The Central Europe Trifecta: Visiting Prague, Vienna & Budapest

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Central Europe is filled with hidden gems, but there are three standout capital cities that have stolen the limelight in recent years, linked by their past and being arguably three of Europe’s most photogenic cities to see in the flesh. Thus a visit to Central Europe would be incomplete without visit Prague’s Czech bohemian architecture, Vienna’s Imperial Palaces and Budapest’s famous hot thermal springs. Equally so, an entire itinerary in Central Europe could focus completely on these three gems with a recommended 3 nights staying in each. So if you’re thinking of visiting Prague, Vienna and Budapest, here is an entire itinerary to help you plan your stay in three of Europe’s most magical cities.

Central Europe Highlights



The Czech capital has a way of capturing the hearts of each and every person to enter the city, even if you’re just visiting Prague for a few days. With impossibly charming alleyways, the Vltava River running through the city and an eery castle atop a hill that overlooks the city, there really is so much to keep you busy in Prague for your first visit. I happened to love the city so much that I have since returned thrice, and I still feel as if there is more to explore amidst the terracotta rooftops.

Insider Tips:

Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for Franz kafka references throughout the city, as well as visiting the statue of Prague’s most celebrated literary artist.

One of Prague’s little known hidden gems is a haven of rare and beautiful books, located inside the library at Strahov Monastery.

Charles Bridge, which is lined with 16 arches and 30 baroque statues, is best seen at dawn before the sun rises and the crowds begin marching their way to Prague’s most talked about point of interest.

Although a little walk out of the way, the extra effort is worth it to walk up the Vltava River to Ginger & Fred’s “Dancing House” as it has come to be known – a modern architectural beauty unique to Prague.

If you’re looking to splurge on a romantic weekend in Prague, the Four Seasons Prague has one of the best room views in the entire city, and the Mandarin Oriental Prague have some great dining options for a special evening out.

Further reading: Prague Bucket List // Prague for First Timers

Vienna Bucket list


Imperial and impressive, Vienna is one of the grandest cities in all of Europe. The kaffeehaus culture mixed with the ornate architecture transports you back to a time that time itself forgot, and you can’t help but to imagine up a story or two from previous lives.

Insider Tips:

If you see just one work of art during your time in Vienna, head on over to the Belvedere to see Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss – an incredible work of symbolist art, fashioned using gold leaf.

Make sure you cafe hop around Vienna’s famous kaffeehaus‘, though if you’re just looking for one to try, head to Cafe Landtmann and try the apple strudel.

For the best schnitzel, head to Figlmuller.

The best restaurant in Vienna is actually located 25 kilometres outside of the city itself, but should this not deter you be sure to check out Marchfelderhof restaurant –a destination in itself.

Sachertorte, a beautifully rich cake created in 1832 is a staple dish to try in the Austrian capital. If you’re wondering where to find the best variation, its a toss up between Hotel Sacher and Demel. In the interest of market research, I suggest trying both.

Further reading: A Quick Guide to Vienna // Vienna Bucket List



Glittering at dusk as the city illuminates, Budapest is a city that looks glamorous on the surface… but dig a little deeper and you will uncover a turbulent past. Now with influence from the Turkish Ottoman Empire and Austrian Habsburg Empire, Budapest is one of Europe’s most unique cities to visit with many thermal baths, imperial architecture, and a very vibrant youthful scene in the summer time.

There are oodles of places to visit in Budapest to keep you busy for three or four days, however these insider tips will ensure you don’t miss anything important!

Insider Tips:

The Fisherman’s Bastion towers illuminate at dusk and offer the best views over the city.

If you plan to do any souvenir shopping, look out for the painted wooden Hungarian dolls in traditional dress.

Although not as highly talked about as other attractions, one step inside The Great Synagogue on Dohany Street will leave you in complete awe.

Further reading: 5 Must See Sites in Budapest for First Timers

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    April 24, 2016 at 5:03 am

    Like Maja, we did these three plus Bratislava. Definitely worth a stop off in Slovakia on the way to or from Budapest, it’s an easy addition with lots to see and a very different feel to the other three.

    Miles of Happiness - Marie
    April 23, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    3 cities I’ve never seen in Europe and really wish I’ll visit soon. I’ve got some family who used to live in Prague and really LOVED it. It sounds fabulous.

    April 23, 2016 at 7:09 am

    This is why I love this blog!!!! I am planning my trip to Paris, Vienna, Budapest and Prague thats coming up in a couple of weeks. I have been all over the blog gathering info and now it is all in this one post. Love it!

    • Brooke Saward
      April 24, 2016 at 7:56 am

      Aww thanks so much Steph – enjoy your trip and look out for the Paris posts!! xo

    April 22, 2016 at 11:39 pm

    I’ve only been to Budapest and I can’t wait to go to the other two!

    April 22, 2016 at 11:14 pm

    Beautiful photography!
    Dancing building in Prague is so remarkable! I’ve seen it such a long long time ago and will never forget 🙂 It really impressed me 🙂

    April 22, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    Great post! I visited all 3 (and Bratislava) last month–such amazing cities. Do you have a favorite of the three?!
    I’ve been following your page for about a year now and this is my first ever comment! I started my own travel blog a few months ago, just wanted to say thanks for the continual inspiration 🙂

    April 22, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    Aaw Vienna is just one of my favorite cities! I hope you enjoyed your trip. I also saw on your Instagram that you had a quick stop in Switzerland. I hope you had a great time here 🙂
    xx, Carmen –

    April 22, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    I have never been to Prague but have visited Budapest and Vienna when I was only 3 years old, but I’ve been dying to (re)visit these places for years!

    April 22, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    I am from Prague but I think the city is interesting just in the historical center – Mala Strana. We Czechs are really discusting about wenceslaw square and no progress in architecture. Public space is not such a wonderful thing. This is why I think Budapest or Vienna are much more better. Even if Budapest is little but dirty in streets – but still has its unique atmosphere 🙂 I think what is worthy in Czech Republic is Kutna Hora or Cesky Krumlov 🙂

    April 22, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    Hi Brooke. A great read on Central Europe. If you were to add another 3 major cities in that region to visit, what would they be? I have an extended period of time between tours during the European summer and will likely be heading to the 3 cities in the blog. I’ll have enough time to visit more places though so what would you suggest? Thanks heaps!

    April 22, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    I have yet to visit Prague, Vienna, Budapest- but they are most definitely on my list! These photos capture the charming streets so beautifully, and it seems as though there is so much to do in each! Thank you for this 🙂

    April 22, 2016 at 11:02 am

    Awesome post! Just what I needed to read 🙂