travel plans in prague

Old Dec 12th, 2004, 12:37 PM
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travel plans in prague

HI.three friends are travelling to Prague 6th to 12th Jan for six days.Any advice on reasonable accomodation and activities?We are thinking of 2 days in another city.Would Vienna,Budapest or Krakow be better for a cultural /social experience?Thanks
lizward is offline  
Old Dec 12th, 2004, 02:37 PM
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Hello Lizward,

If you'll arrive in Prague on the 6th and depart on the 12th, you'll really only have 5 full days there. There is enough in the city to keep you busy for that length of time.

The "Destinations" section of the Fodors website has good suggestions of things to do and see in Prague.

It also would be a good idea to do a word search for Prague here at Fodors Talk.

I'm unclear about the 2 days in another city. Would that be in addition to Jan 6 - 12, or would you take 2 days from the Jan 6 - 12 period and allocate them to another city?

It would be my preference to spend the whole time in one city, and not to split the time.

Keep in mind that Krakow is an 8 hour train ride from Prague, and Budapest a 7 hour train ride. Either of those journeys would bite quite a big chunk out of your short trip. Even flying takes quite a bit of time, when one considers getting to the airport, checking in, etc.

The most feasible city to include is Vienna, if you really want to split that time between 2 cities. I say that because Vienna is a 4.5 hour train ride from Prague. You could catch the train in the evening, so the journey would not encroach on your daytime sight seeing.

Prague is a really cute, quaint city. Its population is 1.2 million. The historical centre is compact and can be seen on foot.

Vienna is a bigger city (8 million), with larger, grander buildings. It's also more expensive than Prqague and Budapest. I considered the expense of going there to be worthwhile, as it was an elegant and interesting city. The notes on Vienna in the Fodors "Destinations" section are good. Although Vienna is a much larger city, it nonetheless is a convenient one for sight seeing. The attractions that would be of interest during a brief visit of, say, 3 days mostly are within walking distance of the historical centre. The one "must see" that is beyond walking distance is Schönbrunn Palace. It's not that far out, and there are many convenient ways of getting there. Schönbrunn is not heated, however.

With 2 million people, Budapest is larger than Prague, but smaller than Vienna. Budapest also is an attractive and interesting city. Its position overlooking the Danube is very scenic. It's a slightly more "raw" city than Prague, for want of a better word. Prague is so cute that it almost feels as if it could be a pavillion in the Epcot Center. Budapest felt more "real" to me. The Fodors "Destination" notes on Budapest are not very helpful, IMO, but there are previous discussion threads at Fodors Talk that provide information on Budapest.

Vienna was the centre of the Austrian empire, and one really does get a sense of that from the grandeur of the buildings. It is interesting to see Vienna and at least one of the other cities that used to be in one of the outlying parts of the empire, as one can notice the difference.

Some people may land on me with a ton of bricks for saying this, but if one has to split an uneven number of days between Vienna and Prague, I think it's better to allocate more time to Vienna and less to Prague. That's because Prague is more compact.

The hotel in which we stayed in Prague was good, but it was just a bit too far from the historical centre for me to recommend its location.

In Vienna we stayed in Pension Pertschy, which was delightful, and its location could not have been more central. It opened on to an open courtyard, however. That was fine in September, but I wonder what it would be like in January.

I have not been to Krakow. Someone here recently said that its atmosphere and esthetic appeal were similar to those of Prague.

Hope that helps.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Old Dec 12th, 2004, 04:51 PM
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Ouch, Vienna doesn't have 8 million people. The whole of Austria has 8 million people. In fact, Vienna is no bigger than Budapest is, from a population point of view. However, many important buildings in Vienna feel larger than their counterparts in Budapest, places such as palaces, the two cities' opera houses, etc.
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Old Dec 13th, 2004, 04:15 PM
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Hi. Prague is wonderful. A must see is the castle, of course. The blacklight theatre is also kinda unique to Prague and would be memorable. The Wallenstein palace is also a beautiful place to visit, and the funicular up Petrin Hill gives a great view of the city. I've stayed twice at the Hotel Henry, very reasonable and clean, but it is located across from the Holesovice Train and Metro station. It is also right on tram line 12. If you don't mind taking public transportation 3-4 metro stops into the center of Prague, or a 10 minute tram ride, its a great place to stay if you want a reasonable room rate. Their continental breakfast isn't that great, but hey...its not the Ritz! I am returning to Prague in May and will stay there again as well.
Its a long way to Vienna or Budapest from Prague and would take up almost a complete day to and from. You may want to consider a day trip to Kutna Hora or a long day trip (by bus) to Cesky Krumlov...both are worthwhile for a more Czech experience. I also recommend taking a walking tour of Prague "Prague walks" The 4 hour tour gives a highlight of the historic center and castle..then you can go back later and spend more time in places that interest you. Its also interesting to hear the stories and tales that are part of the Czech history. Take your comfortable warm shoes and have fun. Remember that the beer is cheaper than water or soda!
Na-shle-da-now (See ya!) KC
Kasey22 is offline  
Old Dec 13th, 2004, 05:19 PM
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Look into Pension Dientzenhoffer on the Mala Strana side of Prague. We stayed there last year. It was reasonable, immaculate, lovely, and had a great breakfast...also, the people who worked there were so nice and attentive. I would spend the entire time in Prague because there is so much to do and see and it is such a lovely city and so laid back. Consider doing one day trip and/or half day trip outside of Prague as suggested. We spent a week in Prague- one day we went to Terezin. We did a black light theatre but found it to be more oddly "amusing" in a boring way. We did go to the ballet and the symphony. Prices were quite inexpensive. We also went to Vienna and that is also a beautiful city with so much culture. Prague remains one of my families favorite trips.
risab is offline  
Old Dec 13th, 2004, 06:46 PM
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Risab: What is reasonable? Can you tell me what you paid for your hotel in Prague in Euros? Thanks.
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Old Dec 13th, 2004, 07:41 PM
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annetti: I can't remember what we paid but when we were in Prague last April it was still Czech koruna- it hadn't gone Euro yet and the exchange rate was fairly good. We traveled with our daughter and we had a two bedroom suite at Pension Dienztenhofer. Check out their website for rates and email them. They were very accomodating- they did not require a deposit- and they arranged pick up for us at the airport for a fee.
risab is offline  
Old Dec 15th, 2004, 11:00 AM
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For your 2 days in another city, you might want to consider Dresden. It is only a 2 hour train ride from Prague, so you could even do it as a day trip.
nicki is offline  
Old Dec 15th, 2004, 02:54 PM
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I can highly recommend the Pension Museum in Vienna, a nice 4* pension very near the museums and less than a block to the Volksoper ubahn stop--if you are looking for reasonable places in that city. It is just outside the ring but I really liked the area and it was very convenient. Doubles are about 90 euro. Here's some info with a link to their web site
http://www.wcities.com/en/record/,52021/94/record.html

I haven't stayed in that cheap a hotel in Prague, so can't recommend anything from personal experience. It depends on what you are expecting, also, as a reasonable price. There are lots of good places, I know the CLoister Inn is a good central location and reliable, although maybe not exciting www.cloister-inn.com

I've been to Prague a couple times in the last five years, and the exchange rate is not good and hasn't been for several years, at least in comparison to the USD, which I think is what risab is referring to. It wasn't good last April historically, and bad USD exchange rates vs. other currencies isn't mainly a function of the euro. I've seen some people on this board think that, and that is a misunderstanding. THe USD has fallen more against the koruna than against the euro over the last couple years. When I was there the first time (in May 2001), I got about 40 CK for 1 USD, and now you get 23. That is a drop of about 40 pct in value. By comparison, the value of USD vs. euro has dropped about 33 pct over that same time period. The USD vs. CK was not high last Spring, either, just slightly more than now. Now that is against the USD, so if you come from a euro-using country, you shouldn't see those kind of price differentials in comparison to a couple years ago like I have. They have a sister hostel-type facility that is even cheaper which is probably on that link.

Of those cities, Prague and Krakow are my favorites, but I'll have to spend more time in Budapest probably since so many people really like it. I loved Krakow, and also Prague. Krakow is cheaper than Prague.
Christina is offline  
Old Dec 15th, 2004, 06:20 PM
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Hi Lizward,

I'm not sure if you are flying to Prague from the US. If you are, I did the same thing last year but in March. I found a really good package from Austrian airlines for 3 nights at a hotel, return airfare, breakfast and free public transportation pass for only $399! The package was through Austrian Airlines vacations. Here is the website:
http://www.imtc-travel.com/
this package seems to suit you:
http://www.austrianair-vacations.com/aweekaway.htm

rv224 is offline  
Old Dec 15th, 2004, 06:20 PM
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Christina I am glad that I am not the only one who has found that Prague is not inexpensive. I keep reading on this site how inexpensive it is and perhaps that is true for those not coming from the US. In my research for the past 4 months for a trip in March I am finding hotels to be over $200 unless you want to stay in an apartment. This will not change my mind about the trip but to say Prague is inexpensive seems to be untrue. In any city if you eat where the locals eat the food is generally less expensive and I would expect the same in Prague. But hotels in Prague seem to be the same price as any major city.
sylviam is offline  
Old Dec 15th, 2004, 07:11 PM
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We stayed at B 35 Pension in Prague - very inexpensive and quite nice. Centrally located just 6 minutes away from Wenceslas Square by tram (No.11). Triple with shared bath for 42 Euro, including breakfast. Triple with private bath for 76.5 Euro. We chose the shared bath, and the facilities were immaculate.

Look for it at http://www.pension.cz/index.aspx by selecting "B 35 Pension" in the "name of pension" drop down box.

B-35's own internet site is http://www.b35.cz, but the rates (in Czech Koruny) are higher that way, so you'll probably want to go through the booking site I listed first.
Leonard_R is offline  
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