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Vienna-Prague-Budapest and Surrounding Itinerary

Hi, right now I think I am going to book a trip to these cities in late April - early May. I am looking at making it a 2 week trip so landing in Vienna Saturday 4/28 in the AM and flying out of Budapest Sunday May 13. My girlfriend is thinking about coming May 4-May 14 though so I am looking at what I can potentially do around Vienna before she arrives.

First I'm wondering is 3 days in each Vienna, Prague and Budapest enough? We would fly Vienna to Prague then Prague to Budapest to cut down on travel time. Or do you think we should cut the 9 days we're together to 2 cities (Vienna + 1 other) and do a couple day trips?

Second, what cities would you recommend visiting around Vienna during the 6 days I have alone? I don't really plan to base myself in Vienna the whole time so just looking for suggestions and reasonable destinations I could visit in the area. I am into architecture, food, history.

Posted by
6869 posts

For the time allowed, you should pick Vienna and either Budapest or Prague. If you chose Budapest, you could also visit Bratislava in between the two cities. We just returned from our second trip to Budapest, and it's so much more reasonably priced than Prague.

Posted by
82 posts

Thanks, I feel like it could be rushing it to do the 3 cities in 9 days but still doable. More I research it seems like Saltzburg and Bratislava would be 2 logical choices to do in the extra days I have. Any other suggestions? Also would still love to get more input about doing 3 cities vs 2.

Posted by
21042 posts

I don't see how you'll save time by flying between Vienna and Prague. You have to get to and from the airports, and you need to be at the departure airport way ahead of time. The train takes just 4 hours from city center to city center.

If your girlfriend arrives on May 4, she may be sleep-deprived and jetlagged that day. I don't count my arrival day as a sightseeing day, so I would figure that your joint trip is only 8 days, and I think 3 major cities a substantial distance apart is too many for such a short trip.

Posted by
1 posts

hi - I am actually planning this same trip but adding in Munich since I have 2.5 weeks. I've been looking into trains in between the cities and looks like they aren't available yet (im going over thanksgiving) so it's hard to plan. have you been able to locate any timetables for the trains to check?

Thanks

Posted by
13530 posts

I played with the schedule a bit and couldn’t make it work without some questions answered.
Do you have to start in Vienna?
Are there days you must be in Vienna?
Is the day your girlfriend is joining fixed?
Do you want her to see all three, or would 2 out of 3 be okay?
Do you have to depart out of Budapest?

Trains between all three cities run on a schedule. You can plan them now or later. Look at the site for the nation you are departing from.

Posted by
82 posts

Do you have to start in Vienna? - I don't but I live in Chicago and Vienna is the only nonstop destination out of the 3 cities. If I choose Prague or Budapest the best flight options are a 1 stop in Vienna. Along with this flight I was thinking to fly to Prague because I get this flight for free using a stopover with a United award ticket. I then checked flights from Prague to Budapest and they are $75-100 nonstop depending on the time May 9. I'm not set on doing all 3 cities but I guess that helps explain my rationale.

Are there days you must be in Vienna? No but again the nonstop thing so I figured it would be where my GF lands after a nonstop flight so was thinking May 4-7

Is the day your girlfriend is joining fixed? With work she was thinking of leaving Thursday night from Chicago to get to Europe Friday morning. I'm trying to convince her to leave Wednesday night and have the extra day

Do you want her to see all three, or would 2 out of 3 be okay? Not necessary but just seeing options. I think she'd be fine with 2 of the cities

Do you have to depart out of Budapest? No, can depart from any

Posted by
13530 posts

You have plenty of time for all three. With the opportunity of a direct flight, I would go to Vienna first as well. The issue now is the girlfriend. But that’s always the case, isn’t it?

28 Arrive Vienna
29 Vienna
30 Vienna
1 Vienna and Melk day trip
2 Vienna to Prague. If the ticket is free, sure go for it. Otherwise the train is about as fast overall.
3 Prague
4 Your girlfriend arrives in Prague
5 Prague and a day trip to Karlštejn Castle
6 Prague
7 Prague to Budapest first flight out on Czech Air
8 Budapest
9 Budapest
10 Budapest to Eger for the night
11 Eger back to Budapest
12 Budapest
13 Budapest home

My girlfriend would kill me if I had 6 days of fun without her. Of course my wife wouldn't like it either way.....

Posted by
13530 posts

You have plenty of time for all three. With the opportunity of a direct flight, I would go to Vienna first as well. The issue now is the girlfriend. But that’s always the case, isn’t it?

28 Arrive Vienna
29 Vienna
30 Vienna
1 Vienna and Melk day trip
2 Vienna to Prague. If the ticket is free, sure go for it. Otherwise the train is about as fast overall.
3 Prague
4 Your girlfriend arrives in Prague
5 Prague and a day trip to Karlštejn Castle
6 Prague
7 Prague to Budapest first flight out on Czech Air
8 Budapest
9 Budapest
10 Budapest to Eger for the night
11 Eger back to Budapest
12 Budapest
13 Budapest

My girlfriend would kill me if I had 6 days of fun without her. Of course my wife wouldn't like it either way.....

Posted by
1 posts

Hello,

I agree with James that you could manage all 3 cities in your planned amount of time, and it looks like he has good suggestions about the itinerary. I have been to all 3 of these wonderful, unique, and culturally rich cities. I share some of your interests and believe all of your "needs" would be satisfied with 3 days in each if you don't count the travel time between destinations. Trains would save time.

Best wishes for a great holiday.

Cate

Posted by
13530 posts

I've figured the train vs plane from Budapest to Prague a dozen times and door to door the plane wins by a couple of hours. The Vienna Prague flight I don't think provides any time savings, but if the ticket is free i would rather have the mobility of waiting for a flight than be trapped on a train for 5 hours.....

Posted by
82 posts

Yeah again not set in stone with taking a flight between any of them, just an option. I could also do Vienna to Prague by train, then fly from Prague to Budapest as the free flight (has a hour layover in Vienna but is still quicker than a train). Either way it almost seems like the better option is to do 2 major cities in the 9 days we're together and do some day trips.

Posted by
13530 posts

I would only fly between Prague and Budapest if you do the Czech Air nonstop for about $125.

Posted by
82 posts

Thanks for the input. Kind of waiting to see what the GF thinks for the time she's there and then I'll figure the rest of my time out.

Another option I've been mulling around is Munich -> Salzburg -> Vienna -> Prague or Budapest doing Railjet to each destination unless we try to get to Vienna, Prague and Budapest. Would do the flight between Prague and Budapest.

I can fly nonstop into Munich though and then just work my way east on Railjet. Has anyone done this? What other cities between Munich and Vienna, besides Salzburg, are worth seeing?

Posted by
82 posts

I know I'm all over the place but maybe something like:

Option 1
Vienna April 28 - 29
Prague (or Budapest) April 29 - May 3
Vienna May 3 - 8
Budapest (or Prague) May 8 - 13

or

Option 2
Munich April 28 - May 1
Salzburg May 1 - 3
Vienna May 3 - 8
Prague or Budapest May 8 - 13

or

Option 3
Munich April 28 - May 1
Salzburg May 1 - 3
Vienna May 3 - 7
Prague May 7 - 10
Budapest May 10 - 13

Would toss maybe a stop in Bratislava on way to Budapest if we did that, or a stop in Český Krumlov on way to Prague for option 1 or 2

Posted by
12882 posts

Unless you have already precluded this option, the night train goes from Prague to Budapest, which also stretches out more time, or you need to limit the number of places given your time constraint.

Posted by
1486 posts

I would allot more days to Vienna than to Budapest, and less to Prague than to Budapest.

Bratislava is neither on the way between Vienna and Budapest or Prague and Budapest. Visiting Bratislava's old city is a half day trip from Vienna, just one hour away, either by train or bus.

Posted by
82 posts

Thanks, wmt1. That is helpful. So far I wasn't sure what people thought about allotting time to each city. So you would rank them as Vienna then Budapest then Prague? Anyone else agree/disagree?

Posted by
12882 posts

On agreeing to allotting time as suggested: : I agree. Why? Re Bratislava...I would skip that all together.

Posted by
82 posts

I don't need to head to Bratislava but just thought if we had 9 days together between Vienna and another city we could do a day trip

Posted by
77 posts

this forum is very helpful as I am planning a few weeks and keep jumping back and forth between Vienna/Budapest/Prague (or)
Dubrovnik, Split, Zagreb.

Uggh.
I am in a similar situation with the writer. I will be about 4-5 days on my own and then my husband arrives by november 5th - 6th to join me. He is fine if I go to one country alone first, but I need to be in one place November 3-6 to meet up with him because his arrival date is a moving target.

If you had to choose between Croatia or Hungary/Czech - what would you choose? I am not that into museums - but love food wine and interesting architecture - also people watching with coffee wine or beer.

Jet

Posted by
12882 posts

Hi,

Given the choices of Croatia, Hungary or Czech, ie, Budapest or Prague, I would choose meeting him in Budapest, esp in light of your interests, besides the food is better.