We are planning on sending our parents on a citytrip for our dad's 60th birthday. Both my parents are very interested in architecture and enjoy visiting "architecturally beautiful" cities.

They've already visited Paris, London, Prague and most of Italy. We were considering offering them a trip to Vienna or Budapest. Which of the two cities is the most beautiful? The most pleasant? The one that has the most to offer? The most entertaining? Where should we send our parents to?

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    Hi Lucy, and welcome to Travel.SE. I've updated your title as per the faq it was sounding way too broad, until I read your question. Hope that's ok. A couple of questions - are your parents fairly adventurous travellers? Do they like walking, art, coffee, museums or what? Might help give some advice that way. Very generous gift of yours!
    – Mark Mayo
    Jan 1, 2013 at 0:23
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    There is no definitive answer to this question. It depends a lot on individual tastes and what you are looking for. Both cities are very pleasant and easy to visit and have a lot to offer. If you want to have a good answer. be more precise. And stil ... Jan 1, 2013 at 1:40
  • Closers - please give a comment when you vote to close, it helps people understand what they might change to salvage the question. @Lucy Paker - if you could update it to be ... less broad and subjective, and more specific to your case. Then flag it for reopening, and we'll get it answered pronto! :)
    – Mark Mayo
    Jan 3, 2013 at 10:09

2 Answers 2


Definitely Vienna is easier to navigate, public transportation is better and easier to use, more people speak English, and architectural highlights are all concentrated within a 4 mile radius. Vienna also has more high-quality large art museums, and overall, it's more tourist-friendly than Budapest.

However, Vienna is not as strikingly different to other Western European cities. In contrast, Budapest has one of the most flamboyant parliament buildings in the world, Byzantine (orthodox Christian) churches, beautiful bath houses, and many sites linked to interesting tales from the times of the Soviet-controlled communist regime.

Two amazing cities, both on the Danube, but very different.

If you are still undecided, I recommend you stop by a bookstore and --without buying it-- grab a copy of The Lonely Planet guide for Europe. The intro paragraph to each city gives a very good and general idea of what the city is like.


Both cities have their charms. Personally I think you should compare Vienna, Budapest and Prague. The Lonely Planet even has an edition on Budapest and Prague. To come back to your question, since you say that your dad likes architecture, I would go for Budapest. Its parliament, castles and also its thermal baths are a lust for the eye. Furthermore its bridges over the Danube river are impressive. If you prefer music over architecture I would go for Vienna.

Depending of the time available, you could choose to do both. Both cities are within 3 hours from each other by train.


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