In July 2018 Kelley and I flew SFO to Rome, where we picked up a Wizz Air flight to Vienna, Austria. The first 9 days of our trip used Choice Privileges points used 100,000 Choice Privileges for hotels in Austria and Czechia, including 4 nights in a large junior suite in Ceske Budejovice, the major city of southern Bohemia in the Czech Republic. The UNESCO World Heritage city of Cesky Krumlov was only 30 minutes by bus from our hotel.
Vienna is a city of museums, cafes and parks in summer.
- Getting around Vienna U-bahn, tram and airport transportation (July 21, 2018)
- Advisable to bring cash when dining in Vienna (July 23, 2018).
- Review Comfort Hotel Star Inn Vienna Schoenbrunn (July 24, 2018).
- Garden walks are free at Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna’s top tourist destination (Aug 12, 2018).
- *The Prater Vienna beer gardens and amusement park
- *Museum of Military History Vienna
Ceske Budejovice, Bohemia, Czech Republic
We purchased train tickets from Austrian railways for Vienna to Ceske Budjovice, but due to July railroad work, we ended up taking three trains and two bus trips between train stations. We arrived in Ceske Velenice, a Czech border town, just as the skies opened up in a torrential rainstorm. No problem. A beautiful old style pub in the train station and a 90 minute layover before our train provided the perfect opportunity to drink 34CZK pints of Pilsner Urquell and watch the rainstorm from our pub window view.
- Wien to České Budějovice by train, bus, train, bus, beer, train, bus in 5 hours
- Clarion Congress Hotel České Budějovice junior suite reward stay
- Colors of České Budějovice on a summer Sunday
- Cheapest and most expensive EU countries
- Have you been to Český Krumlov? Well, I have
- *Cesky Krumlov video
- *Ceske Budjovice video
Prague, Czech Republic
We traveled by bus from Ceske Budejovice to Prague in 2.5 hours. Two days in Prague was basically a transit layover before a Ryanair flight to Krakow, Poland. After spending three weeks in Prague in 2017, there was not much to say about this trip. The weather was hot and we spent much of our time in beer gardens and attended a free rock concert in Rigrovy Sady Park.
I have many 2017 articles about hotels and sites in Prague and I will likely get around to making some videos from all the photos I have taken over the past two years.
- Clarion Hotel Prague City cool location, not so cool in hot summer
- 5 Staré Město-Old Town Pubs in Prague
- Prague Airport Terminal 2 Menzies and Erste Premier lounges
- *Prague videos
Some people want to travel to new places all the time. Kelley and I have been happy to return again and again to Prague and Krakow. These cities are so laid back. We still have a to do list after spending several weeks in this location since summer 2016.
We spent 10 nights in Krakow in July-August 2018 and 2 nights in Oswiecim, Poland to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum.
- Pack a helmet for Best Western Plus Old Town Krakow great location for tourist stay to visit Old Town or Kazimierz.
- Hotel Indigo Krakow Old Town great location for tourists near train/bus stations, Stary Kleparz market stalls and 5 minutes walk to north side of Krakow Old Town.
- Stary Kleparz Market Krakow for shopping deals
- Towering over Old Krakow, Poland
- Holiday Inn Krakow City Centre platinum upgrade
- 3 restaurants I like in Krakow, Poland
- Hilton Garden Inn Krakow is 20 minutes from anywhere in town
- DoubleTree Krakow Poland or Hilton Garden Inn as best Hilton hotel choice?
- Our hot night 10K deal at Hilton Garden Inn Krakow Airport Unfortunately, Hilton Honors raised the price on nearly all European hotels that were 5,000 and 10,000 points. HGI Krakow went from 10,000 points to 20,000 points in mid-September 2018. Good news is Hampton Inn Krakow is still 10,000 points, although it was 5,000 points in summer 2017 when I stayed there.
- *Kazimierz pubs – this trip was the first time we spent more of our days and nights in Kazimierz than Old Town. Found several pubs added to our list of favorites.
- *Schindler’s Factory Museum
- *Krakow Stare Miasto-Old Town video
Oswiecim, Poland – Auschwitz Memorial and Museum
Most visitors to Auschwitz make it a day trip from Krakow. Rather than spend two hours each way on the bus, we stayed two nights at the new Hampton Inn Oswiecim on $50 per night rate and visited Auschwitz via a 30-minute walk from the hotel. Ate a lot of pizza and drank quite a few beers in Oswiecim pubs too.
- Hampton Inn Oswiecim on a trip to Auschwitz
- Auschwitz-Birkenau tour in photos
- Tour of Auschwitz slideshow video
- *Oswiecim video