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Central Europe Itinerary - 4 Weeks

Mumbai, India
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Central Europe Itinerary - 4 Weeks

Hello everyone,

Tripadvisor has always helped me plan perfect holidays and now its turn to plan for a new adventure.

My wife and me are in our late twenties who love architecture, museums, history, churches and old towns. We don't like walking much but use public transport extensively. We travelled to Italy and French Riviera last year and fell in love with the places we visited and things we saw and hence decided to visit Europe again.

We are planning a trip to Central Europe for 4 weeks in the month of July. We have done our basic research and have been reading the forums for about a month in order to get a rough itinerary ready. The following is what we have roughly put down on paper.

Budapest (4N) - Vienna (4N) - Innsbruck (2N) - Salzburg (3N) - Cesky Krumlov (2N) - Prague (4N) - Krakow (3N) - Warsaw (2N) - Antwerp (6N)

We are starting the trip in Budapest at its the southern most city in our plan. We have to end our trip in Antwerp as we are visiting friends there. However we could fly into any of the cities as ticket prices are similar. We will be doing a day trip to Bratislava from Vienna, Hallstatt from Salzburg, Ceske Budejovice from CK.

Given the conditions we wanted your opinion on the route of cities we am travelling to, the number of nights in each destination, day trips from where we will be staying and if there are any other places you would suggest me to add.

If there any other info that you need in order to guide us better do let us know. Thanks for taking out the time to read my post and replying. Any and all opinions and advice are most welcome.

Regards, Rishi

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1. Re: Central Europe Itinerary - 4 Weeks

Hey Rishi!

Nice holiday you're planning!

With 4 weeks' time I would try to enlarge your circle a little bit. You seem to do mostly inner-city traveling, which works well with the train system in Eastern Europe, and it's possible to cover more distance than you think without having to sit endless hours in busses and such. As long as you like trains. But who doesn't?!

My gut feeling is that 4N in Vienna, 2N in Innsbruck and 3N in Salzburg is too much of the same after one another. I don't have anything against Austria but spending nearly 1,5 week there out of 4 just seems a little OTT. I'm not sure you need to go to Warsaw either. Pretty grim place if you ask me.

Also I would try to stay a little longer in Budapest, and maybe skip a day in Vienna. Vienna is beautiful but quite pricey and not as exciting to discover than Budapest, IMHO.

By the way, no offense meant to my slovakian friends, but Bratislava is not worth it. If you have the opportunity to go to the Slovakian mountains, they have some beautiful places, but Bratislava is really a castle surrounded with a soviet city.

On the plus side, I think Cesky Krumlov and Ceske Budejovice can make really nice stopovers, kudos for finding out about them, most people miss them.

Two places I can really recommend: either L'viv in Ukraine, or Wroclaw in Poland.

L'viv is a beautiful, still somewhat run-down city with Austrian and Polish heritage. I would say it is just as beautiful as Krakow, but without the crowds of tourists. I understand if you'd be skeptical to plan a trip there with the events that are currently happening, but if you are planning your trip in July, the chance is things will have abated somewhat. Besides, whatever happens in eastern Ukraine over the coming months, L'viv is the cultural heartland of western Ukraine, it is likely to remain safe for travelers.

Wroclaw is the fourth biggest city in Poland and a real blast. Loads of students, very good atmosphere and a really nice city to visit.

Your itinerary could then look like this:

Budapest (5N) > Vienna (3N) > Salzburg+Hallstatt (3N) > Cesky Krumlov (2N) > Ceske Budejovice + Prague (4N) > Krakow (3N)

(total 20N)

And then for the last stretch, either

1N extra Krakow > Wroclaw (3N) > Antwerp (6N) (total 30)

or

from Krakow night train to > L'viv (4N) > plane to Dortmund (Wizzair) > Antwerp (6N) (total 30)

There are other options if you're not thrilled by L'viv or Wroclav.

- If you like wine: why not a couple of days traveling through the Hungarian terroirs? they make some of the best wine in Europe, organised coach visits are available, or just rent a car and drive through it.

- If you want to see the sea: why not go to Croatia? You would need to put it in between budapest and Austria in your trip, but the dalmatian coast is magnificent!

- If you like beer: why not 2 days in Plzen or Brno? Plzen is the birthplace of the pils, and Brno is the capital of Morovia, both cities have countless breweries and a really good atmosphere.

- For a Baltic feel: take the night train from Krakow to Gdansk! Beautiful harbour city, well connected airport to fly out from.

- If you've never been there, maybe drop all of the above and head to Berlin for some days! The youngest, coolest, most active city in Europe if you ask me. Definitely worth discovering.

Hope this helps! feel free to contact me if you have more questions.

Damien

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2. Re: Central Europe Itinerary - 4 Weeks

Hi Rishi,

I agree with Damien, I would reduce your stay in Austria, as all similar areas.

I would suggest another night in Krakow. I have visited Krakow 3 times------great city. Would suggest going to a selection of concerts, Chopin, Klezmer and classical. The classical concerts in churches are a sheer delight to listen to. The Salt Mines outside Krakow are worth a visit and easy to reach by bus. I have visited Auschwitz as I don't think one can go to Krakow and omit Auschwitz.

I'm going to Budapest in June and staying 10 nights as in the past I have found a few nights in central European cities isn't long enough.

Croatian coastline is lovely and a nice alternative to city life.

I'm sure you will have an amazing time. Central Europe is full of amazing history.

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3. Re: Central Europe Itinerary - 4 Weeks

Hi,

Austria is a bit long. 3nights in Salzburg or 2nights in Cesky Krumlov (which is one of my fav destination) is simply too long. Cesky Krumlov worth 1 night stay than go to Prague instead. I also think you can spend one more day in krakow and only 1day in warsaw.

Train is a good choice to getting around, try http://www.bahn.de for train connections, as no direct plane connections. but if you would like to get around in central and eastern europe without problem, you also can ask a transfer company to go from A-b without problem like http://www.eurobusways.com/

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Mumbai, India
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4. Re: Central Europe Itinerary - 4 Weeks

Hi Damien R, flower33oxford & ZZoltan,

Sorry for not replying earlier but was a bit tied up with work. Damien you have give an excellent write up and detail answers to all my queries. It was really interesting reading your post. I appreciate the others too who voiced their opinion and gave suggestions. Thanks.

Now to get out whats on my mind: I am planning to cut short a night in Vienna however would really like to stay in Salzburg little longer as its a great base to travel to the surrounding. I might even take a day trip to Munich while i am there. Further Cesky Krumlov is just going to be one night and Plzen might be added to the itinerary. L'viv is out of the question as of now. I have been to Berlin and hence dont want to go this time though.

Still working on my itinerary. Will keep you guys updated as to my final travel plans. Thanks again all for contributing.

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5. Re: Central Europe Itinerary - 4 Weeks

Hi rishi,

Your plans look well-thought out and solid. Expanding your Salzburg stay is in-line with my thoughts as long as you like the outdoors. The surrounding areas have a lot of history, great scenery with the Alps, beautiful lakes, etc. A great area. And you mention Munich - which is also a nice town and a great surrounding area (as is the Southern Germany area all around).

Your list is great - and many super towns that will have what you are looking for. It's easy for us "arm-chair" contributors to say "add a night here, remove one there...." but I think you'll enjoy it all.

Specific to Budapest - if you have questions about the city please let us know. We're happy to help make sure our tourist friends have a great stay.

Best

Jeremy

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6. Re: Central Europe Itinerary - 4 Weeks

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