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Hungary in 8 days

We are planning to spend five weeks in late August / September traveling by train from Zurich to Budapest. We prefer longer stays in one or two places in each country rather than a night here and a couple nights there. We will be in Hungary for 8-9 nights. Of course we will go to Budapest but would like suggestions for another Hungarian city were we could spend 3-4 nights.

Posted by
18859 posts

The usual choices are Eger and Pecs or maybe Tihany since it's summer. But given the size of Budapest I would limit a side trip to 3 nights with an early train back.

And forget borders. You are in Schengen. So if you want to go to Kosice or Graz for a night or two ... It's reasonable.

Posted by
27447 posts

I agree with Mister E on Pecs. I wasn't particularly impressed with the Lake Balaton area when I went there in 2018. I didn't have a car, which may have made a big difference, and I'm not much of a fan of resort areas unless the scenery is truly spectacular. Hungary has a lot of fascinating cities where I'd rather spend my time.

In terms of what there is to see, Budapest is definitely the most important city in the country, so I'd focus most of my time there. Three nights would be enough for Pecs, and if you aren't interested in decorative arts (it has a significant ceramics history), two nights might be enough for you. If you end up with extra time for Budapest proper (which I'd think unlikely), there are easy day trips to places like Szentendre, Visegrad and Esztergom

Posted by
18859 posts

The only place on Lake Balaton that I have visited so far, that I would go back to, is Tihany. And that I will go back any time. Beautiful. Think of Szentendre (but better) on a lake with an ancient abbey. And if you get lucky Angelina Jolie will be home (or Brad, not sure who got the house in the divorce).

Posted by
18859 posts

Sorry to keep popping up.

Did you say train from Zurich to Budapest? 10.5 hours on a train?

You can fly non-stop in an hour and a half for about $200. Or if you leave from Basel or Geneva there are discount carriers that start at about $45.

But I bet there are beautiful views. But do remember that sunset will be at about 4:30pm.

I didn't do a lot of research, but the first direct train i saw left at 10:40 (arrives at 9:19pm) which means the view is good for half the trip and it looks like you will reach Salzburg before it is totally dark.

The price was about $135 Second Class and about $220 for First Class.

Different folks enjoy different stuff. So, no wrong answer here, just pointing it out.