Rail route opinions
Replies: 4 - Last Post: Jul 20, 2012 8:29 PM Last Post By: pubnknit
Jul 19, 2012 9:34 PM
Rail route opinionsHey everyone,
I'm in the beginning stages of planning a 3+ month trip around Central and Eastern Europe. Originally, when I was working with a 1 month schedule, the plan was to fly into Prague, and go down to Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, and up to Krakow before heading home. Now that I've expanded this segment to a few more months, I'll be traveling into the central countries from Munich, and I now have time to visit smaller cities like Salzburg, Cesky Krumlov, and Wroclaw. I'm just having a really hard time trying to figure out a train route between all these places. It's so zig-zagged. Of course, I would prefer to save a few nights accommodation by taking overnight trains, but even with that in mind, I'm on a tight budget, and maybe it's a little silly to go from Munich to Salzburg way up to Prague before coming back down to Vienna, Bratislava, and Budapest-then, way up to Krakow and after that, a massive ride to Bucharest. Or visa-versa?
My only real time constraints are to get from Amsterdam to Istanbul within the 90 day Schengen visa. After that, I intent to fly from Istanbul to Casablanca.
So, since I have no real experience in these places, I was wondering what you guys would do.
Vague plan: Amsterdam-Munich-Salzburg-Cesky Krumlov-Prague-Wroclaw-Krakow-Vienna-Bratislava-Budapest-Bucharest (I think I need to figure out how to divide that one up into two overnights)-Varna-Istanbul
Thanks so much for any feedback!! I just don't want to waste time and, more importantly, money, while backtracking necessarily.
Oh! Also, I'm estimating that about $10,000 will cover the Amsterdam-Istanbul-Casablanca-Paris. Thoughts?
Edited by: pubnknit
Jul 20, 2012 4:59 AM
1You might want to check out some budget flights as buying the tickets in advance can be worthwhile. Check whichbudget.com but in particular check JAT and pegasus since your furthest point seems to be Istanbul.
It would help to know what three months you are planning your travels.
I suggest you figure your flight costs and then see how much you have left for travels. That way you will know if your funds are sufficient. The total sum is certainly enough for three months but the more you move, the more you spend.
Die Bahn website will help you with trains. Many of your distances are not long enough to make overnight train travel worthwhile (ie you don't have enough time to sleep).
If you aren't familiar with the inyourpocket.com guides, you might check them out.
Jul 20, 2012 11:46 AM
2Thanks so much you guys! I was especially hoping for suggestions about the smaller towns, it's easier for me to say I'm going from capital to capital, but I do prefer smaller cities. Zakopane looks amazing!
Everbrite, I intend to be on the continent around the beginning of May. I'll be traveling slowly, and I've been considering trying to pick up hostel jobs whenever I can to stretch my money further. I found round trip tickets from Raleigh to Dublin, and then, a few months later, from Paris back to Raleigh for $850. I haven't bought them, but I've been assuming the flights will be in between 800 and 1000. From the research I've done so far, the first two months of my trip, getting from Raleigh to Dublin to Amsterdam to Krakow, will cost about $1400 just for transportation.
My main priority is spending less than half of my money getting from Western to Eastern Europe. After that, budgeting at $40 a day, (which I think is generous, I'll be staying in hostels and cooking a lot, but I think that gives me room for expensive transportation) the next two months should run me about $2400. By my estimates, that will leave about 1500 for the trip to Casablanca ($350) then Paris ($150). I'll only be in Paris a few days before my flight, I know first hand how expensive that city is, but I love it, and I want to practice my French.
Any suggestions are very, very appreciated.
Jul 20, 2012 2:45 PM
Are you aware of the Schengen zone? If not, you should learn about it. You can't spend more than 90 days in a 180 day period within the region. The 25 Schengen countries are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland plus the micro states of San Marino, Monaco and the Vatican. All these countries except Norway, Iceland and Switzerland are European Union members. Romania and Bulgaria may become part of Schengen at some point in the future.
I can't imagine having one 150 USD for Paris and expecting to spend more than one night and two days there with this amount of money unless you never plan to go into any museums. A bed in a dorm will cost you 40-50 USD per night plus food, plus metro, plus admissions.
Sorry but I think you need to rethink your plans some.
Jul 20, 2012 8:29 PM
4Thank you, I appreciate the input. Obviously I understand that it is illegal to work without visas, but since nearly ever employee I've ever met in a hostel, anywhere, was working as they traveled, I don't know that it's all that unlikely.
As far as the Schengen zone, I have a map and am planning accordingly. My rough idea is to get from Amsterdam to Istanbul in 3 months because of the 90 day limit. Since Turkey isn't in the zone, nor Morocco, as far as I can tell, I need to spend another 90 days in and around these places before I take a flight into Paris.
I have indeed looked at hostel prices, according to hostelbookers.com they run around 15 to 25 in the cities I'm looking at. And since I have spent two months backpacking through Italy, Spain, Portugal, and France, I am aware of the money difference between North Carolina and Europe, and of the depressing conversion rates as well. So while I aim to have around $12,000 for this trip, I understand that realistically, I'll be about to spend about E9,800.
Now I knew I was going to get judged as idealistic and naive as soon as I posted this, because it's a huge and outrageous trip--which is of course why I'm seeking advice in the first place. I do however feel that I've done the massive amount of research required to know that this is possible for me. If I spend 50/day, and stay overseas for 180 days, I'll spend $9000. Plus flight. $9900. $2000 for emergency. I feel like I'm covered.
(0 star Hotel)
From US$24.68 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$184.38 per night
(5 star Hotel)
From US$491.87 per night