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Prague & Budapest tour: how many days pre and post tour to hit highlights?

I am going on Rick’s Prague and Budapest tour in October. I am trying to figure out how many days to spend in Prague beforehand and in Budapest afterwards to see the major sites. I just received my guidebooks and would appreciate first hand knowledge.

In Prague, The tour does NOT do the Museum of Medieval Art, Havelska Market or the National Museum. I may want to visit all these.

My interests are architecture, markets and art.

Thanks in advance.

Posted by
2871 posts

We recently did a self guided tour of Central Europe. We spent 6 nights in Prague and 5 nights in Budapest. Along with your comprehensive RS itinerary we took a day tour from Prague to Terezin with Pavel Batel. It was the highlight of our stay. Pavel's storytelling style made this a tour of a lifetime. With your interest in architecture, markets and art I highly recommend guide Jason for his engaging city tour. www.livingprague.com.

Ah, Budapest. Wish we could have stayed longer. For more ideas see "Forum-Post Tour Ideas" 6/07/19. We also enjoyed the interior of the Hungarian Parliament. See a concert? Highly recommend guide Timea Tarjani that I mentioned in the 6/07/19 thread. So knowledgeable and personable.

Enjoy your tour!

** Edited to add: We found the guidebook "Top 10 Budapest" (DK Eyewitness Travel Guide) very helpful.

Posted by
19160 posts

I think Janis's suggested times are good. I spent about a week in each city last year, and I knew going in that I'd need to return to both of them.

Posted by
1969 posts

My interests are architecture, markets and art.

In Budapest, I spent hours in the Great Market Hall. In addition to foodstuffs, it has lots of handcrafts and tourist goods, including upstairs.

Posted by
4857 posts

I spent 6 full days in Budapest and didn’t run out of things to see. We didn’t venture out of the city on any day trips. I have never been to Prague.

Posted by
279 posts

I spent a week in each city and didn't run out of things to see/do. How much time and money do you have? :-)

Posted by
1524 posts

June a day trip to Dresden Germany from Prague which is about 1 hr 25 min by train is also a good option. Dresden is a baroque city with many museums and interesting sights to see.

Posted by
19160 posts

The direct EuroCity trains between Prague and Dresden take about 2 hr. 17 min. each way. I believe that's the fastest way to travel between the two cities. There are other routings involving two changes that take over 3 hours. I liked Dresden a lot, but I wouldn't choose to day-trip there from Prague because of a combination of too much train time and too many sights to cover in one day.

If your interest in architecture includes Art Nouveau, I highly recommend a visit to the Obecni Dum (Municipal House) in Prague and the Liszt Ferenc Academy in Budapest. Both have occasional English-language tours that could conceivably sell out. Pay the modest photo fee at the Obecni Dum; the architectural details are worth immortalizing. If you have to choose just one of the buildings, take the Obecni Dum. I didn't visit the Hungarian Parliament building, so I can't compare it to the other two; it's quite a bit more expensive.

Posted by
12538 posts

Prague requires 2.5 full days to see the top two thirds. Budapest 3.5 full days to see the top two thirds. Three fourths of those that I have spoken to, no matter how long they stayed in Budapest, say the wished they had stayed longer. A surprisingly large number returned within 3 years. 5 full days in Budapest isnt too much.

Posted by
1553 posts

In Prague, I second the suggestion to see the Municipal House (you can get behind the scenes tour tickets in the gift shop). It appears the tour covers this "when available" so ask your guide on the first day if you're going to go (then try to get tickets during free time). Frankly, I'd go twice, it was such a stunning building. I spent two full days in Prague ahead of the Best of Eastern Europe tour. On one day I took an organized tour to Kutna Hora. The tour guide was horrible, but I loved the small town and the train ride out and back. I also suggest getting up early to take pictures - I took some stunning shots of a basically empty Charles Bridge.

In Budapest, for sure go to the baths. Fantastic experience. It looks like you have pretty full evenings there, but if you decide to stay another day or two, I enjoyed sitting in the (very) cheap seats at the opera house. Our tour spent only 2 days there and I wished I had a full two days more.

Posted by
12538 posts

Actually the opera house is closed for at least one more season. So, go to the Budapest Operett Theater ... but buy your tickets as soon as they go on sale.

Posted by
2871 posts

CL and acraven reminded me that if you enjoy Art Nouveau, the Municipal House in Prague will check your box. It’s at the top of our favorite examples of exquisite architecture that includes the facade and interior. After touring we walked across the street to photograph the incredible exterior.

Posted by
763 posts

Thanks for the advice. I will add at least 2 days in each city.