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Day trips to Prague or Budapest from Vienna

Day trips to Prague or Budapest from Vienna

Mar 25th, 2002, 05:14 PM
  #1  
Tiffany
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Day trips to Prague or Budapest from Vienna

Has anyone had any experience with "Vienna Sightseeing"?
Do you know of any other company's in Vienna that offer day trips to Prague or Budapest?
 
Mar 26th, 2002, 10:46 AM
  #2  
Christina
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I can't swear to this, but I am 90 pct sure that is the company I took for a day trip to Budapest from Vienna (I looked at their web site www.viennasightseeingtours.com and the tours look familiar and so do the buses). The tour was absolutely terrific, the tour guide was a lovely multilingual young woman who knew a lot about the local area which she described in passing. It also included a local Budapest historian expert who told us about the sights in that city when we got there. The itinerary was excellent, we covered all the major sights of interest in Budapest and had several hours left over where we could do our own souvenir shoppings, etc. It started with a really nice overview of the city. The bus trip itself was in a very comfortable A/C bus and I enjoyed the country scenery. They also were very good about picking you up at your hotel in the morning (very convenient) at an appointed time. Upon return, I think we were left off in a central point where we could get a taxi or public transportation back to our hotel, I don't remember for sure -- but the pickup early morning was nice (as I'm not a morning person). It was a very pleasant and convenient way to see Budapest. I chose Budapest over Prague as it was a little closer and less likely I might be visiting there on my own soon. They had some other nice trips within Austria, also.
 
Mar 26th, 2002, 04:06 PM
  #3  
Tiffany
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Christina;
Thanks for the great info. I looked on their website and really want to do it. Did you pre-book? I will be in Vienna in about 10 days...should I book now or can I wait until I get to Austria?
Thanks again.
 
Mar 26th, 2002, 04:25 PM
  #4  
Leslie
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Tiffany, I don't know what the costs are for the Vienna Sightseeing excursions to Budapest are, however, I thought I would mention to you that the train ride from Vienna to Budapest is 3 hours one way, and the cost of a roundtrip ticket is less than $50. Since you mentioned this is a day trip, you'll be spending at least 6 hours on a bus (probably moreso, as the train is faster). Why not make the trip yourself, and stay overnight in Budapest, and spend almost 2 full days there before returning to Vienna. If you want to do a tour in Budapest, I can highly recommend Eva Tokody, who is a contributor to this board. I spent a full day with her last week, and can only praise her. If Eva is not available, TGV and Cityrama are two tour companies in Budapest, and they both offer half day tours.

This is just another alternative to save you some money.

Also, if you do decide to go to Prague, and want to go on your own, I can highly recommend another tour guide in Prague, but there are also many tour operators in Prague that you can get a half day tour with at a very reasonable price. Prague is not a city you want to visit for a day, you would want to spend at a minimum 3 days there.
 
Mar 26th, 2002, 04:54 PM
  #5  
Tiffany
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Leslie:
Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately, I only have time for a day trip to Prague or Budapest. I wish I could stay longer. thanks anyway.
 
Mar 26th, 2002, 06:05 PM
  #6  
Leslie
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Tiffany, if you only have 1 day to spend, then I suggest you do it on your own and take the earliest train out of Vienna to Budapest and the latest train back on the return. That would then give you at least 8 hours in Budapest, of which you could do a 3-4 hour tour with TGV or Cityrama, and then either go to a museum or two or spend the rest of the time up in the castle district, St. Matthias Church and the Fisherman's Bastion. Make sure that you go into the Hilton Hotel next to St. Matthias Church to see the ruins inside the hotel. Depending upon the time of year you go, you might even be able to fit in a 90 minute cruise along the Danube. This suggestion would probably save you a lot of money and give you more time to sightsee.
 
Mar 26th, 2002, 06:52 PM
  #7  
Ben Haines
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I second Leslie s idea. The Lehar Express leaves Vienna South station at 0715 and reaches Budapest Keleti station at 0948. You can breakfast well in the restaurant car, do the passport check there at table after you leave Vienna, and snooze in a compartment afterwards. You can take the same train back from Budapest Keleti at 1855 to Vienna South at 2126, or hang on for the Kalmam Imre Exress (no restaurant car) at 2010, to reach Vienna West at 2306. You choose which to take on the spot: your ticket is good for any train in either direction.

Please write if I can help further

Ben Haines, London
 
Mar 26th, 2002, 07:24 PM
  #8  
Tiffany
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Leslie: Thank you again. Do you know anything about a boat from Vienna to Budapest?
 
Mar 26th, 2002, 07:27 PM
  #9  
Tiffany
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Ben, can I e-mail you with more specifc questions?
 
Mar 27th, 2002, 07:46 AM
  #10  
Sara
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There is a hydrofoil that runs between Vienna and Budapest, it takes about five and a half hours. Here is a web site with schedules, fares, and other info that I ran across while doing research for my own trip to Vienna:
www.budapesthotels.com/touristguide/mahart.asp
 
Mar 27th, 2002, 08:51 AM
  #11  
Eva
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Tiffany, forget the hydrofoil. It is small, narrow, too slow to arrive early and too fast to enjoy the scenery. I've NEVER had a guest really satistied with it. The train is very convenient. I travel 3-4 times a yr the trip the other way to visit museums in Vienna, it is not tiring at all.
 
Mar 27th, 2002, 09:03 AM
  #12  
Christina
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Tiffany, I did not book ahead, I booked it in a travel agency office when in Vienna just the day before. This company is well-known in Budapest and travel agencies on the main pedestrian streets (the one I wandered into was on Karntnerstrasse) have their brochures. The bus was not full at all (this was July), so it was a very comfortable and personalized group (about 10 people, probably).

I really disagree with the above advice for you to do this yourself. Why? It will take longer, and you'll have to figure out and arrange all those things yourself (local tour, etc). You won't have the assistance and advice of the tour guides, it will probably take longer (buses are often quicker than trains in that part of the country, so you won't spend as much time in transit on the tour, most likely) AND it won't save you any money, it will probably cost. That complete tour is only 60 euro by Vienna sightseeing, which includes transportation, entrance fees to all sights, the guides and a lunch.

I personally don't see the advantage of doing it yourself, and a lot of disadvantages.
 
Mar 27th, 2002, 10:26 AM
  #13  
Billy Eric
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without getting into the specifics of traveling toeither Prague or Budapest, I would pick Prague any day over Budapest. Prague is absolutely magical, although one day...oy guvalt!
 
Mar 27th, 2002, 05:19 PM
  #14  
Leslie
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Being that I was in Budapest last week, I am a bit biased.

The reason it is a better idea to do this trip on your own instead of with a tour company, is that it is a quick trip by train and its much cheaper than going on a tour originating from Vienna. Also, a Budapest sightseeing tour operator is going to be a lot more knowledgeable about Budapest than one originating from Vienna. I need to correct myself, as the roundtrip train fare between Vienna and Budapest is about $25 and the train ride is less than 2.5 hours each way. A 3-4 hour sightseeing bus tour of Budapest will cost you no more than $15. Being that 100 forints is equivalent to 36 cents, that's correct 36 US cents, if you have any entrance fees to pay after the sightseeing tour, they are no more than 600 forints or $2.16. You can buy an all day transportation card for the trams, buses and metros for less than $2.

You'll spend much more time in Budapest and save money if you do it on your own. After you take a half day city tour, and you want to go back to the castle district, Fisherman's Bastion and St. Matthias Cathedral, all you need to do is take the funicular (included in the cost of the transportation card) up the hill from the Buda side of the river. But, you'll probably have your fill of that area from the city tour. If I were you, after the tour, I would go to the Ethnographic Museum which is directly across the street from the Parliament and also go to the National Museum and Great Market for shopping. St. Stephen's Cathedral, Hero's Square, and the Dohany Synagogue will be included in the 1/2 day tour. If you have any time left, then walk down Vaci Utca, which is the fashionable shopping street in Budapest.

Whatever you do, don't plan on going to Budapest on Monday if you want to go to any of the museums, as they will all be closed (except for the Dohany Synagogue and Jewish Museum -- however, these two venues are closed on Saturday).

And, if you want to eat lunch, that also will not cost you more than $5 for a 3-course meal, including a beverage.
 
Mar 28th, 2002, 02:16 AM
  #15  
Ben Haines
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Tiffany. Certainly you can e-mail me. Many do.

Ben Haines
 
Mar 28th, 2002, 03:30 AM
  #16  
Howard
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Interesting post here. I am no advocate for gruop tours, and would not follow this advice for myself, but for a lot of people, I think the tour for a day trip to Budapest to Vienna would be better than an independent excursion.

A day trip does make on ones own makes for a lot of logisitics to handle. Besides taking the train, one has to get oneself to the train station..so to use Ben's times above..we may be looking at a 6 am departure time from hotel in Vienna (of course it depends on where the hotel is in relation to the train station), then upon arrival in Budpest, one would have to get from train station to first sightseeing venue. In the evening..one would have to get back to train station, then in Vienna, back from station to hotel.

I don't like at all the suggestion of a group local group tour on arrival in Budapest. The suggestion was to go back to castle district on one's own. This entails seeing the same thing twice, and given a limited amount of sightseeing time, makes no sense to me. It also involves finding ones way to tour departure point and invariabley waiting around for a while for tour to begin. If going on onew own, jsut do it all the way.

Here is a possible (heretical???)alternative - dont go to Budapest..visit Sopron, Hungary instead..it is a small city just over the border from Austria (it is a Hungarian city with a lot of Austrain influence) with a beautiful inner corp..several small interesting museums..and a bunch of nice cates, etc. The train ride is only about 65 minutes from Vienna, and the walk from the train station to the center of town is about 10 minutes.

Of course Budapest is much more famous, grander, etc. but you may get more out of a trip where you can really get the feel for a place in one day, than in a trip to Budapest..where you will be stringing together a few sites, without really getting a feel for the place.
 
Apr 15th, 2002, 04:35 PM
  #17  
Chris
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Prague is 5-5 1/2 hours from Vienna by train, a day trip might be pushing it a bit!
 
Apr 15th, 2002, 06:42 PM
  #18  
sarah
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Ask the company to tell you how long the train trip to Prague is? Do you need a visa for either Budapest or Prague - they can be expensive.
And this is irrelevant - but I always wanted to take a day trip TO Vienna from Prague - which is a much more reasonably-priced city to stay in. Unfortunately, I've never seen any advertised.
 
Apr 16th, 2002, 09:13 AM
  #19  
Ben Haines
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A day trip to Prague from Vienna is possible, though gives it you two short nights, on the Pannonia Express.

Daily Vienna South 2115, Bratislava 2242 to 2355, Prague Hlavni (beware pickpockets) 0545
Monday to Saturday Prague Hlavni 2322, Bratislava 0529 to 0604 Vienna South 0715
The night trains have 1,2 and 3 berth sleepers.
You could lessen the strain but lessen also your time in Prague if you used a day train with restaurant car one way, Vienna South 0625, Prague 1050 or Prague 1758 Vienna South 2240.

Ben Haines, London
 
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