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

Should you visit Budapest or Madrid?

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

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 Madrid can help you decide which place is right for you.

Budapest

Budapest is a historic, authentic, and bustling 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. Other reasons to visit include nightlife, shopping, and museums.

Madrid

Madrid is a friendly, cultural, and diverse city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. Visitors also love the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

How is Budapest different from Madrid?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Budapest or Madrid better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Visiting museums and landmarks is a fun activity in both Budapest and Madrid.

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.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Madrid. There are a number of cultural sights in the city including Museo Nacional del Prado, the Royal Palace and Gardens, and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.


Is Budapest or Madrid better for Food?

Foodies will appreciated the dining options available in Madrid a bit more than Budapest.

Madrid has long been recognized as a culinary destination. The city has a mix of flavors that come from all of Spain. Local favorites include roast suckling pig, Spanish omelette, and meat and chickpea stew.

Budapest offers some easy restaurants to choose from. 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 Budapest or Madrid better for Nightlife?

The vibe at night is comparable in Budapest and Madrid.

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.

Madrid is a destination that you simply have to visit at least once for nightlife. Many tourists and international students hang out in the Huertas area, while Malasaña has a bohemian, hipster vibe with small clubs that play indie music. Chueca is a fun area that's known for being gay-friendly with many good bars. Finally, you'll find that the area around Avenida de Brasil is where famous DJs often perform.

Is Budapest or Madrid better for Shopping?

If you're looking to go shopping, Budapest and Madrid both offer plenty of spots.

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.

People travel from around the world to go shopping in Madrid. Gran Vía is a main thoroughfare in Madrid that is also popular for shopping. Calle Fuencarral is where you'll find the fashion shops and Calle Preciados is a fun pedestrian area to explore.

Is Budapest or Madrid better for Families?

You'll find kid-friendly activities in either Budapest or Madrid.

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.

Madrid is a very family-friendly destination. Kids love splashing around at Madrid Río, taking a ride on the cable car (Teleférico), and exploring the city's many parks and playgrounds. There's even a maze at Sabatini Gardens. Restaurants around the city are also very kid-friendly.


Is Budapest or Madrid better for Couples?

Both Budapest and Madrid are good destinations to visit as a couple.

Budapest is a great city if you're traveling as 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.

Madrid is a great city if you're traveling as a couple. Fun and romantic activities around town include taking a boat ride at Casa de Campo, riding a bike in one of the many parks, and enjoy dinner and show in the evening.

Is Budapest or Madrid better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

For backpackers, both Budapest and Madrid are fairly comparable places to visit.

Many backpackers frequent 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.

Madrid is a mecca for backpackers and budget travelers. The many hostels around town make it easy for backpackers to find affordable accommodation while also meeting other travelers.

Is Budapest or Madrid better for Students?

For students, both Budapest and Madrid are fairly comparable places to visit.

Students come from all over the world to visit Budapest. The city has a great international vibe with several good universities that are welcoming to international students that are studying abroad.

Madrid is a very popular city for students. With several great universities, this city is popular with international and study abroad students. The city also has a diverse population and an active nightlife that appeals to students.

Is Budapest or Madrid better for Public Transit?

Budapest and Madrid both offer public transit to get you around.

The thorough and effecient public transit system of Budapest can take you anywhere. The metro, trams, and buses make it easy to get around town.

Madrid has a great public transit system. The system includes the Madrid Metro, buses, and a light rail system.


Is Budapest or Madrid a more walkable city?

Budapest and Madrid are similar when it comes to walkability.

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

Madrid is a very easy city to get around on foot. Most tourists stay in the central part of Madrid where it's compact and relatively easy to walk to most tourist sights.

Budapest and Madrid: Pros and Cons

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


Should I spend more time in Madrid or Budapest?

How long in Budapest or Madrid?

In either Budapest or Madrid, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. You can fill a similar amount of time in either place.

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


  • How many days in Budapest or Madrid? Ideal Length of Stay
    Budapest 2-5 
    Madrid 2-5

One day in Budapest or Madrid?

Budapest is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

The city of Madrid offers museums and nightlife. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

A weekend in Budapest or Madrid?

Budapest is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Madrid 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. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Madrid, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area.

Five days in Budapest or Madrid?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Budapest. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Madrid is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Madrid, five days is sufficent for most. The entire area has lots to do.


A week in Budapest or Madrid?

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the artistic big city of Budapest. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Madrid 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 city offers something for everyone.

Which city is cheaper, Madrid or Budapest?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Budapest is $70, while the average daily cost in Madrid is $112. 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 Budapest and Madrid in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Budapest $38
    Madrid $62
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Budapest $76
    Madrid $124

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Budapest $8.25
    Madrid $16
Typical Local Transportation prices in Budapest

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


  • Short Taxi Ride
    $6.74
  • Metro Pass
    $3.70

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

Typical Local Transportation prices in Madrid

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Madrid are as follows:


  • Taxi Ride
    $27

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Madrid

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

  • Private one way transfer from Madrid to Seville with private pick up & drop off: $1,081
  • Private Transfer from Madrid city to Biarritz: $890
  • Private Transfer from Madrid city to Biarritz Airport: $890
  • Private Weekend Trip to Madrid with Private Transfers and Private Tours: $840
  • Private Transfer from Madrid city to Pamplona: $753
  • Private Transfer from Madrid city to Pamplona Airport: $753
  • DUCA - Hassle-Free transfer from Madrid to Vicentine Coast: $743
  • Private Transfer from Madrid to Bilbao Cruise Port: $739
  • Private Transfer from Madrid city to Bilbao: $739
  • Private Transfer from Madrid city to Bilbao Airport: $739
  • Private Transfer from Madrid city to Santander Airport: $677
  • Private Transfer from Madrid to Santander Port: $677

Is it cheaper to fly into Budapest or Madrid?

Prices for flights to both Madrid 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Budapest $17
    Madrid $29
Typical Food prices in Budapest

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


  • Lunch
    $3.29

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

Typical Food prices in Madrid

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


  • Coffee
    $2.10
  • Ice Cream
    $3.16
  • Kebabs (for 2)
    $17
  • Croissant
    $1.58
  • Lunch at Airport (for 2)
    $17

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Madrid

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

  • Virtual Cooking Class: The Spanish Paella Experience: $24
  • Florida Retiro Dinner Show: $38
  • Murder Mystery Dinner Experience: $49
  • Virtual cooking - spanish "tortilla de patatas": $50
  • Murder Mystery Dinner Experience: $50
  • Flamenco Workshop and Show with Dinner and Drinks: $51
  • Skip the Line: Flamenco Show with Dinner and Workshop in Madrid Ticket: $52
  • Homemade pasta cooking class and lunch in the heart of Madrid: $58
  • Mamaz Social Italian Dinner in Madrid: $60
  • 3-hour Virtual Spanish Cooking Class in Madrid: $62
  • Iberico Ham and Spanish Wine Small-Group Food Tour: $67
  • Authentic Italian Dinner in Madrid: $68

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Budapest $18
    Madrid $28
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
    $6.61

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 Madrid

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

  • 10 Days Tour Heart of Spain: $1,592
  • 10-Day Andalusia and Morocco escorted tour from Madrid: $1,680
  • 10-Day Guided Tour Morocco and Andalusia from Madrid: $1,709
  • 11-Day Portugal and Andalucia Guided Tour from Madrid: $1,735
  • 12-Day Morocco and South of Spain Tour from Madrid: $1,722
  • 13-Day Mediterranean Capitals Guided Tour from Madrid: $2,114
  • 2 Hour Hidden Oasis Retiro Park Madrid Small Group Segway Tour: $33
  • 2 Hours Secrets of Madrid Retiro Park Tour: $11
  • 2-Day Guided Tour Cordoba and Seville from Madrid: $404
  • 2-Day guided tour Caceres & Sevilla from Madrid by Bus and High Speed Train: $361
  • 2-Hour Patisserie Experience for Dessert Lovers: $50
  • 2-Hour Tour of Prado Museum in Madrid: $72

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Budapest $13
    Madrid $17

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

Typical Alcohol prices in Madrid

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Madrid are as follows:


  • Beer
    $5.26
  • Drinks and Tapas (for 2)
    $14

Sample the Local Flavors in Madrid

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Madrid:

  • Pub Crawl in Madrid: $15
  • Pub Crawl Madrid by Madpartycrew: $19
  • Wine Tasting near Plaza Mayor: $20
  • Wine Tasting Experience: $32
  • Wine Tasting Experience: $43
  • Madrid Tapas and Mysteries Walking Tour with Private Option and Pub Crawl: $47
  • Wine Tasting and Flamenco Master Class in Madrid: $58
  • Segovia and Spanish Versailles Full-Day Tour with Wine Tasting: $62
  • Old Town Madrid Gourmet Tapas and Wine Tasting Walking Tour: $82
  • Gourmet Tapas & Wine Tasting Experience In Madrid: $91
  • Madrid Tapas and Wine Tasting Tour: $93
  • Madrid Tapas Diaries- A Premium Food & Wine Tour in the old city of Madrid: $123


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

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Budapest vs. Madrid Travel Comparison

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