Adding Budapest to Croatia Trip

Old Nov 5th, 2018, 05:51 AM
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Adding Budapest to Croatia Trip

We have 27 days on the ground in Croatia and Slovenia in April/May. We are flying into Dubrovnik (3 nights) and out of Zagreb. We are not planning on island stops in Croatia due to the time of year. After 3 nights in Split we plan on car rental for 4 nights in Saravejo, 1 night in Mostar, 1 night in Plitvice, 4 nights in Rovinj, and 6 nights in Slovenia. We had planned on spending a few nights in Zagreb before flying to London.

i am now considering eliminating the Saravejo portion and taking a roundtrip to Budapest, returning to Zagreb for our last night before leaving Croatia. I understand the train between Zagreb and Budapest is dependable and comfortable.

So my question is: Budapest or Saravejo? We are in our 70s and see a short time for a long bucket list and Budapest is near the top.......
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Old Nov 5th, 2018, 09:07 AM
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I have not been to Sarajevo yet. Like your plans we are visiting at the end of our Croatian trip in the Spring. I have been to Budapest and really like it. Our time there was quite a while ago, so I can't provide current info, but many friends have been there these last couple years and they have all loved it. Sarajevo does sound fascinating to me. There are several day trips to the countryside that we plan to take. Can't help you make your decision, sorry. Nice ot have such options from which to choose.
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Old Nov 5th, 2018, 04:22 PM
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Personally, I don’t think you have a bad option here (although others might disagree). That said, here are some things you might consider:

- Most people find it much harder to get to Sarajevo than to Budapest, and Sarajevo fits rather easily into your plans. In contrast, Budapest “works” with any number of trips to central Europe.

- IMO, Sarajevo presents a more interesting contrast to the other places you plan to visit – like Budapest, it bears the mark of a number of different cultures, but there’s a greater overlap with the other destinations that were once part of Yugoslavia. To put that differently, Sarajevo would, I think, allow you to observe some of the more subtle variations in the region, whereas Budapest would be more obviously different.

BTW, you don’t need a car for Sarajevo or Mostar: You can travel by train and / or bus. And those modes of travel give you the opportunity to really see some absolutely stunning scenery without worrying about the roads. You would likely need the car for Plitvice, Istria, and parts of Slovenia.
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Old Nov 6th, 2018, 05:02 AM
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I have only been to Sarajevo once, and to Budapest a few more times. All else being equal, I might choose Sarajevo. Why? For me, the Baščaršija, the old bazaar was my first hint of the "exotic;" prior to that trip I had only been to the well-traversed destinations in Western and Central Europe. Budapest is nice as part of the Prague-Vienna-Budapest triple ticket to round out one's Imperial experience.

Not to muddy your plans (too much), but I might drop Zagreb (or reduce the nights) in favor of more of the Istrian peninsula; the towns of Koper and Piran sparkled on our visit in late April last year. Zagreb, to us at least, felt a little bit like a smaller version of Vienna. For these towns, though, having a car is necessary.

​​​​​​​Happy Planning!
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Old Nov 6th, 2018, 01:19 PM
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considering whether to take the bus to Saravejo and Mostar which would involve bus to Split for our next stop. One complication is our dates in Dubrovnik: We arrive on the early evening of 18 April and will be leaving on 11 April for either Saravejo or Split. I understand the catamarin from Dubrovnik to Split does not travel on Sundays in April and that Monday is considered a national holiday “Easter Monday”. So I am wondering if there will even be a bus on Sunday or Easter Monday to Saravejo or Split. I am thinking a rental car may be our only option.

Along the same vein, we are in Dubrovik for 4 nights. We really don’t want to battle cruise ship crowds. Is 4 nights too long?

The best laid plans.......
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Old Nov 6th, 2018, 01:21 PM
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Oops, should be leaving 22 April (Monday).
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Old Nov 6th, 2018, 02:56 PM
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I didn't fall in love with either Sarajevo or Budapest, to be honest. As a photographer, I'd say Budaepst is more picturesque (e.g. the breathtaking view from the hills in Buda down across the Danube to the Pest side). But Sarajevo's unique and important place in modern history tips the balance to it otherwise. Budapest certainly has its share of history, of course, but World War I didn't start there. Nor was it the center of a major war less than 30 years ago. I thought the history in Sarajevo was "must-see" but I'm a history buff.

Plus, Sarajevo is part of the Balkans - part of the former Yugoslavia. If you want to understand the war(s) in the 1990s in the Balkans, you can't really do that without a visit to Sarajevo.

But if Budapest is at the top of your bucket list and you won't have many more chances to see it? Then go for it. It's your vacation, not mine.
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Old Nov 6th, 2018, 04:07 PM
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I, for one, far preferred the scenery between Split and Dubrovnik as seen from the bus, not the sea. And for my tastes, 4 nights would definitely be too much in Dubrovnik. IMO, that city takes about 1.5 days, more if you want a day trip. have you checked the cruise ship schedule? thursdaysd has frequently posted it.
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Old Apr 8th, 2019, 05:26 AM
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If it is not too late, I would chose Sarajevo. The recent history was incredible, and the surroundings were quite beautiful. It was so different from other places I had been. I did like Budapest. But, my opinion (no haters), most buildings are new and copies of old buildings as the town was utterly destroyed during the war, and it has a big party reputation. It was fine, but Sarajevo was just amazing. We did a private day tour with Tours By Locals there, and LOVED it. (traveled myself, husband, & kids... 15, 18, 23 last summer)
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