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prague and budapest trip - late October good idea?

I've been wanting to go to Prague and Budapest this fall and have just found out that airfare tickets are currently reasonably priced. The best prices are for a little later in the month than I had originally planned, October 24 - November 3. I was originally going to shoot for October 10-20 but the ticket prices are a lot higher during the earlier timeframe. I do absolutely love fall weather and it's probably my favorite time of year to travel, especially when the leaves are turning beautiful colors.

We want to spend time in Prague, Cesky Krumlov, and Budapest. We will have 9 days on the ground plus 2 travel days to and from the States. I haven't mapped a detailed itinerary out yet so I'm not exactly sure how much time we will need in each place, but I can work those details out later.

I know we will not have as much daylight the later we go but as we're spending most of our time in cities instead of outdoor activities, I don't think we'd miss the daylight as much as if we were doing something like hiking. I'm hoping an upside to going later will be fewer crowds?

Thoughts on travel during the end of October? Do you think it will be an enjoyable time to go? Really appreciate your help!

Posted by
5193 posts

Prague and Budapest any day of the year! Seriously, I was in both those cities at the end of January. I think big cities are more "forgiving" in terms of less than optimal weather, but I also think late October would be fine for Cesky Krumlov, though I haven't been there. I think I'd give Prague and Budapest fairly equal time, perhaps more to Budapest, but that's a personal opinion.

Posted by
4125 posts

I would say go for it!

Thoughts on travel during the end of October: weather

I was just in (Krakow), Prague, Cesky Krumlov, (Vienna) and Budapest during the first 3 weeks of October. The weather was fabulous! I was glad that I was (generally) moving to the South on my trip, ending in Budapest where daytime highs were in the low 70's. Locals told me it was unseasonably warm. Soon after I left, temps dipped into the 50's and there was some rain, then towards the end of October and into November, climbed back to the high 60's and low 70's. I would much rather be in Prague and Budapest with any of those fall temperatures.

You can see 2018 temperatures here:
https://www.timeanddate.com/weather/hungary/budapest/historic?month=10&year=2018

Precipitation averages are relatively low in both Oct and Nov:

https://www.timeanddate.com/weather/hungary/budapest/climate

Thoughts on travel during the end of October: crowds

In early October, Old Town Prague was over-crowded for my tastes. I doubt that would change much in late October / early November. I was in Ceskly Krumlov on a Sunday afternoon and a Monday …. when "everything but the town itself" is closed. It was wonderfully peaceful! I think the day of the week in CK (Monday vs any other day) would matter more than early vs late October.

Budapest - so much more spread out than Prague - did not feel over-crowded by the 3rd week in October. I had no trouble getting outdoor tables at well-recommended (on this forum) restaurants. October timeslots for English tours of Parliament were selling out in September, so book those ahead. You may find shorter days to be an advantage in Budapest, where the buildings and bridges lit up along the Danube are breathtaking!

Posted by
16070 posts

October is among my favorite times to be in Budapest.

The time worries me a bit. From where I travel from, if I leave on a Saturday morning, I arrive between noon and five pm on Sunday. Allowing for the rigors of the trip, that's 2 days right there. Then one day back. So, 3 travel days, not 2. Now you have 8 good days on the ground and you will spend the better part of 10 hours traveling between locations if you count the time to and from train stations. Now you have 7 to 7.5 days.

Unless your trip will be ruined without Cesky Krumlov, I would suggest skipping it and flying Prague to Budapest. Arrival day and three full days in Prague and the remainder of the time in Budapest.

Posted by
1362 posts

I have not been to Budapest but I have been to Prague twice, and the first time was late October and early November. We loved it at this time of year!!! (We combined this trip with a trip to Krakow.) We did wear winter coats but i prefer sightseeing when the weather is cooler. In Prague, we could buy hot mulled wine from restaurants and stores open windows, and wander around outside drinking our wine. It was delicious and fun!!! Both cities had heaters, so we were able to eat outside a few times or have drinks outside.

My favorite part of Prague, Vysehrad, is gorgeous in the fall. I remember slowly walking uphill, overlooking the river, and walking through the fallen leaves and enjoying the fall color. At the top of the hill, there is a beautiful small church, St. Peter and Paul, and the gorgeous national cemetery. It's also much quieter in Vysehrad than the more touristic area of Prague.

You will love Prague!!! BTW, even though our days were cooler, we had a lot of sun. The only day it rained was the day we saw Auschwitz.

Posted by
348 posts

Just to note that the summer season in Prague ends on October 31st. After that you'll find timetables will change to winter options i.e. less river cruise options, parks and gardens (vrtba, wallenstein, castle south garden, castle landscaped gardens) will close for the winter and generally attractions will close earlier, so try and plan that stuff for before the season cut-off. Also note that October 28th is independence day here so huge crowds at the Castle as they usually open up the State Rooms to the public.