I'm going to be taking trains through Europe in April, mostly to see scenery from the train window as well as visit some great cities along the way. I have a concert ticket in Prague Apr. 13. From there, I'd like to consider Krakow and Budapest. I'd like suggestions on a couple ways to do that that I've read about here and/or heard from some of you about already. Prague-Krakow during the day, via Zilina and in part by bus to Zakopane. Krakow-Budapest overnight sleeper. Prague-Budapest overnight sleeper leaves after the concert. Budapest-Krakow either daytime or overnight. Again, if my main objective is to see scenery, esp mountain views, etc., is either of these strongly preferable to the other? Are there other better ideas?
Bus route between Krakow and Budapest is spectacular and straight through the mountains, rather than around them, and is not overnight.
Thx Larry. I do favor trains vs buses, but I won't rule out a bus. My main concern on a bus is that since I'm diabetic I need to "go potty" a lot more often than most, and I'm not always certain how easy that'd be on a bus. And not being able to get up and stretch my legs would mean also that my frequent leg cramps would be another thing I'd have to "deal with". Could I "deal with" both of those issues? Of course I could. Would I rather pick a means of transport that might reduce those issues somewhat? Probably, yeah.
The long-distance buses do have a "cramped" bathroom. Walking the aisle is not going to be like walking the aisle on a train. However, I think if you check schedules you will find the bus routes substantially less time due to their going direct and making only a couple stops. E.g., the bus between Budapest and Krakow is scheduled for 7.5 hours, including a break, and it can be faster. i believe that same train is 11 or 12 hours. Bus is also much less costly, and tickets can be bought and reserved online. Water and snacks are available.
Just giving you what I know. You know yourself and your needs best. Good luck and enjoy.
Most scenic ride from the options you stated is without doubt Prague Krakow via Zilina. It's not the shortest or most direct route but it has the most scenery. You would take train Prague Kosice, beautiful scenery starts about 1 hour after Ostrava around the station Jablunkov and continues all the way to Poprad where you get off the train. From Poprad to nearby Stary Smokovec by little electrical train (something between train and streetcar). There you would have to stay overnight but it's worth it. S.S. is high mountain resort in the High Tatra mountains. From there take a bus to Zakopane. Years ago I took the direct bus, now I am not able to find it on Internet. Inquire in Stary Smokovec. In the worst case scenario you would change buses in Lysa Polana on the border of Slovakia and Poland. From Zakopane you get to Krakow either by train or by bus.
The bus is a fraction of the price and is through some spectacular scenery, it goes through the ski resort towns and a few castles as well. You can choose your seat on the bus and just choose in the middle, near the bathroom. You can stand and stretch your legs. Take the bus! Save the $100 or so per person for a great meal or lodging.