is budapest as pretty as prague?

Old Dec 8th, 2004, 12:18 PM
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is budapest as pretty as prague?

we've been to prague and loved it. is budapest similar?
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Old Dec 8th, 2004, 12:26 PM
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No.
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Old Dec 8th, 2004, 12:42 PM
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I haven't been to Budapest yet but I am heading there in February. Of the group I am travelling with a few people have been to both and it's mixed on which city they prefer of the two. However, it seems a unanimous decision when it comes down to which one is the prettier of the two - Prague.
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Old Dec 8th, 2004, 12:44 PM
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For a whole novel more or less on this issue, look at Arthur Phillip's Prague. (I think he'd say the answer is no also.)
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Old Dec 8th, 2004, 12:45 PM
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The reason is that Budapest was more destroyed by WWII than Prague was, which was basically left intact.
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Old Dec 8th, 2004, 12:47 PM
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In a much different way, yes. Certainly, the Chain Bridge, the view to Parliament across the Danube and Castle Hill (particularly the Fisherman's Bastion) are spectacular. There is much more, of course. But, Budapest doesn't have the intimate charm that Prague offers.
Krakow in Poland would be closer to Prague in that kind of beauty.
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Old Dec 8th, 2004, 12:50 PM
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To expand on my earlier answer, Budapest is more raw. There is an old saying; In Vienna, the buildings are renovated all the way around. In Prague, the fronts are renovated; in Budapest, they aren't renovated. This summed it up when we lived there about 4 years ago. I have visited since and must say that Budapest is a beautiful city but in a very different way. It was part of the Austro Hungarian Empire and the buildings reflect that. The damage inflicted in 1956 is also still evident. Of course, it lends itself to the history. Both cities are wonderful and complement each other very well. I have often thought that a triangle trip to Prague, Vienna and Budapest would be a nice contrast.

If you go to Budapest, read Michner's 'Bridge At Andau" It describes the conflict very well and really will give you a different perspective on Budapest.

Cheers,
Jan
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Old Dec 8th, 2004, 12:57 PM
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Having visited both Prague and Budapest I really enjoyed Budapest in some ways more than Prague. Prague is maybe prettier,but that boat ride at night on the Danube with the Parliament Building in the background with the lights along the river is unforgettable. Both are wonderful cities in their own way.
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Old Dec 8th, 2004, 01:27 PM
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Prague seems to have retained a much more medieval feel and look than Budapest and there seems to be a lot more baroque adornment, lots of gold leaf, etc. Probably one reason the city has been used for so many movie exteriors, everything from Amadeus when it doubled for Vienna to the Bourne Identity when it doubled for Zurich.
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Old Dec 8th, 2004, 04:09 PM
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Having been to Prague and Budapest several times, I give the edge to Prague. Budapest is worth a visit, but the city took a beating in 1944 and 1956. The buildings of Parliament make a nice photo backdrop. The rest of the city however, has the panel apartments that are typical of anywhere Communists ruled. In Prague, due to the city remaining intact, the Communists did not apply their special architectural touch as much. Enjoy.
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Old Dec 8th, 2004, 04:34 PM
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When I was in Budapest -- twice in 2004, BTW -- I read that 30,000 buildings and all the cross-Danube bridges were destroyed in WW 2.


Of these -- some have been replaced (Soviet era uglies like the modern hotels along the Danube). But some have been meticulously reconstructed or restored (all the old town of Buda plus the Castle -- which was rebuilt around 1720, rebuilt after burning in 1848, then tripled in size in the 1880s, then burned out entirely in 1944, then rebuilt post-war)

Budapest is a city truly remarkable for the homogeneity and harmony of its streetscapes.

It is not medieval, like Prague. It sufferd so many sieges, floods, lootings etc that little remains of pre-1800 Budapest. But then in the mid-1850s -- after unification of Austria and Hungary -- came a huge wave of building as the population doubled, doubled again and went on doubling at about 30 year intervals up to 1914 and beyond.

The result is a city that is largely mid-Victorian, to use our term, but built in a grand imperial style -- street after street of Renaissance- style palazzi with an admixture of Art Nouveau, Art Deco and fanciful historicism.

I love it. But it's gritty.

You feel you are seeing a city in rebirth and the real tragedy of Budapest is not what was lost but that there is so much architecture that is uniformly worthy of attention. There simply is not enough money in the entire world to restore everything worth preserving!

I didn't mention the parks, the Danube, the food, the glittering and palatial hotels, the baths and 12 natural hot springs inside teh city limits........

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Old Dec 8th, 2004, 04:44 PM
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When I was to both in '65, I would have said Prague was more interesting. But, two summers ago, again, I was in both and found Budapest extremely charming. We stayed in the Castle District which was like going back in time. We didn't bother much with Pest.
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Old Dec 8th, 2004, 04:54 PM
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Prague is a grand old dame, well restored and freshly painted, whereas Budapest reflects the weariness of a city besieged by war. Of the two cities, my husband and I preferred spending time in Budapest. It felt authentic in a way that Prague did not. On the other hand, Prague offers short recitals or concerts, an hour or so in duration, set in palaces, with excellent local musicians performing.
Solution: Go to both!
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Old Dec 8th, 2004, 06:09 PM
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IMHO Budapest resembles Paris much more than Prague. While there are ceratinly a lot of older areas - there are also a lot of areas that seem to resemble the fin de siecle grandes boulevards - with the mansard roof apartment houses.
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Old Dec 8th, 2004, 06:28 PM
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I've been to Budapest three times and Prague two. I like Budapest better, but I would visit each again.
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Old Dec 8th, 2004, 06:30 PM
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Prague is very beautiful. But, I have not been to Budapest.
 
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