Central Europe’s major cities are fascinating places to explore. The grandeur of the Habsburg Empire can still be seen in huge stately buildings, Gothic architecture and sturdy castles. This is a land that has been shaped by centuries of warfare and tumult. Add to that the Soviet era, remembered still today by many of the inhabitants of these cities who lived through it, and the result is a series of distinct cities with singular atmospheres that are a joy to explore on foot.
While many of these major cities, like Bratislava and Budapest, are chained together by the Danube River, Prague is an outlier to the north. The best way to connect them all together is via a tour that either speeds you between each city in the fastest way possible, or which utilises different forms of transportation to make the journey part of the experience. Here are five of the best tours from Prague to Budapest, or vice-versa.
FROM: €840/per person
While this tour does start and end in Vienna, it combines some wonderful aspects of travel for quite a memorable trip. Ride the rails through mountains and open countryside between Vienna, Budapest and Prague, then stay in three or four-star hotels along the way. Plenty of time is given in each city, in order to do each one justice. Visit the Castle District, Charles Bridge and Jewish Quarter of Prague, and Budapest’s beautiful architecture along the Danube like the Hungarian Parliament Building. City tours, hotels and transportation are included in the price.
From €3,000/ per person
This excellent 11 day tour, complete with a Danube cruise and city walking tours, starts in Prague and ends in Budapest, exploring many of the most significant parts of Central Europe in the process. Spend a few days exploring the cobbled streets around Prague’s castle, Wenceslas Square or along the statue-lined Charles Bridge. Then take a transfer south to Nuremberg, close to the source of the Danube River. From here the Danube cruise on a plush ship starts, winding over a week through cities like Passau, Vienna and finally Budapest, where there will be a final city tour.
From €605/ per person
If the purpose of your journey between these two historic cities is merely to cover the distance as quickly as possible, then this scenic transfer takes care of that while injecting a sense of adventure into what would otherwise be a formulaic journey. Take a private car with an English-speaking guide and stop at Bratislava along the way, where you can spend a couple of hours discovering the Slovakian capital from the car and on foot. There’ll be a little more time if you wish to explore on your own and grab some lunch (not included in the price), before continuing on to Prague.
From €2,620/ per person
Another great Prague and Danube tour comes courtesy of CroisiEurope, a French company. The trip, which lasts 8 days in total, begins in Prague with a tour of the Czech Republic capital’s beautiful Cathedral and public squares. Transfer then to Passau, situated on the blue ribbon that unites Europe’s east and west. The river cruise section includes a cabin on the boat and day excursions in cities like Vienna and Esztergom. Dinner only is provided in Prague, while all meals are included during the five-day cruise.
From €875/ per person
If time is a little short and you want to see two of Central Europe’s finest cities in as much depth as possible, this tour is the best choice of the bunch. Combining sightseeing tours on foot and from a minibus of both Prague and Budapest, you can see the best of both cities over three days. See Margaret Island and the Castle District of Budapest, and Wenceslas Square and Charles Bridge in Prague. Accommodation is also included in the price of this tour, but food and drinks must be purchased separately.