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Budapest and Vienna - similar?

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Dabrowa Gornicza
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Budapest and Vienna - similar?


I'm thinking about spending my holidays in Budapest. It'd be nice to know what city it is similar to. Last year I was in Vienna and I really LOVED that city and I heard from few people that Budapest is somehow similar to it, so I'd like to ask you, dear users: how does the Budapest look like when compared to Vienna? Is it (in your subjective opinion of course) more or less interesting? Are there more or less landmarks there? Please tell me as much as you can how does the Budapest-Vienna comparison look like.

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1. Re: Budapest and Vienna - similar?

I had just returned from a trip to the 2 city combo (total of 11 days). I previously had been to Vienna and LOVED it there. I also had the same misconception as you did before my recent trip, thinking that they're similar.

NO, they're very different. The people, the culture, the history...

Budapest is more gritty, rough around the edges. It's not as clean and orderly as Vienna, and more spread out. I went from Vienna TO Budapest, and it took me 3 days in Budapest to warm up to it. You cannot really compare them, they are like apples and oranges.

If you go, I'd suggest you go to Budapest first, then to Vienna.

Los Angeles...
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2. Re: Budapest and Vienna - similar?

Yes, they are VERY different.

Historically, Hungary was occupied by the Ottomans while Vienna remained part of Christian Europe - they were briefly united under the Austrian Empire, but then Hungary was occupied by the Soviets while Austria remained part of Western Europe.

Austria is very "German" by comparison - clean, efficient, a little bland IMO. Hungary is, as noted above, grittier. To me it's a much more lively, diverse and alive city, but if you LOVED Vienna you'll probably fall into the camp of tourists who can't see past the graffiti to the beauty of the city.

nyc, usa
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for Budapest
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3. Re: Budapest and Vienna - similar?

to me Vienna is filled with points and angles and sharp edges; there is little warmth and less spirit; prices are high and the polish comes at a high cost; if you loved Vienna it will either mean, as Nyuszi suggests, that you won't enjoy Hungary; or, in the alternative, that you'll see Vienna as the pallid introduction the the richness, depth, and grit that Budapest offers; no way to know really until you give it a shot, but I'd suggest at least 5 days and a very leisurely schedule -- Budapest is about rhythm, about ambling about and exploration and discovery

Budapest, Hungary
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for Budapest
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4. Re: Budapest and Vienna - similar?

Hello TigroPL,

The above posts are solid. I would add that Vienna and Budapest have many commonalities at the macro level, but many more differences on the micro level. Let me explain.

- City architecture. Very similar - grand boulevards, majestic buildings, great opera houses, nice basilicas, etc. However, Budapest remains "work in progress" as the city is not as clean, neat and proper as Vienna.

- Landscape - in the city, Budapest is far much prettier than Vienna. The hills looming over Buda make for a nice backdrop and gives the city great texture.

- Sights. I enjoy Vienna, but find the sights primarily revolve around museums, music/opera, etc. Those are all great. Budapest is a bit different in that it has all of them, plus many outdoor sights/activities that can fill your days. (I am sure Vienna likely has the same - I just don't know them.)

- Food. Hands down, Budapest's restaurant scene far outweighs Vienna's. You will find more styles, more risk, and more choices here. Better taste? Well, that's always subject to personal opinion!

Vienna is a great city. Clean, proper, buttoned-down, well managed. Budapest is a bit less formal, larger in terms of distance between sights, more scenic in terms of topology, and potentially has more sights/things to do within the city limits.

Hope this helps.


Denver, Colorado
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for Pecs, Budapest
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5. Re: Budapest and Vienna - similar?

I'll agree with all the previous posters. Frankly, I find Budapest friendlier and easier to get around in than Vienna.

For one thing, English gets you a lot farther in Budapest than it does in Vienna.

Adelaide, Australia
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6. Re: Budapest and Vienna - similar?


I think these posts are spot on. Recently visited both cities and loved them both. Vienna is loaded with fabulous museums, stately sightseeing and definitely feels closely related to German life and culture. It is every bit as beautiful as I thought it would be.

Budapest on the other hand is not as refined - but that's only on the surface - it has a rich history that's distinctly Hungarian if you take the time to explore it closely. On balance I would say Budapest is perhaps a more interesting place. It has the architecture, the landscape and not to mention scores of thermal baths that are packed with locals and tourists every day. There is just a little bit more catching up to do for Budapest and I believe you can feel it - which makes for a fabulous city to explore. Enjoy the trip!


7. Re: Budapest and Vienna - similar?

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