Trip to Prague and Budapest

Jan 10th, 2004, 05:05 AM
  #1  
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Trip to Prague and Budapest

My friend and I would love to go to Prague and Budapest, and are on a fairly strict budget. We would like to stay in small hotels and/or pensiones and east at moderate, family type restaurants, nothing fancy. Can any one give us an idea of what our daily expenses would be? We'd like to take some day tours, so that would have to be added to our budget. And also the train or bus fare to Budapest.
If we have a better idea of what the trip will cost, we can better judge when we will be able to go (time to save).
Any help would be greatly apprectiated.
gone is offline  
Jan 10th, 2004, 05:18 AM
  #2  
 
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I'd allow a minimum of 75 USD per day for your overall average expenses for the two of you, plus the round-trip fare for Budapest at about 35 USD per person. If you had some way to raise your savings to something closer to $100 per day, you'd be more likely to have a little reserve. Good luck.
Wayne is offline  
Jan 10th, 2004, 05:44 AM
  #3  
 
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If you're planning to stay for more than 3 days rent an apartment. You can often find these at a very inexpensive rate.
Instead of hiring tour guides you could do some good old fashioned reading. Although, tour guides can offer some interesting insight to a city there is nothing like being prepared. If you read and hire a guide you'll have a much more interesting time with the guide. There are many books available about the history and it's fascinating.
Take a sleeper train to Buda and save on the hotel room.
mcgeezer is offline  
Jan 10th, 2004, 06:54 AM
  #4  
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Thanks so much for the help. Wayne, I just want to make sure I understand, do you mean $75 EACH or total for the two of us?
We want to enjoy our trip, so if $100 would be better, we'd just wait a bit longer and save a bit more before going.
Also, I hadn'te thought about B&B's. Do they have them there? Or would pensions be the best bet? We don't really want to go rock bottom and stay in hostels, and don't want to watch every penny.
Mcgeezer, I had not thought of apartments either. It sounds like a good idea. That way, we could have many of our meals at home.
We love to read about our destinations, so we will take your advice and start reading.
Thanks again. Any other ideas?
gone is offline  
Jan 10th, 2004, 06:59 AM
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I'm not sure about Budapest but in Prague it's possible to rent a room in a family's apartment from the tourist office. A friend of mine did this and loved it . She got a large bedroom, bath and breakfast in a great fin de siecle apartment very close to the the old town for next to nothing. (They even did laundry for her - tons of stuff for only $5 - the cost of a single pair of panties in a hotel.)

I would check with the tourist offices to see if they still offer this option.
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 10th, 2004, 07:31 AM
  #6  
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Oh what a great idea. Not only is it good for the budget, but meeting and staying with local residents would be a real bonus. I like this idea.
Thank you.
gone is offline  
Jan 11th, 2004, 07:42 AM
  #7  
Rod
 
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nytraveler's idea is a good one. In Hungary, the national tourist agency offices are called "Tourinform". They have a web site with good information, including accommodation, at www.hungarytourism.hu

Day trips run by tour companies can be excellent, but might push your budget farther than you would like, although I do think the 1/2 day tour of Budapest is worthwhile for the overview it offers. An alternative would be to plan ahead with a good guide book or two and use public transport. Within Budapest, you can do quite well with a transportation pass, and the train to Szentendre runs frequently, is fast and cheap.

You also might want to check the Thorn Tree boards at Lonely Planet's site.
Rod is offline  
Jan 11th, 2004, 09:11 AM
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Take a look at the www.athos.cz web site. You may find some good tips there. Prices seem to be reasonable and the convinience could save a lot of time, which I find valuable when traveling.
smontroy is offline  
Jan 11th, 2004, 10:16 AM
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Those are two of my favorite cities in Europe! I was in Prague about 10 years ago and we stayed in a house near the center of town. I can't remember how much it was but I do recall it was CHEAP. We had our own bathroom and the Czech couple served us breakfast in the morning. They didn't speak much English but that helped us learn some Czech. If you travel by train you will find plenty of people at the train station asking if you are looking for a room.

My boyfriend and I were just in Budapest in Sept. and we stayed in an apartment for $50 a night. Full kitchen, bath and living area separate from bedroom. We were originally booked in one, walked to it after getting our key, didn't like it and they let us stay at another one which was much better. Food and drink is very inexpensive in Budapest. I recommend going to the Hungarian House of Wine. You pay about $18 and you walk through a HUGE wine cellar and pour and taste from over 70 open bottles! We took a 1/2 day bus tour for $18 and it was well worth it. We saw parts of the city that we wouldn't have seen on foot. Transportation is cheap and easy to navigate.

Hold on tight to your handbag and luggage in the train stations (and elsewhere)! I am a savvy traveler and I almost fell victim to a scam. One guy tried to distract me while my purse was open while the other reached into my purse and grabbed my wallet. I grabbed him and screamed and he dropped it. Feel free to email me if you have additional questions at [email protected]
eurotraveller is offline  
Jan 11th, 2004, 01:18 PM
  #10  
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Thanks everyone for the information and great ideas. I think a half day tour is a good idea and then do the rest on our own. I always think an initial tour really helps. As long as we budget for these things, even if it means waiting longer to go, then we'll be ok. We will have to be careful, but don't want to go on a bare bones budget.
gone is offline  
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