The entire experience was first-rate.
I had wanted to see Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary for years, but could never find a tour that included everything I wanted to see or do.
As an experienced traveller, I usually plan and book my own trips, but even the thought of researching an itinerary for four cities in three countries was enough to make me give up.
And then I stumbled across Zicasso while Googling, which led me to this travel company.
I loved being able to pick and choose where I wanted to stay, what I wanted to do, or even having days I didn't want to do anything at all.
Having a local phone provided for the duration of the trip is genius. It came in handy once when there was a mix up on train-station pickups.
And I can't say enough about my travel company contact, who is based in Prague. The trip was a success because she helped make it so from beginning to end.
Pierogi in Krakow. Nyum. Just like babcia used to make.
Surprisingly, Budapest ended up as my favourite stop.
The food scene was a pleasant change from the meat-centricity of Prague's. Yes, there was a still a lot of meat on the menus, but with room for veggies. It was also easier to find restos that served other cuisines, such as Thai.
And nothing beats a leisurely daytime cruise on the Danube while admiring all of Budapest's wonderful sights.
I would have stayed at a different hotel in Krakow. While the hotel was lovely and well-located, I did not enjoy being in a room with no windows to the outside. I felt like a mushroom.
I also would have chosen a different hotel in Prague. The hotel was also well-located, but it didn't have enough electrical outlets in the room for my computer or using an iron, which I had to plug in using the bathroom outlet. And the hotel was miserly - no free bottled water in the room (like the rest of the hotels) and it was charging 40 CZK per Nespresso capsule, so no free in-room coffee either.
I also would have preferred to take a plane from Krakow to Prague, but there were no direct flights on the day I was leaving. "Next time" I would juggle my itinerary for a flight option, rather than spending seven hours on the bus/train.
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