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Old 4th January 2018, 23:00   #1
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Default Prague & Germany road-trip in a Mini Cooper

My last Prague trip was cancelled by someone stole my passport .Prague was always on the top of my Euro trip list. And Germany was on the list because of Autobahn. A friend of mine was also on Euro trip and we planned to meet in Prague. A total of 2800 km road trip happened like this -

Prague & Germany road-trip in a Mini Cooper-capture.jpg

Our Agenda was to spend 2 days in Prague, then go to Nuremberg to see the best Christmas market in Europe, go back to Munich, visit the city and then go to Black forest to drive on the famous route 500. However everything didn't happen according to the plan (Never happens).

I always wanted to hire a premium car in Europe. So this time booked a BMW 1 series. When we went to SixT we found out that the BMW was not fitted with winter tires (winter tires are mandatory in Germany during this time). And the cheapest premium car was Mini. We were only 2 so the mini was a perfect match. We took the car on one thursday night and came back home. We started at 2 am. I thought of sleeping but couldnt, the excitement was too much.

Day 1 - Amsterdam - Prague (900 kms)

After driving few hours on the motorways we both felt sleepy. The good thing about Europe is its safe. We found out a service and slept for 2 hours. I have done this in UK also. Motorways are fun to drive and you can enjoy speed, but after a certain period it becomes boring. And that's when you start to feel sleepy. So the best way out is to take breaks.

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In the morning we were near Czech Republic. We had to get one vignette to drive in Czech Republic

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Usually motorways in Germany and Czech has a limit of 130 kmph. But in most of the autobahns there is no limit (as far as I know).

In the morning we entered Czech. The landscape changed immediately. You can notice the difference between Germany and Czech.

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It took us 12 hours including break to cover 900 kms to Prague. Our hotel was booked from booking.com. We reached our hotel and parked our car. Within the city there was no point of driving as it was crowded and the public transport (trams and trains) are better and cheaper. So no more driving for next one and half days.

My friend Atish from Kolkata was also on a Euro Trip. He and his friend and their family drove the entire Spain circuit when I was in Switzerland. Then we planned to meet in Prague. We booked the same hotel, but he arrived the day before. In the evening we met and the rest of the day was spent in Prague Old town.

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The old town and surroundings have plenty of places for shopping. My wife made me promise her to spend 3-4 hours at the shopping streets next day. Prague seemed cheaper than other cities in Europe. In Prague dont miss the best burger, Sad Man's Tongue, they even play live music.


Last edited by Uprasenjit : 21st March 2018 at 14:03.
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Old 18th March 2018, 18:50   #2
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Day 2 - Prague (City roaming)

Next morning we went to Prague castle. I guess everyone knows about the red roofs of Prague. To me it as important as Eiffel tower . So that cant be missed. These roofs can be viewed from Prague castle or any place which is higher. Though I dont like castle much, but as we were there we decided to go in. And what a waste of money it was. This is the largest castle in Europe with more than 700 rooms. The castle is on the opposite bank of river Vltava. I am sure many people will like it, so here goes few pictures of the castle -

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Atish was suppose to leave early so we came out of the castle and headed towards Charles's Bridge. But before that we had some local food

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In Prague if you havent seen the red roofs then you haven't seen anything. From the castle if you start walking towards Charle's Bridge all the red roofs can be seen.

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Theres a tower on the other side of Charle's Bridge where you can climb to the top. From top you can see the entire bridge and Prague castle from distance

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Last edited by Uprasenjit : 21st March 2018 at 13:57.
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Old 19th March 2018, 10:48   #3
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Default re: Prague & Germany road-trip in a Mini Cooper

Atish left after lunch. The rest of the day was spent at Old town, roaming around, having food and drinks. As promised I accompanied my wife with her little shopping.

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Day 3 -Prague - Bone church - Nuremberg - Munich (650 kms)

I am telling you visiting any European city during Christmas is the worst thing to do. If you have read my thread of UK roadtrips, last year I went to Peak District and couldnt find anything to eat the whole day, because all the services was closed. This year it was same. Theres a bone church about 100 kms from Prague which was in my plan. When we reached there the church was closed.

Read more about it here - http://www.outsideprague.com/kutna_h...ne_church.html

Our plan was to go to Nuremberg. Nuremberg's Christmas market is the best in Europe. But sadly it was 380 kms drive from Bone church and already 11am. Wasting no further time we started for Nuremberg. Mini was solid on high speed, it has very good handling, but alas when you are driving a petrol on autobahn you have to refill multiple times.

When we reached Nuremberg it was evening and we missed the Christmas market. It was 24th December, Christmas eve. I was highly frustrated this time and promised not to go anywhere in Christmas. We had our rooms booked in Nuremberg, but seeing no point staying there I cancelled the rooms (free cancellation in booking.com) and called our hotel in Munich to check if we could prepone our booking. Once the hotel was confirmed we drove straight to Munich.

We drove the entire day without eating much and without seeing anything. To calm ourselves (and not having any other options, because every other restaurant was closed on Christmas eve) we had a stupendous dinner in an Indian restaurant. Germany was cheaper than Netherlands.

Pics from Nuremberg -

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Last edited by benbsb29 : 22nd March 2018 at 06:40. Reason: Edited for Rule#11.
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Old 20th March 2018, 10:43   #4
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Day 4 - Munich - Nueschwanstein Castle - Stuttgart (350 kms)

Our plan wasn't working at all. The receptionist at the hotel told us that most of the museums would remain closed until 27th. There was this famous castle some hundred kilometeres from Munich which my friend suggested was a better place to be at this time, and as we were driving we could literally go anywhere. My wife was more excited to visit this castle because this was on the Bavarian Alps, which means we would get to see mountains and snow once again. This is the same castle which is shown in Disney's advertisement. The last stretch to the Castle was on an empty patch of road with snow on both the sides. It looked like a dream.

More about castle - Neuschwanstein Castle

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Driving on the Bavarian Alaps, my favorite is after 1 min. See the view and you will know how beautiful Bavarian alps is-

The castle was half an hour walk from the parking. We walked to the castle but unfortunately due to snow some view points were closed. Still it was better than a half closed city. I called a friend in Innsbruck (Austria) to check if we could go there, he also said most of the cables are closed. With a heavy heart we roamed around the little town near the castle and then went to Stuttgart. On the way we booked a hotel in Stuttgart. Our plan for the next day was to drive on the famous Route 500 which goes through the black forest.

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Last edited by Uprasenjit : 21st March 2018 at 14:09.
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Old 20th March 2018, 14:17   #5
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Day 5 - Stuttgart - Black Forest - Home (Amsterdam) (850 kms)

We stayed in Stuttgart for 2 reasons - first and foremost was Black forest was near and it was Christmas so I couldnt take the risk to stay in Black forest or any other small towns. Every other eateries were closed except few Indian restaurants.

We woke up early and left the hotel. Bought a breakfast bucket from a nearby MacD and had it on the way. This was the last day of our road trip. Black Forest was an hour drive from Stuttgart to the opposite side of Amsterdam.

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The name Black Forest isn't because the forest is black, because its dense. This is mostly a rural area, a slow pace life is led here. There are many interesting things around including food but as we didnt have much time (and ofcourse money) we just drove through the forest. There are many scenic route in Black Forest but my intention was to drive on the famous route 500. Read more about it here - Top 10 Roads . We planned to start from south and go to north, so we reached Schomberger and took the route 28, which led us to route 500. And we drove till Baden-Baden.

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These are curvy roads and (I guess) with no speed cameras. Adrenalin will automatically rise once you start driving here. If you are in Germany I suggest make some time to visit Black forest and of-course drive on route 500. The pictures doesn't do justice at all.

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Now that I have driven on the route 500 my road trip seemed complete. It was time to drive back home. The 5 days road trip covering 2800 km and 3 countries was my longest road trip in Europe. I did drive from London to Scotland but that was only 1 country. When you cross borders you get to see the difference. The European countries are quite similar in culture, food, architecture. But there are differences too. Prague is historical, colorful and beautiful. Bavarian Germany has beautiful landscapes, snow everywhere, wonderful roads. Wish I could stay in Black forest and spend some time, because I am sure there are hidden gems in that area.

Ok, its time to sign off, here goes 2 pictures of 2 beauties I saw on the way and of the famous Auto Bahn -

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Hotels

All hotels were booked from booking.com-
Prague - B&B Hotel Prague city
Munich - Hotel H2
Stuttgart - Star Inn

These are mobile pictures, so please dont compare

I have few pics from my camera which I am going to post later.

Last edited by Uprasenjit : 21st March 2018 at 14:20.
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Old 21st March 2018, 17:12   #6
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Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 21st March 2018, 20:24   #7
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Great travelogue, Prasenjit. Good to see that you were able to view the Prague Astronomical tower. During my trip in Feb, it was under renovation.
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Old 21st March 2018, 23:43   #8
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Thanks Uprasenjit for sharing those pictures of the city of Prague. I have spent an year in Prague thanks to my work and such a beautiful city it is.

I think you missed to visit Petrin Tower (they call it as a vague replica of Eiffel tower and it is really vague). But its a nice place to visit and you get a very good view from the top.
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Old 22nd March 2018, 23:23   #9
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Few photos from the camera -

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and Black Forest Drive video
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Old 26th March 2018, 15:00   #10
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Lovely write up and beautiful pictures Going to need all the pointers if i ever embark on a euro trip You are lucky to meet your best friend even in the middle of an international trip ! Rated *****
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Old 26th March 2018, 22:32   #11
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Default Re: Prague & Germany road-trip in a Mini Cooper

Very nice travelogue.
I am a finance student studying Masters in Frankfurt and recently called my younger brother to Europe so as to spend Christmas holidays in Prague and adjacent Frankfurt cities. I visited Prague from 26th to 29th December and I must say, looking at your pictures - especially that giant Christmas tree at old town square did remind me of my holidays.
I totally concur with you that visiting Europe during Christmas holidays is a total waste since most of the shops are closed during those peak 2-3 days. But otherwise European Christmas markets and those delicious Tredlnik in Prague does coverup for the losses!
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