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

Should you visit Lisbon or Budapest?

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

Should I visit Lisbon 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.

Lisbon

Lisbon is a picturesque, colorful, and vibrant city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. Many visitors also come here because of it's amazing beauty. Visitors also love the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Budapest

Budapest is a bustling, cultural, and artistic city. Visitors will also find so much to do here because it's a large city with many sights and attractions. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and shopping.

How is Lisbon different from Budapest?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Is Lisbon or Budapest better for Museums and Historical Sights?

You'll find a number of museums and attractions in both Budapest and Lisbon.

With plenty of landmarks, attractions, and museums, Lisbon has many famous sights for visitors. World renowned landmarks include St. George's Castle, Jerónimos monastery, the Belém Tower, Santa Justa Lift, and countless world class museums.

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 Lisbon or Budapest better for Food?

For a nice culinary experience, head to Lisbon, which is well known for it's local dishes.

For foodies, Lisbon is an obvious choice, as it is one of the food capitals of the world. There are many local restaurants as well as food tours and cooking classes that you can enjoy. Make sure you try the local favorites like bacalhau à brás, frango no churrasco, and pastel de nata.

You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in Budapest. 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 Lisbon or Budapest better for Nightlife?

The nightlife scene is relatively similar in Lisbon and Budapest.

The nightlife in Lisbon is well established with world renowned clubs and venues. It is a bustling city with a lot of energy late into the night. There are countless bars, clubs, and music venues that cater to every personality type and style.

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.

Is Lisbon or Budapest better for Shopping?

Shoppers can find a variety of stores in both Lisbon and Budapest.

Many people travel to Lisbon specifically to go shopping. For high end shopping, head to The Avenida da Liberdade. It's lined with designer brands and luxury boutiques.

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 Lisbon or Budapest better for Families?

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Lisbon or Budapest.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Lisbon. Popular family-friendly activities include exploring Castelo Sao Jorge, visiting the aquarium, hanging out on the beach, and of course, taking the funiculars.

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.


Is Lisbon or Budapest better for Couples?

With fun activities for couples, both Lisbon and Budapest make for a good place to visit.

Lisbon makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. With it's colorful buildings and dramatic hills, this city offers a truly romantic setting for couples.

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.

Is Lisbon or Budapest better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Lisbon and Budapest are both good destinations for backpackers.

Lisbon is a very popular city to visit for backpackers. Hostels are abundant, and you'll have no trouble finding other backpackers to hang out with. Many hostels even organize activities and group meals for travelers.

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.

Is Lisbon or Budapest better for Students?

Both Lisbon and Budapest are popular destinations for students.

Lisbon is a very popular city for students and younger travelers. It's a lively city with a lot to see and do for international students.

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.

Is Lisbon or Budapest better for Public Transit?

Visitors will find public transit in both Lisbon and Budapest.

Visitors in Lisbon can get around quickly with the extensive public transit system. The metro has four lines that go around the city. There are also trams, buses, and the funiculars.

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.


Is Lisbon or Budapest a more walkable city?

Lisbon and Budapest are similar when it comes to walkability.

It's very easy to get around on foot in Lisbon. There are many walkable areas that aren't too hilly like Baixa, a stretch along the Tagus River, and Belém.

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.

Lisbon and Budapest: Pros and Cons

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
  • Impressive beauty
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


Should I spend more time in Budapest or Lisbon?

How long in Lisbon or Budapest?

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

The ideal length of time for a trip to Lisbon is 3-7 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Budapest is 2-5 days.


  • How many days in Lisbon or Budapest? Ideal Length of Stay
    Lisbon 3-7 
    Budapest 2-5

One day in Lisbon or Budapest?

Lisbon is a big city with plenty to do. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. 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.

Many travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the big city destination of Budapest. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Lisbon or Budapest?

Lisbon is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. Take your pick from the many activities offered around the area.

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.

Five days in Lisbon or Budapest?

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

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.


A week in Lisbon or Budapest?

Lisbon is a great place to explore. It is common to spend one week here. Visiting the old town is also a must. One week is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Lisbon has to offer. This city offers something for everyone.

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the authentic 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.

Which city is cheaper, Budapest or Lisbon?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Lisbon is €105, while the average daily cost in Budapest is €66. 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 Lisbon and Budapest in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Lisbon 47
    Budapest 36
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Lisbon 94
    Budapest 72

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Lisbon 19
    Budapest 7.84
Typical Local Transportation prices in Lisbon

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Lisbon:


  • Taxi Ride
    6.50

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Lisbon

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

  • Transfer To or From Paris: $1,709
  • Private Lisbon route: Transfers, city tour and full day Sintra w/ driver & guide: $1,680
  • Transfer 3 legs: Lisbon - Algarve - Porto - Lisbon: $1,443
  • Transfer Lisboa - Barcelona: $1,354
  • Transfer from Lisbon to Madrid (And Vice Versa): $1,300
  • Private ONE WAY transfer from Lisbon to Seville with private pick up & drop off: $1,151
  • Transfer from Lisbon to Sevilha (And Vice Versa): $1,013
  • Transfer To or From Barcelona: $989
  • Seville PRIVATE Transfer from Lisbon with 1 Optional stop in Évora: $886
  • Chauffeur LISBON Private Transfer to SEVILLE (5 to 8 passengers): $886
  • Lisbon to Sevile Transfer: $832
  • Full Day Transfer from Lisbon to Oporto: $809

Typical Local Transportation prices in Budapest

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


  • Short Taxi Ride
    6.41
  • Metro Pass
    3.52

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Budapest

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

  • Weekend in Private transfer and tours with official tour guide: $498
  • Vienna Transfer: $187
  • Transfer to Bucharest from Budapest: $311
  • Transfer in private vehicle from Budapest Ferenc Airport to Budapest City Center: $33
  • Transfer in private vehicle from Budapest City Center to Ferenc Liszt Airport: $33
  • Transfer in private minivan from Budapest Ferenc Airport to Budapest City Center: $43
  • Transfer in Private Minivan from Budapest City Center to Ferenc Liszt Airport: $43
  • Transfer from Budapest to Salzburg: Private sightseeing daytrip with 2 stops: $282
  • Transfer from Budapest to Prague: Private sightseeing daytrip with two stops: $274
  • Transfer from Budapest Airport to Koper: $321
  • Speed boat cruise on Budapest Danube river and private airport transfer package: $93
  • Sisi's Royal Palace tour with transfer: $145

Is it cheaper to fly into Lisbon or Budapest?

Prices for flights to both Budapest and Lisbon 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
    Lisbon 34
    Budapest 16
Typical Food prices in Lisbon

For Lisbon, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Coffee
    2.50

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Lisbon

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

  • Virtual Portuguese Cooking Lesson: $31
  • Live Online Cooking Class from Pastel de Nata with Filipa: $39
  • Bohemian dinner party on a beautiful rooftop near the coast: $42
  • 2-Hour Pastel de Nata Cooking Class: $51
  • The magic of Pasteis de Nata cooking class in Lisbon: $53
  • Bitemojo Self Guided Food Tour New To Lisbon: $54
  • Withlocals Your Way: Lisbon Personalised Private Food Tour: $56
  • Pastel de Nata Cooking Class with Local Baker: $57
  • Private Groups: Pastel de Nata cooking class and tasting in Lisbon's pastry shop: $57
  • Authentic Portuguese dinner with a local chef: $58
  • Lisbon Food Tour: $62
  • Lisbon Old Town Food Tour by Sitway: $63

Typical Food prices in Budapest

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


  • Lunch
    3.13

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.
    Lisbon 19
    Budapest 17

Tours and Activities in Lisbon

For Lisbon, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Évora and Arraiolos - 8 Hour Private Tour: $183
  • Évora and Megaliths Full-Day Tour from Lisbon: $82
  • 10 Days Private Tour in Portugal from Lisbon: $2,476
  • 10 Hour Private Tour: Lisbon, Sintra, Cascais and Estoril Highlights: $213
  • 2 Day Street Art Private Tour from Lisbon: $933
  • 2 Days Private Tour In the Algarve from Lisbon: $682
  • 3 Days Private Tour In Lisbon: $639
  • 3 Days Private Tour In the Algarve from Lisbon: $886
  • 3 Days Private Tour. Wines and Gastronomy: $980
  • 3 days Escape in Upper Alentejo, away from the crowds , experience authenticy of POrtugal: $2,053
  • 3-Night Private Tour of Lisbon, Sintra, Cascais, Estoril, Sesimbra and Arrábida: $1,086
  • 3-Night Private Tour of Lisbon, Sintra, Cascais, Estoril, Óbidos, Nazaré and Fátima: $954

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
    6.28

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

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Lisbon 14
    Budapest 12

Sample the Local Flavors in Lisbon

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Lisbon:

  • 1-Hour Portuguese Wine Tasting Session: $22
  • 3-Hour Portuguese History & Flavors Food & Wine Tour: $30
  • Portuguese Wine Tasting and Cheese Lunch: $56
  • Christ the King and Arrábida Small-Group Tour with Wine Tasting from Lisbon: $58
  • Craft Beer, Port & Wine Tour: $68
  • Food & Wine Tasting Walking Tour: $75
  • Santuário Cristo Rei-Sesimbra-Castle Palmela-Bacalhoa Winery with wine tasting: $81
  • Full-Day Évora Wine Tour: $84
  • Wine Tasting in Lisbon: $87
  • Private Van Tour Arrabida and Wine Tasting: $89
  • Wine tasting Private Day Tour ARRABIDA: $92
  • Van Private Tour Arrábida Wine Tour: $96

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

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Lisbon vs. Budapest Travel Comparison

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