Author Topic: Budapest in April, where else?  (Read 2130 times)

terran

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Budapest in April, where else?
« on: December 02, 2017, 09:00:10 AM »
It's looking likely that might wife will be traveling to Budapest for a work thing in mid April (and I'll go with her!), and we're thinking about tacking on some other destinations at the end, but we're wondering were to go? Our first thought was some other eastern European destinations (Vienna, Prague, Berlin, Warsaw, Krakow), but we're concerned it might be a little cold that time of year for our usual wandering around? Other "nearby" options that would be warmer might be Croatia, Greece, maybe somewhere in Italy. Beyond that, anywhere we can get a cheap flight would be an option which probably opens up most of Europe.

What do you think, where would you go that time of year?

Any thoughts you have on what I should get up to with a good chunk of time in Budapest, and what my wife should be sure to see/do with her limited time would also be appreciated.

chrisgermany

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Re: Budapest in April, where else?
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2017, 10:22:07 AM »
How about going to Vienna via Bratislava by boat at least for some days? There is a daily boat connection.
April in Paris is famous, too.
The mediterranean islands like Mallorca, Malta or Sicilly are great destinations for walking in April. What else would you like to do?

iris lily

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Re: Budapest in April, where else?
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2017, 11:03:20 AM »
Having just got back from Prague, I would recommend going there because in April you wont have the throngs of humans crowding the Charless Bridge and etc.

From Prague a lovely day tour is to the spa townof Karlovy Vary, simply gorgeous. It is easy to get a bus tour to there that picks you up, drives for about two hours, gives you lunch, a long walk down the promenade for a couple of hours,  a tour of the Moser glass factory, and then home. This little trip oitside of Prague is nice because you will see some countryside as well as architecture that is smaller and more colorful than that same in Prague, but just as lovely.

If you go to Prague,  the Hotel Pariz is amazingly gorgeous with old brasses and other Art Deco and Art Nouveau decor. also, every floor is an art gallery, the place has 150 pieces of original art. The restaurant is very high quality.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2017, 11:52:39 AM by iris lily »

NinetyFour

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Re: Budapest in April, where else?
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2017, 11:49:20 AM »
P2F...

iris lily

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Re: Budapest in April, where else?
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2017, 11:59:15 AM »
Also, I have not been to Croatia but it is popular right now, and it looks introguing to me.

I would say go to Transylvania if I was sure that weather would be decent. Spring in that moutainous countryside would be glorious. Transylvania has fabulous castles, medieval villages, and mountains. It would be a nice counterpart to your city experience of Budapest. If you do go there, get out of
Bucharesti as soon as you can. Probably you would fly into Bucharesti, but you could get out of town and withhin 3+ hours drive be in the wonderful olde town of Sibiu.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2017, 07:34:08 PM by iris lily »

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Budapest in April, where else?
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2017, 12:44:35 PM »
How long are you going for?  I’ll tell you, I loved Budapest. It is now one of. My favorite cities. I wish I had spent more time there. Rent bikes, ride around, take in the parks and baths. Easy city. And I know everyone says Prague, but outside of the Charles Bridge, not the biggest fan.

Bee21

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Re: Budapest in April, where else?
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2017, 02:12:59 PM »
There is plenty to see and do in budapest and the surrounding area to keep you busy for 3-5 days.  Vienna is 2 hrs away on the train (skip the boat, it is supposed to be boring). If you go there for 5 days, I would do these 2 together.

Prague is beautiful, if you go in april you will be able to see more as it is usually packed with tourists.  I also suggest checking out transylvania if you are in the area (skip bucharest, that is a dump, there is a train from budapest to the main cities, and also planes),  the old German cities are lovely (sibiu, brasov and the surrounding medieval villages). We went there this summer and it was fantastic. Pm me if you want to go there, i can dig out the contact details of our English speaking guide or the taxi driver who drove us around in the villages for like 50 a day.

westtoeast

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Re: Budapest in April, where else?
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2017, 04:01:00 PM »
I'll be there in April too! Following to see the suggestions you get.

I'm thinking of taking an overnight train to Krakow as my side trip. But I like the Bratislava by boat idea.

Megma

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Re: Budapest in April, where else?
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2017, 04:28:27 PM »
Just came from Vienna today and loved it! Even though it was cold. The museums were top notch (especially Belvedere and Natural history). We did Bratislava too,  just for a day trip and it was adorable but small, good for 1 day.

iris lily

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Re: Budapest in April, where else?
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2017, 07:33:04 PM »
There is plenty to see and do in budapest and the surrounding area to keep you busy for 3-5 days.  Vienna is 2 hrs away on the train (skip the boat, it is supposed to be boring). If you go there for 5 days, I would do these 2 together.

Prague is beautiful, if you go in april you will be able to see more as it is usually packed with tourists.  I also suggest checking out transylvania if you are in the area (skip bucharest, that is a dump, there is a train from budapest to the main cities, and also planes),  the old German cities are lovely (sibiu, brasov and the surrounding medieval villages). We went there this summer and it was fantastic. Pm me if you want to go there, i can dig out the contact details of our English speaking guide or the taxi driver who drove us around in the villages for like 50 a day.

We did a Transylvania tour last September, and l we loved the places you mention!

Ok, here is our travel expert who planned our trip and  drove us around. He is absolutely top notch:


https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g294458-d7300102-Reviews-BookToursRomania_Private_Tours-Bucharest.html

terran

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Re: Budapest in April, where else?
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2017, 07:20:30 AM »
How about going to Vienna via Bratislava by boat at least for some days? There is a daily boat connection.
April in Paris is famous, too.
The mediterranean islands like Mallorca, Malta or Sicilly are great destinations for walking in April. What else would you like to do?

The boat is an interesting idea. Someone down thread says they've heard it's boring -- have you been on the boat, what do you do on it?

Probably a little soon for a repeat on Paris with so many other options, but I'm sure it's beautiful in the spring.

The mediterranean islands are a great suggestion. Should be warmer anyway -- we'll definitely look into those.

Having just got back from Prague, I would recommend going there because in April you wont have the throngs of humans crowding the Charless Bridge and etc.

From Prague a lovely day tour is to the spa townof Karlovy Vary, simply gorgeous. It is easy to get a bus tour to there that picks you up, drives for about two hours, gives you lunch, a long walk down the promenade for a couple of hours,  a tour of the Moser glass factory, and then home. This little trip oitside of Prague is nice because you will see some countryside as well as architecture that is smaller and more colorful than that same in Prague, but just as lovely.

If you go to Prague,  the Hotel Pariz is amazingly gorgeous with old brasses and other Art Deco and Art Nouveau decor. also, every floor is an art gallery, the place has 150 pieces of original art. The restaurant is very high quality.

Good point about tourists, and thanks for the Prague tips. It's definitely on the list for someday one way or the other, so I'll keep your notes for whenever we go.
Also, I have not been to Croatia but it is popular right now, and it looks introguing to me.

I would say go to Transylvania if I was sure that weather would be decent. Spring in that moutainous countryside would be glorious. Transylvania has fabulous castles, medieval villages, and mountains. It would be a nice counterpart to your city experience of Budapest. If you do go there, get out of
Bucharesti as soon as you can. Probably you would fly into Bucharesti, but you could get out of town and withhin 3+ hours drive be in the wonderful olde town of Sibiu.

Ooh, there's a thought I would never have thought of. Dracula! I suppose that's probably a sore subject for them.

It sounds like driving is really the only way to see it?

How long are you going for?  I’ll tell you, I loved Budapest. It is now one of. My favorite cities. I wish I had spent more time there. Rent bikes, ride around, take in the parks and baths. Easy city. And I know everyone says Prague, but outside of the Charles Bridge, not the biggest fan.

We'll be in Budapest for 5-6 days. I'll mostly be on my own for that. After that we'll probably travel around for 2 (maybe 3) weeks more.

My wife (who is more well travelled than I am) also didn't really like Prague. She wants to give it another try because everyone seems to love it, but
 it was cold and wet when she visited in college, so it didn't leave the best impression. Hopefully we can rectify that.

I'll be there in April too! Following to see the suggestions you get.

I'm thinking of taking an overnight train to Krakow as my side trip. But I like the Bratislava by boat idea.

What a coinkidink!

What makes you want to add Krakow as your side trip? What have you learned about it?

Just came from Vienna today and loved it! Even though it was cold. The museums were top notch (especially Belvedere and Natural history). We did Bratislava too,  just for a day trip and it was adorable but small, good for 1 day.

We've learned that we're not really "museum people" as we usually prefer wandering around and museums just kind of start bleeding together for us, but we do like to sprinkle in a few, so thanks for mentioning the two you liked best!

There is plenty to see and do in budapest and the surrounding area to keep you busy for 3-5 days.  Vienna is 2 hrs away on the train (skip the boat, it is supposed to be boring). If you go there for 5 days, I would do these 2 together.

Prague is beautiful, if you go in april you will be able to see more as it is usually packed with tourists.  I also suggest checking out transylvania if you are in the area (skip bucharest, that is a dump, there is a train from budapest to the main cities, and also planes),  the old German cities are lovely (sibiu, brasov and the surrounding medieval villages). We went there this summer and it was fantastic. Pm me if you want to go there, i can dig out the contact details of our English speaking guide or the taxi driver who drove us around in the villages for like 50 a day.

Cool, I'll be in Budapest "on my own" for 5-6 days while my wife is otherwise occupied, so I might have to take it a little slow, but I'm sure I'll be able to entertain myself. Any particular suggestions?

Second Transylvania suggestion. Sounds like a car or someone to drive you around is the only way to do it?

There is plenty to see and do in budapest and the surrounding area to keep you busy for 3-5 days.  Vienna is 2 hrs away on the train (skip the boat, it is supposed to be boring). If you go there for 5 days, I would do these 2 together.

Prague is beautiful, if you go in april you will be able to see more as it is usually packed with tourists.  I also suggest checking out transylvania if you are in the area (skip bucharest, that is a dump, there is a train from budapest to the main cities, and also planes),  the old German cities are lovely (sibiu, brasov and the surrounding medieval villages). We went there this summer and it was fantastic. Pm me if you want to go there, i can dig out the contact details of our English speaking guide or the taxi driver who drove us around in the villages for like 50 a day.

We did a Transylvania tour last September, and l we loved the places you mention!

Ok, here is our travel expert who planned our trip and  drove us around. He is absolutely top notch:


https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g294458-d7300102-Reviews-BookToursRomania_Private_Tours-Bucharest.html

Thanks for the tip! How much did he charge?

Bee21

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Re: Budapest in April, where else?
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2017, 12:56:03 PM »
My inlaws did the boat trip and they were bored. There is nothing to do, the landscape is not particularly exciting, so you are better off taking the train to vienna. 

If you go over to Transylvania, you are better off getting a guide with a car to drive you around for a few days. It is not a touristy place, not particularly well signposted. Hiring a car is ridiculouly expensive over there, paying 60 euros + a day for a car in a country where the average person makes around 500 a month felt like a ripoff. Guides can be around 100-120 euros a day, taxis are way cheaper, but you have to be very lucky to find an English speaking one. There are trains and buses everywhere,  but can be tricky if you don't speak the language ( long distance buses have to be reserved days before, over the phone. That was a bit of a shock). Forget dracula, that is crap, the history of the place is way more fascinating. Now that most of the historical monuments are renovated, they cleaned up the public spaces, and there are no beggars and rubbish everywhere it is a very interesting place to visit. If you have 2 weeks in Eastern Europe, i def recommend spending 5-6 days there. We stayed in Airbnb, that was a positive experience.. The food is boring, but the beer is cheap! We are prob going back next summer to check out the Danube Delta or the Hungarian part, I am undecided. My husband likes the fact that you can check out 600 yr old churches or 200 yr old mills without anyone being around. And you can see a horse cart (with a numberplate)next to a Mercedes. You don't see the hordes of tourists which makes visiting western Europe so annoying.

As for Budapest, it depends on what you like doing, it is an interesting place. A week will give you plenty of time. The museums are great, the food is good...one of the cheapest places of the world to enjoy good classical music, if that is your thing, definitely go to the opera there. And of course, go to the baths, you can try out a different one every day.  A couple of years ago I was in the same pool with Mr Big from Sex and City! That was cool. 😁

Mrs. PoP

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Re: Budapest in April, where else?
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2017, 06:30:45 PM »
Almost 15 years ago I spent some time in Budapest, and loved it.   Definitely see the baths, parliament, the castle district at night, and ride the oldest subway in Europe!   

But outside of Budapest, you could look into Lake Balaton, which is kindof an old Eastern European/bloc resort destination.   We did a weekend trip there where we rented bikes and tried to bike there (was out of shape at the time and didn't make it the whole way, but picked up the train and rode that the rest of the way).   Depending where on the lake, it's maybe 50 miles from Budapest?  Not far at all.   But the lake was gorgeous and there are tons of little towns with cute stuff to do all around it.   

It was insanely cheap, even more so than Budapest.  Don't know if the area has changed much since then though. 

smoghat

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Re: Budapest in April, where else?
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2017, 09:55:58 PM »
Istanbul will be somewhat warmer. Airbnb’s can be crazy cheap there. It’s an amazing city. People are scared off by the news but I went with my family and we felt totally safe. You are in much more risk in many places in the US. A local Turk said “you see the women in burkas? They are tourists just like you.”

Vilnius, Lithuania is a city I have been to many times. It won’t be warm but it’s fun (AWESOME craft beers that rival anything in the US) and good food cheap ($10 for a perfectly good meal, $20 for gosh almost anything you’d want, I mean check TripAdvisor).

iris lily

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Re: Budapest in April, where else?
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2017, 10:19:43 PM »
Terran,

I will admit to going on a “dracula” tour of Transylvania, but our guide gave lots of history besides that of Vlad Dracul. The dracula legend is entirely made up by Bram Stoker who wrote the novel Dracula, but  Romanians humor the rest of the world by playing along about Dracula. Vlad Dracul is actually a respected leader of that region.

I would think that you can get around to  historic cities via train, but
I dont know how good the train system is.

I cant tell you how much our guide charged because hotels and some meals were included in the psckage, and
I do not know the cost. It was not cheap, but we are old and rich, and it was well worth having a pleasant and knowledgeable young man escort us around.

I disagree with the food comment above. Romanian food is great,  and cheap. This is a real farm to table culinary experience every day in
Transylvania and in Bucharest.

« Last Edit: December 03, 2017, 10:23:36 PM by iris lily »

westtoeast

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Re: Budapest in April, where else?
« Reply #15 on: December 25, 2017, 03:34:08 PM »
I'll be there in April too! Following to see the suggestions you get.

I'm thinking of taking an overnight train to Krakow as my side trip. But I like the Bratislava by boat idea.

What a coinkidink!

What makes you want to add Krakow as your side trip? What have you learned about it?



Good question-- sorry this reply is a month or so overdue! I chose Krakow for a few reasons. One is the distance-- a five hour train ride is manageable and won't cut too much out of my trip time. Another reason is that Krakow was spared from WWII bombing so there are some beautiful historic buildings and sites. I'm interested in the history of the region, including WWII and communist era. I also plan to take a side trip to Auschwitz. I also like Polish food! Finally, my understanding is that Krakow is not yet completely overrun with tourists-- its not on the Eurotrip circuit quite as much as some other cities. In some other European cities I've traveled to I felt surrounded by tourists and NOT locals, and I'd like to avoid that feeling.


itchyfeet

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Re: Budapest in April, where else?
« Reply #16 on: December 25, 2017, 04:17:07 PM »
We cycled from Passau in Germany to Budapest this past summer and spent 5 days at Budapest at the end of the trip and loved it. Awesome city!

Be sure to
- go to a bath and get a massage
- have a few beers at a ruin bar
- take good walking shoes as you will walk miles.

We enjoyed Budapest far more than Prague (too many tourists packed in a small area) and Vienna (meh!). Prague is beautiful though. That is undeniable.

On the bike trip we spent a night in Bratislava and enjoyed it, but it is small and a couple of nights would be enough. Gyor was pleasant too, as is the area around the Danube bend in Hungary.

I wouldn’t worry about it being too cold to walk around in April in Central Europe. It will be fine, and even if its a bit grey it is still far more pleasant than during summer with the hordes of tourists ruining your visit.

Slovenia is another awesome place to visit for a week or so. Lake Bled will be beautiful in April. Ljubljana and Piran are also nice spots to spend a few days. It’s a compact, easy to get around country.

PDM

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Re: Budapest in April, where else?
« Reply #17 on: December 25, 2017, 04:49:14 PM »
Have you considered Slovenia?
We had a rad time in Piran (medieval town on the water) for a few days. Also a few days in Ljubljana which found a beautiful cool city. A tiny capital with a nice vibe. Also some rad nature in the country.

https://europeupclose.com/article/piran-slovenia/