The Specialist in Singles Holidays


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Prague, Vienna and Budapest-June 13th 2018
Post: #1
I have just returned from yet another lovely Just You holiday.
Most of our group of 35, think it was 29 ladies and 6 gents, arrived at our hotel at approximately 3pm, those on regional flights having arrived earlier. 
Our Tour Manager was the lovely and bubbly Caroline, who looked after us well, was extremely professional and approachable. Our coach driver was the smiley Hungarian Peter, who drove us everywhere even giving us an extra illuminated city tour of Budapest. Unfortunately he spoke only a little English, which wasn't particularly helpful for Caroline.
We had seat rotation on the coach, which certainly caused some hilarity when we looked for our seats each day,with the way Caroline had assigned them to us. Seats at the back were left free in case some travellers wanted to be alone or weren't happy with rotation.
The weather during the holiday was hot getting to very hot whilst in Budapest. Slight drizzle on arrival.
Hotels were fine, buffet breakfasts and set meals at night, but don't think that these European countries have heard of vegetables being included in meals, that is apart from spuds!
Two of the hotels had kettles in room, Budapest hotel didn't. Likewise the Expo Hotel at Budapest didn't provide much in toiletries, only soap dispensers.  It's breakfast was the best though. 

PRAGUE
On the full day here we had guided sightseeing in the morning with free time after. We had booked the optinal river cruise. This was super, buffet lunch provided and entertainment by an accordian player.
That evening we went to Restaurant Velka Klasterni for dinner but this was a bit disappointing, the evening entertainment group failed to turn up-saying family emergency. 

Following day a long journey through rural, picturesque landscapes to Vienna.

VIENNA
First morning, locally guided sightseeing. Claudia the local guide was very informative, amusing and made us laugh.
During the free time in the afternoon five of us decided to go to the Sacher Cafe to try one of Vienna's specialities, sacherkuchen (ie chocolate cake). We gave it a miss because there were queues outside and the cost for this cake and coffee was 18 euros. So we had this cake and coffee for half the amount in a side street cafe. We then looked for and found the Holocaust memorial. It was so busy everywhere with the Love Parade and the Anti-Love parade that we got lost and couldn't find the coach at 4pm to take us back to the hotel, so we had 2 taxis which cost 15 euros per taxi.
Beware of buying things from kiosks here, I paid 18 euros for 4 postcards, 4 stamps and 2 bottles of water, because I hadn't realized the cost as I was too busy talking. OK, put down to experience!
Dinner that night was excellent, music provided, made up for previous night.
Second day, scenic journey through the Wienerwald (no walking through the woods involved). Evening meal at the restaurant Bettelstudent and then it was trime for the optional Strauss and Mozart concert. Many of those who went said it was one of the holiday highlights.

Vienna was followed by another long coach day to Budapest, with a two hour stop for lunch at Eisenstadt.

BUDAPEST
After initial doubts about this city, dingy and dirty but impressive buildings enroute to the hotel I was later pleasantly surprised how beautiful Budapest is.
On our full day here we had the customary locally guided sightseeing followed by free time.
During our free time Caroline and the local guide facilitated an optional one hour cruise on the Danube for 15 of us, costing 2,800 forints on a "Legenda" company boat. Money very well spent. Others in the group went to one of the many swimming/spa pools or just pottered around.
Our final evening meal was at a floating reataurant.

A couple of comments, which I suppose I should put under "Share your travel tips". Euros are accepted in  most places in Budapest.
If anyone does this tour and goes on the underground in Budapest, once you have bought your ticket make sure you get it validated before you go on a train. A couple on our tour didn't and then got fined 30 euros by a ticket inspector.

All in all a good "taster" holiday for these 3 cities with a happy band of travellers.
If anyone in the group wants to amend any of my comments, I won't be offended.

Kind regards
Di
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Post: #2
Hi Di

Glad you had a nice time. Time flies by so quickly that I did not realise you were back. I would love to visit Prague and Budapest one day.

Regards

Jaya
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Post: #3
Hello DI

Thank you for doing this review. As you know, I'm doing this tour next May so your tips and observations are very helpful. I haven't booked the concert and would be interested to hear more about it from anyone who went.

I hope the cruise on the Danube will be something that our TM will offer to arrange too, I'd certainly want to do that. I hope we may get Caroline as our TM too as it sounds as if she was great.

Where are you off to next? I have Canada in September, can't wait!

Best wishes
Rose x
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Post: #4
(22/06/2018, 01:52 PM)Dina Wrote: I have just returned from yet another lovely Just You holiday.
Most of our group of 35, think it was 29 ladies and 6 gents, arrived at our hotel at approximately 3pm, those on regional flights having arrived earlier. 
Our Tour Manager was the lovely and bubbly Caroline, who looked after us well, was extremely professional and approachable. Our coach driver was the smiley Hungarian Peter, who drove us everywhere even giving us an extra illuminated city tour of Budapest. Unfortunately he spoke only a little English, which wasn't particularly helpful for Caroline.
We had seat rotation on the coach, which certainly caused some hilarity when we looked for our seats each day,with the way Caroline had assigned them to us. Seats at the back were left free in case some travellers wanted to be alone or weren't happy with rotation.
The weather during the holiday was hot getting to very hot whilst in Budapest. Slight drizzle on arrival.
Hotels were fine, buffet breakfasts and set meals at night, but don't think that these European countries have heard of vegetables being included in meals, that is apart from spuds!
Two of the hotels had kettles in room, Budapest hotel didn't. Likewise the Expo Hotel at Budapest didn't provide much in toiletries, only soap dispensers.  It's breakfast was the best though. 

PRAGUE
On the full day here we had guided sightseeing in the morning with free time after. We had booked the optinal river cruise. This was super, buffet lunch provided and entertainment by an accordian player.
That evening we went to Restaurant Velka Klasterni for dinner but this was a bit disappointing, the evening entertainment group failed to turn up-saying family emergency. 

Following day a long journey through rural, picturesque landscapes to Vienna.

VIENNA
First morning, locally guided sightseeing. Claudia the local guide was very informative, amusing and made us laugh.
During the free time in the afternoon five of us decided to go to the Sacher Cafe to try one of Vienna's specialities, sacherkuchen (ie chocolate cake). We gave it a miss because there were queues outside and the cost for this cake and coffee was 18 euros. So we had this cake and coffee for half the amount in a side street cafe. We then looked for and found the Holocaust memorial. It was so busy everywhere with the Love Parade and the Anti-Love parade that we got lost and couldn't find the coach at 4pm to take us back to the hotel, so we had 2 taxis which cost 15 euros per taxi.
Beware of buying things from kiosks here, I paid 18 euros for 4 postcards, 4 stamps and 2 bottles of water, because I hadn't realized the cost as I was too busy talking. OK, put down to experience!
Dinner that night was excellent, music provided, made up for previous night.
Second day, scenic journey through the Wienerwald (no walking through the woods involved). Evening meal at the restaurant Bettelstudent and then it was trime for the optional Strauss and Mozart concert. Many of those who went said it was one of the holiday highlights.

Vienna was followed by another long coach day to Budapest, with a two hour stop for lunch at Eisenstadt.

BUDAPEST
After initial doubts about this city, dingy and dirty but impressive buildings enroute to the hotel I was later pleasantly surprised how beautiful Budapest is.
On our full day here we had the customary locally guided sightseeing followed by free time.
During our free time Caroline and the local guide facilitated an optional one hour cruise on the Danube for 15 of us, costing 2,800 forints on a "Legenda" company boat. Money very well spent. Others in the group went to one of the many swimming/spa pools or just pottered around.
Our final evening meal was at a floating reataurant.

A couple of comments, which I suppose I should put under "Share your travel tips". Euros are accepted in  most places in Budapest.
If anyone does this tour and goes on the underground in Budapest, once you have bought your ticket make sure you get it validated before you go on a train. A couple on our tour didn't and then got fined 30 euros by a ticket inspector.

All in all a good "taster" holiday for these 3 cities with a happy band of travellers.
If anyone in the group wants to amend any of my comments, I won't be offended.

Kind regards
Di

Lovely review as always Di.  Smile

Sounds like a good "taster" as you say.  Glad you managed to get the cake!  Big Grin
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Post: #5
Hi Di

Thanks for your review, glad you enjoyed it.  This is one I would like to do after Sri Lanka and then hopefully Chile, Brazil and Argentina.

Bit alarmed about there not being any vegetables - what will us vegetarians do?
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Post: #6
Hi Jaya and Rose

Time does go too quickly when you are enjoying yourself,Jaya, it was lovely to see these 3 cities and I would love to go back especially to Budapest for a long weekend but it won't be yet awhile.

Rose, I am going to Burma on the same trip as Jaya and a couple of other JY friends in November. 
The Mozart and Strauss concert included a bit of ballet from what I heard. Everyone who went said it was brilliant and a highlight of the holiday. All the ladies who went were extremely well dressed, all looking lovely and some in long dresses. So that's a tip for you if you do the concert, go posh!
In the meantime I am sure you will love Canada. When I went on my TS trip to Canada my friend and I booked our own trail ride for a breakfast cookout, in  a stage coach. We went along the banks of the Bow River in  Banff, so beautiful. It was with Warner Guiding and Outfitting Ltd, the shop being on Banff Ave, the main street in Banff.

kind regards
Di
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Post: #7
Hi Elaine

Thank you for your comments.
I have just been reading that you have mobility problems, which I am sorry to hear about and it sounds as if you are having an op.
I hope that everything goes well and that you can have a holiday to look forward to next year. 

kind regards
Di
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Post: #8
Hi Sue,

Thank you for your kind words. I really enjoyed the holiday, especially Budapest but after our cruise and coffee and cake I didn't have enough time in the huge Market Hall there, I think you may have thought the same had you been there. The downstairs of the hall was foodstuffs and upstairs was all souvenirs (bit of tut as well),loads of embroidered things, would have like a table cloth,hand painted stuff including Russian dolls and nothing was cheap. I only had half an hour  but that would have probably been enough time for the majority on the tour. 

The tour isn't brilliant for vegetarians. I think we only had one vegetarian on the trip, she was a first time JYer and wasn't particularly impressed at the beginning of the holiday with her food but it improved, having other foods rather than just salad... we did have vegetable soups though and on the last night we had a nice mushroom soup and then mushrooms to go with the chicken in cheese sauce and spuds.

Sri Lanka is on my to do list, I keep hearing how nice the country is1

Best wishes
Di
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Post: #9
Hello Di,

A great review of the 3 cities. Vienna was a 3 girl hen do before Christmas. Managed to see so much including the Prater Wheel and the Schronbrun Palace. Did get the Sachertorte at Hotel Sacher- 15 Euros for cake, hot chocolate and a bottle of water. Queued for lunch at Cafe Central- gorgeous. Worst bit was the queue for Hard Rock Cafe- bought my pins and shot glass before going around the corner to a Beer House where I had a beautiful Goulash soup. Did not get to the Opera as not enough time.

Prague was 15 women on a hen party- loved Prague. Great fun and a wonderful city.

Budapest and a fine of 30 Euros for not validating your tickets Dodgy What a rip off- certainly worth remembering for future trip to Budapest as it is on my list.

Jan
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Post: #10
(25/06/2018, 04:43 PM)Dina Wrote: Hi Jaya and Rose

Time does go too quickly when you are enjoying yourself,Jaya, it was lovely to see these 3 cities and I would love to go back especially to Budapest for a long weekend but it won't be yet awhile.

Rose, I am going to Burma on the same trip as Jaya and a couple of other JY friends in November. 
The Mozart and Strauss concert included a bit of ballet from what I heard. Everyone who went said it was brilliant and a highlight of the holiday. All the ladies who went were extremely well dressed, all looking lovely and some in long dresses. So that's a tip for you if you do the concert, go posh!
In the meantime I am sure you will love Canada. When I went on my TS trip to Canada my friend and I booked our own trail ride for a breakfast cookout, in  a stage coach. We went along the banks of the Bow River in  Banff, so beautiful. It was with Warner Guiding and Outfitting Ltd, the shop being on Banff Ave, the main street in Banff.

kind regards
Di
Thanks Di for the tips on the concert and on Canada. Enjoy Burma in November, I look forward to your review.
Best wishes
Rose
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