Saint Petersburg is an entirely different trip, both culturally and geographically. Prague is a compact city which can be done in two days. Vienna , surprisingly, has very few "must see" places...and the food becomes boring very quickly. Two days. This leaves the rest of your time in Budapest. Several people will chime in on all to see and do there, so I won't go into it. Let us know your interests.
Maybe one day/night in Vienna would be better? We hadn't thought of including St. Petersburg until I saw the flight time between Budapest and St. P is only 2 hrs. Maybe there is another place in between Budapest and Prague that we should consider? Sometimes the least touristy places are so interesting...any ideas?
I was stuck in Vienna (and I do mean stuck) for two weeks...been there, done that. Once you see the palace and the cathedral you are done unless you want to stick around and pay a ton of money for the horse show (which you can see for much cheaper in Hungary.) A day and a night in Vienna is plenty for me.
I'm doing two nights in Bratislava in the middle of a trip bookended by Prague (three nights) and Budapest (four nights, but with a two-day sidetrip to Eger in the middle of that leg of the trip). Everyone on here is warning me that two HOURS is enough to see all of Bratislava, so two days is severe overkill. But I'm a contrarian when it comes to travel. I might use the one full day in Bratislava to take the one-hour train trip to Vienna, but I haven't made that decision. I fully expect Vienna to be too snooty and upscale for my middlebrow tastes, but I might be willing to give it a long day to prove me right or wrong.
Since I haven't yet taken this trip -- one more month to go! -- so i haven't been to any of these places yet except Budapest. I am merely throwing this out as ideas, rather than as a firm recommendation.Edited: 27 August 2011, 06:56
Yup St. Petersburgh is a little out of the way and would probably dictate a pretty good investiment ot time to do properly. Having said that I have been known to go to Budapest and then do a bonzi trip to someplace like Moscow for a night or two. So it’s a reality. BUT, your first time to these places I would split it this way:
Day 1 leave the US
Day 2 Arrive Prague about noon
Now you are sort of tired as a result of the trip so this day is going to be less than productive.
Day 3 See more of Prague
Day 4 Early train or plane to Vienna
Half day in Vienna
Day 5 See Vienna
Day 6 Morning train to Budapest
Half day in Budapest
Day 7 See Budapest
Day 8 See Budapest
Day 9 Return to the US.
Now if I am 1 day short on your schedule take a day trip out of Prague. If I am two days off then go to Cesky Krumlov for an evening then return to Prague. ON the way down and back there are Castles worth seeing.
A day and a half is plenty for Vienna if you are a casual traveler. 1.5 to 2 days is plenty for Prague. Budapest is best served with 3 to 4 days, not because I am biased but because of the type of city is is. And yes, because I am biased.
To put it in perspective, the Viennese court went to B-pest to party.
On the other hand if you just want to do something different than spend five nights in Bpest but in the center of the stay take a flight to Sofia, Bulgaria. Once at the airport take a cab to a bar called Chervilo (lipstick) where i can have a young woman will kiss a napkin and hand it to you. Keep the napkin and follow the woman. She will take you about an hour and a half away to the Hebros Hotel in the town of Plovdiv for a night or two. You will be glad you did as this is one of the best kept secrets in the world. Exceptional! Oh, when you are ready to return to Sofia for the flight back to Bpest place the lipstick marked napkin on the mirror in your bathroom and leave for an hour. "she" will be waiting for you in the hotel courtyard when you return.
Bobandco: Again with Bulgaria!!! This sounds like that Brad Pitt/Quenten Tarantino movie!!!
Buttonsgone: Stick with B-pest, you will be glad you did.
My apologies. Its dark here and I am running on emergency power. If you follow those directions youy may find yourself in some real trouble. Here is the correct procedure. Do not deviate.
If you want to do something different then spend no less than five nights in Bpest but in the center of the stay take a Malev flight to Sofia, Bulgaria. You must sit in first class and you MUST compliment the flight attendant on her lipstick. Once at the airport in Sofia take a cab to a bar called Chervilo (lipstick) where you must request the DJ to play the Beatles “Back in the USSR”. When the song finishes a young woman will kiss a napkin and hand it to you. Keep the napkin and follow the woman. If she motions you into a 1995 Rover Maestro then go with her. If she motions you into any other type of car, walk away and try and work your way back to Budapest. The young woman will take you in the Rover about an hour and a half away to the Hebros Hotel in the town of Plovdiv for a night or two. You will be glad you did as this is one of the best kept secrets in the world. Exceptional!
Oh, when you are ready to return to Sofia for the flight back to Bpest place the lipstick marked napkin on the mirror in the bathroom and then you must go to the bedside lamp and whisper “it’s very cold in Moscow in February” then you must leave the hotel for an hour. "She" will be waiting for you in the hotel courtyard when you return and will take you back to Sofia.
If you deviate even a little you will find yourself in Albania before you can repeat your passport number. Now if you find you like Albania I know a woman who will meet you at ................................ (another vacation plan)