The Ultimate cheap European itinerary for 2 to 4 weeks

Whether you’ve been to Europe before or not, sometimes you might find yourself with plenty of time but not plenty of money. If you’ve got at least two weeks and hopefully closer to four weeks, you can still have an amazing experience in some of Europe’s greatest cities on a small budget. If you’ve visited London, Paris, or Rome before, you’ll be happy to know that you can visit many other cities while spending half or even less per day.

The itinerary suggestions below are perfect for two quick weeks. If you have more time this is still a great itinerary to use as a starting place, and you’ll find other places you’ll want to add along the way if you have more time. We use our Europe Backpacker Index to show the price comparisons of the cities suggested. Each of those prices is a typical day’s expenses for someone on a ‘backpacker’ budget. If you prefer 3-star hotels you’ll spend at least a bit more per day, but if you are sharing a cheaper hotel room it can still be shockingly inexpensive. By the way, for your first trip to Europe you probably want to choose England, France, or Italy, and save the cheap ones for your next trip.

Note: This article was last updated in August, 2022.

Best four cheap European cities to visit together

  • Berlin, Germany
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Budapest, Hungary
  • Krakow, Poland

Each of the cities listed above is strong enough to be the highlight of almost any trip, and fortunately they are relatively close together so they work really well as a group. On the map they sort of form a box, so skipping one is easy, and there are plenty of side stops and trips possible in between for shorter or longer stays.

A version of this itinerary can also be found on my new best Europe itineraries for first-time visitors article.

Best cheap and gorgeous small town to add to your trip

  • Český Krumlov, Czech Republic

You may not yet have heard of Český Krumlov, but either way you are in for a treat if you can add 2 or 3 nights to your trip. It’s located just 3 hours south of Prague by bus or train, and it’s an excellent contrast to the large cities on the list. Better still, it’s incredibly cheap, and a favorite of almost all who visit.

Getting there and back

While none of these cities is among the cheapest in Europe to fly into, at least 3 of them have cheap enough flights that it’s worth flying directly into one of them.

Of the four cities, Berlin will have the cheapest inbound flights from almost anywhere, and Krakow usually only has cheap flights from within Europe. Check flights from your city into each of these cities to see which one will be your cheapest option.

In many cases you can save the most money by buying a one-way ticket into one of them and a one-way ticket back out of another of them, but you have to price them out to see. Keep in mind that if you buy a round-trip ticket it means most of a day and about US$50 to $70 to get back to that first city, so an “open jaw” ticket might still be a better deal even if it’s US$100 more.

Getting between the cities

There’s little doubt that the most enjoyable way to get between these cities (and most European cities) is by train, but you do have two other main options to consider, namely, flights and buses.


With the exception of Berlin and Prague, which are about 5 hours apart, these cities are about 7 to 10 hours apart by train, and therefore perfect for overnight journeys. If you are the type who sleeps well enough on trains, this method is ideal because you save a night in a hotel or hostel, and you still have all day to see the sights. Taking daytime trains obviously means more scenery, but some of them are quite a bit more expensive than the night trains.


Europe is loaded with low-cost airlines and even though trains are more enjoyable and obviously infinitely more scenic, these cities are all far enough apart that flying between them probably makes sense for most people. With the exception of between Berlin and Prague, it will save time to fly. When calculating the amount of time it takes to fly from one city to another it’s important to add in the time it takes to get to the airport (including the time it takes to get to the airport bus or train) as well as the time you have to arrive in advance to safely get through security. In other words, a one-hour flight usually takes around 5 to 6 hours from one hotel to the one in the next city.

Rarely discussed in most circles, many don’t even know that most European cities have comfortable and cheap long-distance bus service between them. They aren’t as comfortable as trains, but often they are astonishingly cheap, especially if you find a promotional price. There is a system in Europe called Eurolines that coordinates international bus service between major cities all over the continent. Sometimes they have amazing specials, but not always. It’s worth checking them and then also Googling ‘bus from Berlin to Krakow’ to see any other options. If you’ve got more time than money, buses will be your cheapest option and most of them have wi-fi these days as well.

4 Best cheap European cities that are easy to travel between

Below you’ll find the four best cities to use as the foundation of a cheap and wonderful trip to Europe. It’s recommended to spend at least 3 nights in each city, even if you think you are in a hurry.

Berlin, Germany

2022 Backpacker Index: US$64.56/day

Berlin isn’t such an obvious tourist city, but it’s absolutely the kind of place where either you love it, or you’ve never been there. Everyone can find something to enjoy about it, partly because it’s especially trendy and dynamic lately as a new hub of European and world culture, picking up where London and Paris left off.

One challenge is that Berlin is a huge and spread-out city, so it’s important to choose where you stay wisely. Most budget travelers will prefer the former East Berlin section around Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg, which is where most hostels are as well as the best and cheapest nightlife and shopping. Check our list of recommended cheap Berlin hotels for a place to start.

What to see and do in Berlin

Start with the Berlin Free Walking Tour on your first morning, and you’ll have enough ideas for what to do for the rest of your stay from that alone. Being honest, the Reichstag (capital building) is a bit disappointing from the inside, although the city does have a handful of great museums clustered together that appeal to many. The Berliner Dom (cathedral) is well worth a visit and you’ll get some great photos from out front.

But mainly Berlin is about exploring the weird and funky neighborhoods for food, shopping, and nightlife. Fortunately, most of it is quite cheap as well. Probably the most famous food to try is currywurst, which is usually a paper tray containing a sliced up hot dog coated in a curry-flavored ketchup. I’m not really a fan, but you should try it, especially after a few beers.

Prague, Czechia

2022 Backpacker Index: US$53.95/day

You may not realize that most large cities in this part of Europe were practically flattened during WWII and then rebuilt just after. Fortunately, Prague is one where the historic center survived mostly intact, and it remains one of the continent’s most beautiful and interesting. The downside is that the city center is almost always packed with other tourists, so you might have to work around them a bit.

Prague is also fairly compact, with most things walking distance from each other. The city is also quite cheap still, at least compared to Western Europe, although hotel prices can seem high if you want to stay in the middle. Check our list of recommended cheap Prague hotels for some really good ones only a quick and cheap tram ride away.

What to see and do in Prague

Aside from the famous clock in the town square, Prague has a few other very worthwhile checklist attractions. The Prague Castle is one of the largest and most incredible in Europe, and the Charles Bridge and its statues feels like you should have to pay to cross it. As with most European cities, it’s wise to start with a “free” (tips-based) walking tour on your first morning in town. The Prague ones are excellent and in a couple hours you will have seen most of the famous landmarks while hearing the interesting stories behind them. Even a US$10 equivalent tip per person is a great bargain, but tip whatever you feel good about.

There is plenty more to fill a few days, plus you can catch a cheap classical concert in one of the many venues offering them, or just indulge in cheap and excellent beer like everyone else.

Budapest, Hungary

2022 Backpacker Index: US$30.45/day

Though it’s in the heart of part of Europe that isn’t known for being well off, Budapest is quite a grand city that makes it feel rather rich. Still, it’s among the cheapest European cities, and it offers very good value. Even if the castle up on the Buda side of the river isn’t a stunner, and that the parliament building on the Pest side is a copy of the one in London, this is an attractive city with a feel of its own.

Budapest is also compact enough that budget travelers can stay in the cheap hotels and hostels a bit inland on the Pest side, and still walk everywhere while sightseeing. The Free Budapest Walking Tour covers highlights on both sides, and is a great introduction.

What to see and do in Budapest

During daylight hours, Budapest has the standard selection of monuments and museums in addition to its castle complex, but separates itself from other big cities with its abundant hot springs and spas. Tourists can easily mix with locals and take a dip at a modest fee in one of the unique facilities spread around town.

At night, however, Budapest really comes into its own, with some of the most interesting nightlife in Europe. Head for what are known as “ruin pubs” on the Pest side in the old Jewish Quarter to quaff cheap drinks in converted courtyards that each has its own weird vibe.

Krakow, Poland

2022 Backpacker Index: US$30.72/day

When you hear that Krakow is among the very cheapest cities in Europe you might not expect much. But in reality, Krakow is also one of Europe’s loveliest and most pleasant cities, with quite a lot to do. At its center you’ll find about 30 square blocks of a historic medieval town, surrounded by a peaceful park, and with an enormous cafe-lined town square at its heart.

For those who like hearty portions of meats and sausages, Krakow is wonderful, but there are also many Italian and other international cuisines, including many vegetarian options, so something for everyone. Hotels just on or near the central square are reasonable, but you can stay for a lot less by going a few blocks away.

What to see and do in Krakow

As in many other cities, taking the Krakow Free Walking Tour is a great way to get oriented on your first day so you’ll know what you want to explore more deeply. You can also cover many of the main central sights on that tour, which leaves time for day trips and hanging out. Sad though it may be, a half-day trip to nearby Auschwitz is something you’ll never forget, and there is a fun salt mine attraction not far away as well.

In the evening you’ll probably find out why Krakow is very popular with the weekend party and stag-do crowds. You can sip affordable wine at one of the cafes on the square, but it might be more fun to do a pub crawl through the varied drinking establishments in the nearby Jewish Quarter. It’s easy to find a .5L beer for around US$1.50, so getting carried away is common.

Český Krumlov, Czech Republic

2022 Backpacker Index: US$40.47/day

With a population of only about 13,000 people, Český Krumlov will be an extremely welcome stop in between Prague and Budapest, or Prague and Vienna or Salzburg. This well preserved town was forgotten and almost abandoned in the later years of Communism, and it wasn’t rediscovered and renovated until well into the 1990s. Since it’s still a relative newcomer to the tourist scene, it isn’t yet “touristy” even though it’s very tourist friendly.

There are almost no chain hotels or restaurants of any kind, so staying here will be a very local experience. Better still, hotels and food here are much cheaper than even in Prague, so the value is outstanding. The historic town center is small enough to walk through in less than 10 minutes, yet you can still get nice hotels in its heart starting at around US$50 per night. As of 2022 the hostels in Český Krumlov are closed so we had to use hotels for the Backpackers Index, which makes the index price artificially higher than it should be. In other words, if you visit this town you’ll find it to be pleasantly affordable.
What to see and do in Český Krumlov

Český Krumlov does have an impressive castle perched above the compact town center, and you’ll definitely want to tour at least part of it. But really the main reason to visit the town is to slow down and appreciate being outside of Europe’s large cities for 2 or 3 days. Those other four cities are always busy and crowded, while this one is gentle and lovely, although you will be surrounded by quite a few other tourists.

As with the other cities on the list, there is a highly recommended free walking tour in Český Krumlov, which is a great place to start. That tour will also show you and explain all of the other worthwhile nearby sights, but I won’t blame you if you just prefer to grab a seat at one of the cheap restaurants with outdoor seating on the main square, and relax over a few delicious and inexpensive beers for a while.

Additional photo credits: Berlin by Philippe AMIOT on Flickr, Prague by POldi♬24 on Flickr

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  1. Indu says:

    We are planning a 4 week trip to Europe and would like to go to Paris, Italy (Rome, Milan, Venice, Florence, Naples/Pompeii) and then to Germany. We want to fly in from the US to one point and then fly back from Stuttgart back to US. Can you suggest a good route for us to be able to see everything. One week we would ideally like to spend in Germany.
    thank you

    1. Roger Wade says:


      For the cities you have in mind you’ll be best off flying into Rome because it tends to have pretty good airfares. After a few days in Rome take a train down to Sorrento to spend a couple days in Naples and Pompeii. By the way, Sorrento is much nicer and easier as a base in this area compared to Naples.

      After Sorrento take a train back through Rome and to Florence and then Venice. After Venice you will go to Milan, which is a major transport hub, and then a flight or train to Paris. After Paris you head to Germany. I’d recommend Munich and Berlin on your way back to Stuttgart, but there are many other great choices in Germany. Have a great trip and let me know if you have other questions. -Roger

  2. Juan P says:

    My wife and I want to go for our anniversary at the end of next December to Europe for 2 weeks. Paris is the only must. We are thinking either head over to Amsterdam for a couple of days and then the Alps, either French or Swiss. OR head south from Paris and hit somewhere in the Alps for 1 or 2 days, then Italy, finishing in Rome. We want to keep it affordable but we are in our late 30s and want it to be romantic and memorable.

    1. Roger Wade says:


      If you want one or two memorable days in the Alps starting from Paris, I’ll once again recommend the area above Interlaken in Switzerland. It is absolutely stunning and has views you’ll never forget. I’d recommend staying in Gimmelwald and visiting the Schilthorn observation area. It’s not cheap, but it’s the best and easiest place to get those incredible views in a short time. The French Alps are mostly ski resorts with fewer famous view points.

      You can take a train from Paris to Interlaken and then two days later take another train to Milan and then to Rome. Or you could head to Amsterdam. The views from the train to Italy will also be excellent, while it’s pretty much flat going to Amsterdam. And the weather will be better down south in March as well. This article about where to go in Switzerland will explain where to go and what to do.

      By the way, the Shilthorn cable car is expensive, but as long as the weather on top is clear it’s well worth it. It’ll be a very romantic splurge. Have a great trip. -Roger

  3. Dhwani says:

    i need your help in planning my 10 day itinerary to a few destinations in europe. my husband will be joining from poland and i will be travelling from INDIA. destinations in my mind are TURKEY, AUSTRIA, GREECE, SWITZERLAND, ITALY. PLEASE HELP ME CHOOSE THE BEST 3 OF THIS AND which are interconnected by road/train/bus. i will be travelling in the month of march end april 2016.


    1. Roger Wade says:


      If you have 10 days and want to visit 3 of these countries, it’s a pretty each choice. Turkey is huge and Greece is complicated by the fact that many of the best sights are on its islands, not to mention the fact that neither of those border the others. So you’ll want to visit Italy, Austria, and Switzerland for sure. However, Switzerland is quite expensive so it’s not ideal for every visitor, especially considering this discussion is beneath an article about “cheap European itineraries.”

      For sure you’ll want to visit Italy, and you really need at least 6 days to do it in a way that isn’t overly rushed.

      Rome: 3 nights, Florence: 2 nights, Venice: 1 night

      You can go in that order or the reverse order, and flights into Rome can be cheap from within Europe. You’ll want to take the train between them, and those train tickets will be quite cheap if you buy them at least 2 months or so in advance, and still pretty reasonable if you buy them shortly before you go.

      After Venice you’ll only have 4 days left, which isn’t really enough time to properly see both of the other countries. So what I’d recommend is to choose either Switzerland OR Austria, keeping in mind that Switzerland will probably be about 40% more expensive than Austria, and perhaps a bit more memorable as well. If you want to go to Switzerland then I highly recommend spending 2 nights in the Interlaken area and 2 nights in Lucerne. Both of those are explained in detail on my article about where to go in Switzerland.

      Your other choice is to visit Vienna for 2 nights and Salzburg for 2 nights. Vienna is a classic and grand European capital, while Salzburg is a gorgeous and historic town at the base of the Alps, so they are very different from one another.

      Whichever you decide, you can take a train from Venice to any of those four cities and then another train to the last one. The train from Venice to any of those places will cost more than your other train rides, so buying early is really helpful for the best price. But it will also be a gorgeous and scenic trip through the Alps, which will be a highlight unto itself. It’s probably best to end in Vienna for a flight home for Austria. If you choose Switzerland you can get from either of those towns to the Zurich Airport in about two hours, and there are surprisingly cheap flights from that airport in spite of high prices for everything else.

      I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions and I’ll be happy to try to help further. -Roger

  4. Ana R says:

    Hi again,
    thanks so much for replying. It helps a lot to get some advice. Planning this trip has been more stressful than I thought LOL.We have the Eurail Global Pass (10 days flexi) I guess my trouble is putting things together as it takes lots of research IMO. if you have never done it before. And also because my friend is interested in seeing her dreamed places as well.
    So, we have decided to taken Bruges off the list and this is what we have so far.Trip is from Sept.29-Oct.21
    London-2 nights-Already got the Eurostar tickets to Paris.
    Paris-3 nights. Accommodations booked and confirmed.Centrally located.
    Paris-Amsterdam Planning to pay for the reservation fee and start our journey early.We will be spending 1 night in Amsterdam.
    Amsterdam-Berlin:Oct.5 Planning to do the day trip.Arriving to Berlin around 7p.m.Will be spending 1 night in Berlin.already booked a placed to stay close to station and touristic attractions.
    Berlin-Prague: Leaving around 4ish from Berlin and getting to Prague around 9 or so. Spending 1 night in Prague. Room already booked. Centrally located as well.
    I initially had Salzburg on the list because I was doubtful. So I have decided to add it to our list.
    Prague-Salzburgh. 1 night?
    Now, the challenge is that my friend wants to stop for a few hours in Venice and Florence before heading to Pisa. I do not know what to do. Do you think is doable. She only has a couple of places in mind she wants to see in each city and that is it.
    Pisa: I really like to see the leaning tower. just a quick stop. I do not need to climb it.
    Rome: MY friend would like to spend at least 2-3 days because she would like to attend the papal mass on Sunday October 11th.
    After Rome I initially had Monaco and then I was planning to do an overnight trip from Monaco to Barcelona but an Eurail representative told me there is no overnight train from Monaco to Barcelona.
    I would not mind spending the night in Nice before heading to Barcelona. As it was on my original list as well.
    Barcelona-Zaragoza: The reason we have Zaragoza is because my friend has a niece in Zaragoza whom she wants to visit but I am trying to convince her to convince her niece to come either to Madrid or Barcelona?
    And finally we have Madrid on the list because that is where we are flying back to the U.S. mid-morning flight.
    I know this is a lot. I have spent hours and hours reading and I am still not that clear. So, I need more guidance. THanks so much for your help. Do you think this is doable? SHall we take Zaragoza off the list? My friend really wants to see her niece. But we will have to make decisions to make this work.

    1. Roger Wade says:

      Ana R,

      I agree that planning complicated trips like this is stressful, but so far you’ve done an excellent job and I’m sure it’s going to work out great. Many other people just wing it, and they are usually the ones who end up being stressed once the trip begins, while the planners can usually relax at that point. I’ll make comments in order on your new plans…

      I think saving Bruges for another trip is a good choice. Honestly, it looks a lot like Amsterdam, though it’s smaller and more relaxed. It’ll be good for a future trip.

      One night in Amsterdam is a very short stay. In fact, before I comment further, I generally recommend staying 3 nights in most European cities and 2 nights in the smaller ones. You only get a bit of sightseeing time on the arrival day, so a one-night stay means seeing very little.

      Berlin is a huge and fascinating city and one night there is too little to see more than one or two fast things. Honestly, if I were you I’d cut out some cities and stay longer in others. Traveling between cities every day is a bit exhausting and you’ll be in such a rush to even see one thing that it’s barely worth it.

      Prague is quite a large city, but at least most of the attractions are close to each other. If you go to Salzburg during the day from Prague you’ll arrive just as many things are closing.

      From Salzburg it would take you 7.5 hours to reach Venice. It’s an unbelievably scenic trip so do it during the day for sure. Once you arrive in Venice you could take a vaporetto to St. Marks Square and look around for an hour or two and that would be a fun visit, but at that point you’ll be exhausted again and getting into a hotel room will be your top priority.

      You can see the center of Florence in a few hours as well, but unlike Venice, I’m not sure such a short visit is worth it. This strategy is like walking two hours to reach a famous restaurant and then having one bite of a dish, then walking two more hours to another famous restaurant and having one bite of another famous dish, and so on. On one hand, you get to see the inside of a bunch of famous restaurants and also have a tiny taste of the food there, but it’s a LOT of work and you never get even one full meal that way.

      Pisa is kind of a dud of a city, except for the Field of Miracles (where the Leaning Tower is). It’s only about an hour by train from Florence so it’s a popular day trip from there. If you take a train to the small, closer train station to the Field of Miracles, you can walk to the Leaning Tower in about 8 minutes and it’s free to see from the outside.

      Rome is huge and amazing, and I recommend at least 3 nights there. Two nights is a rush and even then there will be many famous things that you just can’t fit into your short time there.

      Monaco is a gorgeous and tiny city that is 20 minutes by train from Nice. So even if you want to visit Monaco, it’s best to stay in Nice unless you want to pay US$400 for small hotel room in Monaco.

      Definitely get the niece to come to Barcelona or Madrid. She’ll probably be thrilled to visit either of those cities, and you’ll be far better off.

      I doubt this is what you wanted to hear, but hopefully you can cancel one or two of those hotel reservations and drop a couple cities from your trip. Your itinerary right now looks like you are running a courier service going through Europe as quickly as possible, rather than taking a holiday. I’m happy to help you sort more of this out, so don’t despair. -Roger

      1. Ana R says:

        Thank you so much for your help. I truly appreciate your help. It definitely helps. I will have to restudy the list….sigh.

  5. Ana R says:

    I need help with my 3 week itinerary. My friend and I will be traveling in Europe for the very first time. We bought the Eurail
    Global pass.Despite reading a lot, I am still confused about how the trains operate. My itinerary is as follow:
    London-Paris:5 nights combined
    Paris-Bruges:early morning or overnight train?
    Bruges-Amsterdam-1n in Amsterdam?
    Amsterdam-Berlin:overnight train
    Berlin-Prague:day train
    Prague-Pisa 1 night Praga? Overnight train to pisa.
    Pisa-Rome: explore Pisa for half a day
    Rome-Barcelona: spend 3-4 daysin Rome
    Barcelona-Zaragoza 1 night in each Spanish city?
    Zaragoza-Madrid-returning to the U.S. From Madrid
    Please help me. Thank you.

    1. Roger Wade says:

      Ana R,

      I think your itinerary looks quite good for the most part, and I think the Global Eurail Pass will come in handy. I’m not sure what specific questions you have in mind, so I’ll just make a few comments and you can ask more questions if you still have them.

      London to Paris will be on the Eurostar train, which is a separate company and not part of Eurail. Make your reservation as early as possible for the best price. If you book through the same company where you bought the Eurail Pass, you should get about a 25% discount.

      Paris to Bruges will be a 2-hour highspeed train from Paris to Brussels and then a change of trains to a one-hour ride to Bruges. The first part will require a seat reservation, which might cost around €20 because it’s a fancy and fast train. Get that reservation as early as possible because there is a limited number of seats for Eurail pass holders. For the train to Bruges you should just be able to hop aboard with no reservation.

      For Bruges to Amsterdam you’ll take the train back to Brussels (no reservation) and then a high-speed train from there to Amsterdam in a bit over an hour.

      Amsterdam to Berlin only takes about 5.5 hours if you do it during the day, but doing it at night isn’t a bad idea because the scenery is very plain. Even with a Eurail Pass, you have to reserve a seat, couchette (small bunk), or bed in the sleeper car, and there will be a small fee. If you go during the day you can just climb aboard and find a seat for free.

      Berlin to Prague takes about 5 hours.

      Prague to Pisa is very complicated and would take 16 hours during the day and even longer at night. The trains in the Czech Republic are quite slow so you can’t get very far in a day. I’ll highly recommend breaking that trip up into two parts. First go from Prague to Salzburg, which will take a bit over 6 hours. Salzburg is a wonderful town that you’ll love. Then from Salzburg to Pisa it will take about 10 hours during the day, or a bit longer at night, so it’s a good journey length.

      From Pisa to Rome only takes a couple hours.

      Rome to Barcelona is also a long and complicated journey and it would take about 24 hours if you did it in one go. The problem is that the trains that run along the southern coast of France aren’t fast and the changes are complicated. If you can fly, it would obviously be very fast and also cheap. But if you wanted to do it by train you’d be better off stopping in Nice for the night and going to Barcelona the following day.

      Barcelona and Madrid are both huge and wonderful cities, and I recommend 3 nights in each. Zaragoza is a large city but not really known for tourist destinations, so I’d skip it and just take the 3-hour high-speed train from Barcelona to Madrid. You’ll need a reservation for that one as well.

      Hopefully this helps. Let me know if you have other questions. -Roger

  6. Rachel says:

    Hi! I enjoyed this article! Very helpful. However, what does the price listed for every city include? When I was adding up travel expenses, hostels, and food, I was getting much more than listed. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong places? How did y’all get the listed amounts?

    1. Roger Wade says:


      I’m glad you found the article helpful, and you’ve reminded me that it’s very much in need of updating so I’m going to do that in the coming weeks. The numbers mentioned in the article are from our Europe Backpacker Index, which is meant to help backpackers figure out budgets. However, those numbers are based on sleeping in hostel beds and eating only in inexpensive restaurants.

      You will get more realistic daily budget numbers on our Europe 3-star Traveler Index, which has also just been updated for 2015. Thanks again for reminding me to update this article. -Roger

  7. Maulik Shah says:


    Loved the post about Prague. Would be in Prague on 29th March for 2 nights & plan to take the overnight train to Budapest on the 3rd night.

    – How would the weather be around that time |?
    – Was confused as to which area to select a hostel/hotel in ? with respect to ease of commuting/walking to major attractions.
    – Between Old Town Square – Astronomical Clock Area Casino Hotel (on priceline) & New Town square Charles Square Area Casino Hotel – which would be a better place to stay ?

    1. Roger Wade says:


      You can get an idea about what the Prague weather will be like on the main Prague prices page. Basically, it will be cold but it shouldn’t be freezing and probably not raining either.

      Generally, hotels in the Old Town of Prague will be more expensive for what you get than in the New Town area. You can walk from the Astrological Clock to the bottom of Wenceslas Square (New Town) in less than 10 minutes, so both of those are quite central. The thing you want to avoid is staying on the outer edges of town, like behind the train station or across the river and far from the castle. That time of year you should be seeing pretty good room rates, so I think paying a bit more for a central location will pay off, especially if it’s cold and you don’t want to walk long distances. -Roger

      1. Maulik says:

        Thanks a ton roger….it was this article which inspired me to take this trip up…after believing all my life that Europe was always out of budget. Your comments have been most helpful.

        Have got some amazing deals at hotel trevi in the new town area Prague and Novotel Budapest on the riverfront ..both rooms at around 55-60 usd for a double room.. Intend to go ahead with that as prices of private rooms in hostels r coming to be more expensive than these

  8. Maulik shah says:

    Thanks a ton roger…
    Budapest to Salzburg I would prefer an overnight journey….however the trains I found all had changes required in the middle of the night? Any better options?
    Also have booked the plus Berlin hostel based on recommendations on this site, however need some ideas for a great hostel in Prague and Budapest, location and availability of vegetarian food options being the key

    1. Roger Wade says:


      Yes, I’m not surprised those trains require a change in the middle of the night. In most cases they just change carriages and the travelers stay put, but for less popular journeys it can be more complicated.

      I’ll answer your Prague question under the other comment. For Budapest, you’ll want to look for a hostel as close to the river as you can afford. On the west band (Buda) it’s smaller and more touristy, so you’ll have more options on the east (Pest) side. Basically, the closer to the river, the better the location, although restaurants closer to the river are also more touristy and more expensive. The public transport system is good so you can stay nearly anywhere. This one has a good location and good reviews . -Roger

  9. Maulik Shah says:

    Hi Roger,

    Thanks for the heads up. My final itinerary is as under
    Berlin – 3 nights
    Prague -3 days 2 nights (taking overnight train from prague to budapest)
    Budapest – 2 nights
    Salsburg/Salzkammergut – 3 nights
    Vienna – 2 nights – flying out of Vienna

    Need your help on the following points
    1. Itinerary for 3 nights in Salskammergut – where to stay and towns to visit ?
    2. Best way to get from Budapest to Salskammergut – couldnt find any overnight trains
    3. Should i take a journey break at Salzburg for 1 night & do 2 nights salskammergut ? Or devote 3 nights entirely to salskammergut ?

    1. Roger Wade says:


      That looks like a very nice itinerary. With your questions I assume you are referring to Salzkammergut (with a z), and to be honest, I don’t know much about it other than Salzburg itself, which is wonderful. And since you know more about Salzkammergut than I do, I can’t really give you much advice. What I can say is that Salzburg itself is worth at least two days, and it will be one of the highlights of your trip. I was just there again about two months ago, and this time I actually did one of the Sound of Music bus tours, which was excellent because it takes you out to several of the most scenic areas near Salzburg.

      From Budapest to Salzburg it takes about 6 hours during the day, or 7.5 overnight. There is also one that leaves at 23:28 and arrives at 09:52, and that could work if you are content to go to Salzburg. I’m not sure where else you’d go to visit Salzkammergut. The daytime trip could be nice because the scenery is quite good.

      Sorry I can’t be of more help on Salzkammergut itself. I’ll have to research more about it. -Roger

  10. Maulik Shah says:


    I am from India
    Reading this post, am inspired to take this up. This will be my first trip outisde of the Indian subcontinent. Am planning this trip for a 12-14 day itinerary around end March. Apart from these 4, would you recommend any others – Can you suggest the itinerary?

    What would the weather be like? Also it’s my first Europe trip and would ideally like to include a small town or village to also get a feel of the countryside…what would be the best option here?

    1. Roger Wade says:


      In late March it will still be cold in most of Europe, but it will be warming up and it’s extremely unlikely that you’d be in a snow storm or freezing weather. Of course, the south will be warmer than the north.

      To add a small (and beautiful and cheap) town to this trip, I highly recommend Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic. It’s about 3 hours from Prague by express bus, and that will give you a nice look at the countryside as well. In fact, you’ll be able to enjoy the views in the countryside between all of these cities because in Europe the towns tend to be in clusters and once you get outside it’s farms and forest and meadows and all that.

      Have a great trip, and let me know if you have any other questions. -Roger