Budapest

Old Aug 2nd, 2011, 10:59 PM
  #1  
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Budapest

Going to Budapest next summer using frequent flyer miles. We are used to driving in Europe. We wondered if it was worth renting a car and what we might see that was worth while around Budapest. We love great small villages and scenery and historic sites. How many days do I need for Budapest and the surrounding area? I am going to book within the next week or so, so any help would be great.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2011, 12:41 PM
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yk
 
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We spent 4 full days in Budapest (my first visit) and I thought that was a good length of time. We didn't travel outside of the city so I can't help with that.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2011, 01:31 PM
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There is very good public transportation in Budapest. If you are using Fodor's, be careful on the tram lines. Some of the numbers have changed since it went to print; the route descriptions remain correct.

I agree with yk, four days, not including day of arrival and departure, is about right for a first visit. Of course, we were relatively efficient because I travel with a Hungarian translator to whom I am related by marriage.

There are a number of day trips one can do via autobus (bus is a dirty word in Hungarian) or train. You might want to consider this because car rental is costly in Hungary because of the high and mandatory insurance. These can take you to some of the smaller places and historic sites.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2011, 01:58 PM
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you ar e visiting a country with a strong spa tradition for people, the question ought be which spas am I going to visit and how am I going to get there?
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Old Aug 3rd, 2011, 07:52 PM
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If you love great small villages you should visit Szentendre. About 45 minutes by HEV (cross-breed of subway car and a train) from Budapest, Batthyany Square. A part of the village has been kept in its medieval state. Otherwise labelled as "Town of Painters" with galleries and cafes, has an open-air museum that gives a feel of country life, called "Skanzen". Might want to spend a day here.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2011, 08:29 PM
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We made a trip to Central Europe several years ago in which we visited quite a few more rural areas. We began in Prague, then picked up a rental car and spent two nights in Telc (south of Prague), two nights in Olomouc (east), drove all the way across Slovakia and spent two nights in eastern Slovakia, visiting their most famous castle, Spissky Hrad. Then on to Eger, on the eastern side of Hungary. Then drove west, spent the night in Szentendre and visited the towns on the Danube Bend (our least-favorite towns of the trip). Then ended our trip in Budapest.

We enjoyed the smaller towns, and visiting a bunch of castles was our main focus - there are many in those three countries.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2011, 08:34 PM
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How many days do you have?
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Old Aug 3rd, 2011, 08:41 PM
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I spent 5 nights in Budapest. Left Vienna at a very early hour on a 'day tour' but I stayed in Budapest when the tour returned to Vienna.

I took a day trip to Szentendre by train. It was OK, not a 'must see'. In retrospect, probably would have done the wine towns for a day or two.

I could have spent a couple more days in Budapest to see the things that I missed.

Enjoyed Budapest very much!
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