too many cities?

I am going on a trip, and Prague is a definite. I was thinking about going from Berlin to Prague to Budapest, VIenna, Salzberg, and ending in Munich. I have about three weeks, but am worried that this is too many cities to get a feel for them. If I am going to cut one, which should I cut? How much time should I spend in each city?

Posted by Dave
Stamford, CT, USA
25 posts

I don't think that is too many cities. Especially, spread out over three weeks. That's two per week at 3-4 nights a piece. Don't think I'd drop any of them. I'm sure you'll be getting a Eurail pass to do this as it will easy to go from city to city this way. You may have to do some overnight train travel, depending on the distances plus it will give you more time to see these cities rather than wasting your time during the day traveling by train.

Posted by Ed
9110 posts

I wouldn't drop any for three weeks. This might not suit you exactly for the number of days in each, but it's at least a weight factor that makes sure you can see enough of all: Berlin 6 Prague 4 Vienna 4 Munich 4
Salzburg 2 The idea of a rail pass stikes me as fishy, others know the best way to pull it off.

Posted by Emily
480 posts

Kate, I believe this can be done in 3 weeks because these cities are all pretty close to each other. I've been to all but Salzburg and from what I hear from many on this site is that a night or 2 will absolutely satisfy.
I like Berlin, Budapest, and Vienna the most and would spend the most time there, but that is me. You need to figure out what interests you the most and delegate the time accordingly. Do you like brewery tours? The opulence of the old empire? 20th century history? Partying in clubs or seeing live music? Bargain shopping? Organize what you like to do most on vacation and prioritize accordingly. Have fun planning!

Posted by Jim
Boston, MA, USA
4 posts

Kate, We did close to that trip last year (backwards- beginning in Munich) in 12 days (by train) & it was comfortable. We actually landed in Munich (toured there the previous year) and with a Bayern ticket, headed to Saltzburg (arrived 2pm) and spent 2 nights (1.5 days there is PLENTY - 1 day is enough). We then trained to Vienna, stayed 3 nights (2.5 days - worked fine), then train to Prague, stayed 2 nights (perfect), then to Berlin by train for 3 nights. We'd also recommend the hotels - Saltzburg was the NH Saltzburg City, Vienna was the Pension Nossek (center of city - small, funky but clean and worked well), Prague was the Hotel Unitas (excellent) and in Berlin, we used frequent guest points at the Hilton (excellent). So adding Munich and Budapest seems reasonable. I'd allow 1 or 1.5 days for Munich. We've never stopped in Budapest though.
Good Luck, Jim, Boston

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
3399 posts

Your trip is certainly do-able because the relatively close proximity of the cities. If I was going to cut a city, it'd be Berlin. Getting from Budapest to Vienna to Prague is easy. Then down to Salzburg and Munich. They're all great cities and worthy of enough time to enjoy them.

Posted by Jon
Cincinnati, OH, USA
366 posts

My wife and I are planning a visit similar to yours regarding destinations and time. However as this will be our second visit to Munich and we will only be there two days this trip. We've planned two days in Salzburg and three days each in Berlin, Budapest, Vienna and Prague (not including travel time) If we would have had more time, we would have likely planned to visit longer in Berlin. Our visit to these cities is interrupted by a fourth week in Northern Germany doing genealogy research. You didn't mention in your post if you are arriving and departing from the same or different cities? Are you planning to visit the cities in the order you noted: Berlin to Prague to Budapest to Vienna to Salzburg to Munich?

Posted by Jon
Cincinnati, OH, USA
366 posts

In preparing for our visit, we studied train schedules that link all the cities and planned our movement between cities to minimize back-tracking and at the same time departing and arriving at the various cities at times which will allow us the most flexibility. As you refine your plans, allow ample time for checking out of one hotel, travel to the train, the train trip, travel to the next hotel and checking in. Even though the cities are not great distances apart, we've planned on 4-5 hours each that best coincides with when museums and various landmarks are open (and closed). Your movement will be longer for the Berlin-Prague and Prague-Budapest legs than I've noted

Posted by Mike
Atlanta, Georgia
1 posts

Kate I am planning a similar trip for may to June and thought about starting in Berlin, I am a history teacher and love WW II so I was thinking 4 nights in Berlin then to Prague then not sure of the order for my next cities which will include Munich with a day trip to Salzburg or a couple of nights the to Vienna I am up for suggestions along the way. I thought of being real adventurous and trying to do Florence and Rome on the same trip. Two to three weeks is my time frame. Thanks

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
24146 posts

Kate, I agree with the others. IMO, this is NOT too many cities for the time frame you're working with. When is this trip taking place? I'm not sure that using a Railpass is the best method, nor using night trains. For example, the trip from Berlin to Prague is very easy, and it's nice to travel in the day time to see the scenery. I haven't checked the Prague - Budapest or Budapest - Vienna legs, but all the others you mentioned are short trips and easily done in the day time. As Prague is a "definite", I assume you'll be spending more time there. What type of sights are you most interested in seeing? One activity I'd highly recommend is a Segway tour, as it's a fun and interesting way to cover some of the main historic sights. If you need hotel suggestions in any of the cities, I'm sure the group here will be able to offer lots of ideas. Happy travels!

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
24146 posts

@Mike, Which WW-II sites are you interested in visiting in the cities you'll be visiting? I might be able to offer some suggestions.

Posted by Frank
Oxford, MS, United States
31 posts

Listen to what Ken said. If you are planning your trip well in advance you can buy your tickets really cheap, about one-third to one-half the cost of a rail pass. The rail pass is great for last-minute of spontaneous travel. You don't have too many cities, but you might pick a couple to see really quickly, like Salzberg, so that you can do longer stays everywhere else.

Posted by Mary
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
35 posts

last May, we flew to Munich then took train to Vienna. After Vienna, traveled to Budapest then overnight train to Krakow. After Krakow, took night train to Prague. After Prague, returned to Munich. We spent 3 weeks and it was great! We spent most time in Krakow, Prague and Budapest since they seem to be more remote. LOVED trip --in spite of people insisting that we were trying to visit too many cities. I called RailEurope and made resevations over the phone. They were VERY helpful and did comparisions for point-to-point tickets vs. rail passes. (I was speaking with someone in the U.S.). We saved much time by taking night trains. Have a great trip!

Posted by Sarah
Stuttgart, Germany
2030 posts

Berlin: 5-6 nights! There is so much to see and do. Especially for WWII history nerds, and cold war history nerds. And 2nd Reich history nerds. You get the idea. Prague: Haven't been but I've been told 3-4 nights is ideal Budapest: 3 nights was perfect for me, 2 wasn't quite enough but 4 would've been overkill. Vienna: at least 3, I love Vienna so I could be happy there for a week, but I'm unusual in that regard. But even if you don't love Vienna, it's a pretty large city with a lot of great museums and historical sites and palaces, so 3 days would be necessary to hit at least the highlights. Salzburg: Depends if you just want to see Salzburg, in which case 1 night is fine, or if you want to see some of the surrounding attractions - Bechtesgaden, the Eagle's Nest, or Salt mines, in which case 2 -3 nights dependning on how much you're trying to see. Without a car it's more time consuming to get to a few of those places, this can be mitigated by taking a tour if that's your scene.
Munich: 3 nights is fine. Realistically you can see the old city and a museum comfortably in one day. Day 2 could be more museums or extended biergarten time, or a visit to Dachau. If you follow the shorter recommended nights that's still only 16 nights, leaving you plenty of wiggle room to add a night here or there to places that interest you. And this is based on how much time I'd want in these places, and I'm a fairly slow paced traveler who likes to take time to walk through parks, sit and have a glass of wine and people-watch, etc, instead of frantically running from attraction to attraction. In short: you have plenty of time, don't cut out any of these cities!

Posted by Terry kathryn
Ann Arbor, Mi
3553 posts

I love all the cities you are going to visit, but if it were my trip I would have to drop one of them for some time in the countryside. You don't have any 'nature' or small villages... I would have to mix in some of the beautiful surrounding areas to give the trip some balance. But, if you only like cities you have chosen some great ones.

Posted by Sarah
Stuttgart, Germany
2030 posts

(it's so refreshing to say: "You have plenty of time, dont' cut anything!" on this board!) Do NOT get a Eurail pass!! It is totally expensive for this trip. Here's a breakdown of costs of buying point to point tickets, most in advance: Fly into Berlin. Take train from Berlin to Prague. 4 hrs 40 min, advance ticket bought 3 months in advance is 29 euro p/p. Prague to Budapest: 7 hrs. Can't buy the ticket online, but you may be able to purchase in advance by calling. You'd have to do more research on cost. Given that this is the longest leg of your trip you might also explore flying on budget airlines. But I think it's safe to assume costs will be under 30 per person if bought in advance (and maybe even day of? I'm not THAT familiar with the Czech/Hungarian train systems) Budapest to Vienna: 2 hr 46 minutes on RailJet (my fave train everrrr). I think we paid around 20 euro pp for tickets bought at time of departure, but don't quote me on that. You'd have to do additional research to find out if you can purchase those tickets online ahead of time. Vienna to Salzburg: 2 hr 22 min, 19 euro p/p if purchased months in advance Salzburg to Munich: 29 euro on a regional train (no ICE) with a Bayern ticket, can be purchased day of travel. Only adds 30 minutes to transit time versus a more expensive fast train. Total rough estimate: 130 euro or so per person for all your train travel. A Eurail pass that would cover this would literally be double that. It's not even worth it for first class, you could get first class tickets for those routes and still have it be cheaper than a pass. The only reason for the pass is if you want total flexibility.

Posted by Fred
San Francisco
5052 posts

Hi, Not for three weeks would I suggest getting a rail Pass. If you had another 3 weeks, then I would say yes, depending. But, as is, you're not going far enough to warrant a Pass. No need to cut any of the cities given the time span of the trip, unless you want more time in Munich. For both Berlin and Vienna I would devote ample and equal time, especially if you want explore more esoteric sights/museums in the eastern part of Berlin.