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Old Oct 24, 07, 9:47 am   #1
 
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Cheapest City in E. Europe to fly into from US?

In March 2008, me and 3 friends are flying from DC (Pref DCA, but we'll do IAD/BWI) to eastern Europe. We want to visit germany, hungary, romania, czech republic, and maybe russia.

My question is, what is the cheapest city to fly into for our trip? Since we'll be taking the train everywhere, we don't really care where we fly into or out of!

We plan to be there at least 7-10 days...

Any other tips on how to get around (plane vs train) would be welcome!

Last edited by technique; Oct 26, 07 at 6:48 am.
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Old Oct 24, 07, 10:46 am   #2
 
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One thing you might consdier when looking for a cheap fare is to fly into a western European city, and connecting on a LLC to your final destination. London used to be a good gateway, but now that the taxes have increased so much, I don't know it that is still true. Dublin could be another option if you choose to go this route.
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Old Oct 24, 07, 1:20 pm   #3
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Thats a very ambitious plan for 7-10 days

You may wanna consider open-jaw ticket, fly into one place and fly out of another, like fly into Germany and out of Romania for example

THIS FARECOMPARE SEARCH is your best friend,


THIS SEARCH is a good tool for cheap flights within Europe. Flew SkyEurope from Vienna to Bucharest for 19 Euro all in during the summer
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Old Oct 24, 07, 2:40 pm   #4
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Definitely do an open-jaw, so that you can save some money in not going back to where you started from. Other than that, differences will be quite small and most probably limited to differences in taxes and charges...
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Old Oct 26, 07, 1:07 am   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by technique View Post
We want to visit germany, hungary, romania, budapest, and maybe switzerland.
Quote:
Originally Posted by technique View Post
We plan to be there at least 7-10 days...
If you really want to see something and don't want your trip to be one mad dash from one place to another, chasing trains in between, pick 2 countries/cities (btw, Budapest is city in a country called Hungary... just to clarify) if you plan your trip for 7 days, 3 cities if 10.
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Old Oct 26, 07, 2:14 am   #6
 
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Originally Posted by technique View Post
Since we'll be taking the train everywhere, we don't really care where we fly into or out of!

We plan to be there at least 7-10 days...

Any other tips on how to get around (plane vs train) would be welcome!
Have your bachelor party in Vegas. Bush bucks spend better there.
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Old Oct 26, 07, 11:31 am   #7
 
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Originally Posted by LKHK View Post
If you really want to see something and don't want your trip to be one mad dash from one place to another, chasing trains in between, pick 2 countries/cities (btw, Budapest is city in a country called Hungary... just to clarify) if you plan your trip for 7 days, 3 cities if 10.
You'll obviously see more if you take more time, but there's nothing wrong with seeing the highlights of a lot of places while only spending a day or two in each. I've taken a number of 10-day trips visiting six or so cities in Europe and found this still leaves enough time to see the most interesting sights in each place, and stay a little longer in whichever you find you like best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by technique View Post
We want to visit germany, hungary, romania, czech republic, and maybe russia.

My question is, what is the cheapest city to fly into for our trip? Since we'll be taking the train everywhere, we don't really care where we fly into or out of!

We plan to be there at least 7-10 days...

Any other tips on how to get around (plane vs train) would be welcome!
That said, you should probably give up on trying to get to Russia, as that will take a full day on the train each way from any of the other places you list, and furthermore has annoying visa requirements and isn't covered by eurail/interrail passes or served by LCCs.

As has been suggested, you can look at the farecompare map to find the cheapest places in Europe to get to, and then use kayak to find the cheapest flights to them. It could be cheaper to change to an LCC in DUB or elsewhere, but won't necessarily be, and for example there seem to be some reasonably cheap flights from IAD to TXL (Berlin) on kayak.

Once you're there, it should be entirely possible to do Berlin-Prague-Budapest-Romania by train, and is likely to be a lot more pleasant than flying. You could get an open-jaw back from Romania, or use easyjet or SkyEurope to fly back to where you landed originally or to somewhere from which open-jaws are cheaper.

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Have your bachelor party in Vegas. Bush bucks spend better there.
I presume he actually wants to enjoy his trip, so that doesn't sound like a very good plan.
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Old Oct 26, 07, 12:00 pm   #8
 
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Originally Posted by lexande View Post
You'll obviously see more if you take more time, but there's nothing wrong with seeing the highlights of a lot of places while only spending a day or two in each. I've taken a number of 10-day trips visiting six or so cities in Europe and found this still leaves enough time to see the most interesting sights in each place, and stay a little longer in whichever you find you like best.


That said, you should probably give up on trying to get to Russia, as that will take a full day on the train each way from any of the other places you list, and furthermore has annoying visa requirements and isn't covered by eurail/interrail passes or served by LCCs.

As has been suggested, you can look at the farecompare map to find the cheapest places in Europe to get to, and then use kayak to find the cheapest flights to them. It could be cheaper to change to an LCC in DUB or elsewhere, but won't necessarily be, and for example there seem to be some reasonably cheap flights from IAD to TXL (Berlin) on kayak.

Once you're there, it should be entirely possible to do Berlin-Prague-Budapest-Romania by train, and is likely to be a lot more pleasant than flying. You could get an open-jaw back from Romania, or use easyjet or SkyEurope to fly back to where you landed originally or to somewhere from which open-jaws are cheaper.


I presume he actually wants to enjoy his trip, so that doesn't sound like a very good plan.
Thank you VERY much for the excellent advice... In fact, I believe we are about to book (reservation is on hold) to fly into Berlin and out of Bucharest...

On AA flying DCA-JFK-LHR-TXL returning OTP-LHR-ORD-DCA $675 AI

Tentative itinerary:
Arrive Berlin (Spend 2 days in Berlin)
Train to Prague (Spend 2 days in Prague)
Train to Budapest (Spend 2 days in Budapest)
Train to Bucharest (Spend 2 days in Bucharest)

We live within 10 minutes of DCA so IAD/BWI are not acceptable really, unless the savings was at least $200, and even then, probably not
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Old Oct 26, 07, 12:14 pm   #9
 
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I can't wait to go back to the Ukraine...

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Old Oct 26, 07, 12:43 pm   #10
 
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I can't wait to go back to the Ukraine...

--Russ
As a great philosopher once said...

"well the Ukraine girls really knock me out,
they leave the west behind"
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Old Oct 26, 07, 6:34 pm   #11
 
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Originally Posted by technique View Post
Thank you VERY much for the excellent advice... In fact, I believe we are about to book (reservation is on hold) to fly into Berlin and out of Bucharest...

On AA flying DCA-JFK-LHR-TXL returning OTP-LHR-ORD-DCA $675 AI

Tentative itinerary:
Arrive Berlin (Spend 2 days in Berlin)
Train to Prague (Spend 2 days in Prague)
Train to Budapest (Spend 2 days in Budapest)
Train to Bucharest (Spend 2 days in Bucharest)

We live within 10 minutes of DCA so IAD/BWI are not acceptable really, unless the savings was at least $200, and even then, probably not
Sounds like a good trip . One thing I've been told is that Bucharest isn't very nice (the Ceaucescu regime destroyed a lot of the city's historical architecture and sights) and that there were better places to visit in Romania, though I'm not sure where, and you'd want to fly out of OTP at any rate. Will you be travelling on a railpass? It's nice to have flexibility if you decide you want to stay somewhere for more or less time than originally planned, but as Eurail passes don't cover the Czech Republic or the cost of sleeper supplements, single tickets might work out cheaper for your itinerary.
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Old Oct 26, 07, 6:44 pm   #12
 
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Originally Posted by lexande View Post
Sounds like a good trip . One thing I've been told is that Bucharest isn't very nice (the Ceaucescu regime destroyed a lot of the city's historical architecture and sights) and that there were better places to visit in Romania, though I'm not sure where, and you'd want to fly out of OTP at any rate. Will you be travelling on a railpass? It's nice to have flexibility if you decide you want to stay somewhere for more or less time than originally planned, but as Eurail passes don't cover the Czech Republic or the cost of sleeper supplements, single tickets might work out cheaper for your itinerary.
Where else in Romania do you suggest?

Yes, I looked into rail passes but it seems the single tickets are cheaper, and we're not going to make any reservations, so we should have decent flexibility...
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Old Oct 27, 07, 11:38 pm   #13
 
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oneworld has a European airpass that can be used in conjunction with a trans-Atlantic ticket. Using this gives you flexibility with your dates [not your destinations unless you pay a penalty] and you get the same baggage allowance that you get across the Atlantic rather than the 20 kg max or sometimes 15 kg that you would encounter on a LCC.

www.oneworld.com/ow/air-travel-options/single-continent-fares/visit-europe


I would strongly suggest that you read and experiment with the rules and routes on this page before you call AA.

Romania - Tirgu Mures.

Last edited by thefareguru; Oct 27, 07 at 11:44 pm.
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Old Oct 28, 07, 9:48 am   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lexande View Post
You'll obviously see more if you take more time, but there's nothing wrong with seeing the highlights of a lot of places while only spending a day or two in each. I've taken a number of 10-day trips visiting six or so cities in Europe and found this still leaves enough time to see the most interesting sights in each place, and stay a little longer in whichever you find you like best.


That said, you should probably give up on trying to get to Russia, as that will take a full day on the train each way from any of the other places you list, and furthermore has annoying visa requirements and isn't covered by eurail/interrail passes or served by LCCs.

As has been suggested, you can look at the farecompare map to find the cheapest places in Europe to get to, and then use kayak to find the cheapest flights to them. It could be cheaper to change to an LCC in DUB or elsewhere, but won't necessarily be, and for example there seem to be some reasonably cheap flights from IAD to TXL (Berlin) on kayak.

Once you're there, it should be entirely possible to do Berlin-Prague-Budapest-Romania by train, and is likely to be a lot more pleasant than flying. You could get an open-jaw back from Romania, or use easyjet or SkyEurope to fly back to where you landed originally or to somewhere from which open-jaws are cheaper.


I presume he actually wants to enjoy his trip, so that doesn't sound like a very good plan.
Russia is served by LCC's. Try Air Berlin, Germanwings, or Air Baltic.

I would use the night trains to conserve time, like between Budapest and BUcharest but try to avoid using them during the day.

I would also look at the LCC's for travel between cities. Sometimes they are cheaper than train fare! If you fly into Frankfurt, RyanAir has a large base at Frankfurt-Hahn (there is a bus from the main Frankfurt airport). Also from Germany, look at both Germanwings and Air Berlin. Wizz and SkyEurope also both serve some of the places you are going, as does Smart Wings.
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Old Oct 28, 07, 9:51 am   #15
 
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Originally Posted by technique View Post
Where else in Romania do you suggest?

Yes, I looked into rail passes but it seems the single tickets are cheaper, and we're not going to make any reservations, so we should have decent flexibility...
Single tickets are usually a better deal than rail passes for most rail travel.

Romania - Sibiu, Siegeshoara, Brasov, Sinai
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