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Vienna, Prague, Budapest- May 2013

Just returned from 2 days each in Vienna, Prague and Budapest with a half day visit to Bratislava. Knew it would be too little time in each, but had to work within time dictates. I think I could be a Rick Steves' commercial. Starting with his guidebooks, we used RS recommended hotels; Schweizer Pension in Vienna, U Semika in Prague and Kalvin House in Pest. All were as advertised, clean, friendly, convenient and quite suitable; Schweizer and Kalvin were surprisingly spacious. Loved the RS recommended restaurants and coffee stops, especially the heurigen experience at Schubel-Auer in Vienna, U Knihovny and Klasterni Pivovar in Prague and Belvarosi Lugas in Budapest. Following the RS 2-day guidelines, I think we got a good flavor of the cities, each with its own unique personality. Favorite sites were Albertina, Opera tour and Kunst Historisches (Vienna), Jewish Quarter and Smetana Hall for a concert in Prague and Budapest's Hospital in the Rock and the Opera tour. Some rain and a time change for tour of Parliament made me cancel my planned time at Szechenyl Bath. Royal Palace at Prague Castle was closed and construction in front of Hungary Parliament building eliminated seeing Kossuth ter. Tour time there was 11:30 rather than 10:00. Metros, trams and trains were fun. I want to return to pick up the misses from this trip. Had a great time. Thanks, Rick.

Posted by
213 posts

Hi Bob! Enjoyed reading your report. We are planning a visit to these cities next year so will make good use of your recommendations. Are the cities very different and did you have a favorite?

Posted by
23 posts

Hi, Jaye. Sorry for the time gap,; I have been away from the computer for a few days. I could go on and on about each of these 3 cities. Each is a wonderful place to visit and each has its unique character. I'd rate Vienna a bit more upscale, streets seemed cleaner and the sites more modernized. Prague seemed to have a younger, livelier crowd. It was moving for me to stand in Wenceslas Square imagining 300,000 Czechs looking up at the same balcony where Havel and Dubcek announced the ending of Communist rule and freedom for the Czech Republic. Budapest just felt more fun and relaxed. Loads of sidewalk tables serving great food and friendly, courteous people. It is diverse architecturally with many buildings showing signs of obvious past elegance. If I could go back to only one, I think I'd choose Budapest. But only by a small margin. I hope you have a wonderful trip.