Vienna/Prague/Budapest by Car

Old May 11th, 2017, 11:41 AM
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Vienna/Prague/Budapest by Car

We are a family of four (with 6 and 9 yrs old kids) and have planned a trip to see the Central/Eastern Europe from June 8th to June 20th. We will be arriving in Vienna around noon on the 8th... we plan to spend 3 days in Vienna and pick up a rental car to see the rest of the place... Come back to Vienna on 20th and take the flight back. While trains are always preferable, we chose the car since it will be cheaper for 4.... not to mention it helps with the luggage and provides easy access to smaller towns..... and reaching the airbnb hosts. Here is the itinerary(subject to change).
6/8 - Arrive Vienna @ noon (3 days)
6/11 - Pick up a car and do a day trip to Hallstatt and spend the night in Cesky Krumlov
6/12 evening (or may be 6/13) - Drive to Prage (3 days)
6/16 - Day trip to to Bratislava, Slovakia and spend the night in Budapest (3 days)
6/20 - Drive back to Vienna, drop the car and catch a flight.

How does this plan look?
Would it be advisable to pick up the car upon arrival in Vienna?
Would it make possible to take a day trip to Eger from Budapest?
Should we also stop by Brno, Czechia on our way from Prage to Budapest (already planning a few hours in Bratislava)? - May be cut a day from Vienna since we have 3.5 days there?
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Old May 11th, 2017, 12:01 PM
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Would it be advisable to pick up the car upon arrival in Vienna?>

No cars are useless in large cities and public transports so so good = you may want to consider a day trip by train and boat to the Wachau Valley -train to Melk - see famous Melk Abbey - hop boats thru the wondrous vineyard-laden Wachau Valley to cute Durnstein - primo town with ruined castle and surrounded by vineyards -take bus to Krens - large city but nice to wander around and and train back to Vienna - everyone loves this excursion, almost:

https://www.google.com/search?q=wach...w=1745&bih=864

For lots on trains and this excursion check www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.seat61.com.
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Old May 11th, 2017, 12:07 PM
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According to viamichelin.com, driving Vienna-Hallstatt-Cesky Krumlov will take seven hours and cost 70 euro. I don't think you will see much of Hallstatt.

It makes more sense to do Bratislava as a day trip from Vienna, or on the way to Vienna from Budapest.

Prague to Budapest is also around seven hours.

What time is your flight out of Vienna?

I suggest spending some time with a map and viamichelin and reworking this.
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Old May 11th, 2017, 02:38 PM
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This picture and the subsequent ones were taken in Austria on our way to Prague: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca...7622926792957/

And starting with this picture is the continuation of our trip to Prague: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca...7623046345988/

It might give you some ideas in organizing your road trip.
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Old May 11th, 2017, 10:26 PM
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"How does this plan look?"

With all sincerity, this is a checklist, not a plan. Too much driving and too little sight-seeing.

6/8 - Arrive Vienna @ noon (3 days)
No, you have 2 days plus whatever may be left after clearing immigration, gathering your luggage, and reaching your hotel.

6/11 - Pick up a car and do a day trip to Hallstatt and spend the night in Cesky Krumlov
Not feasible. See thursdaysd's response.

6/16 - Day trip to to Bratislava, Slovakia and spend the night in Budapest (3 days) Should we also stop by Brno, Czechia on our way from Prage to Budapest (already planning a few hours in Bratislava)?
No. The drive in good weather, and with no traffic or construction is 6 hours. You have no time for either Brno or Bratislava.

I agree that you should plot this on a map, and prioritize what you and the family want to see and do that will not result in hours on end in the car (especially for the children.) Keep in mind your unfamiliarity with driving (and parking) in these countries; little things like eating and using public facilities (some of which are not the best along the autobahns); and the time required for logistics.
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Old May 12th, 2017, 01:32 AM
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>

Very unrealistic, not to mention no fun, especially for kids.
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Old May 12th, 2017, 11:21 AM
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Less can indeed be more - those are long long car days -I suppose you have done so at home?

Drop Hallstatt and C Krumlov and perhaps just take trains between cities?
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Old May 12th, 2017, 10:13 PM
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The other way you could go is to drop Budapest and add days to the remaining cities. This also gives you time in Bratislava and Brno.
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Old May 13th, 2017, 06:55 AM
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Thanks for all the valuable input. We have indeed done a quite a few road trips locally and love flexibility it offers. However, I agree we may have to either drop a couple of small towns or cut out a day or two from the bigger ones since kids won't like the museums or all historical stuff (same for wineries or beer gardens).
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Old May 13th, 2017, 09:02 AM
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"However, I agree we may have to either drop a couple of small towns or cut out a day or two from the bigger ones since kids won't like the museums or all historical stuff (same for wineries or beer gardens)."

Why on earth are you bringing the family to Central Europe, then? All of the cities on your itinerary are rife wth "museums and historical stuff."
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Old May 13th, 2017, 09:03 AM
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What DO the kids like?
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Old May 13th, 2017, 12:37 PM
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We flew into Prague & stayed for 5 nights - I always add 1 night to the arrival city to recover from jet lag & to get oriented. We then picked up a car when leaving Prague and t drove to Cesky Krumlov (2 nights - with a short day trip to Trebon), Passau 2 nights with a day trip to several places, then Melk for 5 nights. Then we drove to Budapest (5 nights) - stopping for an overnight in Sopron to break up the drive.

Driving into Budapest was a nightmare. We did U-turns on the "divided" autoroute, wrong way on many one-way streets, and made several left turns where left turns were not allowed. Many people were honking at us. Allow yourself at least 30-45 mins to get lost & confused in Budapest. Tell the kids to cover their ears when the shouting and profanity starts within your car.

Stu Dudley
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