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Vienna, Prague, Budapest - Which Two??

Old Jan 14th, 2004, 01:55 PM
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Vienna, Prague, Budapest - Which Two??

My husband and I are planning a trip to Europe in May and would love to do Vienna, Prague and Budapest. However, we'll only have 8 or 9 days and I don't think we want to do so much moving around on such a short trip, so we're trying to pick 2 of the 3. We've never been to any of them, altho we've travelled quite a bit around other parts of Europe. I have no idea how to decide!

Can anyone offer suggestions? We're in our early 30's, love fine food and wine, good music clubs and bars, art and architecture, getting lost wandering through old cities... I think all 3 places probably have what we're looking for. How do we choose??
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Old Jan 14th, 2004, 02:31 PM
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I'd probably pick two that are closest together. That means you would probably have Vienna as one choice, and either of the other cities as your other destination. However, if you really want to see all three, spending 2 or 3 nights in each one isn't all bad. They are close enough to be easily reached by train in a few hours, or by plane in less than an hour. Good luck.
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Old Jan 14th, 2004, 02:36 PM
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Thanks Wayne... Does anyone have thoughts on staying in Vienna and Prague, but doing the hydrofoil day trip to Budapest from Vienna (returning by train at night)? Is it worth going to Budapest for such a short time? We love the water, so the idea of a boat ride is appealing.
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Old Jan 17th, 2004, 06:16 AM
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With little more than a week, I would visit just one of the three. I believe in quality over quantity. Also, you have an excuse to go back and visit the others next year. I have visited Vienna numerous times and Budapest once, and I promise not even a week is enough time to really experience these cities and their environs. Also, it is less stressful to just check-in to one hotel for a week and not worry about constantly packing and unpacking.
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Old Jan 17th, 2004, 06:23 AM
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I haven't done the hydrofoil, but have talked with people who have who didn't like it. Boat trips are nice, but the hydrofoil is essentially a loud and bumpy ride and you're packed in low unable to see anything. I could see doing a regular boat trip, but you'd need a lot more time, and I think the area of the river between Vienna and Melk is far prettier than the area between Vienna and Budapest anyway.

I love all three cities, but if I had to eliminate one, it would be Budapest. The other two just seem to offer so much more in my opinion.
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Old Jan 20th, 2004, 08:09 AM
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Vienna and Budapest are the closest together. Praague is an 8 hour train ride from Budapest. Budapest is one of my favorate cities in Europe but does require several days to savor it. Prague is also charming and can be visited in 3 or 4 days but there are several day or 2 day trips to take from there.
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Old Jan 20th, 2004, 09:18 AM
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Hi circle

You could take the train to Budapest for an overnight and then go on to Prague - 6hr by train.

There is also a night train.
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Old Jan 20th, 2004, 09:52 AM
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I've been to all 3 and would probably choose Prague and Vienna first. Prague is my very favorite. I was in Budapest for only a day trip from Vienna and think it is definitely worth it to do that if you want to see it without moving. You can see the main highlights, which are quite impressive, in that time and get a feel for the city and what you might want to do if you return. I would not take a hydrofoil, but I don't like them myself (they are bumpy and not enjoyable, for me). I took a day trip through Vienna Sightseeing Tours and the bus ride was quite enjoyable to see the countryside. It was pretty cheap. It was a full day's schedule, about 8 am to 8 pm, and you had about 6-7 hours in Budapest.

I would not move to Budapest and then take the train to Prague because that's in the opposite direction so that wouldn't be a logical itinerary for me. I think the train between Budapest and Prague is more like 7 hours and you can't afford that kind of time if you only have 8-9 days total.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 12:22 PM
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I was in Prague and Vienna last fall and loved both cities. We were 4 nights in Prague, 5 nights in Vienna. A friend did Prague and Budapest, and enjoyed Prague a lot more than Budapest. We flew to Vienna by Cz Air, was a short flight.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 12:39 PM
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You are smart to try to choose...I went on a 10 day choir tour of Berlin, Leipzig, Vienna, Prague and Budapest...better than not visiting at all, but certainly not enough time. I liked Prague and Budapest best because they seemed the most "foreign." Also, at least at the time (8+ years ago,) the dollar stretched the furthest in Prague.


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Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 02:48 PM
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I've been to all 3 places. I think your most logical choice would be the Vienna/Budapest duo. That would also give you time to visit some of the interesting cities along the Danube between the two cities. I think that people need to realize that these countries have so much more to offer than just the capital cities. Save Prague and the Czech Republic for another trip. there are many interesting places to visit in the CR and you could easily make a trip just of that. We spend 12 days in the CR alone. By the way, I really liked Budapest, and we have visited twice.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 03:24 PM
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I went to all in the same trip. It does make a lot of sense to do a combination of Budapest and Vienna logistically. Still, if you want to know my favorites - don't leave out Prague. So far, including Italy, I rank Prague only behind Paris and Venice among my favorite European cities. It really is one of Europe's most beautiful and enchanting cities. I really liked Budapest too, but I prefer Vienna on the whole because of its architecture. Either of the last two will require several days to appreciate, so you are right to only visit two.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 04:11 PM
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I absolutely loved Prague. You would love the architecture and the music. Wandering around the old city is great. The one area where Prague would suit your taste is culinary. The food is AWFUL. If you feel, as I do, that a city with fantastic architecture makes up for bad food, then by all means go to Prague. I have never been to Vienna, but also like Budapest. The architecture there is 19th-20th century, beautiful but less historic and "quaint" than that of Prague. The food in Budapest is very good; try palaczinta, which are like crepes.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 04:48 PM
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We're planning a trip to all three in April. It looks like if you take the early train out of Prague to Vienna, it's only 4 1/2 hours. Budapest isn't that far from Vienna, only a couple of hours via train.
My friend from Vienna just sent me this web site of Vienna. I'll post it just to make your decision that much harder... www.wien.gv.at/english/.
We've divided up the time, 3 1/2 days in Prague, 2 in Vienna and 4 in Budapest.
Isn't it fun to plan a trip to these awesome cities?
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Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 06:17 PM
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To mcgeezer
We are planning a trip April too. Are you worried about Easter?
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Old Jan 23rd, 2004, 09:28 PM
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Easter Sunday is the 11th and we'll be going after Easter. So if the part of Easter I should be wary of is the vacation crowds we will miss them.
Other than that, I have no fears of Easter.
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Old Jan 28th, 2004, 12:31 PM
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Thanks to all of you - this is so helpful! We're still not 100% sure, but I think we're leaning towards doing Budapest and Prague this time, and saving Vienna for the next trip, possibly in combination with Germany. I'll keep you posted, and I'm sure I'll have lots more questions.

Of course, what we REALLY want to do is quit our jobs and just travel all the time!
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