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best way to Ostrava from Prague or Bratislava

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best way to Ostrava from Prague or Bratislava

Hi. I'm planning a trip to the Czech Republic and Slovakia in February. Can anybody tell me the best way to get from either Prague or Bratislava to Ostrava? They look about the same distance from Ostrava, but connections may be better from one or the other. I know the train from Slovakia (and even from Hungary) stops in Ostrava, but I wonder if the train/bus from Prague is quicker?

Berkshire, United...
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1. Re: best way to Ostrava from Prague or Bratislava

The fastest train from Prague to Ostrava (Pendolino) is just over 3 hours, Bratislava to Ostrava direct train is just short of 3 hours...so it makes not a lot of difference.

Prague, Czech...
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2. Re: best way to Ostrava from Prague or Bratislava

There are two private companies operating trains on the Prague-Brno line, RegioJet (run by the Student Agency bus people) and LeoExpress. Trains leave every hour or so, and prices are dirt cheap because of the competition among the three companies.

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3. Re: best way to Ostrava from Prague or Bratislava

Thank you, Tilly and Jeff. Very helpful, and very kind of you to reply. I want to revisit Ostrava as I spent a few days there in the summer of 1992. I was on the way to Poland from Hungary, and got chucked off the train at Ostrava for not having a visa for Poland. I had to spend the night in the station in Ostrava and go to the Polish consulate there the next day. When I got there, the consul told me that in 2 days' time the visa requirement for Poland was to be abolished, so I decided to stay in Ostrava until it was. It turned out to be an interesting town (though Czechs I later met in Prague said they couldn't believe it...) So I'd like to visit again.

Berkshire, United...
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4. Re: best way to Ostrava from Prague or Bratislava

I am not very familiar with Ostrava, but should be a great trip down memory lane:).....yep, I can't believe either that you would have needed visa for Poland in 1992 (perhaps you were not a UK passport holder?)

Prague, Czech...
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5. Re: best way to Ostrava from Prague or Bratislava

It should be a great trip. I'm sure the city has changed a lot in the past 20 years, but in many ways I think it will be exactly the same.

Brno, Czech Republic
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6. Re: best way to Ostrava from Prague or Bratislava

I first went to Ostrava in 1991 and loved it - it was a city of many contrasts and the swirling smog just added to the atmosphere. I clearly remember being taken to the top of a slag heap to drink beer with friends and we looked down on a vision that would not have looked out of place in a Hieronymous Bosch painting - the biggest steel plant you could ever imagine, with huge flames and vast clouds of something coming out of the chimneys, and if you looked closer you could see little tiny people crawling all over the factory. That is just one memory of many ... but I do recall then continuing to Poland without the need for a visa so I don't know what happened there - maybe they were looking for some baksheesh.

Nowadays you arrive in the glitzy newly-refurbished station - the steelworks and coalmines are mostly closed, but there is still a bit of grittiness to the air; however it is a far cry from what it was and the centre is almost unrecognisable.

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7. Re: best way to Ostrava from Prague or Bratislava

Yes, I have a UK passport, and did then. The visa requirement was abolished for UK passport holders right then, in (I think) July 1992. I was living in Istanbul at the time, and didn't need one to cross what was Yugoslavia, but needed a transit one for Bulgaria, for example, didn't need one for Hungary, so it was a shock that we had to have a visa for Poland, and even more of a shock that we couldn't be spontaneous and buy one from the official on the train. Still, it was an adventure, and was in summer, so we weren't freezing in the border station. The worst thing was trying to get back the few miles to Ostrava; we had no Czech currency, as we weren't planning to visit Czechoslovakia until the return journey, but luckily we were able to borrow some Czech money from a Spanish guy who had also been chucked off the train for the same reason. In the station nobody would change money, so we had to walk into town to the nearest bank/change place and wait till it opened.

London, UK
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8. Re: best way to Ostrava from Prague or Bratislava

Yes, I hope it hasn't changed TOO much. Are the socialist murals etc still on the walls? I liked all that. Part of the reason for going back is to show my wife some of that kind of architecture and decoration.

Brno, Czech Republic
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9. Re: best way to Ostrava from Prague or Bratislava

The station has completely changed for a start - I can't say I noticed any socialist murals but you might see some in Poruba, and I didn't notice any of the corner shops that were once called 'Budoucnost' (The Future), although they looked very much in the past ...

You will see for yourself whether it has changed too much - IMO yes it has changed massively but it is still a vibrant city and is the Czech Republic's party central (Stodolní).

I remember that we just drove straight through the Polish border without even showing passports - just waved them at the guard, but we were in a local car and I think my friends made the trip regularly.

Edited: 4:37 am, January 22, 2013
Prague, Czech...
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10. Re: best way to Ostrava from Prague or Bratislava

Back to the transport connections.... I'm riding in the Leo Express train from Prague to Olomouc at the moment (the one that continues on to Ostrava). Very luxurious. A business class ticket for the 2-1/2-hour train ride came to only 15 euros. Free coffee, tea, water, newspapers and a great wifi connection with either internet or intranet (movies, games, etc.). Not like the old Czech Railways trains that used to run this line 20 years ago, that's for sure.

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