Zagreb, Vienna, or Prague

Hi, We had a slight change in our plans and are now trying to figure out what place to add for one night. Traveling with a group of 4 (2 couples) late 20s. One couple flys back to the US from Prague & my husband & I will continue on to Germany to visit family. Most of our trip is in Croatia/Slovenia. We arrive Zagreb Sat 9/21. We have a hotel booked in Prague 9/24-9/26. Already checked & our hotel is booked 9/23 so we can't add an extra day at the same place. What do you suggest between the following options: 1. Zagreb 9/21, take the 7:25am train from Zagreb to Vienna on Sunday 9/22, spend one night in Vienna & take the night train from Vienna to Prague 9/23 (departs 10pm), arrive Prague early am 9/24. 2. Spend 2 nights in Zagreb & take the 7:25am train from Zagreb to Vienna on Monday 9/23, spend about 6hrs (gives us an hr on both sides to get to/from train station) in Vienna & take 10pm train Vienna to Prague, arrive Prague 9/24. Concern with this is that I've heard a lot of things are closed in Zagreb on Sunday. 3. Spend 1 night in Zagreb, take 7:25am train Zagreb to Vienna on Sunday 9/22 (6hrs in Vienna), then Sunday night train, arrive prague Monday morning & get a different hotel for 1 day in Prague. Then we have 3 full days in Prague. 4. Or take a day train from Vienna to Prague, but then we will spend a FULL day on the train & just pass through Vienna. Definitely don't want to shorten our Prague stay, so we'd only do a day train if we arrive Prague 9/23 night. We know none of these are perfect options, but trying to figure out which is best. Suggestions... thank you!

Posted by Paul
Sioux Falls, SD, USA
214 posts

If you haven't planned a side-trip to Plitvice Lake NP from Zagreb, that would be an excellent idea.

Posted by James
Frisco
1773 posts

I'm not a big fan of Prague but you should take at least three full days there if you want to develop your own well informed opinion. I know riding the train is trendy but if you are short on time, and it appears that you are; you might want to fly from Zagreb to Prague and save two days of traveling. There is a flight that changes in Vienna for about $350 round trip and it takes about 3.5 hours. Round Trip? It's not uncommon for one way flights to actually cost more. As for night trains.... If it is a long enough journey they might make sense for a person like me. But it would have to be at least a 10 hour ride. I figure an hour or more to get to sleep and then I know I will wake an hour before the train arrives. So a 10 hour train ride might result in 8 bad hours of sleep with all the noise and stops and rocking and.... Then, when you arrive; what do you do? You just spent the night in a train, you might be a little "musty" but check-in time at the hotel is 2pm. Now they will probably hold your bags at 8 am but they aren't going to lend you any "facilities". I have had some early arrivals by plane and have just booked the hotel for the night before and advised them of my late arrival but if you are riding the train to avoid the hotel cost that doesn't work.

Posted by Fred
San Francisco
2684 posts

Hi, Option 3 doesn't give you much time in Vienna, ca 6 hrs, which can be done if you plan it well, targeting specific sites to visit, and getting back to Wien Meidling with time to spare, since you want to take the night train to Prague. After arriving from Zagreb, put the luggage in the train stations lockers, presumably at Meidling. Option 4... I don't recommend at all, out of the question. The object of taking the night train direct is to avoid option 4.