Budapest Prague travel suggestions

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by JasperBoy, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. JasperBoy

    JasperBoy Heading for Helsinki

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    I will be on a Danube River tour in June. We start in Budapest and end in Prague, with visits to Vienna, etc along the way.
    I know we will have coach tours, at least, to show us the highlights. I would welcome "Must See" suggestions for those cities.
    Thanks a lot.
     
  2. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

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    Oh I love Vienna. I only had 3 or 4 days, but I saw an opera at the State Opera, visited the Kunsthistorisches museum which is a must see, saw the jewels at the Treasury (name escapes me), took a tour at Schoenbrunn, went to St. Stephens and St. Charles. There was a winterfest at the Rathaus so we spent time there watching people skate and curl (and drinking warm alcoholic punches that were fab), don't know about summer events in the parks in town. Castle Belvedere was closed, but we went to the grounds. There was a Schiele exhibit at the Albertina so we saw that. And just walked walked walked, it is so beautiful.
     
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  3. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    Spend as much time as you can walking around, especially in the hilly part of Buda and the older districts of Prague such as Malá Strana, Staré Město, and Josefov. No first visit to Prague would be complete without going to the Charles Bridge, Wenceslas Square, and Staroměstské Náměstí (Old Town Square).
     
  4. Cheylana

    Cheylana Well-Known Member

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    Oooh - Lucky ducky! Have a great time, and do share your travel stories when you get back! :)
     
  5. CDANN1013

    CDANN1013 Active Member

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    I loved Prague. Go to the old Jewish cemetary. Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!

    Carol
     
  6. mila19

    mila19 New Member

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    I LOVE Prague. Besides those mentioned by Vagabond there's also the Palace of Culture/City hall building/Museum Obecni Dum which has some great decoration inside. There's also a coffee place near which is all early XX :swoon: I'm a big sucker for Art Nouveau.
    Budapest is pretty but I was not that impressed with the people :eek: But the Castle is great and an evening boat trip would be cool. Oktagon apparently is the IN quarter and for some reason they still play Haddaway or Snap hard in Budapest.
     
  7. Jenya

    Jenya Well-Known Member

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    There have been several previous threads with travel advice for Prague, Vienna, and Budapest, if you do a search you'll find lots of good information. It's a beautiful part of the world and I'm sure you'll have a great time!
     
  8. zhenya271

    zhenya271 Active Member

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    This is such a touristy thing to do, but in Budapest there is this coffee house called Gerbeaud. I would recommend it just to experience the beauty of Old World Europe or Austro-Hungarian grandeur. I loved it because I love novels set in Europe just before the war or during the war and the characters always seem to meet at places such as this.
    They have a famous seven-layer chocolate cake. I didn't think it was that great, but I am not a chocolate lover, but I did get a lot of other yummy pastries to go.
     
  9. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

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    Prague is my favorite of those three cities. I loved the Charles Bridge and surrounding area in Prague. And I wouldn't miss the Jewish ghetto, including the cemetary.
     
  10. Jenya

    Jenya Well-Known Member

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    Here are links to some of the other threads I mentioned:

    http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/showthread.php?t=23307&highlight=Prague

    http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/showthread.php?t=55430&highlight=prague travel

    http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/showthread.php?t=62293&highlight=prague travel

    http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/showthread.php?t=73915&highlight=prague travel

    I second the recommendation for visiting Cafe Gerbeaud in Budapest - beautiful location and great for people-watching - and I don't think you can stop in Vienna without having a coffee at Hotel Sacher. :)
     
  11. Mozart

    Mozart Well-Known Member

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    I love, love, love Vienna. If you like cemetaries you HAVE to check out Zentralfriedhof Wien. It is the second largest cemetary in Europe and has many, many famous Austrians buried (or just their monuments) there. For me I loved seeing the huge gravestones of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, the Strausses, etc.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zentralfriedhof

    The Hofburg winter palace is amazing!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hofburg_Palace

    The interior of many of the churches is spectacular with my favourite and the most impressive to me being Peterskirche
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Peter's_Church,_Vienna

    Just to relax and walk around I enjoyed the Stadtpark
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stadtpark,_Vienna

    Great views from the Donauturm.. it's a bit like the CN tower in Toronto
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donauturm

    I also enjoyed just walking around town. Beautiful for sure

    I found the subway system easy to take and quick

    so jealous, Vienna is my favourite place I have been to:)
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2011
  12. Titanilla

    Titanilla New Member

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    I just wonder how you get the Danube to Prague ;)
     
  13. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    They play The Moldau over the loudspeakers on the riverboat, serve up some koláče, and sure enough, you are in Prague. :)
     
  14. JasperBoy

    JasperBoy Heading for Helsinki

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    Thanks to everyone for responding. I will certainly make notes to take with me. Coffee shop recommendations are particularly welcome, LOL!

    Jenya, thanks for the links. I will follow up.

    Titanilla, you are right! I wondered if I should add a bit of an explanation, but didn't to keep my request short. Our cruise ends in Nuremburg and we will be taken by coach to Prague. That city is on Mr JB's bucket list, so we are really looking forward to it.

    Sorry to say that since we are both in our late 60s we are taking this bucket list thing seriously.
     
  15. sbanet

    sbanet Well-Known Member

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    Mi a baj?! :drama: :p
     
  16. mila19

    mila19 New Member

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    Well in 3 days there I got yelled by some underground controller guy, like literally yelled after while he was approaching me and my friend in a very menacing way. We think he wanted to let us know the train wouldn't depart!:shuffle: Then the waiter at the Oktogon pulled the table right under us because 11 pm was approaching and it wasn't permitted to drink in the street by that time, always yelling. Now I'm comfortable with yelling as a normal way of communication :shuffle: but when it's in an unknown language it's just scary.. Then a guy in the night bus we took to get home got out of it by jumping from the window. This after he'd vomited while in the bus. And I won't mention the pizza with vegetables and sour cream I had which made me seriously think to give up on food forever:scream: But, the architecture of the city is to die for and you a very nice FSUer! :D
     
  17. zhenya271

    zhenya271 Active Member

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    We were visiting some friends in Tata who ordered some take-out pizza after a day of sightseeing and lunch earlier. We didn't understand why they were offering us ketchup and giving us puzzled looks when declined until we realized when we started eating that the pizza was basically a cracker, cheese and salami! It wasn't even like what we know as a white pizza. The curry ketchup is the best in Hungary!
     
  18. mila19

    mila19 New Member

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    At least you're given the silence treatment:p
    The infamous pizza I had was in the Pest side, in Kerepesi Uca and supposedly it was the best I could get in Budapest. Never trust an Albanian student in Budapest when it comes to Italian food :scream:
    They also served mainly Hungarian wine, proudly so :shuffle: I was very much into wine at the time but that occasion made me decide to eat and drink just local stuff in any foreign country I visited, so to spare myself any indigestion, at best.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2011
  19. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    Why would you eat pizza in Budapest when Hungary has such good local dishes? :confused:
     
  20. mila19

    mila19 New Member

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    Um because if you go to visit a friend who's been living there for 7 months you think she knows the right places. :shuffle:
    I'm not much into gulash(sp?) or meat in general, so food wise it was a trip to forget.
     
  21. Tinami Amori

    Tinami Amori Well-Known Member

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    Mila…… the way you look, you can easily pass for a local. In bunch of countries, including in Eastern Europe/Russia etc., a city workers, a public transportation worker, a government employee, just some older “regular local”, if annoyed or "trying to do his job" is very likely to be less polite to a “local younger person” than to a “western tourist”.

    You know you’re a tourist walking on a train platform…. The metro employee who yelled at you (who is probably still adjusting from soviet days to market-economy system) probably saw you as a local girl who is giving him “extra trouble” by walking to the wrong train.

    And the restaurant waiter who pulled the table from you probably also thought you’re local, and that you need “extra inducement” to follow the rules….. as in “soviet days” the “rules” where in such abundance and so unfair at times that the whole population devoted many hours of inventing how NOT to follow the rules. So he figured you’re local, and if he tells you nicely, you will argue and complain (as many do), so he just pulled the table… If he thought you are a "western tourist" he would have asked... Because "in the west" people are more likely to follow rules, and accept "no", "don't go here", "it's not allowed", etc..

    Unfortunately it is the “aftermath of soviet times” in many many respects…..
     
  22. Jenya

    Jenya Well-Known Member

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    :drama: You'd think an Albanian would have better taste in Italian food, considering how good it is in Albania!

    I understand the desire to eat Italian food in Budapest, by the way, I'm not crazy about Hungarian food. :shuffle:
     
  23. mila19

    mila19 New Member

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    Don't know about the metro guy because it was more like e monologue from his part but the waiter took the order in English and heard us speak in English so not a chance. He was just plain rude. Now I know there are rules when it comes to open air bars in residential areas but we sat at 10.30 pm and after 20 minutes he was like "Get out!" and then he just pulled the table. And it's like a trip back in my hometown, they pretty much looked all like bothered or pissed, just speaking a different language from mine :p
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2011
  24. Tinami Amori

    Tinami Amori Well-Known Member

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    On one hand this could be strictly “individual”, bad luck running into rude employees. I tend to think, still, that it is, at least to some degree, an aftermath of “soviet economics” – when one was on fixed salary and more customers or better treatment of customers did not affect one’s salary.

    Anything with a slight hint of “socialism” is bad for business…. Even in “western countries” which like to play with socialism….

    I remember an occurrence in Kobenhaven, on the shopping strip Stroget, in a big department store. It was closing time, 17:00 o’clock on Saturday. Store employees were literally kicking people out of dressing rooms 10 minutes before closing time, and pushing people towards the elevators. I came up to the cash-register with 4 fairly expensive items, 5 minutes before 17:00, and the register was closed. I told the sale-girl that I am buying these items, and she would not re-start the register….. The store lost several thousands of euros in sales... At 17:00 on the minute a hoard of customers and employees were outside the doors, and the doors were shot closed, and the lights went off.

    Similar situation happened in a department store in Amsterdam. At the same time in small private jewelry boutiques in Amsterdam the store employee stayed with our group extra 40-50 minutes until we all finished choosing and paying for our items…

    I can not imagine being kicked out of the store if you are ready to buy happening in North America or England or Germany… or even in Italy or Spain…. In Spain at El Court Ingles department store we were advised that the store is closing, but where given time to finish shopping and paying…

    I won’t even begin telling stories about how the level of customer service changes in former soviet block countries depending on if I tell them I am from USA or from Russia…. I play with it all the time….and laugh my butt off at the differences.
     
  25. mila19

    mila19 New Member

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    I'm not saying all Hungarians are impolite. As you said, I just happened to encounter a certain type and probably the controller got angry as everybody heard from the speaker box the invitation to leave the train and so they did besides the two of us :eek: since we couldn't understand a word. But beyond these cases, I did notice there's something about their facial expressions which made me think of my fellow countrymen, they looked really pissed/stressed out. But it's totally a subjective perception. :)
     
  26. sbanet

    sbanet Well-Known Member

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    The Budapest Metro, for Mila19....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-z6MdTaOwI&feature=related (Kontroll, Hungarian trailer) :)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEKcOvCY8g0 (Spanish trailer)

    http://tinyurl.com/4xpybna (Roger Ebert, English)

    :rollin:
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2011
  27. mila19

    mila19 New Member

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  28. sbanet

    sbanet Well-Known Member

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    To get this thread back on track...

    Regarding Gerbaud in Budapest, another option is to hit their ice cream stand, on the pedestrian street a few meters down from the cafe. It's goooood. :swoon:
     
  29. Tinami Amori

    Tinami Amori Well-Known Member

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    I hear you.....:lol: But! In my experience this is a common complaint from people who live in rural areas or towns when they come to big cities....

    Even Russians from all over Russia complain that "people in Moscow and Leningrad are rude, unfriendly and grim".....:)

    People from central USA say the same about New York..... :)

    And yet.... I agree that in former soviet block countries people on the streets of big cities do look ESPECIALLY pissed/stressed out...... Partially because they are, and partially (my observation) is because there is a belief (translating from Russian an old rhyme):

    Giddiness without a cause means you’re just a fool, of course.
    Смех без причины - признак дурачины......:rofl:

    and then there is another one about smilling with full mouth and showing lots of teeth.

    Mouth's stretching to the ears – clip the tie-strings to the lips.
    Рот до ушей – хоть завязочки пришей.

    :lol:
     
  30. mila19

    mila19 New Member

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    Apologizes to Jasperboy for dragging this once again(last time, promise) but I have to disagree with you.
    I was not trying to put the black mark over Hungarians and believe me, Tirana(which is also average sized ;)) trains you very well in terms of urban survival. It's just that when traveling abroad I find people are more polite(even in Paris and NYC) and well mannered compared to many of my countrymen, so that was what I was expecting and didn't get. Of course, being polite often means locals have learned how to deal with tourists in a formal way (i.e. Greeks will never like us but the Greek restaurant owner helped my mother get some directions and didn't smack any plate in protest as we were expecting :lol: ), so maybe my encounters just happened to be nonchalant regarding the money tourists bring or maybe I just didn't inspire them :lol: