A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Balaton Lake vs. Karlovy Vary for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Balaton Lake or Karlovy Vary?

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Balaton Lake and Karlovy Vary can help you decide which place is right for you.

Balaton Lake

Balaton is a major freshwater lake in Hungary and the largest lake in Central Europe with a shoreline of 197 kilometers. The region around the lake is a popular holiday destination with a great number of resort towns and high-rise hotels to accommodate visitors seeking out lakeside activities, beaches, volcanic hills, and vineyards. Some of the towns are also very historic, offering examples from eighteenth-century art and architecture to castle ruins.

Karlovy Vary

Founded in 1370, Karlovy Vary translates to "Charles' Bath" for its founder Charles IV, King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor, as well as its famous hot springs. It is located in Bohemia in the western Czech Republic and is also known as Karlsbad (German) or Carlsbad (English). Another highlight is the International Film Festival in July with draws celebrities and other film enthusiasts worldwide.

Which city is cheaper, Karlovy Vary or Balaton Lake?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Balaton Lake is $85, while the average daily cost in Karlovy Vary is $72. 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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Balaton Lake and Karlovy Vary in more detail.



Accommodation

Balaton Lake's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $94. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $47.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $68 in Karlovy Vary For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Balaton Lake $47
    Karlovy Vary $34
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Balaton Lake $94
    Karlovy Vary $68

Food

The price of a meal in Balaton Lake can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $27 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $11 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.

The price of a meal in Karlovy Vary can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $23 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $9.20 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Balaton Lake $27
    Karlovy Vary $23

Local Transportation

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $12 per day to get around in Balaton Lake.

To get around in Karlovy Vary, the average visitor spends $23 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Balaton Lake $12
    Karlovy Vary $23

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Karlovy Vary

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

  • Low Cost Private Transfer From Karlovy Vary International Airport to Karlovy Vary City - One Way: $37
  • Private Transfer from Karlovy Vary to Prague, English-speaking driver: $124
  • Transfer from Karlovy Vary to Prague: Private sightseeing daytrip with 1 Stop: $146
  • Private Transfer from Karlovy Vary to Prague: $199
  • Private one way transfer from Karlovy Vary to Český Krumlov: $418

Is it cheaper to fly into Balaton Lake or Karlovy Vary?

Prices for flights to both Karlovy Vary and Balaton Lake 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.





Entertainment

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $20 per person, per day in Balaton Lake. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.

In Karlovy Vary, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $10 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Balaton Lake $20
    Karlovy Vary $10

Tours and Activities in Karlovy Vary

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

  • Becherovka, Lemond, KV14, Cordial Ticket: $8.09
  • Karlovy Vary and Moser Factory Full day Tour from Prague: $107
  • Karlovy Vary plus Loket castle tour: $122
  • Karlovy Vary Private Walking Tour: $168
  • Private tour of best of Karlovy Vary - Sightseeing, Food & Culture with a local: $187
  • Touristic highlights of Karlovy Vary on a Private half day tour with a local: $187
  • A day in the life of Karlovy Vary - Private tour with a local: $249

Alcohol

The average person spends about $8.71 on alcoholic beverages in Balaton Lake per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Karlovy Vary, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $5.81.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Balaton Lake $8.71
    Karlovy Vary $5.81

Sample the Local Flavors in Karlovy Vary

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Karlovy Vary:

  • Karlovy Vary and Krusovice Brewery Private Day Trip from Prague: $145
  • Karlovy Vary & Krusovice Brewery Private Day Trip from Prague for up to 8 people: $304


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Balaton Lake and Karlovy Vary, we can see that Balaton Lake is more expensive. And not only is Karlovy Vary much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Karlovy Vary would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Karlovy Vary 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 Balaton Lake would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Balaton Lake than you might in Karlovy Vary.

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Balaton Lake vs. Karlovy Vary Travel Comparison

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