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

Should you visit Budapest 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 Budapest and Karlovy Vary can help you decide which place is right for you.

Budapest

Budapest is the capital city of Hungary. It has been called the "Paris of the East" because of its impressive architecture and general beauty. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage List in 1987 because of its cultural importance, its location on the Banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter and Andrassy Avenue. In addition to its rich history, Budapest still has a young vibe with a lot of energy. There's an active night life, an impressive music scene, and a good reputation with European youth.

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 Budapest?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Budapest is $89, 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 Budapest and Karlovy Vary in more detail.



Accommodation

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $98 in Budapest For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.

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
    Budapest $49
    Karlovy Vary $34
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Budapest $98
    Karlovy Vary $68

Food

Food in Budapest costs travelers about $22 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.

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
    Budapest $22
    Karlovy Vary $23
Typical Food prices in Budapest

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


  • Lunch
    $4.20

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
  • 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
  • Dinner Cruise with Live Music: $54

Local Transportation

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Budapest than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $11 on transportation in Budapest on average per day.

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.
    Budapest $11
    Karlovy Vary $23
Typical Local Transportation prices in Budapest

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


  • Short Taxi Ride
    $8.61
  • Metro Pass
    $4.73

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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Karlovy Vary

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

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

Is it cheaper to fly into Budapest or Karlovy Vary?

Prices for flights to both Karlovy Vary and Budapest 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

Sightseeing expenses in Budapest, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $23 per day, per person.

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.
    Budapest $23
    Karlovy Vary $10
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
    $8.44

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

Tours and Activities in Karlovy Vary

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

  • A day in the life of Karlovy Vary - Private tour with a local: $249
  • Becherovka, Lemond, KV14, Cordial Ticket: $8.09
  • Karlovy Vary Private Walking Tour: $168
  • Karlovy Vary and Moser Factory Full day Tour from Prague: $107
  • Karlovy Vary plus Loket castle tour: $122
  • 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

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Budapest, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $16.

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
    Budapest $16
    Karlovy Vary $5.81

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
  • 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
  • Hungarian Wine Tasting (with Cheese and Charcuterie) in Budapest: $40

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 Budapest and Karlovy Vary, we can see that Budapest 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 Budapest would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Budapest than you might in Karlovy Vary.

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

Share This Page
Pin This Page
Budapest vs. Karlovy Vary Travel Comparison

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.