Vienna and then where?

Aug 6th, 2003, 11:29 PM
  #1  
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Vienna and then where?

I will be in Vienna at a conference in October for a week and then want to extend my visit beyond Vienna for approx. another week. Have toured western Europe and have always had Prague and Budapest on my radar screen but would appreciate suggestions for a practical one week rail linked extension from Vienna. Suggestions would be welcome. I used this site for travel suggestions in China and Cambodia last fall and learned a lot. Thanks in advance.
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Aug 7th, 2003, 02:05 AM
  #2  
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Both Prague and Budapest are fairly easy to reach from Vienna by train and both offer very interesting contrast to Vienna. I think you could do both in one full week...Budapest first and then Prague especially if you could fly into Vienna and out of Prague. If I had to choose one of the two, especially if you must fly back out of Vienna then it would probably be Prague which I think you could easily spend three days in...but two full days in Budapest and three in Prague would also give enough time to rail between Vienna and Budapest and then between Budapest and Prague (the longer of the two train trips)..and October would mean fewer tourists and, hopefully, still decent weather.
 
Aug 7th, 2003, 06:04 AM
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Teej:

After reading lovasa's Trip Report on Vienna & the impact of the heat, October should be much more comfortable.

Since your confrence is in Vienna & your planning on staying an extra week - do you intend to do the Vienna tourist thing while the confrence is on and spend the extra week doing the Budapest/Prague tourist stuff -or- does the extra week include touring Vienna as well ?

The reason I'm asking is last March we did a one week tour of Budapest/Vienna (3 nights each, flew into Budapest & out of Vienna, with train between cities) and it was the right length of time could have used maybe an extra day or two, but would have been impossible to have squeezed in a 3rd city. While if the extra week is for Budapest/Prague then you should be fine.

Train between Budapest/Vienna was under 3 hours & a 1st class ticket was under $50usd. I think Budapest & Vienna to Prague is just over 6 hours (I've not taken that trip & I do recall a previous posting saying that the Budapest/Prague train went through a 3rd country where a visa was reguired).

My travelogue on Budapest/Vienna is posted at "http://travel.masterpiece-cs.com" and I actually much preferred Budapest over Vienna, as Budapest was more 'natural' (less 'touristy').

Hope this helps,

Z
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Aug 7th, 2003, 06:26 AM
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I would think that any Budapest to Prague train would go through Slovakia (unless it goes through Austria) and I didn't think that visas were required for Americans to go through Slovakia. Maybe for someone from another country tho. If I were going to see Prague and Budapest, I would give more time to Prague. JMHO
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Aug 7th, 2003, 06:36 AM
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If you integrate Prague in your itinerary, you will not be disappointed. The Marriott and the Rennaissance Hotel are very centrally located and you can wander the old city of prague by feet. Or pay more and stay at the intercontinental or the four seasons with a magnificient view to the castle above the river moldau, which is lightened at night !! Also do not miss out to amke a daytrip to Theresienstadt a world war II KZ (concentration camp something like guantanamo bay or so), train rides are ok, but do not expect the czech or hungarian trains as comfortable as austrian or american ones. U might as your airline for stopover in vienna to fly to prague or/and budapest.

Prague has a slight french youthstyle in their architecture and local food (often very heavy) is rich in flavour and not expensive. Many czech people speak french to and it's a liberal city - you can feel it everywhere - especially at night.
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Aug 7th, 2003, 06:44 AM
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I'd head south to Slovenia. Stop first in Lake Bled, then Ljubljana, then Piran. Get there now, before it becomes Prague-ified. (I love Prague, but to me it's less fun now than it was 5-10 years ago.
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Aug 8th, 2003, 09:43 PM
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Thank you all: Intrepid, Travelmaster (enjoyed your trip report), Kristinelaine, Confidential and Robbydee (I've heard nice things about Slovenia). My first time back to this site in a year and your help and suggestions are much appreciated!
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Aug 8th, 2003, 10:08 PM
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If you haven't been to Prague or Budapest, then go there in your extra week. The train takes about 8 hours and passes thru Slovakia.
I went from Vienna to Krakow (7 hours) and enjoyed it and Zakopane with side trip to Auschwitz/Birkenau.
Another option with Slovenia is Croatia (Split and Dubrovnik).
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Aug 8th, 2003, 10:55 PM
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Linda: Thanks for the message. Do you suggest the full week for Prague and Budapest or would it make sense to try and work in Krakow as well even with a 7 hour train trip to get there? How would you rate Krakow for general interest against Prague or Budapest if you think there is only reasonable time for two cities in this week of travel after I leave Vienna?
Thanks,
TJ
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Aug 9th, 2003, 12:28 AM
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Americans don't require visas in any of these countries, but it never hurts to check. Last April I was on the train from Vienna to Prague and my seatmate was a lady from Australia. She was made to get off the train at the last stop (also the first stop)before the Czech border because she did not have a visa for the Czech Republic. She was very upset because she was supposed to fly out of Prague two days later. In the discussions that followed with other passengers after this incident, I was told that Canadians also required a visa for the Czech Republic. I haven't attempted to verify it.
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Aug 9th, 2003, 10:52 AM
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Unless it has changed very recently, Canadians must get a visa for the Czech Republic.
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Aug 9th, 2003, 07:13 PM
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Teej:

Glad you found the travelogue of value, I wasn't as thorough with it as the Kenya trip. Spent too much time in the evenings on the Budapest/Vienna trip doing work related stuff & not enough time 'on vacation'. I intend to do a better job with this falls trip to New Zealand.

Z
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Aug 9th, 2003, 07:36 PM
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You should do only 2 cities. The Vienna/Prague/Budapest is a good combination because the cities were part of the same empire. Their recent history are totally different and that makes for interesting comparisons. That being said, Krakow is very different from any of the 3 so a Vienna/Prague/Krakow or Vienna/Budapest/Krakow option would be good as well. As for rating--that's a tough one. I guess I would do Vienna and Prague and then either Budapest or Krakow. You are lucky because October is a much better time for all the cities. The "gypsies" are gone and not so many tourists.
LindaW is offline  
Aug 10th, 2003, 08:18 PM
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Thank you all for your suggestions and information. Based on the posts from Harold1 and Kristinelaine (and my Canadian passport) it sounds like I may need a visa to get to Prague. If that is indeed the case your information has saved me a disappointment at the border because I wouldn't have thought of that as a requirement. How can I confirm that is the case and how does one get a Czech visitors visa? Last year I needed visas for China, Vietnam and Cambodia and they were time consuming processes that I almost left too late prior to departure. I know I'm asking a bunch of questions but the expertise on this thread is remarkable so if you'll indulge me a couple more, I would appreciate accommodation recommendations for Prague and Budapest (safe/clean/private bathroom - 2 stars -usually suffice for my post business travel. Thank you in advance for your time and sharing your experiences.
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Aug 10th, 2003, 08:46 PM
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Check with the Canadian government web site for the visa information.
As for accommodations in Prague, we stayed at Pension Balbin on Balbinova, near the Muzeum Metro & Wenceslas Square. It is on the top floors of an apartment building with locked door to outside so safe. You go up one flight of stairs to the elevator. The rooms are clean, have shower & toilet, skylights. The buffet breakfast is very good and the staff English-speaking and very helpful. You are about 5-10 minute walk to just about anywhere you want to go. Be sure to see the Charles Bridge at night. We stayed in a private home in Budapest and they aren't accepting people any more so I can't help there.
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Aug 14th, 2003, 10:08 PM
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Linda, thanks for the recommendation on the Prague accommodation. Just got my computer back from service or would have been more prompt with my reply. Can you advise if the Pension Balbin that you referenced is available by e-mail?
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Aug 14th, 2003, 10:13 PM
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http://www.balbin.cz/balbin_en.htm

Try this website.
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Aug 18th, 2003, 10:30 PM
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Linda, again, sincere thanks for your helpful and prompt advice.
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