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Budapest, Cesky and Prague

I am planning a trip early October. Flying into one and out of the other. Can any one help with where would be the best start weather wise and how would you recommend travel between each place. I would like to spend one night in Cesky. Is that enough? I get the feeling hiring a private driver might be best?
Also is the weather still decent that time of year? It seems conflicting.

Posted by
48 posts

We spent only one night in Cesky Krumlov (which is the town I assume you refer to) and it was enough but I suppose that depends on what you want to see in the town and how early you will be arriving. We arrived late morning, wandered through the town, strolled the castle grounds but didn't go inside, and enjoyed an inexpensive but delicious dinner all on our first day. The highlight was a breakfast in the garden of our B&B the next morning, which was perched on the hill high above the castle. Just lovely.

Posted by
10899 posts

Subjective personal preferences. Early October is great for the region, anywhere in the region. I travel to the region 3 to 4 times a year and have been doing it for over a decade. The third week in September till the third week in October has always been my favorite time to be there. Weather is as good as it gets; especially in a world with lousy or nonexistent air conditioning. Also, the mad tourist rush is over and things are a bit more relaxed. If you are in Budapest first week in October, wave hello. The difference in temperature between Prague and Budapest is negligible at best. Prague is faster paced and more crowded than Budapest so in my world i get rid of the hectic first then go someplace easier to wind down before going home. By that logic, fly into Prague and out of Budapest.

Cesky Krumlov is a lovely town, I understand its a bit crowded these days. But if you take a mid day shuttle there, then depart mid day the next day you will miss a lot of the day trippers. One night is enough For my taste. Look at the hotel Dvorak.

For the trip from Prague and for the trip on to Budapest, you might want to consider these folks: https://www.ckshuttle.cz/transports/transfer-from-cesky-krumlov-to-budapest/

Another option might be to take the shuttle down to Cesky Krumlov and then hire a driver for the trip from Cesky Krumlov to Budapest. With a driver i would consider stopping at Melk or the Archabbey at Pannonhalma. It would be a long day and my guess is the driver would cost about $600. Here is the guy i would use: http://www.silverwings.hu/index.html

Final option. Take the shuttle from Cesky Krumlov to Vienna. Spend a night or two in Vienna then use the driver to visit Melk and / or Pannonhalma. (or just train on to Budapest)

Geeeeee too many options!!!

Posted by
4637 posts

Can we safely assume that by "Cesky" you mean Cesky Krumlov? Cesky means Czech (or Bohemian) to distinguish it from Moravsky Krumlov (Moravian). There are plenty of towns in C.R. which start with Cesky - just to be sure that you did not mean one of them: Cesky Brod, Cesky Bukov, Cesky Dub, Cesky Dvur, Cesky Heralec, Cesky Herslak, Cesky Chloumek, Cesky Jiretin, Cesky Krumlov, Cesky Lacnov, Cesky Mlyn, Cesky Puncov, Cesky Rudolec, Cesky Sternberk, Cesky Sumburk, Cesky Tesin, Cesky Ujezd.
To say: I want to go to Cesky is the same like to say I want to go to New. But what? - New York, New Orleans, New Haven, New Berlin?
etc.
Early October has usually still decent weather (but not always) in Hungary and C.R. Assuming that Cesky you mean Krumlov one night is usually enough unless you want to do some short day trips from Krumlov. Or maybe you meant Cesky Sternberk which is a little town with an impressive castle on the cliff above it. One night there would be also enough. There is another Cesky where you can visit and spend night - Cesky Tesin. The border between Czech Republic and Poland runs through the town. Two thirds of the town are in Poland and the town is called Cieszyn and one third is in C.R. called Cesky (Czech) Tesin. Cesky is added to distinguish from Polish Tesin (Cieszyn).

Posted by
1878 posts

www.timeanddate.com has weather averages. Just from experience traveling in Europe, I don't think early October is going to be an issue at these latitudes. Consider the transportation issue carefully unless money is no object. A private driver would probably cost a pile of money. I recommend two nights (one full day) in Cesky Krumlov. If you only plan on one night, might be better to get a bus tour out of Prague and fly from Prague to Budapest. I am not a big fan of flying in the middle of an itinerary but here it might make sense.

Posted by
12091 posts

"The border between the Czech Rep and Poland runs through the town." In anglophone historiography the German name for that town was used... Teschen.

The border going through a town applies also to Poland and Germany with the Oder River, eg, Frankfurt an der Oder is west of the river, the right bank is the town of Slubice, you can walk across the bridge like walking across the Golden Gate from SF to Marin County. Likewise for Küstrin, divided by the Oder, the left bank is Germany, the town of Küsrtrin-Kietz, right bank is the Polish city. Just walk over (no personnel, signs, checks, etc) to the right bank, where most of the former Küstrin was located, and you're in Poland....all very interesting.

Posted by
109 posts

Thanks for all of the advise.
I did mean Cesky Krumlov. Sorry for the confusion.
James I think I will take your advise and I will also wave hello.
Thanks so much for the transportation information. I wonder if it's worth it to travel there or perhaps skip CK all together. We have been to Vienna so I would rather go somewhere we haven't been.

Posted by
109 posts

Ok do you think that's better? Looking around other posts you seem to be the expert. Sounds like more time in Budapest than Prague is worth it. Anywhere else in between? We typically spend three days in each place but Budapest sounds like it might be worth a bit more time.

Posted by
4637 posts

If you skip Krumlov and don't want to fly you can break your journey either in Brno or Bratislava. Vienna is not on the rail line Prague - Budapest but of course you can go to Vienna and then to Budapest.

Posted by
10899 posts

With out stopping in C. Krumlov or Vienna, Prague to Budapest is a long haul by train. Czech Airlines has flights for about $125. Door to door is about 4.4 hours (1.5 hour flight time).

For my taste Budapest is a decent trip with 4 nights and 6 isn't too many; Prague 3 to 4 nights.

If you have 5 + nights for Budapest there are a number of interesting day trips and overnight trips to choose from, or, I can give you enough to keep you occupied in town. All depends on your interests.

Posted by
10899 posts

OR!! IF you really want to get out of your comfort zone and see see a culture and architecture unlike anything in Western or Central Europe; there are direct nonstop flights from Prague to Kiev. I love Kiev! Just do 2 nights for a taste. The onward trip to Budapest is also nonstop. The flights are about $125 each.

Posted by
109 posts

This all sounds great. I will check into Kiev and see if that's worth it. Sounds like it might but. I just hate the idea of all of those short haul flights. I did want to see Krumlov but it looks like a long drive to Budapest from there (6 hours?)

I would love your ideas James to keep us busy in Budapest for 4 nights. We don't mind the odd museum but that's not really our thing. Where is the best area to stay. We don't mind the bustle and prefer to stay around the action.

We may have to many nights in Prague so we could fit Kiev in. Some people say stay longer. So hard to know but I think I will take your advise James.

You are all a wealth of knowledge! It certainly is helpful when planning.

Posted by
10899 posts

Shelly, i appreciate the complement, but i am just one person, and a little eccentric at that.....

First make sure you have enough time in Prague and Budapest. I get the impression you have done this before so following is obvious but .....

Saturday, Day one, leave the US

Sunday, Night one in Europe you have arrived at 1pm and are pooped out. This isn't a "day"

Monday, Day two, night two in Prague. Great, one full day

Tuesday, Day three, night three in Prague. Great, second full day. Okay this is the bare minimum in Prague. So lets move on.

Wednesday, Day one, Night one head to Budapest. Plane or Train you loose the morning. I wish i were younger, but plane or train i will be at about 60% for the rest of the day, but this really is a half day in Budapest.

Thursday, Day two, night two in Budapest. Now you have one and one half full days.

Friday, Day three, night three in Budapest. Now you have two and one half full days.

Saturday, Day Four, night four in Budapest. Now you have three and one half full days and the bare minimum for Budapest

Sunday, head home,

That is as rushed a schedule as i would want to do.

If i had one more night i would add it to Budapest.

If i had 2 more nights i would add one to each Prague and Budapest

If I had 3 more nights i would add one to Budapest and spend two in Kyiv or someplace else totally new, totally un-imagined, totally eyeopening, totally out of my comfort zone (not much of that left any longer).

Posted by
109 posts

Ok that is perfect. We have a total of 9 nights and 8 full days (not including the day we arrive - around 1:30 pm). Perhaps I am best to just add a day onto each.

Question for you James. How long would you spend in a place such as Rome? Just to get an idea if we have a similar travel pattern.

I am very excited to visit these places in October! I'm sure i will have a more questions and appreciated any suggestions you have to fill our days.

Thanks!

Posted by
2361 posts

James, why is 3 1/2 days the bare minimum for Budapest?

Posted by
2361 posts

James, why is 3 1/2 days the bare minimum for Budapest?

Posted by
10899 posts

Question for you James. How long would you spend in a place such as
Rome? Just to get an idea if we have a similar travel pattern.

I don’t say it, because it should be obvious, but each to their own and everyone is correct as long as they are getting what they want to get out of it. What works for me sure isn’t going to work for most other people. So, it’s a good question.

The first trip to Rome was in the early 1980's and it was a brief 3 nights.
The second trip was about 2002 and was 4 nights
The third trip was in 2004 and was 6 nights
The fourth trip was in 2008 and was 5 nights

Rome isn't a typical for me. A city like Rome or London or Paris can take a life time to explore. The problem is I want to see so much while I am still able. My plan for a major city is no less than 4 full days; if I get there and it really speaks to me I will return. But I don't want to be stranded in a place that I find is only so-so when there is so much world to see. I still do a lot of cities but I do a lot of countries these days too.

Many destinations are repeat because the first taste was so good. The first trip to Kyiv was very experimental and I didn’t want to risk more than 3 nights of my precious time or something so unconventional. I combined Kyiv with Odessa for a mere 3 nights as well (and 8 in Budapest). I am heading back to Kyiv in January and I know I will not be spending enough time again, but that’s okay, because I know I will be back in either the spring or the fall as part of another trip.

Budapest? Even Budapest I ration. Generally, only 6 to 8-night stays; but 3 or 4 times a year...... Otherwise I wouldn’t have had the time to discover Montenegro or Bulgaria or .... which are also places I have made repeat trips...

My way of doing moderate size bites has paid off for me in another way. I try, when possible, to plan the trips around events, festivals, holidays. I get to see a place at Christmas and then again for a Fall wine festival or a Summer Jewish Heritage Festival; and each time the city is a new place because of the events and the seasons. That cant be copied by staying 2 weeks in one place.

Posted by
10899 posts

oh, 3.5 days in Budapest.....

Half day in Buda and three full days in Pest which provides enough flexibility to run up to Szentendre (or similar) for a half day.

Just a humble opinion. Personally i wont go unless i can spend at least 6 days......

Oh, and on the whole "which Cesky did you mean" nonsense, I googled "TRAVEL and CESKY" and google understood the context of the shortened name.

Posted by
4637 posts

Cesky Krumlov became famous just recently. To say just Cesky is nonsense (the same way as to say just New -New what? York, Orleans, etc.). Google is fed by commoners like us. Sometimes not very informed. For instance like in this case. I can admit that on this Forum person typing Cesky probably means Cesky Krumlov. But it's the same if somebody would type New. Then most likely they mean New York. Cesky Krumlov is not even the biggest town of Cesky, that's Cesky Tesin. Only the most known in certain countries.

Posted by
10899 posts

I can admit that on this Forum person typing Cesky probably means
Cesky Krumlov

Probably? If someone is discussing tourism in the Czech R. and says Cesky, then there are no other options. At worst think of it as a test, if a person has to ask which Cesky, that person isn't one i would ask for advise. Ranks up there with the Czech R. isn't in Eastern Europe scolding that goes on.

Ilja, Of course you know I'm just blowing a lot of wind.....

Posted by
4637 posts

See James, and if I ask about Cesky and that person would ask me which Cesky that would be the person I would ask for advice because clearly that person is more informed and knows there are many more Cesky than just Cesky Krumlov. On the other hand if they ask about Krumlov there are only two: Cesky and Moravsky (Czech or Bohemian and Moravian).

Posted by
10899 posts

Hmmmmmmmmmm,,,,, you know I can't argue that, I want to (just my nature and I am bored right now), but I guess I have to let you have it. BUT!!! Cesky K. is still in EASTERN Europe...!!!! (as seen through the eyes of an old cold war fart)

Posted by
4637 posts

OK James, I have a question - is Vienna in Eastern Europe? If you say that Vienna is in Central or even Western Europe then explain how come that C.Krumlov is west of Vienna (as is Prague).

Posted by
4637 posts

There are only 3 commie countries left in the world. Truly commie is just one, the other two are kind of pinkish and none of them is in Europe.

Posted by
109 posts

Oh my I have really started something haven't I? Ilja I agree I am only a commoner and certainly messed up by just putting Cesky. To be totally honest I couldn't remember the spelling of Krumlov (didn't want to lose my message to check) and thought by misspelling i would look like an idiot. Turns out that trying not to look like an idiot back fired on me didn't it??

James I actually loved your answer regarding Rome and I feel the same way as you. I like to return but don't want to stay forever in one place for fear of missing other experiences. I just wanted to get a feel for your travel to see if we connected. I believe that we do!

Did you post on another forum somewhere things to do in Budapest? I would like to get some of your ideas.

Posted by
10899 posts

Shelly, you understand that Ilja and I are just messing around. Although there is truth in East vs West vs Central being in large part a cultural construct. A have a better social life in Hungary than i do in the states. My friends there prefer Central Europe as a way to shake off some sterotypes, but none of them really cares so much as to be offened as long as you don't litter, show up drunk in public or bring your screaming-misbehaving brats. As for Cesky, everyone knew what you were talking about.

As for things to do in Budapest .....

Posted by
10899 posts

Have you gotten your accommodations yet. Always easier to come up with plans with a starting point. Oh, and a date?

Posted by
4637 posts

Shelly, everything is OK. James is right that on this Forum most people know what you mean when you mention Cesky. But once in Czech R. if you want to shorten it it's better to say Krumlov than just Cesky. You could end up in different Cesky than you wanted. With James we have a long history of teasing each other tongue in cheek. Several years ago he even invited me for coffee once I visit Budapest again. But that was when he thought that I was a girl so I don't know if it's still valid. Nevertheless I reciprocated by invitation for beer when he is in Prague (and obviously I am there too) and that's still valid.

Posted by
10899 posts

Geee thanks. Now I have to explain that to my wife!!!

If its Budapest, Wine. Prague Beer. My first trip to the Czech Republic, we were in CESKY, and I told my wife that i wasn't feeling good and we had better go back to the hotel. She asked what was the matter and i told her i thought it was my heart. Understand i have a very minor little non life threatening condition that when it acts up i get a little dizzy and light headed. My wife said something to the effect, "oh please, you've been drinking beer since breakfast, you're not having heart problems, your are getting drunk." G-d i love Czech beer.

I will be in Budapest first week of October, last week of December, second week of January and the week after Memorial Day. Just pick a day.

Posted by
10899 posts

Years ago i did some research on the whole East/Central/West issue. There is no hard definition. Even the UN uses different definitions for different programs. For my generation, anything behind the Iron Curtain was Eastern Europe. That's because we needed a clean definition for the enemy. Churchill in his famous Iron Curtain speech spoke of the Europeans of Central and Eastern Europe trapped behind the curtain - so that's a contradiction of my generation. Most cold war Eastern Europeans prefer to be called Central Europeans to shake the stereotype, but for some of them its a stretch; Ukraine, Monrovia and Belarus for example. Then there are some borderline states like Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.

Posted by
4637 posts

I am putting the dates in my calendar. Right now it looks like after Memorial Day. I am not going to miss an opportunity to drink coffee and (or) wine in Budapest.

Posted by
4637 posts

Monrovia is capital of Liberia. My educated guess, James, is that you meant Moldavia also called Moldova. Azerbaijan, OK let's consider it to be in Europe. Kazakhstan however is in Asia. About western, central, eastern Europe. If we look at it geographically - I think it's clear. And historically as James says: west of iron curtain - western Europe, east of iron curtain - eastern Europe. No central Europe. By the way iron curtain was not just symbolical division. It was several layers of barbed wires at the beginning under high voltage later that was without high voltage but with signalization, armed guards, dogs, watch towers. It was risky and not easy to escape. For anybody who is interested in history of iron curtain there is a Museum of Iron Curtain in Valtice, Czech Republic. Most people go there to see chateaus in Valtice and Lednice (see Rick Steves book Prague & the Czech Republic). It is also wine region. In Valtice chateau there is a medieval wine cellar with 100 best samples of wine of C.R. Especially white ones are excellent. So you can kill three birds with one stone: Chateaus and a huge park with a minaret, tasting wine in http://www.salonvin.cz , you can switch it to English and that museum of iron curtain.

Posted by
10899 posts

I will blame the Moldova snafu on SpellCheck or senility. As for Kazakhstan I blame that on the Ural Mountains. But I would rather we call it Asian as by the same logic we cold throw Russia to the Asians. I would like that. http://kazakhworld.com/kazakhstans-biggest-question-europe-or-asia/ and https://www.countries-ofthe-world.com/countries-of-europe.html and if its on the internet it is true…..

Thanks for the tip on the museum. I will get back to the Czech Republic (can we still call it that?) someday. First I have a lot of Eastern Europe and the “Stan” states I want to visit.

Posted by
10899 posts

October is after a fishing trip in the mountains of Montenegro. December/January is to be in Ukraine for orthodox Christmas. The Memorial Day week in Budapest is after a fishing trip in the Albanian Alps. Actual dates are still being finalized. I just know i will use Memorial Day to stretch the vacation by a day....

Posted by
4637 posts

"the "Stan" states I want to visit."
I hope not Afghanistan and Pakistan. That would be pulling Devil on his tail.

Posted by
109 posts

Hi again,

Yes I could tell that your banter seems to be reasonably good hearted but I was feeling a bit silly about my Cesky slip.

We are arriving in Prague on Oct 5 and then at this point planning to arrive in Budapest from the 9th until the 14th. The jury is still out on whether we will slip in another spot in between. I have booked at the InterContinental Budapest. Is that a good spot? A lot of places are booked but I tend to like to book central and it gets great reviews.

In Prague we will stay at Pachtuv Palace. It also gets good reviews based on what is left to choose from.

We are planning this trip rather last minute so I will need to do some research on all there is to do as well as currency, ect.

I love wine so that is good news. I'm not a beer drinker but my husband is.

Sounds like we will all be in the area around the same time.

Posted by
10899 posts

The intercontinental is a great river front hotel. Just be sure not to spend too much time in District V. It is Budapest's equivalent of Prague's Old Town when it comes to crowds of tourists. Still, its hard to argue with the river front in the evening. Beautiful. Right out front of the hotel is a stop of the 2Tram, famous for its views, which connects the Parliament to the Great Market Hall. Using that tram with one connection to the 47/49 Tram and you can see 40% of what there is. A brief walk to the M1 Metro and combined with the 4/6Tram you can see another 40%. The remaining 20% is across the bridge in Buda.

My favorite Wine Bar is Kadarka's. Interesting part of town which is about 70% real and 30% tourist. For the beer, next door at Kuplung or at any number of ruin pubs.

I will PM you the addresses and some details...