I am planning a family trip in June/July and want to fly into either Budapest and then go to Vienna and Prague - or the reverse trip. Are there any benefits to starting in either location?
Nah. Whichever one you decide you want to see first is entirely up to you. Have a wonderful time planning and PM me with any questions-I've been to all 3-Budapest and Vienna multiple times, and Budapest is one of my favorite cities!
All three cities have their unique charm. But Prague is going to be wall to wall tourists in June and July. Do it first and then unwind in Budapest at the end of the trip (better food, thermal baths) How old are the family members? Here is a web page with some help for Budapest
Family members = two 50/60 year old parents and a 28 year old and a 25 year old. All foodies and, with the exception of me, love to hike mountains. I am OK walking alot, however! From what you say starting in Prague sounds like the best idea and then we can wander from there. Any rural settings that are not too far away that you could recommend on the way from Prague to Vienna to Budapest? thank you for your time.
Sure. One of the prettiest little towns in the world is Cesky Krumlov south of Prague. There are busses that make the journey a couple of time a day. It makes a great overnight trip. The Hotel Dvorak has a great view of the castle from its largest suite that might just hold all of you in style. There are buses a couple of times a day but if you drive or are driven you can visit some really lovely castles along the way. From Vienna the abbey at Melk is interesting as is the town, but my preference is the Archabbey at Pannonhalma which is located just outside the town of Gyor about halfway between Vienna and Budapest. Gyor is an excellent overnight destination and I enjoyed the abbey more than Melk. Getting there is easy from Vienna as there is a direct train and again on to Budapest on a direct train. From Budapest there is Eger, Tihany, Tata and the towns of the Danube Bend to name a few destinations. If you go to that website i recommended above there are photos of most of these places. Look for the country links at the top (CZ, etc). Then if anything is interesting to you let me know and I will dig up what I have on it and some more detail.
I have heard that Brno is a very good stop along the way, but I didn't have time on my trip. Budapest has wonderful food and great wine, all inexpensive. If you are wondering about time allocation, I found the most to do in Budapest and the least in Vienna, though I could have happily spent more time in all three locations.
Ii second Cesky Krumlov, great little town good local food, easy to get around, we stay a b &b on river starts with a "O" in Ricks book, sorry do not have the spelling, also between Prague and Budapest is Krakow, smaller then the other 2 , with a great square nice city to unwind. Have a great trip enjoyed Prague & Budapest a lot
Do it any way. I would go for one with cheaper airfare. Unfortunately Krakow is not on your way between Prague and Budapest but quite a detour.
I believe Jeff is referring to "Pension Olsakofsky" from the book,(see www.olsakovsky.cz), we stayed two nights and it was delightful (and inexpensive). Breakfast served in garden 15 feet off the Vltava.
The Hotel Dvork has a balcony room with stunning views of the castle. It is located adjacent to the bridge that goes across to the castle and they have a nice little outside cafe also facing the river and the castle. Here are some pictures. The night shots are from that balcony. budapestflat.shutterfly.com/cz2