A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Bern vs. Budapest for Backpackers, Attractions, Nightlife, and Old Town

Should you visit Bern or Budapest?

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

Should I visit Bern or Budapest? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Bern

Bern is a cultural, historic, and charming city. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. Visitors also love the museums, nightlife, and food.

Budapest

Budapest is a bustling, cultural, and artistic city. It's an amazing and huge city with tons of activities and things to do. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. It's also known for nightlife, shopping, and museums.

Bern and Budapest: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Big city activities
  • Impressive beauty


Is there more to do in Bern or Budapest?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Budapest than Bern. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. Budapest is very popular for its nightlife and big city activities, while Bern attracts visitors for its food. Budapest is more touristy than Bern and is popular for its thermal hot springs, European spas, rich culture, and wild nightlife scene. It is also well known for The Hungarian Parliament Building. Bern is famous for its well-preserved old town and its reputation as the home of the Lindt chocolate factory.

How is Bern different from Budapest?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Budapest and Bern. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Bern or Budapest?

Bern
Budapest

Both Bern and Budapest have great landmarks and museums for visitors.

Bern offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. The city is filled with architecture and charming character. While you're in town make sure you visit the Einstein Museum, the Clock Tower, and the Bern Cathedral.

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 the Food Better in Bern or Budapest? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Bern
Budapest

Bern is very good for its local flavors and cuisine. However, Budapest is not a good destination for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Bern has a delicious restaurant scene that relies on local flavors. The city has cozy cafes, high end fine dining, traditional eateries, and modern venues.

Budapest may not make the list for most foodies, but you'll find what you need while you're in town. 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 Bern or Budapest Better for Nightlife?

Bern
Budapest

Budapest is a well-known place for nightlife. Also, Bern is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for nightlife and partying.

Budapest offers plenty to do in the evening. The city's active nightlife includes dance clubs, local pubs, and cultural festivals throughout the year.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Bern. There are bars, Irish pubs, and clubs around town.

Is Bern or Budapest Better for its Old Town?

Bern
Budapest

It's fun to wander around the great old towns in both Bern and Budapest.

Many visitors explore the old town while visiting Bern. The charming old town is filled with quaint alleys and sandstone buildings. It's a compact area that flows down a hill to the River Aare.

There is a nice variety of sights in the old town of Budapest. The city grew from the merging of two towns, Buda and Pest, which were divided by the Danube River. Buda is the more historical part of town and Pest is more modern.


Is the Shopping Better in Bern or Budapest?

Bern
Budapest

Both Bern and Budapest are great shopping destinations.

Bern is an extremely popular place for shoppers. The old town is filled with boutique shops and unique markets. The main shopping streets are Spitalgasse and Marktgasse and popular items to buy include jewelry, art, and watches.

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 Bern or Budapest Better for Families?

Bern
Budapest

Bern is great for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Budapest is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its family-friendly activities.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Bern is very family-friendly. This charming town has riverside parks and pools, a zoo, a waterpark, and kid-friendly museums that the whole family can enjoy. You can also visit nearby Gurten, a mountain with tobogganing, concerts, and a mini ski resort.

Budapest is a family-friendly place to visit. 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 Bern or Budapest Better for Couples?

Bern
Budapest

With fun activities for couples, both Bern and Budapest make for a great place to visit.

Bern is a very popular place to visit for couples. With charming restaurants, a beautiful rose garden, and nice hotels and spas, this town makes a beautiful romantic getaway.

Budapest makes for a fun place to visit for 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 Bern or Budapest Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Bern
Budapest

Budapest is renowned for backpackers. Also, Bern is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Budapest is a mecca for backpackers and budget travelers. 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.

Many backpackers visit Bern. Like most of Switzerland, prices are a bit high, but there are some hostels and free activities that backpackers and budget travelers can enjoy.

Is Bern or Budapest Better for Students?

Bern
Budapest

Budapest is renowned for students. However, Bern is not popular with students.

Many students frequent Budapest. The city has a great international vibe with several good universities that are welcoming to international students that are studying abroad.

Bern is not popular with students.

Is Bern or Budapest Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Bern
Budapest

Budapest is renowned for its public transit. Also, Bern is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for times when you don't have a car.

Budapest has a great public transit system. The metro, trams, and buses make it easy to get around town.

The public transit in Bern can get you around easily. There are trams and buses that run around town.


Is Bern or Budapest a more walkable city?

Bern
Budapest

Budapest is renowned for its walkability. Also, Bern is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its high level of walkability.

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

Bern is a very walkable city. It's fun to explore the old town on foot. It is compact enough to that you can see all of the highlights in a few hours.

For even more information, also check out Is Bern Worth Visiting? and Is Budapest Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Budapest or Bern?

How long in Bern or Budapest?

In either Bern or Budapest, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Budapest than Bern because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 1-3 days is a good amount of time for Bern, and 2-5 days is enough time in Budapest.

Families should spend more time in Bern than Budapest. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Bern, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Budapest than Bern. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Budapest that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Budapest than Bern if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Budapest.


  • How many days in Bern or Budapest? Ideal Length of Stay
    Bern 1-3 
    Budapest 2-5

One day in Bern or Budapest?

The beautiful city of Bern offers food and shopping. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one day here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Budapest is a big city destination where you can fill many days. Visiting the old town is also a must. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

A weekend in Bern or Budapest?

Bern is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Bern, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Budapest is a fun place to experience. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.


Five days in Bern or Budapest?

Bern is a popular choice for travelers. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Budapest is a authentic big city where you can fill many days. This city offers something for everyone. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Plenty of people spend five days in the area when traveling. Five days is often enough time to do most activities.

A week in Bern or Budapest?

Bern is a great place to explore. Visiting the old town is also a must. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This city offers something for everyone.

The historic city of Budapest offers museums and nightlife. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips.


Which place is cheaper, Budapest or Bern?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Bern is $261, while the average daily cost in Budapest is $92. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Bern and Budapest in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Bern $168
    Budapest $50
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Bern $336
    Budapest $100
Compare Hotels in Bern and Budapest

Looking for a hotel in Bern or Budapest? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Bern


Hotels in Budapest


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Bern Hotel Prices and Budapest Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Bern $35
    Budapest $11

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bern

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Bern:

  • Private Transfer From Bern To Basel With a 2 Hour Stop in Olten: $270
  • Private Transfer From Bern to Zurich, English Speaking Driver: $229
  • Private Direct Transfer From Bern to Basel: $214

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Budapest

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


  • Short Taxi Ride
    $7.11
  • Metro Pass
    $3.90

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Budapest

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

  • Shared Airport Shuttle Bus Transfer: $13
  • Budapest One Way Private Transfer to or from Airport: $14
  • Budapest Airport Private Departure Transfer : City to Airport: $16
  • Budapest Private Arrival Transfer: Railway station to hotels: $16
  • Premier Outlet Shopping Transfer from City Center: $16
  • Private One-Way Budapest Int Airport Transfer To/From Budapest: $24
  • Private Transfer from Budapest city to Budapest Airport - departure: $25
  • Budapest to Ferenc Liszt Intl Airport-Departure Private Transfer : $25
  • Ferenc Liszt Intl Airport to Budapest - Arrival Private Transfer : $25
  • Budapest Airport Transfers: $25
  • Private Transfer from Budapest Airport to the city - arrival: $25
  • Budapest Private transfer Airport or Hotel to or from Cruise Port: $26

Is it cheaper to fly into Bern or Budapest?

Prices for flights to both Budapest and Bern 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
    Bern $63
    Budapest $24

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Bern

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Bern.

  • Bern Food Market: Brunch & Local Food Tour: $65

Typical Food Prices in Budapest

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


  • Lunch
    $3.47

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Budapest

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

  • Downtown Budapest Cruise with Pizza and Beer: $35
  • Pizza & Beer Downtown Budapest Cruise: $35
  • Traveling Spoon Hungarian Goulash Private Online Cooking Class: $40
  • Vegan Hungarian Food Tour (full meals): $52
  • Vegan Hungarian Food Tour / Local delights: $57
  • Evening Cruise and Dinner with Champagne: $74
  • Danube Cruise with Hungarian Dinner and Live Music: $75
  • Dinner & Cruise on the Danube with Folklore Dance Show & Live Music: $76
  • Hungarian dinner + Wine tasting in a beatiful Garden: $77
  • 3-Course Dinner Cruise and Piano Show: $86
  • Dinner Cruise with Operetta and Folk Show: $86
  • 3 course Dinner Cruise with Piano Battle Show: $87

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Bern $35
    Budapest $22

Tours and Activities in Bern

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Bern are as follows:

  • 007 Elegance:Exclusive Private Tour to Schilthorn from Bern: $650
  • Alpine Heights: Small Group Tour to Jungfraujoch from Bern: $614
  • Bern Highlights Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt and Walking Tour: $7.03
  • Bern Highlights Small-Group Walking Tour with a Local: $161
  • Bern Historical UNESCO Old Town Private Tour: $167
  • Bern Historical UNESCO Old Town Private Tour: $171
  • Bern Like a Local: Customized Private Tour: $61
  • Bern Old City Walking Tour: $477
  • Bern Old Town - Private Historic Walking Tour: $540
  • Bern Private Walking Tour: $338
  • Bern Scavenger Hunt and Best Landmarks Self-Guided Tour: $4.41
  • Bern Scavenger Hunt and Sights Self-Guided Tour: $16

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
    $6.97

Tours and Activities in Budapest

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

  • First Discovery Walk and Reading Walking Tour: $3.25
  • Free Tour Budapest Essential in Spanish: $3.30
  • Free walking tour in the Buda Castle incl. Fisherman's Bastion: $3.31
  • Welcome to Budapest Walking Tour: $3.31
  • Original Budapest Alternative Street Art Tour: $3.31
  • Guided Tour in Budapest Castle District: $3.31
  • Free Walking Tour Budapest incl. the Shoes on the Danube Bank: $3.31
  • Budapest Historical Sightseeing - Walking Tour: $3.31
  • Budapest Castle District Walking Tour: $3.31
  • Original Budapest Walking Tour: $3.31
  • Communist History Evening Walking Tour of Budapest: $3.31
  • Past and Present of Budapest Jewish District Tour: $3.31

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Bern $28
    Budapest $18

Sample the Local Flavors in Budapest

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

  • 5-Hour Pub Crawl through Ruin Bars: $22
  • The Original Budapest Pub Crawl - One Hour Open Bar + Free Shots: $22
  • Ultimate Budapest Pub Crawl: $23
  • Ultimate Budapest Pub Crawl: $23
  • Bingo Bar Crawl: $25
  • Bingo Bar Crawl: $25
  • Budapest Original Ruin Pub Crawl Including 5 Shots: $28
  • Ruin Bar Pub Crawl with Entry Tickets: $29
  • Hungarian pálinka distillery visit and tasting: $33
  • Drunken History Bar Crawl Tour with Local Drinks: $42
  • Tipsy Tour Fun Bar Crawl with a Local Guide: $42
  • Drunken History Ruin Pub Walking Tour: $43


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Bern and Budapest, we can see that Bern 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 Bern would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Bern than you might in Budapest.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Bern Expensive? and Is Budapest Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Bern or Budapest?

Budapest has a larger population, and is about 10 times larger than the population of Bern. When comparing the sizes of Bern and Budapest, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Bern or Budapest?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Bern or Budapest in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Bern as well as Budapest. The family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Bern this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Budapest for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Bern is around the same temperature as Budapest. Typically, the summer temperatures in Bern in July average around 21°C (70°F), and Budapest averages at about 21°C (70°F).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Budapest. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Bern this time of the year. In the summer, Bern often gets less sunshine than Budapest. Bern gets 250 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Budapest receives 278 hours of full sun.

Bern usually gets more rain in July than Budapest. Bern gets 63 mm (2.5 in) of rain, while Budapest receives 45 mm (1.8 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Bern 21°C (70°F) 
    Budapest 21°C (70°F)

Should I visit Bern or Budapest in the Autumn?

Both Budapest and Bern are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Bern for the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area. Also, many visitors come to Budapest in the autumn for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

In October, Bern is generally around the same temperature as Budapest. Daily temperatures in Bern average around 13°C (55°F), and Budapest fluctuates around 12°C (53°F).

Bern usually receives less sunshine than Budapest during autumn. Bern gets 126 hours of sunny skies, while Budapest receives 152 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Bern usually receives more rain than Budapest. Bern gets 49 mm (1.9 in) of rain, while Budapest receives 34 mm (1.3 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Bern 13°C (55°F) 
    Budapest 12°C (53°F)

Should I visit Bern or Budapest in the Winter?

Both Budapest and Bern during the winter are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Bern in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Furthermore, most visitors come to Budapest for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

Budapest can be very cold during winter. Bern can get quite cold in the winter. Bern is much warmer than Budapest in the winter. The daily temperature in Bern averages around 3°C (37°F) in January, and Budapest fluctuates around -1°C (31°F).

In the winter, Bern often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Budapest. Bern gets 65 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Budapest receives 61 hours of full sun.

Bern usually gets more rain in January than Budapest. Bern gets 54 mm (2.1 in) of rain, while Budapest receives 42 mm (1.7 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Bern 3°C (37°F) 
    Budapest -1°C (31°F)

Should I visit Bern or Budapest in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Bern and Budapest. Most visitors come to Bern for the natural beauty during these months. Furthermore, the spring months attract visitors to Budapest because of the activities around the city and the natural beauty.

In the spring, Bern is around the same temperature as Budapest. Typically, the spring temperatures in Bern in April average around 11°C (52°F), and Budapest averages at about 12°C (53°F).

Bern usually receives less sunshine than Budapest during spring. Bern gets 164 hours of sunny skies, while Budapest receives 178 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Bern usually receives more rain than Budapest. Bern gets 59 mm (2.3 in) of rain, while Budapest receives 42 mm (1.7 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Bern 11°C (52°F) 
    Budapest 12°C (53°F)

Typical Weather for Budapest and Bern

Bern Budapest
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 3°C (37°F) 54 mm (2.1 in) -1°C (31°F) 42 mm (1.7 in)
Feb 4°C (40°F) 51 mm (2 in) 2°C (35°F) 39 mm (1.5 in)
Mar 8°C (46°F) 50 mm (2 in) 7°C (44°F) 35 mm (1.4 in)
Apr 11°C (52°F) 59 mm (2.3 in) 12°C (53°F) 42 mm (1.7 in)
May 15°C (60°F) 76 mm (3 in) 16°C (62°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)
Jun 19°C (65°F) 74 mm (2.9 in) 20°C (67°F) 69 mm (2.7 in)
Jul 21°C (70°F) 63 mm (2.5 in) 21°C (70°F) 45 mm (1.8 in)
Aug 20°C (69°F) 80 mm (3.1 in) 21°C (69°F) 56 mm (2.2 in)
Sep 18°C (64°F) 55 mm (2.2 in) 17°C (63°F) 39 mm (1.5 in)
Oct 13°C (55°F) 49 mm (1.9 in) 12°C (53°F) 34 mm (1.3 in)
Nov 7°C (45°F) 58 mm (2.3 in) 6°C (42°F) 59 mm (2.3 in)
Dec 4°C (38°F) 55 mm (2.2 in) 1°C (34°F) 48 mm (1.9 in)