I'm thinking about our 2014 2 weeks holiday in October (me and wife) and we are between either Prague and Budapest or the Czech Republic only. As we don't drive while we are abroad it looks like Prague and Budapest as doable even with day trips, but if I had to do Czech Republic how is transport there? If I do the Czech Republic I was thinking about starting with Cesky Krumlov, then Brno and then Prague. What do you suggest? Are there easy day trips that I can do from CK and Brno? Any suggestions feel free to post. Thanks
Unfortunately this new website does not work as it should. I just wrote reply to your question and when attempting to post it it dissappeared and I cannot find it. I will try one more time. Czech Republic has very good public transportation. Timetable for trains and buses: [url]http://www.idos.cz[/url] . Daytrip from Cesky Krumlov: Ceske Budejovice, chateau Hluboka, Holasovice. C.B. has a nice historic center. You can visit original Budweiser brewery there. Ceske Budejovice- in German Budweis. Day trips from Brno: abyss Macocha and Punkva caves, chateau Lednice and Valtice, Mikulov. About Lednice, Valtice, Mikulov you can read in Rick Steves book: Prague and the Czech Republic. If you like good wine you can taste 100 best wines of the C.R. in the cellar of chateau Valtice: [url]http://www.salonvin.cz[/url] . If you are into history visit Austerlitz battlefield. In Czech Austerlitz = Slavkov. If you let me know about your interests I can tailor your Czech itinerary accordingly.
As I said this website has problems. On my previous reply I put two websites. Instead of appearing in proper form they materialized with url signs. To get to them you have to rewrite them without url. It seems to me that saying don't fix it if it's not broken has some validity.
Here is my best two week idea. Not much time in transit between great places and I think enough time at each stop to enjoy and get something out of it.
Saturday arrive Prague and stay at the Hotel Ventana in Old Town
Sunday tour Prague
Monday tour Prague
Tuesday Prague to Kunta Hora by train; about an hour about an hour.
Wednesday Kunta Hora
Thursday Kunta Hora to Cesky Krumlov (Hotel Dvoark, room with the balcony) by way of Karlstejn Castle. Private car service about 200 euro: about 3 hours of drive time but an 6 hour trip with the tour of the castle. Czech out these guys http://www.ckshuttle.cz/bus-cesky-krumlov-transfer/ and another called Bean Shuttle.
Friday Cesky Krumlov. Take the castle tour and make sure to see the theater in the castle.
Saturday Cesky Krumlov to Vienna. You have never mentioned Vienna but to be so close and not stop? I would use the shuttle service. If you don’t want to go to Vienna then go straight through to Gyor and use the extra day in Budapest for an overnight trip to Eger, or if you find you are like me I never have enough time in
Budapest no matter how many days we stay.
Monday Vienna to Gyor by train; about 1.5 hours. On the same train track that goes to Budapest. Excellent little town. Stay in the converted 18th century Cloister, the Klastrom Hotel.
Tuesday Gyor and Pannonhalma Archabbey. If you have ever seen Melk Abbey in Austria you might find the contrasts with this working Abbey / Wine production complex very interesting. I prefer the atmosphere here over the atmosphere of Melk. The hotel can arrange the 30 minute drive to the Archabbey. Take the tour.
Wednesday Gyor to Budapest about 1.5 hours train. Or better yet have a guide pick you up in Gyor and show you Tata and the fortress at Komarom. I like Andrew Illes http://www.guideinbudapest.com/
Saturday Budapest, of all the places on this trip is the ideal place to end the vacation. There really isn’t a better place to unwind and relax.
Some ideas for you....
Cesky Krumlov is definitely worthwhile but is small. Some good places to visit nearby are Ceske Budejovice (30 min bus ride north) is a small city of 100,000 with a beautiful town square, great architecture, and home of the famous Budvar(Budweiser) brewery. The UNESCO site of the small village of Holasovice is a short bus ride from Budejovice, with the best preserved and some of the last traditional South Bohemian houses that exist. Hluboka nad Vltavou (30 min bus ride north of Ceske Budejovice) has a beautiful chateau/castle that is breathtaking, looks like something from Disney. You can easily bike there on a great bike path from Budejovice if you don't want to get there by the city bus.
Rozemberk is south of CK and is another beautiful small town with a castle, a lot like Krumlov.
I haven't spent as much time near Brno but south-east of it is Moravian wine country and October is a perfect time to go wine tasting as it's harvest season, and to spend time in the lovely south Moravian country side, near the Slovakian border. Should be quite a different experience than in Bohemia.
We spent a full week in Prague, and never ran out of things to do and see. at tourist offices, there were lots of arranged day trips & tours to some of the towns mentioned but we mostly stayed in town. We did use public transport to go to the Lidice Memorial and found it easy to get around. I wouldn't be uncomfortable heading out by train to any of the other cities mentioned in other posts. In fact I intend to do just that next year.
My wife and I, couple in our 40s/50s, traveled to Hungary and Czech Republic in May 2011. We did five nights Budapest, one night Sopron, two in Olomouc, one in Telc, two in Cesky Krumlov, four in Prague. We did the whole thing on public transport, and it was great. Take a look at Rick's book, his advice was great. Train and bus, it was very easy. (O.k. my feet sweated a little on a bus or two that did not have the greatest ventilation.) Our itinerary was near perfect, one of our best trips out of twelve Europe trips or more, I have lost count. I would not have minded another night in Telc, or even Sopron to relax after the big city of Budapest, but overall the itinerary was great. So by all means do both countries. I think Budapest is vastly underrated, and have gone on record here before as saying so. Prague is a nice visit, lots to do, definitely go there, but somewhat overrated.