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Prague/Krakow/Vienna in winter

Thinking of doing the above during the Christmas Holiday with family. Do you suggest renting a car or taking a transport to get us to and from each city? Is there a recommendation of other places to stop along the way or before or after. I realize the drive is about 6 hours in between each location. Any insight would be appreciated.
Thank you

Posted by
61 posts

We visited these three cities plus a quick visit to Budapest during the Christmas holidays one year. Overall it was a great trip.

We took the train between cities. The train rides with the exception of one were fine. We had to take an overnight train from Krakow to Prague. The overnight train was in a sleeper car that appeared to be leftover from the Conmunist era in Poland. It equated to sleeping in a small 1950’s Airstream camper. A lot of stops and squealing brakes throughout the night. Never again will I take an overnight train. But, it made for good stories! I would look at alternative transportation between Krakow and Prague.

The cities were beautiful with all the Christmas lights, but be warned Prague will be very crowded. If going to Krakow be sure to visit the salt mines. Christmas markets were still going on after Christmas in all these cities, adding to the festivities. The food was wonderful.

Posted by
2207 posts

I was also just in Krakow over the Christmas holiday, and it was very nice and festive, there was a large Christmas Market at Main Square, both inside and around the Cloth Hall.

As for transportation, unless you are going to do a loop and return to the city where you rented your car, there is a rather significant "drop off fee", for dropping off a car in another country, so you may want to look at other forms of transportation. I would say flying a low-cost carrier, is your most efficient/expedient method of travel in between these cities, unless you can endure 7+ hr of train travel.

Posted by
85 posts

I've been to Prague and Vienna during the holidays. Loved both, but Vienna is amazing at that time of the year. How big is the family? When it is just my wife and I, we train it. It adds a nice time to relax as well.

When we travel as a family, we also normally train. Last summer we wanted to travel from Prague to Salzburg with a stop in Český Krumlov, the train schedules didn't work for our time. We wound up using Daytrip ( and also added a stop in Hallstatt. Great service and I'd use them again.

If it's not too presumptuous, a great hotel in Prague is Pod Věží ( We've stayed there 3 times in the last 2 years, it has the best location right at the end of Charles Bridge. If you want a special, not necessarily inexpensive dinner, try Hergetova Cihelna ( You will need a reservation but you can dine at water level in the shadows of Charles Bridge; spectacular food and view.

I usually don't recommend chain hotels, but I wound up staying at the Hilton Vienna Plaza multiple times for work and just love it. The location is perfect as it is on the Shottenring and a short walk to large market in front of the city hall (Wiener Rathaus). While I was working in Vienna, my favorite "local" pub became the Gösser Bierklinik ( Try the Gösser Dark, ummmmm. The food is great and inexpensive. My first stop when I'm in Vienna.

Less than an hour away from Vienna is Bratislava, Slovakia. The Christmas Markets there are wonderful. Smaller than the other cities and less commercial when we visited (4-5 years ago). One of our favorites and highly recommended!