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Prague + either Vienna or Budapest?

We are going to Prague in mid-October, where our daughter is spending a semester abroad. We'd like to take in one other city - should it be Vienna or Budapest? Or somewhere else?

Posted by
269 posts

What do you like to do and see? Both Prague and Budapest are great cities, but each offers very different and unique attractions and atmosphere. Also, how long will you be staying?

Posted by
11 posts

We will be there 8-10 days. Would like to see Prague and the countryside, and spend 3 days in one other location. We like seeing the sights (churches, bridges, memorials, but not necessarily museums), walking, hiking, shopping crafts markets, sampling the local cuisine. So, if we have 3 days, would Vienna or Budapest be the better choice?

Posted by
590 posts

I would pick Budapest but that is just me. There will be plenty of things to do in 3-4 days and you could even spend a day going to Eger or half a day to Szentendre.
Vienna was nice, but I liked Budapest better. The best would be to read about both cities and pick which one has the most sites that interest you.

Posted by
655 posts

You have a very nice problem - they are both great cities to visit. A great solution would be to add just a day or two to your trip and visit them both.

Posted by
156 posts

Vienna is a very cosmopolitan city, modern, charming, very clean with an ample sprinkling of history and Austrian/European aristocracy. We consider it one of the most beautiful European cities that we've visited. Budapest is more "old European" and closer on the charm scale to that of Prague. We loved both cities. I agree with the above posting that suggests you pick one based on your particular interest. If you pick Budapest, try to work in a day-trip to Eger for a visit to the Valley of Beautiful Women wine caves. Be careful, tho, the hospitality of the Hungarian winemakers can sneak up on you!

Posted by
956 posts

Vienna would be closer to Prague than Budapest by at least a couple of hours.. We took a long but beautiful drive from Prague to Budapest in July. I really like both cities and agree with the above posters, take more time if you possibly can. I thought Vienna was a more expensive than Budapest, if that matters.
Munich is also a fun city.

Posted by
111 posts

I do think it depends on your particular interests, but I was in both places last week and preferred Budapest significantly over Vienna. Budapest has everything that Vienna does (history, arts, culture, shopping, restaurants, etc.) but it also has the baths and is a lot cheaper. Have a great time!

Posted by
11 posts

Thanks for all your replies, we are leaning towards Budapest. Now the only problem is getting there and back to Prague. Cheap flights Prague to Budapest only operate on Wednesday, and return only on Thursday. So I guess we have a long train ride on the way back. I'd rather fly back to the States from Budapest, but unfortunately Continental doesn't fly into Budapest... and we are trying to use frequent flyer miles for this trip. Any ideas?

Posted by
1365 posts

Vera - even if Continental doesn't fly from Budapest, one of their partner airlines should fly from there. I believe Continental is still part of Sky team until they join Star Alliance in the future - if so, then either KLM/Air France should work and you will have to connect in Amsterdam or Paris on the way back.

A stopover in Paris perhaps? This is the benefit of a frequent flyer ticket - a lot of airlines will give you a free stopover.

Posted by
956 posts

Vera, we found driving was easy. Yes, you have to pay parking in Budapest but we used a public garage there. We picked up a rental car at a big Prague hotel chain and it's easy enough with a GPS device. It's either a longish drive or a longish train ride but worth it!

Posted by
2023 posts

I agree with others that Budapest is cheaper. We had wonderful meals that were very inexpesnive and Our B&B was only about $60 per night. We found the city to be friendly and very relaxing. Wish we had added a few more nights. Prague,otoh, was not a friendly place but we enjoyed seeing it anyway.The architecture was beautiful.

Posted by
11 posts

Thanks for all the tips. I just called Continental and was able to book our trip using frequent flyer miles, into Prague and then out of Budapest. Couldn't do it online, but the customer service person was great and set us up. It costs $25 per person, but well worth it because this way we can fly directly back from budapest, and we get home the same day - no sleeping overnight at Charles de Gaulle!!!