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Best Route for Prague, Salzburg, Vienna, Budapest


We are planning a trip for mid-June and plan to visit:

Salzburg (3 days)
Budapest (3 days)
Vienna (5 days)
Prague (5 days)

It looks like it will be cheaper to fly into either Salzburg or Budapest, but we are struggling to determine the most efficient order to visit each city (likely traveling via train between cities).

Any suggestions are welcome!

Posted by
35 posts

Budapest 4 days
Vienna 5 days
Salzburg 3 days
Prague 4 days

Train between Budapest and Vienna is about 2.5 hours. Vienna and Salzburg is about the same. Check on flights to Prague. A train to Prague off the top of my head would be about 6 hours.

Posted by
1865 posts

I would reduce Prague by another day and add it to Vienna. Frankly, I'm biased because Vienna is my favorite city.

These are the travel times between the four cities by train:
Vienna - Salzburg --- 2:30
Vienna - Budapest --- 2:40
Vienna - Prague --- 4:30
Budapest - Prague --- 7:00
Salzburg - Prague --- 5:30

Salzburg, Vienna and Budapest are located from west to east along a high-speed train line. Prague is somewhat out of the way.
On certain weekdays there are very cheap flights between Budapest and Prague.

What will be the optimal route for you will depend on whether you want to minimize the travel time or the costs. I guess the price of your inbound and outbound flights will have a big impact.

Posted by
6991 posts

I visited those four cities in this order on my last trip to Europe: Salzburg, Prague (with a day at Cesky Krumlov between them), Vienna, Budapest. I had flown into Brussels and visted some other cities before getting to Salzburg, then I took a shuttle from Salzburg to CK, then a bus to Prague, then trains from there to Vienna and Budapest, and flew home from Budapest. It was a great trip and that itinerary worked well.

Posted by
3961 posts

We had a similar itinerary on our last trip to Europe minus Salzburg. We started in Budapest x5 nights, Vienna x5 nights, Cesky Krumlov x2 nights, Prague x6 nights & Amsterdam x5 nights. We took the train from Budapest to Vienna, the convenient CK Shuttle to CK and Prague. Flew to Amsterdam for the end of our journey.

Posted by
1 posts

I am on this exact trip right now in my final city. I flew into Prague, train to Salzburg, train to Vienna, train to Budapest, flying out of Budapest. All trains were relatively short (2-3hrs?), except that Prague to Salzburg was on the longer side (two shorter trains with a stop in Linz, you could time it to walk around Linz for a bit if you want, but I didn’t).

Posted by
1865 posts

In a similar vein as Mister E is biased for Budapest I am biased for Vienna.

Fly into Prague 3 days
Fly to Budapest, 4 days
Train to Vienna, 6 days
Train to Salzburg, 3 days
Fly back from where, Salzburg or Munich?

This itinerary minimizes travel time, but not travel costs. You need to decide what is most important for you, time or money.