Footloose in 
     Budapest, Prague & Krakow
 
City Break Ideas by FOOTLOOSE.tv                                  


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  A TALE OF THREE CITIES      

With many low-cost flights available we suggest you travel to Eastern Europe for your city-break to take advantage of value-for-money hotels . Our choices are three beautiful cities from the former Eastern Bloc which have a very different history to our own. The interesting changes since the fall of Communism, as well as their medieval history, make for three individual and memorable visits. 
- See travel and trail information links at the bottom of the page -

  Highlights and places to visit:   

BUDAPEST- The Castle & District, Parliament Buildings & Square, Budapest Cathedral & views, City Park, Statue park, the ornate and historic bath houses, the famous bridges, the Labyrinth under the castle.   
PRAGUE- The five city squares, Tyn Church and Town Hall astonomical clock, Charles Bridge, Prague castle and the parks, Jewish Cemetery and Pinkas Synagogue, a river trip, Ufleků brew-pub.

KRAKOW- The Cloth hall and Market Square, Old town streets, Wawel Castle, Kazimierz the Jewish quarter, Botanical gardens, CrazyGuides communist tour of Nowa Huta. Side trips to Wieliczka Salt Mine or Auschwitz.

Home Page      Footloose in Budapest 
                Prague & Krakow 

                          ~ 3 films on one DVD    

Part one ~ Budapest  THE DETAILS...
Our suggested 9Km trail enables you to discover the beautiful Hungarian twin spa cities, Buda and Pest, on either side the magnificent Danube, linked by elegant bridges spanning the wide river. You should probably allow at least 2-3 days to see the sights, Budapest has a large city centre!

 
  
The starting point has to be at the Castle district in Buda, which commands superb views of the city and, as well as the grand castle itself, contains many interesting features like the Fisherman's Bastion and the Labyrinth. Then it's a riverbank walk past historic churches, a Turkish bath house and of course the grand bridges. Crossing Margaret Bridge, with a detour to its island, you will arrive at Pest's Government district and the massive Parliament building, based on our own Palace of Westminster.

Next is a walk down several elegant streets and grand avenues, and a visit to the cathedral. A detour on the metro to City park is a great thing to do on a hot day, it's full of attractions. Further afield you can make a more unusual and ironic detour to Statue Park, where many communist icons have been collected together for tourists to chuckle and ponder over.
 
 
 
Continuing the city trail you move on through the shopping (Vŕci Utca) district of Pest, passing the huge covered market  and then over the Danube on the Liberty Bridge. Once back in Buda you will see the famous Gellért Baths before climbing many steps up through parkland to the Citadel. With spectacular views of the magnificent city, this makes a perfect end to the trail. 
  
  Visit Debra's Budapest Diary


Part two ~ Prague 
THE DETAILS...
This recommended trail starts in Petrin Park, with a magnificent view of the five separate towns that make up the Czech capital. Our suggested walk is approx. 7Km through the city's untouched streets, enjoying the wonderful mix of original architecture old and new; the city suffered no bombing during WW2. Transport is by red and cream trams or a modern underground system. Being a green city, buses are not permitted in its centre.



Leaving Petrin Park we cross the river to the New Quarter (Nové Město) passing the Opera House and the curious "Dancing House". From here it's a short walk up to the New Quarter square and a bright pink hospital. On the way to the Old Quarter (Staré město) it's well worth stopping at U-Fleků, Prague's oldest Brew-pub (1499). Wenceslas Square is perhaps the hub of transport, shopping, and delightful sausage stands, the must-try fast-food of the city. The Old town Square close by is very much the tourist hub hosting colourful houses, the astronomical clock and beautiful Týn church.



On to the atmospheric Jewish Quarter (Josefov) to visit the famous Pinkas Synagogue and Jewish cemetery and maybe reflect on the city's tortured past. Back on the main tourist trail you cross amazing medieval Charles Bridge (Karlův Most) with its 30 statues, and through the picturesque Lesser Quarter (Malá Strana) up to Hradčany, the castle district. This makes a fitting end to our city trail with, of course, views to match from the grand Castle and its Royal parks. 
    Take at least 2 days to complete the trail, there is much to see and do. Remember, most of the streets are cobbled and are hard on the feet.

           Visit Debra's Prague Diary

  Watch Prague Sausage Tasting! 

Walk with us in Budapest, Prague & Krakow - watch a preview from our DVD - press the 4-arrows button if you want full screen playback

Part Three ~ Krakow  
THE DETAILS...
Krakow's city centre is quite compact and our suggested trail is not a long one, but it is extended by a river walk, to make around 6Km. There is a certain familiarity about this University city, perhaps from the sheer number of Polish people you meet serving in bars and restaurants in the UK! 
    
Our suggested city trail begins in the University Botanical Gardens, and then it's a stroll down the elegant Kopernica with its many churches. It's not long before you reach the ring road around the Old Town.  Originally a  medieval walled city it has many hidden treasures in its streets, the wall was demolished over a century ago when defence was no longer needed. However, there still remains a majestic round bastion (barbican)at the Florianska Gate.

   

Next you take a stroll down Florianska, the Royal route, across the gigantic market square (Rynek Glowny) with its original Cloth Hall, and listen to the lone trumpeter's sombre notes from the Basilica tower. The medieval old town is based on a grid pattern so you can explore the university and the back streets without fear of getting lost. There are many interesting underground bars and restaurants here too. Continuing on down Grodska (following the Royal route) you arrive at Wawel Castle, once the Royal seat of Poland, later occupied by the Austrians.

  

Leaving the old town, next on the trail is the renowned Jewish quarter of Kazimierz, steeped in tragic history. It is here where some of Krakow's best restaurants are to be found. To enhance the Jewish visit, you can take a detour over the the river to visit Oskar Schindler's factory (as featured in Spielberg's film "Schindler's List"). Leaving the district via the "Church on the Rock", we suggest first a riverbank walk then up through parkland to finish at an the Kościuszko Mound, an unusual historical earthworks giving superb views (what else do you get at the end of our walks?) of Krakow.  A bus will take you back to the city centre. 
 

For an extremely entertaining side trip, you can travel back 30 years in a Trabant time-machine to the planned communist town of Nowa Huta. It's run by CrazyGuides and includes a visit to see the steelworks, that was a "gift" from Lenin to the Polish people (see film above). Not perhaps your regular tourist choice but very, very educational and a lot of fun. On our visit, the host was Crazy Qba. See video below!  

Visit Debra's Krakow Diary



 
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Austrian Tyrol
Austria
Switzerland
Spain
East European Cities
Ireland
Scottish Highlands
Dubrovnik
Tallinn
Rocamadour
Bavaria
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Poland
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Madeira
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Useful links:

http://www.easyjet.com

BUDAPEST
Hot Map of Budapest
http://www.budapestinfo.hu

http://www.labirintus.com

 Climate ~ Budapest
 
Our Footloose trail through Budapest
GoogleMaps
    
Budapest Airport Guide
The city has a good tram network, but if you stay close to the city centre, the no.2 tram is probably all you need... It travels along the Pest riverbank, close to many of the attractions and bridges, which you can cross to Buda's important spots. The written language is not easy to follow, for many of the tourist spots are hard to pronounce. Interpreting maps needs a bit of work too.

PRAGUE
Hot Map of Prague
http://www.praguewelcome.cz

http://www.ufleku.cz
 Climate ~ Prague

Our Footloose trail through Prague
GoogleMaps

Prague Airport Guide
The city has a really smart metro sysem but not that many stops within the old town. The more traditional tram network seems to go most places. Annoyingly neither connect directly with the airport... bus to a metro station, or a city centre shuttle bus is what's on offer.

KRAKOW
Hot Map of Krakow
http://www.krakow.pl
http://www.crazyguides.com 

 Climate ~ Krakow

Our Footloose trail through Krakow
GoogleMaps

Krakow Airport Guide
There is a modern shuttle train from Krakow Airport to the central (Glowny) railway station, but weirdly the platform is an annoying 300m from the airport concourse. If you have enough patience to use the free shuttle bus, then do... but if your suitcase has wheels, then just leg it! You can pay on the train. 
Excursions to Wieliczka Salt Mine or Auschwitz etc. are booked from tourism shops across the road (Plac Jana Matejki) from the round bastion (Barbican) in the city centre. Could also ask your hotel to book for you.

We recommend hotel bookings by www.expedia.co.uk

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