Budapest or Prague? Now there’s a challenging decision to make for a town break. Equally are these kinds of historic metropolitan areas, on grand rivers, with castles — even if, admittedly, not necessarily fairy tale-wanting — and a lot to see and do. I seriously take pleasure in browsing both equally towns, each individual for their possess factors, mainly because every has their incredibly specific properties and ordeals which you can only enjoy in that town.
That stated, there are eerily a lot of similarities concerning these two towns, from the castle complexes to every single getting split into two distinct sections of the town by rivers, to equally getting funiculars, terrific architecture, and renowned fame for their magnificent bridges.
I will listing in this article the dissimilarities as I have expert them and depart you to make the contact as to which city you’d like checking out. But honestly? They need to equally be on your to-do listing in which circumstance, you just have to make your mind up which one particular to pay a visit to very first. Considerably less complicated.
1. Area, Area, Area
Budapest is the money of Hungary, a city bisected by the grand previous river Danube, turning Budapest very practically into the cities of Buda, on the west financial institution, and Pest, on the east lender. Whilst, Budapest was in simple fact originally formed by the merging of three cities — Buda, Pest, and Óbuda — which is now a district lying to the northeast of the city. The city is just one of superlatives, being home to the next oldest metro, just following London, but the oldest on continental Europe. It has Europe’s largest synagogue, and, with its natural creation of 70 million liters of thermal h2o for every working day, it is the thermal spring money of the entire world.
Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic, now usually named Czechia, and is bisected by the river Vltava. Nicknamed the “City of a Hundred Spires,” it is the historical funds of the Bohemian area. With the old city and new city on the appropriate bank of the river Vltava, the so-referred to as “Lesser Town” and the Castle District lie on the still left lender, and you can cross the fantastic Charles Bridge to examine each sides.
2. Size And Getting Around
Despite currently being moderately comparable in populace, with Budapest at about 1.8 million inhabitants vs. Prague’s 1.2 million, Budapest feels, and is, a large amount far more sprawling than Prague. Whilst in Budapest, at moments you really feel the need to hop on a bus or without a doubt the historic metro. Prague feels eminently additional walkable with its attractions closer alongside one another.
But, with both equally towns owning two unique sides to them, a town tour to get an concept of every single place’s site, in relation to wherever you are staying, is usually a fantastic plan. When in Prague, a entertaining town tour will come courtesy of some stunning classic automobiles taking you via the restricted medieval lanes, even though in Budapest, you may as well see the major views from a waterbus suitable on the Danube.
3. The Temperature
There is no actually significant variance in weather in between Budapest and Prague, but Prague tends to be, on typical, around 6 degrees Fahrenheit colder with rainfall close to 1 inch less than Budapest, which lies some 280 miles farther southeast. Additional drastically, there are some 86 a lot less several hours of sunshine in Prague than in Budapest. Each cities delight in the exact same weather zone and, currently being suitable in the heart of the continent, display screen unique seasons with heat-to-hot summers, cold winters, and temperatures heading below -25 degrees Fahrenheit.
Personally, I am a winter season particular person and love nothing at all additional than wrapping up warm before discovering a metropolis on foot, so I can only advocate visiting both of those cities in wintertime. This also presents you an excuse to try out the fabulously decadent warm chocolate in Budapest’s Four Seasons Lodge, Gresham Palace. For a little bit hotter temperature, spring and tumble are actually the most effective times to visit, as summers can be incredibly warm and get terribly crowded with European family members all through the faculty breaks in July and August.
4. Points of interest To See
Each metropolitan areas offer a wonderful selection of attractions, from the wonderful architecture of Budapest alongside the Danube to the lovely medieval outdated town of Prague.
Both equally metropolitan areas have sights that remind guests of their Jewish background, with Budapest’s moving shoe sculpture and Prague’s ancient Jewish cemetery, as perfectly as the castle districts and museums.
When it will come to sightseeing, Prague in all probability nudges rather forward of Budapest simply because of its compactness and the selection of sights you can uncover in just easy walking distance of each individual other.
5. Try to eat, Drink, And Be Merry
For foodies, it is Budapest that wins this category every single time, but if you are a beer connoisseur, or are touring with a single, it has to be Prague for its sheer background of Czech beer. That claimed, Budapest prides by itself on its craft beer and also on its once-a-year wine competition. When it comes to food stuff, I will have to confess that I am still dreaming of Budapest’s great Fantastic Current market Corridor courting to 1897, with its tall roof, and extensive place loaded with new produce, lengthy and small salamis hanging down all over the place, and aromatic goulash stalls. Limited of transferring in there, you can consider a tour that consists of lunch. Although I ate effectively in Prague, in Budapest, I feasted. Be it the warming stews, or the decadent cakes at the aged-fashioned Café Gerbeaud, or even the ice product, which would seem to be a countrywide treat.
That claimed, a single of the very best foods I have ever experienced was in Prague, at Kampa Park, a fantastic spot with a terrace by the Vltava and the picturesque Charles Bridge.
6. Distinctive Items To Do
Every city has its quirky and certainly special points of interest and encounters, and they are so distinctive from just about every other that there is no comparison feasible. Budapest’s must-do knowledge is a visit to the thermal baths. The Gellert Baths, for illustration, are not just beautiful, but also unconventional in that the indoor swimming pools are incredibly chilly, and in the outdoor pools, folks play chess on tables set in the swimming pools themselves. Readers are a combine of locals and travelers of aged and young, dressed and not so much — in the showers at the very least. It is surely a memorable practical experience.
In Prague, you need to search out the artworks of David Czerny, whose quirky sculptures and installations can be spotted throughout the metropolis, from the upside-down horse inside of the Lucerna Palace passage off Wenceslas Square, to the babies crawling up the Television Tower, and the shimmering, moving head of Franz Kafka. There are self-guided tours that take you to the most essential parts.
Budapest invitations you to expend some time on the Danube, with numerous cruises and excursions offered for moorings along with the river. In Prague, you can immerse you not in h2o, but beer. A beer spa offers you tubs of warm beer to sit in, reportedly great to draw out toxins and make it possible for the enzymes and natural vitamins in the brewer’s yeast to do you good. All the while drinking a beer, it’s an inside of-out spa treatment method.
7. Working day Excursions
Both of those metropolitan areas are surrounded by wonderful central jap European countryside very well truly worth checking out. 1 of the greatest day trips from Budapest is most likely Lake Balaton, the major lake in Central Europe and just one of the cleanest, as its overall entire body of water is by natural means replaced every single 2 a long time. Available by train from Budapest, enabling you to acquire in the views together the way, it is a popular bathing location in the summertime.
From Prague, a must-see attraction is the eerie but interesting Sedlec Ossuary, a church total of bones, placing the Paris Catacombs (nearly) to shame. This is specifically attention-grabbing if you are traveling with grandkids, as they will dine out on that tale for good far more.
8. Destinations To Keep
Frequently, with metropolis breaks, it is the place you continue to be that can make or break a journey. The two metropolitan areas have an array of lodging, from hostels to swanky luxurious accommodations, but it is the places that are essential.
In Budapest, no doubt the Danube and its several sculptures, amazing views, and sparkling bridges are the key draw, so why not remain nearby and get that look at from your room? The Four Seasons Lodge Gresham Palace, with its aforementioned outstanding sizzling chocolate, is a prime locale along with the river and provides pure luxurious — as well as sights across to Buda and Castle Hill. For sights from Buda throughout to Pest, with its superb parliament creating, consider the Hilton for very affordable comfort and effortless walks to points of interest this kind of as the Fisherman’s Bastion.
In Prague, it’s all about the previous city and remaining suitable across from the awesome Astronomical Clock in the Grand Resort, which in fact manufactured it on to my checklist of favored rooms with a check out from about the world. On the other side of the river, in the historic Mala Strana district, with its cobbled streets and proximity to Prague Castle, lies the luxury bolthole of the Mandarin Oriental, which is steps away from everywhere, but completely secluded and tranquil.