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Prague, Germany, Belgium, Italy itinerary - advice please

read 2593 times • 37 replies • posted 4/5/2013 6:29:06 PM

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Doomed 16:
Hi all,

First post here, been lurking for a while before joining up, great site.

I am planning a trip to Europe (will be my 1st time in Europe) in June/July this year, mainly to go to Hellfest in France but thouught I might as well stretch it out and do a beer tour of Prague, Germany, Belgium and Italy. I have done some searching already here and got some very useful info, thanks. Though I have a few more questions.

So the plan is to fly into Prague from Australia. I was original going to arrive for the last couple of days for the Czech beer fest but from what I have read it probably isn’t worth it, too expensive and I can find more interesting beers in the pubs around Prague (Prague - A pisshead’s Pub Guide has been quite useful). Will 7 nights in Prague be too much and is it worth staying a night or 2 in Plzen on the way to Germany?

I was originally planning on staying 2 nights in Munich but Bamberg seems like a much more interesting place to visit. Yes? So from Czech, head to Nuremberg (I want to drive the Nürburgring) then to Bamberg and on to Cologne, spending 2 nights at each. Thoughts here?

Then from Cologne to Brussels for 3 nights (check out Cantillon, 3 Fonteinen, Chez Moeder Lambic etc) then on to Chimay, Lille, Vleteren each for 1 night then Brugge for 2 nights. Any suggestions for a place to stay around Chimay? Bars to visit in Lille for some good French farmhouse beers?

Then on to France for Hellfest and camping in Gorges du Tarn and heading on towards Milan. From here I have about 6 days to kill before getting to Geneva. Was thinking about travelling around the north of Italy for a while then one night in Geneva or is it worth staying an extra night in Geneva? This part I have yet to do much reseach yet? Any breweries in the north of Italy worth checking out?

I will be travelling by myself for the most part, meeting up with a friend in Brugges before we part ways in Milan. Was thinking of going by train from Prague to Brussels then hiring a car for the rest of the trip for greater flexibilty through Belgium, France and Italy. Thoughts? As I will be by myself I would be keen to catch up with any other Beeraters (is that the right term?)and homebrewers in Prague, Germany or Italy.

Sorry for the long winded post, any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Christian 11786:240
I have been to Prague on beer trips several times. Many, in fact. If you stay there for a whole week, my place ratings could be good inspiration for things to do.

Take a look for yourself first, and if any questions come up, just beermail me
4/6/2013 3:25:33 AM

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TimE 4118:271
7 nights in Prague is too much. 4-5 nights is more than enough. Pilsen and not for beer, but Cesky Krumlov are nice places to visit.
Pilsen to Nurenberg should be pretty easy in like half a day. Munich is must see for both beer and non-beer reasons (2-3 nights), Bamberg will likely be the highlight of your trip. Fantastic place. I would say 3-4 nights. Cologne you only need one night.
Belgian itinerary looks good.

Cars can be useful in smaller towns, but in big cities less so. From Czech , I would recommend going to Munich by train and then renting and car and driving up to Bamberg with a stop at Nurnberg and then drop the car off in Cologne. Perhaps pick up another car in Belgium, but for Brussels and Brugge you won’t need a car.

never been to Italy, so can’t give advice. Drink wine in France.

4/6/2013 3:58:14 AM

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rpattinson 84:
Originally posted by TimEFrom Czech , I would recommend going to Munich by train and then renting and car and driving up to Bamberg with a stop at Nurnberg and then drop the car off in Cologne.

It’s crazy to hire a car to get from Munich to Bamberg. It’s simple to do the journey by train and possibly quicker, too, if you take the ICE.
4/6/2013 4:15:06 AM

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TreinJan 4:178
And the Nürburgring is, as the name says, in/near Nürburg, not Nürnberg (Nuremberg)
4/6/2013 8:50:06 AM

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joskevermeulen 23:1
when you visit Belgium, dont forget to visit "de Heeren van Liedekercke" in Denderleeuw. The best beerrestaurant of the world (Ratebeer) and only 20 minutes by train from Brussels.
4/6/2013 12:46:44 PM

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McTapps 5734:190
I am so happy, that someone already told you already, that Nürburgring is not in Nürnberg, but in another county, in Rheinland-Pflaz, near Kaiserslauten, not in Nürnberg....
Well, Prague certainly is great, but 7 days? I have been once to London for five days ( for four times up to now, but mostly for three days)and I thought before the trip that it will be okay, but the five days trip was just way too long in the end and I can’t imagine staying in Prague for 7 days.....but it is up to you.
Cologne is nice and beautiful, there are many new beers and brewpubs for you.

Have a great trip! :)
4/6/2013 2:01:40 PM

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konstifik 573:36
7 days in a Prague seems like much to me as well. Cut out a night or two in favour for Plzen (Pilsner Urquell is worth a visit).

Wouldn’t want to miss out on a trip to Kulminator in Antwerpen when in Belgium. One of the great places and I’m sure there are Ratebeerians in Antwerpen who would be up to share a few beers there.
4/6/2013 2:27:40 PM

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sebletitje 7801:346
Cologne to Brussels is definitely best (and fastest) by train. My guess is not to wait too long to make all these reservations as prices tend to go up in the summer. Lille is easier by train from Brussels or Brugge (old Lille is a bitch to park). Going to Chimay and Vleteren are almost a day expedition with not much else to do in the area in terms of beer scene (and a need for a rental).

In any event, if your goal is Hellfest, then I’d really leave from Lille with the metal bus going directly to the festival even if you end up not coming back with the bus. Alternate solution is to take the TGV Lille-Paris-Nantes with Hellfest being only a stone’s throw from Nantes.
4/6/2013 2:58:52 PM

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Doomed 16:
Great info, thanks guys.

Looks like a trip out to Zlý Casy is in order. So I think I will drop off a day or two from Prague and add a couple to Bamberg.

@ TreinJan, thx, I had missed the difference between noticed the difference Nürburg and Nürnberg, that could have been embarrassing. What’s the best way to get to Nürburg from Bamberg via train/bus?

De Heeren van Liedekercke looks great! I will probably pick up a rental car when leaving Brussels so will do this as a day trip by train. How far is the work from the train station?

I want to do a day trip out from Cologne to Duesseldorf to get some tasty alt into me. Is this feasable? Zum Uerige is the place to go in Duesseldorf?

I have already started to make some bookings so I have some dates locked in already.

Brussles June 12th-14th
Lille June 16th
Vleteren B&B June 17th
Brugge June 18th-19th
Hellfest June 20th-23rd
Then probably in Monaco by the 27th, Milan 28th and then Geneva by July 5th for more Neurosis.

There looks like a great concentration of breweries in north Italy. I am keen to try some of the new craft beer coming out from Italy, most of the stuff I have tried here in Australia hasn’t travelled well so I would like to get it fresh from the source.

Cheers, all
4/6/2013 4:26:27 PM

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GodOfThunder 1248:37
The walk to De Heeren Van Liedekercke is about a mile from the station. It is an easy walk, though. Just make sure you know the train schedules.

I just got back from Berlin, Prague, Pilsen, and Bamberg. We wanted more time in Bamberg. I would say 3 nights, at the very least. We stayed at Fassla Brewery, and it was awesome.

We only stopping in Plzen for one day, hopping off the train, walking around, eating, taking the Urquell tour, and hopping back on the train to Bamberg. Didn’t seem like there was much going on in Plzen that you couldn’t see in one or two days.

Don’t bother driving in Prague. Just don’t do it.

Germany, on the other hand, isn’t too bad for driving. But, I would suggest trains for all of your travel. It really is that simple and cheap.
4/6/2013 5:37:46 PM

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