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

Should you visit Zurich 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 Zurich 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.

Zurich

Zurich is a beautiful, historic, and liberal city. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. Visitors also love the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

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.

Zurich and Budapest: Pros and Cons

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


How is Zurich different from Budapest?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Zurich or Budapest Better for Museums and Historical Sights?

Zurich
Budapest

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

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Zurich. Make sure you check out the Museum of Fine Arts, the Fraumünster, as well as the Swiss National Museum.

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.


Is Zurich or Budapest Better for Food?

Zurich
Budapest

Most foodies will appreciate the restaurant options in Zurich a bit more than Budapest.

Eating is part of the travel experience when you visit Zurich. Many restaurants have a strong German influence, but you'll also find traditional Swiss dishes such as cheese and chocolate fondue. There are also several Michelin star restaurants in town.

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.

Is Zurich or Budapest Better for Nightlife?

Zurich
Budapest

Both Zurich and Budapest are comparable when it comes to partying.

Zurich offers plenty to do in the evening. The city has some of the best nightlife in Switzerland. There are a high concentration of bars and clubs around town, or you could check out one of the badis, which are pools that also act as bars during the summer months. They're usually located by the lake.

Budapest has a large number of nightlife venues. The city's active nightlife includes dance clubs, local pubs, and cultural festivals throughout the year.

Is Zurich or Budapest Better for Shopping?

Zurich
Budapest

Both Zurich and Budapest are good shopping destinations.

The abundance of shops in Zurich make it a world-class shopping destination. Visitors often buy chocolate, watches, and jewelry in this city. You'll find brand names and luxury items that are of high quality. Each neighborhood has its own character with stores ranging from traditional to international.

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.

Is Zurich or Budapest Better for Families?

Zurich
Budapest

Both Zurich and Budapest are family-friendly destinations.

Zurich is a very kid-friendly city. It's a surprisingly mellow city with a relaxing vibe that makes it easy to explore with kids. Popular family-friendly activities include swimming in the Limmat River, sailing on Lake Zurich, and visiting Josefwiese park, which has a large playground.

Budapest is a family-friendly city. 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 Zurich or Budapest Better for Couples?

Zurich
Budapest

Zurich and Budapest both fun destinations for a couple.

Zurich is a very popular place to visit for couples. One of the most romantic experiences you can have in town is visiting the Zurich Thermal Baths and Spa. There's an outdoor rooftop thermal pool as well as many ways that you can pamper yourselves.

Budapest makes for a fun place to visit for 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 Zurich or Budapest Better for Students?

Zurich
Budapest

Zurich and Budapest are both good destinations for students and younger travelers.

Zurich is a very popular place to visit for students. The city offers a number of unique experiences for international students. The academics are good and the university campuses are nice.

Many students frequent Budapest. The city has a great international vibe with several good universities that are welcoming to international students that are studying abroad.

Is Zurich or Budapest Better for Public Transit?

Zurich
Budapest

Both Zurich and Budapest offer public transit options.

Zurich has some very good public transit options. The system is made up of streetcars and buses.

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 Zurich or Budapest a more walkable city?

Zurich
Budapest

Zurich and Budapest both are comparable when exploring on foot.

Zurich is a very walkable city. There are paths that lead along the rivers and the lake connecting the old town areas to other parts of the city.

It's very easy to get around on foot in Budapest. Pest is very flat, making for an easy stroll, while Buda is more hilly.


Should I spend more time in Budapest or Zurich?

How long in Zurich or Budapest?

In either Zurich or Budapest, 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 Zurich is 2-5 days, and the ideal length of time for a trip to Budapest is 2-5 days.


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

One day in Zurich or Budapest?

The beautiful city of Zurich offers museums and nightlife. 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.

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.

A weekend in Zurich or Budapest?

Zurich 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. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Zurich, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

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 Zurich or Budapest?

Zurich is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. It's no surprise that shopping is why people visit. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Zurich, five days is sufficent for most. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

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 Zurich or Budapest?

Zurich is a great place to explore. It's no surprise that shopping is why people visit. Visiting the old town is also a must. 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.

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the bustling 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 Zurich?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Zurich is $205, while the average daily cost in Budapest is $67. 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 Zurich and Budapest in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Zurich $129
    Budapest $37
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Zurich $258
    Budapest $74
Compare Hotels in Zurich and Budapest

Looking for a hotel in Zurich 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 Zurich


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: Zurich Hotel Prices and Budapest Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Zurich $28
    Budapest $7.95
Typical Local Transportation prices in Zurich

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


  • City Pass (2)
    $27

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Zurich

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Zurich:

  • Private Transfer Zurich Airport or City ⇔ Zermatt: $1,374
  • Private Taxi Transfer: Zurich Airport ⇔ Zermatt both directions: $1,374
  • Private Transfer: Zurich Airport to St. Anton am Arlberg: $1,355
  • Private transfer Zurich Airport to Zermatt (Täsch) (1-3 persons): $1,131
  • Private transfer Zurich Airport to St. Moritz (1-3 persons): $970
  • Private transfer Zurich Airport to Montreux (1-3 persons): $918
  • Private Transfer: Zurich Airport to Davos: $887
  • Premium Transfer from Zürich Airport or city to Davos or Klosters or back: $862
  • Private Transfer: Zurich Airport to Andermatt: $702
  • Private Arrival Transfer: from Zurich Airport to Disentis: $693
  • Private Arrival transfer: from Zurich Airport to Gstaad Saanen: $693
  • Private Arrival Transfer: from Zurich Airport to St. Moritz: $693

Typical Local Transportation prices in Budapest

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


  • Short Taxi Ride
    $6.49
  • Metro Pass
    $3.56

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Budapest

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

  • Private Airport Transfer Service in Budapest, Hungary: $18
  • Budapest Private Transfer: Hotel or Apartment to Airport: $19
  • Transfer from Train Station/Pier to Hotel: $19
  • Budapest Private Transfer: Airport to Hotel or Apartment: $20
  • Budapest One Way Private Transfer to or from Airport: $20
  • Private Departure Transfer: Budapest City - Budapest Airport: $21
  • Private Arrival transfer from Budapest Airport to Budapest City Center: $21
  • Private Transfer from Budapest City Center to Budapest Ferenc Liszt Airport(BUD): $22
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Budapest to Budapest International Airport (BUD): $22
  • Budapest Airport Private Departure Transfer : City to Airport: $22
  • Private Transfer from Budapest city to Budapest Airport - departure: $22
  • Private Transfer from Budapest Airport to the city - arrival: $22

Is it cheaper to fly into Zurich or Budapest?

Prices for flights to both Budapest and Zurich 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
    Zurich $47
    Budapest $17
Typical Food prices in Zurich

Some typical examples of dining costs in Zurich are as follows:


  • Breakfast for 2
    $13

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Zurich

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

  • Culinary Tour from Zurich with Traditional Swiss Cheese Fondue Dinner: $154
  • Overnight Mount Titlis including 4-course dinner: $545

Typical Food prices in Budapest

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


  • Lunch
    $3.17

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.
    Zurich $28
    Budapest $17

Tours and Activities in Zurich

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Zurich are as follows:

  • 2-Day Alps Tour from Mt Pilatus and Mt Titlis: $592
  • 2-Day Jungfraujoch Top of Europe Tour from Interlaken or Grindelwald: $557
  • 2-Day Mt Rigi Tour from Zurich Including Mineral Baths and Lake Lucerne Cruise: $474
  • 2-Day Switzerland Tour from Zurich to Geneva: Mt.Titlis,Interlaken,Bern,Gruyères: $693
  • 2-Day Winter Tour from Mt Pilatus and Mt Titlis: $592
  • 2-hour Private Guided Zurich Downtown Tour: $225
  • 3 in 1: Zurich Walking Tour - Cruise on the Lake - Cable Car Ride to Felsenegg: $98
  • 3-Day Glacier Express Self-Guided Tour from Zurich: $556
  • 3-Day GoldenPass Line Self-Guided Tour from Zurich: $439
  • 4-Day Glacier and Bernina Express Self-Guided Tour from Zurich: $768
  • 4-Day Switzerland Tour from Zurich Including Mt. Titlis Cable Car: $1,662
  • 5-Day Famous Mountain Peaks Self-Guided Tour from Zurich: $982

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
    $6.37

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
    Zurich $23
    Budapest $12

Sample the Local Flavors in Zurich

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

  • Pub Crawl Zurich: $29

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


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

The summer brings many poeple to Zurich as well as Budapest. Many travelers come to Zurich for the music scene and the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Budapest in the summer for the city activities and the family-friendly experiences.

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

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Budapest. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Zurich this time of the year. In the summer, Zurich often gets less sunshine than Budapest. Zurich gets 241 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Budapest receives 278 hours of full sun.

Zurich usually gets more rain in July than Budapest. Zurich gets 89 mm (3.5 in) of rain, while Budapest receives 45 mm (1.8 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Zurich 21°C (70°F) 
    Budapest 21°C (70°F)

Should I visit Zurich or Budapest in the Autumn?

Both Budapest and Zurich are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Zurich in the autumn for the shopping scene, the music scene, and the natural beauty of the area. 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, Zurich is a little warmer than Budapest. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Zurich in October are around 13°C (56°F), and Budapest is about 12°C (53°F).

Zurich usually receives less sunshine than Budapest during autumn. Zurich gets 120 hours of sunny skies, while Budapest receives 152 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Zurich usually receives more rain than Budapest. Zurich gets 70 mm (2.8 in) of rain, while Budapest receives 34 mm (1.3 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Zurich 13°C (56°F) 
    Budapest 12°C (53°F)

Should I visit Zurich or Budapest in the Winter?

Both Budapest and Zurich during the winter are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Zurich for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Furthermore, 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. Zurich can be very cold during winter. In January, Zurich is generally much warmer than Budapest. Temperatures in Zurich average around 3°C (37°F), and Budapest stays around -1°C (31°F).

In the winter, Zurich often gets less sunshine than Budapest. Zurich gets 55 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Budapest receives 61 hours of full sun.

Zurich usually gets more rain in January than Budapest. Zurich gets 77 mm (3 in) of rain, while Budapest receives 42 mm (1.7 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Zurich 3°C (37°F) 
    Budapest -1°C (31°F)

Should I visit Zurich or Budapest in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Zurich and Budapest. The spring months attract visitors to Zurich because of the natural beauty. Furthermore, the activities around the city and the natural beauty are the main draw to Budapest this time of year.

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

Zurich usually receives less sunshine than Budapest during spring. Zurich gets 150 hours of sunny skies, while Budapest receives 178 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Zurich usually receives more rain than Budapest. Zurich gets 79 mm (3.1 in) of rain, while Budapest receives 42 mm (1.7 in) of rain each month for the spring.


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

Typical Weather for Budapest and Zurich

Zurich Budapest
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 3°C (37°F) 77 mm (3 in) -1°C (31°F) 42 mm (1.7 in)
Feb 5°C (40°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 2°C (35°F) 39 mm (1.5 in)
Mar 8°C (46°F) 72 mm (2.8 in) 7°C (44°F) 35 mm (1.4 in)
Apr 12°C (53°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 12°C (53°F) 42 mm (1.7 in)
May 16°C (60°F) 101 mm (4 in) 16°C (62°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)
Jun 19°C (66°F) 100 mm (3.9 in) 20°C (67°F) 69 mm (2.7 in)
Jul 21°C (70°F) 89 mm (3.5 in) 21°C (70°F) 45 mm (1.8 in)
Aug 21°C (69°F) 104 mm (4.1 in) 21°C (69°F) 56 mm (2.2 in)
Sep 18°C (64°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 17°C (63°F) 39 mm (1.5 in)
Oct 13°C (56°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 12°C (53°F) 34 mm (1.3 in)
Nov 7°C (45°F) 82 mm (3.2 in) 6°C (42°F) 59 mm (2.3 in)
Dec 4°C (39°F) 83 mm (3.3 in) 1°C (34°F) 48 mm (1.9 in)


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Zurich vs. Budapest Travel Comparison

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