Prague or Budapest

Old Jan 1st, 2018, 08:06 AM
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Prague or Budapest

We were about to book our flights, but my husband found a comparison article that compared Prague and Budapest and now we are rethinking the first part of our summer vacation in July.

We had planned to fly into Prague, stay four nights, then take a train to Berlin for another four nights, then fly to Athens and spend twelve days in Greece, before flying home.

Now, we may want to give Budapest a look, combining it with maybe Vienna, Zagreb or spending a few days in Slovenia, before travelling to Greece.

Should we stick to our original plan or is my husband onto something?
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Old Jan 1st, 2018, 09:05 AM
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I loved Budapest. It was so much more than I expected - in terms of architecture, food, culture. It is a beautiful city with a lot to explore - the Danube (we took an evening narrated cruise), the bridges joining the 2 parts of the city - Buda and Pest, the market, and great restaurants that are relatively inexpensive. It is a grand city - spread out, walkable, interesting. Budapest also is home to what I believe is the 2nd largest synagogue in the world, beautifully restored, and a vibrant old Jewish quarter.

I liked Budapest much more than Prague. Prague's "main sites" are in a small area and it was very crowded with tourists when we were there last April. I found Prague to be touristy as compared to Budapest, which seemed much more of a "real, working" city to me.

Both cities obviously have an interesting history.
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Old Jan 1st, 2018, 09:06 AM
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I loved Budapest. It was so much more than I expected - in terms of architecture, food, culture. It is a beautiful city with a lot to explore - the Danube (we took an evening narrated cruise), the bridges joining the 2 parts of the city - Buda and Pest, the market, and great restaurants that are relatively inexpensive. It is a grand city - spread out, walkable, interesting. Budapest also is home to what I believe is the 2nd largest synagogue in the world, beautifully restored, and a vibrant old Jewish quarter.

I liked Budapest much more than Prague. Prague's "main sites" are in a small area and it was very crowded with tourists when we were there last April. I found Prague to be touristy as compared to Budapest, which seemed much more of a "real, working" city to me.

Both cities obviously have an interesting history.
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Old Jan 1st, 2018, 09:15 AM
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By contrast, we developed a severe dislike for Budapest in our week-long stay there last year. The synagogue was beautiful and memorable, but we found everything else to be dirty and unkempt, the people glum and unresposnive, the food tiresome and mediocre, and the places the guidebooks touted, like Marget's Island, to be bereft of interest or charm. Bratislava, on the other hand, was wildly enticing and beautiful.

Maybe we're spoiled living in Europe and being able to visit so many places and not needing to be awed off our seats by new places, but Budapest was just a big diappointment. Prague has always been wonderful.
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Old Jan 1st, 2018, 09:24 AM
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I adored Budapest. But I also treasured my time in Prague (4 full days, not 3), Berlin (5 full days, not 3), Vienna (5 full days), etc., and all those times felt a bit rushed to me. So the question is -- how would you fit it in? You are already giving your other locations little time, although perhaps enough for your interests?
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Old Jan 1st, 2018, 09:45 AM
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Thanks for your responses.

If my initial post wasn't clear, our plan was to spend 4 days each in both Prague and Berlin but now are considering spending 4 days in Budapest with 4 days in either Vienna, Zagreb or Slovenia.

Great advice and would really appreciate more opinions as well.

Thanks.
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Old Jan 1st, 2018, 09:46 AM
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Somehow Prague, Budapest, and Vienna seem to fit together, perhaps as all prt of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire. I'd do those three and then fly to Greece.
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Old Jan 1st, 2018, 09:53 AM
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I am another big fan of Budapest - have been four times. There are now more tourists than when I went the first time in 2004, but it's not as bad as Prague was - also in 2004 - and I'm sure it's worse now. Four days might be a bit long for Zagreb, but barely enough for Vienna.

If you opt for Budapest I highly recommend one of these apartments:

http://budapestvacationrentals.com/S...n_Rentals.html
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Old Jan 1st, 2018, 10:04 AM
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No bad choices, just difficult ones!

FWIW, of the locations you list, Zagreb is probably the least compelling -- and I say that as someone who enjoyed it. It just isn't, IME, of the same caliber as the other cities you are considering.

Please note that 4 nights generally gives you 3 days, not 4 days.
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Old Jan 1st, 2018, 10:06 AM
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Consider, Budapest was pretty much destroyed in WW2 and has been rebuilt.

Much less bombing in Prague and still has many of it's century old building intact. [13 century or earlier]

We liked Budapest, but have not been back since the middle 90's.

Prague, we have been 3 times and would go back.

www.inyourpocket.com/Prague

www.inyourpocket.com/Budapest
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Old Jan 1st, 2018, 11:05 AM
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For a place that supposedly was "rebuilt" Budapest has a lot of Art Nouveau buildings.
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Old Jan 1st, 2018, 11:07 AM
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They certainly do, but 30,000 building destroyed must say something.
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Old Jan 1st, 2018, 11:52 AM
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Way back in ‘65 we preferred Prague. Budapest was covered by neon signs and Pest’s building were riddled by bullet holes from the Russians in ‘56. In 2003 we stayed in Buda, up near the Hilton, and just loved it.
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Old Jan 1st, 2018, 12:09 PM
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Bedar, I recall those buildings with bullet holes.

When we got off the train, we took a taxi down the main street to our hotel.

It was said that the KGB stayed there. lol

We enjoyed Budapest.

Not sure, but I think I recall the Hilton being close to the river.
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Old Jan 1st, 2018, 12:13 PM
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If you want a western chain hotel the Marriott has a better location - on the Pest side, right by the river.
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Old Jan 1st, 2018, 12:21 PM
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No, the Hilton is up on the heights right near the Castle and Fisherman's Bastion. Walking around that area was like stepping back several centuries. Many, too many, antique shops. Finally told one guy that "I had better junk at home.". We only went down to Pest once in three days and rushed back to Buda and our fabulous and famous pastry cafe there.
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Old Jan 1st, 2018, 12:27 PM
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We were there over 20 years ago, but Yes, that probably was the hotel I recall, a Marriott.

I had another trip planned to Budapest and it was on the Buda side, a Starwood hotel, I think.

But, no more trips to Europe, unfortunately.
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Old Jan 1st, 2018, 12:37 PM
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I first visited both Prague and Budapest in 1993. I much preferred Prague then, but since then it seems Prague has been "discovered" whereas Budapest has not, at least, not so much. Prague without the tourists is fine. But not in July.
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Old Jan 1st, 2018, 12:43 PM
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"Maybe we're spoiled living in Europe and being able to visit so many places and not needing to be awed off our seats by new places"

That's what I love about being Canadian. Everywhere else we go seems so amazing.
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Old Jan 1st, 2018, 01:39 PM
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Hi xcountry,

We are from Montreal, so Europe seems a little less foreign to us
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