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Two week Itinerary starting or ending in Prague?

My wife and I would love to visit Prague and the surrounding areas In December. The issue is that we have about two weeks to travel and would like to work in other areas to see. We also don't mind flying back from another airport so we don't necessarily need to end back up in Prague. We don't mind renting a car and driving a bit. Any suggestions for a two week itinerary? Should we try to work in Bavaria region? My wife would love that. We know NOTHING of this area of Europe so any help is appreciated.

Thanks

Posted by
2169 posts

Are you prepared to work in another two weeks for quarantine purposes (once in country)? That's a very real possibility to keep in mind if a vaccine is not widely available yet. Also, no need to head to Germany, I think two weeks in Czechia just barely scratches the surface, the country is much more than just Prague as you will soon learn.

You've got the quaint baroque region of Bohemia to the west, to the north the Sudeten Mountains dotted with old spa towns and castle ruins, to the east the ancient land of Moravia dominated by vineyards and rolling hills. Even further east are the wild Silesian Beskid moutains (the western part of the Carpathians). Considering you know nothing about this area of Europe, the first step would be to pick up a guide book and get to reading (you'll have plenty of time these days lol!) RS has one - "Prague & the Czech Republic", thought I usually prefer DK Eyewitness or Lonely Planet

Here's a sample three week essential itinerary of Czechia (from Lonely Planet) - https://www.lonelyplanet.com/czech-republic/planning/itineraries/a/nar/f26e4bfd-70cb-4611-951d-765ef9076e0b/358820

Posted by
1254 posts

Are the xmas markets of interest to you?

Posted by
17930 posts

You might spend part time seeing Chechia, then take a bus or train to Bavaria (Munich or Nürnberg) and fly out of Munich. From Prague, you can take the Bahn IC Bus or train to Munich or Nürnberg or just go by train to the German border and make your way around Bavaria using Bayern-Tickets. I think the roads could be iffy in December, so the train might be preferable.

Posted by
71 posts

Christmas markets are definitely a plus but I don't want to plan entire trip around them. I hear the one in Prague is good and maybe Salzburg?

As far as the virus...of course we are counting on virus issues being resolved. If we have to quarantine then we will not go.

Posted by
12319 posts

The classic trip, and one that works well in 2 weeks is Prague, Vienna, Budapest. Compare open Jaw prices with a one way flight Budapest to Prague at the end. If you do the return to Prague you do maybe 3 days at the beginning and 3 at the end. This is all by train and quite cheap. Separate 1 night stays to break up the trip between cities would be Cesky Krumlov in Czech Republic and Gyor/Pannonhalma Archabbey in Hungary.

December is a good time to visit as all these cities are all lot up for the holidays.

Posted by
882 posts

A happy wife is a happy life. Once I spent 4 nights in Prague and thought it was great. This was on a trip that also included Berlin (3 nights) and Dresden (2 nights) - both I would recommend; however, since your wife is interested in Bavaria you should head that direction after Prague. You could rent a car and drive to Munich in about 4 hours and then make a big loop coming back to fly home - or depending on airfares fly into another city and make a loop from there to include Prague. Or pay to drop the car (expensive) and fly out of a different airport. Lots of different options/directions you can go if you're driving. A few other places I've visited: Salzburg Austria is only a couple of hours east of Munich. Less than 2 hours south of Munich is the Neuschwanstein Castle. Although I haven't visited Nuremberg, it would work logistically and according to the Rick Steves guidebook has a wonderful historic center and a fabulous Christmas Market. Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
819 posts

Hi,
My wife and I have been to rural Czechia five (?) times since 1994.
I will write more tomorrow. The Czech Republic is a great place to tour using a small car. Prague...may be empty due to the virus...is usually over run with tourists in the tourist district. Now there are THE things that must be seen in this crowded area, but outside of this main district is very nice also. I won't try to guide you inside Prague.

Outside of Praha. Tomorrow.

wayne iNWI

Posted by
819 posts

Hi, back again.

If you can find a place to rent in Letna, it is a rapidly gentrifying district of Prague. Using Google maps, zoom in on Old TownSquare. You will notice the Vlatava River makes a swirl at the top of your page if you stop correctly. You can also see the label Prague 7, that is Letna or Letenska. LovetoLive apartments are very near the National (Naradni) Technological Museum and offered good value. In Prague 7 there are many nice restaurants serving quality food at pretty darned good prices compared to near Old Town Square. The Tram #26 will take you to the touristy area. You buy your tram tickets in Tobac Shops. Get a handfull. Buy the way The Farm is farm to table restaurant serving amazing breakfasts and lunches. And Cafe Letka, across from the National Technical Museum, has fine coffee and very interesting and tasty coffee house dishes.

I would rent a car at the airport for two reasons. It is easy to get away from Prague that way, and it is an easy return as signs point you to the airport.

Where to go?
Konopiste Castle south of Prague and 30 mils from the airport is a place to visit. It is the home of the Arch Duke Francis Ferdinand. You know the guy whose assassination triggered WWI. The castle interior looks as though he left the morning you visit and will return that night. Who knew?

80 miles further south is Cecky Krumlov. This is a miniature Prague. It too can be over run by tourists. But a winter visit may bring relief. Now I wouldn't try to do both the Castle and get to Krumlov in a day. YOu have two weeks. The slower you move, the more little places you go into the more you will develop memories. Driving is driving and you might as well do that in the USA.

20/25 miles east is Trebon. Rick has a special website for this and the next town.

36 miles to the east is Telc. This is the other half of the Rick Steves special. Now this is a really nice little place. The town square is off limits to cars unless you have a reservation within the the square. Then you enter the square from the south. Hotel Celerin is in an old building and did offer meals of cooked duck with red and white cabbage...to die for. Tell them a day in advance so they can start cooking it for you. Hotel U Cerneho Orla (Cerne means black . With the soft mark over the top of the C makes the C a CH. It does this with all consonants. Z with the soft mark is ZH. The city you are in spelled Telc, with that soft mark. It is pronounced Telch.) is another classic place to stay. Do not stay at a Holiday Inn or comparable. When places like these are available.

20 miles to the east is Trebic. Hey, how about that c. Plenty of nice local places to stay in the old district.

36 miles to the east is Brno. Of course going as the bird flies it is only an hour, but there are plenty of side roads.

I will pick up tomorrow at Brno.

wayne iNWI

Posted by
819 posts

AH, hello again and here we head to Brno.
Brno is the historic capital of Moravia. A college town with a nice big square and home to Gregor Mendel's genetic pea experiments. Good duck and pork at Spalicek with the special ch for the c. Be prepared for large helpings. So don't order, I am so hungry, I want an extra side order. Being a college town it has life. This is a city that serves the Moravian specialty of Topinka. That is a heavy rye bread fried in goose fat served with cloves of garlic to be sanded into the toast. That and a glass of Velkypopovicky Kozel Cerny (cerne or cerny if you recall is black or dark, this is a delicious dark beer) and you are living the Czech peasant dream. Many things to see in Brno and a nice place to stroll around after dark, which in winter comes soon.

Remember youshould stay a day or more if you can in each of these places and the drive from one to the next should not be a direct drive. Moravia is beautiful. The back roads rise and fall and twist and turn. Fruit trees line many of these back roads.

50 miles to the north east is Olomouc, the old capital of Moravia so once again it had wealth and it shows in the buildings. And it is a college town so there is a nice young vibe. Brno has been gentrified and cleaned up. Olomouc is a step behind which makes it particularly wonderful. Walk around the city walls' exterior. eat at the Long Story Short or at the Restaurance Golias. The S has the soft symbol so Goliash. Good fish and Moravian specialties but not Topinka, too peasanty. Oh and the And Cafe Mahler for kava and dort (cake).

55 mile NW, heading back toward Prague but not too fast. Litomysl. Here is a town with another bow tie square.
OR
60 miles which will take a minimum of 95 minutes. Is Pernstejn castle (yes, the s has the soft mark). This is more like a castle castle. Take the bus up to the top of the hill. It is a climbers walk other wise. really no good place to stay here but you are headed on.
And 20 miles from here go to a lovely real town (city) of Nove Mesto na Morave (new is Nove, Mesto is town, so this is the new town of Moravia) Not that new. Stay at the Pansky Dum. And apartment there will set you back $55 per night. Yes, an apartment. The Velkopopvicky company runs a chain of restaurants, Kozlovna, and if you are getting tired of pork try the K Club pretty much across from the Pansky Dum. There are "3" squares to this little beauty. All strung along the same street.

Another 1.5 hour to 2 hour drive if done directly is Kutna Hora. Look it up. If you saw the bone house in Brno and thought that was something, then Kutna Hora is for you. Don't ignore Saint Barbara's church. A very unique exterior.

And that takes you back to Prague.

And watch to see is Mucha's master pieces The Slav Epic is showing anywhere. These 20 paintings are so large that finding venue is nearly impossible. A couple of years ago they were split about 50/50 between Brno and Prague. A must see if exhibited. Plus it will be inside. Brrr.

wayne iNWI