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Prague, Salzburg and Vienna
Old 04-08-2016, 08:45 AM   #1
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Prague, Salzburg and Vienna

Traveling to Prague, Salzburg and Vienna in mid-May with our two sons (18 and 22). Any suggestions regarding restaurants and things to do. We have hired a private guide in Prague and Vienna. Spending three days in Prague, two in Salzburg and three in Vienna.

Not retiring until December so can only go for a week but we thought it could be the last trip with the whole family (oldest starting work at a Big 4 after taking the CPA exam) for a while.

Never taken a vacation longer than a week (ever!) so very much looking forward to spending weeks in Europe rather than days.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 04-08-2016, 10:23 AM   #2
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There's a town outside Prague called Sedlec that has a large ossuary in which the human bones have been used to build chandeliers and other architectural features. A bit macabre, but teenage boys will love it.

Tours are easily arranged from Prague. The tour usually includes a visit to nearby Kutna Hora, an important political center in medieval Bohemia. There's a large cathedral and the old royal mint. The tour takes maybe half a day.

Here's a link: Kutná Hora Sedlec, Ossuary, Sedlec cathedral

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Old 04-08-2016, 12:16 PM   #3
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In Vienna - we enjoyed a trip to the Opera. The city is known for music.
In Prague it was all about the architecture for us. We enjoyed the old town area a lot, and the castle. My husband always talks about the ugly buildings that are in front of (blocking the view of) The Church of our Lady of Tyn, in old town square. He says whatever city planner allowed those buildings should be shot and then stabbed, after being dragged through the square by horses. (Yes, he feels strongly that they are warts on an otherwise beautiful square and church.)
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Old 04-08-2016, 03:24 PM   #4
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In Prague, the big castle is a must, Charles bridge, the Astronomical Clock, the old town near the castle, the wavy building if you have time, and the museum with the dome has classical concerts everyday from Bach to Mozart. The food is pretty cheap compared to any other European city. I thought the food selection was pretty international.

In Salsburg, the Maribell palace and gardens (where they shot the Sound of Music), the Mozart Museum, oh yeah - the Cemetery - you can see Mozart's sister and Haydn buried there. Sadly, Mozart was buried in an unmarked grave in Vienna. You're going to hear Mozart songs playing all over Salzburg. Ein Klein Natzmusik.

Vienna, well the entire city is like a museum. There are old buildings all over - museums, concert halls, nice sculptures, and old churches. I like the Beethoven museum and Sigmund Freud also had his museum. Vienna is big on classical concerts. Food = Bratwurst and Beer. LOL.
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Prague, Salzburg and Vienna
Old 04-08-2016, 03:25 PM   #5
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Prague, Salzburg and Vienna

I'm going to spend a week in Vienna, hopefully I can see some live performance.

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Old 04-10-2016, 09:14 PM   #6
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We're somewhat local to Prague and have been there many times. One of my favorites that I did last time around was to go up to Petrin (using the Petrin funicular) and then walk to Strahov (this is the site of an old monastery). There's an interesting museum of miniatures you can go to (, or just grab a beer and enjoy the view. You can then walk towards Prague Castle, coming from the less common direction. We then usually walk through the castle and down towards Malastranska. If you can, I would recommend going to the crypts and up the tower in St. Vitus Cathedral. Hopefully they are open. If you google map the route, it's pretty easy to see.

Crossing Charles Bridge and going up to the castle is also nice and a more common route. You start at Wenceslas square, go to Old Town Square, cross the Charles Bridge and then up to the Castle.

A great place to grab food in Malo Stranska is the Malostranska Pivnice (Malostranská Pivnice). I haven't been there in many years, but at the time it wasn't much of a tourist trap and the prices were reasonable. They also have another place in Prague called U Vejvodu. One general tip I use to determine if a restaurant is expensive or reasonable is to see how much they charge for beer. I expect beer to cost about 35-40Kc for 0.5 liters. If you see places charging 90Kc+, then you know you're at a place that is catering towards tourists. I haven't been in Prague for a few years, so this may have changed some, but not by much.

As for local Czech dishes, a favorite of ours is Svickova. From the Malostranska Pivnice menu they translate it as "Mrs Müller’s home made roasted sirloin of beef with traditional Czech cream sauce, bread dumplings." But the Goulash, Fried Pork (Wiener Schnitzel for the Germans in the audience) and Knedlo, Vepro, Zeli (Dumplings, Pork, Cabbage) is also another good alternative. Even though I don't see the latter on their menu, other places will have it. And if you're looking for something without meat, a Czech favorite is Smazeny Syr (Fried Cheese), usually served with fries. Another good vegetarian dish is Smazeny Kvetak (Fried Cauliflower), but that might be less common.

Mid-May should be a great time to visit. If you have any questions, free free to PM me. Enjoy your trip!
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Old 04-11-2016, 06:03 AM   #7
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15 years ago, but we toured one of the salt mines in Salzburg. It was really fantastic.

There was an entire lake with boats, etc. 600ft underground. Your strapped on a leather butt pad and slid your way down into the mine on a "bannister" type of thing.

Really a cool experience.
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Old 04-11-2016, 08:22 AM   #8
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Don't miss this restaurant in Vienna... Plachutta
The entrée to order is the "boiled beef".

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Old 04-21-2016, 05:55 AM   #9
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In Vienna we enjoyed walking the Ring Road and strolling through Schonbrunn. Our favorite though was getting afternoon coffee (they have their own coffee culture) and cakes, especially Sachertorte (check out Demel).
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Old 04-21-2016, 06:12 AM   #10
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We did something similar a few years ago and included Budapest.

IF you get tired of sightseeing in the cities you might want to consider a day trip out of Vienna. You can buy a combo ticket from Austrian Rail for a Danube River cruise in the Wachau Valley. You will see some nice scenery and get to visit two towns. Very pleasant.
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Old 04-21-2016, 09:57 AM   #11
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I have visited all these spots, and my suggestion is to go to Trip Advisors and look at "Things to do", restaurant reviews, and the Forum section for each location. You will learn a great deal, and if you join TA you can ask questions on the Forum.
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Old 04-23-2016, 06:06 PM   #12
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We did these 3 cities last September - Prague was awesome - even the overpriced beer was cheap. It is the Bachelor Party spot for folks in the UK - so it does get wild a night. The Czech people are great.

We used trains between all 3 cities - one bit of advice is that we did not reserve 1st class seats hearing that it was not necessary - but they were all reserved when we got on - luckily we found some seats.

Vienna opera house tour was great- and they show the performance outside - so grab a chair and sit down for a bit. Really great food - don't go to the world famous schnitzel house. There are better places.

Salzburg is fun - walk up to the castle then along the ridge and then down again. Explore both sides of the river.

I'm traveling now - otherwise I would tell you some restaurant names.
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Old 04-23-2016, 07:09 PM   #13
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Whenever we visit a new European city, we take the Free Walking Tour where they work for tips.

Then we go back for the Pub Crawl Tour or Nightlife Tour and find out where all the good and inexpensive restaurants and beer halls are. Prague has a great nightlife if you know where to go.
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Old 04-23-2016, 07:53 PM   #14
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Corny as it sounds, the Sound of Music tour in Salzburg is a lot of fun. It goes to several towns in the Salzkammergut associated with the movie, with gorgeous scenery.
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Old 04-26-2016, 06:03 AM   #15
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We did Prague/Vienna/Budapest a few years ago. In Prague, the palace, Charles Bridge/Central Square and just meandering around the narrow streets are good activities. It's quite a small city. In Vienna, the Schonbrunn Palace is a must just outside the city center. Plan on an entire day there. The Sisi museum in the city center is also impressive. I also think there are excursions to beer gardens just outside the city that are very popular.

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