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10 Days: Munich, Prague, Vienna and Budapest

We are currently planning the above trip. I know 10 days is not much time to see everything but that is what we have and this is what we would like to see. We might be able to find another day or two. Looking at this Summer for our visit. Trying to use miles for the flight which really has limited options in terms of decent flights (American Airlines).

Any thoughts or advice?

Would you visit each city in the order above? Reverse it?

Obviously we will be moving fast but which city should we lean on spending the most time?

My wife wants to include Venice in the trip. We have already been there. Please confirm that this is a ridiculous idea.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions or comments.

Posted by
15577 posts

I'd say Venice is only practical if you cut something else, like Budapest. Yes, it's already a short time for 4 cities. 3 would be much better.

Posted by
6543 posts

Dan: My first question is whether you can scrape another couple of days to the trip? If not, your itinerary is not do-able.
You're wanting to go to four absolutely fabulous, large cities, and each is worthy of 4 days at a minimum.

Remember that your first and last days are unproductive, and moving from city to city also loses a day.

The Alps is a physical barrier that limits travel between Venice and Vienna/Budapest--and makes it difficult to get there. You could fly from Prague to Venice on Air One, a budget air carrier.
If you're limited to 10 days, pick two:
Munich-Prague
Munich-Vienna
Vienna-Budapest
These cities are different, but they're all great travel cities with many, many sights to see.

Posted by
10792 posts

Everyone has different expectations and interests so nothing is "wrong". I would end in Budapest because I am biased and love Budapest and I know I can relax there after a long trip. Also Prague is the most intense of the cities in the trip and i would want to get that out of the way early on. This is how I would recommend it to a friend. The only flaw in my plan is that I haven't been to Munich and only base the decision to keep it at one day based on things I have heard relative to what I have experienced in Prague, Vienna and Budapest.

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Day 0: Depart from the US. You didn't say how you were counting the days or where you were traveling from so this is a guess.
Day 1: Arrive Munich late afternoon too pooped out to do very much.

Day 2: Munich
Day 3: Train to Prague
Day 4: Prague http://www.cntraveler.com/readers-choice-awards/europe/best-cities-europe
Day 5: Prague
Day 6: Train to Vienna
Day 7: Vienna http://www.cntraveler.com/readers-choice-awards/europe/best-cities-europe_slideshow_5-Vienna_6
Day 8: Train to Budapest
Day 9: Budapest
Day 10: Budapest http://www.cntraveler.com/readers-choice-awards/europe/best-cities-europe_slideshow_1-Budapest_9
Day 11: Depart
.
Do I think its a good plan? To much too fast for my taste but pretty well in keeping with organized tour schedules. Add Venice? Naaaaa. you would end up with no more than one full day in Prague and Budapest and Venice.

.
Actually I would limit the trip to 3 of the 10 ten best cities in Europe (according to Conde Nast); Budapest (1), Vienna (5) and Prague (9) and spend some quality time. But, again, there is no wrong. Just get out and have fun.

Posted by
2353 posts

I am a confirmed "warrior traveler" and even I would not add Venice to this trip, probably! It really depends on what you want to see/do in each of the other cities. Our first time in Munich was about 4 hrs! Many on this board would shudder at the very idea of that but it works for us. We had taken a night train from Hamburg and were heading to Fussen to see the castles. We got off the train stored our bags and had a quick look around - saw the Marionplatz and the glockenspiel, went into a beautiful church (St Michael's) had a bite of lunch somewhere and headed out. Just a taste and enough to know we return at some future point in time. Prague is like stepping into a fairytale - we spent two nights - so we had one full day to wander the castle area and the old city. We took our time crossing the Charles Bridge as the busquers were out in full force and all very talented. We loved Vienna - such a beautiful city! Very laid back - I think we ended up staying 3 nights just because it was a nice city to pause in. I was also fortunate enough to be there on a Sunday and go to Mass where the Vienna Boys Choir performs - that was bucket list item! Budapest is a kitchy kind of place - a real mix of old & new with a very youthful vibe and a vibrant nightlife. If you are the type that likes to move fast and are not ones to linger in museums then go. The order of cities looks fine - to determine which ones to spend more time list the must sees in each place and plan according to that. Most of all have a great time.

Posted by
10792 posts

Christi, I keep saying people should slow down and explore each place a little longer. But, two of my best city trips were two night stays. The first in Moscow for orthodox Christmas and the second in Jerusalem for the first day of hanakkah, other quick stops have included Paris for dinner, Winchester for fishing. Now we are planning a two night stay some place for New Year. We get a room some place in Europe and then make the round trip flight for the mini vacation. I call them Bonzai trips. Its amazing where you can get cheap Round trip fares to once you get to Europe. Do I regret the short stay? There is just too much to live and this works in some instances.

Posted by
2353 posts

James - I know what you mean - we did Dublin & back in a day from Holyhead, Wales! NYC was a day trip for me when I lived on Cape Cod and I once spent an entire day going to Baccarat, France to see (oh...and buy) the crystal! Our last trip I don't think we saw the inside of any museum although we did go to Momento Park in Budapest but it's outside. We went inside a few castles and took the displays there but that was it. We spent our time wandering the cities enjoying the architecture, lingering at sidewalk cafes and chatting with both locals and other tourists. Some of our best memories are from "ninja" visits to a place - some places we've been I am not even sure we saw what one is "supposed" to see there!

Posted by
950 posts

Honestly I would cut out 2 of those cities, but I could live with doing 3. Prague is my least favorite- the castle is cool but the crowds were too much for comfort.Venice is absolutely a "no" with 4 other stops. I am a car person but trains between these work beautifully. Budapest to Munich is an easy drive, Prague to Budapest is lovely thru the Tatras... I would find more days to enjoy this trip because they are interestingly different.

Posted by
950 posts

Honestly I would cut out 2 of those cities, but I could live with doing 3. Prague is my least favorite- the castle is cool but the crowds were too much for comfort.Venice is absolutely a "no" with 4 other stops. I am a car person but trains between these work beautifully. Budapest to Munich is an easy drive, Prague to Budapest is lovely thru the Tatras... I would find more days to enjoy this trip because they are interestingly different.

Posted by
4 posts

Advice for Munich: Go to the Marienplatz an around this place you will find almost the most of Munich!

Posted by
4637 posts

Melissa is right; "Prague to Budapest is lovely thru the Tatras" obviously meaning drive. It's a little detour but if you have a car and time and especially if you like hiking, do it. Direct distance Prague to Budapest is 329 miles, driving time (without stop and traffic jam) 4 hours 40 minutes (according to google), distance Prague to Budapest via Stary Smokovec (main resort in High Tatras) 533 miles, driving time 11 hours 25 minutes. You got 4 cities to see in 10 days, unless you drop some and have a car I don't think High Tatras will be realistic for you. In the case you decide to drop some city (cities) I will attempt to rate your cities by few criteria obviously it's all IMHO: by scenery: Prague, Budapest, Vienna, Munich. By beer: Munich and Prague equal, Prague cheaper, Vienna, Budapest. By local (from that country) wine: Budapest, Prague, Vienna, Munich. By cuisine: Budapest, Vienna, Prague, Munich. By public transport: Vienna, Munich, Prague, Budapest. Which one is the least crowded: Budapest, Munich, Vienna, Prague. Where you spend the least money: Budapest, Prague, Munich, Vienna.