Please sign in to post.

Concerned - Best of Eastern Europe

I really want to go on the RS "Best of Eastern Europe"tour. However, I am a bit concerned about the long bus rides (7, 6 hours) between sites. I read the travel reviews and no one mentioned any issues. But I want to check in with others on how their experience was on this tour. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Concerned.

Posted by
4637 posts

6-7 hours is a total time between places where you stay overnight. Stops are about every two hours for bathroom breaks, stretching and refreshments. Besides, there is a law how many hours bus driver can drive without a break and I think that's two hours. 6-7 hours between overnight places are rare. The longest distance on your tour is between Krakow and Budapest and that's a very scenic part through the Carpathian Mountains.
Your question is better suited to be under Rick Steves Tours. You are not reporting on your trip but asking question about Rick Steves Tour.

Posted by
29 posts

I took the Best of Eastern Europe tour three years ago in June. No one (myself included) seem to have any issues with the length of the bus rides. We stopped every two hours for snack and bathroom breaks. The guide would often give commentary and talk about the history of our next stop. Personally, I enjoyed napping on the bus. There were plenty of seats and I always had a row of seats to myself to spread out and make myself comfy. This was a great tour and I highly recommend that you take it. You will love it!

Posted by
112 posts

Ditto llja's comments. The tour is an eye opener all the way around. The noted trip may be long, but is an interesting and beautiful excursion with appropriate stops. Highly recommend the tour.

Posted by
171 posts

Took the tour in 2014, You will love it. The bus rides went so quickly that you will not notice the time. The scenery is wonderful, our guide kept us busy (if you want to participate) winning goodies to eat if we answer a question correctly. Others have mentioned the 2 hour breaks at wonderful rest stops. Our group got along so well that we would sit with different people and visit. One day we stopped in Slovakia for a picnic lunch in the town square. This tour includes so many countries that would be hard to travel to on your own. Hope you go!

Posted by
215 posts

We did the tour with our 18 year old son in 2013. Between two other families there were four additional teenagers. Neither they, nor anyone else, had any issues with the traveling on the tour. They had a great time everywhere including the bus where they took over the rear seats. We have been on four RS trips and all have been great but we still consider this the best one.

Posted by
16567 posts

Rick's tour covers a lot of ground. In 12 days you will spend 36 hours in transit and as you note, these trips run as much as 7 and 8 hours. 36 hours is the equivalent of 4 days of sight seeing.

If you are drawn to each of the stops on the trip, then it will be worth it to you. Its all about what lights your fire. I would love to see Krakow, but despite having traveled to Hungary and Slovakia and Ukraine (countries that surround Krakow) I have never wanted to dedicate a full day to get there. I have been on portions of all the bus routes you will take. Czech to Krakow (I've gotten within 175km of Krakow) and Krakow to Eger, somewhat interesting; Budapest to Croatia, mostly not too interesting until you reach the final few hours.

Posted by
130 posts

I did this tour in spring 2016 and I'll echo what others have said. The drives were not bad at all. Stops were plentiful and our guide used the bus time to fill us in on the history of the various countries or to give us important information about our plans for when we got where we were going. That way when we got there we could hit the ground running.

For me the bus rides were also a nice chance to catch up on my trip journal, look through yesterdays photos on my camera and delete the lousy ones, catch a quick nap, etc. When we were in towns and touring I was constantly busy and was often too tired each night to keep up on my journal, so the bus rides were a nice time for that. I had an e-reader with me, but I almost never used it. I spent most of the time simply staring out the window at the beautiful scenery while listening to classical music by Eastern European composers on my iPod. I simply couldn't tear myself away from the views. At the rest stops our group was constantly buying new and unusual snacks and sharing them with people around us on the bus and by the end I felt like I was just on a road trip with my 25 best friends. If you like the look of the tour I wouldn't let the drives hold you back. I have nothing but fond memories of my trip, bus rides and all.