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Apartment in Prague 3 (near Flora metro)

cr4909

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I'm looking into a possible trip next year to Prague and surrounding environs, traveling with wife and 2 children. I want to rent an apartment. It doesn't need to be in the tourist center, but convenient via public transit. I plan to use this as a base to explore the city, and also to do daytrips (Karlstejn, Bone Ossuary, etc.) and possibly an overnighter in Cesky Krumlov. I found one that seems to fit the bill. It is in the Vinohrady district, directly across the street from the Flora metro station and Flora Park shopping center.

1) Is this a relatively safe neighborhood? As we have children, I doubt we'll be out too late.

2) Since we're outside the main tourist area, would language be a major issue at nearby shops/restaurants?

3) Is Cesky Krumlov worth a visit? As it is a 4 hour or so train ride, I'd probably spend one night there in one of their pensions or B&B's.

Thanks for the insight.
 

vacationhopeful

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I took the 4 hour train ride to Karlovy Vary several years ago. It was a good way to see the countryside as it poured rain all day.

Then I found out about the BUS. The bus was direct after the last pickup at the airport and took 2 hours. It was $22 a few years ago round trip. Bus is better.

Karlovy Vary is nearby to your town; it was featured in both Last Holiday (Queen Latiffa) and Casino Royale (as in James Bond). I have truly loved the town and everyone who has gone with me also. It is also spelled Carlsbad and Karlsbad.

Just MHO,
 
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Carolinian

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To me, part of the ambiance of Prague is staying in the historic part of the city. My last two trips, I have stayed at Hotel Metamorphis, behind the Tyn Church just off Old Town Square, and Residence Monastery in one of the buildings of the Strahov Monastery near Prague Castle. I highly recommend both as to accomodations and location.
 

Carolinian

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I took the 4 hour train ride to Karlovy Vary several years ago. It was a good way to see the countryside as it poured rain all day.

Then I found out about the BUS. The bus was direct after the last pickup at the airport and took 2 hours. It was $22 a few years ago round trip. Bus is better.

Karlovy Vary is nearby to your town; it was featured in both Last Holiday (Queen Latiffa) and Casino Royale (as in James Bond). I have truly loved the town and everyone who has gone with me also. It is also spelled Carlsbad and Karlsbad.

Just MHO,
I agree that Karlsbad / Karlovy Vary is a great town. Try to have at least one meal at the Grand Hotel Pupp (pronounced ''poop'' in Czech), a great place that has been in business for several centuries.

I drove by rental car on my trips there, which is the best way of all, as you can stop and see other things. I overnighted in the nearby medieval town of Loket (I forget the original German name, the 90% German population was ethnically cleansed after WWII) which is like stepping back in time. The town castle at the top of the hill is open for tours. One of the hotels I stayed in had been in business for centuries and had been one of the favorite haunts of German writer Goethe during his lifetime. Loket is very close to Karlsbad.
 

MaryH

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It has been a few years since I worked in Prague.

Flora is where the bus station is and the neighbourhood was safe enough although a little seedy a few years ago immediately around the bus station but in the way to get gentrified. Some says near Flora are actually a bus ride away and can be nice or a dump. Within walking distance of Flora metro is also the Hilton Hotel. Flora is about 10 min walk to Nam republiky which is edge of downtown.
 

SharonD

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Just back from Prague and Cesky Krumlov.

In Prague, we rented an apartment at Masna Residence:
http://www.masna-apartment-house.cz/pictures_en.html

Great location, about 2 blocks off the main square. I believe the same apartment rental agency rents other places in the center of the city.

We loved Cesky Krumlov. We did the 3 hour river float which was lots of fun. We stayed at the wonderful Hotel Konvice (their "extra" rooms have a kitchenette and large bathroom, and they have a good breakfast).

We took the bus from Prague to Cesky Krumlov. It's recommended to buy tickets for this in advance (we bought them a few days before from the bus station) or you might have to stand. That turned out to be true; people had to stand in both directions during our bus ride.
 

Carolinian

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Cesky Krumlov is a great medieval town, now mostly restored and full of restaurants, shops, hotels, etc. It was a major trading center in medieval times and a large place then, but trades routes changed so nothing much was subsequnetly torn down or rebuilt. The first time I went was before there was much major restoration effort and there were only two restaurants in town. The one in which I had lunch cooked on a open fire in a huge fireplace, much like in the town's original heyday. There weren't many tourists then, but that part has changed dramatically.

I have always used a rental car to get to Cesky Krumlov, whether from Prague or from Austria. The first time I did a one day car rental from Prague and did it as a day trip. Driving in the Czech Republic, once you get out of Prague is not difficult. I would also suggest stopping at Cesky Budovice not too far from Cesky Krumlov. It has one of the largest surviving medieval squares in Europe, and is also the home of the great Czech Budweiser beer - the name of the town under Austrian rule was Budweis, hence the name.
 

cr4909

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Thanks for all the suggestions. It looks like I'll pencil in Karlovy Vary and Loket as places to explore, along with Cesky Krumlov and the others.
 

225chs

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We also rented from Masna. They were great to deal with. The rental also included pickup at the airport. People were very helpful, location was perfect and we had a great time. we never left the city so can't comment otherwise. Recommend you check out Masna
 

gresmi

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I like the sound of Cesky Krumlov. How long is the bus trip and price from Prague and where do we catch it?

Unfortunately, we have limited time (3 days) and I'm trying to put together the best itinerary.
 

Carolinian

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I rented a car for one day and drove to Cseky Krumlov. Driving is easy in the Czech Republic.
 

Linda74

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We rented from www.escapetoprague.com We were very centrally located in Old Town and walked everywhere. We also went to Cesky Krumlov but hired Rick Steeves guide with her driver to take us there and then also did a walking tour with her. She was phenomenal and we so enjoyed our two days with her. We were there in May 2007. We took our kids and their spouses....what a wonderful city....and what magnificent memories.
 

Carolinian

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I like the sound of Cesky Krumlov. How long is the bus trip and price from Prague and where do we catch it?

Unfortunately, we have limited time (3 days) and I'm trying to put together the best itinerary.
In addition to driving, you can also take the train. You have to change to a local train at Cesky Budovice. Cesky Budovice is worth making a short stop in as it has the largest medieval town square in the Czech Republic. In the days of Austrian rule, it was known by its German name of Budweis, and the locally produced beer, called Budweiser, became the most popular beer in the Austrian empire. Anhauser-Busch copied the name, although not the beer, for one of its products in the US. After the fall of Communism, the beer, then using the Czech name of Budvar, was again marketed around Europe, but it is now using its traditional name of Budweiser.

I would alot more than three days to Prague and its surroundings. That is too little time.

Another good half day trip from Prague is Karlstein castle, and can also be reached by train. It is a long walk up the hill from the train station, so using one of the horses and buggies that carry tourists is a good idea.
 

gresmi

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Prague recommendations - Thanks!

Thanks for the recommendations, y'all.. It's taken some time, but we've got our itinerary finally set. Linda (Thanks!), we did rent from escapetoprague.com. Got a monster apartment in Prague City Centre. (You obviously know!). We're going in 22 days and we're so excited..

Working on paring down our bags so any advice on that is welcome, since we'll be bulldogging our bags often.

Feel free to IM or email and I'll gladly answer any questions when we get back. Trip is Salzburg, Vienna, Prague, back to Zurich for flight out. Whirlwind, but that's the time we had.

Enjoy the ride, everybody! :)

Greg
 

Rmelnyk

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Just rent a car(automatic) for the day when you need it. Roads to me were, narrow, crowded and everybody going hell bent!, plus a lot of construction going on in upgrading. This was last spring.
Roman
 

gresmi

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Just returned last Wed. from Prague, Vienna, Salzburg

Great trip. Saw a lot of fantastic architecture in the cities and beautiful countryside from the trains. Anybody have any questions, feel free to email or IM.

We had a great 2br apartment in Prague. We rented from www.escapetoprague.uk. Great people. Left a money a belt with ~ $120 and they mailed it back after we called and told the fellas where we'd left it. Would rent again from them in a heartbeat. Great service and very helpful during our stay. And, price was right. BTW- this was a full 2br, not a 1br with 1 couple sleeping in the living room. Also, each bedroom had a additional loft if you were to bring children or had another traveler. If you needed to, you could sleep 9 people in the apartment we had. It was ~ 1200-1400 sq. ft. and it is better than the pictures portray it on the website. :)

Enjoy!

Greg
 
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