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5 Nights in Hungary with Tweens/Teens

Hi
We are doing an eastern Europe adventure with our 4 kids from age 9 to 18. We are covering Prague, Salzburg and Budapest. We are struggling with our itinerary in Budapest. We like a good mix of guided experiences (bikes, cooking school, short tours) with a few museums thrown in. I think the baths would be a hit and perhaps Parliament, Museum of terror. Any suggestions for where to stay, what to do and whether we should stay all 5 nights in Budapest. We have been considering trips to Pecs or Lake Heviz. We have a Eurorail pass but no car.

Posted by
2081 posts

I spent a long day in Pecs in May and it was quite interesting—just be aware that the train from Kelenfold station includes a 40 minute bus ride to the town of Szazhalombatta where you get on the train to Pecs. Timing stays the same, no worries there. Charming old town to explore, museums and also the Zsolnay museum center. Rick’s Budapest book details it all perfectly. Budapest is absolutely worth 5 nights.

Posted by
1700 posts

We're in Budapest right now. We rented an apartment from goldenstarsapartments.com. They're highly rated on TripAdvisor and very very nice. The one we're in is a two bedroom, two bathroom. It's about $115 per night. It's right next to a one bedroom, one bathroom that are sort of connected by an interior door. You could easily rent both and just use the one main outside door to make it a 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom place - I think it would be about $200 per night for the whole thing. The location is fantastic...three minutes to the river...one minute to a pedestrian street.

We're doing 4 nights here and there's plenty to fill our time. Museum of Terror took about 2 hours. Parliament took 50 min. It was fun to walk across the Chain Bridge and up to the Matthias Church. There's some cute little boats out at the park by Heroes Square that your younger ones might like. I notice there's a LOT of Segway tours - not the kind of thing I go for, but I have to say, for a big city, the traffic is not so bad that Segways seem like a bad idea...depends on your kids, I guess.

Posted by
16581 posts

As a fan of ceramics, I liked Pecs a lot (spent 3 or 4 nights there), but I would definitely stick to Budapest with the time you have, rather than spending so much time to get to Pecs. There is lots to do in Budapest. Haven't been to Lake Heviz and don't know anything about the travel time there.

Do be sure you're working with current information about the Budapest museums. During my May visit, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Decorative Arts, and the Applied Arts Museum were all closed for reconstruction or relocation.

Fortunately, there are plenty of other museums in Budapest. The Mucsarnok (near the Metro at City Park) has a very good handicraft exhibit running until August 20. The zoo is in the same area. I thought the House of Terror was really well done.

I had a Budapest Card for 4 days (might not pay off for you, but I squeezed in a lot of museums) and took the two included Cityrama walking tours, one of Buda and one of Pest. I think they move around enough to keep tweens engaged. I don't know how those tours compare to the others being offered in the city, however.

Posted by
11152 posts

Pecs is a great overnight, but too far for a day trip. Szentendre and Vac are good day trips, if you want something different from Budapest. Vac will probably be particularly interesting, with the mummies (not a joke - they were found when the renovated the main town square, and they're fascinating).

In Budapest itself, in addition to the places mentioned above, your kids as well as you will like Memento Park, with lots of old Communist statues.

Looking on Trip Advisor, I see there's a Pinball Museum in Budapest.

Posted by
10673 posts

Five nights in Budapest doesn't leave much more time than maybe a day trip. Vac is great for the second day trip, but for the first (and the only) I think you would get more out of Szentendre. Pecs, Eger, etc, a bit far for a day trip.

1st day, FIRST NIGHT: If you are coming from Salzburg you probably aren't reaching Budapest till mid-afternoon (unless you like to get up really early). With four kids, between checking in and getting settled down, maybe its possible that you only have some part of the early evening to explore Budapest. I would suggest staying up on Andrassy ut someplace as it's great for wandering around with the kids and there is plenty to see and do for a family trip. Couple of decent Pizza places on Andrassy ut. Also some good burgers just behind Andrassy ut. Maybe the kids would like the Miniversium? (on Andrassy ut)

2nd day, SECOND NIGHT: Okay this day is a full day. Lets say you do Buda and a small part of Pest. Maybe go to the Circus in the evening (at the end of Andrassy ut).

3rd day, THIRD NIGHT: Maybe a Day trip to Szentendre and ride the boat back. Kids should like that. Maybe the Széchenyi Baths in the evening (at the end of Andrassy ut)

4th day, FOURTH NIGHT: The other third of Pest and maybe a picnic and running around on Margaret Island. (Andrassy ut to the 4/6 Tram - 3 stops). Possibly the Puppet Theater in the evening (on Andrassy ut)

5th day, FIFTH NIGHT: The final third of Pest and boats on City Lake (on Andrassy ut)

I will send you some other ideas.

Posted by
10673 posts

Also, for just hitting three cities and the occasional side trip, not sure the Eurorail Pass will be any savings. Pecs is great, but such a long trip and there is so much to see in Budapest. Never been to Lake Heviz. I would be inclined not to let my kids play in radio active water. I would do it, but ....

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks to you all. This is great info. I will definitely focus on exploring Budapest and day trip to Szentendre.

Posted by
149 posts

When are you travelling?

We'll be in Budapest with our three children (10-15) in a few weeks. We're staying six nights and I think that time will be perfect so I agree with you staying all five nights there. We've booked an apartment through Entre Amis. They have a bunch of apartments in great locations. Ours can accommodate 10 but with three kids, it allows us to have our own rooms.

We plan to do a full day walking tour on our first day. Private guide was only about $200 for the day. We're doing a half day at the baths and latter half at Castle Hill. A daytrip to Szentendre and a few other towns (with the same guide as our walking tour). Another day simply wandering for half day with brunch at Szimpla Market, then the circus and a boat tour of the Danube. The next day we're doing a 3 hr segway tour to Gellert Hill and the afternoon is open... maybe the Opera house. We couldn't get tickets for the time/day we wanted for Parliament so we've decided to just explore from the outside.

I agree with others about the Eurail pass. With only two trips, it doesn't make much sense. You'd be better off just buying the tickets directly through the train company in each country.

We'll also be in Prague for three nights and then one night in Cesky krumlov. If you need ideas for there as well just let me know.