Travel this December

Hi, I am new to your site. I am Kathleen Kobelka from Vancouver Canada,I am wudowed and travel alone and am hoping you can be of assistance. I amgoing to Davos Switzerland for the Spangler cup to be with family from the 23rd of December until 1st ir 2 Nd of January. However I would like to travel a week to ten days before and a week or so after and am looking at Prague and area before and wondering if I should stay in the area after as well. I will need to make flight arrangements soon and want to get advice as to the simplest and most enjoyable way to tour. I am excited but nervous and have never travelled Europe in winter before. Look forward to hearing from you. Thankyou Kathleen

Posted by Ilja
Seattle
1469 posts

Fly to Prague. You will still have time to see also Cesky Krumlov and Karlovy Vary. I recommend Rick Steves book: Prague and the Czech Republic. You also find information about Cesky Krumlov in it. I would recommend to get information from Internet, too. You can start with this website: http://www.pragueexperience.com

Posted by James
Frisco
1803 posts

My wife and I are in our 50's and we spend time almost every winter in Central and Eastern Europe. The Czech Republic is beautiful under a carpet of snow. Prague is always beautiful as is Cesky Krumlov and in the winter the tourist crush isn't as bad. So, yes, go see the Christmas markets and if you find yourself as far south as Budapest stop in and say hello.

Posted by Kathleen
Vancouver, B.C., Canada
3 posts

Thanks for positive input. I am looking forward to my trip and will do Prague for a week before Davos Switz. But have ten days after and am wondering if I should go back and do Budapest, Vienna or should I venture down to Corsica,or somewhere in Spain. If you have any further suggestions I would appreciate it.
I Thankyou again, keep smiling Kathleen

Posted by James
Frisco
1803 posts

I'm pretty biased, I love Central Europe (what RS calls Eastern Europe); especially Budapest and parts of Romania and Bulgaria. Prague is often done with Vienna and Budapest and it does make for some wonderful contrasts. I will send you a link with my take on the three cities (all positive). If you decide to go that way I would suggest 2 complete full days in Vienna as a minimum, maybe a complete full day in Bratislava and another in Gyor with a side trip to the Archabbey and then no less than 3 full days in Budapest and 4 to 5 isn't unreasonable. But that's just based on what i enjoy which may differ from your taste. I prefer more laid back, great food, warm people, music, theater and the sort of time capsule escape that Budapest affords. Oh, and lots of wine and pate (California forgive me)

Posted by Kathleen
Vancouver, B.C., Canada
3 posts

Hi,James and once again Thank-you for your input!
So far you have been the most helpful. Because I am meeting family in Davos Switzerland for the Spangler Cup the week of Christmas I am in a quandary as what to do? I am on the same wave length re things to do and also love the wine and pate.( ha) I thought it would be nice to do Prague the week prior to Christmas because of Christmas markets and spirit etc.but am wondering if I should just take three weeks after Christmas and follow your trip suggestions ,otherwise I am backtracking. However I am flying from Vancouver Canada and need to decide where to land and what city to depart from. Once again if you have suggestions it would be appreciated( you should be in travel business)! My best to you and your wife and happy traveling! Kathleen I look forward to receiving your link and hearing more.

Posted by James
Frisco
1803 posts

Kathleen. I sent you a PM with some details. Hope it helps a little.

Posted by James
Frisco
1803 posts

Sorry you are having PM problems. Odd you can send one but can't find the ones you receive. Or maybe its me? I'll try and reconstruct the meat of it. Remember this is just one guy's opinion: At this link: http://budapestflat.shutterfly.com/fivedaysinbudapest there is a file called "Prague, Vienna or Budapest?" It's my take on the differences between the three. I tried to be objective by I'm still biased. Before I choose to go someplace I look for photos to see if I have any interest. To that end if you will go to the top of the same page you will find links to Budapest (Bp), Hungary (HU), Romania (RO), Czech Republic (CZ), etc. Also check the link "MORE" to see them all. Maybe it will perk some interest in something. Next its about what interests you and your budget. Central Europe is pretty inexpensive as compared to Switzerland. Actually remarkably less expensive so you can live a little higher if you are on a Swiss budget. Then it's about if you want to travel solo or with a guide or in a group. Hungary and the Czech Republic are easy solo. Romania and Bulgaria probably easier with a private guide with a car which is a pretty reasonable expense. If you have a real good budget I know a hotel in the High Tatras that is worth the trip any time of the year that can be worked in with a trip to Krakow. As for interests winter in Central Europe is sort of a mature endeavor. Operett, Opera, Ballet, Classical Music, Wine, Food, Coffee Houses, etc. And snow. But you are from Vancouver so you understand that a little snow can be a good thing. In Budapest at least the Christmas markets run until the end of December. I cant say about the others. Granted they are better before Christmas, but.......

Posted by James
Frisco
1803 posts

If it interests you I would suggest doing it in a three week trip at the end. You can take the train to Vienna spend a night or two and then head off on your adventure. I would try to end in Budapest as it's a great place to decompress. From Budapest you can take the train back to Vienna for another day or two and then fly out of Vienna for most parts of the world. Or you can fly out of Budapest through Frankfurt or London to most destinations in the world. If any of this interests you I know good guides in Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and I can share what we have enjoyed. If you are interested you can write me at vasvari.pal.6@gmail.com