Advice on a multi-city holiday

Travel Forums Europe Advice on a multi-city holiday

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1. Posted by angie54321 (Budding Member 6 posts) 12w Star this if you like it!

Instead of the usual package summer holiday, we're thinking of doing something different this year - flying to Berlin (from the UK), spending a few days there, and then travelling by coach or train to Prague, spending a few days there, going on to Vienna, a few days there, before finally going to Budapest for the last few days and flying home from there. We're thinking about spending about 12 days in all on the trip.

The questions I have (so far!) are

- how many days should we spend in each city?
- What should we see in each city?
- What's the best way to travel between cities (price, time etc)
- Should we book all transport in advance?
- Where are the best areas to stay in each city?

We've never done anything like this before, so any advice is welcome. Alternative itinerary ideas also welcome :-)

2. Posted by ToddP (Moderator 174 posts) 12w 1 Star this if you like it!

Quoting angie54321

- Should we book all transport in advance?

Definately by train. You are breaking the trip in a nice much shorter journeys. The distances around 2hr30min/ 3hr/ 4hr - very reasonable. There is a very good source of information about train travel on Seat61.com
I would suggest to look for a ticket on a specific trip to travel next month and compare to fares if booking the same trip for tomorrow. This will give you an indication if fares are increasing if booking close in or the fare is the fare no mater when you are booking.

This is a great itinerary!

3. Posted by leics2 (Respected Member 652 posts) 12w 2 Star this if you like it!

>how many days should we spend in each city?

I'd split the time equally to allow for daytrips from each e.g. train or boat to Bratislava from Vienna, boat to Szentendre and/or Visegrad & Esztergom from Budapest, train to Sedlec & Kutna Hora from Prague. I've done all of those trips (and more) and they're well worth it.

>- What's the best way to travel between cities (price, time etc)

Train, most definitely ....bus only if your funds are very tight indeed. You'll see much more and, if a train journey is 5 hours or less, it's faster than flying. And it's certainly much less hassle!

Seat61 is good but each and every EU country has its own official railway website. All have English language versions and the majority give fares as well as times & details. The few which don't give fares have very reasonable prices indeed.

The official German railway website is excellent for an overview. It carries times and details for almost all European trains, except for a very few private & commuter lines but usually only gives fares within and from Germany.

https://www.bahn.com/en/view/index.shtml

Austria: https://www.oebb.at/en/

Hungary: https://www.mavcsoport.hu/en

Czech Republic
: https://www.cd.cz/en/

>Should we book all transport in advance?

No. There are plenty of daily departures between the cities you list. There are sometimes online discount fares for the faster services, so it is worth checking for those. Otherwise just buy tickets at the station, either on the day or a day or so in advance.

>Where are the best areas to stay in each city?

'Best' is a matter of personal preference but I'd suggest you stay as centrally as you can, in the old city centres. All three cities have excellent public transport (metro, bus, tram) but staying centrally allows you to save time & hassle travelling into/out of the city and gives you a better feel for what life is (and was) like. In Budapest, stay in Pest rather than Buda. In Prague stay in the old city rather than across the river in the Hrad (castle) district.

[ Edit: Edited on 25-Jan-2019, at 02:28 by leics2 ]

4. Posted by angie54321 (Budding Member 6 posts) 12w 1 Star this if you like it!

Thank you so much ToddP and Leics2!

That's just the sort of information I needed :-)

5. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5348 posts) 12w Star this if you like it!

For at least the Berlin to Prague leg, definitely book it well in advance. Cheapest fare for international legs like that is €29 (which does limit you to a specific train, so be sure not to miss it); booking on the day itself for this leg costs €72.

[ Edit: Edited on 25-Jan-2019, at 02:26 by Sander ]

6. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1477 posts) 12w Star this if you like it!

Those are all good choices. Budapest is my favourite of those, and the cheapest, so I'd be tempted to plan a little more time there than the others if you need to choose.

Last time I went to Budapest I stayed at the Ibis by Heroes Square; it was a short metro trip out of the noise of town, and walkable from Szechenyi Spa which we went to on two evenings. The city has lots of spas but this one is the grandest, a huge ornate open air hot spring baths.

If you like a stroll and getting into the outdoors, there's a fun route in the Buda hills which uses the Cogwheel Railway, the Children's Railway (a railway operated by children), a short walk in the woods and then a chairlift back down. Makes a great day out.

Bratislava is a lot cheaper than neighbouring Vienna, it's a small capital but worth a look round. Previously we've opted for a hotel there rather than Vienna to save money, so perhaps this would make sense for you as it's en route towards Budapest.

7. Posted by Kathrin_E (Travel Guru 392 posts) 12w Star this if you like it!

Let's do simple maths. 12 days in total are 11 nights. That leaves 3 nights per city (only 2 for one of them), which make two full days per city. This is not much for either of them. Widespread opinion is, for example, that Berlin needs 3-4 full days at least. This really leaves no room for additional day trips.

8. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 779 posts) 12w 1 Star this if you like it!

It looks to me that you're trying to visit too may places for the time available.
You could easily spend a week in each city you mentioned.
I'd probably drop Berlin or Vienna until the next tour, as they're the 2 more expensive cities to visit (but both well worth visiting!).
Alternatively (if you can afford it) stretch from 12 days to 16-20 days.

[ Edit: Edited on 25-Jan-2019, at 04:25 by Andrew Mack ]

9. Posted by angie54321 (Budding Member 6 posts) 12w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Andrew Mack

It looks to me that you're trying to visit too may places for the time available.
You could easily spend a week in each city you mentioned.
I'd probably drop Berlin or Vienna until the next tour, as they're the 2 more expensive cities to visit (but both well worth visiting!).
Alternatively (if you can afford it) stretch from 12 days to 16-20 days.

I did wonder whether we were trying to fit too much in. Because of work constraints more days is not an option. I think I need to research the cities and make a list of what we want to see - maybe I've done it backwards!

10. Posted by angie54321 (Budding Member 6 posts) 12w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Kathrin_E

Let's do simple maths. 12 days in total are 11 nights. That leaves 3 nights per city (only 2 for one of them), which make two full days per city. This is not much for either of them. Widespread opinion is, for example, that Berlin needs 3-4 full days at least. This really leaves no room for additional day trips.

Thanks, that's a good point. Although we could always go back to the city again....but then there are so many other cities we want to visit. Decisions, decisions!!