Should we skip Prague or Krakow?

We’re going on a honeymoon this November, and it’s non-negotiable that I get to go to Budapest and he gets to do all that Dracula bullshit in Romania. We had planned to also see Krakow and Prague, but we’re looking at the travel time involved and thinking maybe we should do one less city and get to do more day trips out of the other places.

So which should we skip? Based not just on the city itself but also the things you can do in a day’s train ride from there. Everybody loves Prague, but it’s just not one of those places I’ve ever been super-enthusiastic about going to, and plus it kind of seems like it belongs on a different trip (with, like, Vienna and stuff.) And, I mean, everybody goes to Prague. (But is that just me being an obnoxious hipster?) Rick Steves likes both cities. But if we go to Krakow I’m going to feel like I have to go to Auschwitz, so there’s that. I dunno. Internet, give me input.

I’ve lived in Prague and visited Krakow, and loved them both. To somebody on a honeymoon considering one or the other, I’d recommend Prague. Prague is a larger city with more to see and do, more numerous and more impressive architecture, more museums, and larger and more impressive parks, full of grand sights in the truest sense of the word - a day’s walk still can’t show you everything. Krakow is a slightly smaller city, and while still beautiful has a smaller and sleepier vibe. Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II - Birkinau are must sees if you’re in the area, but are outside the city will take a day in and of themselves. While seeing the camps is a deeply moving experience I’d recommend everybody who has the chance to see do so, I don’t know that I’d recommend it for a honeymoon.

Another consideration: in November Prague will be cold and dark, and Krakow will be even colder and darker. If you’re from the warmer climes like I am, just how cold it can get and how little daylight there is in the winter can be a shocker. November won’t be quite as bad, but it may still get dark earlier than you’re used to.

ETA: Oh, and congratulations. :slight_smile:

Oh, and for day trips outside the area, I’ve never had the chance to go myself but I’ve been told by many that the the village of Český Krumlov is among the most beautiful in all of Europe.

I find Prague to be rather too crowded and “Disneyfied”, at least in the old town, but it is undeniably pretty. In November it should be a bit quieter than in high season, too. I haven’t been to Krakow since 1998, so I’m not sure how relevant my input will be, but I loved it then. I also went from there to Zakopane and the Tatra mountains, which were lovely (although may be less so in November!) I didn’t go to Auschwitz, or feel obliged to, BTW.

Yeah, I’m really bummed that I didn’t make it to Český Krumlov.

Prague really is a beautiful city though, although I found the crowds and Russian mafia types to be rather offputting. I’d still go anyway.

I wasn’t particularly enamored with Budapest. Most of Pest was destroyed during a flood in the 1800’s and the Georgian (I think that’s what it is) architecture really doesn’t float my boat.

Krakow was pretty much unscathed in WWII and is really beautiful. The center square and castle are very spectacular. Warsaw, on the other hand was largely destroyed and rebuilt and is pretty charmless in my book.

(don’t mean to hijack)
pravnik: I will be visiting Prague for my first time next month (mid-Sept.). I only have a day and a half, though. I will not have a rental car, but am staying near the Old Town.

I was thinking of doing a (hired) walking tour for half a day. What would you recommend for such a short period of time there ? What would you consider to be the “must see” sights ?

I would appreciate your input.

Sure. I haven’t been back in a long while, but when someone asked me a few years ago how to see the major sights on a day’s walk, I suggested this:

That’s a short summary of some of the neat stuff you can see (by no means all), and there are likely hired tours that cover a lot of those sites; you probably won’t be able to see everything in a half day but you can figure out which ones most appeal to you. If I were to go back I’d want to see some of the art pieces around the city by Czech artist David Černý that weren’t up when I was there last. For a more in depth picture of the city a traveler’s guide like “Let’s Go” can be helpful to figure out what you’d really like to see, and in some cases a real lifesaver. As far as a rental car, don’t worry, you won’t need it. I only drove a car once ion the several years I lived there, and it was to drive my boss’s car around the block and park it. Between the Metro, the trams and in some cases the buses it’s extremely easy to get around on foot and public transportation.

We’re from South Motherfucking Carolina and are a little afraid that we might be insane.

Don’t worry, you’ll live. :smiley: I visited Krakow in February, it was cold and rainy the whole time but I had a wonderful time. November won’t be too bad yet, and everybody’s correct that if you do decide on Prague you’ll miss the crowds of spring and summer (although spring in Prague is totally worth it). Bohemia and Poland are still beautiful in the fall and winter, and even if it is cold and wet it’ll just make the cozy pubs that much cozier.

Different strokes: Budapest is my favourite central European city by far. Best nightlife, too (although the beer in Prague takes some beating!)

First of all you schouldn’t feel obligated to visit historically notable scenes of human misery on your honeymoon. My grandparents were Auschwitz survivors and I am personally giving you permission to not visit the camps should you choose a honeymoon visit to Krakow. But if you would somehow feel obligated and guilty, it’s reason enough to avoid Krakow entirely.

Personally I prefer Krakow to Prague, but in November, I prefer Costa Rica to both of them. :smiley:

Years ago I spent three days in Budapest and was furious I didn’t have more time. Of course, that was before Hungary joined the EU, so it was SHOCKINGLY cheap as opposed to just cheap.

That’s another thing - I assume Krakow would be cheaper than Prague.

You don’t sound super enthused about Prague, so go to Krakow. Personally, I preferred it anyway - it’s smaller, yes, but felt more relaxed and charming.

Really, though, my advice is to skip both and spend more time in Hungary/Romania. They’re both wonderful countries, and skipping Czech/Poland would give you more time to relax and explore. You say your husband gets to do the “Dracula shit” in Romania, but there’s more to see than that - Transylvania has some really incredible historic villages, the landscape is beautiful…you might just want to stay there!

That’s exactly what I came to post, you’ll likely find out that you’re very glad not to be rushed. I also have to say, I went to Prague last year and it was okay, but slightly generic big-Euro-tourist-city…I won’t be going back.

Is there a week’s worth of things to do in both Budapest and out of Bucharest? (I’ve heard Bucharest itself is a pretty crappy town - Rick Steves is agin’ it.) We’ve got two weeks to spend and we’d like to maximize what we see, although it would be great to see more of the country in a more relaxed sort of way.

Also, is the November thing likely to be an issue what with things closing early and such?

I would choose Praha over Krakow, but wouldn’t be disappointed in either one. The food, the beer, and the girls are better in Praha, but in Krakow, you have gorgeous medieval architecture and…kielbasa.

My main motive for posting, though, was to warn you to stay the hell out of Romania. It’s about forty years behind the rest of Europe–its infrastructure, particularly its tourist accomodations, is obsolete, crappy, and inadequate. There’s not much to see–all the hype surrounding Vlad Dracul aka Vlad the Impaler is mostly that–hype; 90% of the stuff surrounding his “legend” never happened. He’s a national hero for keeping the Turks out of Romania, but he was also a homicidal, half-crazy asshole.

And do you really want to be in the Carpathian Mountains in November?

Yeah, my wife and I (Texans, born and bred) went to Prague and Budapest for our honeymoon from Dec 26 - Jan 5 about 5 years ago. It wasn’t that cold really… but the temperature didn’t vary much either. It was right around 27 all the time. The sun also started setting at about 2:30 pm, and it was pitch-dark come 4 o’clock.

Great place- one of the big attractions of Prague is that it’s essentially untouched by any of the wars of the past 500 or 600 years, unlike most other major European cities. Budapest and Vienna for example, are beautiful, but mostly post-WWII, considering the horrific fighting in the cities.

The Xmas market in the Old Town square is pretty cool- make sure and get some trdelniki! They’re these odd hollow pastries that are sold from little kiosks, and are awesome.

Well, no, I don’t. But as I keep having to tell my mother, I’m not the only person getting married.

True, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying to talk your new spouse out of spending part of your honeymoon in a place about as interesting as a sock drawer.

Other than being fascinated with the hyped-up vampire legend, what earthly reason does he have for wanting to go there? It will be time and money badly spent. See Praha and Krakow.

See, he has desperately wanted to go to Romania since he first read Dracula in middle school. It’s a lifelong dream.