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April trip to London, Prague, Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest

Hello! I am looking to plan a trip to Europe in April 2024. One of my good friends lives in London, so I may fly there first for 2 nights in order to visit her, then fly to either Budapest or Prague to begin my eastern Europe exploring. I was thinking about 3 nights in Prague, 2 nights in Vienna, then visit Bratislava on the way to Budapest, with 3 nights in Budapest. I'm fully aware that it's not a ton of time in any location, but it's what I have to work with. This will probably be a solo trip (40 year old female). Any suggestions as to the "must-see" items in Prague, Vienna, Bratislava or Budapest, and also where to stay also? Thanks!

Posted by
14288 posts

I suspect you know this but I'll add it anyway. You will want to look at an open jaw itinerary...flying in to one city and out of another. Book on your airline's website using the multi-city or multi-destination tab. Flying from Boise, the international hubs of SLC and Seattle have direct non-stop service to London, Amsterdam and Paris. Seattle has additional international destinations as well.

Honestly, since you want to see Prague, Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest, I'd skip London this time. Have you been there? 2 nights just gives you 1 full day which might be enough time to connect with your friend but really does not give you much time to see anything of London.

Posted by
50 posts

We are doing a similar trip in May 2024 for three weeks. 4 nights in Amsterdam, fly to Budapest for 4 nights, train to Vienna for 4 nights, train to Prague for 3 nights and train to Berlin for 4 nights. In my research, I found that there was a lot more to see in Vienna than Prague and added time to Vienna. I also dropped Bratislava as both Vienna and Prague was more worthwhile to spend time at. These are the places I recommend from my research.

In Budapest I recommend doing the Jewish Synagogue tour. It is one of the largest in the world and is beautiful. Also the tour includes history of the Jews in Budapest including WWII. There are also the baths. My hotel recommended the Gellert Bath. https://www.gellertbath.hu

In Vienna, I recommend the Belvedere Museum and see the Kiss by Klint. Get tickets to the Spanish Riding School and see the Lipizaner stallions. Get a tour of the Opera House. Do a food tour. We are doing the Food, Coffee and Market Walking Experience found on Viator.com.

I have no real recommendations for Prague other than a city tour and plan on going to the Castle.

In all three cities check out the classical music scene. Lots of options. Also do a night river cruise in Budapest and Prague. Apparently the views of the cities is quite remarkable.

Hope this helps.

Posted by
880 posts

In my research, I found that there was a lot more to see in Vienna than Prague and added time to Vienna.

To each their own... having been to both Vienna and Prague, note that they are very different cities and your experience will be different in each. So do your homework and determine what appeals to you. Vienna is museum-heavy, so it may be appealing if you want to spend more of your time inside. Our walking tour with Jason and tour of Municipal House were highlights of the time in Prague - also the Mucha museum. Riding the ferris wheel seen in "The Third Man" at the Prater amusement park was the most enjoyable thing in Vienna.

A regret in Vienna was not having time to experience a heuriger on the edge of town.

For Jason's tours in Prague: https://www.livingpraguetours.com/

Posted by
146 posts

Mary & I just completed visiting Prague and Vienna. We stayed in Prague 6 nights and Vienna 4 nights. We both agree that we made the right choice about length of stay because we loved Prague and liked Vienna. Since we stayed at a wonderful hotel, Hotel Julian, our time in Prague was even better. Mary just said that if we had it to do over again we would stay in Prague even longer, add a day trip or 2, and skip Vienna. There is something special about choosing one place and get to know it a little better.

I did Prague and Vienna (among other cities) in April 2023. Some of these are pretty touristy, but I found them all enjoyable. Totally doable for a solo trip!

Prague:

Prague Castle is absolutely breathtaking and 100% worth doing.

The Museum of Steel Figures is a bunch of pop culture icons made from recycled metal. I thought it was fun to try and figure out who everyone was, and you can also build your own figure as a souvenir.

The statue of King Wenceslas riding an upside-down horse and the metallic Kafka head that moves are both worth popping by to check out.

If you like donuts and/or coffee, La Donuteria is a charming little place with super tasty treats.

I'm headed back to Prague in about a month and am trying a beer bath while I'm there (basically a sauna/hot tub of beer). It sounds like a bizarrely unique experience. You can also do it with wine instead.

Vienna:

Another comment mentions the abundance of museums here. If you're interested in seeing more than one, you can usually get a joint pack for multiple entries, which can save you a little Euro.

Prater Wien is an amusement park with free entry, where you pay to go on individual rides. It was really cool to see a Viennese take on theme parks, plus the view from the Ferris wheel is gorgeous!

I didn't have enough time to go into Belvedere Palace, but even just walking around the grounds was impressive.

Eat so many pastries :D Every pastry I had here was incredible.

Posted by
18859 posts

Prague, Vienna, Budapest; the debate continues. A debate that will never be settled because everyone’s interest are different.
So, one man’s perspective:
The glorious ancient architecture of old town and the castle district is hard to beat. The only downside are that its somewhat limited in quantity compared to some other great cities and much of stands as museum quality tourist attraction as opposed to it functioning as originally intended. Visually, its no Paris I think mostly because of limited scope, but it still remains pretty stunning. Old Town and the Castle District, combined, are about the same size as Disney World. Its hard to find a place better suited to the under 30 crowd and the city caters to their needs quite well. The single largest drawback are the crowds.

The empire capital of Vienna still looks the part. The architecture is much newer than Prague and reflects the image of a powerful empire. Its mostly the empire edifices that make the tourist trail. Like Paris, but more so, the architectural style is fairly uniform wich makes for a sort of uniform visual appearance. Those no longer serving as government buildings or palaces now house museums. Hard to find a city with more museums. But the arts thrive and are particularly attractive to the over 50 generation of tourists. So popular with the tourists that I suspect in any theater there are 4 tourist for ever Austrian.

Budapest has magnificent architecture, but lacks the uniformity of style of Vienna, around every corner is a new surprise. Visually, Budapest is in the category of Paris. Budapest lacks being seductive to any particular age group as it has both the grungy pubs and the glorious cultural arts centers and both play a significant role in the current culture … that is, they don’t exist for the tourists, they exist for the locals and tourist join in.

Vienna and Budapest have roughly the same population (just shy of 2 million) but Budapest is twice the size of Vienna and the overwhelming portion of it is period architecture. Prague is a little more than half the size and population of Vienna and Prague. That alone gives a clue to the time necessary to cover the sites in each.

Bratislava? Skip it this trip. You wont regret is.

Posted by
329 posts

I spent a week each in Prague, Vienna and Budapest last month. I would skip Bratislava if I were you. I flew into Prague and out of Budapest.

In Prague I would lo stay somewhere in between the Old Town Square and the Charles Bridge. In Vienna, I would stay inside the inner ring but those hotels tend to be expensive, so maybe just outside the ring. In Budapest I stayed on Kiraly Street close to the Opera and the location was perfect for me.

All three cities are great to just walk around. I definitely preferred Budapest, Vienna and Prague in that order although my favorite item in the three was Prague's Old Town Square. "Must-see" items for me in Prague are the Old Town Square and going up the clock tower for a great view of the square. "Must see" in Vienna are the Kunsthistorisches Museum and the Belvedere Museum. "Must see" in Budapest are the Parliament Building (also going inside) and Matthias Church.