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Suggestions for Prague and Austria, if you please

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NoTriangles posted 8/21/2013 21:19 PM

Soooo, in other news.....

The edict from the new corporate regime is that one can no longer roll over any vacation hours come Dec 31.

Well, okey dokey, then. Ya don't have to ask me twice.

So here is the working plan (Dec 17 - Jan 1):

Prague - 4 days
Vienna - 2 days (optional)
Salzburg - 4 days (Christmas)
Zurich - 2 days
Milan - 2 days (NYE)
Fly home from Milan

I have the FF miles so cost is just lodging, trains, food and museums and such.

I would appreciate any suggestions as these are all cities/countries that I have never visited. I am also open to suggestions regarding alternate itineraries since, really, I am throwing darts at the map of the world cuz I know it will be awesome regardless.

Thanks in advance, my well-traveled SI friends.

JanetS posted 8/21/2013 21:59 PM

Wow, never been to those countries, so I'm jealous.

It was my 60th birthday in 2012, so hubby and I went to Geneva, Paris and Munich. Loved the trip. I've been to England (family) and Scotland, Bermuda, Bahamas, Venezuela, Tobago, USA and Canada of course.

My cousin was on a cruise last year that stopped at a few places in Italy, France, Spain, one of the Baltic countries and more. She loved it.

Enjoy your trip!

[This message edited by JanetS at 10:00 PM, August 21st (Wednesday)]

cryingdaily posted 8/22/2013 07:52 AM

My best suggestion for any of those places is......TAKE ME!

NoTriangles posted 8/22/2013 08:01 AM

CD!!!! I'll take you, girl!

MelisssaZZZ posted 8/22/2013 08:04 AM

well these are all lovely places. maybe you are having a bit too much time in Salzburg, as it is small town. lovely though.

And I guess you are going from Zurich down to Milan - if i were you i would stop out at lake como. ialy is beautiful, but milan really is not that great - it only has one church to see...

TrulyReconciled posted 8/22/2013 09:43 AM

I would skip Milan and opt for Roma or Venezia instead

cayc posted 8/22/2013 16:17 PM

Vienna has a lot of museums and just tons to see it''''s one of my favorite cities and it might be worth an extra day there and less time in Salzburg. But then I bet Salzburg has a Christmas market too so that''''s a good time of year to be there.

Milan equals shopping, not site-seeing. Not that there''''s anything wrong with that!

[This message edited by cayc at 4:17 PM, August 22nd, 2013 (Thursday)]

sisoon posted 8/22/2013 21:25 PM

Maybe substitute Budapest for Vienna...

welcome14 posted 8/23/2013 10:48 AM

Salzburg has the salt mines you can tour, and the Eagles Nest is not too far. There is also the Koenig See, a beautiful tourquoise lake that is partially rimmed by alps and you can take a tour by electric boat (no gas allowed as it is very pristine) and Maria Gern is in the area also. (the church from Sound of Music), so there are some things to do, and of course, there is the Mozart Museum, and the lovely Mozart Kugeln candies...I dunno. I think there is lots to do in Salzburg...and like cayc said, there is always the Christkindl Markt as well, but Budapest is awesome as well, sooooo.........have fun!

BeyondBreaking posted 8/23/2013 13:33 PM

I have been to Vienna and Salzburg- gorgeous!

In Vienna- Melk Abbey. Do it.

In Salzburg- I don't know if you are into the sound of music BUT:
Mirabel gardens have the stairs those kids were on during "do re mi" in the sound of music. :)
St. Peter's cemetary is where they hid in the sound of music
Hellbrunn Palace is where the gazebo is ("I am 16 going on 17")

Hohensalzburg castle is gorgeous

Salzburg Cathedral is where Mozart was baptized. It is gorgeous and I got to sing here. Amazing experience, I highly recommend going in there.

kernel posted 8/24/2013 11:57 AM

I have no advice as I am not that well-traveled. I just want to say I am sooooooo jealous!

NoTriangles posted 8/25/2013 22:12 PM

Thank you all for the great and informed responses. I especially appreciate the specific guidance on Vienna and Salzburg.

I only had Milan on the list because I am trying to launch back to the US from a major airport, i.e. one from which I can get back with only one stop (in Miami, Chicago or NYC). I am using FF miles after all.

By starting my trip in Prague, I am conceding the additional connection on the front end (thru London). But I need to get back in one day on the return on Jan 1. Which means I need to depart from an airport with a long enough runway for a 'heavy' to take off (i.e. carrying enough fuel to 'cross the pond'). Which means Paris, London, Milan or Dusseldorf (as far as I can tell so far).

I am definitely going to research the Budapest option. Some of my research suggests that Zurich might be prohibitively expensive if I don't plan to ski (given that it will be their peak season).

Thank you again for the great ideas!!!

[This message edited by NoTriangles at 10:26 PM, August 25th (Sunday)]

wincing_at_light posted 8/26/2013 09:07 AM

Prague is gorgeous, and the nightlife is vibrant. We found a couple of great hole-in-the-wall coffee clubs to just chill.

I only got to spend a couple of days there and wished I'd had a week more.

If you want to try something different, rent a car and drive to Kutna Hora and check out the ossuary church:

Kutna Hora is also a great little burg to see what non-urban life looks like in the Czech Republic.

(My only experience with Salzburg was driving through, and I slept in the airport in Milan, so no help there. )

ETA: I'll second the recommendation on Budapest. That is a fabulous city. It is just breathtakingly beautiful, and the baths are a treat not to be missed. The underground thermal baths are one of my great lingering memories of Budapest. I also seem to recall that Budapest was pretty cheap compared to Prague -- but not like Croatia cheap. In a restaurant outside of Zagreb in 2005, my three traveling companions and I tipped a waitress the equivalent of 80 bucks and had her burst into tears because it was too much money.

(We looked at the exchange rates when we got the bill because it seemed too low, and realized that we were effectively being charged about eight bucks apiece for what would have been roughly 50-70 bucks a plate in the U.S. It was a pretty nice little restaurant. We decided to split the difference and just tip our waitress what we would have tipped with a home ticket value. Plus, they let us smoke inside and the girl would literally remove your ashtray and replace it with a clean one any time you flipped an ash.

I don't expect that's true of Croatia now. That was less than a decade after the Bosnian war, so they were still in economic recovery mode, plus trying to get into the EU and adopt the Euro.)

[This message edited by wincing_at_light at 9:20 AM, August 26th (Monday)]

gettherefromhere posted 8/26/2013 09:37 AM

We did a Sound of Music tour in Salzburg, which was incredibly corny but lots of fun. If you aren't into the Sound of Music at would probably not enjoy it.

RightTrack posted 8/27/2013 00:47 AM

I love the Hotel Praha. It used to be the communist party's hotel and is still stuck in the late 60's (think Mad Men). Worn but opulent. The neighborhood is in the middle of the embassies (not the US) and the views of the city and bridge are spectacular.

Watch your wallet while in the squares, especially when the astronomical clock is going off.

TrulyReconciled posted 8/27/2013 10:56 AM

Lufthansa flies Venice (VCE) - Chicago ...

Plus Lufthansa might be a good choice to fly in on, given your first destination.

[This message edited by TrulyReconciled at 10:08 AM, August 28th (Wednesday)]

Ingrid67 posted 8/27/2013 12:11 PM

I am totally biased since I lived in Salzburg for two years. Christmas is the absolute perfect time to visit Austria with the Christmas markets. If you can Budapest is also a wonderful place to visit.

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