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).
  • 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.

Bratislava

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

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

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

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

Budapest

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Opera House now offers English tours at 14:00 (in addition to the tours at 15:00 and 16:00).
  • The recommended Jégbüfé eatery has closed.
  • 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.

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

  • 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.

Dubrovnik

  • 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.

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

  • The World Center of Croatian Naive Art has closed.
  • 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

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.”

Kraków

For books printed before May 2015, the following may 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

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

  • Deva Puri Gallery has closed.

Ljubljana

  • 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.

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

  • 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

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

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

Prague

  • 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).
  • The funicular that runs up and down Petřín Hill is closed for renovation until mid-March 2016.
  • 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.

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

  • 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.
  • 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).

Istria

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

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

  • Hotel Villa Angelo d'Oro in Rovinj has closed.

Split

  • The Split Apartment Croatia agency is now managed by the Memento Travel Agency (but has kept the same contact info).
  • The Zlatna Vrata pizzaria 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.

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

  • Villa Art has closed.
  • If using a GPS to find Villa Ana, enter the address "Kralja Zvonimira 14."

Vienna

  • Hotel Schweizerhof is closing in January 2016.

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

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

For books printed before November 2014, the following may also 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.

Zagreb

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