We have a ten day trip planned to Prague, Krakow and Vienna. Most of our travel will be on overnight trains, so we won't be losing days to travel. Right now we have scheduled almost 3 days in Prague, almost 4 days in Krakow, and 3 days in Vienna. I've heard really good things about Krakow, so we wanted to spend more time there.... but I am not wondering if we should cut a day off in Vienna and add it to Prague or Krakow (for even a day trip). I hear that the people in Vienna are cold and everything is expensive. What do you think? We were thinking about going for a daytrip on the Danube while in Vienna. We originally decidded not to go to Budapest, but maybe we should go there instead of Vienna. What do people think? Thanks for your help!
Mar 12, 04, 3:14 pm
I haven't been to Krakow - but have heard it said that it's "pretty, but overrated".
I've never heard anyone say that people in Vienna are cold - certainly not my experience.
Unless you're planning to be in that part of the world soon I would include Budapest - definitely a place worth seeing. (I've been there twice, once last year and once on a back-packing trip in the old Communist days back in 1978... needless to say it was quite a different place back then!)
Mar 12, 04, 5:04 pm
I have been to all three, and I think you have picked an interesting and beautiful trip. My suggestion would be to take 1 day from Krakow and add it to Prague, which has considerably more to see and experience.
Mar 12, 04, 6:15 pm
I agree with Phil. I will even say that you can shave another day from Krakow.
Mar 12, 04, 6:48 pm
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by MSP2000:
I agree with Phil. I will even say that you can shave another day from Krakow.</font>Agreed. Take that day, add it to Vienna but use the day to make a day trip to Bratislava - an easy expres train ride and you're back in Vienna that night. This way you get to experience one more country.
Mar 13, 04, 1:18 am
The Viennese are wonderful and friendly. They are cultured and traditional. They value good maners and consideration. Children and teenagers will stand up in trains to give their seats to older people. They value courtesy and hate noisy brash inconsiderate people.
Mar 15, 04, 12:41 pm
I would spend a total of 2 days in Krakow - 1 full day in the city and the old ghetto, overnite , and then take a bus to Aushcwitz on day number 2 in Krakow, then back to Krakow at nite.
Dont know about Vienna - but 3 days in Prague is enough.
Mar 16, 04, 8:33 am
When are you going?
Mar 16, 04, 8:43 am
I will be going in June. Why do you ask?
Mar 16, 04, 8:53 am
sorry for the duplicate post.....
[This message has been edited by Sammy (edited Mar 16, 2004).]
Mar 17, 04, 3:21 am
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Sammy:
I will be going in June. Why do you ask?</font>
Well - because places like Vienna are completely different in Winter and Summer. Winter can be -20 and summer well into the swelter.
I'm there late June. We go every June and Every December. In case you're interested Cirque du Soleil are there for a lot of June.
Also a great experience (perhaps the same day) - and assuming you're not a veggie is The Swiss House for the very best Budvar in the whole wide world and some wonderful pork knuckles.
Also you can take the 38 tram up to Grinzing at lunch and sit in the garden of Martin Sepp - a Heurige.
Spend a lot of time in Vienna - it's just been voted the third best city in Europe to live in and this is a definite under-rate.
Post any more questions.
Mar 17, 04, 8:56 am
Thanks UK1 for the advice. Will definitely look into Cirque De Soleil. But my husband is a vegetarian and I don't eat prok, so we will skip the other suggestion. I'll let you know if I have any more questions. Thanks!
Mar 17, 04, 11:47 pm
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Sammy:
Thanks UK1 for the advice. Will definitely look into Cirque De Soleil. But my husband is a vegetarian and I don't eat prok, so we will skip the other suggestion. I'll let you know if I have any more questions. Thanks!</font>
You will enjoy the area in front of the Rathausplatz (Townhall) where for some or all of June they have what is in effect a very large open air "food mall". A sort of "tables of the world" where you can all choose your own favourite food including veg, indian, chinese, italian etc and eat together.
Mar 19, 04, 11:57 am
I agree with UK1--def. check out Grinzing..for the wine garten..esp. that time of year. It is mainly a street where everyone makes their own wine and serves it with food. It is so relaxing...Depending on how adventurous you are, you can rent a bicycle and bike out there...all of the Uban (train system) allows bikes....just ask them about it...almost everyone younger will speak english there..
Mar 19, 04, 12:12 pm
Thanks for all of your great ideas uk1 and worldtraveler04. I will also be in Vienna during the last week of June.
[This message has been edited by Sammy (edited Mar 19, 2004).]
Mar 20, 04, 12:31 am
You don't have to be Gay to enjoy the Gay Pride event on 26th June - a great parade and spectacle.
With the greatest respect to other posts don't cycle from central Vienna to Grinzing whatever you do. It's around 30 minutes by tram and I guess an hour or two on the bike - and not an undangerous route. Also who wants to cycle back after all that wine!? There's no train station at Grinzing. Also don't expect eating in the streets there. It's eating in gardens - and only a few are open at lunch. So it's relaxing. It's better at lunch than in the evening when it'll be full of japanese tourists on coach trips taking pictures of each other and of packeged Heurige events. It's very quiet at lunch. If you feel like a walk afterwards take the 38a bus (you probably arrived on the 38 tram) up the Kahlen to the top for great views over vienna and walks through the vinyards where the wine you've been drinking comes from. A great way to waste the best part of a day.
All in all I think you have a great Vienna mapped out". Hope you enjoy it.
Mar 22, 04, 1:22 am
I visited the three of those cities last summer. Prague is very compact and will only require 2-3 days. Krakow is also very compact, but the salt mine and Auchwitz will eat up 1.5 days. I suggest 3-4 days here. (Bus to Auchwitz leaves from *behind* the train station -- go in through the front and out the back. It's very cheap and comfortable compared to the other options. Be very careful to check the times for a tour in English. Minibusses to the salt mine leave from in front of the train station). Vienna is a much larger city in scale and has a lot more major national museums and things to see than the others. 3-4 days. If you run out of things to do, you can run over to Bratislava or Budapest for a day trip. (Hydrofoil + train package).
Mar 23, 04, 6:10 am
FOR THE PAST THREE YEARS I HAVE TRAVELED ALMOST THE SAME ITINERARY YOU HAVE CHOSEN. MY OPINION IS THAT KRAKOW DAYS CAN BE FILLED COMPLETELY WITH MANY THINGS TO SEE INCLUDING THE SALT MINES ETC.. PRAGUE OF COURSE HAS MANY MORE VENTURES, BUT VIENNA AFTER THE FIRST TRIP HAS BEEN DEFINITELY OUT FOR ME. I AGREE THAT IT IS EXPENSIVE AND PEOPLE NOT AS FRIENDLY. BUDAPEST IS ONE GREAT CITY BUT TWO DAYS THERE WOULD BE ENOUGH. MY RECOMMENDATION WOULD BE TO RENT A CAR AND MAKE THE COMPLETE TRIP THAT WAY, RATHER THAN TRAIN. WE DRIVE IT EACH YEAR WITHOUT ANY PROBLEMS AND SEEING THE COUNTRYSIDE AND VISITING WITH THE LOCAL PEOPLE IS MORE THAN AWESOME IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC, POLAND, AUSTRIA AND THAT REGION. DRIVING IS EASY, NOT THAT EXPENSIVE AND THAT IS THE ONLY WAY WE TRAVEL EACH YEAR.
AS FOR HOTELS IF YOU DO NOT HAVE THEM BOOKED, WE HAVE FOUND BEAUTIFUL BED AND BREAKFAST PLACES WITH FREE PARKING AND COSTS WITH BREAKFAST FOR ABOUT $40 PER DAY IN EACH OF THESE CITIES.
HAVE A GREAT TRIP AND DO NOT MISS THE DRIVE FROM BUDAPEST THROUGH VIENNA TOWARDS MELK ALONG THE DANUBE, IT IS BREATHTAKING.
Mar 23, 04, 9:07 am
Thanks the Traveler! Do you have any recommendations for places to stay? We will be traveling in June and think we need reservations before we leave... otherwise we won't beable to find reasonably priced places to stay.
Apr 2, 04, 8:54 pm
My advise: if you think that your will go back to those parts of Europe again, this time dedicate your trip to Cracow, Bratislava and Budapest. The reason is that Poland Slovakia and Hungary are just joining EU on May 1st. You will be able to benefit from the low prices that were common to countries like Spain and Greece prior to their ascent to the Union. In few years everything there will be reaching the levels of Vienna (just like Prague now).
Your intended itinerary somehow follows the core of the old Austrian Hungarian Empire, where the national anthem (Hayden's tune after WW1 "borrowed" by Germany) could be sung in any of the 17 languages incl. yiddish. The three official government use languages were German, Hungarian and Polish. Anyhow following your itinerary you will notice certain commonality in the architecture and mentality of the people, it still appears that the most popular colour of stucco is von Habsburgs' yellow.
Personally I have spent only 4 hrs in Bratislava but stayed over a weekend
in the Tatra mountains (the most affordable skiing weekend of my life), and was overwhelmed with their hospitality. Cracow (stayed about 4 times for a ttl of about 14 days) was once a capital of the most liberal and strongest Commonwealth of the continent, the Republic of Poland - Lithuania. Due to her economic strenght (and marriage of the elected King to the Italian Princess) Cracow and neighbouring towns of Zamosc and Kazimierz will give you examples of most beautiful gems of the Italian renaissance north of Alps. Also strong cultural center, Jagiellonian University founded 1364 (most famous graduates Copernicus and John Paul II whose name appears on KRK airport) two residents awarded with a Nobel prize in Literature (Milosz and Szymborska) Oskar winning director Wajda and one of the leading contemporary composers Pendercki. Make sure to visit restaurant "Wierzynek", it was founded in XIVth century during a summit of the Emperor of Holy Roman Empire, King of Poland, King of Hungary and King of Cyprus. On its guest lists you will notice names of three US Presidents, Gen. de Gaulle and most of the British Royal Family. I had a lovely dinner with my wife there 3 years ago. The bill that included wild boar steak, the pheasant, wine and Sacher coffee was less than $60.
Budapest the largest of the three, again lovely people, lovely cousine (if you like spicy food) and probably the world's best dessert wine: Tokaj. It is most expansive of three but not to Prague's level. (b.t.w. dont mention it to Slovaks but Slovakia for most of the previous millenium was part of the Kingdom of Hungary, hence you will frequently hear at the restaurant a Gypsy band playing the tunes reminiscent of List's Hungarian Rapsody, as well influence on the couisine).
Again my reccomendation comes from the point of view that in these three cities at this point you will receive most value for your money.
And before you go, read a beautiful book by Prof. Norman Davies "Europe - a History". Don't be intimidated by it's size it reads like a novel.....
Enjoy your trip!
Apr 2, 04, 11:40 pm
It would be a missed opprotunity to travel all the way to Europe and decide where to visit based on the idea that it's the last time to see a country "on the cheap" before it goes up in price. Also, I agree that average prices in Vienna are more than the other places but I promise you that it is possible to eat and drink in Vienna at low prices if that were the overiding requirement.
Apr 4, 04, 12:21 pm
My advise was based on a presumption that you would travel to Central Europe again, that would allow you to spend more time in Vienna and Austria in general. We are about to witness a very important moment in history when Hungary Slovakia and Poland are rejoining Europe after almoost five decades of the Soviet domination. Also another beautiful book recently released, that would allow you to better understand people in these parts of the world:
L.Olson & S.Cloud "A Question of Honor", but again book of Prof. Davies that became a fovourite of both Maggie Thatcher and Tony Blair gives the most comprehensive insight into the fascinating story of our continent...
Sep 24, 05, 8:29 am
Can you please tell me how long the journey from Krakow - Prague takes by car? I am thinking of doing it in 1 day? Also, any reccomendations on hire car companies will be much appreciated.
MY RECOMMENDATION WOULD BE TO RENT A CAR AND MAKE THE COMPLETE TRIP THAT WAY, RATHER THAN TRAIN. WE DRIVE IT EACH YEAR WITHOUT ANY PROBLEMS AND SEEING THE COUNTRYSIDE AND VISITING WITH THE LOCAL PEOPLE IS MORE THAN AWESOME IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC, POLAND, AUSTRIA AND THAT REGION. DRIVING IS EASY, NOT THAT EXPENSIVE AND THAT IS THE ONLY WAY WE TRAVEL EACH YEAR.