I will be traveling in October and need an entry city. What would your choice be between Prague, Budapest or Munich?
As an"entry city" I can't imagine much difference. Possibly a few more flights into Prague. If you are that flexible then select on cost and flight schedule.
I've never been to Munich. I've been to Prague and had no problems with the airport or transportation. Prague for me is sort of a hectic place so I would put it to the front of the trip. I go to Budapest several times a year and am use to the airport and transportation so I have that bias in saying its a snap. I always schedule Budapest at the end of my trips because its such a comfortable, laid back and civilized place. BUT, its also sort of a second home so I have that bias too. I would do Munich, Prague then Budapest and I wouldn't dream of anything less than two full 24 hour days in each town; three in Budapest, but like I said I'm biased.
Munich - the city and the airport are awesome. Not sure what you mean by "entry city" - just responding based on what I think each has relatively to offer. Munich is huge and super green - tons of space devoted to parks, which makes it very pleasant.
Munich is probably a good choice, assuming airfare price is comparable. the airport is very easy to navigate, and you have good public transportation to get into town, or if you rent car the hotels by the airport are well priced. i have never used the airports in prague and budapest, but judging from the train stations they're not in the same class as munich. overall germany is just like the US (transportation, hotel, quality of life, etc), maybe certain things are even better.
Ages, David; did you have any particular problems in Prague and Budapest?
Thank you for the posts. I am using points, so I can fly into any city. I usually fly into one city and out of another. These 3 cities are what I am looking at and trying to decide which. I will spend 2 days at my entry city.
None of them are particularly hard to "enter." If I'm reading you correctly and you plan to visit all three, I'd pick the one with the best flight prices and the one that fits with the rest of your itinerary. Yes, Munich is more "developed" than the other two (it's been richer for longer), but the others are catching up fast. One thing that was very important under Communism was mass transit within cities, so I didn't find Prague or Budapest any harder to get around than Munich was (trams take you where metros don't go, and buses go where trams don't go). And while the train stations in Budapest and Prague definitely leave something to be desired (or did in 2008 and 2007, respectively), their airports are in much better shape than their train stations. While I share James's high opinion of Budapest, I don't' agree that Prague is too busy or stressful (I love Prague and Budapest equally, but for different reasons). I didn't care for Munich (one visit was nice enough, and I LOVED the Deutches Museum, but I don't need to return).
Prague is beautiful, I just didn't care for the number of tourists or the number of Brit. stag parties. Keleti Station in Budapest isn't really any worse these days than Paris Nord. But I guess that's isnt a complement.
Hi, I've seen in travel magazines (if that is supposed to mean something) that Munich airport is one of the very best in Europe. Among the three listed I vote for Munich. Certainly its main train station, München Hauptbahnhof, is one of the top ones in Germany.
I try real hard not agree with Fred but he is correct in that the airport in Munich does rate well in the reviews. usually right under Amsterdam. Some of those same reviews rate Frankfurt and Heathrow well also, which makes me question. ...... I did notice that some of the comments pertained to shopping opportunities which I really think is more of a nuisance than anything else. Still the Germans do have an ability with efficiency. I am currently sitting in the Budapest airport. It took 25 minutes to get here from. my apartment in District VI , it cost about $26 in taxi fare. I used the self check-in computer for boarding passes, took 2 minutes to check my bags and under 5 minutes through security. Nice new terminal opened a year ago. Lets hope Frankfurt goes as well as I broke my own rule and have a one hour layover. I would worry more about planning the trip and less about the airports, they all function just fine and I would be more concerned about connection times for your flights. 2 to 3 hours is my preference but I try and travel in such a way to be stress free (and I have club passes).
Keleti pu is much more attractive than Gare du Nord. I've been to Keleti pu only once r/t but didn't have the time to explore the station as I have done with numerous train stations in Europe. What I saw briefly was impressive enough vis-a-vis say Paris Nord, which has nothing going for it, even in its refurbished, renovated state compared to 30 years ago, except that it's practical and convenient as a station for the EuroStar, a hub for the Metro, RER, (going to CGD), the bus system (which you take when you want to avoid the Metro), and SNCF for going into northwest Europe and northern France, eg., to Amiens, Arras, Compiegne, Abbeville, Douai, Lille, etc., and as a junction point. Even Gare de l'East as a station is more attractive and pleasing than Nord, both having been expanded and renovated. At least outside Paris Est you can that good Alsacian food.
Any of these cities could be an entry city. More flight choices with Munich.
Doug, I think it's pretty hard to suggest what would be the "best" entry city without knowing what you are doing - are those the only places you plan to visit, do you plan on renting a car, flying between the cities, or riding the rails?
Thank you everyone for your suggestions. I have decided on Munich.