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Budapest and then on to Vienna or Prague?

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Budapest and then on to Vienna or Prague?

Old Feb 25th, 2009, 02:39 PM
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Budapest and then on to Vienna or Prague?

Hi all, I'm tagging along with my husband on a business trip to Budapest in mid-May and would like to fit in one other city on the trip. I'm leaning toward Prague but also thinking about Vienna. Would love to hear opinions either way and also curious if anyone has taken the train from Budapest to either city. Thanks!
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Old Feb 25th, 2009, 02:43 PM
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Oh, wow - what a choice! Having been to both I would lean towards Prague but have not been to either by train from Budapest so cannot respond on that part of your question.

Both are magical but there is just something about Prague that stole my heart even more than Vienna.
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Old Feb 25th, 2009, 03:06 PM
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Hi Kanuck; The train for Budapest to Vienna only takes a few hours. Then it's on to Prague that might be another three hours, on the train. Depending upon what country your from, you may need a 'visa' to go thru Slovakia. Prague is one of our favorite cities. If it's Vienna, Hotel Konig von Ungarn is in a great location, just off the old square. www.kvu.at/ iris1745/dick
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Old Feb 25th, 2009, 03:41 PM
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Hi Kanuck,
I visited both Prague and Vienna this past December. I must say, I loved both cities, but they are very different. Prague is a little more funky and outgoing while, to me Vienna is more reserved. Both are beautiful and you really can't lose either way, but it depends on what you like. I felt that the art, culture and food(especially the cakes!)were better in Vienna. The nightlife, shopping(budget wise) and architecture were better in Prague. Good luck and let us know what you decide.
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Old Feb 25th, 2009, 03:53 PM
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We visited Prague, Vienna and Budapest in that order about 5-6 years ago. We flew to Prague, trained to Vienna, then trained to Budapest and flew home from there. We loved Prague, there truly is something magical about it. Budapest was also very special in its own way. Vienna was our least favorite (and most expensive), but I must admit we did enjoy what we saw and did there. I have files on all three cities. If you're interested e-mail me.
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Old Feb 25th, 2009, 03:58 PM
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I've been to all three and my vote would go to Prague, however you need to look at what each has to offer and made your decision on your personal tastes. Prague I want to go back to and unfortunately I can't say that about the other two cities. It's not that I didn't like them...just like other cities better. I will say I loved Schonburn Palace in Vienna and all the outdoor cafes. We took the train from Budapest to Prague. It was about 7 hours and for us went very fast, we spent some time in the dining car relaxing with a drink.

Have a wonderful trip.

Whatever you decide, have a wonderful trip.
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Old Feb 25th, 2009, 03:59 PM
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I got interrupted in my response...clearly I need the preview button.
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Old Feb 25th, 2009, 05:18 PM
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Both are great cities. My vote would go to Vienna. I would suggest you go to a book store and look at both cities and what appeals to you most as an individual and make your decision from that. I think different things appeal to different individuals and you need to decide which fits you best. We took the train to all 3 and each city was wonderful. Tough decision.
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Old Feb 25th, 2009, 05:26 PM
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Hi kanuck, I have visited Budapest and Prague twice and Vienna once. It's definitely a hard decision; as others have noted, Vienna and Prague are quite different but wonderful cities. I would choose Prague, though. You may prefer Vienna, so yes, do some internet or bookstore/library research to determine what appeals to you most. Whatever you decide, you will have a wonderful experience. (I have not done train travel between any of these cities, though.) Of the three cities, I found Budapest the least expensive and Vienna the most expensive.
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Old Feb 25th, 2009, 05:46 PM
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We visited the three in 2006. It would be difficult to choose among them. For us, Prague and Vienna might slightly edge Budapest.

I'd call Vienna (although the Viennese would be greatly insulted by this) the San Francisco of Europe; my wife and I are generally urban travelers and Vienna seems to compare to London (my favorite city) the way that San Francisco compares to New York; i.e., Vienna is sophisticated but also charming (Strudel, the Third Man tour [if you're film buffs], the Emperor's summer house The Schonbrunn Palace, etc).

Prague is, and seems, a smaller and a more walkable city (though Vienna does have a fine underground system). Our highlights were a tour of the Jewish Quarter and the opportunity to watch and listen to Dvorak's "New World" symphony and Smetana's "Ma Vlast" where they were originally written and performed.

All three cities have sometimes scary but often fascinating memories of both the Nazis and the more recent Russian occupations. This history is a bit closer to our own.

I ultimately would have a tough time choosing just one of these three cities, but I'd be happy to share any info on our more specific lodging and tourist experiences.
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Old Feb 26th, 2009, 01:33 PM
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Wow - thanks everybody! I have done a little research on both and was leaning toward Prague - happy to hear that most people agreed. I think we will fly as we only have 8 days total. Any suggestions on where to stay in Prague? Looking for something mid-price and ideally central as we love to explore by walking around. Also interested in attending an opera or some other type of musical performance - any suggestions on how I would go about getting info/tickets? Thanks again,
kanuck
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Old Feb 26th, 2009, 01:43 PM
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Hi kanuck; I forgot to give you this web site with a great 'download' for Prague. Lots of information you are looking for. www.inyourpocket.com/ iris1745/dick
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Old Feb 26th, 2009, 02:43 PM
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Bishops' House, here's the website: http://www.starshotelsprague.com/index_en.php

It's literally 60 meters or so from the western entrance of the Charles Bridge and only about 100 meters from some nice restaurants on Kampa Island. Walk time to Old Town Square is 10 minutes.

Aren't there semi-inexpensive flights between Budapest and Prague? There weren't when we went in '03 but I thought that changed. The train took about 6.5 hours -- the fast train (and it was on-time). The former Soviet satellites do not have high-speed rail lines with TGV/Thalys-like trains whipping through the countryside at 165+ mph.

Iris is right, get the In Your Pocket guides. The ones available on-line are highly abridged; the full ones are available in the cities themselves. And hotels in the cities generally have them available for free.
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Old Feb 26th, 2009, 03:38 PM
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Hi; BigRuss is probably right. Go to the site, click on 'Prague' and then 'instant' in the upper right and you can download much information. iris1745/dick
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Old Feb 26th, 2009, 06:05 PM
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Hi Again Kanuck,
I stayed at the Old Town Square Hotel in Prague. I absolutely loved it. The rooms are huge and the staff is very nice. You can't get a better location and you can walk to everything. I don't know if it's within your budget but I think the websit is www.otsh.com Good Luck.
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Old Feb 26th, 2009, 08:08 PM
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I've been to all three and Prague twice. Obviously, my choice would be Prague- it's a great city with lots to do. Vienna is a bit more upscale and imo, a little more boring than Prague.
We took the train from Prague to Vienna and then on to Budapest. It'll be a great trip no matter which one you pick.
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Old Feb 26th, 2009, 08:15 PM
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I would pick Prague over Vienna any day if you can take the time to get there. It is a magical city with much history. The people are charming. We found Vienna cold and very Germanic---not our style at all and would never return.
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Old Feb 26th, 2009, 09:22 PM
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I would pick Vienna in May. Prague was simply much too crowded for us, the main sights were mobbed from morning til night. Vienna was as beautiful (in a more stately way), more relaxed, and has better museums, music scene, and restaurants.
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Old Mar 1st, 2009, 02:22 PM
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Thanks all - this has been very helpful! Special thanks BigRuss and elcon for the hotel recommendations - both very central and look great (although quite different from each other!).
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