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Help with Eastern Europe trip - CZ-AT-SK-HU-PL

Travel Forums Europe Help with Eastern Europe trip - CZ-AT-SK-HU-PL

1. Posted by AdamH77 (Inactive 41 posts) 9y

Hi everyone, i'm going on my first solo backpacking trip round eastern europe in a couple of weeks and am after a little advice, mainly about train passes and the cost of buying tickets locally. Here's a plan of what i'm roughly looking at doing, probably be staying 2 or 3 days in each city :

Route

Fly into Prague April 3rd
Prague to Vienna
Vienna to Bratislava
Bratislava to Budapest
Budapest to Krakow - Overnight Train
Krakow to Prague - Overnight Train
Fly out of Prague April 24th

Trains

a) 1 Zone Interrail pass - £215 - Only 16 days - I'm assuming I can buy this pass before the price change for use in April.
b) Euro Domino - Would have to buy a separate pass for each country - In excess of 300 Euros.
c) Eurail - Europe East Pass - 6 Days within 15 $302 - Only 15 Days - Limited to Non Europeans?
d) Individual Point to Point tickets
Using www.raileurope.co.uk could only find the price for one of the connections : Prague - Vienna - £36 : Seems to be about the same price as point to point tickets if all around this amount, although i’m expecting them to be a little cheaper.

Hostels

Prague – Dlouha Pension & Hostel, Old Prague Hostel, Miss Sophies, Sir Tobys
Vienna – Wombats The Lounge, Westend City Hostel
Bratislava – Downtown Backpackers
Budapest – Unity Hostel, Hostel Domino
Krakow –Sky Hostel, Nathansvilla, Dodo Hostel

A few questions :

1) Is there anywhere in Slovakia between Budapest and Krakow worth staying?
2) I was thinking of visiting Brno for a day or two inbetween Krakow and Prague, is it worth visiting or is there somewhere else better?
3) If i buy point to point tickets, do i get the tickets cheaper if i buy a few days in advance? Eg. Here in the uk if i want to travel to London it’ll be half the price if i buy it a week or so in advance.
4) I’m looking for hostels with a good social atmosphere where people mix a lot, does anyone have any recommendations?

Thanks for any help you can give me
Adam

2. Posted by sarahd (Budding Member 96 posts) 9y

I'd go to Olomouc instead of Brno, I didn't really take to Brno. Olomouc is sort of a lively university type town, Brno was just another big city.

3. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 9y

4) I’m looking for hostels with a good social atmosphere where people mix a lot, does anyone have any recommendations?
Prague – Dlouha Pension & Hostel, Old Prague Hostel, Miss Sophies, Sir Tobys
Vienna – Wombats The Lounge, Westend City Hostel
Bratislava – Downtown Backpackers
Budapest – Unity Hostel, Hostel Domino
Krakow –Sky Hostel, Nathansvilla, Dodo Hostel

I've stayed in Sir Tobys before and it was fine, ditto the Wombats and Nathansvillas. In Wien, Praha, Budapest and Krakow there are LOTS of hostels, mostly good, and accessible, so one is as good as another. I've stayed in 6 (i think) different hostels in Budapest, all of which were fine although the one i probably go to again if i had to pick one would be the Downtown backpackers (which is the least central, but I happened to enjoy most). Bratislava has very few options. The only one i've stayed in was Gabriels, which is ludicrously central ((it's behind the barbed wire fencing and tanks of the American embassy on the central street)) which was refereshingly dodgy, but fine.

Bratislava centre is fairly small and compact,and you can see all points of interest in a single day. And as it's only an hour from Vienna, you could easily do it as a daytrip meaning you wouldn't have to carry all your stuff around.

Trains: I'd be inclined to buy point to point. Eurodomino will be mor or less useless to you because you aren't doing much within any country, so it will cost you more. [Hegyashalom - Budapest - Rajka will be much cheaper than 2days on a Hungarian Eurodomino]. And if you do Krakow - Prague during the day, and change at the border, it will be even cheaper. Buying a day in advance might save you a little on some journeys, but in Eastern Europe it's rarely the case.

Brno and Olomouc are both fine, as is Ostrava, although none is stunningly amazing. Kutna Hora and Cesky Krumlov (with some time in Ceske Budojovice) would make better stop offs in my opinion, and are smaller and more rural.

Regarding your Slovakia query, the Tatra mountains (on the border) are lovely, and whilst i can't suggest one specific place which is niecer than any other, a few days wandering around there - assuming decent-ish weather - is well worth it. You can then go down into Krakow by going across the range and via Zakopane

4. Posted by lazysal80 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 9y

Hi ya,
try and log on at the national websites of the countries your going to.
www.bahn.de or google them. They usually have an Enligh button
A lot of them have special offers, for example Vienna to Budapest for 19 euros.
You usually have to travel on a particular train but so what...