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14-16 Days in Central/Eastern Europe

Washington, DC
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14-16 Days in Central/Eastern Europe

My wife and I will be traveling with another couple to Europe next September/October for roughly 2 weeks. The places of interest for this trip were Vienna, Budapest, Krakow, Prague and Munich for Oktoberfest for a few days, but this is only a rough list. Is 14-16 days enough time to visit 5 countries via train/plane if you stay in the cities and don't venture to far off. Is it worth getting a rail pass? Can we fit another city like Zurich in or is that too much? We are not big on museums or big group tours - rather explore the city ourselves. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Brno, Czech Republic
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1. Re: 14-16 Days in Central/Eastern Europe

Don't bother with Zurich - nothing wrong with the city, but it is geared towards big business and is not what you might expect from Switzerland (i.e. in the way of mountains, etc). You might also be pushing it with Krakow as well, as it is an overnight trip by train from anywhere. Plane is possible between Prague and Krakow, but a lot more expensive and you would eat up much of a day flying, whereas you would not do so overnight on the train.

Train makes most sense for all your journeys, but do NOT use Rail Europe or get a Eurail pass - these journeys can be done very cheaply. You will also have to decide where you want to start. The most logical would be Budapest - Vienna - Krakow - Prague - Munich but given your requirements I would reluctantly miss out Krakow or you will spend all your time travelling/settling in, especially as you say you want to spend a few days in Munich. Personally though I would miss out Munich as Oktoberfest is of absolutely zero interest to me :)

You will not be able to get tickets until nearer the time as the timetables are not even out until next year. Prague to Munich can even be bought on the day - if there are two of you currently this will only set you back €22 using the cheapest method.

Washington, DC
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2. Re: 14-16 Days in Central/Eastern Europe

Thanks for the response. We actually discussed skipping Zurich last night before reading this. Would you throw in a city like Berlin instead of Zurich or because of the distance - try to stay with closer cities? We would be OK with doing an overnight train to Krakow and then flying home from there.

Washington, DC
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3. Re: 14-16 Days in Central/Eastern Europe

Also, we have always wanted to Oktoberfest for a day or two which is why it is part of the itinerary. I know it is not for everyone, but it happens to be on our bucket list. Appreciate your opinion though.

Brno, Czech Republic
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4. Re: 14-16 Days in Central/Eastern Europe

Stick with the cities you originally mentioned, or shift it up one notch, skipping Budapest to include Berlin. With the exception of Krakow, they are all on the same main line. However you then have the problem of where to fit Munich in - if you want to go to Munich from Berlin then you will have to extend your budget a bit as the cheapest seats on trains and planes will sell out immediately during Oktoberfest.

Budapest, Hungary
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5. Re: 14-16 Days in Central/Eastern Europe

Or kick out Prague, since there is a direct train between Budapest, Vienna and München. :)

Brno, Czech Republic
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6. Re: 14-16 Days in Central/Eastern Europe

That of course is also possible :)

If you really want to squeeze in another city it would also be a great shame to miss out the Czech Republic's finest city http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lklJMAUb7k guardian.co.uk/travel/2010/jun/19/low-cost-f… - in September it is wine harvest season in that region, and you could easily spend all your time just in that area

mikulov.cz/tourism/introduction-of-the-town/

www.moravskykras.net/en/moravian-karst.html

http://www.zamky-hrady.cz/2/pernstejn-e.htm

etc

Las Vegas, Nevada
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7. Re: 14-16 Days in Central/Eastern Europe

Regarding Oktoberfest in Munich, remember that it's more of a September-fest than an Oktoberfest most years. This year it ends on October 3, 2011. In 2012, it starts September 22 and ends October 7. So Munich is likely going to be Stop 1 in your road trip. A road trip from Munich to Vienna to Budapest is very do-able in that time period via the rails. You could even add a day trip from Vienna to Bratislava, Slovakia, if you want to check off another country on your "been there done that" list. I know this is the Czech forum, but I would add that you really do not want to miss Budapest.

It's going to take a little work and time sacrifice to get Krakow and Prague into this itinerary, like spending the money on a flight, or giving up a day for a long train ride, but in the 16-day version of the trip, it can work. You can do both, but I think that will leave you with a lot of 3-night/2-day destinations. If you sacrifice one of the above -- and Krakow might be the odd-city-out based on geographical considerations, you could even do some day trips from your destinations, such as a Salzburg jaunt from Munich (everyone seems to love Salzburg although I have no first-hand knowledge) or the aforementioned Bratislava from Vienna.

Edited: 25 September 2011, 19:10
8. Re: 14-16 Days in Central/Eastern Europe

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