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owenburnett's avatar

Should I visit Berlin > Vienna > Budapest?

Asked by owenburnett (162 points ) January 7th, 2014

I’m planning a trip to Europe this spring (April/May) and I’m thinking of going to Berlin, Vienna, and Budapest. I’d like some advice from you fellow travelers:
1) Do you think those 3 cities would make for a good trip or could you suggest something better? I absolutely loved Munich and want to visit Germany again, hence why I chose Berlin. The other two cities I picked because I’d want to visit them some day (and by general vicinity), but they’re not a must. I could fly cheaper to Dusseldorf or Frankfurt, but I honestly don’t know much about those two besides chocolates.
2) If I stuck with those 3 cities, what are the must sees in each? I’m planning on spending 4 days in each. I think I’d want to catch the Vienna Boys Choir perform (or is that overrated?) and visit the biggest bath in Budapest.
3) I’ll be traveling alone to Europe for the first time. The other times I’ve gone, I wasn’t traveling alone. So, I want to try something different like finding a host family, staying with them, and getting to see the city through a local’s eyes. How do I go about doing that? Or are any of you in the cities I mentioned above and would like to show me around?

Thanks for any advice you can give!

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12 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

You should add Dresden to the list. Guaranteed bomb free.

johnpowell's avatar

Prague… Go to Prague.

whitenoise's avatar

You might want to watch ‘The Sound of Music’ and add Salzburg (Austria) to your list.

If short on time… the list you have offers three beautiful cities. Have fun and enjoy…

Just my thought… better go to three or two cities and have enough time, than trying to rush your way through too many places.

And do indeed consider Prague ^^. (Personally, I would swap Berlin for Prague.)

I have never been to Budapest, but those that I spoke with all tell me it is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.

johnpowell's avatar

Salzburg was really weird and awesome. We stayed at a hostel that played The Sound of Music on a loop in the common area. When we went east in the city it was totally idyllic and lovely pastel buildings. We walked west it was very different. Strip clubs and McDonalds. There is totally a wrong side of the tracks thing going on there. I would suggest going there, but maybe make it a day trip.

downtide's avatar

I think all three cities you’ve chosen are awesome but I would go with @johnpowell‘s recommendation and add Prague too, if you can possibly manage it. Prague is a wonderful city (but the language is a bitch to learn). Thankfully most Czech people understand either English or German, or both. You need about 3–4 days to see it all.

mattbrowne's avatar

All three cities are highly interesting. I’d fly from Berlin to Vienna and then take the train to Budapest.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I can’t speak for Austria – never been there.

But Berlin (and surrounding areas, including Potsdam) were fascinating from a historical and cultural point of view. I’d go back in a heartbeat.

Plan to spend a day in downtown Berlin – the Reichstag (new and old), Brandenberg gate, Holocaust memorial, walking on the line of the old Berlin Wall, etc.

owenburnett's avatar

Thanks, everyone! I’ve actually been to Prague before and loved it too. Riding the metro in Prague was so confusing! But it had lots of helpful people who speak English. I’d like to come back some day, but I want to visit new cities this time.
@mattbrowne I was thinking of taking an overnight train to Vienna from Berlin since I’ve never done that before. The train would take 11 hours and I figured I’d save a night in accommodations by doing that. Do you think it’s better to just fly since I’m only going for a few days?

janbb's avatar

I was going to say Prague instead of Budapest but I see what you said. I personally was not enamored of Budapest but others love it.

You might want to go to the Jewish Museum in Berlin for interesting architecture and perspective. In many parts of Berlin you will see how Germany is trying to deal with the legacy of the Holocaust and also the partition and reunification.

bolwerk's avatar

Berlin and and Vienna are nice. I think youth hostels should generally be easy to find in all three cities.

Mind the train schedules. Keep an eye out for pick pockets at train stations. Otherwise, I’d say you’ll mostly be fine.

I haven’t been to Budapest.

whitenoise's avatar

I would take the night train. Relatively cheap since you save one hotel night and in my mind the best way to travel. The trip offers some great views.

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes, of course, the night train is an alternative. My brother lives in Berlin and my son lives in Vienna. Both are great cities. So is Budapest, where meals and drinks are cheaper.

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