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Help with shore excursions pre and post extension

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My wife and I will be spending several days in Prague pre Viking Romantic Danube Cruise and several days in Budapest post cruise. We have never been to either city and we always enjoy taking a small group guided tour.


Viking offers included shore excursions of each city. I have also researched city tours which I can purchase. The purchased tour in Prague includes lunch and a cruise on the river. The Budapest tour also includes lunch. 


Doing both the included and self-purchased tours seem somewhat redundant. Are the included tours sufficient or are they too cursory and largely traveling on a bus? Should we do the included tours and then explore on our own? Would we better off taking the purchased tours and forgoing the included tours allowing us more free time or should we still do both?



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We have spent several days in each of these cities. We went around completely on our own in both with no problem. With a little research, and a guidebook or map, it's easy to do. Both cities have good public transport and plenty of English speakers so go for it!


I have heard that there are free walking tours of Prague available; hopefully someone who has taken one can provide details. We didn't take one as the Old Town is compact and easy to walk around on your own. Budapest, by comparison, is huge. If you want an "overview" of Budapest in a short time, then a cursory bus trip is probably the only way to go.

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In Prague, we used the included tour to get from the hotel to the Castle District. We did some of the tour with the guide and then told the guide that we were leaving the group and would get back on our own. The tour group was heading back into the center of Prague for lunch and to see the Clock Tower and the Bridge (sites that we thought we could do on our own the next day). We spent the rest of the day wandering around the Castle District and then found a cab to drive us back to the hotel.


We lucked out when we timed our visit to the Lobkowicz Palace to coincide with the concert and were able to hear the music as we toured the museum; it was lovely. Then as we continued to wander we lucked into a rehearsal for some upcoming official visit, so we got to see a little official Pomp with out the circumstance -- or was it vice versa.

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This is draft of what we are doing in Budapest. Oct cruise so only draft at this time.

Post cruise - Draft

11/1  Free Walking tour Pest 10:30. http://www.triptobudapest.hu/tours/the-original-tour/  

Winery tour w/ dinner, leave @3pm?  http://cityandwine.hu/en/programs/wine_tours_wine_tasting/39_budapest-etyek_wine_tour_and_wine_tasting/

11/2 – SZÉCHENYI SPA AM?,  Folk Show in evening?

11/3 - Danube bend tour w/Cityrama?

More info:


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  • 1 month later...

Afloat - good decision to stay in Prague and Budapest prior to and after the cruise. We visited both cities after a cruise and took the train between them (you will not have to do that).  Not being the most adventurous traveler we knew we wanted some assistance in both cities.  The cruise lines pre and post programs are usually way over priced.  I used GoRealEurope.com.  They are easy to work with - go to their web site, give them your preferences regarding what you would like to see, the * ratings on the hotel you would like etc, and they will design a custom, idiot proof itinerary for you.  They give you literally step-by-step instructions on how to get from your hotel to point A to point B to point C and back to your hotel. They even pre purchase public transportation tickets for delivery to your hotel and give you instructions on what bus, tram, etc. to take.  They will also pre book you with local certified tour guides.  They make their money on commissions from hotels, etc. so you can't book your own.  We were VERY satisfied with their services.

IMPORTANT - be sure to pre-book timed reserved entry tickets to the Parliament in Budapest - it is an amazing building. Tour tickets can not be guaranteed if you just walk up. Also, for a fun day or 1/2 day, go to one of the baths in Budapest - GoRealEurope can get you there too. We also used them for our hotel, our tour guides, etc. in Prague.  Another gorgeous city.  

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