We will in Europe for 15 days this summer, flying into Budapest and out of Brussels, using a Eurail pass to get from one place to another (I know that is a lot of ground to cover in 15 days!). What would you recommend as an itinerary? Which cities to visit? How many days in each one? (note: We have previously visited Vienna, Prague, Berlin, and Amsterdam, but would be happy to revisit any of them if there is time).
You picked open jaw flights to cities that do not compliment each other, and it's about 850 miles Budapest to Brussels. That distance wouldn't be the most enjoyable train ride. Budapest to Brussels is only serviced by Brussels Airlines which is not a budget or inexpensive air carrier.
For two weeks travel, I now suggest no more than three great European cities, such as:
Budapest-Vienna-Brussels by train and flight.
Budapest-Munich-Brussels by train and flight
Budapest-Amsterdam-Brussels by train and flight..
Budapest-Paris-Brussels by EasyJet.com and Eurostar
If you've never visited Paris, go for it. You also get a very inexpensive flight on EasyJet, and the Eurostar ride to Brussels can be as short as 1 hour and 20 minutes. I would tell your to split your time in thirds, as each city is worthy of as much time as you can give it.
Rob, A little more information would help: have you already purchased flights? Is your 15 days including flight days? Have you purchased rail passes? If you haven’t purchased rail passes you might do better with point-to-point tickets depending on how you want to travel between places – one long day on the train or stopping for a 1 night stay between? Would you prefer to stay in one place for at least 3 nights or are you alright with 1 or 2 night stays? It also would help to know what kinds of things you like to do when you travel (what are you into)?
A lot depends on how fast-paced you want your trip to be and how many actual days on the ground you have, but with 15 days (I prefer to use nights) I can definitely see you visiting Budapest (4 nights), then transferring to Munich (3 nights) possibly with a stop in Vienna, or somewhere else for an overnight to break up the train ride, then to the Rhine or Mosel area (3 nights), then to Brussels (3 nights) with possibly an overnight stop in Cologne. You could do day trips from each of your main stops.
Here is a great link to get you started with your research:
http://www.seat61.com/Railpass-and-Eurail-pass-guide.htm#Should you buy a railpass or pay-as-you-go
Here is additional information on the rail journey from Budapest to Brussels:
As you can see, the cost of this journey no where near approaches the cost of a pass. As noted above, flying would also be a much better option, if you are planning to do this trip all at once.