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

  • In summer (mid-June–mid-Sept), Jadrolinija and Krilo are now running fast catamarans on the Split–Hvar–Korčula–Dubrovnik route.
  • The European Coastal Airlines seaplane did not run in 2017, and service is unlikely to resume in the future.

For books printed before June 2016, the following may also apply:

  • 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).
    Some catamaran connections have also changed substantially. Most notably, the Krilo catamaran now runs an exceptionally tourist-friendly route, heading south from Split in the morning and connecting the islands of Brač, Hvar, Korčula, and Mljet before ending at Dubrovnik. A few hours later, it does the reverse trip, allowing travelers to day-trip from any of these stops to any stops to the south (daily June–Sept, 3–4/week May and Oct, no service Nov–April). Given all of the schedule changes, it's especially smart to double-check schedules online when planning any boat journey on the Dalmatian Coast, whether for Jadrolinija boats, the Krilo, or the Nona Ana catamaran (connecting Dubrovnik, Mljet, and Korčula).
  • Krilo tickets are now available in advance online — when possible, book a few days ahead.

Auschwitz-Birkenau

For books printed before July 2017, the following may apply:

  • Visitors to Auschwitz I can no longer tour the site on their own during the busiest times (April–Oct 10:00–15:00). If you're there during those hours you'll need to pay 45 zł extra to join a required organized tour. (Auschwitz II, a.k.a. Birkenau, still allows individual visits during all opening hours.)
  • Required reservations for entry-time slots to the memorial can fill up months ahead, so book as early as you can commit to a date. If your date is booked up, you have a few options: Book a slot on a foreign-language tour (then split off, seeing the site on your own with the self-guided tour in our guidebook); pay for an excursion through a Kraków-based tour operator (often available up to the day before; consider SeeKrakow, DiscoverCracow, or Cracow City Tours); or try just showing up at the memorial, in which case you'll want to arrive as early as possible (on busy days, try to arrive by 9:00 — keeping in mind that Auschwitz is 1.5 hours from Kraków).

For books printed before May 2015, the following may also apply:

  • Reservations are now required to visit the memorial; fortunately, they're free and easy to book on the memorial's site: After selecting a date, choose between "General Tour 3,5 h" (for the 40-zł, 3.5-hour guided tour — be sure to select one in English) or "Tour for individuals without an educator" (to visit on your own, for free). You'll be emailed an eticket that you'll need to print out before arriving at the memorial.

Bratislava

For books printed before July 2017, the following may apply:

  • The city's tram system is up and running again, with shiny new trams. But since they just skirt the Old Town, most travelers won't find them convenient for connecting either train station with the center of town or most recommended hotels (except for Hotel Marrol's, which is near the Šafárikovo Námestie stop on tram #1 from the main train station).
  • The city's cathedral is now free to enter, but you'll pay a small fee to visit the treasury and/or choir.
  • Several locations of the fun Štúr café chain have closed, but the one near Eurovea at Štúrova 8 remains open.

For books printed before May 2015, the following may also apply:

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

Budapest

  • The Applied Arts Museum is closed for renovation work that may extend into 2020.
  • The Great Synagogue now offers only one ticket option. Tickets cost 4,000 Ft and include access to the synagogue, Memorial Garden, and Hungarian Jewish museum, plus permission to take photos and a tour of the synagogue.
  • There is no longer an overnight train option between Budapest and Berlin.

For books printed before July 2017, the following may also apply:

  • The Alexandra Bookstore and its Lotz Café have permanently closed.

For books printed before April 2017, the following may also apply:

  • While the Museum of Fine Arts is closed for renovation (due to reopen in spring 2018), a selection of highlights is now being exhibited in the National Gallery.
  • Bus #101 to Memento Park from a stop near the Kelenföld Métro stop now only runs on weekday afternoons (4–6/hour starting at 13:00, takes about 10 minutes). Outside those times, slower bus #150 remains your next-best option (2–3/hour, takes about 20 minutes, leaves from same stop as bus #101).
  • The Szabó Marzipan Museum has closed.
  • The Holnemvolt Park amusement center next to the zoo has closed. (A new "Fairy Tale Park" is scheduled to open sometime in 2017.)
  • The correct URL for the Labyrinth of Buda Castle's website is www.labirintus.eu (and admission has gone up to 2,500 Ft).
  • Some EC trains from Vienna now stop at Budapest's suburban Kelenföld station. If your train continues to the Budapest-Keleti station, that's a more convenient place to arrive. But if you must get off at Kelenföld, simply take the green/M4 Metró line into the city.
  • The recommended Jégbüfé eatery near Ferenciek Tere has relocated to Petőfi Sándor utca 3.
  • Peregrinus Hotel in Pest Town Center is has permanently closed.
  • Gracious Mária and István are no longer renting rooms.
  • The ruin pubs Lokál and Kirakat have closed, as have Jam Pub and Holdudvar nightclubs.
  • Tip Top Bar is now called Top Rum Sky Bar.

For books printed before March 2016, the following may also apply:

  • Local guide George Farkas' correct email address is georgefarkas@gmail.hu.
  • The prices for some of the Absolute Walking Tours have gone up: As of late 2015, the Absolute Walk costs 9,000 Ft, the Hammer & Sickle Tour is 15,000 Ft, and the Hungaro Gastro Food and Wine Tasting Tour is 23,000 Ft.
  • The Opera House now offers English tours at 14:00 (in addition to the tours at 15:00 and 16:00).

Dubrovnik & nearby

  • There is no longer a left-luggage office in Cavtat.

For books printed before January 2018, the following may also apply:

  • In summer (mid-June–mid-Sept), Jadrolinija and Krilo are now running fast catamarans on the Split–Hvar–Korčula–Dubrovnik route.
  • The European Coastal Airlines seaplane did not run in 2017, and service is unlikely to resume in the future.

For books printed before June 2016, the following may also apply:

  • Schedules for many coastal ferries have changed; check the updates under "Across Croatia" for more info and links to ferry schedules.
  • Many of Dubrovnik's museums — including the Rector's Palace, Rupe Museum, and Maritime Museum — no longer sell single admission tickets. Visitors need to get either a "nine museum ticket" (100 kn, good for a week) or a Dubrovnik Card (which also covers the city walls and public transit).
  • The Icon Museum at the Serbian Orthodox Church is closed for restoration, with no definite date for reopening.
  • Old Town Garden Cottage and Studio has a new name, website, and email address: Dubrovnik Gardens, dubrovnikgardens@gmail.com.
  • Fresh Sheets Hostel has a new name, website, and email address: City Walls Hostel, citywallshostel@gmail.com.

Eger

For books printed before May 2015, the following may apply:

  • 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."

Gdańsk

  • The European Solidarity Center is now closed on Tuesdays in winter (open May–Sept Mon–Fri 10:00–19:00, Sat–Sun 10:00–20:00; Oct–April Mon and Wed–Fri 10:00–17:00, Sat–Sun 10:00–18:00, closed Tue). Regular admission now costs 20 zł.

Hvar

  • In summer (mid-June–mid-Sept), Jadrolinija and Krilo are now running fast catamarans on the Split–Hvar–Korčula–Dubrovnik route.
  • The European Coastal Airlines seaplane did not run in 2017, and service is unlikely to resume in the future.

For books printed before June 2016, the following may also apply:

  • Schedules for many coastal ferries have changed; check the updates under "Across Croatia" for more info and links to ferry schedules.

Istria

  • Rovinj: Trevisol Apartments has closed.
  • The European Coastal Airlines seaplane did not run in 2017, and service is unlikely to resume in the future.

For books printed before November 2017, the following may also apply:

For books printed before June 2016, the following may also apply:

  • Rovinj: The Gostionica/Trattoria Toni restaurant has closed.
  • Motovun: The House of Gold guesthouse has closed.

Korčula

  • In summer (mid-June–mid-Sept), Jadrolinija and Krilo are now running fast catamarans on the Split–Hvar–Korčula–Dubrovnik route.
  • The European Coastal Airlines seaplane did not run in 2017, and service is unlikely to resume in the future.
  • Apartments Lenni has new owners and is now called M&J Central Suites. The new contact info is mobile +385 (0)98-160-9644, mjcentralsuites@yahoo.com.
  • Hotel Korčula has a new phone number: +385 (0)20/726-900.

For books printed before November 2017, the following may also apply:

  • Tickets for the Nona Ana catamaran can — and should — now be booked online, ideally at least a day or two ahead (or even farther out, in peak season, as boats can sell out at busy times).
  • Anka Portolan is no longer renting rooms.
  • Nonno restaurant has moved to the other side of the Old Town (on the eastern seawall), and has raised their prices dramatically (so we no longer recommended it).

For books printed before June 2016, the following may also apply:

  • Schedules for many coastal ferries have changed; check the updates under "Across Croatia" for more info and links to ferry schedules.

Kraków

For books printed before July 2017, the following may apply:

For books printed before May 2015, the following may also apply:

  • 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

  • Tito's Vila Bled is no longer open to the public.

Ljubljana

  • An extensive renovation of the City Museum of Ljubljana is planned for 2018.
  • The number for Intertours taxi is +386 (0)9704080-311-311 or +386 (0)31-311-311.
  • B&B Petra Varl has a new phone number: +386 (0)41-389-470.

For books printed before December 2017, the following may also apply:

  • The National and University Library's reading room is now open to the public on Saturday afternoons (14:30–18:00) year-round (€2).
  • The Emonec launderette no longer serves the general public, but is now available only to guests of the Hotel Emonec.
  • Pri Vitezu restaurant has closed.

For books printed before July 2017, the following may also apply:

For books printed before June 2016, the following may also apply:

  • The Jože Plečnik House has reopened after substantial renovations.
  • Harambaša restaurant, in the Krakovo district, has closed.
  • Šnopc o'tecca (the store specializing in Slovenian spirits and liqueurs) has closed.

Mostar & nearby

For books printed before June 2016, the following may apply:

Pécs

  • Jókai Bisztró has closed.
  • Egylet restaurant is now called the Balkán Bisztró, and no longer offers a "long list of Hungarian microbrews on tap."

Prague

For books printed before March 2018, the following may apply:

  • Alfons Mucha's Slav Epic is back in the Czech Republic following its Japan tour, but does not seem to be on display yet. Part of it will be in the Municipal House July 17–Oct 31, 2018, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of Czechoslovakia.
  • The Čedaz minibus shuttle from the airport is no longer running. Instead, try Prague Airport Transfers, which offers shuttle and taxi service.

For books printed before July 2017, the following may also apply:

  • The combo-ticket covering National Gallery sights now costs 500-Kč (still valid for seven days). Individual tickets are once again available at the following prices: 220 Kč each for the Museum of Medieval Art, Sternberg Palace, and Schwarzenberg Palace; 150 Kč for Kinsky Palace, and 250 Kč for Veletržní Palace.

For books printed before April 2017, the following may also apply:

  • Tram routes (including #24) have changed, and several new lines have been added. For more information and a route planner in English, check www.dpp.cz.
  • The Maisel Synagogue (Maiselova Synagóga) has reopened after a renovation. Purchase tickets at the information center at Maiselova 15 (near the intersection with Siroka street).

For books printed before May 2016, the following may also apply:

  • Hotel Haštal has increased its peak season prices: Sb-2,500 Kč, Db-2,700 Kč, extra bed-800 Kč. Owner Kristian promises Rick Steves readers a 20 percent discount off their lowest online price; book via email to get the discount and avoid their online booking fee.

Split & nearby

  • Konoba Matejuška restaurant moved across the street to Tomića Stine 4 and changed its name to Konoba Fetivi.
  • Paradigma restaurant has closed.
  • The Splitcard is no longer free, even for those staying in town for three nights. It is no longer a good value.
  • Krka National Park now requires all visitors to follow a one-way route around the park. Those coming by boat have to first hike steeply uphill to the "ethno village," then circle back down to the waterfalls (rather than shortcutting to the waterfalls).
  • In summer (mid-June–mid-Sept), Jadrolinija and Krilo are now running fast catamarans on the Split–Hvar–Korčula–Dubrovnik route.

For books printed before November 2017, the following may also apply:

For books printed before June 2016, the following may also apply:

  • The Split Apartment Croatia agency is now managed by the Memento Travel Agency (but has kept the same contact info).
  • The Zlatna Vrata pizzeria in the Old Town has closed.
  • Schedules for many coastal ferries have changed; check the updates under "Across Croatia" for more info and links to ferry schedules.

Vienna

For books printed before March 2018, the following may apply:

For books printed before April 2017, the following may also apply:

  • The restaurant called Beisl zum Scherer has closed.
  • Hotel Schweizerhof has closed.
  • The Kunst Haus Wien (Hundertwasser museum) now closes daily at 18:00.
  • The recommended hotel formerly called NH Atterseehaus Suites is now NH Collection Wien Zentrum.

Warsaw

For books printed before May 2015, the following may apply:

  • Two tourist-information office branches have closed: the one in the Kordegarda building on Royal Way, and the branch in the central train station.
  • Trains from the airport now have two downtown destinations: Some continue to stop at Centralna Station, while others use the Warszawa Śródmieście station — which feeds into the same underground passages as Centralna.
  • The Chopin Family Drawing Room has closed at least temporarily; it’s unclear whether it will reopen.
  • Boutique B&B has a new name: Chopin Boutique B&B; its website and phone number haven’t changed.
  • U Kucharzy restaurant has moved from the Old Town to Długa 52, near the Krasinskich Garden and Ratusz Metro stop.