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Prague or Budapest?

I want to spend three days this summer in either Prague or Budapest. Looking for input on which city to choose and why! Thanks!

Posted by
1555 posts

With good intention I suggest you flip a coin!!! You won't be disappointed in either. I guess I would suggest choosing based on the logistics of your travel either before or after.

Posted by
4084 posts

If I only had 3 days - and IF I thought I would return another time to visit Budapest - I would go to Prague. I would save Budapest for a trip when you can give it more time.

From the perspective of crowds, I avoid them, and Prague felt "crazy crowded" to me in October; whereas Budapest did not. Since the tourist area of Budapest is much larger, perhaps the summer crowds would not feel so overwhelming.

Posted by
15448 posts

I thought Prague was prettier and Budapest more interesting. My first visit was in May and Prague was more crowded than Budapest. I don't know if it's similar in summer.

Posted by
1878 posts

Prague is likely to be a total zoo in summer, Budapest much less crowded. You can more realistically see the sights in Prague over this period of time, whereas Budapest is more spread out and lends itself to at least four full days. Between the two, I prefer Budapest, but both are great. You might want to factor transportation logistics into your choice.

Posted by
4637 posts

On this Travel Forum there have been countless questions (and answers) Prague or Budapest. They are both what I call eye candies. Gorgeous views across the river to the castle. Budapest is more grandiose with wide boulevards. Budapest has most of its sights spread all over. In Prague most of them are in two medieval neighborhoods - Old Town (Stare Mesto) And Lesser Quarter (Mala Strana). Prague gets more tourists even in absolute numbers. Now imagine that most of them concentrate in those very narrow medieval streets and then only in some of them. It is still possible to see it without crowds but you have to get up early. You don't see these crowds in Budapest because there are no medieval neighborhoods with its narrow streets but wide boulevards. And when I am in Budapest I get some different feelings, kind of Oriental. No wonder, Budapest was occupied by Ottoman Empire for over 100 years. Bratislava was the capital of Hungary at that time. The name Bratislava is relatively new. Poszony in Hungarian, Pressburg in German. If you like beer go to Prague. If you like wine go to Budapest. Google pictures of both cities and read everything what's on this Travel Forum and then some so you can decide for yourself what city will suit you better. I like both and it depends on my momental mood.

Posted by
14015 posts

Given the two I myself prefer Budapest. Dealing with crowds can be tedious but should not be a deterrent from going to a city.

Posted by
6855 posts

I guess my first inclination would be to say Prague. Like the other posters I think 3 days is enough for a quick visit and you can see a good amount there in 3 days. I think Budapest needs at least 4, probably 6 full days to do it justice.

I'd also ask, what does 3 days mean to you? Is it 2 nights with partial days on either side of the one full day, 3 nights with 2 full days and one partial, or 4 nights allowing for 3 full days. That could make a difference. I also agree with the poster that said it might depend on your before and after itinerary - which is most logically located.

Posted by
613 posts

We have been to Paris 5 times. Every time we leave, we ask ourselves, "Why did we waste more time in Paris when we could have gone to Prague?"

The are two great walking cites in the world, London & Prague.

We have been to both P & B 4-5 times, but we have spent many more days in Prague, & will continue to do so.

Some comments complain about crowds in Prague. There is reason for that. It's first choice.

Europe got clobbered by WWII & it took a long time to rebuild, especially in the countries behind the Iron Curtain. Czech Republic was the first Commie country to economically recover and so was the first to succeed at clean up, fix up, paint up. Compared to P, B is a seedy looking.

How to beat crowds. Study itineraries for bus tours. That's where the crowds will be. Many of these routes have parallel nearly empty streets. Crowds center on Old Town Square, Royal Way, & the Castle, all worth seeing, but no big loss if you avoid them. Jewish Quarter is as attractive as Old Town & nobody seems to know that Mala Strana extends up stream from the Charles Bridge.

The attractive main shopping street for locals runs from the opera house to the square beyond Old Town Square is fairly tourist free. Also attractive walks upstream from the Fred & Ginger Building.

If you have ever seen a great Gothic Cathedral, skip the over crowded St Wenceslass & go see St George at Vyšehrad (The High Castle)