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How long to stay in Budapest

We are a couple in our late 60's and are planning some independent travel to Prague, Budapest and Vienna for Sept 2023. We have to be in Venice Oct 3rd to spend a few days before doing a Croatia cruise out of Venice.We are retired so we can spend a few weeks traveling around before we have to be in Venice- as long as the budget holds out.

The plan so far is:
Fly into Prague from US -5 nights
Take a group shuttle from Prague to Budapest -allows us to see a couple towns on way to Budapest
Spend ??? days in Budapest - want to do at least 2 nights in Pecs
Train from Budapest to Vienna - 5 nights (which includes day trip to Melk)
Fly from Vienna to Venice

I am struggling with how much time to spend in Budapest. I have found an airbnb apartment that seems in good location and is highly rated and not that expensive. I was thinking 10 nights in apartment which would allow us to do 2 nights in Pecs and a day trip out of Budapest.
We like to travel slow and are mobile but can't go non stop all day long touring sights. We like to take a break in mid afternoon if we are busy all morning/early afternoon.

My question is should I rent apartment for 14 days (will only cost about $300 more than 10 days with weekly discounts). That would allow us to also do 2 nights in Eger in addition to the 2 nights in Pecs.

Or is that way too much time to spend in Budapest. We enjoy wine (a lot), walking around and just exploring, doing the baths, food tours and walking tours.

We only do public transportation, and wonder how easy is it to manage taking the trains to Pecs and Egar? Is 14 days way to much to spend in Budapest for a first visit?
Appreciate any feedback.
Mary

Posted by
4280 posts

This sounds absolutely lovely to me. I spent 14 nights in Budapest in October and will be back for 7 more in March. I think being able to take two 2-day tours outside Budapest is also a great idea. Some day I will manage that! :)

If it helps any, here is my report on my 2 weeks.
https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/trip-reports/2-weeks-in-budapest

Public transportation within Budapest is reliable, easy, and convenient. The trains to Pecs and Eger are well-traveled routes and I am sure someone will come along to tell you more - but I haven’t taken them myself yet.

Posted by
327 posts

I don't know if 14 days is too much considering how you describe the way you travel. I think it will give you ample time without having to play "beat the clock" to get everything in you want to do.

Budapest is very walkable as well as easy to navigate with their public transportation.

You will love Eger--there is a slew of wine bars and restuarants outside of the city. I thought that was Eger, but Eger is actually a nice size city at the top of a small hill. You could go wine bar hopping and have a great time. Lots of restaurants too. it is quite the gathering place. Here is a link. to this part of Eger..... you'll have to use translate to read it in English...... https://szallas.hu/programok/szepasszonyvolgy-eger-p144

Posted by
18493 posts

I am so biased I shouldn't even answer. I can point out that the last 4 people I suggested visit Budapest have since returned for a second visit. One even went back and invested in a home in Budapest.

September/October probably my favorite time of year there and there is usually something interesting going on, the weather is good and the theaters are open.

The shuttle from Prague to Budapest may be the best option for your style and interests, so nothing wrong with that, but without stops it is every bit of a 6 hour drive. Train is about 7 hours. Flight is 1:10 starting under $100.

You have your Airbnb, but for a long stay like yours I think there is a lot of value in staying out of District V and avoiding Kiraly utca and Dob utca. Along the M1 metro is ideal, even far out on the M1 as its beautiful at the upper end of Andrassy. Oh, avoid Buda too. Just too far from things.