What is the best way to get from the airport to our hotels in these cities: Berlin, Prague, Budapest, Bucharest, Istanbul, and Athens?
In Prague, we'll arrive by train and go to a hotel between the Charles Bridge and Malopstranke Square.
For Budapest: Taxi is relatively cheap from the airport to the city center, it will cost you maximum 30 dollars.
You may also take the bus that leaves right from the exit of the terminal (you cant miss it), it will take you to Kobanya-Kispest station (12 mins) where you have to take the subway and ride for about 15 minutes to Deak Ferenc ter (that's the center, I don't know which hotel you will stay at). Both the bus and the subway will cost you 350 HUF (1,3 USD) per person.
If money is not an issue, take the taxi. Both the bus and the metro line (only this one) is disgustingly shabby and passes through a very ugly neighborhood of this amazing city. It would ruin your first experience.
For Prague, there are no train or tram options at the airport so you can choose from a taxi (can be pricey), Uber or catch the bus to the nearest metro stop. This will be the green line that takes you to the centre and a number of main locations so there's a good chance that your hotel will be reasonably close to one of the stations served.
In Bucharest, in the airport you have a Taxi terminal. You can order a taxi there that is official and does not overprice you. Also you have Uber options in Bucharest.
In case that you really want to use public transport, than you can take subway C (red line) from "Hlavni nadrazi" to "Muzeum" - 1 stop and than change to line A (green) and go from "Muzeum" to "Malostranska". You can buy single ticket at ticket machines which are at every entry to subway - one costs 32 CZK - it is around 1,2 euro.
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Uber! It's active in all the cities you mentioned and you can get a fare estimate on your phone for each location by dropping the pin at the airport of your choice, hitting "set pickup location" and choosing fare estimate and the destination of your choice. You can even do it remotely from wherever you are now by resetting your pickup location to whatever city you want to know about. :)
Disclaimer: I work for Uber.
Prague depends which side of Charles Bridge you will be staying. If on Malá Strana side, from Hlavní nádraží main station, take the Hlavi Nadrazi metro (red line) and change at Muzeum to the green line and take the green line to Mala Strana. I've used this way-pretty easy.
Berlin-the Airport Express train will take you to Hauptbahnhoff (main station)-takes about 1/2 hour and there are rougly 3 per hour. From there can easily take further trains nearer to your hotel if necessary. There is also a bus accessible by a covered walkway at airport, but have only used the train.
Istanbul-have used an airport transfer from airport to old city area. istanbul.safeairporttransfer.com. It cost about 27 euros but a while ago, may be more now. There is a metro and an airport bus but we decided on the transfer because we weren't too sure where our hotel was, at the time.
Athens-can take a taxi but will cost up to 50 euro. There is a metro-the station is about 10 minutes walk from terminal and about 8 euros. We used shuttle bus which operates between 9am and 11pm-cost about 35 euro. www.welcomepickups.com
Bucharest-some hotels do have a pick up service, which you pay for, so check with hotel. BucharestAirportShuttle.com which operates 9-5 was reliable. You have to book ahead on line, but can pay the driver on the day
Hope that helps.-about 15 euros. Can only have one suitcase each though.
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It's really easy to use the metro in Istanbul and pretty cheap. Make sure to get the Istanbul kart the locals use. The map is very simple. We didn't have to use a taxi once. We got around just fine. There is a great article on using the metro in Istanbul at www.adventurousvacationer.com under Istanbul section probably...
I would suggest that you ask your hotel to provide suggestions. It also depends on how much luggage you have as to how far you're happy to drag it and whether stairs will be a nuisance or not.
In Prague and Istanbul I've had the hotels I've stayed in arrange for a car to pick me up and in Athens I was staying near a metro station so I took the train.
Here is a tram and metro map for Prague http://czech-transport.com/images/05_metro_tram_daily_stops.pdf I found it useful to download the PDF to my phone for easy access. The main station is probably a good 20 minute walk to Charles Bridge and is on the Hlavní nádraží metro stop (pinkish red on map). If you want to take public transport it may be best to take tram 9 (dark blue on map) to get close to the river and near Charles bridge. You could always just take a taxi.
For Bucharest, you have 2 options:
1. Take the 783 bus from the front of the terminal, which will take you right to the center of the town. It departs every 30 min in the day, and about 40-50 min in the night. The price is 3.5 lei (less than 1 USD)
This is the best option, but expect traffic during the day.
2. Take ca taxi. You can order one from inside the arrival hall (there are some machines inside) The price is between 30 lei and 50 lei ( between 7 USD and 13 USD).
Please be careful and taxi only the taxi ordered by the machine inside the terminal, not directly from the front of the terminal!
Have a great trip!
In Bucharest you have several options for public transportation or private transfers. There is no subway from the airport to downtown and train is slow and a little complicated but there is reliable bus & shuttle service http://romaniatourism.com/bucharest.html#transportation
A private transfer will only cost 10 - 20% more than a taxi.
Enjoy your travels!
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