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Warsaw to Budapest itinerary with tweens/teens 17 days


We are traveling with 4 kids in August starting in Warsaw and ending in Budapest. We are considering the below itinerary using trains only. Does this make sense timing wise and are these good choices for 4 kids aged 9-18? We have range of interests from history, adventure, food, athletics, chill time, nature. Any specific suggestions of must do activities or sights---looking for some memorable adventures!
Warsaw 2 nights
Krakow 3 nights
Prague 2 nights
Cesky krumlov 1 night
Vienna/Salzburg 3 nights
Budapest 4 nights

Posted by
12381 posts

Sure, sort of.

Dont count nights. Do a daily plan so you can identify how much time you have in each location after travel time. It may be fine, or you might find that you have a lot less time than counting nights suggests.

I will just comment on Budapest. If you take a morning train from Vienna, then your 4 nights work like this

Arrive from Vienna about noon. After getting to the hotel, checking in, cleaning up, in packing it's 2:30.

A good day to investigate a special interest; history, architecture, culture, religion.

Night One

Half day in Buda, half day trip to Szentendre

Night Two

See 1/3rd of Pest

Night Three

See 1/3rd of Pest

Night Four

Depart early morning flight.

Posted by
4637 posts

When you have 2 nights somewhere that means one full day, 3 nights two full days and so on. Prague, Vienna, Budapest each needs at least three full days. Well, that does not seem possible. I would take 1 night from Krakow and add it to Prague. Prague is bigger and more to see.

Posted by
707 posts

You probably could do this itinerary, but it seems like you are covering a lot of ground. Going from Krakow to Prague is a troublesome link -- it's a long train trip. You are mostly going from one city to another, and you certainly won't be the only tourists in these cities.

I think you will have a more satisfying trip if you eliminate a couple of countries and try to see some smaller places. For example, from Kraków, go to Zakopane (for some hiking and outdoor adventure). I don't know if you have purchased plane tickets yet. If not, I would seriously consider cutting the big cities down and adding some smaller towns.

Posted by
14324 posts

That's a lot of moving around. Be honest with yourself - how good are you and your kids at being ready on time and staying together. Keep in mind that you can only go as fast as the slowest one in your group, whichever one that is at any given time. Is it hard to get out of bed or out of the shower in the morning? How many bathrooms will you have among you? How fast can everyone pack their things. Does anyone dawdle at breakfast or at shop windows? Is everyone going to wash their own clothes by hand at night? Or are you going to need to spend time at a laundromat (or pay for laundry service)? To me, your itinerary looks too fast for a couple, let alone a group of 6 which includes kids. A couple of things strike me as expecially problematic with your itinerary, aside from too many stops. The fastest train trip I found from Krakow to Prague was 7 hours - and that's just the time on the train. Salzburg is well west of Cesky Krumlov, Vienna is east. It's a 2.5 hour train ride from one to the next, so not a day trip. That means one night in one and two in the other - and one more hotel change. Keep in mind that each time you move, you have to pack, check out, get to the train station (with enough lead time for traffic delays and finding your train), then get from the train station to your hotel, check in and drop your luggage. So you lose half a day or more every time you move. Thus, 3 nights in a town gives you 2 days of sightseeing. 2 nights equals 1 day.

With 15 nights, I'd limit the trip to 4 cities. Given that trains in Poland are not high-speed and that is your "outlier", I'd skip Poland. Fly into Prague, out of Budapest. Stop for a night in Cesky Krumlov, then choose Salzburg for 3N before Vienna or maybe Brno for 3N before Budapest. Or choose Berlin as your starting point, then Prague/CK/Vienna/Budapest