Guidebook Updates for Rick Steves Eastern Europe

When we learn of critical changes to the information in our Eastern Europe guidebook, we post them here. (Of course, it’s still smart to reconfirm critical transportation and sightseeing details locally.) Armed with a Rick Steves guidebook and these late-breaking updates, you’re set for a great trip!

Across Croatia

Jadrolinija has cancelled the big, slow, coastal car ferries that connected Rijeka, Split, Hvar, Korčula, and Dubrovnik. Other connections between many of these places, however, are still operating (check Jadrolinija’s online schedules).

Bratislava

  • The Mahart hydrofoil boats between Vienna and Budapest no longer stop in Bratislava.

For books printed before November 2014, the following may apply:

  • The Nový Most bus stop has been renamed “Most SNP.”
  • The Prazdroj beer hall has closed.
  • Penzion Chez David has closed.

Budapest

  • Taxi rates have increased: The drop rate is now fixed at 450 Ft, plus 280 Ft/kilometer after that.
  • The secondhand English bookshop in the Discover Budapest office is still there, but no longer named “Tree Hugger Dan.”
  • The procedure for getting tickets to visit the Hungarian Parliament building has changed: The ticket office is now across the big square from the Parliament, inside the Museum of Ethnography (ticket desk open Mon 8:00–11:00, Tue–Sun 8:00–18:00). However, they are increasingly steering ticket sales to the Web, so in-person tickets are limited; to ensure getting a ticket, it’s best to book online a day or two in advance (after selecting a date and time for an English tour, specify “Full price” under “Ticket type”; the site charges an extra 200-Ft fee per ticket).
  • The Vidámpark amusement park in City Park has closed.
  • The restaurant Atakám, in Buda, is closed.
  • The direct bus from Deák tér in downtown Budapest to Memento Park runs only once a day during July and August. The bus departs Budapest daily at 11:00 year-round.
  • The daytime Danube Legenda boat cruise (called “Duna Bella”) now costs 3,120 Ft for Rick Steves readers. There’s no longer a guided Margaret Island tour, but you have the option of hopping off at the island to explore on your own for 1.5 hours, before returning on a later cruise.
  • The Mahart hydrofoil boats between Vienna and Budapest no longer stop in Bratislava.
  • There is no longer a train connection between the airport and the Nyugati train station (near downtown Pest). From the airport, take bus #200E to the Kőbánya-Kispest station on the M3/blue Metró line.
  • A taxi from the airport to downtown now costs about 6,000–7,000 Ft.

For books printed before April 2013, the following may also apply:

Old Name > New Name
Roosevelt tér > Széchenyi István tér
Moszkva tér > Széll Kálmán tér
Köztársaság tér > II. János Pál pápa tér (“John Paul II Square”)
Lágymányosi híd (bridge) > Rákóczi híd
Ferenc körút (Metró stop) > Corvin-negyed
Ferihegy Airport > Liszt Ferenc (Franz Liszt) Airport
  • Sadly, the cute Postal Museum on Andrássy Út has closed.
  • St. István’s Basilica has new hours: Mon 9:00–16:30, Tue–Fri 9:00–17:00, Sat 9:00–13:00, Sun 13:00–17:00; panorama terrace daily July–Sept 10:00–19:00, Oct–June 10:00–17:00.
  • The Royal Wine House has closed (at least temporarily).
  • The thermal baths’ new ticketing system uses a plastic, watch-like wristband that frees you up to enjoy and explore the baths, since you don’t have to rely on a grumpy attendant to direct you, or lock and unlock your cabin. When you enter, touch the wristband to the entry turnstile, then again to be assigned a changing cabin or locker, then again each time you want to unlock your cabin or locker. When you’re done, drop the wristband into a slot as you exit the turnstile.
  • Both the Széchenyi and Rudas baths are open late into the night on summer weekends, when they take on a nightclub vibe (for more, see www.cinetrip.hu).
  • The synagogue now closes at 13:30 on Fridays in winter, and its summer hours (Sun–Thu 10:00–17:30, Fri 10:00–15:30) will kick in starting in March.
  • Tabani Terasz (near Castle Hill) has closed.
  • Blues clubs Jazz Garden and Old Man’s have both closed.
  • Gödör Klub is now called “Akvárium.”
  • Budapest Airport (formerly called Ferihegy) has been officially renamed “Ferenc Liszt Airport.” The airport’s Terminal 1 has closed; all flights now use Terminal 2. Transportation connections from Terminal 2 to downtown remain the same; if you want to take the train, you’ll first have to ride bus #200E to the train station next to the (closed) Terminal 1.
  • The Mahart hydrofoil connecting Budapest to Vienna no longer stops in Bratislava.

Dubrovnik

For books printed before May 2014, the following may apply:

  • The World Center of Croatian Naive Art has closed.
  • There is no longer single-ticket entry for the Rector’s Palace, Maritime Museum, or Rupe Granary and Ethnographic Museum. A 70 kn combo-ticket covers all three.
  • The Institute for the Restoration of Dubrovnik has closed its wartime photo gallery.
  • Paulina Čumbelić’s rented rooms (in the Pile neighborhood) are no longer available.
  • The Sugar and Spice dessert shop has closed.

Eger

  • Much of the city center — including the main square and castle area — is currently undergoing major renovation works, making it difficult to access some of Eger’s sights.
  • Casa della Pasta, above the market hall at Katona István tér 2, is now known as “Elefanto.”

For books printed before April 2013, the following may also apply:

  • The town’s thermal bath has new hours: June–Aug Mon–Wed 8:30–19:00, Thu–Fri 8:30–23:00, Sat 8:00–23:00, Sun 8:00–19:00; Sept Mon–Wed 8:30–19:00, Thu–Fri 8:30–21:00, Sat 8:00–21:00, Sun 8:00–19:00; Oct–May Mon–Wed 9:00–19:00, Thu–Sat 9:00–21:00, Sun 9:00–19:00.

Kraków

  • The tourist information office in Nowa Huta has closed.
  • The Kraków Aquarium has closed.
  • The Maayan Guest Rooms in the Kazimierz district have closed.
  • Mama’s Hostel has new owners, new name, and new phone number: Intro Hostel, +48 12-430- 2402.

Lake Bled

For books printed before May 2014, the following may apply:

  • Deva Puri Gallery has closed.

Ljubljana

For books printed before May 2014, the following may apply:

  • The recommended Jože Plečnik House is closed for renovation until May 2015.
  • Both of the city’s Alibi Hostels have been converted into rental apartments.
  • Abecedarium has closed.
  • The Centromerkur department store is now called “Galerija Emporium.”

Pécs

  • Dóm Vendéglő restaurant has closed.
  • Fregatt Arizona Pub has closed.

For books printed before April 2013, the following may apply:

Prague

  • The National Gallery building on Old Town Square, featuring an Asian art collection, has closed indefinitely.
  • The Národní Třída Metro stop (near the Tesco department store in the New Town) has reopened.
  • The Maisel Synagogue (Maiselova Synagóga) is closed for renovation, likely at least through the end of 2015.
  • Rott Crystal and Big Ben Bookshop have closed.
  • The UniCredit Bank at Na Příkopě 20 has closed, but the historic Neo-Renaissance building it once occupied is still open to the public.
  • The Museum of Jára Cimrman, in the basement of the Petřín Tower, has closed.
  • Hotel Metamorphis no longer offers a discount for Rick Steves readers.
  • To reach Sir Toby’s hostel from the main train station, take Metro line C (red) to the Vltavska stop, then tram #1, #14, or #25 to the Dělnická stop; the hostel’s at Dělnická 24.
  • Srnec Theater has moved to Savarin Palace, at Na Příkopě 10.
  • The Canadian Embassy has moved to Ve Struhách 95/2, Prague 6. It is accessible via bus #131 from the Hradcanská Metro station (Nemocnice Bubenec stop).

Rovinj

For books printed before May 2014, the following may apply:

  • Hotel Villa Angelo d’Oro has closed.

Split

For books printed before May 2014, the following may apply:

  • Villa Art has closed.
  • If using a GPS to find Villa Ana, enter the address “Kralja Zvonimira 14.”
  • The high-speed Krilo passenger boat connecting Split to nearby islands no longer sails from Split or Hvar to Korčula. Fortunately, Jadrolinija operates a similar high-speed, passenger-only daily catamaran service connecting Split, Hvar town, and Korčula town. In summer (June–Sept), the Jadrolinija catamaran departs Split daily at 17:00, and Hvar at 18:15, arriving in Korčula town at 20:05; the northbound departure leaves Korčula each morning at 6:00, arriving in Hvar at 7:50, and arriving in Spit at 9:05. Off-season (Oct–May), the southbound boat departs Split daily at 16:00 (departs Hvar 17:15, arrives Korčula 18:40); the northbound schedule depends on the day of the week (Mon–Sat departs Korčula 6:00, arrives Hvar 7:25, arrives Split 8:40; Sun and holidays departs Korčula 13:00, arrives Hvar 14:25, arrives Split 15:40). The Krilo express catamaran still runs between Split and Hvar; however, it sails daily only in peak season (July through early Aug). It's wise to double-check both the Jadrolinija schedules and Krilo schedule a day or two ahead.

Vienna

  • The Mahart hydrofoil boats between Vienna and Budapest no longer stop in Bratislava.

For books printed before November 2014, the following may apply:

  • The Vienna Opera no longer allows standing-room ticket holders to enter the concert hall after the performance has started. If you come for just the finale, you’ll watch it on closed-circuit TV.
  • The K&T Boardinghouse location at Mariahilfer Strasse 72 has closed; the location at Chwallagasse 2 remains open.

For books printed before August 2014, the following may also apply:

  • The new main train station (Hauptbahnhof) is up and running, and the station known as “Südbahnhof (Ostbahn)” has closed.
  • Lucky Chinese Restaurant has closed.

For books printed before April 2013, the following may also apply:

  • Local guide Lisa Zeiler has a new mobile phone number: 0699-120-37550.
  • St. Stephen's Cathedral has closed its separate museum and has moved its treasury collection back inside the cathedral proper; you'll find it an elevator ride up from just inside the main cathedral entry.
  • At the Kunsthistorisches Museum, curators have been busy rehanging the painting collection. Expect shifts and changes in the locations of many paintings.
  • The Haus der Musik is now half-price after 20:00 (not 17:30).
  • Visitors to Schhönbrunn Palace can now book advance timed-entry tickets online.
  • The Museum of Modern Art (MUMOK) has new hours: Mon 14:00–19:00, Tue–Sun 10:00–19:00.
  • The Vienna Boys' Choir has a new email for ticket requests: office@hofburgkapelle.at.

Zagreb

For books printed before May 2014, the following may apply: