Subject: Re: Prague and Budapest

Can't really help you out with Budapest as I haven't been there since '86, so my information is out of date at best.

With regards to Prague, however, I can offer this information.

Places of note to visit include Prague Castle. You can walk down the small streets of Hradcany and cross the river. Once accross Charles Bridge, you enter the Old Town. Here the small alley ways (with some help from the signs) will take through to the Old Town Square (Staro Mesto Namesti). From here you can decide to walk either to Josefov (the Jewish Quarter) or into the New Town (Nove Mesto.) Within Josefov, there is an Old Jewish Cemetery and the main Synagogues, which you can visit. In Nove Mesto, you can visit Vaclavske Namesti, which was the centre of the Velvet Revolution in '89 that saw the overthrow of Communism in what was then Czechoslovakia.

There are plenty of places to stay in Prague of varying cost and you would be advised to check out the prices through one of the well known websites before you book. Hotel standards in the centre are comparable to those in Western Europe.

With regards to somewhere to eat, I have the following two recomendations.

Restaurant/Bar Kolkovne. Does excellent Czech and Slovak food at reasonable prices. Doubles as a pub and restaurant, so has quite a relaxed atmosphere. Close to the Old Town Square (Staromesto Namesti) Very good place and definately worth visiting. At V kolkovne 8.

Francouzska a Plnzenska Restrauce. Art Nouveau interior downstairs from the Municipal House. There is a French restaurant at street level, and the Czech restaurant downstairs. It's the one downstairs you really want to go to. Traditional Czech fare, hearty sized meals. Here, I can recomend the pork dishes and the dumplings. Get a large dark beer. Address: V Obecnim Dome, Namesti Reupbliky 5, Prague 1

Mark Sukhija, in Zuerich