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Prague or Budapest? On a budget.

Manchester, UK
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Prague or Budapest? On a budget.

Hello,

can people please advise idea of costs in Prague for beer / food / transport etc.

I have just returned from Amsterdam which was very expensive (I suppose as most cities are), 5 euros for a beer, 8-15 Euros for starters / 20-35 euros for main course in a restaurant. We had a great time but spent more than we thought.

Want to go away again September time - we were going to Barcelona but just know will be really expensive. Friend of ours just returned from Budapest and said was mega cheap and good value - But I have always wanted to go to Prague so wondered if people can advise please so we can make a considered decision.

Cheers, Lisa

Berkshire, United...
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1. Re: Prague or Budapest? On a budget.

You will find Prague quite cheap compared to Amsterdam.

Jet 2 flight from Manchester does not break the bank, beer is cheap just over £1 in most places, except tourist ones, a mid range meal will cost £10 including starters, and there are some good special lunchtime offers - circa £5 for a meal.

Transport in Prague is also inexpensive, and if you are staying in the centre, you will walk to most places/sights.

Most people suggest £40 per day per person including sightseeing is sufficient.

Haddington, United...
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2. Re: Prague or Budapest? On a budget.

Both Prague & Budapest costs are about the same and both very much cheaper the Amsterdam and in my opinion far more interesting. If you eat where the local go you can really keep the costs down like the upper gallery in the main market in Budapest or the Czech Kitchen in Prague. You are often cheaper getting a flight/Hotel deal with one of the budget airlines rather than booking them separate. Hastal Hotel is inexpensive and very central in Prague. Budapest Hotel in Budapest, a bit out of town but a tram stop right outside as well as the 'Cogwheel railway terminus across the road and fantastic views if you get an upper floor room. Both city's well worth a visit, but Prague my favorite of the two

Edited: 16 May 2012, 16:56
Nottingham, England
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3. Re: Prague or Budapest? On a budget.

Prague and Budapest are very cheap cities compared to cities like Amsterdam and Barcelona. Barcelona is expensive in my opinion.

Costs in Prague and Budapest are very similar, eating out, drinking and getting around is very inexpensive if you avoid the tourist traps.

I got back from Prague yesterday after a five night trip and spent no more than £300 which included my accommodation. I went to Budapest last November and spent no more than £250 for a three night visit. Beer in Prague was about £1 for a pint away from the tourist centres. In Budapest, I paid roughly about £1.50 for a pint.

Most cities can be cheap or expensive as you like. As I was with mates, we stayed in a cheap apartment outside the centre next to a metro station and ate out away from the major tourist sites in Prague.

I had a brilliant time in Prague this week and enjoyed Budapest when I visited last November. Whatever city you choose, you will not be disappointed.

Brez

London
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4. Re: Prague or Budapest? On a budget.

Budapest and Prague are both among the cheapest cities in Europe (I think the only comparably cheap cities are probably Lisbon and Riga). I wouldn't go so far as to describe either city as "mega cheap". I remember going to Sofia as an undergraduate and eating three course dinners in restaurants every night for the equivalent of around £3 and being able to hire a taxi driver for a day and paying him barely more than a bus fare (and even so I was reliably informed by locals that he ripped me off). Neither Prague nor Budapest is that cheap, but then I don't know where is these days. I would say that I managed to secure much better accommodation in Budapest for roughly the same amount of money as I paid in Prague: in Prague I stayed in a rather grim pension in a quite rough looking part of town, whereas in Budapest for about the same money I rented an apartment overlooking parliament (it was so central it actually had the same address as parliament, Kossuth Lajos tér).

As for the attractions of the two cities, I'd say there is nothing to tell between them. I think I had a better time in Budapest, but that's just me. I certainly intend to go back to Prague just as soon as I can afford it. Both are wonderful cities with huge amounts going for them. You really should try to visit both in due course.

There are, of course, ways of bringing down the cost of your holiday, as I'm sure you can figure out for yourself anyway. In Prague, for example, I didn't eat in any restaurants other than the wonderfully cheap http://www.beas-dhaba.cz, and I became familiar with several branches of the Billa supermarket chain, and I didn't consume a drop of alcohol all the time I was there. Of course, a lot of people see the eating and drinking as an important part of the holiday; I just don't.

Prague is somewhat smaller than Budapest, so you really don't need to use public transportation at all, apart from going on trips outside the city. I think the longest walk I did was from Vyšehrad back to my hotel on the other side of the Letenskě Sady, which was around 5km.

Winona, Minnesota
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5. Re: Prague or Budapest? On a budget.

I was in both cities last summer. I got a lot for the money I spent in Budapest, beer was relatively cheap and came in much larger mugs. I thoroughly enjoyed Budapest more than Prague. Something about Prague just made me feel uncomfortable. Whether it was the people or neighborhoods, just seemed a bit more rough than anywhere I was in Budapest. My suggestion would be Budapest, I absolutely fell in love with the Parliament and the market, didn't buy anything, but thought it was the coolest thing ever. Also, nothing beat sitting along the Danube while enjoying a beverage at a few different stops. So much beauty in Budapest. Prague seemed a bit darker.

With all of that said, I am excited to be going back to Prague this summer for a few days. Either is cheap and would be a good option for traveling with a budget in mind.

Bristol, UK
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6. Re: Prague or Budapest? On a budget.

NellyNo1>>>>>>>>Your experience of Amsterdam is why I try my hardest to avoid Eurozone countries. The fact that you were paying four times the cost of a beer in Amsterdam compared to Prague, leaving aside the fact that the cheaper Czech beer is far superior, makes me more determined. But then again, sometimes we have to pay the money to experience new places. I saw Amsterdam in my youth when they used the Guilder and prices were sensible. My memories of that particular trip are somewhat clouded though!

With Prague V Budapest though, it's a more difficult choice, down to personal taste. I have only visited Buda once, and found it didn't have the appeal of Prague. The sights, although impressive, weren't so impressive, and they were fewer and further apart. I found myself travelling all over the centre of the city to see a sight, tick it off the list, then onto the next one.

Prague is different because all the sights you want are in a compact walkable area without lots of public transport. Often you move between sights by walking ancient cobbled streets, and explore small, quiet backwaters. As for some neighbourhoods being a bit more 'rough', well yes there are ordinary neighbouhoods in Prague and even Budapest, just like other cities.

Some areas of Praue, as well as much of central/astern Europe, can feel a bit worn, but that's the appeal. It's real, and has yet to have massive amounts of EU money ( :-) ) spent on it to polish it, and recreate it in tinted glass and stainless steel. However, you won't be in these neighbouhoods, and anyway, they may be very ordinary, but they are safe, much safer than ordinary UK neighbouhoods. In the main, I have always found Czechs to be disciplined, well-ordered people, and there are no neighbourhoods in Prague that are unsafe.

If you want to to explore the real Europe economically, avoid the Eurozone. That's what I'm doing for now - although there could be a holiday in Greece coming up very soon!

London
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7. Re: Prague or Budapest? On a budget.

I'm not quite sure what is meant by Prague being described as "rough" and "dark". Certainly there *were* times in Prague when I felt unsafe, but that's when I set off by myself aiming at the Žižkov monument, took a detour to look at a church, and found myself wandering around a completely deserted industrial estate. Also, walking through Letna Park late at night is a bit unpleasant as it's the place for teenagers and old men (separately) to hang out getting drunk, and there are also rats. I am sure, however, that there are equally bad places in Budapest, and also, it depends what you are comparing it with. The OP comes from Manchester; I come from London: I'm sure we've both seen much worse in any big city here in London. My only complaint about Prague is that its city centre is so dependent on the tourist industry, though as a tourist myself I suppose this is also partly my fault! Budapest has the feel of being a city that tourists do happen to visit, whereas Prague feels in places that without the tourists it would be almost empty.

Manchester, UK
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8. Re: Prague or Budapest? On a budget.

Thanks everyone - am pleased to hear that Prague is still good value for money, and as it is somewhere I have wondered about going for years I think we may give it a shot, and save Budapest for next year. I will be travelling with my 6 foot 4 strapping fella so even in some of the less salubrious areas I always feels safe, especially as he is way more sensible than me lol! Hope I have not put anyone off Amsterdam, and we did find some place off the beaten track there, hired bikes to get around, and had falafel one night for 4 Euros which I have never had - and that was an experience in itself. I really appreciate everyone's views and info, will check out some of the cheaper places to stay in Prague.

Cheers guys x

9. Re: Prague or Budapest? On a budget.

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