Please sign in to post.

Budapest, Vienna, need suggestions for a short stay 3rd destination...

My husband and I are planning our first trip to Europe (yay!) in April 2017. We are going to fly into Vienna, spend 3 days/nights there, then take the train to Budapest for 6 nights. We are trying to decide on a third location we would stay for 2-3 nights then fly home and are considering Germany, Ireland, Scotland or possibly France, but are open to possibilities. We would even consider staying an extra 2-3 nights in Budapest and fly home from there.

Any suggestions are very much appreciated!

Posted by
32 posts

If it's your first trip to Europe, I'd suggest going to Prague as it's still within the same general region as Vienna and Budapest and well worth a few days visit. It's a breathtaking city! You can spend some time in the Old Town, which is very beautiful and well-preserved, the New Town is great for shopping, and of course Prague Castle is not to be missed.

Posted by
6542 posts

Vienna's one of the great continental European cities and I'd hate for you to just spend 3 days there. Your first day after travel is essentially a wasted day. It's a city worthy of 4-5 days for a first time traveler.
Budapest is another of our new favorite cities after our last trip there.
I'd suggest Salzburg for a third city and fly home from Munich. They're both cities easy to get to from Budapest.
Save Ireland, Scotland & France for your next trip--along with London.

Posted by
6143 posts

Think in terms of cities, not countries, to make the process more manageable. The countries you named are just too big and diverse to pick some cities randomly without knowing your interests, or why you would pick one city over another. What cities are you interested in? Once you come up with a list, you can narrow it down based on ease and cost of getting there from Budapest, or the cost of flying home from there. Or once you pick your third city, you may realize that your initial order of travel may not be best, so perhaps you'll have to rearrange and start with the third city and end in Vienna (for example).

I tend to focus on regions to minimize travel time, so I personally wouldn't pick a place that's too far off geographically if there are other interesting, albeit smaller towns nearby (for example, other cities or towns in Hungary). In your case, 2-3 days is not that much so you probably want to select a city that is not too big, that you can comfortably see in that time frame without missing too much, and that takes a minimum time and funds to get to (since you're going to be cutting into those 2-3 days with travel time). Luckily, there are budget airlines from Budapest that you can consider such as Wizz Air.

Posted by
10885 posts

I'm not a big fan of Vienna, so for me 3 days is plenty.

Since it's your first trip you might consider some diversity. Maybe get an open jaw into Paris or Edinburgh then a discount carrier nonstop to Budapest, then another discount to Kyiv or the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria, then home. The connecting flights are about 1.5 hours nonstop and under $175 and you get to see very different places.

Posted by
10885 posts

On the other hand if you do one or two overnight trips out of Budapest you won't get bored with a week or more in Hungary and it's remarkably affordable.

Look at spending a night at the Klastrom Hotel in Gyor on the way to Budapest and seeing the old town center and the Archabbey at Pannonhalm.

Then maybe an overnight trip to Eger or Pecs for the wine or the history .. or both.

Then as much time as is left to explore Budapest.

Posted by
645 posts

I agree that you need to think cities not countries. Budapest and Vienna are comfortably close. Without flying you could visit, another city like Prague; Munich; Krakow or Venice if you are willing to take a night train. Or you could visit someplace smaller like Saltzb7urg, Cesky Krumlov, Eger, Pecs, Innsbrook, etc. If you fly within Europe you could go most anywhere.

Vienna is not my favorite city to be in. It's not a grat city to wonder tjough it has many huge and beautiful buildings. But it is packed with palaces and world class art museums. You could spend a week there looking at art and other run out of things to see.

Prague is simply a breath taking place to be. It is crowded, though maybe not so much in Aprril. There is art, particularly Mucha's art nouveau, but it's not an art destination. The multisite Jewish Museum and the castle complex are both well worth seeking. The main square is one of the best in Europe. And it's still affordable.

Munich has more art and a rebuilt palace, not to mentionthe BMW plant and beer.

Salzburg is is pretty, but while big on atmosphere has less sight to visit than Prague. Ditto Cesky Krumlov, though for whatever reason we liked it better.

I haven't been to Budapest or Krakow.

If it were me, I'd spend all of mry time in Budapest and Vienna, with perhaps an overnight in someplace much smaller.

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks for all the advice/suggestions. There is so much to see, it is very overwhelming. This will help us narrow our focus and make the most of our trip!

Posted by
1159 posts

I have been to Prague and Vienna. I just got back from Vienna and loved it. Others said they did not like it so much, but I thought it was a very charming city with lovely art museums, easy to get around by subway and tram, safe ( woman traveling alone after the RS GAS tour) and many musical venues to pick from. I bought tickets for two nights to see classical concerts and one night to see an operetta. I loved the cafes. Spent most of one day just at the Belvedere Palace. Went to the Hofburg Treasury, the Hofburg Imperial Apartments, St. Stephen's Cathedral, the Kariskirche ( looks like a church in Rome!), spent most of another day at the wonderful Kunsthistorisches Museum and ate a wonderful lunch in their amazing, beautiful cafe. Went on a tour of the State Opera house, my opera was at the Volksopera which was also very nice. Bought a ticket to see the Lipizzaner stallions perform at the Spanish Riding School! Saw the inside and outside of The Secession building. Did not make it to the Schonbrunn Palace for which I was disappointed, but was so tired from traveling for 2 and half weeks. So there is much to do and see in Vienna. Easy to take a cab to the airport and a nice airport. I haven't been to Prague since 2006 on a RS week long tour ( no longer) and loved it. Went to the Mucha museum, very crowded city but worth while city to see. Walked across the Charles Bridge, and went to the communist museum and to a classical concert as it was their musical festival. Either city is amazing! Have a great time.