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Budapest-Vienna-Prague -- with kids

We're planning to visit family in Hungary and am hoping to get some recommendations for length of stay in certain cities. First, we plan to travel summer 2016, end of June or early July. Right now I'm thinking:
Budapest - 3 days
Vienna - 3 days
Prague - 3 days
All this of course with two children, ages 10 and 8.
Also, is taking the train or renting a car a better idea?

Thanks

Posted by
12550 posts

“Days” can be confusing, so let me first see if I understand:

DAY 1 Depart the US

DAY 2 Arrive Budapest and get to accommodations at 2 pm. You have half a day complete with jet lag

DAY 3 Budapest

DAY 4 Budapest

DAY 5 Train to Vienna. Morning train will get you there by noon. You have half a day in Vienna

DAY 6 Vienna

DAY 7 Vienna

DAY 8 Train to Prague. You have half a day in Prague

DAY 9 Prague

DAY 10 Prague

DAY 11 Depart Prague

If my assumptions are correct it’s a pretty rushed trip. But let’s start with the first question. I would go as early in June as possible. It will be cooler and less crowded and there are a few more options for cultural activities if that interests you. Remember European air conditioning isn’t all that frequent or great when it does exist.

Next, a car will do you no good in any of these cities, but will cost you a lot to park. Take the trains. Easy and relatively cheap.

Next I would reverse the route and start in Prague and end in Budapest. Budapest has more of interest to kids within the tourist zone and it will give them a reward for being good in Prague and Vienna.

Two ideas to consider:

DAY 1 Depart the US

DAY 2 Arrive Prague

DAY 3 Prague

DAY 4 Prague

DAY 5 Morning Train to Vienna

DAY 6 Vienna

DAY 7 Morning Train to Budapest

DAY 8 Budapest

DAY 9 Budapest

DAY 10 Budapest

DAY 11 Depart to the US

Better I would skip Vienna as I think it might be the most boring for the kids and I would do:

DAY 1 Depart the US

DAY 2 Arrive Prague

DAY 3 Prague

DAY 4 Prague day trip

DAY 5 Prague

DAY 6 Morning Train to Budapest

DAY 7 Budapest

DAY 8 Budapest

DAY 9 Budapest day trip

DAY 10 Budapest

DAY 11 Depart to the US

Posted by
12550 posts

Things for kids to do in Budapest
Things for kids to do in Budapest
Zoo http://www.zoobudapest.com/en in addition to the fact it’s a great zoo the architecture or this 100 year old + zoo is amazing.

Bath House http://szechenyispabaths.com/ great for all ages, morning, noon and night.
Trams http://welovebudapest.com/budapest.and.hungary/tram.no.2.among.the.top.10.tram.rides
Trains to see http://www.vasuttortenetipark.hu/en
Trains to ride http://www.gyermekvasut.hu/
Boats http://www.mahartpassnave.hu/en/timetable/danube-bend-excursion-boat-lines/budapest-szentendre/
Culture https://www.mupa.hu/en (click on the family and youth events)

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks James. I didn't include our travel time to Europe, because we're actually going to spend a few days in Papa, Hungary and Spielberg, Austria. The Budapest-Vienna-Prague portion would start on day 4 or 5 in Europe.
So I was tentatively considering:
Day 1 - travel
Day 2 - arrive in Papa
Day 3 - Spielberg
Day 4 - Papa - possible travel day to next destination.
Then we have 9 more days, well actually 8 and flying back to the States on the 9th day.

Posted by
12550 posts

Papa and Spielberg? Military, Formula One or Family History? Papa is a great little town.

I am going to guess that you will fly into Budapest. Because of your plans for Spielberg and Papa, unless you have other transportation plans I would rent a car in Budapest and drive to Papa and Spielberg. That way you can visit Tata and Gyor and the archabbey at Pannonhalma on the way back to Budapest.

But now you have 8 days and that’s not enough for all three cities. Given your interest in Austria you might want to do Vienna instead of Prague. But do one or the either. But once you are back in Budapest get rid of the car and use trains for your next destinations.

Anyway, common sense says that from Papa you go to Budapest and start there. Understand that I am incredibly biased and I could spend all 8 days in Hungary and not get bored.

Posted by
4637 posts

I already answered your same question under Austria.

Posted by
1878 posts

That's not a lot of time in any of these cities – you might consider cutting it to two cities. Definitely take the train. You would likely incur huge drop charges for picking up in one country and dropping in another (not to mention parking fees). Kids might like statue/memento park outside of Budapest. Also the entire castle hill area in both Budapest and Prague.