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Eastern Europe recommendations from recent trip

We visited Prague, Kraków, and Budapest early July for two week vacation. Spent four days Prague, overnight train with compartment for two to Kraków, three nights there, overnight train to Budapest and four nights in Budapest. We had overall good experience flying Lufthansa airlines from Dulles airport to Frankfort and transferring to Prague. We returned from Budapest airport same airlines and transfer.
Hotel Maximilian in Prague, Hotel Maltanski in Kraków, and Casati Hotel in Budapest ( the last two recommended by Rick Steves)- thought they were all great, included great buffet breakfasts very inexpensive rates compared to USA hotels- we will add that we found a Turkish Bath that is relatively newly updated and not mentioned in Rick Steve's book called Veli baths ( next to older Lukas baths) located on the Buda side of Budapest. We also discovered a fantastic fresh fish restaurant, you select what you want and they cook it right there- outdoor seating too and great prices. I had paella and my husband had a terrific white fish dish ( for any fish lover). It was called , The Big Fish, located near the Octagon metro and walking distance from our hotel which is near the Opera house. Prices were amazingly reasonable in Eastern Europe- could not resist purchasing a few clothes for our 19 yo daughter in Zara store in Kraków - Kraków is not as popular but it is lovely highly recommend visiting there!

Posted by
18 posts

If you're interested in WWII history, you can take side trips to Theresienstadt from Prague and Auschwitz from Krakow.

Posted by
12123 posts

Hi,

Thanks for an interesting report...very doable. Taking two night trains on a two week trip wasn't too taxing? I assume they were satisfactory. Depending where I always factor in one night train ride on a trip, if it's two, then I need 3 weeks or more...no problems, always satisfactory so far. But then I don't choose the sleeper or couchette option.

Posted by
1 posts

We have been concerned about the influx of refugees. Was that a problem for you trip?

Posted by
4128 posts

How are you concerned and what problems do you anticipate from the refugees? Scared they might ruin your expensive vacation while they fight to live? I doubt you will even see one refugee anyway.

Posted by
2 posts

Two overnight trips were fine but we would never had done this without the advance reservation of a two person compartment.
Refugee question was a non- issue when we were there in mid- July- maybe it has changed a bit from what we are hearing especially at one of the train stations sounds crowded with refugees staying there.

Posted by
12123 posts

On the refugees: On the this last trip which included the same days when the G-7 summit conference was going on, I saw the the Bavarian Polizei take 6-7 persons off the train. The train was going from Vienna to Munich. Once the train crossed the border, the police immediately boarded along with DB controllers to check tickets. These individuals were questioned by the Bavarian police (in English) asking them if they had passports...not one did. You heard that in the questions put to these guys. I tried to eavesdrop and hear as much as could be heard since my seat was second from the door. All those guys said they were from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran. They were all escorted off at Rosenheim (?), saw them standing on the platform with the Police. It was obvious they were stow aways trying to get into Germany undetected with no ID. Also, it was obvious that the Police went after a certain physical look, appearance, etc before asking the individual if he had a passport. The guy sitting in the seat in front of me looked like these guys did, same height, same physical build, same look. But he produced a ticket and passport when asked.

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12123 posts

@ thearnoldfour....thanks for the information on the two night train trips. I have two night train rides the CNL planned for the next trip in 2016 in Germany and Austria since it's going to have to be a short trip.