I'm planning to travel around Eastern Europe and would appreciate advice on a rough time scale for the following countries, I am fortunate enough to have no time limit for my journey
Berlin - 5 to 7 days, it is a very vibrant city with interesting history.
Czech R. - 4-5 days for Prague plus some time in Brno and Cesky Krumlov, say 2-3 days each.
Austria - if you go Vienna and Salzburg plus some small villages in the mountains and the Wachau I'd say 2 to 2 1/2 weeks.
Munich - depends what you are interested in and when you go, during Octoberfest or not. Some find 3 days sufficient, others could have stayed for a week.
Cologne - 2 days plus 1-2 days for the Rhine Valley. Best see the Rhine Valley when you come from Munich. Take the train via Frankfurt to Cologne and make sure it goes the scenic route along the Rhine.
Destinations in Germany you should look at:
Dresden, halfway between Berlin and Prague. Very beautiful city with great student nightlife.
Quedlinburg, Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Heidelberg. All are cities with a well-preserved old medevial town centres. Coming from Munich and going up the Rhine Valley to Cologne Heidelberg would be the easiest to get to.
Thanks for your help it's given me a start to plan some of my journey
I agree with Maria regarding Berlin and Cologne. I spent 4 days in Berlin and needed more - there is so much to see and do and it's a fantastic city. 2 days is a nice amount of time to spend in Cologne. The Cathedral is worth a visit and a climb to the top to take in the view, and don't miss the Chocolate museum.
Transilvania in Romania: 1 day for each place. u can take a central location somewhere and make daily trips by train / bus. Brasov (very nice town), Bran Castle (Dracula's home-place), The Peles Castle in Sinaia, XII century Sighisoara (adooorableee!) or/and Sibiu - former capital of Transylvania.
Agree with t_maia abt Berlin and Prague. Cesky Krumlov is lovely, but small - 1 day is enough.
Austria - two weeks or more -if possible. Just Hundertwasser alone is an issue, but there are also all cultural background, beautiful landscapes, etc.
Thanks for your input it's greatly appreciated, Dresden and the chocolate museum have now been added
I've read elsewhere to bypass Bucharest so thanks for comfirming that one, Transylvania it is
When are you going? Go to Montenegro! It's gorgeous there. Go to Herceg Novi, Budva, Kotor, there is a gorgeous church in the moutains called a cervka(spelling might be off). In Herceg Novi you can find tours to all of these places and to Croatia since it's right next door.
Budapest. About 4 days. There are so many castles and good ones at that. But they are very close to each other. The park along the river is great too, if warm. Very lively city and they have bath houses there but I didnt do this.
Croatia. I dont have a good idea how long. There are so many islands to check out and each one seems to have it own personality, whether its the beaches, the hills or even the people. Best way to see islands is from Split. Dubrovnik is a must see too, but 2 days should be perfect. Im not 100% sure but you can drive into Bosnia for a looksee (less than an hours drive from the croatian coast. Never been to Zagreb though, but overall, Croatia is my favourite country in europe after Switzerland.
Slovakia- only spent 2 days there because Bratislava is 60kms from Vienna. I can only speak for Bratislava, and Id say skip it. Boooooooooooooooooring.
I agree with previous posters about Prague.
I wonder, where are you from?
I have many years experience in Eastern Europe, by road, rail, water and air.
Firstly a little bit of politics.... Serbian border guards do not like Westerners very much. Expect hassle at the frontier, even if your papers are all in order.
There is still a lot of hatred within Former Yugoslavia, towards one FY country from another. Try not to voice any political opinion you may have when travelling through FY.
Hungarians dislike Romanians alot and vice versa, especially close to the borders (Satu Mare, Oradea etc.)
Berlin, Austria, Munich and Cologne are in Western Europe.
As others have already mentioned, Maybe if you're in Vienna, then do a day trip to Bratislava. It's one of four capital cities on the Danube (along with Vienna, Budapest and Belgrade), as it meanders it's way through 10 countries - more than any other river in the world. Otherwise, Slovakia really isn't that exciting. Nor is Munich really. A fascinating city technologically, but no more than that. Cologne and Berlin are much more interesting.
Prague is lovely, but in the summer - it's choking with tourists.
Romania is very pretty and cheap too. Not as cheap as it's neighbour, Bulgaria though.
If you're going to do all those FY countries, then try and get to Sarajevo (Bosnia) and Dubrovnik (Croatia). Two spectacular places.
Belgrade has the best night life (music) of any Eastern European capital, by far.
If you're taking trains, then don't bother with a Eurail/Interail pass. They're expensive to buy and you'll be better off getting local internal trains. It'll save you a packet. Don't bother with international trains either. Yes, they'll get you there quicker, but they're more expensive and uninteresting compared to local services, where you'll meet the locals.
If you're thinking of flying from one city to another, then check out Wizzair. They are Eastern Europe's largest budget carrier and fares are nearly always cheaper than rail or bus tickets.
Firstly thanks for the advice everyone
Herceg novi, budva, and kotar are already included in my revised intinerary
The coatia coast line has now been ruled out as I would rather do that during the spring/summer months (thinking of doing that may/june next year), bratislava or zagreb will be included as it can be an overnight stay between points of travel also thinking of a day or two in kosice as I'd like to visit krakow.
Still undecided whether or not to include budapest as I can get cheap(ish) flights there anytime so could do that over a long weekend
Bulgaria has now been added to my list, so macedonia and albania are now options (just have to get over my fear of albania transport first... oh the thoughts of it haha) but if i choose to leave out the later two I'll be finishing my trip in turkey instead of munich/koln, but the history in munich/nuremberg keeps drawing me back
And bosnia is one of the countries I'm looking forward to the most strange as i never thought i'd ever say that
As for where I'm from.. well I live in the uk but I'm forunate enough to have dual nationality so I'll be travelling with my Irish passport (no offence intended to uk), and I'm not one to force my opinion on politics on anyone, as I don't live in eastern europe what right would I have anyway so no worries there.. although I am fascinated by the history of the balkans and germany hence the reason for my travels, I know when to keep my mouth firmly shut It's the history and cultures that I want to learn more about and expierence first hand, thats what it's all about
many thanks again for eveyones input, i appreciate it greatly