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Options for Prague-Vienna-Budapest itinerary?

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San Francisco...
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Options for Prague-Vienna-Budapest itinerary?

My husband & I are planning on spending 12 days (mid-July) in the area just before going to the Olympics in London, and we can't decide between a couple of itineraries. This will be our first time to any of these cities, though we've visited other areas of Europe many times before. Any suggestions?

OPTION 1:

Day 1: Arrive from US into Prague in afternoon

Day 2: Prague (Castle area / Mala Strana)

Day 3: Prague (Old Town / Jewish Quarter)

Day 4: Prague (hang around)

Day 5: Rent car & drive to Cesky Krumlov, stay overnight

Day 6: Drive Cesky Krumlov to Krems, perhaps wine tasting on the way

Day 7: Explore Krems area, drive to Vienna in the eve & drop off car

Day 8: Vienna

Day 9: Vienna

Day 10: Train Vienna to Budapest

Day 11: Budapest

Day 12: Budapest

Day 13: Early AM fly to London

OPTION 2:

Day 1-4: Prague as above

Day 5: Train Prague to Vienna

Day 6-8: Vienna

Day 9: Train Vienna to Budapest

Day 10-12: Budapest

Day 13: Fly to London

We're leaning towards option #1 to see more of the cute countryside, and while we're pretty comfortable driving in Europe (we drove around Greece & France for a month), I'm a bit worried about the one way car rental from Prague to Vienna. Is it that complicated, or our itinerary too rushed?

Or should we go with a more leisurely option #2, or perhaps just do one stopover (either Cesky Krumlov or Krems -- whichever is better) via bus instead on the way? If we should adjust the timing in the cities (e.g., less time in Prague, more in Vienna) that would be great info as well. As a note, we're not music people, and though we like museums, we likely won't be spending much if any time in them. While on vacation our favorite things are eating, exploring historic sites, and taking lots of photos!

Thanks in advance!

Prague, Czech...
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1. Re: Options for Prague-Vienna-Budapest itinerary?

Dear Pekoepeony, I like your first itinery, I am from Czech Republic and sure, to see Prague for a few days + Český Krumlov is a great idea! Don´t be afraind of driving. Prague - Český Krumlov about 2,5 hours. Český Krumlov - Vienna about 3 hours. Very nice scenes of the countryside, the hills on the border and Danube valley - I am sure, you will like it.

If you need any help with your stay in Prague and Czech Republic, you are welcome.....

the Czech Republic
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2. Re: Options for Prague-Vienna-Budapest itinerary?

If you wanted to do option 1 without a car, you could do everything besides Krems. Public transport to Krems from Cesky Krumlov or from Prague would require several train changes. You could still see Cesky Krumlov without a car (and then take one of the shuttle services to Vienna).

Charlotte, NC
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3. Re: Options for Prague-Vienna-Budapest itinerary?

The only problem I see is with:

Day 7: Explore Krems area, drive to Vienna in the eve & drop off car..

drop off car = expensive & some companies do not even allow it....

Prague, Czech...
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4. Re: Options for Prague-Vienna-Budapest itinerary?

Yes, that´s true. International companies are doing this, the price is higher.

The program depends on your budget too....

Berkshire, United...
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5. Re: Options for Prague-Vienna-Budapest itinerary?

If you still want one way rental, Prague Avis won't do it, but Hertz will....you need to ask for a quote.

Edited: 06 March 2012, 17:11
San Francisco...
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6. Re: Options for Prague-Vienna-Budapest itinerary?

Thanks everyone for input! Tilly, thanks for the suggestion with Hertz, I'll check with them on the cost of the one way rental & hopefully it's not exorbitant. I did some investigation and a couple other options may be for us to take a shuttle to Linz & rent a car there to drive the Wachau to Vienna; or to take a shuttle from CK to Melk and use that as a base for exploring the Wachau, then take a train in from Melk to Vienna.

Berkshire, United...
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7. Re: Options for Prague-Vienna-Budapest itinerary?

You could take a bus (student agency) to Cesky Krumlov, then a shuttle to Linz and perhaps hire a car in Linz....it will be cheaper even with a drop off in Vienna plus the car will have an Austrian motorway sticker.

Check the prices and decide.

the Czech Republic
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8. Re: Options for Prague-Vienna-Budapest itinerary?

Tilly's suggestion makes a lot of sense. Plus driving in the Czech Republic is not necessarily my idea of fun -- not as bad as some places but sometimes you wonder what happens to al those nice Czech people when they get into a car.

San Francisco...
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9. Re: Options for Prague-Vienna-Budapest itinerary?

I think the Linz option may be a good one as well. I just did a quick search on Hertz, and for those curious, a one way rental for 3 days from Prague to Vienna was $550!! However a one way rental for 2 days from Linz to Vienna was a much more reasonable $130. Considering it's only $25/person more for the car rental over shuttles/train ( the cost may equal out for groups larger than 2), it's probably worth it for the extra flexibility a car brings for exploring, plus the convenience of not having to shlep our (abundant) luggage around!

10. Re: Options for Prague-Vienna-Budapest itinerary?

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