A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Athens vs. Budapest for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Backpackers

Should you visit Athens or Budapest?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Athens and Budapest. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Athens

Athens is a energetic, historic, and ancient city. Travelers will also find plenty of sights and attractions here, as it's a big city that attracts lots of visitors. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. Visitors also love the museums, nightlife, and food.

Budapest

Budapest is a authentic, bustling, and cultural city. Visitors will also find so much to do here because it's a large city with many sights and attractions. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and shopping.

How is Athens different from Budapest?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Athens or Budapest better for Museums and Historical Sights?

You'll find a number of museums and attractions in both Budapest and Athens.

With plenty of landmarks, attractions, and museums, Athens has many famous sights for visitors. As a historical capital of the world, this city has countless museums and archeological sites including the famous Acropolis, the National Archaeology Museum, and the Ancient Agora.

Many visitors head to Budapest specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. Famous sights include the Buda Castle and Castle Hill, the Hungarian Parliament Building, and St. Stephen's Basilica.


Is Athens or Budapest better for Food?

Foodies will appreciated the dining options available in Athens a bit more than Budapest.

Eat your way through Athens, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. Make sure you try the souvlaki, moussaka, and dolmades at any of the many local restaurants throughout the city.

You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in Budapest. Traditional dishes tend to be heavy on the meat and bread. They make good comfort food and are very filling meals. The city also has many great pastry shops. Make sure you check out the stuffed cabbage, goulash, and chimney cake.

Is Athens or Budapest better for Nightlife?

The vibe at night is comparable in Athens and Budapest.

The nightlife in Athens is well established with world renowned clubs and venues. There are all-night dance clubs as well as local bars and chill live music venues.

Many people head to Budapest for the nightlife scene. The city's active nightlife includes dance clubs, local pubs, and cultural festivals throughout the year.

Is Athens or Budapest better for Shopping?

If you're looking to go shopping, Athens and Budapest both offer plenty of spots.

Athens has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. Most neighborhoods have a shopping street but head to Ermou Street for some of the city's best shopping.

Budapest is well-known for its shopping. The city has a diverse shopping scene that you can experience by visiting the Central Market or Váci Street.

Is Athens or Budapest better for Families?

Both Athens and Budapest are family-friendly destinations.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Athens. With its rich history, beautiful outdoor activities, and kid-friendly food, Athens is a fun place to explore with the whole family.

Budapest offers lots of family activities. The city has the typical trampoline parks and playgrounds, but kids will also enjoy the baths and pools around town. Do take note that most of the museums are less hands on than kids prefer.


Is Athens or Budapest better for Couples?

Athens and Budapest both fun destinations for a couple.

Athens is a good city for couples to visit. The city is historical, fascinating, and romantic, making it a beautiful place to explore as a couple.

Budapest is a great city if you're traveling as a couple. With it's many beautiful neighborhoods, and unique entertainment options including the opera, this is a fun city for couples. The baths and spas also make for a great experience for couples.

Is Athens or Budapest better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

For backpackers, both Athens and Budapest are fairly comparable places to visit.

With so many budget-friendly offerings, Athens is extremely popular for backpackers. The city has long been established as a backpackers destination with budget friendly food and plenty of hostels around town.

Many backpackers frequent Budapest. The city is more affordable than many large cities and it has a number of fun hostels to choose from. There's a good backpacker vibe around town with many places to meet and hang out with other travelers.

Is Athens or Budapest better for Students?

For students, both Athens and Budapest are fairly comparable places to visit.

Many students visit Athens. International students will appreciate the rich history, archaeological ruins, and unique opportunities that are available here.

Students come from all over the world to visit Budapest. The city has a great international vibe with several good universities that are welcoming to international students that are studying abroad.

Is Athens or Budapest better for Public Transit?

Athens and Budapest both offer public transit to get you around.

Many visitors use the public transit system in Athens. The city's metro system has 3 lines that connect to bus, tram and commuter rail lines.

The thorough and effecient public transit system of Budapest can take you anywhere. The metro, trams, and buses make it easy to get around town.


Is Athens or Budapest a more walkable city?

Athens and Budapest are similar when it comes to walkability.

Athens is a very walkable destination. You'll find the city's most walkable area's in the historical heart, where there are many pedestrian only streets and shopping areas.

Budapest is a very easy city to get around on foot. Pest is very flat, making for an easy stroll, while Buda is more hilly.

Athens and Budapest: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty
Cons
  • Less popular for food


Should I spend more time in Budapest or Athens?

How long in Athens or Budapest?

In either Athens or Budapest, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Athens than Budapest because of the overall number of sights and activities.

The ideal length of time for a trip to Athens is 3-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Budapest is 2-5 days.


  • How many days in Athens or Budapest? Ideal Length of Stay
    Athens 3-7 
    Budapest 2-5

One day in Athens or Budapest?

Athens is a big city with plenty to do. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Many travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the big city destination of Budapest. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Athens or Budapest?

Athens is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area.

Budapest is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Five days in Athens or Budapest?

Athens is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Athens, five days is sufficent for most. The entire area has lots to do.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Budapest. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


A week in Athens or Budapest?

Athens is a great place to explore. It is common to spend one week here. One week is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Athens has to offer. This city offers something for everyone.

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the authentic big city of Budapest. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Which city is cheaper, Budapest or Athens?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Athens is €103, while the average daily cost in Budapest is €66. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Athens and Budapest in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Athens 51
    Budapest 36
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Athens 102
    Budapest 72

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Athens 22
    Budapest 7.84
Typical Local Transportation prices in Athens

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Athens:


  • Airport Bus for Two
    6.40
  • Metro
    1.50
  • Metro
    2.00
  • Metro from Airport to City Center
    8.00
  • Taxi from Airport
    35

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Athens

Also for Athens, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Transfer from Αthens City to Igoumenitsa Port: $1,763
  • Private Transfer from Athens City to Syvota: $1,203
  • Private City Transfer From Athens To Pilos: $970
  • Private City Transfer From Athens to Kranidi: $970
  • Transfer to Corfu from Athens including visit to Delphi: $964
  • Athens to Corfu Luxury Private Transfer: $890
  • Private Transfer to/ from Lefkada Marina to/ from Athens Airport or City Centre: $759
  • Transfer From Athens To Lefkada: $678
  • Private Transfer from Athens to Nafplio: $666
  • Transfer to Lefkada - The Safest and most Convinient way: $605
  • Delphi Private Full Day Luxury Transfers From Athens: $597
  • Private Transfer from Athens-Pireaus-ATH to Igoumenitsa-Parga-Sivota-Ioannina: $592

Typical Local Transportation prices in Budapest

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Budapest:


  • Short Taxi Ride
    6.41
  • Metro Pass
    3.52

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Budapest

Also for Budapest, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Luxury transfer from Budapest to Zagreb with 5+ stops along the way: $1,081
  • Private transfer from Budapest to Prague: $987
  • Private Budapest-Ljubljana(Ljubljana- Budapest)Transfer with a comfortable car: $871
  • Private Transfer to Bucharest from Budapest (Hungary): $809
  • Budapest -Belgrade(Belgrade-Budapest)private transfer with a comfortable car/van: $809
  • Budapest-Prague (Prague-Budapest) private transfer with a comfortable car / van: $759
  • From Budapest to Frankfurt Airport Private Transfer - punctual & friendly Driver: $705
  • One-way Transfer from Budapest Airport to Prague City Centre: $695
  • Private transfer from Budapest to Vienna: $683
  • Budapest - Kraków(Kraków -Budapest) private transfer with a comfortable car /van: $666
  • Private transfer from airport Budapest (BUD) to Ljubljana: $664
  • Private Transfer from Budapest to Prague: $664

Is it cheaper to fly into Athens or Budapest?

Prices for flights to both Budapest and Athens change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Athens 30
    Budapest 16
Typical Food prices in Athens

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Athens:


  • Ice cream
    3.00
  • Souvlaki
    2.20

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Athens

For Athens, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Online 1hr Cooking Class: Santorini Tomato Fritters: $6.22
  • Greek Meatballs Private Online Cooking Class: $27
  • Withlocals the 10 Tastings: Athens Private Food Tour with a Local: $42
  • Online Cooking Class: Greek mini cheese pies: $45
  • Street Culture & Food Tour: $56
  • Afternoon Food Tour: $56
  • Athens walking and tasting food tour.: $60
  • 4-Hour Cooking Class with Market Visit: $69
  • Homemade Gyros cooking class and dinner in Athens for private groups: $75
  • The Classic Food Tour: $76
  • Taste of Half-Day Small Group Food Tour: $77
  • Greek Phyllo and Pie Cooking Class in Athens: $77

Typical Food prices in Budapest

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Budapest:


  • Lunch
    3.13

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Budapest

For Budapest, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Lángos (hungarian streetfood) cooking class: $19
  • Dinner & Cruise on the Danube in Budapest: $23
  • Traveling Spoon Hungarian Goulash Private Online Cooking Class: $27
  • 3-Hour Dinner Cruise and Piano Battle Show: $31
  • Vegan Food Tour / Local delights: $36
  • Private Budapest Food Tour with a Local Foodie: $37
  • Live from Hungarian Online Cooking class: $39
  • Bitemojo Self Guided Food Tour Night & The City Budapest: $47
  • Food Tour in Budapest: $50
  • Bitemojo Self Guided Food Tour of Trendy Budapest: $51
  • BBQ dinner and a Quiz Night - welcome shots (hungaricums) and 88 craft beers: $52
  • 2-Hours Strudel Cooking Class and Wine Tasting in Central Budapest: $53

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Athens 28
    Budapest 17

Tours and Activities in Athens

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Athens.

  • "A Must-See" Anc. Epidaurus, Mycenae & Nafplion Premium Full Day Tour By Locals: $411
  • "Athens city tour": $270
  • "Private tour in Athens": $243
  • ''Tour in Athens'': $118
  • 1 Day Private Tour Corinth, Cave of Lakes at Kalavrita & Journey by Cog Railway: $264
  • 1 Day Private tour to Meteora, visit the Monasteries are lying on the cliffs.: $317
  • 1 Day Saronic Islands Cruise: $168
  • 10 Day Greek Island Tour: Mykonos, Santorini-Volcano, Crete, Delos, Knossos,: $2,457
  • 10 Day Ultimate Ancient Greece Tours Experience: $2,411
  • 10 Day to Explore the Best Historical Gems in Greece and tour in Santorini: $1,798
  • 10 Days Private Tour: North Greece: $2,706
  • 10 Days Private Tour: Peloponnese: $2,706

Typical Entertainment prices in Budapest

For Budapest, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Entrance to the Baths for Two
    6.28

Tours and Activities in Budapest

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Budapest.

  • "This is the Way!" - Budapest Photo Tour by Birta Photo: $124
  • 'Best of Pest' 3.5 Hour Private Photography Tour: $112
  • 1 Hour 30 Minutes Downtown Budapest Guided Segway Tour: $93
  • 1. Downtown Pest Side Segway Tour Budapest: $54
  • 10 days private sightseeing tour from Budapest to Prague: $3,109
  • 101 things you have to see in Budapest - Full Day Private Tour: $203
  • 2 Hour Budapest Market and Tasting Tour: $54
  • 2 Hours Cultural and Food Experiences in Budapest: $60
  • 2 Hours Walking Tour in Budapest: $11
  • 2 days Vienna - Bratislava PRIVATE guided tour package from Budapest with lunch: $1,070
  • 2 days Vienna - Wachau Valley PRIVATE guided tour package from Budapest: $1,070
  • 2 hours long private orientation tour in Budapest: $101

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Athens 18
    Budapest 12

Sample the Local Flavors in Athens

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Athens:

  • Athens Walking Tour with Food and Wine Tasting: $37
  • Virtual Greek Wine Tasting: $87
  • Athens Food and Wine Tasting Tour: $96
  • Wine tasting tour: $131
  • Wine Tasting and Athens Trikke Combo Tour: $133
  • The Best Winery & Tasting Tour in Nemea.Enjoy a unique all day wine tasting tour: $140
  • Private Wine Tasting Experience of Greek Awarded Wines in Athens: $148
  • Premium Wine Tour in Peloponnese -Ancient Corinthos, Nemea - the Land of Myth: $148
  • Athens Private Wine Tasting Tour - Dionysian Grapes: $149
  • Ancient Corinth & Nemea Wine Tasting (up to 15 in a Luxurious Mercedes Minibus): $151
  • Greek Private Wine Tasting: $166
  • Mercedes Private Full-Day Tour, Nafplio, Corinth Canal and Wine Tasting: $168

Sample the Local Flavors in Budapest

Also in Budapest, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Bingo Bar Crawl: $15
  • Bingo Bar Crawl: $15
  • Original Budapest Pub Crawl and VIP Club Entrance: $16
  • Ultimate Ruin Pub Crawl: $18
  • Generation Pub Crawl Budapest: $19
  • Ruin Pub Crawl - Your Keys to the Nightlife of Budapest: $21
  • Budapest Pub Crawl: $24
  • Pest side Pub Crawl - Unlimited drinks for an hour, discover hidden ruin pubs: $25
  • Re-opening Pub Crawls 2020 Summer-Autumn: $25
  • Budapest Pub Crawl with Skip-the-Line Access: $26
  • Epic Local Insider Pub Crawl in Budapest - Every weekend: $30
  • Party Cruise with Pub Crawl option: $37


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Athens and Budapest, we can see that Athens is more expensive. And not only is Budapest much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Budapest would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Budapest and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Athens would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Athens than you might in Budapest.

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Athens vs. Budapest Travel Comparison

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