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janbb's avatar

Should I choose Prague or Budapest?

Asked by janbb (53594points) May 26th, 2010

I am going on a cruise on the Danube next October. There is the possibility of an extension in either Prague or Budapest. I’ve always had Prague on my “bucket list” but people are saying great things about Budapest. Anybody have an opinion?

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14 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

I say Prague. I have never been to either, but I know people who have been to both. Unanimously everyone I know who has been to Prague say it is one of the most beautiful cities they have ever been too.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Normally I would say flip a coin, but with Prague on your bucket list, go with Prague. Actually they are close enough together that you can visit both in a long weekend.

whyigottajoin's avatar

I say Budapest! =D Visit the Sziget festival there it’s awesome <3

chyna's avatar

My ex-boss went to Prague and loved it. She said she would love to move there. My vote is for Prague.

Mamradpivo's avatar

Go to Prague. Walk until you get lost. Drink beer at u Fleku. Spend a few days there.

Prague is one of the very few cities in Europe that hasn’t had it’s core bombed to the ground, so there’s something interesting and old on every street.

janbb's avatar

I know that many movies set in 19th century England are filmed in Prague.

jeanmay's avatar

@janbb All kinds of movies are filmed in Prague! Some days it felt like you couldn’t move for cameras living there! I love Prague, it is a most beautiful city. It is well preserved and has a picture-postcard quality the Budapest lacks in areas. Budapest has a much more violent history and some of the buildings there have a somewhat run-down feel, where Prague has truly stepped up to its status as a top tourist destination and has smartened up the central areas. Both cities are well worth a visit.

In Budapest, I found the attractions are a bit more spread across the city and a bit harder to find (it is so huge). I felt I really got good use out of the guide book we took, as we were only there for a weekend and the guide helped us avoid walking around lost. There are some beautiful things to see; I personally found the Hero’s Square breathtaking, and the nearby park and thermal baths are a must. There are baths all over the city, as you will see if you look into it. There are some interesting museums, like the House of Terror (interesting, but a tad sombre as you can imagine), and we visited the Momento Park which was creepy and hard to find, but glad I got to see it. I believe you can do tours of the Parliament House, which is a spectacular building. We tried to when we were there, but there were riots against the government at the time due to some scandal involving politicians and lies, so it was closed for security! Budapest has a gritty, raw beauty that seems to go well with its painful history.

As for Prague, I lived there rather than visited so I didn’t really do much in the way of touristy things there. You can go up Petrin Hill where there are good views, a mini Eiffel Tower to climb and the famous Hunger Wall. If you go in Spring there are beautiful cherry blossom trees to be seen there too. On the other side of the river is Vysehrad; a castle on a hill with more great views. There you can also see some famous dead Czechs buried in the cemetery. The Jewish cemetery is also a popular place to visit too, and of course not forgetting Old Town Square where there are usually a ton of things to see/do/eat. We always used to go to the U Prince and have cocktails on the rooftop terrace – ah, bliss. Good museums might be the Kafka Museum or the Mucha museum, though I have to admit I never visited either! You could take a tour of the Staropramen Brewery if you’re into beer. Beer in Prague is the cheapest and best in the world. Of course there is Prague Castle and the Charles Bridge, which are extremely popular with tourists. Prague generally has a busy feel, especially in Old Town and around the castle, which are always flooded with tourists all year round. Budapest doesn’t feel quite so inundated as it’s bigger and more spread out. Having said that, there are some really peaceful areas of Prague, like Letna Park where there is an area of park benches and a beer shack where you can get cheap drinks. You can also bring your own picnic and drink/eat it there, that is totally accepted. Prague appeals to me as a city as it has a lot of open, green spaces and beautiful architecture wherever you look. There are so many other places in Prague I haven’t mentioned here, but if you pick it as your destination I’ll be happy to give you some more ideas.

Sorry if this seems just like a bunch of links and no substance, but I tried to give you a feel of both places and what you might do there so you can see what appeals most to your interests. Personally I am strongly biased: I met my husband in Prague and my son was made there! Budapest feels more alive in some ways; more real. Prague has a more dreamy quality. Hope this is in any way helpful!

perspicacious's avatar

Prague gets my vote.

OreetCocker's avatar

Prague is definately the one, an gonna move there when I retire!

downtide's avatar

I’ve been to Prague and I absolutely loved it. You need more than a day though. I stayed a week. Highly reccommend to take one of the walking tours, you’ll find lots of tour guides in Old Town Square.

janbb's avatar

We have already signed up for the three day extension in Prague so all this confirms my decision to go there. I was hearing good things about Budapest so I was second-guessing myself but your votes confirm my decision. Thanks all!

jeanmay's avatar

@janbb If you fold me up really tight and squish me down, I’m pretty sure you could sneak me into your luggage!

janbb's avatar

My dear, you know I’d be delighted to. I would even siphon some tea in to you occasionally.

jeanmay's avatar

(Chuckles heartily at the image) Too bad my house is not on the way. Sigh. Hope Prague turns out to be all you dreamed of and more.

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