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

Should you visit Bucharest or Balaton Lake?

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 Bucharest and Balaton Lake. 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.

Where Should I go: Bucharest or Balaton Lake?

Bucharest

Bucharest is the capital and largest city in the country of Romania. With about 2 million residents living in the city and about 2.4 million in the surrounding urban area, it is also one of the largest cities in Southeastern Europe. As such, it is the economic, industrial and commercial center for the country. As a visitor, you will likely enter Romania by arriving in Bucharest. The city continues to grow and change, and there are ongoing infrastructure projects that continue to modernize the city. It is not uncommon to find historic churches on the same block as modern office buildings and Communist style apartment buildings. There are also many sights around town and the city continues to grow as a trendy and fascinating city.

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.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Bucharest, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to Romania, The Best 10-Day Tours from Budapest, and The Best 2-Week Tours from Budapest.


Which place is cheaper, Balaton Lake or Bucharest?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Bucharest is $138, while the average daily cost in Balaton Lake is $85. 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 Bucharest and Balaton Lake in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Bucharest $63
    Balaton Lake $47
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Bucharest $126
    Balaton Lake $94
Compare Hotels in Bucharest and Balaton Lake

Looking for a hotel in Bucharest or Balaton Lake? 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 Bucharest


Hotels in Balaton Lake


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: Bucharest Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Bucharest $26
    Balaton Lake $12

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bucharest

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Bucharest:

  • Bucharest Airport Transfer: $11
  • Bucuresti: Transfer Therme Bucuresti different hours: $12
  • Therme Bucuresti Transfer with Optional Ticket: $13
  • Airport Transfer: $15
  • Bucharest Transfer Service: $17
  • Bucharest Airport: Bus Transfer to/from Tecuci: $21
  • Private Bucharest Otopeni Airport (OTP) Transfer: $22
  • Bucharest Private Airport Transfer from or to City Center Hotel: $22
  • Bucharest Airport: Bus Transfer to/from Barlad: $24
  • Bucharest Airport: Bus Transfer to/from Vaslui OMV: $26
  • Bucharest Otopeni Airport OTP to Bucharest City Center Hotel - private transfer: $27
  • Transfer from Otopeni Airport to Bucharest: $29

Is it cheaper to fly into Bucharest or Balaton Lake?

Prices for flights to both Balaton Lake and Bucharest 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
    Bucharest $58
    Balaton Lake $27

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Bucharest

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

  • Dinner and tour inside the Museum of Communism: $50
  • Dinner inside the Museum of Communism & private tour: $53
  • Bohemian Bucharest Markets and Mahallas Traditional Food Tour: $60
  • Cooking Class traditional food: $65
  • Street Food Tour with a Local Guide: $74
  • Unhealthy Food Tour of Bucharest – 4 hours: $75
  • Bucharest Evening Tour and Traditional Dinner: $84
  • Bucharest Evening Tour and Traditional Dinner - 3 hours: $86
  • Discover Private Highlights and Traditional Food Tour: $108
  • Cooking Class in Transylvania - Day Tour from Bucharest: $182
  • 4-Hour Walking Food Tour in the Old Town: $202
  • Bucharest City Tour & Traditional Home-made Cooking Experience: $228

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Bucharest $15
    Balaton Lake $20

Tours and Activities in Bucharest

Here are a few actual costs in Bucharest for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Bucharest Old Town Secrets Quest Experience: $5.98
  • Old Town Secrets Quest Experience: $6.94
  • Ghost Hunt Quest Experience: $6.94
  • Entry ticket at the Museum of Communism: $8.66
  • Walking tour- The Kings and the palaces from Bucharest: $11
  • Walking night tour through Bucharest: $13
  • Reptiland Bucharest Entry Ticket: $13
  • A Tale of Bucharest Calea Victoriei Walking Tour: $14
  • Walking Tour - Delightful Bucharest (Old Town & Victory Avenue): $14
  • A Tale of Bucharest Old Town Walking Tour: $16
  • City Highlights Guided Walking Tour: $17
  • Bucharest Highlights Walking Tour: $17

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Bucharest $9.21
    Balaton Lake $8.66

Sample the Local Flavors in Bucharest

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

  • Weekend Pub Crawl: $24
  • Bucharest Pub Crawl in the Old Town: $25
  • Bachelors Party in Custom Bar Crawl: $37
  • Pub Crawl in the Old CIty and Rooftop Hopping in Bucharest: $47
  • Private Wine Tasting Experience: $48
  • Wine Tasting in Bucharest: $49
  • Private Romanian Wine Tasting in UrlaČ›i: $51
  • Bucharest Guided Pub Crawl: $52
  • Guided Pub Crawl in Bucharest: $56
  • Bucharest VIP Bar Crawl in Lipscani 'Old Town': $59
  • Wine Tasting in Bucharest long version: $65
  • Bucharest City Tour and Wine Tasting: $84


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

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


Which is Bigger, Bucharest or Balaton Lake?

Bucharest has a larger population, and is about 910 times larger than the population of Balaton Lake. When comparing the sizes of Bucharest and Balaton Lake, 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 Bucharest or Balaton Lake?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Bucharest or Balaton Lake in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Bucharest and Balaton Lake. Many travelers come to Bucharest for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Bucharest is around the same temperature as Balaton Lake. Typically, the summer temperatures in Bucharest in July average around 23°C (73°F), and Balaton Lake averages at about 22°C (71°F).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Balaton Lake this time of the year. In Bucharest, it's very sunny this time of the year. Bucharest usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Balaton Lake during summer. Bucharest gets 289 hours of sunny skies, while Balaton Lake receives 302 hours of full sun in the summer.

In July, Bucharest usually receives around the same amount of rain as Balaton Lake. Bucharest gets 64 mm (2.5 in) of rain, while Balaton Lake receives 61 mm (2.4 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Bucharest 23°C (73°F) 
    Balaton Lake 22°C (71°F)

Should I visit Bucharest or Balaton Lake in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Bucharest as well as Balaton Lake. Many visitors come to Bucharest in the autumn for the city's sights and attractions and the shopping scene.

In October, Bucharest is generally around the same temperature as Balaton Lake. Daily temperatures in Bucharest average around 13°C (55°F), and Balaton Lake fluctuates around 13°C (56°F).

In the autumn, Bucharest often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Balaton Lake. Bucharest gets 177 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Balaton Lake receives 169 hours of full sun.

Bucharest usually gets less rain in October than Balaton Lake. Bucharest gets 32 mm (1.3 in) of rain, while Balaton Lake receives 38 mm (1.5 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Bucharest 13°C (55°F) 
    Balaton Lake 13°C (56°F)

Should I visit Bucharest or Balaton Lake in the Winter?

Both Balaton Lake and Bucharest are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Bucharest for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

The weather in Balaton Lake can be very cold. Bucharest can be very cold during winter. Bucharest is much colder than Balaton Lake in the winter. The daily temperature in Bucharest averages around -1°C (29°F) in January, and Balaton Lake fluctuates around 0°C (32°F).

Bucharest usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Balaton Lake during winter. Bucharest gets 71 hours of sunny skies, while Balaton Lake receives 72 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Bucharest usually receives around the same amount of rain as Balaton Lake. Bucharest gets 40 mm (1.6 in) of rain, while Balaton Lake receives 39 mm (1.5 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Bucharest -1°C (29°F) 
    Balaton Lake 0°C (32°F)

Should I visit Bucharest or Balaton Lake in the Spring?

Both Balaton Lake and Bucharest during the spring are popular places to visit. The spring months attract visitors to Bucharest because of the activities around the city.

In the spring, Bucharest is around the same temperature as Balaton Lake. Typically, the spring temperatures in Bucharest in April average around 12°C (54°F), and Balaton Lake averages at about 12°C (54°F).

In the spring, Bucharest often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Balaton Lake. Bucharest gets 185 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Balaton Lake receives 187 hours of full sun.

Bucharest usually gets less rain in April than Balaton Lake. Bucharest gets 46 mm (1.8 in) of rain, while Balaton Lake receives 56 mm (2.2 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Bucharest 12°C (54°F) 
    Balaton Lake 12°C (54°F)

Typical Weather for Balaton Lake and Bucharest

Bucharest Balaton Lake
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan -1°C (29°F) 40 mm (1.6 in) 0°C (32°F) 39 mm (1.5 in)
Feb 1°C (34°F) 36 mm (1.4 in) 3°C (37°F) 32 mm (1.3 in)
Mar 6°C (43°F) 38 mm (1.5 in) 7°C (45°F) 38 mm (1.5 in)
Apr 12°C (54°F) 46 mm (1.8 in) 12°C (54°F) 56 mm (2.2 in)
May 18°C (64°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 17°C (63°F) 63 mm (2.5 in)
Jun 21°C (70°F) 77 mm (3 in) 20°C (68°F) 84 mm (3.3 in)
Jul 23°C (73°F) 64 mm (2.5 in) 22°C (71°F) 61 mm (2.4 in)
Aug 22°C (72°F) 58 mm (2.3 in) 22°C (71°F) 63 mm (2.5 in)
Sep 18°C (65°F) 42 mm (1.7 in) 18°C (65°F) 47 mm (1.9 in)
Oct 13°C (55°F) 32 mm (1.3 in) 13°C (56°F) 38 mm (1.5 in)
Nov 6°C (44°F) 49 mm (1.9 in) 7°C (44°F) 56 mm (2.2 in)
Dec 1°C (34°F) 43 mm (1.7 in) 2°C (36°F) 45 mm (1.8 in)