We will be traveling in Europe and my grandmother would like to meet us for a week or two for eastern Europe. What city would be the easiest for her to fly into and for us to pick her up? She would like to focus on Vienna, Prague, and Budapest for art and culture. She will be flying from Az. We would also like to rent an apartment in one of those cities so we can take time without rushing. Are there any suggestions or reviews you have? We have plenty of time in early November but budget is a consideration. Thank you in advance.
Have her fly into Prague and out of Budapest open jaw'd. Taking a train between the cities is very easy. I think it's about 175 miles to Vienna and another 150 miles to Budapest.
I agree with the open jaw ticket, and with starting in Prague. Prague can be crowded and hectic so its best to get it out of the way. Budapest is the most laid back and a great place to end the trip. The train from Prague to Vienna is about 4.5 hours and the train from Vienna to Budapest is about 3.5 hours. Both routes are fairly modern, clean and comfortable; even in Second Class. The following link is to the website of a company in Budapest that manages vacation apartments owned by foreign nationals. These are the prides and joys of their owners and as such tend to be a little nicer and a little better located than those that are fully commercial. They handle my apartment and so I can say with a lot of knowledge and confidence that these are good decent and honest people. Its actually a Brit husband and his Hungarian wife. We love them dearly. http://www.budapestholidayservice.com/
Keep in mind that both Prague and Budapest have a flat side and a hilly side. Traveling with an older person I would get your hotels on the flat side of both cities.
The flat side of Budapest is PEST (the hill is BUDA, together they are BUDAPEST). Pest is where you should stay on your first visit.