buying city cards

Looking for information on if I need to buy city cards for: Budapest(3 days) 29Euro Vienna(3 days) 20Euro
Prague(3days) 50Euro From my readings of Rick's book it seems good for Budapest and Vienna but no real mention of Prague. My needs are mainly transportation around the city and entry into some sights. Information from those who have and have not purchased these cards and do they recommend our would they do differently next time is appreciated.

Posted by Cliff
136 posts

I will probably go with the multiday pass as it does save time and worry when travelling on the metro and such. I am wondering if people feel the same about Vienna and Prague? James, your info is greatly appreciated and will be used tremendously in Budapest.-

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
4737 posts

There are two different kinds of cards: "city cards" and transit passes. The transit passes (which only cover transit, not admissions to sights) are almost always a good deal. This is particularly true in Budapest, where the pricing system is complicated and the fare checks are constant; just get a transit pass for the length of you stay, and you're set. The Budapest Card, Vienna Card, or Prague Card are more complicated. In each case, you have to look at what's included and what you will be seeing, then figure out if they are worthwhile. I haven't researched these recently, but when I was in Vienna (2004), that card saved me a bit (not a lot) of money. When I was in Budapest (2008), the Budapest Card would have been a total rip-off. And in 2007, I don't even remember Prague having a Prague Card. So, for Prague and Budapest, I used transit passes (which as I said above, saved me a fortune as well as saving me a lot of hassle). Again, these were my experiences with my itinerary - you have to look for yourself.

Posted by James E.
3243 posts

A three day metro pass costs 3,850 forints and the Budapest Card costs 7,900 forints; so you have to justify 4050 forint upcharge (about $18.00). I guess you might come close if you go to the zoo and buy some trinkets at the right stores. I twice purchased the Budapest Card. Neither time did I feel like I got my money's worth. I've been back to Budapest many, many, many times since then. Now if I have company that I am showing around I buy a standard multi-day pass. If I am alone I just buy tickets as I need them. I would suggest as a tourist you get the multi-day pass. They are cheap and you don't have to every worry about validating tickets. One trick I still use is that I purchased a cheap lanyard and a clear plastic name holder about the size of a credit card to hang at the end of the lanyard. I put the pass in the holder and put it around my neck. When entering the underground you will be asked to show a ticket or a pass. I just pull the card holder out of my shirt and hold it up and they pass me through (sometimes they actually read it but not always). On the trams you need only show it if you are approached by a gentleman with an arm band. And at this site there is a PDF file on the right hand side called THE GUIDE. Down load it and it has more information on how to use the metro.