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2024 Travel plans and recommendations

My wife and I are doing the RS Paris and the Heart of France tour April 19th to April 29th. We will buy round trip air tickets from San Francisco to London and stay in London for 2 nights then take the Eurostar to Paris a day prior to our RS France tour April 18th
After our RS tour we are planning on staying in Paris and extra day or 2 ??? then flying to Berlin for 3 days ??? then taking a train to Prague for 3 days ??? then taking a train to Vienna for 3 days ??? then fly back to London and the following day fly back to SF. We have been to London before but enjoy London. Any suggestions on the destinations and train travel or Hotels in these cities I listed above and any Day tours you recommend in the cities mentioned above would be very much appreciated. Fred

Posted by
4827 posts

My only question would be why you would fly all the way back to London to go home. You could get a multicity ticket into London and out of Vienna, saving both time and money instead of back tracking. If you love London, put all your time there at the beginning of your trip. And when planning each city stay, figure out what you want to see and do there to estimate the number of days you need. And dont forget that every time you change locations you lose at least half a day sight seeing time.

Posted by
6489 posts

Are those "days" you refer to full days in each city, or partial days including travel time between cities? If they're partial days, then it looks to me like you're giving eight full days (not counting the tour) to five great cities, and seven to planes and trains. I think that's way too much moving around. If by "days" you mean "nights," then you're giving the cities more time but still, I'd think, not enough.

You like London, and maybe you've got a great airfare there. (But maybe not, since you're asking here about overall length of trip.) But wouldn't it make more sense this time to fly directly into Paris, and then, as suggested above, back from Vienna (via whatever hub works best)? You're putting a lot of moving-around time into building just one full London day into your trip. I like London too, but is that worth it? (BTW, if you refer to the "chunnel" in England you'll get either incomprehension or polite laughter. The train is called the Eurostar.)

You might get more useful answers here if you lay out the total timeframe for your trip -- hopefully as long as possible. It sounds like a great one if you can spend enough time in each city. To get a better idea of how long to spend in each city, you could post a question in each relevant "country" forum here, describing some of your interests and sightseeing goals after some time with a guidebook. Then you'll get opinions about how much time to give the place (maybe even something like a consensus).

Posted by
7253 posts

Hi Fred, I would put all of your own Paris days ahead of the tour, so if you happen to get flight delayed on the way over, you won’t miss your tour. Plus, it’s nice to begin the trip on you own. Agree with the comments above to just fly directly to Paris and skip London altogether. Otherwise, that a very expensive addition - both $ & time, taking the Eurostar for just one full day in London. Give those two extra days to the end cities.

Or, save London for a stop on the way back, i,e, fly multi-city ticket SF to Paris & home from London. Purchase a cheap one-way flight (similar to Easy Jet) to go from Vienna to London.

Posted by
35 posts

A big Thanks go out to each of you. You gave us some serious food for thought and I like your recommendations on time and travel. Truly appreciate your advice. Fred

Posted by
6489 posts

Just one more suggestion -- You've posted this under "Trip Reports," which is a forum where people tell others about trips they've recently taken. You might get more eyeballs and responses if you post under "Destination Q&A." For your post above, "General Europe" is probably the best place, and for specific questions about Paris, Berlin, Prague, and Vienna you'll get more replies if you post them under those countries.

Posted by
1917 posts

I like booking.com to research hotels and then you could either book through them or go directly to the hotel site.

Are you asking for information about hotels for every city that you mentioned? What is your budget like?

A lot of members on this site like Premier Inn (P I) which has great locations all over London.

I recently stayed at Hotel 63 in London which I heard about from members on this site. It is a small historic bed & breakfast across from Kensington Gardens on Bayswater Road. Great location.

Posted by
8125 posts

The hotel chain, Premier Inn, is a very popular group of hotels in the U.K. They have a location that's about a 300 yard walk from Paddington Station where the Heathrow Express train stops. Just 15 minute ride from the airport. We stayed there in June, and it's a great property with a very decent restaurant on site.

We travel with a 12 year old, and there's all kinds of restaurants around Paddington Station she likes. You can also get into the underground there to take you anywhere London fast.

For Vienna, we've been staying at K&T Boardinghouse for the last 20 years. (It was good enough for Rick Steves.) KTBoardignhouse.AT The rooms are huge and impeccably clean. It's 2 subway stops (5 minutes) from St. Stephens and the great museums in The Ring. The underground entrance is 50' away--across the street. And it's very inexpensive.

Posted by
136 posts

For Prague - we stayed at U Pava twice and want to go back. Wonderful, small boutique hotel with charming breakfast area and within walking distance of all major areas. https://hotel-upava.cz/ And go to a concert in a church!

We were in Paris for a month last year and one of the fantastic attractions we went to was Musee Carnavalet - https://www.carnavalet.paris.fr/ Antique merry-go-rounds (one used in Midnight in Paris - incredible) tour guide was wonderful and although we were part of a French-speaking tour, he made sure to say what he needed to to the four of us that were English-speaking. Incredible experience. Also really enjoyed getting to Hemingway Bar at the Ritz.

Posted by
6274 posts

For London, I second the recommendation for Premiere Inns. They are relatively inexpensive (for London, which can be very pricey) but clean, comfortable and in some very good locations. I've stayed at them in Scotland and have booked the PI at County Hall for my upcoming trip to England in early spring. I'm paying around £140 a night for a Premier Plus room.

In Berlin, I stayed at the Adina Apartment Hotel Hackescher Markt in 2022 and really liked it. There is great public transportation nearby, and if you are flying in or out of BER, you can get the S-Bahn right at the corner, which gives you a straight shot to the airport. The hotel was very nice, clean and comfortable with a friendly and helpful staff. I was a solo traveler so I had a studio room with microwave, dishwasher and fridge, but the larger rooms have washers, I believe and other accoutrements.

There are lots of good restaurants and cafes there, as well as several small grocery stores and wine shops. The Spree River is very close and the Berliner Dom is a very short walk from the hotel. There is a street market nearby and quite a few other sights in the area, including the DDR Museum, and Museum Island, and I walked to Linden Street from here. If you pull it up on Google maps, you should be able to get an idea of what is around there.

There was a nice vibe to the area and I felt comfortable walking around by myself. Near Hackescher Markt is an interesting complex called Hackescher Hof, which is a large complex filled with shops and restaurants. It was fun to walk through, have a bit to eat and enjoy the restaurants and cafes. I would definitely stay at the Adina again.

Posted by
14500 posts

For London I stay in Kings Cross, ,super convenient, well served by the Tube and bus connections.

In London I take both the bus and the Tube. Kings Cross has some very nice B&B establishments , affordable also.