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Vienna, Prague, Budapest 21 days

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May 4th, 2014, 01:49 PM
  #1
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Vienna, Prague, Budapest 21 days

First time visitors to these 3 cities. We love museums, architecture, cafes, castles, exploring cities. Wondering if 1 week in each city is enough or too much. Also trying to decide if we should start with Budpest and end trip with Vienna since Budapest is furthest afield. Would travel between cities be best by train, plane or automobile? By best, cost and time are factors. Will need a chillaxing side-trip such as Alps, suggestions for Prague and Budapest areas? Really appreciate all input. Thanks.
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May 4th, 2014, 02:32 PM
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Sounds like a great trip!

We are not huge museum people, and 4 nights/3 days was enough for us in VIenna. Depending on what museums you will want to visit, a week might be just the right amount of time for you. Or what a about a few days in Salzburg?

We had 4 full days in Prague, and were happy with that, too. We also spent a couple of nights in Cesky Krumlov, which we loved. I think you can do that as a day trip from Prague, but if you have the time, consider it as a separate short stay.

Even though my personal preference would be a car for convenience and side roads, you don't really need a car in any of these cities (it might cost you more to park it)...I would go by train.

Haven't been to Budapest yet...
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May 4th, 2014, 02:36 PM
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A week in each city is more than enough but it will give you the opportunity for trips outside the cities. I would take trains unless you're planning on going into the countryside where the train system doesn't exist or where it is difficult to make connections.

How are you fitting in a trip to the Alps? At the beginning or at the end? Where in the Alps?
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May 4th, 2014, 02:45 PM
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We spent 8 nights in Vienna with a day trip to Bratislava (via catamaran) and it was adequate time to see everything. In Budapest, we spent 5 nights and I also thought that was a good amount as there was less to see than Vienna.

Can't say about Prague since I'm only going this October... I can't wait though!
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May 4th, 2014, 03:40 PM
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I have been to all three cities. I had four nights in Prague, two in Vienna, three in Budapest. That was actually about right for me, but I didn't love Vienna. Didn't hate it - it's very pleasant just didn't ring my bell the way Prague did. Budapest was more interesting to me than Vienna and also more challenging but not as pretty or quaint as Prague. I started in Prague, trained to Vienna, then trained to Budapest. Very easy. You could certainly do it in the opposite direction too but I would still put Vienna in the middle.

If you are the type of person who likes to absorb a place by spending a lot of time there vs. speeding through more destinations in fewer nights, then I guess a week in each place would be about right. But you should get a guidebook for each and list all of the places that interest you. If one city has fewer interests for you than the others, perhaps spend less time there.

My personal preference would be either to add a few day or quicker stops (e.g. Cesky Krumlov) or add Krakow, another city I loved, though it adds a longer train connection either between Krakow and Prague or Krakow and Budapest. You could do 6-5-6 nights (or 6-6-5 or whatever you prefer) and add the extra nights to say Krakow.
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May 4th, 2014, 04:42 PM
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Huh? The trip from Budapest to Prague is 7.5 hours on the train, the trip from Budapest to Vienna is less than 4 and from Vienna to Prague is about 4. This means do Prague and Budapest first and last (or reverse) and Vienna in the middle.

No clue why you'd want a car IN any of those cities and why you'd want to incur the drop charge for renting in one country and dropping off in another.
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May 4th, 2014, 06:21 PM
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A week in each city is more than enough - it will give you time for at least one day trip in each. What you might want to do is start or end the trip with a few days in Salzburg (for the mountains)- taking one day from each of the other cities.

We would do this as a road trip - which we prefer (for the opportunity to see things on the way from one city to another). If you prefer trains look at bahn.de for schedules for trains in all of these countries.
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May 4th, 2014, 08:16 PM
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Here's an option: fly into Prague and out of Budapest or vice versa.

Prague
C Krumlov
Salzburg
Hallstatt and/or St. Wolfgang
Vienna
Budapest
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May 6th, 2014, 03:04 AM
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You could spend about 3 days or so in Salzburg and Halstatt. A day in Salzburg itself, a day in Halstatt and another one somewhere closeby in the Lake District. Or maybe Munich.
The Alps (or lower Alps) near the Lake District are amazing, very picturesque.
I would also recommend Graz and Wachau Valley as excellent day trips from Vienna.
You can have a look at my page here: http://ashwinbahulkar.wordpress.com/...ia-and-prague/
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May 7th, 2014, 03:40 AM
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Take a bus from Vienna to Brno (cca 3 hours long way), then go by train to Kroměříž (cca 2 hours long way), which is really beautiful city. From Kroměříž, you can take a bus (www.studentagency.cz) to Olomouc, another beatiful city in the Czech republic. Then you can go to Prague, I would recommend to go by train, either with www.regiojet.cz or www.le.cz.
I like both companies, Leo Express is a little bit expensive, but for sure more comfortable (and the crew speaks english)
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May 7th, 2014, 04:00 AM
  #11
 
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loads to do in and around Vienna - take the train to Baden and enjoy the spa, get the tram and bus out to the Kahlenberg and walk down through the vineyards to the Heurige [wine taverns] below, get the boat to Melk and see the monastery, etc. More than enough to do to fill a week.
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May 31st, 2014, 05:45 PM
  #12
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Thanks to all for your helpful comments. I am reconsidering date to August instead of Sept due to weather. Trade-off is crowds I realize...so much to contemplate.
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May 31st, 2014, 08:17 PM
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Crowds, higher prices, and warmer weather, I'd imagine.
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May 31st, 2014, 08:58 PM
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I would go in September if at all possible. Budapest can be miserable in August. Too hot, too crowded.
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May 31st, 2014, 10:10 PM
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clopido, have a look at the weather charts for Vienna : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vienna#...hy_and_climate
budapest: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budapest#Climate
September is a little drier in both the cities.
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Jun 2nd, 2014, 02:03 AM
  #16
kja
 
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Sorry to chime in so late, I've been away....

"We love museums, architecture, cafes, castles, exploring cities." Then I think a week might suit your interests in Vienna very well: It has some wonderful museums! And so much else!!

IME, many Fodorites don't allocate much time for museums or the interiors of castles or other buildings, so if those things of are interest to you, keep that in mind as you plan your time for this trip.
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Jun 2nd, 2014, 02:23 AM
  #17
 
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I am in agreement with Andrew having just returned from visiting Vienna & Budapest via a river cruise and then trained to Prague for 3 days. Vienna was okay but Budapest was absolutely lovely as was Prague.

Used a great tour company www.neweuropetours.eu for free tours tipping the guides at the end. In Prague we bought the 3 day metro/bus/tram pass for 13E and used it extensively finding it very easy to get around.
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