My friends and I are planning a spring trip to Europe. We are visiting a few different cities, but we are torn between Budapest and Prague. I've already been to Prague and I'd like to see a new, different city (in the same style) which is why we chose Budapest.
Prague vs Budapest - which place is better to visit? (aesthetically, cuisines, things to do, going out at night, etc). Is there another city we should try instead?
Trip Plan Details
- Pántlika Bistro47 Hermina Streetrecommended Pántlika BistroIn the back of Városliget City Park. I chose this restaurant for their steak (said to be very good) after a few days of goulash and paprika overdose but, once there, I couldn't resist...more ... read moregoulash!!! Atmosphere and decor aren't generally important to me when picking restaurants (it's all about the food, baby!) but I've got to say I was pleasantly surprised. Great ambiance, good food, highly recommended.Recommended for:
commented on this trip
Personally, I prefer Budapest to Prague but these things are really hard to say, different folks, different tastes and all that. One thing most people would agree on is they are "comparable" cities (it's not like you're choosing between Rio and Moscow, for example). Since it's comparable, go to the city you haven't been yet!!! That's I would do.
recommended BrnoRecommended for:
recommended IstanbulIstanbul has a permanent hold on my imagination. No place is at once more beautiful and dingy, frantic and laid back, romantic and mind-numbingly frustrating. I lived in Istanbul for three years, ... read morewhich were three of the most intense years of my life. I got to see all of the major attractions and most of the minor ones. I was able to delve into Turkish culture, learn Turkish history and earn a living in the meanwhile. I owe Istanbul my travel writing career and I shall never forget that debt.Rich Carriero
Istanbul, of course, is what I would recommend as an alternative. This is one of the true crossroads of the world and undeniably great experience.
- Széchenyi Gyógyfürdő1146 Budapest, Állatkerti körút 11, Hungaryrecommended Széchenyi GyógyfürdőThe Szechenyi Baths are one of Budapest's most worthwhile experiences. Budapest has a handful of thermal springs that were converted into baths by the Romans and have served that purpose ever since. ... read moreSzechenyi is located in City Park. The building itself is a handsome Fin de Siecle palace leftover from the Habsburg era. You can rent a locker or a cabana and towels. Outside there are two large pools, one of which contains a whirlpool. Inside, however, you are treated to a succession of hot tubs and baths of various temperatures. The interior is wonderfully ornate with columns, stained glass and iron fixtures everywhere. An afternoon at Szechenyi is as good as a massage and highy recommended.Rich Carriero
The number one reason to visit Budapest.
- Sziget FestivalHajogyari Sziget 23796/17. Hrsz., 1033 Budapest, Hungaryrecommended Sziget FestivalI've been to concerts and I've been to Lollapalooza but the Sziget Music Festival reigns alone as the best overall concert experience that I have yet experienced. I went in 2006 with my girlfriend at ... read morethe time (who is Hungarian) and a group of her friends. That year Radiohead, Franz Ferdinand and a bunch of Hungarian bands were playing. Sziget is held on a large island in the middle of the Danube. The lack of cars and interaction with the rest of Budapest make for a safer experience and really enhance the feeling of an overall experience. Over the years the festival has expanded to multiple stages and there are also many activities in which to participate. One of my favorite memories was rocking out in the Silent Disco. If you've never been to one, everyone gets a set of headphones which plays the music that everyone is dancing to. People dance and sing along, but if you take off your headphones you see a writhing, chaotic mass of people reacting to a secret melody.
- Memento ParkCorner of Balatoni Rd. and Szabadkai St., 1223, Budapestrecommended Memento ParkStatue Park is where the Hungarians dragged all of the statues from the communist era that they no longer wanted adorning their capital. It is filled with dramatic depictions of Marx, Engels, Lenin ... read moreand Bela Kun. Strolling the park at dusk feels like something from a James Bond flick. The ticket house has numerous communist themed souvenirs. The only drawback is that it's not in the center of town or easy to get to. You'll probably have to take a bus.Recommended for:History BuffsRich Carriero
I also prefer Budapest to Prague. Prague has great sites and food and is worth a visit but Budapest has more of a scene to it. Dining along the Danube, the Sziget Music Festival and the bar scene are superior.
- Danubius Hotel GellertSzent Gellert Ter 1, Budapest 1111, Hungaryrecommended Danubius Hotel GellertThis review is more for the Gellert pools, which can be accessed even if you're not staying at the Gellert. The outdoor public pools are located behind the hotel; one serves as an occasional wave pool ... read morewhile the other is more for kids or families who like calm water. There is a good amount of grass space and tables/chairs around both pools to lounge, and there's a cafe attached to the hotel in case you get hungry. Since Budapest in the summer can be unbearably hot at times, this is a great, affordable beach-alternative.Recommended for:Family Travelers
- Opera HouseAndrassy utca 22, Budapest 1061 Hungaryrecommended Opera HouseThe Opera House in Budapest is simply gorgeous. I saw "Salome" here, and there really isn't a bad seat in the house. The subtitles will almost always be in Hungarian, so as an English speaker ... read morewatching/listening to a German opera with Hungarian subtitles flashing off to the side, it can be a little confusing. My advice is to close your eyes and just listen, or to look around at the beautiful architecture.
- Central Market HallVamhaz korut 1-3recommended Central Market HallFor traditional Hungarian foods - think paprika and lángos - the Central Market Hall is the first place you should visit. I'm not a huge lángos fan but there are a number of stalls offering this ... read moredoughy snack, as well as everything else under the sun. Spices, vegetables, fruit, dried meats...the Central Market Hall is Budapest's largest indoor market, and has the bounty to prove it. On the second floor you can find more cafes and souvenir shops, including a beautiful selection of scarves and jewelry. Haggling is encouraged.
- Fisherman's BastionHunyadi Janos Ut, Budapest, BU 1011 Hungaryrecommended Fisherman's BastionDuring the day, Fisherman's Bastion is a beautiful place to come and walk the cobblestone streets of the Var, listening to the street musicians that like to perform around the area. At night, it has ... read moresome of the best views of the Danube and the city. There's a cool "museum of horror" around here too!Erin K
This has some of the best views of Budapest in the evening...
- Gerbeaud CafeVörösmarty tér, 1055 Budapest, Hungaryrecommended Gerbeaud CafeThe Gerbeaud Cafe is worth visiting just for the gorgeous interior design. Gold, marble, brocade, wood, and more gold covers this coffee and tea house, and you can nurse a cappuccino here for hours ... read morejust to look at it all. I've had coffee, hot chocolate, pastries, and cakes (try the traditional Esterhazy torte) here, and it has all been delicious. Perfect for a coffee date, a cup of tea with your mom, meeting up with your girlfriends or even sitting by yourself with a book and a cookie.
recommended BudapestSomeone once told me that Hungary is known for being the only country that was once surrounded by itself. True, they've lost a lot of wars, but what remains is a beautiful country with an even more ... read moresplendid capital. Budapest seems to embrace its growing popularity by saying, "We're here, like us or not, but we're not going to change." It still remains very Eastern European, and its occasional gritty areas are one of the things I love most about it. The views are phenomenal, but some of BP's more unique wonders are hidden underground, with elaborate, colorful graffiti decorating the metro and tram tunnels. I lived here for three years, and the only drawback I can really think of is the food - then again, I'm not a huge fan of goulash or palascinta. And they put sour cream on everything.Recommended for:Erin K
I much prefer Budapest over Prague - I think the city still maintains a lot of its Eastern European grit that hasn't yet been touched by too much tourism. And it is GORGEOUS. Here are a few recs!