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Best Connections between Prague, Vienna and Budapest

October 31, 2018 Travel Deals No Comments Email Email

Over the past few years, the route between Prague, Vienna, and Budapest has been actively gaining its audience. Tired of going to packed with tourists hubs in Western Europe such as Paris, Berlin or Amsterdam, today’s travelers are aiming at off-the-beaten-path destinations that often also offer more affordable vacation opportunities.

Touching each other’s borders, Czech Republic, Austria, and Hungary give the travelers a chance to experience a good range of cultural diversity while not requiring a lot of complicated commutes. The three countries, each speaking a different language, are full of architectural landmarks, rich history, flavorful cuisines, unique events, and entertainment options.

Sometimes referred to as The Golden Triangle of Europe, the three destinations are also convenient to travel between them. Although you can fly, still trains and buses should come to your mind first.

Traveling by bus

First, it has to be mentioned that it is better to start your trip either in Prague or Budapest and visit Vienna in between. This way you cut your travel times between the cities by half as the distance between Prague and Budapest is almost 550 km which is double of Prague – Vienna and Vienna – Budapest routes.

A bus is the most affordable way of traveling in Central Europe. Namely, you can find the tickets for 8 to 20 Euros. The average journey time from Prague to Vienna is 4,5 hours, while the one from Vienna to Budapest is 3 to 4 hours. The second most beautiful thing about bus services in Central Europe after the price is their schedules. In fact, you can catch a bus every 20-30 minutes, which is good to know because when you are traveling not everything goes smoothly and sometimes being 2 minutes late might result in another 24 hours spent on the station or another 50 – 100 Euro wasted on a hotel room. So here it’s not the case.

If your route happened to include the leg from Prague to Budapest or vice versa, you should be prepared for a 7-hour bus journey. But here is good news: although the distance doubles, the prices still stay below 20 Euro per ticket!

Unlike some time ago, now bus tickets can be easily booked online, no need in buying them at a ticket office and struggling to explain yourself without the knowledge of a local language. While this might sound unbelievable to an English-speaker who is used to being understood almost everywhere, but for example in Hungary until now many people don’t speak English, especially older generations working for government-owned companies, including bus and train stations.

Traveling by trains

Although the prices for trains are generally higher than for buses everywhere in the world, trains certainly provide more comfort to the travelers. A Prague to Vienna train will cost you around 70 Euro, and the same goes for the Vienna – Budapest one. However, if you have ever traveled by high-speed trains, you would understand the value of a smooth train journey.

As to the Prague to Budapest route, there is only one direct train per day, and it is overnight. But instead of making your trip lengthy and inconvenient, the trains on this route offer sleeper cars represented by three classes, including the Deluxe cabins equipped with private showers. Regardless of the class, all passengers are provided with sleepers, free bottled water and fresh sets of linens.

Just like for the buses, the train tickets can be purchased online both through direct operators and through the resellers who generally provide more convenient booking.

What to do in Prague, Vienna, and Budapest

No matter what means of transport you chose, the most important is the experience you get in each of the places. When in Prague, relish its Gothic atmosphere and the legacy of Franz Kafka which you can find all over the place, starting from museums to themed hotels and restaurants. Make sure to sample the local beer from some of the numerous breweries spread around the city. Do not miss the first ever opened in Europe absinth bar and try the “Green Fairy” the way it is supposed to be consumed. Finally, go the beaten track and check out the Charles Bridge as well as the castle on the other side of it.

Vienna is Europe’s capital of music. If you get a chance, see the performance in Vienna Opera House. If you don’t, stop by any church or cathedral and listen to a symphonic concert there. To breathe in the imperial past of the city, visit a few of Vienna’s palaces, including Schonbrunn Palace and Belvedere Palace. The latter would also be of interest of art lovers, housing the most extensive collection of Austrian Art, including 24 works by famous Gustav Klimt. Those who would love to see the development of the modernist movement starting from Art Nouveau era are welcome to the Leopold Museum.

Once in Budapest, try real goulash before you do anything else. Discover both Buda and Pest with its landmarks, including the Parliament building and luminous Fisherman’s Bastion. Street music, an incredible bar scene, and quickly developing contemporary art – this is Budapest. Ruin pubs is another unique feature of Budapest. The concept of these places is basically in using the abandoned buildings for recreational purposes. Usually, they are huge, decorated with the things “donated by the owner’s friends,” and consist of multiple outdoor and indoor spaces. Make sure you check them out!

One last thing to mention: Prague, Vienna, and Budapest are major European hubs, which means that getting there shouldn’t be a problem.

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