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Trip Report yk's Trip Report - 11 days of Art Nouveau in Vienna & Budapest Spring 2009

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Hi Everyone-

I just got back last night after a 13-day trip to Vienna and Budapest. This again will be a very long-winded and highly-detailed trip report as usual. I hope it will be interesting for some, and helpful for others.

Unlike most of my other trips which I traveled solo, I went on this trip with 4 relatives. We stayed at apartments on this trip, which greatly helped curbing the budget. The 5 of us didn't do sightseeing together the entire time, so I can only report on the things I saw and did.

I have been to Vienna once before for just 4 days, in November 2006; but never been to Budapest or Hungary. You can read about my 2006 Vienna TR here:
http://www.fodors.com/community/europe/yks-trip-report-to-vienna-with-a-24-hr-stop-in-london-nov-2006.cfm

I love Vienna, and really enjoyed my repeat visit this time, with much better weather and more time to experience the city. Budapest is... totally NOT what I had imagined or expected, both in a positive and a negative way. I am glad that we spent 4 full days there, as I grew to like the city more and more during our stay.

Here's a brief snapshot of what I did:
5.5 days of sightseeing in Vienna:
Schonbrunn, daytrip to Wachau Valley (Melk and Krems), Naschmarkt, KHM, Leopold Museum, MAK, Art Nouveau walk, Haydn House, Royal Crypt, City Hall tour, plus lots of cakes and coffee. In addition, I attended the Sunday mass at the Royal Chapel with Vienna Boys' Choir singing, an opera and a ballet at Staatsoper, and a concert at Musikverein (standing room!).

4 days of sightseeing in Budapest:
Heroes Sq, City Park, Buda Hill, St Stephen's Basilica, Synagogue, Chain Bridge, Parliament tour, Central Market Hall, evening Danube cruise, Museum of Applied Arts, Hungarian National Museum, House of Terror, Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Art Nouveau (aka, Bedo Haz), a soak at Szechenyi Baths, plus lots of cakes and coffee. I also attended an all-Mendelssohn concert at the famed Franz Liszt Academy, plus an opera at the Hungarian State Opera House.

As you can see, there's a lot I saw and hence a lot to write about. Plus, there are also plenty of photos for me to sort through, so I probably won't be able to start writing the full trip report right away.

But before I end here, a HUGE thank you to all of you who answered my questions (esp molker for Vienna), and all of you who have posted a trip report on Vienna and Budapest within the last few years. Chances are, I have read it and each one has helped, in one way or another, shape my itinerary.

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