've been having problems with my Yahoo e-mail. Let me know if you're interested and I'll do my best to get them to you.
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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 12:08 PM
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giovanna gives good advice... however i think if you put yourself in the shoes of someone who has never traveled solo before having the ticket when she departs could be priceless
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Old Jun 28th, 2007, 04:32 AM
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Giovanna - Thank you for your advice and also for the offer on your email information. I am definitely interested and will send you a note!

I think PalenQ has it right, though...since it's my first time traveling solo, I'm pretty sure I'll make the arrangements here even if they're more expensive - just for piece of mind.
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Old Jun 28th, 2007, 04:40 AM
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Want some "fun" reading?

Go to the Ricksteves.com site and look on the community bulletin board or the traveler's wall or whatever they call it now and surf through all the "train travel" entries.

However, you might want to avoid the ones that talk about

people being "gassed and robbed" on overnight trains; the ones about peasants sticking long polls through open windows at middle-of-the-night station stops and "fishing' for travelers' luggage; any post containing the words "crash" or "derailment" or "loss of life"

learn all about snoring in couchette cars and what equipment to take to "lock yourself in"

Seriously, there are advantages and disadvantages to overnight train travel and a LOT can depend on the equipment in use.

Don't hesitate to ask more questions as they arise and have a GREAT trip!
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