Traveling to Prague, Vienna and Budapest? Here’s an itinerary to help you plan your week in Eastern Europe.
A typical day in #Prague…is it too soon for a #tbt? #throwbackthursday #Czech #czechrepublic #wanderlust #travel #takemeback #instapostcard #instatravel
A photo posted by Monica Wong (@_monicawong) on
Day 1: Half Day in Old Town Square
Welcome to the first stop in your Prague, Vienna and Budapest trip. You can either kick off Prague at the Prague Beer Museum or you can end your first night here. Although, it isn’t really a museum. It’s more of a smokey dive bar filled with locals and out of towners from all over the world. Whichever you choose, Old Town is the ideal place to stay if your in Prague for a few days.
Everyone makes a stop at the Astronomical Clock in Old Town Square to watch a puppet show at the top of the hour every hour. When the show’s over, dinner options are plenty. If you opt for some local goulash, like I did, you can walk it off by strolling across the Charles Bridge towards the Lennon Wall. The Charles Bridge at night highlights the 30 gothic statues that line both sides of the bridge.
Day 2: Day at Prague Castle
As you make your way towards the Charles Bridge in the morning, keep your eyes out for some classic communist cars. During the day, the bridge is the perfect setting for a picturesque photo of Prague. You’ll have to cross it to get to Prague Castle if you’re staying in the Old Town.
Prague Castle takes an entire day, but if you’re short on time St. Viticus Cathedral is the first thing you should see. What extra time you have, I recommend spending it walking down Golden Lane, which is filled with tiny historic houses where goldsmiths used to live.
Next stop in your Prague, Vienna and Budapest route is the Belvedere Palace. For the most part, my time in Vienna was filled with a palace a day. They’re all so grand you’re going to want to take your time in them. I stayed at the Arcotel Winberger Wien, which was perfectly situated in the middle of the three must-see palaces.
Day 3: Belvedere Palace
Day 4: Schoenbrunn Palace
Day 5: Hofburg Palace
The last few stops on my Prague, Vienna and Budapest tour began by walking across the Chain Bridge over a dozen times. This happened over the duration of my three days in Budapest so I highly recommend staying at a hotel close to the bridge. I was at the Art’otel Budapest, which is across the Danube River in front of the Hungarian Parliament Building on the Buda side. It was 10 minutes walking distance from the Chain Bridge.
Day 6: Buda
A day on the Buda side can be spent making your way from north to south starting with Fisherman’s Bastion to Buda Castle to Gellert Hill. Fisherman’s Bastion, an extension of Buda Castle, was named after the fishermen who protected this side of the wall and has a great panoramic view of Budapest. Fifteen walking minutes south is Buda Castle, which sites on Castle Hill and overlooks the city. And if/when you’re tired of seeing palaces after palaces and castles after castles, I highly recommend a visit to the Cave Church of Gellert Hill. It’s a cave formed by thermal springs and with a visit to the Citadel which sits uphill, it will only take an hour or two. Ending the day at Gellert Hill gives you the option of dining on the Buda side or the Pest side since it’s only a short walk to Elizabeth Bridge.
Day 7: Pest
On the Pest side is Hungarian Parliament Building, where 45-minutes tours are available. The Buda side offers an amazing view of this jewel at night. Near the parliament building is Shoes on the Danube, a cluster of metal shoes by the bank created to commemorate the Hungarian Jews who were being executed by the river during WWII. A littler further in on the Pest side is St. Stephen’s Basilica. It’s about a 15 minute walk from the Shoes on the Danube and along the way, there are plenty of cute restaurants and coffee shops to stop to refuel in.
Hosok tere is one of the major major squares in Budapest, but it’s a bit out of the way from the Danube area where most visitors stay if they’re in town for a only few days. It close to points of interest on both the Buda and Pest side. However, if you have an extra day to spare a trip to Hosok tere is well worth the walk. The square is filled with museums and monuments, but even the path there is filled with interesting attractions.
Hosok tere sits at the end of Andrássy Avenue, one of Budapest’s main shopping streets filled with boutique shops and cafes, restaurants, theaters and embassies. The State Opera House, the Hungarian University of Fine Arts and the Museum of East Asian Arts are some of the pit stops you can make on your way to Hosok tere. The closer you get to the square, the more you’ll see beautiful mansions, townhouses and embassies line the street.