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

Should you visit Bucharest 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 Bucharest 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.

Bucharest

It's a large city, so you'll find plenty of things to do around town. Visitors also love the museums, nightlife, and food.

Budapest

Budapest is a authentic, bustling, and cultural city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. And you can't forget about the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Bucharest and Budapest: Pros and Cons

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


How is Bucharest different from Budapest?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Bucharest or Budapest better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Plenty of people visit the sights and museums in both Bucharest and Budapest.

Bucharest offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. The city is rich in landmarks and historical buildings. Popular sights include the Romanian Athenaeum, the Palace of the Parliament, Stavropoleos Church, and Curtea Veche.

Budapest offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. Famous sights include the Buda Castle and Castle Hill, the Hungarian Parliament Building, and St. Stephen's Basilica.

Bucharest
Budapest


Is Bucharest or Budapest better for Food?

There are opportunities to sample the local cuisine at great restaurants in both Bucharest and Budapest.

Visitors will find a budding food and restaurant scene in Bucharest. Many Romanian recipes have been passed down through the generations and they still use traditional flavors. You'll see some German or Hungarian influences, but the flavors are still uniquely Romanian. Popular dishes include ciorba (tripe soup), cabbage rolls, and mici (grilled meat rolls).

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.

Bucharest
Budapest

Is Bucharest or Budapest better for Nightlife?

Party-goers will find similar levels of energy in Bucharest and Budapest.

Bucharest has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. The city has come to life with its party scene, with many bars and clubs that you can choose from. There are rooftop bars, chic dance clubs, and cozy pubs where you can pass the evening. You'll find most of the upscale clubs in the northern part of the city, with a more casual scene found in the downtown areas around Universitate and Romanā.

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.

Bucharest
Budapest

Is Bucharest or Budapest better for Shopping?

Shopping is a popular activity in both Budapest and Bucharest.

Bucharest offers some nice shopping areas. The residents love fashion, and you'll find many shopping centers around town where you can find a good deal. In addition to the many malls, there are also antique shops, flea markets and boutique clothing stores where you might find a hidden gem.

Many visitors explore the shopping areas in Budapest. The city has a diverse shopping scene that you can experience by visiting the Central Market or Váci Street.

Bucharest
Budapest

Is Bucharest or Budapest better for Families?

Both Bucharest and Budapest are family-friendly destinations.

Bucharest doesn't usually come to mind when thinking about kid-friendly destinations. Kid-friendly activities include kid's play areas, museums such as the Museum of the Senses, and water centered activities like rowing in the park or visiting the wellness center Therme.

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.

Bucharest
Budapest


Is Bucharest or Budapest better for Couples?

Budapest offers a wider variety of romantic activities for couples than Bucharest.

Couples visit Budapest frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. 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.

Bucharest is not always the best place to visit for a couple. The city has some romantic settings such as wandering down Victory Avenue or exploring the historic Cotroceni Neighbourhood. There are also several gardens and a number of nice cafes to explore.

Bucharest
Budapest

Is Bucharest or Budapest better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Most people consider Budapest to be better for backpackers than Bucharest.

Backpackers and budget travelers come from all over the world to visit 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.

It's common for backpackers to visit Bucharest. The city is affordable, but it's often overlooked by backpackers. Part of the charm for many is the sense of authenticity that can often be hard to find in travel these days.

Bucharest
Budapest

Is Bucharest or Budapest better for Public Transit?

You'll find somewhat comparable public transit options in both Bucharest and Budapest.

The public transit in Bucharest can get you around easily. Public transit options include trams, buses, and trolley buses.

Public transit in Budapest is top-notch. The metro, trams, and buses make it easy to get around town.

Bucharest
Budapest

Is Bucharest or Budapest a more walkable city?

Budapest is considered more walkable than Bucharest.

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

Bucharest is a somewhat walkable . Many of the tourist attractions are within a walkable area.

Bucharest
Budapest


Should I spend more time in Budapest or Bucharest?

How long in Bucharest or Budapest?

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

The ideal length of time for a trip to Bucharest is 1-3 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Budapest is 2-5 days.


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

One day in Bucharest or Budapest?

The of Bucharest offers food and shopping. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one day here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

People visit Budapest because there is so much to do. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A weekend in Bucharest or Budapest?

Bucharest is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this makes for a great vacation. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Bucharest, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area.

People visit Budapest because there is so much to do. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Bucharest or Budapest?

Bucharest 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 area has lots to do.

People visit Budapest because there is so much to do. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this city makes for a great vacation. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer.

A week in Bucharest or Budapest?

Bucharest is a great place to explore. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This offers something for everyone.

Budapest is a popular choice for travelers. 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. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Which city is cheaper, Budapest or Bucharest?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Bucharest is $101, while the average daily cost in Budapest is $63. 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 Bucharest and Budapest in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Bucharest $46
    Budapest $35
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Bucharest $92
    Budapest $70
Compare Hotels in Bucharest and Budapest

Looking for a hotel in Bucharest 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 Bucharest


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.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Bucharest $19
    Budapest $7.45

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Bucharest

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Bucharest:

  • Private Transfer to from Bucharest to Vienna City Austria Price/Car 1-8 Seats: $1,555
  • Private transfer from Bucharest to Istanbul price/car 1-4 seat: $941
  • Private Transfer from Bucharest to Budapest price/car 1-4 seat: $941
  • Private Transfer from Bucharest to Tirana Albania Price/Car 1-4 Seats: $941
  • Private Transfer to Budapest (Hungary) from Bucharest: $746
  • Private Transfer from Bucharest to Budapest: $684
  • Private Transfer from Bucharest to Thessaloniki Salonic GR Price/Car 1-4 Seats: $672
  • Private Transfer from Bucharest to Skopje, Macedonia de Nord Price/Car 1-4 Seats: $672
  • Private Transfer: Bucharest to Bucharest B. A. V. International Airport (BBU): $622
  • Private Transfer from Bucharest to Cluj City Untold and Electric Castle 1-8 Seat: $605
  • Private Transfer from Bucharest to Sofia (BG) with Van, Price/Car 1-8 Seat: $537
  • Private Transfer to Bucharest from Sofia (BG) with Van, Price/Car 1-8 Seat: $537

Typical Local Transportation prices in Budapest

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


  • Short Taxi Ride
    $6.08
  • Metro Pass
    $3.34

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Budapest

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

  • Airport Transfer Budapest: $32
  • Airport Transfer Budapest: $50
  • Airport and Hotel transfer: $31
  • Airport transfer with guided tour: $216
  • Arrival Private Transfer Budapest Airport BUD to Budapest City by Luxury Van: $93
  • Arrival Private Transfer Budapest Airport BUD to Budapest City in Business Car: $62
  • Arrival Private Transfer Budapest Airport BUD to Budapest City in Standard Car: $57
  • Budapest - Belgrade Transfer: $349
  • Budapest - Bratislava Transfer: $202
  • Budapest - Bratislava transfer: $180
  • Budapest - Brno (Brno - Budapest) private transfer with a comfortable car / van: $485
  • Budapest - Bük Transfer: $171

Is it cheaper to fly into Bucharest or Budapest?

Prices for flights to both Budapest 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 $43
    Budapest $16

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Bucharest

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

  • Bucharest Evening Tour and Traditional Dinner - 3 hours: $80
  • Cooking Class in Transylvania - Day Tour from Bucharest: $199
  • Walking Food Tour in the Old Town of Bucharest: $199
  • Bucharest City Tour & Traditional Home-made Cooking Experience: $223
  • Private Dracula Castle Tour by night and Romanian traditional dinner: $331

Typical Food prices in Budapest

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


  • Lunch
    $2.97

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.
    Bucharest $11
    Budapest $16

Tours and Activities in Bucharest

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

  • 1 Day - 4x4 Private Tour in Transylvania: $200
  • 1 Day 4x4 JEEP Tour in Carpathian Mountains: $129
  • 1 Day ATV and Buggy Tour Carpathian Mountains: $181
  • 1 Day Castles Tour - Sinaia and Bran: $149
  • 1 Day Communist Experience: $168
  • 1 Day Private Tour-Slanic Salt Mine, Mud Vulcanos & Wine Testing From Bucharest: $160
  • 1 Day Private Tour-Slanic Salt Mine, Mud Vulcanos - From Bucharest: $187
  • 1 day Cycling Tour from Bucharest - Biking The Roads Of History: $196
  • 1-Day Private Guided Tour: The Story of 40 Years of Communism in Romania: $158
  • 1-Day Private Tour - In the Footsteps of Communism - Execution Museum Included: $188
  • 1-Day Private Tour Constanta: The Ancient City of Tomis, Seaside Tour Included: $222
  • 10 days Small Group Balkans Tour from Bucharest with Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia: $2,115

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
    $5.97

Tours and Activities in Budapest

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

  • Budapest Private Tour: Buda Castle District Exploration Game: $3.72
  • Discovering Explore the city's hot pools and heroes on an audio tour: $5.00
  • Private Budapest Ghost Tour: Haunted City Exploration Game: $5.65
  • Digital 100-Sights City Tour: $5.67
  • Urban Tour of the Outer viii district Budapest: $6.22
  • Guided Tour in Budapest Castle District: $6.22
  • The Legendary Vampires at the Castle's Court Audio Tour: $6.59
  • Alternative Street Tip Based Walking Tour of Budapest: $6.77
  • Aeropark Admission Ticket: $6.91
  • Budapest Downtown and Inner City E-Scooter Tour: $7.46
  • Skip the Line: Aeropark Aviation Museum Entrance Ticket: $8.01
  • Robert Capa Contemporary Photograhy Center Visit Ticket: $8.71

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Bucharest $6.72
    Budapest $12

Sample the Local Flavors in Bucharest

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

  • Pub Crawl in the Old Town: $23
  • Wine Tasting Tour of Bucharest Old Town: $61
  • Wine Tasting Tour at First Wine Bar: $61
  • Private Wine Tasting at Bucharest's First Wine Bar: $65
  • Bucharest City Tour and Wine Tasting – 2.5 hours: $88
  • Traditions in Village Museum & Wine Tasting: $93
  • Bike & Wine tour in Dealu Mare wineland: $96
  • Wine tasting at the mansion, Dracula's grave from Snagov & Mogosoaia Palace: $100
  • Traditions in Village Museum and Wine Tasting Tour: $100
  • Romanian Wine Tasting: $106
  • Romanian Wine Tasting Experience: $113
  • Lacerta Crama Wine Tasting: $113

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 Bucharest and Budapest, we can see that Bucharest 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 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 Budapest.


When is the best time to visit Bucharest 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 Bucharest or Budapest in the Summer?

Both Budapest and Bucharest during the summer are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Bucharest for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Budapest in the summer for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences.

Bucharest is around the same temperature as Budapest in the summer. The temperature in Bucharest is usually 23°C (73°F) in July, and Budapest stays around 21°C (70°F).

In Budapest, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Bucharest. In the summer, Bucharest often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Budapest. Bucharest gets 289 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Budapest receives 278 hours of full sun.

Bucharest usually gets more rain in July than Budapest. Bucharest gets 64 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
    Bucharest 23°C (73°F) 
    Budapest 21°C (70°F)

Should I visit Bucharest or Budapest in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Bucharest and Budapest. Many visitors come to Bucharest in the autumn for the city's sights and attractions and the shopping scene. Also, most visitors come to Budapest for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

In the autumn, Bucharest is around the same temperature as Budapest. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Bucharest in October are around 13°C (55°F), and Budapest is about 12°C (53°F).

Bucharest usually receives more sunshine than Budapest during autumn. At this time of the year, Bucharest gets 177 hours of sunny skies, while Budapest receives 152 hours of full sun.

In October, Bucharest usually receives around the same amount of rain as Budapest. At this time of the year, Bucharest gets 32 mm (1.3 in) of rain, while Budapest receives 34 mm (1.3 in) of rain.


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

Should I visit Bucharest or Budapest in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Bucharest as well as Budapest. Most visitors come to Bucharest for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Budapest because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

The weather in Budapest can be very cold. Bucharest can be very cold during winter. In January, Bucharest is generally much colder than Budapest. Temperatures in Bucharest average around -1°C (29°F), and Budapest stays around -1°C (31°F).

In the winter, Bucharest often gets more sunshine than Budapest. Bucharest gets 71 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Budapest receives 61 hours of full sun.

Bucharest usually gets around the same amount of rain in January as Budapest. Bucharest gets 40 mm (1.6 in) of rain, while Budapest receives 42 mm (1.7 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Bucharest -1°C (29°F) 
    Budapest -1°C (31°F)

Should I visit Bucharest or Budapest in the Spring?

Both Budapest and Bucharest are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. The spring months attract visitors to Bucharest because of the activities around the city. Also, the activities around the city and the natural beauty are the main draw to Budapest this time of year.

Bucharest is around the same temperature as Budapest in the spring. The temperature in Bucharest is usually 12°C (54°F) in April, and Budapest stays around 12°C (53°F).

Bucharest usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Budapest during spring. At this time of the year, Bucharest gets 185 hours of sunny skies, while Budapest receives 178 hours of full sun.

In April, Bucharest usually receives more rain than Budapest. At this time of the year, Bucharest gets 46 mm (1.8 in) of rain, while Budapest receives 42 mm (1.7 in) of rain.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Bucharest 12°C (54°F) 
    Budapest 12°C (53°F)

Typical Weather for Budapest and Bucharest

Bucharest Budapest
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan -1°C (29°F) 40 mm (1.6 in) -1°C (31°F) 42 mm (1.7 in)
Feb 1°C (34°F) 36 mm (1.4 in) 2°C (35°F) 39 mm (1.5 in)
Mar 6°C (43°F) 38 mm (1.5 in) 7°C (44°F) 35 mm (1.4 in)
Apr 12°C (54°F) 46 mm (1.8 in) 12°C (53°F) 42 mm (1.7 in)
May 18°C (64°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 16°C (62°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)
Jun 21°C (70°F) 77 mm (3 in) 20°C (67°F) 69 mm (2.7 in)
Jul 23°C (73°F) 64 mm (2.5 in) 21°C (70°F) 45 mm (1.8 in)
Aug 22°C (72°F) 58 mm (2.3 in) 21°C (69°F) 56 mm (2.2 in)
Sep 18°C (65°F) 42 mm (1.7 in) 17°C (63°F) 39 mm (1.5 in)
Oct 13°C (55°F) 32 mm (1.3 in) 12°C (53°F) 34 mm (1.3 in)
Nov 6°C (44°F) 49 mm (1.9 in) 6°C (42°F) 59 mm (2.3 in)
Dec 1°C (34°F) 43 mm (1.7 in) 1°C (34°F) 48 mm (1.9 in)


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Bucharest vs. Budapest Travel Comparison

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