Heading To Visit Central Europe For 6 Weeks
We planned our trip to visit Central Europe for 6 weeks in the Spring. The first part of our trip from Prague to Budapest was done with a small land tour group. This was our first long group tour. But it worked out so well we booked another group tour in China. Our local tour guide ensured we saw many things in this part of Central Europe that we may have missed if we booked this as a river cruise.
From Budapest we headed off on our own. Our first stops were in Austria. Vienna, Salzburg and a day trip to Hallstatt were a perfect introduction to Austria.
From there we went to Switzerland for 10 days. Stops in Zurich, Bern and then Geneva gave us very different city views. Day trips to the Rhine Falls from Zurich and then to Interlaken from Bern provided teaser views of the stunning outdoor beauty of Switzerland.
We finished our visit to Central Europe with a few days in Milan. From there it was an easy direct flight home to Toronto. Such an amazing variety of sights on our visit to Central Europe for 6 weeks.
Flying To Prague
We enjoyed our first 747 flight on the Lufthansa trip from Toronto. We booked business class and made sure our seats were on the top level. The crew on the upper deck were attentive and service was good. At times if felt like we were on our own private plane!
We are so used to flying business class in lie-flat pods that the recliner seats on this plane were much less satisfying. I had the aisle but David was on the window. If he wanted out, he had to climb over top of me. It would be much worse if we shared seats with a stranger. And on the lower deck, the middle row had 3 seats which was so much worse.
We departed about 30 minutes late but the pilot made up time in the air. There were long delays in Frankfurt both when we arrived and left. A reminder to choose Munich for connections in Germany if possible.
A quick hop got us to Prague in under an hour. While we booked Business Class this was probably the worst seats we ever had. We were crammed together so that my knees almost touched the seat in front. And of course, that guy reclined! A reminder that paying for Business Class for short hops in Europe may not be worth it at all!
We Enjoyed Prague For 8 Days
The first 5 days we wandered in Prague on our own. We enjoyed the views from above when we visited the Petrin Tower. We found many ways to enjoy the Vltava River running through the city. One day we spent the afternoon in an Absinthe Bar and learned more about the “Green Devil”.
This first stop in Prague was a great start when we visited Central Europe for 6 weeks.
Exploring More Of The Czech Republic
One day trip took us for a tour of the local Budweiser Brewery. And then we learned more about the time of Russian occupation when we visited the Pribram Uranium mine internment camp. For a change of pace, we enjoyed a treetop stroll on the Lipno Treetop Walk. And on another day trip we visited the beautiful Lednice Palace.
Most people visited the charming town of Cesky Krumlov for a day trip. But we stayed for 2 nights in Cesky Krumlov and enjoyed this charming town when the day tourists disappeared.
We saw so many different facets of the Czech Republic when we visited Central Europe for 6 weeks.
A Quick Visit To Bratislava
We had only one short day in Slovakia in the city of Bratislava. But even on a short stop we were charmed. We toured the town and saw many of the main sights.
From Bratislava it was an easy day trip within Slovakia, into Austria or to nearby Hungarian towns. We liked Bratislava enough that we would consider this as a base for future trips in Central Europe.
Finishing In Budapest On Our Visit Central Europe For 6 Weeks
On our way to Budapest, we made a stop in the town of Gyor in Hungary. We enjoyed our walk through this small town before we headed to the big city.
We had several days in Budapest on the Pest side with our OAT group. Local guides in the city provided a great overview of this interesting and beautiful city. On our last night with the group, we went high on the Gellert Hill and watched the sun set over the city. And then headed for a night cruise on the Danube as the city sparkled around us. It was the perfect way to wrap up our group tour from Prague to Budapest.
After we left the OAT group, we moved to a smaller boutique hotel on the Buda side and explored in Budapest some more. We went high to the Buda Castle and St Stephens Cathedral.
It was a busy 5 days in Budapest when we visited Central Europe for 6 weeks.
Austria For A Week
While we were still on our group tour, we did a day trip into Austria and visited the Roman ruins at Carnuntum. We were always amazed when we saw the breadth of the Roman expansion.
When we left Budapest, we took the train to the first stop on our stay in Austria. Vienna was a beautiful city with so much to see and do. We explored some of the city sights and even did a trip to the vineyards in the surrounding area. We got our first introduction of the music and musicians of Austria.
From Vienna we moved to Salzburg. This smaller city was easy to explore on foot. We took the funicular high to the Hohensalzburg Castle for views out over the city.
From Salzburg a day trip took us to the Austrian Alps and the land associated with the Sound of Music. We enjoyed our day trip in the delightful lake town of Hallstatt. We started with a trip up the funicular for views from above. And finished with a walk though the town and along the lake.
We enjoyed the variety in the sights in Austria on our trip in Central Europe for 6 weeks.
A Great First Visit To Switzerland
We planned several stops on our 10 days in Switzerland. From Salzburg in Austria, we continued by train to Zurich. The weather turned and many days were grey with some rain. We relaxed a little in Zurich but were not deterred as we explored the Zurich sights.
On the sunny day, we took the train for a day trip. We enjoyed a delightful visit to the small town of Schaffhausen. And then headed to the Rhine Falls.
For a day trip, we took the train into the Swiss Alps and visited Interlaken. We started with a trip up to Harder Kulm for stunning views of the Alps and the town below. We then strolled through this quaint town. And resolved to return and explore the Alps more from Interlaken as a base.
Our final stop on our visit to Switzerland was in Geneva. A pampering stay at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel De La Paix provided a lakeside view over this city that charmed us instantly. We explored different parts of Geneva as we wandered. But knew Geneva would be another great base for a return visit to head into the French Alps at Chamonix.
We saw a lot on our visit to Switzerland on this trip in Central Europe for 6 weeks. But we left with a long list of places for a return trip.
Our Visit To Central Europe For 6 Weeks Finished In Milan
It was easy to take the train from Geneva to Milan, Italy for our last stop. We again booked a pampering stay and enjoyed the hotel amenities at the Westin Palace in Milan. The Milan Duomo and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II were on the top of our list of things to do on this visit to Milan.
We wandered in Milan and enjoyed these final tastes of Italy. It was a great relaxing way to finish our trip in Central Europe for 6 weeks.
Milan was a gateway city with direct flights to Toronto. So it was the perfect choice to finish our trip in Central Europe for 6 weeks. We enjoyed our Air Canada Business Class flight home. After 6 weeks, it was time to get home.
An Amazing Trip To Central Europe For 6 Weeks
The first part of our trip as part of the Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT) group worked out better than we expected. Our great local guide added so much as we travelled from Prague to Budapest. But after two weeks of group travel, we were excited when we headed off on our own.
When we finally reached our final short stop in Milan, we enjoyed a small taste of Italy. That only reminded us of how much we loved Italy. And needed to plan another visit there.
Would you follow our path in Central Europe for 6 weeks? What should we plan for a return visit?
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