This trip was different from previous Amateur Traveler trips because we did not have one guide the whole way. Instead, we worked with former Amateur Traveler sponsor JayWay travel (Jay was also our guest on an episode about Croatia) to get us from city to city and give us an orienting tour and group dinner in each city. My family had done the same with them on our trip to Croatia.
Prague was the only one of these cities that I had been to. It is a beautiful city, especially for people who like classic architecture. We visited Prague Castle and many of us also got out to the less-visited Vyšehrad castle. A couple of people road the “elevator of death” at the City Hall. We saw museums about communism and the artist Mucha and some took in some of the concerts the city is known for.
We also did a side trip to Kutná Hora which is best known for its bone church, but I for one preferred its beautiful cathedral.
On the way to Krakow, we stopped at Auschwitz and Birkenau. This was for many people the most impactful time on the trip, if also certainly the most sobering.
In Krakow, we visited the main castle and central square as well as visiting 3 different museums about the experience in WWII in Krakow: the Gestapo museum, the Pharmacy Museum, and the Oskar Schindler Factory. On a less somber note, we enjoyed the trumpeter playing from the main bell tower, concerts, and the nightlife in the old Jewish quarter.
Most of us took a side trip to the Wieliczka Salt Mine. It was a great tour seeing the salt mining history, as well as the art of an underground church, carved out of salt. One member of our group headed instead to see the Black Madonna of Cz?stochowa.
On the way to Budapest, we stopped in Banská Štiavnica in Slovakia which is a UNESCO site. In all, we saw 7 UNESCO sites including the Historic Centre of Prague, Kutná Hora, Auschwitz Birkenau – German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp (1940–1945), the Historic Centre of Kraków, the Wieliczka and Bochnia Royal Salt Mines, Banská Štiavnica, and Budapest, including the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrássy Avenue.
Hungary is yet another beautiful city on the banks of the Danube. We toured the famous Szechenyi Baths and the Parliament building, tasted Hungarian wines at the Palace, and cruised the Danube.
It would be hard for me to pick my favorite city, let alone to get the group to agree on it, but Prague, Krakow, and Budapest are all great additions to a Central European itinerary.
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Amateur Traveler Central Europe Trip 2018
Honest Guide to Prague
Paternoster Lift at Prague City Hall
Museum of Communism
Church of Our Lady of the Snows
The Slav Epic
Mucha Museum Prague
Jewish Museum in Prague
Travel to Prague in the Czech Republic – Episode 189
Travel to Berlin and Prague in December – Episode 213
Auschwitz concentration camp
Oskar Schindler Factory
St. Mary’s Basilica, Kraków
Tempel Synagogue, Kraków
“Wieliczka” Salt Mine
Black Madonna of Cz?stochowa
Street Food Karavan
City Park (Budapest)
Chain Bridge (Budapest)
Head of Franz Kafka (Prague)
Memento Park Budapest
Maximilian Hotel (Prague)
Hotel Malta?ski (Krakow)
Hotel Palazzo Zichy (Budapest)
Jeff wrote about: Travel to Boston, Massachusetts – Episode 630
Another great episode. I love visiting Boston and my cousins. You almost had all the National Park areas and I know time is limited on the show. A couple you partially touched on but never came out right and mentioned are Boston African American National Historic Site (Black Heritage Trail), Salem Maritime National Historic Site (Salem), and of course Cape Cod National Seashore (Provincetown). The final three to mention are Adams National Historical Park, Longfellow National Historic Site, and Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site. I smiled when you mentioned Beverly as my ancestors settled there in 1638 and they have a great little historical society/museum. Which leads me into visiting the New England Historic Genealogical Society on Newbury Street (Boston) to delve into all your New England ancestry.
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