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Appreciate feedback on Prague/Croatia Trip Initial Plan

Hi, I'm beginning to plan a trip for June 2018 and would appreciate your feedback on these initial options for ~19 nights. We have been to several European countries but neither Czech R. or Croatia. We're 60, have traveled on both RS tours and on our own. Our ideal trip is a mix of city & small towns (architecture, art museums, classical or cultural music events, a cooking class or similar, enjoying the people & culture) and some scenery (mountains/water). My favorite countries are Italy & Austria, if that helps. Ideally, we like to be in larger cities for 3-4 days and smaller ones for 2 days. Our pace is enjoying each moment vs. rushing to see everything. We will just use the transportation in the country vs. renting a car (by choice; some of our fondest people memories from past trips are from forcing ourselves to step away from our normal car transportation). If you're attended any festivals in these towns that you would recommend, I could arrange our timing, too. My hubby just doesn't want to miss our prime Summer months in the Pacific NW.

Fly to Prague - 4 nights - day trip to Dresden
Fly to Zagreb - 2 nights
Plitvice Lakes - 1 night
Zadar - 2 nights
Sibenik - 2 nights
Trogir (or Split) - 2 nights
Korcula Island - 3 nights
Dubrovnik - 3 nights
OR
Fly to Prague - 4 nights - day trip to Dresden
Fly to Torgir/Split - 3-4 nights w/ day trip to Krka National Park
Korcula Island - 3 nights
Dubrovnik - 3 nights
(What would you add to this option?)

Posted by
19194 posts

There's an awful lot to see in Dresden (esp. Museums) to treat it as a day-trip from a city 2-1/4 hours away. You don't walk right out of the train station in Dresden and find yourself in the (reconstructed) historic district, either. I'd suggest making Dresden one of your bases and using a day there for a side-trip to the fabulous Goerlitz (which is not reconstructed).

You might consider adding Montenegro and/or Mostar to your second itinerary.

Posted by
4700 posts

My suggestion would be to visit Prague and Dresden on another trip. Start this trip in Slovenia instead - or start in Zagreb and add Montenegro.

I travel at a faster pace than you like to - and I agree that for your tastes, a long day trip to Dresden from Prague is probably much faster than you would want to do. (I wasn't a big fan of Dresden myself, but I know some people who are.) There is a lot to see around Dresden too. I actually spent a night in the town of Görlitz (lovely town - and hey, you can walk across the pedestrian bridge to Poland for dinner!), but you can day trip there from Dresden as mentioned above. You can also visit other nearby towns and hike in say Saxon Switzerland - and easy day trip by train from Dresden.

You can see more in Czech Republic too than just Prague. I loved Prague, but keep in mind it's Disneyland these days, especially in June: just mobs and crowds of tourists. I'd love to go back someday but maybe in the winter when there are fewer people.

Closer to Croatia, Slovenia is one of my favorite countries and is easier to add on to a trip to Croatia than Prague. Ljubljana is a charming little city, full of lovely architecture. It has gotten more touristy in the last few years but still nothing like Prague. I'd probably go sooner than later before it gets "discovered" - already on its way.

You could spend a few nights down in Montenegro instead of doing Slovenia. I didn't quite fall in love with Montenegro the way I did with Slovenia, but the Bay of Kotor is breathtaking - amazing scenery, some interesting towns. People have different tastes; some love Montenegro.

But if you really want to do both Prague and Croatia, I'd probably choose your second itinerary, based on your preferences, because in #1 you don't have much time in Split/Trogir, and you might want more time there. Don't you have a few extra nights to play with there? You have fewer than nineteen. So you could add a few nights to Montenegro...or branch of to say Mostar for a few nights...or add another few nights near Split and day trip even up to Plitvice from there. There are a lot of possibilities.

Posted by
75 posts

I agree with Andrew's advice of Slovenia over Czech Republic for this trip. I thoroughly enjoyed Prague when I was there and plan to go back some day, but I think Andrew is right about the crowds in June. I visited Slovenia over Memorial Day weekend before traveling down to Croatia, and I was quite pleased with the weather and crowds in both countries. Ljubljana is a cute little city and Lake Bled is just breathtaking, and you could easily spend your 4 Prague days there and be closer to Croatia, particularly if you did option 2. You could add Istria (I haven't been so can't recommend but people here speak highly of it) or add a couple nights in Montenegro or Mostar as Andrew suggests. Or do either of those as a day trip to get a taste - you're going to want to come back to Croatia anyway!

Whatever you do, don't miss Plitvice - the recommendation is generally to stay the night before in the area so you can start first thing, but I visited as a day trip/transfer between Zagreb and Split and found the crowds to be manageable mid-day since it is still pretty early in the season if you're visiting in June. I would not try it as a day trip later in June, personally.

ETA: check out the Croatia section on this site or RS's Croatia and Slovenia book if you decide to consider Slovenia - he has a good itinerary you can use as a guide and fill in/subtract days depending on your interests.

Posted by
19194 posts

I agree with the other responses. If you can bear to postpone Prague and Dresden, Slovenia fits better with the rest of your itinerary.

Posted by
3835 posts

Thank you for the advice, Andrew & Katherine, especially regarding the mobs of people in Prague in June. Andrew, your idea of adding Gorlitz to a longer visit to Dresden (some day) is perfect.