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Prague, Vienna, Budapest: the best itinerary

Vienna, Prague and Budapest are three cities that you can visit on the same trip. Do you know where to start? I'll tell you everything you need to know about this popular circuit.

María Cano

María Cano

9 min read

Prague, Vienna, Budapest: the best itinerary

View of Prague | ©Matthew Hutchinson

You have heard dozens of times about the famous Vienna - Prague - Budapest tour and you have finally decided to do it, congratulations! I assure you that you will enjoy this trip to the fullest, but do you know what is the best route, how much a tour of these cities costs, the best way to move between the different places, how many days you should spend in each city or the best time of the year to make this itinerary. Below, I will tell you everything you need to know for your trip.

Excursions between Prague-Vienna-Budapest

In Prague| ©Alicia Julián
In Prague| ©Alicia Julián

There are many options to discover these three beautiful cities of Eastern Europe. Since the complete circuit is usually more expensive because of the planning involved, most organized tours usually take you from one city to another in a round trip. Depending on where you stay you can choose one or another destination. I show you the most requested excursions:

Which is the best route Prague-Vienna-Budapest

Czech Republic| ©Thomas Depenbusch
Czech Republic| ©Thomas Depenbusch

If you have doubts about where to start your trip, don't hesitate, start your itinerary in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. From there, head to Vienna, and put the finishing touch to a perfect itinerary in the capital of Hungary, Budapest. Prague and Budapest are the farthest apart, so ideally start with one or the other and visit Vienna in between.

As for why to start with Prague and then go to Vienna and finally to Budapest and not the other way around, it is a decision taken from analyzing the price of the means of transport, since the train, the most recommended means of transport, has better prices from Vienna to Budapest than from Budapest to Vienna. It is curious since only the direction changes and not the route, but it is so. Even so, the price difference does not exceed 10-20€.

  • Distance from Prague to Vienna 333 kilometers.
  • Distancefrom Vienna to Budapest 242 kilometers.

Book an excursion to Vienna from Budapest

What is the best way to travel between the cities?

Prague Metro| ©El Gran Dee
Prague Metro| ©El Gran Dee

To move between the different cities, do not hesitate to opt for the train as a means of transport. It is the most economical and comfortable way. However, you can also opt for other possibilities such as the bus, which is somewhat more uncomfortable but cheaper.

Train

The direct train from Prague to Vienna takes about four hours and the price of the journey depends on how far in advance you buy your ticket, although it is from 15 - 25 euros. There is a high frequency from the first train in the morning, which departs around 4:30 am, until the last one, which takes place around 7 pm.

You can check the timetables online from the Omio website. Although you can also look for them on the official website of the different companies that provide this service: OBB Railjet, RegioJet and České dráhy.

Similarly, to go from Vienna to Budapest, the best option is to opt for the train, whose duration is approximately two and a half hours and the price is between 20 - 30 € depending also on how far in advance you buy it. Check all schedules and prices on the OBB Railjet website.

  • Prague Central Station... Praha hlavní nádrazí.
  • Vienna Central Station... Wien Hauptbahnhof.
  • Budapest Central Station... Budapest-Keleti pályaudvar.

Bus

The bus route from Prague to Vienna is also very frequent, departing every hour from 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. and lasts approximately four hours. Regarding the price, it is between 10 - 20 € per ticket. The companies that cover this route are Eurolines, RegioJet and Flixbus.

Likewise, the companies that cover the route from Vienna to Budapest are also Eurolines, RegioJet and Flixbus and the price of the ticket is from 10 - 15 €. Buses depart from 5:00 am to after 11:00 pm and there are also some early morning services.

  • Train from Prague to Vienna
  • Four hours
  • 15 - 25€
  • First train at 4:30 am
  • Last train around 7:00 p.m.
  • Train from Vienna to Budapest
  • Two and a half hours
  • 20 - 30€
  • First train at 5.00 am in the morning
  • Last train around 11 p.m.
  • Bus from Prague to Vienna
  • More than 4 h.
  • 10 - 20€
  • First bus at 4:00 a.m.
  • Last bus around 8 p.m.
  • Bus from Vienna to Budapest
  • About 3 h.
  • 10 - 15€
  • First bus at 5.00 a.m. in the morning
  • Last bus around 11 p.m.

What is the best time to do the circuit?

Morning at Charles Bridge| ©R Boed
Morning at Charles Bridge| ©R Boed

The best time of the year to do the Prague - Vienna - Budapest tour is in spring and autumn, as the cold is not as extreme as in the winter months and these are times when the scenery and colors of these cities are more beautiful than ever. In addition, there are not many tourists, so you can visit all the cities comfortably: their different monuments, parks and attractions.

On the other hand, winter is an option as long as the cold is not something that conditions you, since temperatures are quite extreme in these months of the year. Even so, Christmas is lived in style with markets, trees and all kinds of decorations. So if your trip coincides with Christmas can be an option

Regarding the summer, there are many tourists so I do not recommend these months of the year for your visit. However, the temperatures are more ideal than at other times of the year. Do not hesitate to check the temperatures in Prague, Vienna and Budapest before starting your trip.

Book an excursion to Prague from Vienna

How many days should I spend in each city?

Karlovy Vary| ©R Boed
Karlovy Vary| ©R Boed

On your trip to Prague - Vienna - Budapest I recommend that you dedicate a total of 4 to 5 days to visit the city of Prague. The city has plenty of places to visit. In addition, you can take the opportunity to make an excursion to a nearby place like Karlovy Vary or Tezerin and, most importantly, it is a city to live it and soak up its atmosphere, so that number of days is ideal.

On the other hand, in the city of Vienna you have many monuments, palaces and sites to visit. Therefore, I recommend a minimum of 3 days and up to a maximum of 5 days.

Finally, I would opt for between 3 and 5 days to visit the city of Budapest, depending on the plans you want to make in the capital of Hungary: if you want to visit the best spas in Budapest, take a cruise on the Danube...

In my opinion, it is the ideal and essential time to discover all the corners of these magical cities with tranquility and make the most of the stay in the different imperial capitals.

  • How many days to visit Prague... 4 - 5 days.
  • How many days to visit Vienna... 3 - 5 days.
  • How many days to visit Budapest... 3 - 5 days.

Book a tour to Budapest from Vienna

How much does a trip to these cities cost?

Buda Castle, Budapest| ©Dimitris Kamaras
Buda Castle, Budapest| ©Dimitris Kamaras

A trip to the city of Prague can be very economical depending on how you approach it, both in the case of accommodation and day to day: meals, attractions ... Thus, from 25 - 70 € you can get to have covered all the expenses of the day. In fact, you can stay in a 4 or 5 star hotel from a price of 40€ per night. Regarding meals, it is easy to find dining options for less than 10€ per person.

Regarding Vienna, it is a city with very high prices. In my case, I opted to stay in an apartment to save on the price of some meals and I was glad. Staying in an apartment is usually more than 50€ per night. Regarding meals, it depends on how you think about it, but it will cost about 15€ per person.

On the other hand, Budapest also has very cheap prices, I would say that not as much as Prague but quite similar. When looking for a hotel there are several options and the prices are economic, approximately as in the case of Prague, from 40 - 60€ per person. Regarding meals, you can eat from 10 € per person.

Book an excursion to Vienna from Budapest

What will I see in Prague, Vienna and Budapest?

Jewish Quarter of Prague| ©Ryan Hyde
Jewish Quarter of Prague| ©Ryan Hyde

Prague, Vienna and Budapest have an important number of places, monuments and corners to discover. So, do not hesitate to create your itinerary very well before starting your trip so you can make the most of your stay in each of these cities.

On the one hand, in Prague you have to visit the Prague Castle, stroll through the Jewish quarter of Prague, visit the Charles Bridge. But you have to start by going to the Old Square, a unique place that will surprise you. In addition, you can take a cruise on the Vltava River.

Vienna has many places to visit. In your itinerary through the city do not hesitate to go to Schönbrunn Palace, Beldevere Palace, St. Stephen's Cathedral Vienna. On the other hand, in the Hofburg Palace is the Austrian National Library, which left me totally amazed. In addition, you can take the opportunity to go to the Vienna State Opera, which has guided tours on certain days of the week and you can even queue to see a show. On my trip, after a queue of about an hour and a half I got to see 'The Barber of Seville' at a price of 4 €. A gift I will never forget. Also, if you are a lover of architecture, do not hesitate to go to the Mozart House, as well as wander through the Naschmarkt Market.

Regarding Budapest, you should not miss one of its spas but you also have to visit the Buda Castle, visit the Gödöllo Palace, see the Hungarian Parliament or the Church of St. Matthias. In addition, you can take a cruise on the Danube. If you have doubts about where to start, start your trip with a tour.

  • Prague
  • Visit Prague Castle
  • Stroll through the Jewish Quarter
  • Visit the Charles Bridge
  • Stroll around the Old Square and wait for the rush hour in front of the astronomical clock
  • Take a cruise on the Vltava River
  • Vienna
  • Schönbrunn Palace
  • Beldevere Palace
  • St. Stephen's Cathedral Vienna
  • Hofburg Palace
  • Austrian National Library
  • Vienna Opera House
  • Mozart House
  • Naschmarkt
  • Budapest
  • Go to a Spa
  • Be dazzled by the Buda Castle
  • Visit the Gödöllo Palace
  • Visit the Hungarian Parliament
  • Enter St. Matthias Church
  • Take a cruise on the Danube

Tips for this tour

Train| ©THE STEPHEN J MASON
Train| ©THE STEPHEN J MASON

When making the circuit Vienna - Prague - Budapest I recommend you to take into account a series of tips that, next, I indicate to you so that you take advantage of to the maximum of your experience:

  • Make the journey between the different cities by train.
  • Do not forget your camera at any time. The best snapshots will be taken where you least expect them.
  • Take a backpack and not too much luggage, since it is a trip in which you have to move, change your stay several times, take different transports and it is always more comfortable to carry a backpack.
  • If you have the opportunity, choose the spring and autumn seasons to travel, since there will be less tourism and the temperatures will not be too extreme.
  • Define very well the itinerary of your trip before the beginning.
  • All three are cities with a lot of history and, therefore, I recommend that you do not miss the different tourist tours so that you know all the details.

Book an excursion to Vienna from Budapest