What’s Better: Prague or Budapest? A Comprehensive Comparison

Are you planning your next European vacation and find yourself torn between two of the continent’s most alluring cities? Prague and Budapest are two of Europe’s most popular destinations, both bursting with history, culture, and stunning architecture. But which one is better? It’s a tough call, but with a little bit of guidance, you might be able to make the right choice for your next adventure.

Prague is known for its fairy-tale beauty, with its striking Gothic and Baroque architecture, cobbled streets, and ancient bridges. It’s a city that exudes charm and splendor while also offering visitors a rich cultural experience. On the other hand, Budapest boasts an exotic charm, thanks to its Ottoman and Roman influences. The city is the perfect blend of old-world elegance and contemporary culture, with an array of museums, galleries, and fantastic restaurants to explore. It’s a city that manages to impress and delight visitors from around the world.

Ultimately, the decision between Prague and Budapest will come down to what you’re looking for in a European vacation. Both cities offer a unique experience that is hard to match, each with its own particular brand of charm. So, whether you decide on exploring the winding streets of Prague or soaking in the thermal baths of Budapest, one thing is for sure: you’re in for a fantastic time.

Tourist Attractions

Both Prague and Budapest have incredible attractions to offer tourists. Below are some of the top tourist attractions in each city:

  • Prague Castle: One of the largest castles in the world, Prague Castle is an impressive complex of stunning architecture and stunning views of the city. The castle has been home to Czech kings, Holy Roman Emperors, and presidents of the Czech Republic and is definitely worth a visit.
  • Charles Bridge: One of the most visited monuments in Prague, the Charles Bridge is a historic pedestrian bridge that crosses the Vltava River. The bridge is lined with statues and offers a stunning view of Prague Castle.
  • Old Town Square: One of the most picturesque places in Prague, Old Town Square is located in the heart of the city and is home to the famous Astronomical Clock. Visitors can take a walking tour to learn about the square’s history and architecture.
  • Buda Castle: The Buda Castle is another impressive castle complex that sits on top of a hill overlooking the city. The castle is home to several museums and galleries and offers a stunning view of Budapest and the Danube River.
  • Fisherman’s Bastion: This unique terrace in Budapest is located on the Buda Castle Hill and offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city. The terrace is named after the medieval guild of fishermen who defended this stretch of the city walls.
  • Parliament Building: This iconic building is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Budapest. The stunning Gothic Revival architecture features a dome that is over 96 meters high and is the third largest parliament building in the world.

Which city has the better tourist attractions?

Both Prague and Budapest have an incredible selection of tourist attractions, making it difficult to say which city is better. Prague’s stunning architecture and historic Old Town Square are truly unique, while Budapest’s hill-top castle and panoramic views are breathtaking. It ultimately comes down to personal preference, as both cities have something special to offer.

Food Scene

Both Prague and Budapest have amazing food scenes that will tantalize your taste buds. However, when it comes to variety and uniqueness, Budapest takes the cake.

Hungarian cuisine is known for being hearty and full of flavor. Some of the must-try dishes in Budapest include goulash, a stew made with beef and vegetables, and chimney cake, a sweet doughy treat often rolled in cinnamon and sugar.

  • Langos – deep-fried dough topped with sour cream and cheese.
  • Ribeye steak – grilled to perfection and served with a spicy paprika sauce.
  • Foie gras – a must-try for those who love rich and decadent flavors.

Prague also has a delicious food scene with traditional Czech cuisine such as roast pork with dumplings and sauerkraut, and fried cheese served with tartar sauce. However, the food in Prague can be quite heavy, making it harder to sample many different dishes.

One unique aspect of Prague’s food scene is its beer culture. The Czechs are known for producing some of the best beer in the world, and there are plenty of unique brews to try in Prague.

Budapest Prague
Hearty and flavorful Hungarian cuisine Traditional Czech dishes
Try langos, ribeye steak, and foie gras Sample roast pork with dumplings and sauerkraut, and fried cheese
Amazing beer culture Delicious Czech beer

In conclusion, while both Prague and Budapest offer delicious food scenes, Budapest stands out for its unique and flavorful Hungarian cuisine and wide variety of dishes to try.


Both Prague and Budapest are known for their vibrant nightlife scenes, with options to suit all tastes and budgets. Here’s a breakdown of what each city has to offer:

  • Prague: The city’s nightlife centers around its Old Town, where visitors will find a plethora of bars, clubs, and live music venues. The prices are relatively low, making it an affordable night out for travelers on a budget. For a more upscale experience, head to one of the rooftop bars in the city, like the T-Anker terrace bar with stunning views of Prague Castle or the Žižkov Tower overlooking the city.
  • Budapest: The Hungarian capital boasts a diverse nightlife, with everything from trendy rooftop bars and underground clubs to live jazz music and strip clubs. The city is also home to a number of “ruin pubs,” which are built in abandoned buildings and decorated with quirky, eclectic furnishings. The most famous of these is Szimpla Kert, which was the first ruin pub to open in the city.
  • Winner: Budapest. While both cities have plenty to offer in terms of nightlife, Budapest’s diversity and abundance of options give it the edge over Prague. Whether you’re in the mood for a chic cocktail bar or an all-night rave, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for in Budapest.


When it comes to choosing between Prague and Budapest, there’s no clear winner – it all depends on what you’re looking for in a city. Both destinations offer a unique blend of history, culture, and entertainment, making them popular choices for travelers from around the world. Whether you’re interested in exploring ancient castles, soaking in thermal baths, or hitting up the city’s best nightlife spots, both Prague and Budapest have something for everyone.

Historical significance

Both Prague and Budapest share a rich history, having been influenced by different cultures and empires throughout the centuries. However, when it comes to historical significance, Prague takes the cake. The city’s Old Town, which dates back to the 9th century, is home to numerous landmarks, such as the Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, and the Old Jewish Cemetery, that have witnessed the rise and fall of various dynasties, monarchies, and political systems. Prague’s architecture reflects the Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, and Art Nouveau styles that blossomed under different rulers, as well as the influence of Jewish culture that flourished before World War II. The city’s colorful past is also marked by the Velvet Revolution of 1989, which led to the downfall of the communist regime and the emergence of Czech democracy.

Historical landmarks

  • Prague Castle
  • Charles Bridge
  • Old Jewish Cemetery

Budapest’s historical charm

Budapest, on the other hand, has a more recent history as a capital city formed by the unification of Buda and Pest in 1873. The city, however, was inhabited by various tribes and empires, including the Celts, Romans, Huns, Magyars, and Ottoman Turks, who left their imprints on Budapest’s architecture and culture. The city’s UNESCO World Heritage sites, such as the Castle District, Andrassy Avenue, and the Banks of the Danube, showcase the neo-Gothic, neo-Baroque, Art Nouveau, and modernist styles that dominated the late 19th and early 20th century. Budapest also played a pivotal role in the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, which aimed to overthrow the Soviet-backed government and establish liberal democracy, and the city still pays tribute to the brave protesters who fought for their freedom.

Comparison of historical landmarks

While both Prague and Budapest offer a wide range of historical landmarks, here is a side-by-side comparison of some of the most popular ones:

Landmark Prague Budapest
Castle Prague Castle Buda Castle
Cathedral St. Vitus Cathedral St. Stephen’s Basilica
Square Old Town Square Heroes’ Square
Synagogue Old-New Synagogue Dohany Street Synagogue

As you can see, both cities have their own unique spots that celebrate their rich history and culture.

Local culture

Prague and Budapest share a rich cultural heritage that attracts visitors from around the world. However, each city has its own unique experiences that showcase local customs and traditions.

  • In Prague, visitors can explore its centuries-old beer culture by visiting one of the many traditional pubs scattered throughout the city. These pubs serve some of the best beer in the world, which is brewed locally and served in traditional glasses. Additionally, travelers can immerse themselves in the thriving art scene by visiting any of Prague’s numerous galleries or museums.
  • On the other hand, Budapest’s culture is defined by its famous thermal baths, which are dotted around the city. These baths are renowned for their therapeutic and recreational properties, and many have been in existence since the Ottoman era. Additionally, Budapest has a fascinating culinary scene that is a blend of traditional Hungarian cuisine and modern European influences.
  • Both cities also have vibrant music scenes that showcase local and international artists. Prague’s concert halls offer a diverse range of classical music performances, while Budapest is the birthplace of many famous composers such as Franz Liszt and Bela Bartok.

Traditional Festivals

Both Prague and Budapest’s cultures celebrate traditional festivals throughout the year that give visitors a chance to experience local customs and traditions.

  • One such festival is Prague’s Easter Markets, which feature traditional Czech crafts, live music and a variety of Czech cuisine and drinks.
  • Budapest’s annual Wine Festival takes place in the fall and features a wide variety of Hungarian wines, as well as concerts, cultural events, and food. Visitors can sample wines from different regions throughout Hungary.
  • Prague’s Christmas markets attract visitors from all over the world with a wide variety of food, crafts, and souvenirs. Visitors can walk through the historic squares while sipping on mulled wine and listening to traditional Czech carols.

Cultural Venues

There are many cultural venues to explore in Prague and Budapest.

In Prague, the State Opera House is one of the most beautiful buildings in the city. Its facade is adorned with sculptures and intricate details that reflect the rich artistic heritage of the Czech Republic. Additionally, the National Theatre is a prestigious venue for ballet, opera, and drama.

Budapest’s Opera House boasts a grand staircase and opulent decor. Inside, the ornate auditorium is a sight to behold with its sculptural details and paintings. Furthermore, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Hungarian National Museum offer visitors an opportunity to take a deep dive into Hungarian history and art.

Prague Budapest
State Opera Opera House
National Theatre Museum of Fine Arts
Prague Castle Hungarian National Museum

Both cities have a lot to offer in terms of cultural experiences. Whether it’s soaking in a thermal bath in Budapest or exploring Prague’s historic pubs, the vibrant local cultures of these cities will surely leave a lasting impression on any visitor.

Transportation options

When it comes to transportation, both Prague and Budapest offer visitors various options to get around the city. Here are some of the common ways to travel in these cities:

  • Public transportation: Both Prague and Budapest have a comprehensive public transportation system that includes buses, trams, and metros. These systems are efficient, affordable, and can easily take you from one side of the city to the other. In Prague, the public transportation system is operated by the Prague Public Transit Company (DPP) while in Budapest it is operated by the Budapest Transport company (BKV).
  • Taxis: Taxis are easily available in both cities, but they can be a bit pricey compared to public transportation. Make sure to only use registered taxis, especially in Budapest, where unregistered taxis are known for scamming tourists.
  • Ride-hailing apps: Both Uber and Bolt (previously known as Taxify) operate in Prague and Budapest, making it easy to order a ride from your smartphone. These apps are generally cheaper than regular taxis and are also more convenient.

While public transportation is the most popular way to get around the cities, it’s essential to note that Prague is more walkable than Budapest. You can easily get around the city center on foot, while in Budapest, the city is spread out, and you may need to take public transportation or a taxi to reach certain parts of the city.

Accommodation options

When it comes to finding a place to stay in Prague or Budapest, both cities offer plenty of great options to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious five-star hotel, a cozy apartment, or a budget-friendly hostel, you’ll be able to find something that suits your needs and preferences.

  • Hotels: Prague and Budapest both have an abundance of hotels to choose from, ranging from budget-friendly options to high-end luxury hotels. Some of the most popular hotel chains in both cities include Marriott, Hilton, and InterContinental.
  • Apartments: Renting an apartment in either Prague or Budapest is a great option if you’re looking for a bit more space and privacy. You can find apartments for rent through popular websites such as Airbnb and Booking.com.
  • Hostels: If you’re traveling on a budget, staying in a hostel is a great way to save money on accommodation. Both Prague and Budapest have a wide variety of hostels to choose from, ranging from basic dorm-style accommodations to more private rooms.

One thing to keep in mind when it comes to accommodation options is that Prague can be a bit pricier than Budapest, especially when it comes to hotels. However, there are still plenty of affordable options to choose from in both cities.

Accommodation Type Prague Budapest
5-star hotel $200 – $600 per night $150 – $500 per night
3-star hotel $60 – $200 per night $40 – $150 per night
Apartment $50 – $150 per night $40 – $100 per night
Hostel $10 – $30 per night $8 – $25 per night

Overall, both Prague and Budapest offer a great range of accommodation options to choose from, making it easy to find something that fits your budget and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious hotel or a budget-friendly hostel, you’ll be sure to find something that suits your needs.

FAQs: What’s Better Prague or Budapest?

1. Which city has better architecture?

Both Prague and Budapest have stunning architectural landmarks, but Prague is known for its gothic and baroque-style buildings, while Budapest showcases more art nouveau and neoclassical styles.

2. Where can I find better food?

Both Prague and Budapest are known for their hearty Central European cuisine, but Budapest is home to some unique dishes like goulash and chimney cake.

3. Which city is easier to navigate as a tourist?

Prague is more compact and walkable, while Budapest has a more extensive public transportation system with a metro and trams.

4. Where can I find more affordable accommodation?

Generally speaking, Prague is a bit less expensive than Budapest for accommodation options, but it can vary depending on the season and location.

5. Which city has better nightlife?

Budapest has a reputation for having a vibrant party scene, with popular ruin bars and clubs, while Prague has a more low-key nightlife.

6. Is there more to see and do in Prague or Budapest?

Both cities have a wealth of historical and cultural landmarks, museums, and activities for tourists to partake in, but Prague has a more concentrated central area with more sights to see within walking distance.

7. Which city is better for a romantic getaway?

With its quaint cobblestone streets and charming atmosphere, Prague is often considered more ideal for a romantic trip, but Budapest’s thermal baths and stunning views of the Danube river also make it a popular choice.

Closing Thoughts: What’s Better Prague or Budapest

So, which city is better- Prague or Budapest? The truth is, both cities have something unique and special to offer, and it really depends on what you are looking for in a vacation. Whether you prefer the lively party scene of Budapest or the romantic charm of Prague, you are sure to have a fantastic time in either city. Thank you for reading, and we hope to see you here again soon!