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

Should you visit Saint Petersburg or Budapest?

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

Should I visit Saint Petersburg 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.

Where Should I go: Saint Petersburg or Budapest?

Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg is a beautiful city that sits on the eastern edge of the Baltic Sea. Its historical city center is threaded with canals and architecturally impressive buildings, leaving little doubt as to why this city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the second largest city in Russia, but perhaps a favorite among travelers. The metropolitan area has a population of over 5 million as well as an impressive culture with fascinating museums, restaurants, and architecture. The city has no shortage of sights and attractions, and many days can be passed while you wander its intricate streets.

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.

Which place is cheaper, Budapest or Saint Petersburg?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Saint Petersburg is $65, while the average daily cost in Budapest is $89. 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 Saint Petersburg and Budapest in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Saint Petersburg $37
    Budapest $50
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Saint Petersburg $74
    Budapest $100
Compare Hotels in Saint Petersburg and Budapest

Looking for a hotel in Saint Petersburg 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 Saint Petersburg


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.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Budapest Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Saint Petersburg $7.44
    Budapest $11
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Saint Petersburg

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


  • Metro Passes
    $1.37

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Budapest

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


  • Short Taxi Ride
    $7.11
  • Metro Pass
    $3.90

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Budapest

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

  • Try find your better than us!Airport transfer service in Budapest​ APT-HTL (BUD): $57
  • Try find your better than us! Airport transfer service in Budapest HTL-APT (BUD): $57
  • Transfer from Vienna to Budapest: $714
  • T72 Tank Driving with Hummer Transfer: $1,613
  • Speed boat cruise on Budapest Danube river and private airport transfer package: $92
  • Private transfer from Budapest to Zagreb: $942
  • Private transfer from Budapest to Vienna: $595
  • Private transfer from Budapest to Prague: $1,071
  • Private transfer from Budapest to Bratislava with Hotel or Airport pick-up: $279
  • Private transfer between Budapest and Vienna: $476
  • Private arrival OR departure transfer in Budapest (hotel OR airport pick-up): $100
  • Private Transfer: Budapest to Budapest International Airport (BUD): $44

Is it cheaper to fly into Saint Petersburg or Budapest?

Prices for flights to both Budapest and Saint Petersburg 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
    Saint Petersburg $19
    Budapest $24
Typical Food Prices in Saint Petersburg

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


  • Lunch for Two
    $4.71

Typical Food Prices in Budapest

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


  • Lunch
    $3.47

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Budapest

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

  • Downtown Budapest Cruise with Pizza and Beer: $35
  • Pizza & Beer Downtown Budapest Cruise: $35
  • Traveling Spoon Hungarian Goulash Private Online Cooking Class: $40
  • Vegan Hungarian Food Tour (full meals): $52
  • Vegan Hungarian Food Tour / Local delights: $57
  • Evening Cruise and Dinner with Champagne: $74
  • Danube Cruise with Hungarian Dinner and Live Music: $75
  • Dinner & Cruise on the Danube with Folklore Dance Show & Live Music: $76
  • Hungarian dinner + Wine tasting in a beatiful Garden: $77
  • 3-Course Dinner Cruise and Piano Show: $86
  • Dinner Cruise with Operetta and Folk Show: $86
  • 3 course Dinner Cruise with Piano Battle Show: $87

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Saint Petersburg $19
    Budapest $22

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
    $6.97

Tours and Activities in Budapest

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

  • Budapest Downtown 90-Minute River Segway Tour : $50
  • Danube Bend Private All Day Tour with Lunch, with entrance fees and cruise: $132
  • E-ticket to Vajdahunyad Castle with Audio Tour on Your Phone : $19
  • Interactive Magic and Witchcraft Discovery Tour in Budapest: $22
  • Private Budapest city tour with a daytime Danube river cruise: $243
  • 1 Hour Budapest Segway Tour - Parliament Hightails: $39
  • 1 Hour Sightseeing Cruise in Budapest: $7.72
  • 1.5 Hour Budapest Segway Tour - To The Castle Area : $50
  • 101 things you have to see in Budapest - Full Day Tour with Lunch & Dessert: $187
  • 10PM Budapest Danube Cruise with Live Music & Food or Drinks : $20
  • 2 Hour Budapest Market and Tasting Tour: $57
  • 2 Hours Buda Castle Walking Tour - Walk with a Historian: $39

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Saint Petersburg $9.89
    Budapest $18

Sample the Local Flavors in Budapest

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

  • The Original Budapest Pub Crawl - One Hour Open Bar + Free Shots: $18
  • 5-Hour Pub Crawl through Ruin Bars: $22
  • Ultimate Budapest Pub Crawl: $23
  • Ultimate Budapest Pub Crawl: $23
  • Bingo Bar Crawl: $25
  • Bingo Bar Crawl: $25
  • Budapest Original Ruin Pub Crawl Including 5 Shots: $28
  • Ruin Bar Pub Crawl with Entry Tickets: $29
  • Hungarian pálinka distillery visit and tasting: $33
  • Drunken History Bar Crawl Tour with Local Drinks: $42
  • Tipsy Tour Fun Bar Crawl with a Local Guide: $42
  • Drunken History Ruin Pub Walking Tour: $43


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Saint Petersburg and Budapest, we can see that Budapest is more expensive. And not only is Saint Petersburg much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Saint Petersburg would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Saint Petersburg 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 Saint Petersburg.

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


Which is Bigger, Saint Petersburg or Budapest?

Saint Petersburg has a larger population, and is about 2 times larger than the population of Budapest. When comparing the sizes of Saint Petersburg and Budapest, 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 Saint Petersburg or Budapest?

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 Saint Petersburg or Budapest in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Saint Petersburg and Budapest. Also, many travelers come to Budapest for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences.

Saint Petersburg is cooler than Budapest in the summer. The daily temperature in Saint Petersburg averages around 18°C (64°F) in July, and Budapest fluctuates around 21°C (70°F).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Budapest this time of the year. In Saint Petersburg, it's very sunny this time of the year. Saint Petersburg usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Budapest during summer. Saint Petersburg gets 267 hours of sunny skies, while Budapest receives 278 hours of full sun in the summer.

In July, Saint Petersburg usually receives more rain than Budapest. Saint Petersburg gets 77 mm (3 in) of rain, while Budapest receives 45 mm (1.8 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Saint Petersburg 18°C (64°F) 
    Budapest 21°C (70°F)

Should I visit Saint Petersburg or Budapest in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Saint Petersburg as well as Budapest. Also, many visitors come to Budapest in the autumn for the city's sights and attractions, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

In the autumn, Saint Petersburg is much colder than Budapest. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Saint Petersburg in October average around 6°C (42°F), and Budapest averages at about 12°C (53°F).

In the autumn, Saint Petersburg often gets less sunshine than Budapest. Saint Petersburg gets 70 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Budapest receives 152 hours of full sun.

Saint Petersburg usually gets more rain in October than Budapest. Saint Petersburg gets 65 mm (2.6 in) of rain, while Budapest receives 34 mm (1.3 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Saint Petersburg 6°C (42°F) 
    Budapest 12°C (53°F)

Should I visit Saint Petersburg or Budapest in the Winter?

Both Budapest and Saint Petersburg are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Also, most visitors come to Budapest for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

Budapest can be very cold during winter. Saint Petersburg can get quite cold in the winter. In January, Saint Petersburg is generally much colder than Budapest. Daily temperatures in Saint Petersburg average around -8°C (18°F), and Budapest fluctuates around -1°C (31°F).

Saint Petersburg usually receives less sunshine than Budapest during winter. Saint Petersburg gets 22 hours of sunny skies, while Budapest receives 61 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Saint Petersburg usually receives less rain than Budapest. Saint Petersburg gets 38 mm (1.5 in) of rain, while Budapest receives 42 mm (1.7 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Saint Petersburg -8°C (18°F) 
    Budapest -1°C (31°F)

Should I visit Saint Petersburg or Budapest in the Spring?

Both Budapest and Saint Petersburg during the spring are popular places to visit. Furthermore, the spring months attract visitors to Budapest because of the activities around the city and the natural beauty.

Saint Petersburg can be very cold during spring. Saint Petersburg is much colder than Budapest in the spring. The daily temperature in Saint Petersburg averages around 4°C (40°F) in April, and Budapest fluctuates around 12°C (53°F).

In the spring, Saint Petersburg often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Budapest. Saint Petersburg gets 180 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Budapest receives 178 hours of full sun.

Saint Petersburg usually gets less rain in April than Budapest. Saint Petersburg gets 33 mm (1.3 in) of rain, while Budapest receives 42 mm (1.7 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Saint Petersburg 4°C (40°F) 
    Budapest 12°C (53°F)

Typical Weather for Budapest and Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg Budapest
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan -8°C (18°F) 38 mm (1.5 in) -1°C (31°F) 42 mm (1.7 in)
Feb -7°C (20°F) 31 mm (1.2 in) 2°C (35°F) 39 mm (1.5 in)
Mar -2°C (28°F) 34 mm (1.3 in) 7°C (44°F) 35 mm (1.4 in)
Apr 4°C (40°F) 33 mm (1.3 in) 12°C (53°F) 42 mm (1.7 in)
May 11°C (52°F) 37 mm (1.5 in) 16°C (62°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)
Jun 16°C (60°F) 55 mm (2.2 in) 20°C (67°F) 69 mm (2.7 in)
Jul 18°C (64°F) 77 mm (3 in) 21°C (70°F) 45 mm (1.8 in)
Aug 16°C (62°F) 80 mm (3.1 in) 21°C (69°F) 56 mm (2.2 in)
Sep 11°C (52°F) 69 mm (2.7 in) 17°C (63°F) 39 mm (1.5 in)
Oct 6°C (42°F) 65 mm (2.6 in) 12°C (53°F) 34 mm (1.3 in)
Nov 0°C (32°F) 54 mm (2.1 in) 6°C (42°F) 59 mm (2.3 in)
Dec -5°C (24°F) 48 mm (1.9 in) 1°C (34°F) 48 mm (1.9 in)