On the first day it has got to be Prague Castle, whose grounds contain the towering St. Vitus's Cathedral and the Golden Lane, a row of minuscule cottages built along one of the Castle's walls. Later relax in the nearby Royal Gardens. Take a leisurely stroll down through Malá Strana to the Charles Bridge before returning to your hotel.
On the second day, hit Josefov, the Jewish Quarter, in the morning before the crowds. Then walk over to Old Town Square, to see the Astronomical Clock and the Gothic Church of Our Lady before Týn. If you have time afterward, explore the streets that radiate from the square to Wenceslas Square.
On the third day walk across the baroque, statue-adorned Charles Bridge on your way to Malá Strana, home to numerous embassies and palaces; the bridge is less busy early in the morning. In the Church of Our Lady Victorious be sure to catch the odd effigy of the Holy Infant of Prague, a wax doll dressed in ceremonial garb. days. Or go exploring in a new neighborhood: Nové Mesto, Vysehrad, or Vinohrady. In the evening treat yourself to a fine performance at the National Theater or the Rudolfinum.
For an easy day trip, visit the well-preserved medieval mining town of Kutná Hora, whose rich deposits of silver put it on the map in the 13th century. The St. Barbara Church, built with the miners' donations and named after their patron saint, has many colorful murals depicting mining scenes; outside, the Gothic structure's three tent-shape spires rise above lines of buttresses. Be sure to save time either before or after Kutná Hora to visit the suburb of Sedlec to see the eerie Bone Church. If castles are more your thing, substitute a quick visit to Karlstejn or Konopiste.
Make your way back to Ceské Budejovice and then westward in the direction of Plzen and eventually to Karlovy Vary. If you have got the time, make a pit stop to tour the famous Pilsner Urquell Brewery in Plzen. If you want to drink, it might be wise to plan an overnight here. Otherwise, continue on to the lovely spa town of Karlovy Vary. This is the king of Bohemia's spa resorts with winding hillside walks and cooling pools for taking a dip. Check out the historic city center and don't pass up a romantic dinner at the Embassy restaurant atop one of the bridges over the tiny Tepla river. Plan on spending the night
Arcadia Residence “The apartment is spotlessly clean, huge, bright and airy. It's fully furnished and has more amenities you ever needed. I felt the most at home in this place other than any other places I have stayed. “ “We stayed at Kosna six in May 2009 in a one-bedroom 1˝-bath apartment 20 seconds from the old town square. The apartment was 5 star quality with a large living room, small kitchen, eating area, ˝ bath and a big bedroom and full bath. The apartment has big screen TV, WI FI, thick towels and was immaculate and great looking.” Hotels own web site
Residence Karolina The Residence Karolina offers 20 serviced apartments in total and all of them are really XXL size. Choose from one or two bedroom apartments on 5 floors, modern and spacious lift is operating in the premises. One bedroom apartments are furnished with aim to provide maximum comfort and versatility for guests staying a few days or several months. You can expect modern furniture and decoration, state-of-the-art appliances like home cinema, DVD, LCD-TV. Kitchens are fully equipped with the microwave oven, glass-ceramic kitchen stove, refrigerator etc. Bedrooms with their large and comfortable beds and en-suite spacious and well-lit bathrooms (bath or shower) provide ideal rest and tranquility for everyone. High-speed Internet connection in every apartment. hotels own web site
Apartments Tynska 7 looking for serviced apartments in the historical centre of Prague? Our apartments are located just few steps from The Old Town Square, the main tourist attraction in Prague, in one side, quite, charming street called Tynska. Apartments are situated in the gothic style building with some history behind. You can choose from the small house, studio up to the huge 3 bedrooms apartment. Hotels own web site utilitarian, but cheap
Residence Belehradska 35 “We chose the large top floor one with an outdoor balcony. The apartment was HUGE! loads of room, a full kitchen and massive bathroom. Everything was very clean, reception was helpful too.Easy to get into the centre of Prague, there is a tram stop right outside. Supermarket near by to stock up on breakfast fodder and beers. Just past the supermarket there are a couple of nice bars and restaurants. hotels own web site - further out, more utilitarian
Let's be honest: you can blow through Budapest's big-ticket attractions in three days and still have time to quaff down the requisite bowl of goulash. But this city has as many "must-dos" as "must-sees." So if you want to really experience Hungary's capital, plan on spending six days.
There's a good reason why Castle Hill is the undisputed first stop on everyone's itinerary. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has a genuine "wow factor," yet it is compact enough for jet-lagged—or late-arriving—visitors to cover on their first day. Begin by poking around the Royal Palace (time permitting, tour the Hungarian National Gallery in its center block). Next, stroll along the cobblestone streets between colorful baroque, Gothic, and Renaissance facades, stopping in for a look at Matthias Church; then head for Fishermen's Bastion. The view from its Disneyesque turrets isn't just achingly beautiful: it will help you get your bearings! If you need a caffeine fix to keep you going—or just want to get a fix on Budapest's coffee culture—drop into Ruszwurm, the city's oldest café.
Today, turn your back on hilly Buda and get acquainted with blessedly flat Pest. Start with a look inside massive Szent István Bazilika. Views from the cupola are worth the climb; though you may want to save your energy for the walk along Andrássy út, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. En route, pick and choose between the attractions (the Operaház and Terror Háza are favorites), leaving time to ogle other architectural treasures. The boulevard comes to a climatic finish at Hosök tere, where the Millennial Monument is flanked by two more museums. After perusing Old Masters in the Fodor's-recommended Szépmuvészeti, take the Millennial Underground back to the opera house for an evening performance. Then wrap things up by toasting the good life with an alfresco nightcap (and some world-class people-watching) on nearby Liszt Ferenc tér.
Time for a little self-indulgence! Kick off your day the Budapest way by breakfasting at Café Gerbeaud on Vörösmarty tér; then spend the morning browsing around Váci utca. Even if shopping's not your bag, you'll find the street to be a fascinating study in contrasts as it runs south past Euro-style boutiques, through the university area, to the venerable Vásárcsarnok Market. In the afternoon, treat yourself to a tour. Major sites, like Parliament, also offer tours. Prefer to be independent? Www.budapestinfo.hu outlines self-guided walks relating to subjects like Bauhaus architecture and Jewish history.
Budapesters love their parks—and you will, too, because the best of the bunch offer both gorgeous greenery and plentiful bathing opportunities. If you happen to be staying at either the Grand Hotel Margitsziget or Thermal Hotel Margitsziget, Margaret Island is a serendipitous place to take the plunge. Otherwise, head for City Park, at the northeast end of Andrássy út. Developed as the centerpiece of Hungary's 1896 millennial celebrations, this urban oasis is the setting for the Széchenyi Baths. You could while away hours in its indoor and outdoor thermal pools. But before your toes get too wrinkled, consider City Park's other attractions. Beyond the baths can enjoy a smattering of museums and concert venues, plus one of Budapest's best-loved restaurants (Gundel).
By now you've probably crisscrossed the Danube on countless occasions. So it's high time you actually got out on the water. The ideal way to do it is by taking a leisurely two-hour boat trip upriver to Szentendre. Although it's known primarily as an artists' colony, there's more to this picturesque little town than galleries and cutesy crafts shops. For instance, Hungary's Open-Air Ethnographic Museum (a site that re-creates village life from centuries past) is located on the outskirts. Book a moonlight dinner cruise through the city itself.
Want to escape the urban scene without leaving the city limits? No problem. Gellért Hill is the laced with trails leading up—way up—to the towering Liberation Monument and the Citadella behind it. (Don't worry about aching muscles. You can lounge later in one of three vintage baths located on the hill). More outdoorsy adventures are available in the Buda Hills: and you don't have to be die-hard hiker to take advantage of them. János Hill, for example, can be accessed via a panoramic chairlift or a narrow-gauge train that's operated primarily by children. You'll find equally intriguing sites beneath these hills: namely some 200 caves, several of which are open to sightseers and spelunkers. Whatever you choose, reward yourself afterward with a down-home Hungarian dinner, complete with noodle pudding and Gypsy music.
Golden Star Apartments “I can recommend Golden Star Budapest Apartment. It is clean and spacious. It's location is central, which makes it convenient to enjoy the Danube and other sights by feet. Although located on Vaci Utca - the cobblestone street, it is quiet at night, so getting a good's night rest is not impossible. Moreover, the beds, pillows, linens and towels are just perfect! :)Hotels own web site “ “We stayed at the Golden Star Royal apartment and really enjoyed it. The apartment was lovely with a balcony over looking the street which we drank champagne from. The apartment is large and spacious with a comfy bed and sofas. The location is great right by Vaci Utca and all the restraints” Hotels own web site
Palazzo Zichy Stay in a luxurious historical 19th-century palace built for the Hungarian count Zichy in the heart of Budpest's palace district, near the M3 metro and only a 5-minute walk from the National Museum. Spend peaceful nights in a luxuriously furnished superior room or a spacious junior suite, all featuring flat-screen TV and oversized safes. The rich complimentary breakfast is served the glass-roofed breakfast room, uniquely combining modern comforts with the historical atmosphere. Enjoy free coffee and water in the lounge bar, keep in contact with family, friends and colleagues via free wireless internet, keep fit in the gym and relax in the sauna. The Hotel Palazzo Zichy is also only an 8-minute walk away from the pedestrian area and just a block from the Grand Boulevard. Hotels own web site Booking Site not self catering
Kapital Inn “We stayed for five nights in mid-May 2009. We travel a great deal, and often stay at B&Bs in Europe. I can honestly say that this is one of the best, if not the best, B&B we have ever stayed in. The rooms were spotless (and I am very fussy in that regard) and very well appointed. The terrace area is great, as is the adjoining kitchenette, which is always stocked with fruit, bread, soft drinks, OJ, water and yoghurt for guests to snack on at their leisure. Albert makes a mean omelette for breakfast (on top of an incredible assortment of cereals, bread, pastries.). The location is great - Every major attraction is within walking distance. Albert drew up a walking tour for us with interesting and amusing information. We used it as a jumping off point but always came back to the walking tour. “hotels own web site not self catering
Bellevue B&B “ Bellevue B&B is located in the Buda side, meters away from Fisherman’s Bastion, excellent spot for daylight or night photos and marvelous and unbeatable view of Pest landscape. It’s walking distance from Castle district, Matthias Church and the Funicular. The place has a lot of green and it’s very calm and peaceful, making it perfect for a nice rest. About few blocks away is the Subway - which we used daily to get to Pest side -and a medium size market. Half mile away there is a popular mall. The main reason we chose Bellevue was the great price and large rooms. Breakfast was not a banquet, it actually was simple, but no one seemed to miss anything. Great and honest service provided by the owners themselves. Hotel own web site ok but basic
Andrassy Hotel The rooms were top notch! Clean and comfy beds in the bedroom, and a great rainforest shower in the bathroom which certainly puts my shower at home to shame! The lobby bar is nice and relaxing, and we went there to meet before heading out in the evening for dinner...the barman was super nice - in fact, every member of staff in this hotel seemed to have a smile on their face! The location of the hotel is just a few minutes from Heroes Square, and the Szechnski (sp?) baths - I will be posting more about Budapest and specific sites in seperate posts. It's in the diplomatic area, and feels very safe and quiet - an oasis from the centre, yet only a 15 minute walk from town or a very cheap metro journey that takes less than 5 minutes. Hotels own web site video ott
If you have time on your visit to the Czech Republic for only one excursion, seriously consider making it Ceský Krumlov. One of Bohemia's prettiest towns, Krumlov is a living gallery of elegant Renaissance-era buildings housing charming cafes, pubs, restaurants, shops, and galleries. In 1992, UNESCO named Ceský Krumlov a World Heritage Site for its historical importance and physical beauty.
Bustling since medieval times, the town, after centuries of embellishment, is exquisitely beautiful. In 1302, the Rozmberk family inherited the castle and moved in, using it as their main residence for nearly 300 years. You'll feel that time has stopped as you look from the Lazebnický Bridge and see the waters of the Vltava below snaking past the castle's gray stone. At night, by the castle lights, the view becomes even more dramatic.
Few dared change the appearance of Ceský Krumlov over the years, not even the Schwarzenbergs, who had a flair for opulence. At the turn of the 19th century, several facades of houses in the town's outer section were built, as were inner courtyards. Thankfully, economic stagnation in the area under communism meant little money for "development," so no glass-and-steel edifices, like the Hotel Thermal in Karlovy Vary, jut out to spoil the architectural beauty. Instead, a medieval sense reigns supreme, now augmented by the many festivals and renovations that keep the town's spirit alive.
Castle View Apartments We stayed at Castle View Apartments for one night on 04/26/09, and absolutely fell in love with the ground floor apartment. We originally were going to go only to Prague for a long weekend, but then while watching a Rick Steves video, we saw Cesky Krumlov and decided that we had to go there, as well as Prague. When we saw the Castle View Apartments on the video, it looked fantastic. So we booked our own little apartment and loved every minute of it. We already had a great rate, but when I metioned Rick Steves, they gave me 10% off of the already very reasonable price, which ended up being $82.66 USD. Hotel Web Site
Pension Barbakan The Pension Barbakan is the perfect spot for touring Český Krumlov, as it is basically located right at the fortification & "bridge" into the town. You can walk to the town square, and meander along the many historical streets and alleyways to visit the many unique shops that Český Krumlov has to offer, on your way to tour the castle. Our room was fabulous and very large with two windows, offering amazing views of the river and countryside behind the pension! We had a large built-in counter & cupboards with sink, fridge, coffee maker and other amenities, a table with four chairs, a king-size bed plus an additional bed. Our master ensuite was massive, it was covered in marble tile from floor to ceiling, had a whirlpool tub, shower, sink and a wonderful skylight for natural lighting. hotel web site
Hotel Konvice The hotel has 12 rooms, and belongs to the Austria Castle hotels group (amongst others), and certainly has a beautiful authentic atmosphere. The location in extremely central. If you come by car, ignore the pedestrian zone signs as you can park in front of the hotel for a while to unload and load. The hotel provides you with a front-window ticket for this. They also provide you with a 150 CZK (eur 5.50) ticket for parking at a nearby public parking spot, which is added to your hotel bill. The staff was very friendly. A spacious room (room 12, upstairs. It had old wood-carved ceilings, was clean, and had comfortable bedding (a bit of a creaky floor added to the atmosphere) hotel web site Karen Brown
La Maison de’Hotes, Arras I stay in many hotels in the course of a year, ranging from luxury to simple B&Bs. The Corne d'Or has something that most others lack - charm and character. It has a certain quirkiness, a high degree of comfort and - above all - owners who care about their guests. Franck and Isabella are perfect hosts. The location is perfect, the breakfasts are superb (I've never before seen such a variety of teas) and the orange juice really is freshly squeezed. If you want to stay in Arras don't bother to look anywhere else; the Corne d'Or cannot be beaten. Hotels own web site La suite nature or loft, order dinner if possible
Le Macassar “We were not suprised to find that Le Mascassar is rated as one of the best 10 B and Bs in Europe and it was all that we hoped for (from other tripadvisor reviews) and far more. It took a bit of time to locate Le Macassar in the town square undergoing renovation but once inside the gates we entered into a wonderful world with a beautiful garden and a glorious art deco house. Miguel and Ian are wonderful hosts and both of them have a great gift for looking after their guests. For us their welcome began with gin and tonic and wine under the sunshades in the garden. The bedrooms are delightful and the breakfasts cannot be beaten. Its not cheap but worth every penny- outstanding”. Hotel web site dogs, do dinner on a Sunday
Chateau de Grand Rullecourt , “An utterly splendid, singular bed and breakfast owned and run by a couple: hardworking, earthy, relaxed, "eccentric aristocrats. Evolving through years' of work, it has such a fine feeling for colour, antiques, fabric, layout, paintings, ornamentation, which with exquisite light from long windows and French doors, made an atmosphere transporting, moving and unforgettable. Divinely comfortable beds, sheets worth half a page alone. Home-made jams, meadow flowers. An impression of simplicity and grandeur , nothing starchy or precious. This is a rave from a well travelled, and critical, editor. I should say we were lucky to have Chateau de Grand Rullecourt 's interesting quirky hosts to ourselves for the sadly one night we stayed. Nearest town Arras, alack we only glanced through too. Need to go back to this fabulous place.” Hotels own web site Shabby but interesting
Hotel de la Basilique , Albert This is a small family run Hotel right in the centre of Albert across the road from the Basillica. They speak very good English. We stayed here for 2 nights and it was a great base to explore the war sites, especially the Australian ones. I would recommend a visit to the museum in the tunnels under the Basillica. Parking for the hotel is anywhere on the street, we managed to find a space around the main square both nights. The rooms are not huge but they are clean and freshly decorated with small, new ensuites with great showers. We had 2 twin rooms with one at the back of the hotel and one at the front with a lovely view over the Basillica. Breakfast is cold - cereals, rolls and croissants and is an extra 8 euro each. We also had a lovely meal here - the owner is also the chef. We chose the 3 course menu at 20 euro. There is actually not much choice for eating in Albert. All in all a nice stay in Albert at a reasonable price. Hotels own web site Basic but do dinner
Jean de Bruges Hotel web site
Im Malerwinkel beautifully located in a quiet, bucolic area of Bacharach. We could hear the nearby stream all night. The walkway to the hotel is quite beautiful in an unpretentious way. The rooms and breakfast were quite large. The price was the bargain of our trip hotel web site
Haus Weller Charming old world house (no TV, wifi, or telephones in the room to bring you back to the present), located in a quite section of town a stone’s throw from the Rhine. The Mr. and Mrs. Schuster-Weller made us feel right at home from the moment we walked in, they were very friendly and helpful we felt like we were staying with family (the good kind). Hotel web site not such a good position
Villa Beatrice, Verona The villa is in the hills surrounding Verona, with breathtaking views all around. The building and rooms are in immaculate shape, and there is a beautiful garden with tables and chaise-longues, a ping pong table, and two adorable dogs. It feels like another world, but it's only a few minutes' drive from the heart of the city and all the main attractions. The place is so beautiful that some of the other guests spent most of their time there, only venturing into the city itself for a few hours each day. hotels own web site Stay 2 days to see Verona? Long way to dinner?
Casa Villa D’Arco We stayed at Casa Villa d’ Arco originally as a stopover between Venice and Paris; little did we know that it would be a highlight of our trip. Our room was lovely and very quiet as it faced the beautiful courtyard. The window in our bathroom faced the mountains and Lake Garda off in the distance. With downtown Verona only a few minutes away, it was a pleasant retreat to come back to after a day of sightseeing. hotels own web site restaurant to walk to
Mas Palou, Roses This hotel is in a house built in 1582. The thick walls are built from rocks found in the area and the ambiance is of an ancient location. The house is close to a small road but is way out of town and the next door neighbor is a winery a few hundred meters away. Roses and beaches are about 10 minutes drive away. There is a very nice pool in the yard with tanning sofas and a small bar.The restaurant and hotel staff are young and very friendly. They don't speak much English but they went out of their way to make us happy. It seems like Spanish speaking guests enjoyed their friendliness. hotels own web site
P&O £80 or 140 with club priority
Night 1 Pyrenees Fri 24 Jul Moraira to Ainsa 6.5 hrs Booked Los Arcos
Night 2 Gunns Sat 25 Jul Ainsa to Gunns 6hrs Vic & Gaynor said we would get there 4pm
Night 3 Somme Sun 26 Jul Gunns to Arras 6hrs Le Macassar
Night 4 Somme Mon 27 Jul Le Macassar
Night 5 Somme Tues 28 Jul Le Macassar
Night 6 Cross Channel & Fiona Wed 29 Jul Arras to Calais 1.5 hrs, latest check in 09.30, arrive Dover 12,30, Dover to Winchester 2.5 hrs, done
Night 7 Fiona , Thurs 30 Jul done
Night 8 Fiona Fri 31 Jul done
Night 9 Daphne & Tim Sat 1 Aug done
Night 10 Daphne & Tim Sun 2 Aug done
Night 11 London Mon 3 Aug done
Night 12 London 4 Aug done
Night 13 London 5 Aug done
Night 14 London 6 Aug done
Night 15 London 7 Aug done
Night 16 London 8 Aug done
Night 17 London 9 Aug done
Night 18 Cross Channel & Rhein Mon 10 Aug London to Dover 2 hrs, latest check in 10.25, arrive Calais 11.25, Calais to Koblenz 5 hrs booked Hotel Rheinfels
Night 19 Prague Tues 11 Aug Koblenz to Prague 6hrs
Night 20 Prague Wed 12 Aug
Night 21 Prague Thurs 13 Aug
Night 22 Prague Fri 14 Aug
Night 23 Ceský Krumlov Sat 15 Aug Prague to Cesky Kerumlov 2.5hrs Castle View Apartments
Night 24 Ceský Krumlov Sun 16 Aug Castle View Apartments
Night 25 Budapest Mon 17 Aug Cesky Krumlov to Budapest 5.5 hrs. Palazzo Zichy
Night 26 Budapest Tues 18 Aug Palazzo Zichy
Night 27 Budapest Wed 19 Aug Palazzo Zichy
Night 28 Budapest Thurs 20 Aug Budapest to Verona 8 hrs Ca dell o'orto
Night 29 Italy Verona Fri 21 Aug Ca dell o'orto
Night 30 Spanish Border Sat 22 Aug Verona to Spanish border 9.5 hrs Hotel Marisqueria Cal Tet
Night 31Sun 23 Aug Spanish border to Moraira 6.5 hrs