I bought a Eurail flexi global pass today - I'm railing much of Western Europe on a summer journey - and Prague is included in my itinerary between Budapest and Berlin.
Right now my Eurail pass covers my entire journey up to budapest. But since Czech Republic isn't included with Eurail, what might be the cheapest way to arrive and depart in Prague?
Has anyone done this?
... also. When should you reserve a night train/how comfortable are they?
Train. Just buy a ticket to Bratislava from Budapest, then buy a ticket from Bratislava to Prague.
Or go Budapest-Vienna with Eurail pass, take the boat to Bratislava and then take the train to Prague.
It is also possible to go by bus, but the savings are IMO not substantial enough to submit yourself to the very slow bus travel.
Personally I would cram Prague and Cesky Krumlov in between Munich and Vienna before heading down to Budapest.
Essentially you use the Eurail pass up to the Bavarian-Czech border, then buy a ticket to Cesky Krumlov from the Czech conductor. You pay in cash in Czech Crowns. At the train station in Cesky Krumlov you can then buy a ticket to Prague and in Prague you buy a train ticket to Vienna.
Budapest-Berlin would then be a good distance and cheap to fly with easyjet.
Thanks for the advice. I can't do Budapest after Prague, however, because I already purchased my flight and made a date for it. Would there be a way to utilize my rail pass on the way to or from prague without buying point-to-point tickets until its absolutely necessary? (czech border?) How about flights in and out of prague from budapest or to berlin?
Can you cram in Vienna and Bratislava between Budapest and Berlin? If yes, go Budapest-Vienna with Eurail pass, take the boat to Bratislava and then take the train to Prague.
Or skip Bratislava and take the train straight to Prague from Vienna. Your Eurail pass will cover you up to the Czech (or Slovakian) border. For the rest of the journey you need a seperate ticket. You can buy this ticket in Vienna or from the Czech conductor. The Czech conductor is cheaper, but you need Czech Crowns to pay for the ticket. And it can be a problem to buy the ticket when you are already on the train. (This is why I went Munich-Prague, I had to change trains at the border anyway so there was no problem with that.)
There aren't any flights between Prague and Berlin and Prague and Budapest, the distance is too short.
Just how tight is your schedule?
[ Edit: Edited on Apr 29, 2008, at 7:54 AM by t_maia ]
My schedule's rather tight. I have 3 days to spend in each of the cities (budapest, prague, berlin). I can't cut off time of budapest. so that gives me about 6 days after leaving from Budapest to get to Berlin, possibly 7. Because my budget is also quite tight, I wonder if stopping in Bratislava might be a better idea than Vienna (from what I've gathered, Vienna's expensive). But then I wouldn't be using my rail pass.
Perhaps a ticket to sturovo from budapest with the pass, then point-to-point tickets? otherwise.. I'm not sure. Thanks for the ideas thus far!
How much did you pay for the flexi pass? Have you calculated how much EUR you spent on each day of train travel with the pass?
For example: The trip Prague-Berlin is roughly 45 EUR. You could buy a ticket to Dresden for about 20 EUR and use the Eurail pass for the Dresden-Berlin part. But if you spent significantly more than 22 EUR for a day of travel on your pass this course of action would be stupid.
I suggest you play around with www.jizdenka.cz in order to find the cheapest way from A to B. Use a map with the railway lines that shows the border crossing stations, it helps.
So after I did a little research I decided to take your advice and squeeze in Vienna, in order to utilize my pass until the border. Here's my plan:
Budapest to Vienna (pass)
Vienna to Breclav(Gr) (pass) Breclav(Gr) to Prague (~$25)
Prague to Decin ($21) Decin to Berlin (pass)
So I'm spending an extra ~$50 to accommodate travel to Prague. Does this sound reasonable? There's a Prague excursion pass thats somewhere in the $70+ range, so I think I'm saving money with this plan.
Buy the ticket from Prague not to Decin, but to Schöna. It is a few dollars more, but worth it. I once had a local pass for Saxony and was coming from Prague. I bought the ticket to Decin instead of Schöna and ended up having to walk across the border and having to take the super-slow S-Bahn to Dresden. The journey to Dresden which would have been 2 hours from Prague turned out to be 6 hours just because of this.
Thanks. So from Schöna to Berlin then, I could use my pass? I'm willing to spare a few dollars as long as its cheaper than the excursion pass, and if it saves me valuable time!