Berlin & Budapest for 8 days

Mar 7th, 2014, 08:42 PM
  #1  
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Berlin & Budapest for 8 days

Hi everyone,

My sister and I are going to Berlin and Budapest from 3/21 to 3/30. We get in to Berlin on Saturday afternoon on 3/22, and fly back from Budapest on Sunday morning 3/30. In-bound & out-bound flights booked, just need to book the flight from Berlin to Budapest.

Question would be how to split time between the two cities.

3/21 On plane from NYC
3/22 Land in afternoon in Berlin
3/23 Berlin
3/24 Berlin
3/25 Berlin
3/26 Berlin for some part of the day, and then fly to Budapest
3/27 Budapest
3/28 Budapest
3/29 Budapest
3/30 Fly back in the morning to NYC

Another question is which area to stay in while in Budapest. Our hotel in Berlin is set. For context, we are two girls (late20s/early30s). Any suggestions?

Thanks again everyone!
Suzy_Q is offline  
Mar 7th, 2014, 08:42 PM
  #2  
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Meant to ask above, do you all agree that the 26th is the right day to go to Budapest?
Suzy_Q is offline  
Mar 7th, 2014, 11:19 PM
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You can do a lot in either city. So splitting the time 50/50 is no bad idea. When in doubt, I'd rather add one night to Berlin than to Budapest from your current itinerary.


In Budapest, tastes for hotels differ but I think most agress that a central location in either Buda or Pest is a good idea.

Some may like the (usually more upscale) ones on the Danube, others in the small cobblestone streets of the castle hill.
While the latter offers many romantic locations, I personally find it a bit too "remote" (tongue in cheek).

I stayed mostly in the old Jewish neighborhood (roughly NW of Blaha Lujza tér if you look on Google maps) and liked its mix of old buildings, quirky shops and funky restaurants and bars.

It gets more upscale and fancy on either side of Andrássy ut., which is Budapest's upscale shopping street, between Oktogon and Bajcsy-Zsilinsky Metro stations.

The ring of Szent Istvan, Teréz, Ersébet körút somewhat marks the "border" between the city center and the more residential neighborhoods. Staying in any place on that ring can be noisy if your room faces the street.

Personally, I do not like the area around Vaci street that much, another shopping street, going SE from Vörösmarty tér as I find the restaurants and pubs/bars too "touristy". But that is a very subjective preference and not saying that the neighborhood was "bad". More like that the neighborhood which sports the Hard Rock Cafe is usually not the one with a very "authentic" feel. Its proximity to the Danube is often liked, though.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Mar 7th, 2014, 11:59 PM
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There is a bed and breakfast in an area I like near kalvin ter called the butterfly house (or some such thing). Friends stayed there and enjoyed it. (Budapest, if that wasn't clear)

I am a Pest fan vs. a castle area person. The Jewish neighborhood is nice in a quirky kind of way. I agree with avoiding Vaci utca.

You are fortunate to arrive just as so much construction has ended in the core of city. Parliament will be phenomenal. And we had such a warm winter the trees are budding. It will be lovely.

I would split the time between the 2 cities...
JulieCallahan is offline  
Mar 8th, 2014, 04:20 AM
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Suzy:

We have been to both cities, and I think you are right in the time allowed to each. If changing, I I would add half a day to Berlin, but this is just me.

Both cities are great, but Berlin is bigger and more important, museums are excellent!
jelopez33 is offline  
Mar 8th, 2014, 01:47 PM
  #6  
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Thanks so much, this is really helpful!

Based on your comments, we'll leave the split as is and fly to Budapest on the 26th. Don't want to shortchange Budapest too much, especially because we'll spend some time on the 29th packing.

Appreciate the detailed hotel advice as well.
Suzy_Q is offline  
Mar 8th, 2014, 11:00 PM
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You don't need to fly between Berlin & Budapest, with all the airport hassle.

Just take the sleeper train - centre to centre, saves a hotel bill, and is far more of a genuine European experience.

Leaves Berlin Hbf (just 10 min walk from the Brandenburg gate) at 18:22, arrives Budapest Keleti in central Budapest at 08:35 next morning.

Book online at www.bahn.de/en and print your own ticket. Just look for the 'EN' (EuroNight) train with 0 changes in the search results, leaving at 18:22.

Fares from 49 euros in a shared couchette compartment or from 79 euros per person with a comfy bed in a cosy & safe 2-bed sleeper with washbasin.

Take a bottle of wine and picnic with you into your sleeper in the evening, and have a blast - sure beats the stress of flying!
Man_in_seat_61 is offline  
Mar 8th, 2014, 11:37 PM
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If you take the plane to Budapest, be alert that non-licensed taxi drivers try to catch passengers in the arrivals hall after you leave baggage claim.
Do NOT use any taxi service by anyone who approaches you, regardless how "official" his "badges" look or how "helpful" he/she will act.
You will find the official taxi rank of "Fötaxi", the only company licensed for taxi rides FROM the airport, outside at the curb. Just follow the signs to the rank as you would do at any airport.
It costs appr 22-25 euros to get into town with a licensed Fötaxi cab, so it is quite inexpensive.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Mar 9th, 2014, 07:02 AM
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Just FYI.. The taxi rates for Budapest have gone up a bit of late... I am now spending closer to 30 euro. I tend to hop the bus and metro now...
JulieCallahan is offline  
Mar 9th, 2014, 08:12 AM
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Good to know, thanks for the update. I guess €30 will make me think about bus+metro next time, too.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Mar 9th, 2014, 12:58 PM
  #11  
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I love trains, especially in Europe, but I'm not sure if we want to do it on this trip, especially because we're limited on time. Plus, I'm seeing a flight from Berlin Schoenefeld to Budapest for only $95 on the afternoon of the 26th, which works out pretty perfectly timing wise.

Is Berlin Schoenefeld a pain to get to?

Either way, appreciate all of the advice on taxis in Budapest - thank you!
Suzy_Q is offline  
Mar 9th, 2014, 01:16 PM
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the train to Sch.takes about half an hour.
Not a problem . the airport is not much....
danon is offline  
Mar 9th, 2014, 08:41 PM
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I would fly this route. I spent an hour last night looking for trains on some upcoming trips... Invariably the overnight trains were about 3x the cost of a flight. The cost of a bed in Budapest is less than the sleepers adder.

Unless you book 90 days out or 92 days out exactly, it is hard to find the really cheap fares.... And even at 30 euro for a taxi, it is not exactly a bank breaker.
JulieCallahan is offline  
Mar 10th, 2014, 04:20 AM
  #14  
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Thanks all, yes, we're definitely going to fly. Going to book a flight on EasyJet.
Suzy_Q is offline  
Mar 10th, 2014, 04:21 AM
  #15  
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Does anyone have a preference between Air Berlin and Easy Jet?
Suzy_Q is offline  
Mar 10th, 2014, 10:08 AM
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I most often fly Air Berlin and the service is always very good. I have much less experience with Easy Jet. (They may be fine)... I wonder if Air Berlin has more flights on this route each day, and if so, I might pick them for that reason. In the event of a cancelled flight it may be less disruptive to your trip.
JulieCallahan is offline  
Mar 10th, 2014, 11:06 AM
  #17  
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Air Berlin has a 8am and 5pm flight, while EasyJet has the 2:35pm. We're debating between the two afternoon flights. Research and reviews online make it seem that EasyJet is generally reliable.
Suzy_Q is offline  
Mar 10th, 2014, 11:08 AM
  #18  
 
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In Budapest, tastes for hotels differ but I think most agress that a central location in either Buda or Pest is a good idea.

Well, that's quite a difference considering that Buda and Pest are on different sides of the Danube.

For two young women, stay near Deak Ter or close to Andrassy Utca on the Pest side. Deak Ter is the center of town and easy to reach from anyplace you'd want to visit. We stayed at the K&K Opera which is 50 meters from the Budapest Opera House and that was good because it's close to Liszt Ter (dining, entertainment options), Dohany Utca (Jewish Quarter) and easy walking distance to St. Iztvan's, the Parliament and the river. As a young adult, I wouldn't stay in Buda (the phrase "sleepy Buda and bustling Pest" from a guidebook comes to mind) not only because it is not lively after hours but because it also has fewer attractions.
BigRuss is offline  
Mar 10th, 2014, 12:42 PM
  #19  
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BigRuss, thanks for the tip. We are definitely staying on the Pest side, and close to river as possible. Looking into the Bohem Art Hotel at the moment....
Suzy_Q is offline  
Mar 10th, 2014, 01:50 PM
  #20  
 
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I flew EasyJet from Berlin( last summer) to Amsterdam and a year before
to Brussels....both flights were on time.
.
danon is offline  

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