Well, I’ll look at the segment I’m familiar with, that is, from Berlin till Vienna. OK, I take the fact you have to travel through winter into consideration. At least in winter, people will fill pubs, discoes and clubs instead of parks, forests and water bodies, since the weather is so unpleasant. I’ll also remember you are going to have a Eurail, however, we both should remember, that it’s only valid here http://www.eurail.co… and not in countries like Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina00 and Montenegro.
The first question:
Is Varna necessary? It is a huge detour and, although I haven’t been there, in my eyes it’s a place where to go to swim in a cheap sea in the summer. You’d save a lot of money, and train time (incl.transfers), skipping it. What are you going to watch, cold Black Sea? Or it’s sort of a geographical goal, to reach the Black sea?
I’d trade days in Varna for days in a place you have more at hand, Sarajevo. It’s the capital of Bosnia-and-Herzegovina. It has some nice 7-8.000 ft mountains around, it’s a perfect multicultural centre, has beautiful architecture. I just went there this summer and can recommend it to anyone. And it’s beautiful in winter, too, the 1984 Winter Olympics were held here.
An important thing: For the reasons of logistics, I’d rearrange the order of cities to Prague- Krakow- Kosice- Budapest- Belgrade- (Varna and back to Belgrade)- Kotor- Dubrovnik- Sarajevo/Split- Ljubljana- Vienna.
Another important thing: This year is the 20th anniversary of the fall of communism in Central Europe. There are probably going to be huge celebrations. If you don’t mind a little shift, be in Berlin on November 9 for the 20th anniversary of Berlin Wall Fall or in Prague on November 17 for the 20th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution. If you are not into recent history, then just forget it.
From Berlin to Prague, trains run every 2 hrs and the journey takes 5 hrs, Eurail is valid. Prague, as one of the few old towns, can also be mystically beautiful in November fogs.
From Prague, you will get a direct train to Krakow (one at 14:09, one at 21:09). In Poland, the Eurail is not valid. So you will have to buy a segment ticket from the Polish border (Zebrzydowice Gr.) to Krakow. That costs €13 and can be bought in three of Prague’s stations: Hlavni/Main sta., Smichov, and Holesovice. Also, you can book a bed or a couchette in the night train from Prague to Krakow for additional €9 (couchette) or €14 (bed). I’d go for a bed, it’s a 9-hr way and it saves you one night of accomodation in comfort.
For trip from Krakow to Kosice, I’d recommend what I just recommended in http://www.eurotrip…. Look for my replies to Tonye. You do the reverse of the trip. I gave all the links for search engines I used. Remember, no need to prefer trains, since neither Poland nor Slovakia accept Eurail. The last piece, Poprad to Kosice, is usually faster and cheaper by train anyway.
Also the route from Kosice to Hungary is for a train, of course. In this case, you will just have to buy the ticket till the Hungarian border (Cana st.hr.) for about €1 from Kosice train station.
From Kosice, you have to travel to Budapest. There are about four good direct trains that take about 3.5-4 hrs to get to Budapest. See the search engine at www.cp.sk or www.bahn.de
Go on to Belgrade (7 hrs train, also night train available, but I’d take the day train). Remember, before exiting the Eurail territory of Hungary towards Serbia, to buy the segment ticket from the HU/SRB border to Belgrade. That is done in the intl cash desk in Budapest Keleti station, which has a separate entrance from the side. If you stand so that all tracks start from your front, then it’s on the left side of the building. Go from the outside. They speak English, can get you a ticket to almost anywhere in the Southeast Europe, accept credit card payments and are open non stop, which makes them the only rail cash desk in Hungary offering all these together.
If you insist on Varna, you can get there from Belgrade. There is a direct train there leaving Belgrade at 21:15 and arriving to Varna at 18:00 the next day. But from there, you will have to return to Belgrade anyway. Good luck. Probably won’t be expensive if you buy a return ticket in Belgrade, but anyway, spend 21 extra hours – twice, so 42 hours – on the train, bleeeeh.
To Montenegro, there is a train from Beograd (ends in Bar, Montenegro). Unfortunately, I dont know where to change for a bus to Kotor. Maybe there is a direct bus from Belgrade, too, but I wouldn’t miss the largest possible portion of Belgrade-Bar line. That rail line is an architecture unique itself. Probably most tunnelled-and-bridged line in Europe, see http://www.youtube.c… – I’d probably go all the way to Bar just to see it all and then go to Kotor by bus from there.
Kotor to Dubrovnik, definitely by bus.
If you want, you can jump off to Sarajevo here (by bus) or continue to Split (by bus).
From Split (or Sarajevo) get a direct train to Zagreb. From Split it’s included in Eurail, from Sarajevo you have to buy a ticket to Dobrljin Gr. borderpoint and after that it’s Croatia and Eurail again.
From Zagreb, there are frequent trains to Ljubljana, which is 2-2.5 hrs away.
From Ljubljana to Vienna, it’s 7 hours train ride, there are some direct trains per day, one even in the night, but with a transfer in Celje or Pragersko (where trains from Zagreb to Vienna are also available for boarding) the offer is quite dense.
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