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Budapest, Vienna and Prague in 14 Days - Please help with Itinerary

I am looking for some help with an itinerary for Budapest Vienna and Prague. I plan to fly into Budapest, then take the train to vienna, then take the train to Prague, and then take the train back from Prague to Budapest since I want to fly back out of Budapest. I had a few questions about my planned itinerary. Is this the best order to visit these places by train in order to minimize travel time? I have never travelled by train in Europe and am a little bit worried about getting everythign right. Do I need to buy the tickets early or can I buy them the same day? Do any of these trains need reservations?

Posted by
1356 posts

Based on my past travels in that part of Europe I would suggest that you not buy any of your train tickets till you are on the ground. I have found that from a cost perspective it is cheaper to much cheaper to buy tickets when in Europe. I believe that most of the trains here will require reservations. These too are much easier to do when in Europe. It also works well in case your plans change in which case you won't lose money already put down for reservations.
Generally, you should try and buy your tickets a day or 2 before travel especially during peak summer holidays.

For train timetables you can check out the Deutsche Bahn website which has an English section (www.bahn.de).

I'm sure you thought of this but why not try for an open jaw - i.e maybe start in Prague go to Vienna and then end in BUD since you want to fly out from there. Is there a reason to start and end in BUD?

Posted by
10 posts

We traveled last summer a similar trip. We flew into Vienna, took easy 3 hour train to Budapest, then went to Krakow, night train to Prague and flew out of Prague. It helped to not have to go back to original airport. I would fly out of Prague if you can. We did not find flights more expensive by using 2 different airports.

I did reserve night trains ahead of time as we were traveling in busy summer months, had hotels booked, did not want to get delayed anywhere, and did not want to have to deal with making arrangements/reservations while we were traveling.

It should be a great trip! Have fun!
Laurie K.

Posted by
6 posts

I would like to fly open jaw, but it seems to be alot more expensive than a round trip when coming from Tel Aviv. As far as reserving the trains, did you do that from home or did you reserve them a few days in advance? I was hoping to buy the train tickets for the next trip when I arrive in in each city, would would be three days in advance, would that be a problem? I wanted to take day, not night trains.

Posted by
6 posts

I did compare it's a very big difference if I fly roundtrip from Budapest, its not very convenient with an extra 7 hour train ride, but worth the over $300 savings.

Posted by
1358 posts

You can buy tickets the same day at the RR station.

Type your itinerary this way.
Take a sheet of paper and list your days down the left side and then list the towns you will be in for each day. The order of your towns seems OK.

Then list the places you want to see for each day. Also estimate time for travel each day. That is
the only way I can ever plan trip.

Do research on the web for places which interest you in each town. Do a google search for “Budapest sights” and look at the pictures for each sight.

Then decide which ones you want to plan time to see.
When you do that for every day you will find that you are trying to see too much.

With some experience in travel you will learn how to choose the most important sights and allow enough time for them all.

I don't know how to know if reservations are needed. So I would make them.

Posted by
6 posts

Hi everybody,
Thanks for your help. I have run into a slight problem, the hotels in vienna are very expensive becuase of the european soccer championship. Is there any way I can modify this itinerary to exclude vienna? I even checked hostels and its still very expensive. I was thinking Bratislava instead, but am not too excited about going there. Any other suggestions?

Posted by
6 posts

Hi everybody,
Thanks for your help. I have run into a slight problem, the hotels in vienna are very expensive becuase of the european soccer championship. Is there any way I can modify this itinerary to exclude vienna? I even checked hostels and its still very expensive. I was thinking Bratislava instead, but am not too excited about going there. Any other suggestions?

Posted by
20 posts

Perhaps try some of the other Hungarian or Czech towns, like Eger, Cesky Krumlov, Pecs, or make it to Krakow for a few days?

Posted by
1356 posts

Agree with the previous poster. Lots of places in either Hungary, Czech, Slovakia or Austria for you to spend your time in. Do some research - search previous threads, look at the guide books to see what works for you.

Posted by
2993 posts

Hi Jay,
Berlin is a 5 hour train trip from Prague. We were just there and found Berlin to be very affordable and easy to get around. We found lots to do--especially if you like history and museums. We took the train from Berlin to Prague and stopped over in Dresden.

Also, Ljubljana, Slovenia is a great place to visit--on another trip we took a train from Budapest to Ljubljana though it was a pretty long trip. Still it's do-able and Slovenia is great!
Sharon

Posted by
35 posts

Depends on the time of year. A) I'd look into flying between some destinations, sometimes shorter and less expensive and B) We did not pre-reserve a train from Budapest to Croatia in the summer of 2007 and got stuck in 2nd class with a million young travelers (which was okay) and NO air--and it was the hottest summer on record for the last 100 years. It was the most miserable 7 hours of our traveling lives.

Posted by
54 posts

Re: seeing Vienna.

You could take the train from Budapest to Bratislava and sleep in Bratislava. From Bratislava, you can take day-trips into Vienna. The train ride takes 1 hour from Bratislava to Vienna and is around euro 10 round trip which includes a 24 hour Vienna pass (for the trams & buses).

I just went to Vienna last weekend from Bratislava. It was quick and easy. Trains run every hour from Hlavna Station (in downtown).

Ann

Posted by
7 posts

A suggestion is to go from Bpest to Vienna in the morning with the train and then take the afternoon to explore Vienna. Then take a later train to Prague..at least this way you can get a bit of Vienna.

From Prague, there is a train that I beleive leaves at 11.45 pm to Budapest from the central train station that is a cinch to get to. You'll be in Bpest around 8am, and if you get a sleeper car, it is completly workable (you will be woken up several times for passport control). Not the best nights sleep but can save you a night hotel. They have faster trains as well, but no sleeper cars avail.

Really, leave Bratislava out. I want you to have a great trip, going here is not.

Also, instead of Vienna or Bratislave, you can go to Kracow instead.

Posted by
5561 posts

I wouldn't leave Vienna out. It's a wonderful city and you can walk to everything. Even when in the summer when the musicians are all of town on vacation they manage to provide music for the tourists. The art is magnificent. Prague is good too. Some of my tour mates went on to Budapest and liked it as well.

Pam

Posted by
7 posts

We did that route in mid-April of this year (in 11 days, and would have liked at least 1-2 more days), and included Cesky Krumlov in the itinerary. You didn't say when you'd go, but I can appreciate the threat of heat and crowds in the summer. Late fall and early spring are the best times for us. I was told the high season in Prague at least was May and September. For train timetables you can try: http://jizdnirady.idnes.cz/JRCis.asp?tt=c&p=MF&cl=E5 in the CZ, or look at the overall timetable here: http://www.oebb.at/en/index.jsp This covers travelers experiences: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/16388/4e34c/9/ . For a shuttle van to Cesky Krumlov from Vienna, see Rick's recommendation of Shuttle Lobo (http://www.shuttlelobo.com/) which goes from Linz, Austria to CK in the off season, not Vienna. Give yourself plenty of time to stand in line at the station, bureaucracy, traveler's questions and translation time can be very slow. And remember to validate your ticket on the platform, just before you get on the train-- or else! Consider Cesky Krumlov or S. Bohemia as part of your loop, and you can return to Budapest from Prague via Moravia or Bratislava. However, our open jaw flight did not cost more-- we just had a travel agent set it up for us so we didn't mess it up with our own online reservation effort. Have fun!

Posted by
189 posts

You need to find a place that excites you, hang the bit of extra expense for a few nights. While the hotels in Vienna are more expensive than some other places (we are headed there in July) you can save money by eating food from the market, walking to sights, etc. Go see what you want to see - don't go if it's not of interest to you. And have a great trip!

Posted by
1 posts

Hi! Im trying to get flight tickets from Prague to Vienna but it's is like $500 dollars. Is it cheaper to take the train? How long does it take. I'd really like to fly instead but the fare is so much. Where can i get lower fares. Im traveling from San Francisco to London to Prague to Vienna to Stockholm and to Nice, France..I need all the help. Thanks