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Eastern Europe Tour Questions--Pre and Post

I am going solo on the Eastern Europe tour in May. I would like to arrive in Prague a few days early, but it seems the tour hotel (Hotel Metamorphis) is full. Can anyone recommend another hotel nearby where I can become familiar with the area?
Also, the tour ends in Lake Bled, and doesn't spend the night in Ljubljana. I have read that Ljubljana is not to be missed and to stay extra days there if possible. My question: should I book an extra night in the Lake Bled hotel (Hotel Lovec) or should I get transportation to Ljubljana and stay there for a few days? or both? Or should I skip Ljubljana entirely (I will be there again in October) and take the train to Venice? Is Trieste worth an overnight visit? Does anyone have a hidden gem that I should know about?

Posted by
317 posts

Since you say "seems" to be full, have you emailed the hotel and asked? I always mention I will be on the RS tour and have always gotten a room on the various tours I have taken.

Posted by
43 posts

Yes, I emailed them a few days ago and am hoping they haven't responded because of the holidays.

Posted by
1425 posts

Well, all your post tour options are good ones. What I did was go back to Ljubljana (the EE guide will help you arrange transportation from Lake Bled), and spend several days there at the Hotel Mrak. I fell in love with that city when I first visited with the Adriatic tour and as EE only spends an afternoon there, I just couldn't pass up the opportunity for a revisit after ending EE in Lake Bled. I am sorry I can't help you with your Prague question as we did stay pre tour extra days at the Metamorphis but I know there are several knowledgeable travelers on this forum who can give you wonderful recommendations.

Posted by
669 posts

Annie, You might want to check a couple other RS recommended hotels that are within walking distance from Hotel Metamorphis. Hotel Hastal and Green Garland Pension. I have read good reviews on this Forum as well as Booking.com.

Ljubljana is our newest favorite city and any chance to spend a few days should not be missed. We were in Venice before going to Ljubljana. We took the GoOpti Shuttle. It was comfortable, reliable and affordable. Feel free to pm me for questions.

Posted by
52 posts

Annie, we stayed at Hotel Hastel before we took the EE tour in May and preferred it to Hotel Metamorphis.

Posted by
127 posts

We stayed at Hotel Hastel before and during the EE Tour and at Hotel Mrak in Ljubljana before and during the Best of the Adriatic Tour. We enjoyed them both and would recommend them.

Posted by
2014 posts

Trieste is a gem. Until 1918 it was the seaport of Austria, and time has almost stood still on the majestic seafront Piazza Unita d'Italia and the Canal Grande.
It has an excellent train connection with Venice, but getting there by train from Lake Bled is perhaps less straightforward than you would feel comfortable with. There is a very scenic train ride from the railway station Bled Jezero (at the other side of the lake) to Nova Gorica. There you have to pick up one of the waiting taxis to the Italian part of the city for the railway station Gorizia to get the frequent train to Trieste. (It is all explained on the trustworthy website of the European train expert Man in Seat Sixty-One.)
There are also shuttle services from Bled to Trieste, but I have no experience with them.

Posted by
1352 posts

I did this tour solo in 2012. We didn't visit Ljubljana at that time (in hindsight, I wished I had spent time there). Since you mention that you'll be returning to Ljubljana in October, I would skip it in favor of seeing something else. What airport will you fly home from? That will help narrow down options. For example, I took the train from Bled to Salzburg, then to Munich and home from there.

As for Prague, it looks like they trimmed off quite a bit of the itinerary compared to when I took the tour. Be sure to go to Jewish quarter on your early days there, it is quite amazing. I also really enjoyed the behind the scenes tour at the Municipal House. Our tour hotel was Hotel Royal Esprit (nice) and I stayed on my own at Hotel Central (next door to Royal Esprit, and much less expensive). Both are about two blocks from your tour hotel.

Posted by
43 posts

Thank you so much to everyone who wrote! This is exactly what I was looking for. I contacted Hotel Hastal in Prague and will also reach out to the others mentioned. I’m planning two days in Prague before the tour.

After the tour I have 6 days until I meet friends in Rome, so basically I can go anywhere.

Posted by
669 posts

Annie, to add to my previous posting, we just booked with Hotel Hastal for a six night stay next September. It sounds like a great place to stay based on location, and wonderful customer service.
All the best!

Posted by
2265 posts

Ljubljana is a great city with lots to do and see, but head to Italy unless it's just another short tour stop in October. In that case, I'd suggest 2 nights. In either case, consider visiting Vintgar Gorge in the morning before heading out from Lake Bled. Your guide can help you decide on best transportation options to Ljubljana and/or Italy. There are many good stops along the train route to Rome - Trieste, Venice, Padua, Ferrara, Bologna, Florence and Orvieto to mention a few. There are several more good options with a slight detour from the direct route. Pick a couple of cities that interest you. Hard to go wrong.