Best of Budapest, Vienna & Prague | 2-week Central Europe Itinerary (2023)

Central Europe Itinerary - Old Town Square Prague
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Budapest, Vienna and Prague are the must-sees of a Central Europe itinerary. Wander the streets to discover dramatic history, fabulous culture and incredible architecture, then sample some of the best food and drink in Europe. If you like a bit of everything, this 2 week Central Europe itinerary is for you.


This 2-week Budapest, Vienna and Prague itinerary is the exact route that I took on my first Central Europe trip, so I know it’s a good one! It’s a classic route, and almost every tourist you meet along the way is doing this itinerary in one direction or the other.

For most people, it makes sense to start in either Budapest or Prague, visiting Vienna in the middle. If you opt to create a Central Europe itinerary starting in Vienna, you’ll have to spend extra time backtracking.

I began my Central Europe trip in Budapest, then went to Vienna and finished in Prague, but you could easily adapt this itinerary to the opposite direction.

This Budapest, Vienna and Prague itinerary is also a journey through the complicated history of these cities, from the threads that bind them together to the events that ripped them apart. Few places in the world allow you to see so clearly what an arbitrary line on a map can do to the people on either side.

All once part of the vast Austro-Hungarian Empire, Vienna was the only one of the three cities to escape being hidden away behind the Soviet Union’s Iron Curtain after World War II. Despite now all being part of the EU, there are really interesting differences as a result.

To me, Prague and Budapest felt as though they were young cities, just beginning to work out their place in the world, despite sharing so much outwardly in common with Vienna’s much more mature vibe. I honestly think this is one of the most fascinating parts of the world to visit.

So get ready for an incredible couple of weeks of adventuring on. Walk some of Europe’s prettiest streets, sample some of the world’s best wine and beers, learn about the dramatic history of this region and enjoy some incredible food.

Everything you need to plan your own feast for the senses is in this 2-week itinerary through Budapest, Vienna and Prague. All the Central Europe itinerary highlights are here, from what to do, where to stay and suggestions for dining.

The white neo-gothic building of Budapest Parliament, one of the best things to do in Budapest on a Central Europe itinerary
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CENTRAL EUROPE ITINERARY ESSENTIALS

How to travel | Public transport is excellent, and this itinerary can be done using only the train

When to go | Aim to visit in spring or early autumn for cooler temperatures and fewer people

What route to take | Start in Budapest or Prague with Vienna in the middle

Best for | Foodies, history buffs, classical music lovers and anyone who loves a thermal bath!


BUDAPEST, VIENNA & PRAGUE ITINERARY | 2 WEEKS IN CENTRAL EUROPE


The features in this post were hand-selected by a picky diva (that’s me) and some of them are affiliate links. If you buy via these, I may earn a commission on some of these awesome recommendations at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your wonderful support – Cat.

CENTRAL EUROPE ITINERARY

Here’s your Central Europe Itinerary for two weeks at a glance. If you’re short on time, I managed to do all of this in 10 days. It did make for a packed schedule, so I would definitely recommend taking the full 2 weeks if you can.

The pointed towers of Fisherman's Bastion at sunrise is one of the best things to do in Budapest on a Central Europe itinerary in 2 weeks
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Day 1 – 5 | Budapest

Start your Central Europe itinerary with 4 days in beautiful Budapest. Enjoy the sunrise at Buda Castle, explore the city on foot and visit the Hungarian Parliament. Learn about the history of WWII in Budapest and visit the Jewish Quarter. Sample Hungary’s famous wines in a local wine-tasting class and visit the unique ruin bars. Finally, indulge in a relaxing soak in one of Budapest’s wonderful thermal baths.

Where To Stay | I recommend the Matild Palace. This luxury hotel has a great central location, really easy for walking to all of Budapest’s top sights. There’s a stunning rooftop bar and also a restaurant from Michelin-star awarded Wolfgang Puck. Check availability and book here.

READ THIS | 4 Day Budapest Itinerary (Coming Soon)

The grand yellow columned building of the Schönbrunn Palace is one of the best things to do in Vienna on a 2 week Central Europe itinerary
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Day 6 – 8 | Vienna

My Central Europe itinerary gives you 3 full days in Vienna, just enough time to get a taste of everything this stunning city offers. Learn about everything Hapsburg at the stunning summer Schönnbrunn Palace and their city-centre alternative, the Hofburg Palace. Enjoy the beautiful art at the Kunsthistorisches Museum and enjoy a night at the Opera.

Don’t miss a fantastic food tour or the views from St Stephen’s Cathedral tower. Take the opportunity to venture out to the Vienna Woods to visit a Heuriger or tiny Buschenschank winery perched on the hills overlooking the city.

Where To Stay | I recommend 25hours Museum Quarter. This cool hotel is close to public transport links, all the museums and easy walking distance to some of the hippest districts of Vienna. Check availability and book here.

READ THIS | 3 Day Vienna Itinerary (Coming Soon)

The red rooftops of Prague the third city on a Central Europe itinerary
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Day 9 – 14 | Prague

Finish your Central Europe itinerary with 4 days in Prague, probably my favourite of the three cities you’ll visit on this trip. Take a sunrise stroll over the Charles Bridge before heading up every Prague viewpoint in the city.

Explore the Jewish Quarter and the Museum of Communism to discover more about the recent history of Central Europe. Visit Wenceslas Square, where everyday people started a protest that would eventually lead to the fall of the Soviet Empire.

Enjoy the incredible foodie scene in Prague with a food tour, and don’t forget to try some delicious Czech beer before you leave. They even managed to convert me – a dedicated wine drinker!

Where To Stay | I recommend the Hotel Century Old Town. Located in a beautiful Neo-Baroque building, this hotel is perfectly located near both tram stops and the subway line. It’s in the heart of Old Town and a perfect location for exploring on foot. Check availability and book here.

READ THIS | 4 Day Prague Itinerary (Coming Soon)

Prague Old Town square from above
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CENTRAL EUROPE ITINERARY

Who is this Central Europe itinerary for?

My Central Europe itinerary was made for independent female travellers who want to dig a bit deeper into the history and culture of the region when visiting for the first time.  There’s a focus on food, wine and walking because those are the things I like to do!

I think that it’s also great for any solo travellers, couples and families who want the opportunity to create an independent trip through Budapest, Vienna and Prague.

There’s a big focus on meeting local people, learning about the local history and culture and enjoying the restaurants and bars locals visit. It’s not written by a local, but I hope it’ll make you feel like you want to become one!

This entire Central Europe itinerary was created using only public transport, so that’s all you’ll need.

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BUDAPEST, VIENNA, PRAGUE ITINERARY

Day 1 | Budapest

Gellert Hill and Ruin Bars

I’ve assumed you’ll arrive around lunchtime for this Central Europe itinerary since most flights seem to arrive in the morning. Head to your hotel by public transport, shuttle or private transfer and get settled in before finding somewhere to get a light lunch.

In the afternoon, stretch your legs by walking up Gellert Hill to the citadel and the Freedom Statue that dominates Budapest’s skyline.

Budapest is the fusion of two cities, Buda and Pest, separated by the ribbon of the Danube River. From the Gellert Hill viewpoint, high on the Buda side of the river, you get gorgeous views down over Pest.

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Have dinner and, depending on how you’re feeling, either get an early night or head to one of Budapest’s famous Ruin Bars. This is a must-do on any Central Europe itinerary.

Ruin bars are unique to Budapest and started with a couple who turned a derelict building in the Jewish Quarter into a bar decorated with quirky second-hand finds. The concept became so popular that several are now scattered throughout the district.

The original is the famous Szimpla Kert.

BUDAPEST, VIENNA, PRAGUE ITINERARY

Day 2 | Budapest

Hungarian Parliament, Pest walking tour, wine tasting

Start your day with a visit to the Hungarian Parliament, a beautiful building you can only enter on a guided tour. Touring the parliament building is one of the most popular things to do in Budapest, and tickets do sell out, so be sure to book yours at least a few weeks before your trip.

TIP | Go to the Hungarian Parliament website to order your tickets in advance.

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Next, enjoy a walking tour of the Pest side of the city. I think this is the best way to hear about the history of Budapest, and I learned so much about what happened here during World War II and the subsequent Soviet Era.

Most tours take you past the evocative Shoes on the Danube memorial, commemorating the Jewish people killed during WWII. If your tour doesn’t go here, you should visit independently because it’s a beautiful memorial in the city.

READ THIS | The Best Things to do in Budapest (coming soon)

After your morning activities, I’d suggest going to District 7 (the Jewish Quarter) to get some lunch. I really enjoyed Macesz Bistro and Gettó Gulyás, but there are plenty of great cafes in the area.

In the evening, learn about Hungary’s famous wines at a local wine-tasting class. There are several available, but I highly recommend this Hungarian wine tasting. A local sommelier runs the tasting, where you’ll also have the chance to taste a selection of local meats and cheese.

BUDAPEST, VIENNA, PRAGUE ITINERARY

Day 3 | Budapest

Fisherman’s Bastion, Matthias Church, Thermal Baths, River Cruise

Today, get up early to be at Fisherman’s Bastion for sunrise. It’s one of the most famous sights in Budapest, so you’re not going to have it to yourself, but sunrise is your best chance for quiet!

In the morning, explore the rest of Buda Castle, enjoying some of the best views down over Budapest.

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I took a great walking tour, which was the most enjoyable way to see the area. I could ask questions, gain some local insight and see hidden gems that I’d otherwise have missed.

WALKING TOUR | This 2-3 hour walking tour of Buda Castle with a local historian is the best way to see this part of Budapest. It also includes entry to Matthias Church.

Once you’ve finished your tour, walk or take the funicular down the hill and head to one of my favourite cafes in Budapest for lunch, Home of Franziska.

Now it’s time to enjoy one of Budapest’s highlights, the thermal baths. There are several scattered throughout the city centre, so see which appeals to you the most.

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I think the best baths in Budapest are Gellert Baths or Rudas Baths, but they’re entirely different. Gellert is ornate, with beautiful mosaic tiling and a vast indoor swimming pool. Rudas is a much more traditional Turkish-style bath, dating from the mid-sixteenth century.

READ THIS | Ultimate Guide to Budapest Thermal Baths (coming soon)

Tuesday is women-only in the Turkish bath area of Rudas Baths, which may influence your decision of which location you visit. Széchenyi Thermal Bath is the largest and most well-known bath, but that also makes it the busiest, and really not my vibe!

Once you’ve eased yourself into a state of calm relaxation, it’s time to get over to the Pest side of the river and the ferry wharf up near Margaret Island. You can take public transportation or use the opportunity to walk over the famous Chain Bridge (closed to pedestrians for refurbishment until mid-2023).

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Next up is one of the highlights of this Central Europe itinerary, a cruise on the Danube.

TIP | Time your Danube river cruise with sunset so that you get to enjoy Budapest’s riverside in golden hour and also as the lights come on after dark.

If you’ve not eaten yet, Pozsonyi restaurant is a very traditional, cash-only, Hungarian restaurant conveniently located near the ferry wharf.

BUDAPEST, VIENNA, PRAGUE ITINERARY

Day 4 – Budapest

Jewish Quarter, House of Terror, St. Stephen’s Basilica, Rooftop Bar

Have a leisurely start to the day, because it’s likely that this one will be emotionally affecting. The opportunity to learn about how recent history continues to shape the world is part of what makes a trip to Central Europe so compelling.

I understand that confronting war and oppression isn’t what everyone wants to do on their holiday. Still, I genuinely believe that it’s a vital part of understanding local culture and beliefs. If you don’t think this part of my itinerary is for you, you could try out another of the thermal baths or cafe hop through the city centre instead.

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In the morning, take a walking tour of the Jewish Quarter with a local who will tell you personal anecdotes of what it was like to live in Budapest throughout WWII and the subsequent Soviet occupation. You’ll see a very different side of what most people know as Budapest’s “party district”.

WALKING TOUR | This is the Jewish Quarter small group walking tour that I recommend. Your tour guide is a local historian and offers incredible insights and knowledge.

Pick up lunch at one of the many cafes and restaurants in the area before making your way down Andrassy Street, past the ornate Hungarian State Opera building, to the House of Terror Museum.

The museum takes you through the events in Budapest from the beginnings of WWII through the Soviet occupation of Hungary, right up to the fall of the Soviet Union.

What makes everything harder is that the museum is housed in a venue used by both the Nazis and the Soviet forces as an interrogation facility. The knowledge that you’re standing in the same spot where some of what you’re learning about actually happened makes this an almost visceral experience.

TIP | You’ll get the most out of your museum visit using the audioguide available for hire or by touring with a local guide. I wouldn’t recommend simply walking through it independently, as many exhibits won’t make sense.

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Once you’ve finished at the museum, return to St Stephen’s Cathedral (St Istvan in Hungarian). You can take a tour inside, but the real highlight is a climb up the tower for the views over Budapest.

TIP | The cupola is only open April-October. Buy your ticket in advance as lines can be long.

Enjoy your final evening in Budapest at one of the beautiful rooftop bars before having a last dinner in the city.

BUDAPEST, VIENNA, PRAGUE ITINERARY

Day 5 – Budapest to Vienna

District VIII, Memento Park, Kunsthistorisches Museum

Aim for a reasonably early start, beginning your day with a stroll through Budapest’s lovely Palace District (District VIII). This is my favourite part of the city and is lovely to explore in the early morning before the streets start getting busy.

Next, get a taxi or hop on public transport to the weird and wonderful Memento Park, aiming to arrive for the 10am opening time.

LOCAL TIP | Budapest doesn’t have Uber, but you can use Bolt instead. Alternatively, flag down a local yellow taxi with prices displayed on the doors.

Memento Park is very much a one-of-a-kind open-air museum. When the Soviet Union fell, there were hundreds of public statues venerating the Communist ideal all over the country. Understandably, most people didn’t want the visual reminder of oppression staring them in the face and wanted the statues gone.

Instead of destroying them, they were all transported to Memento Park, where you can now wander between Lenin and Marx while looking at the propaganda on display.

To follow my Central Europe itinerary, aim to return to central Budapest train station in time for a departure to Vienna before 1pm. The train from Budapest to Vienna takes just under 3 hours.

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On arrival in Vienna, take a taxi or public transport to your hotel to drop off your bags and then make a beeline to the Kunthistoriches Museum for a very different art experience to this morning! The museum is home to one of Europe’s most important art collections, including works by Raphael, Titian, Vermeer and Caravaggio. The building itself is also stunning.

LOCAL TIP | The Kunthistoriches Museum is closed on Mondays, so if your visit to Vienna starts on a Monday, go up St Stephen’s South Tower today instead.

For something different for dinner, try Tian Bistro am Spittelberg, a fantastic plant-based restaurant in Vienna.

BUDAPEST, VIENNA, PRAGUE ITINERARY

Day 6 | Vienna

Walking Tour, Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna State Opera

Start your day with brunch because you’ve got a busy day ahead of you. You may have noticed by now that I don’t really do chill holidays! I recommend Joseph Brot, which has two locations in Vienna and has excellent food. See which menu suits you best!

The rest of your morning involves a walking tour of Vienna, and I suggest a free walking tour with Good Vienna Tours. In Vienna, even the guides of free tours have to be fully licensed, so you’re getting what would usually be a pretty expensive option for tips only.

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If you can’t afford to pay for a tour, then these guys are fabulous, but if you’ve got the cash then please consider a good tip because you’re still getting amazing value considering how much information you get. I’ll have my fingers crossed that Wolfgang is your tour guide because he’s hilarious.

TIP | You can opt to take this top rated small group walking tour of Vienna that can be customised to your own interests and is an excellent option if you want to avoid crowds.

The walking tour takes a couple of hours, and you’ll finish up near the cathedral. From here, it’s 30 minutes on the metro to your next destination, Schönbrunn Palace.

READ THIS | The Best Things to do in Vienna (coming soon)

Schönbrunn Palace was the summer home of the Imperial Hapsburg family, and it has a gorgeous park in addition to the palace building. I highly recommend taking a tour of the interior to allow you to get the most out of your visit.

I genuinely think I had the best guided tour of my life here! My notes actually say, “guided tour with Michael absolutely bloody excellent”. So there you go.

TIP | Buy your ticket for the 2pm guided tour of Schönbrunn Palace in advance so you don’t have to queue.

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Once you’ve finished your guided tour of the palace, head back into the city and get an early dinner so you can make it to one of the quintessential Viennese experiences – the opera!

Now, I’m one of those people who adores opera, thanks to my mum raising me on a steady diet of classical music. If you’ve got no experience with opera, then this is one of the best places in the world to try it.

READ THIS | How to Buy Tickets for the Vienna Opera (coming soon)

If, of course, you’ve tried going to the opera before and hate it, then enjoy a leisurely dinner, find a great rooftop bar or have an early night.

BUDAPEST, VIENNA, PRAGUE ITINERARY

Day 7 | Vienna

Food Tour, St Stephen’s Tower

Whatever you do, don’t have breakfast today. Instead, caffeinate, wear your most comfortable sneakers and loosest-fitting trousers and get ready to stuff your face. It’s food tour day.

A quick Google search will show you dozens of food and wine tours in Vienna, but I’m pretty sure I’ve found the absolute best. Wolfy’s food tours have been carefully curated so that you get to enjoy the local side of Vienna.

READ THIS | The Best Food Tours in Vienna (coming soon)

Rather than heading to the city’s tourist traps, you’ll go where the Viennese go and eat what they eat. And it’s a bloody treat, let me tell you. You’ll get a bit of a tour of the city simultaneously, and the guides are all awesome. This tour runs from 9:30am to about 3:30pm.

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I was fortunate enough to have Wolfy himself as a guide, and it was great to see all the owners and vendors of the various places we went greet him like an old friend. It was clear that this tour had been put together to support local businesses as well as give us a great taste of the city.

TIP | Don’t be worried if you’ve got dietary requirements. Advise your tour operator in advance; they can almost always cater to them.

You’re going to be stupidly full after your food tour. Or, at least, I was. That’s possibly because I have zero self-control, but let’s pretend we’re all like that, ok? Don’t tell me if you’re one of those people who can stop before their plate is empty because I’ll probably judge you. And be jealous.

So, let’s assume we’re all stupidly full. Ok? Cool.

Now we need to work off some of those calories, and what better way to do that than walk up a million stairs at St Stephen’s Cathedral?

That’s a rhetorical question because it’s the best way. And it’s not a million steps; it’s just 343 in a tight spiral, but there comes a moment where you’re pretty sure somebody couldn’t count.

However, please persist because when you get to the top, you’ll be deposited in a chamber with the most beautiful views across the Vienna skyline. As a bonus, you get a close-up of the beautiful tiles that cover the roof of the cathedral.

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TIP | The South Tower of St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephansdom) has the best views, but if you can’t make it up all those steps, you can get great views from the North tower, where there’s also a lift (elevator). Be sure to arrive before 5:15pm so you don’t miss the last entry.

If you’ve somehow managed to practice moderation earlier in the day, find a restaurant near the cathedral for dinner. I recommend Reinthaler’s Beisl, which serves lovely Austrian food and where you might find some locals despite being in the middle of the tourist path.

For the rest of us, there’s the option of dessert for dinner at one of Vienna’s famous cafes, Demel or Cafe Sacher. Otherwise, head to the riverside to indulge in some bar hopping and people-watching.

BUDAPEST, VIENNA, PRAGUE ITINERARY

Day 8 | Vienna

Hofburg Palace, Sisi Museum, Spanish Riding School, Heurigen Winery, District VII

Since you’ve already been to see the Schönbrunn Palace, it makes sense to go and take a look at the Hofburg, the city residence of the Hapsburgs. Much of the palace has been repurposed but still houses the Spanish Riding School, the Sisi Museum, Imperial Treasury and Imperial Apartments.

Right now, you might not know anything about Sisi but trust me, you can’t go 5 minutes in this part of the world without hearing about her. Officially the Empress Elizabeth of Austria, Sisi supposedly hated Viennese court life and was instrumental in bringing about the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Most of Sisi’s adult life was spent travelling Europe, riding horses, and refusing to have her photo taken or portrait painted after the age of thirty. There’s a darker side to her story too, but I’ll let you discover that for yourselves.

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Many of you visiting Vienna will want to see a show at the Spanish Riding School since it’s a unique attraction in the country. I chose not to do this because watching animals perform isn’t really for me, but it’s a top-rated thing to do in Vienna.

TIP | The Spanish Riding School has training sessions on weekdays at 10am and performances every Sunday and alternate Saturdays at 11am. Sessions last 70-90 minutes. Book well in advance as they do sell out.

If you opt out of going to the Riding School, then I highly recommend going to the Sisi Museum instead. You’ll have heard a bit about her life on your tours in Budapest and at the Schönbrunn Palace, but this is an opportunity to get a deeper insight into her personal story.

As with all the museums in Vienna, your entry ticket comes with an audioguide, so you get to learn a lot about the personal objects in the museum. If you want to visit both the Spanish Riding School and the Sisi Museum today, you can. Just return to the museum in the afternoon.

TIP | The Sisi Museum opens at 9am in summer and 9:30am in winter. Be sure to pick up your audioguide or download it from the official website in advance. I’d highly recommend booking your ticket online in advance.

From the Hofburg Palace, go to the Vienna Woods at Heiligenstadt to indulge in something completely different. From April to September, the local wine growers set up temporary outlets amongst the vines on the hills surrounding Vienna.

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These pop-up wineries, known as Buschenschanks or Heurigen, are usually open only on weekends during the season. Get a glass (or bottle) of the latest vintage and a food platter, then sit amongst the grapes to drink it with amazing views of Vienna. This was my favourite spot.

If you’re visiting during the winter, then you won’t be able to drink amongst the vines, but you can still have an excellent Heuriger experience in this part of the city. This is more like a wine tavern with food available, but it’s cosy in the winter and still full of locals.

In the afternoon, head back into the heart of Vienna and either visit the Sisi Museum if you missed it this morning or take a walk through District VII. This area of the city is a great place to find some funky local shops, cool cafes and great restaurants.

There are still loads of other great things to do in Vienna, and I’ve left this afternoon relatively free for you to either relax or choose your own adventure! Enjoy your final night in Vienna because we’re getting an early start tomorrow. I know, something new and different for one of my itineraries – I promise I don’t hate sleep, I just have epic FOMO.

BUDAPEST, VIENNA, PRAGUE ITINERARY

Day 9 | Vienna to Prague

Riverside Walk, Lennon Wall, Rooftop Bar

The train from Vienna to Prague takes 4.5 hours, and I’d recommend aiming to get to Prague by lunchtime or early afternoon. Check in to your hotel and then take a walk through the UNESCO world heritage site of the old town of Prague to orient yourself.

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Prague is the easiest of the three cities on this Central Europe itinerary to fall in love with. Its charms are immediately apparent, with beautiful architecture, cobbled streets and the castle complex perched high on the hill overlooking the city.

READ THIS | The Best Views in Prague (coming soon)

This afternoon is an excellent time to investigate some of the lesser-visited spots of Prague. You might want to stop by the gigantic silver Kafka head which rotates in a hypnotizing fashion at a quarter past the hour.

Nearby, see if you can spot Freud hanging from a post high above the streets. Walk across Legion Bridge and wander along the pretty riverside, enjoying the weird and wacky sculptures and art in Kampa park.

Make your way to the Lennon Wall before returning to the city via Charles Bridge. At this hour, the bridge will likely be packed with people, but don’t worry because you’ll be back here for sunrise without the crowds tomorrow! It is, however, an excellent time to go up the Old Town Tower Bridge for the views of Prague Castle.

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Next up is one of my favourite things to do in Prague: watching the sunset from a rooftop bar. This one is more of an adventure than most, though! You pay a fee to take the Paternoster lift to the top floor, where another world awaits. When I arrived, there was ballroom dancing happening in addition to wine, cocktails and beautiful views!

TIP | Head to the Lucerna Palace from 3pm Saturday to Monday in summer armed with 150CZK in cash and hunt for the paternoster lift to find the rooftop. Closed in winter.

If you’re doing this Central Europe itinerary in winter, check out the Glass Bar at the top of the famous Dancing Houses. You can pay an entrance fee for the views or have a drink, in which case the fee is deducted from your purchase. Make sure you get there with plenty of time to spare for sunset, as it can get busy.

I’d recommend going to Tiskárna Jindřišská Restaurant for dinner – it’s where I had my first meal in Prague, and it truly set the standard for what was to come. It’s reasonably priced, given the superb food quality, and the staff are delightful.

Now, you know what’s coming, right? A reasonable bedtime because you’re setting your alarm for a sunrise photo call tomorrow!

BUDAPEST, VIENNA, PRAGUE ITINERARY

Day 10 | Prague

Charles Bridge, Petrin Hill, Walking Tour, Astronomical Clock, Powder Tower, Food Tour

This is a busy day, but the pre-sunrise alarm is worth it, I swear. The Charles Bridge is much more magical without hoards of other people, and it’s a treat to have the streets almost to yourself.

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Depending on what time it is once you’re finished at the bridge, you can either go and get a coffee or head straight up Petrin Hill. The hill is relatively steep in parts, but if you’ve got a reasonable level of fitness you’ll be fine. The best views on the way up are from the terrace of Petrinske.

LOCAL TIP | For the easy way up Petrin Hill, take the funicular which runs from 8am – 10pm

Up at the top of Petrin Hill, you might be surprised to discover a tiny Eiffel Tower. This is Petrin Tower, and just like its bigger sister in Paris, you’ll get fabulous views if you make the effort to go to the top. The tower opens at 9am.

Make your way down the hill for a walking tour of the city with a local guide. There are lots of themed walking tours in Prague which you’ll need to book in advance. Otherwise, take a free walking tour that covers loads of the history of the Czech Republic as well as the architecture and some hidden gems of Prague.

READ THIS | The Best Things to do in Prague (coming soon)

If you didn’t make it on your walking tour, swing by the Astronomical Clock, Prague’s marvel of 14th Century engineering! The Town Hall Tower is a beautiful vantage point overlooking the Old Town Square.

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Assuming you’re not cursing me by now for sending you up every high point in Prague, now’s the time to head to the Powder Tower for its beautiful views over both the old and new parts of the city. From there, explore the Clementinum with a guided tour of the fabulous Baroque Library.

All this walking has been worth it, though, because it’s time for your Prague Food Tour. As well as sampling some great local food, wine and beer, you’ll get a local taking you around the parts of Prague that they love.

READ THIS | The Best Food Tours in Prague (coming soon)

Once you’ve finished your food tour, it’s time for a well-earned sleep!

BUDAPEST, VIENNA, PRAGUE ITINERARY

Day 11 | Prague

Museum of Communism, Prague Castle, St Nicholas Bell Tower

Start your morning by trying one of Prague’s best cafes for coffee and a pastry.

Next, visit the Museum of Communism, where you’ll find some interesting and moving exhibits covering the period from WWII through to the fall of Communism here in 1989. This was one of my favourite museums on this entire Central Europe itinerary, and there are more than a few to choose from!

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In the afternoon, explore Prague Castle on a private guided tour. Finish your day by going up St Nicholas’ Bell Tower in the Old Town, which has phenomenal panoramic views of the city and is one of my top things to do in Prague.

BUDAPEST, VIENNA, PRAGUE ITINERARY

Day 12 | Prague

Jewish Museum, Classical Music Concert

By this stage of your Central Europe itinerary, you’ll have noticed a few common themes that connect Budapest, Vienna and Prague. The food is similar, and the Old Towns have similar architecture, but it’s their shared recent history that leaves the greatest impact.

Today focuses on the Jewish experience in Prague during WWII and Communism, visiting the Jewish Museum and the Old Jewish Cemetery.

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TIP | I highly recommend starting at the Pinkas Synagogue and arriving at opening time so you can experience this extremely moving memorial in quiet solitude.

Although it’s called a museum, the Jewish Museum is actually several sites in the city, primarily in the old Jewish Quarter. It’ll take you about 3 hours to visit all of them, and I’d recommend that you take a guided tour to get the most out of your visit.

Have a quiet afternoon before enjoying one of the many classical concerts happening every evening around the city. You’ll have seen dozens of venues advertising by this stage, so pick one that looks good to you and enjoy!

BUDAPEST, VIENNA, PRAGUE ITINERARY

Day 13 | Prague

Brunch, Mucha Museum, Prague Metronome, Eska

So listen, I know I like to throw around superlatives with a casual disregard for grammar, excellence and how to be a discerning human, but you’re about to have the most incredible brunch of your life.

There are a lot of excellent places to eat on this Central Europe itinerary, but Bockem has got to be right up there as one of the best restaurants in Prague. The menu is limited and simple, but the service is phenomenal, the food is out of this world and the whole experience feels like something out of the Great Gatsby. It’s a 12/10 recommendation from me.

TIP | Bockem is cash only, but you can scan a QR code to pay on your phone if you’re not carrying cash.

If you haven’t already, take the opportunity to go and have a look at Prague’s famous Dancing Houses before heading back to the New Town and the Mucha Museum. Here, you’ll find a beautiful selection of work by the Czech Republic’s most famous Art Nouveau painter.

In the afternoon, go up to the Letna Park Beer Garden (make sure you have cash) and then continue to the Prague Metronome for what I think is one of the best sunset viewpoints in Prague.

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You’ll finish the day as you started – at one of Prague’s many excellent restaurants. For dinner, I’m suggesting Eska, where you can opt for a highly recommended degustation menu or sample their signature dish – potato in ash. It sounds strange, but I promise that it tastes incredible!

Make your way back to your hotel because it’s the last night of my Central Europe itinerary, and you’re departing tomorrow!

BUDAPEST, VIENNA, PRAGUE ITINERARY

Day 14 | Depart Prague

Sadly, this Central Europe itinerary has to come to an end, and it’s time for you to catch your flight home or head to your next destination. If you’ve got some more free time, then I highly recommend a trip to Brno or Central Bohemia in the Czech Republic.

CENTRAL EUROPE ITINERARY

Central Europe Itinerary | Prague Vienna Budapest Map

To make things easy for you when you follow this Central Europe itinerary, I’ve created a map with all the locations mentioned.

To save this map to your own account, just click on the little star next to the title.

CENTRAL EUROPE ITINERARY

How Many Days is best for a Central Europe Itinerary?

I think 2 weeks is the perfect amount of time to spend in Central Europe, but it’s possible to cut this itinerary down to spend 12 days in Budapest, Vienna and Prague.

My first trip here was only 10 days, but I did have to be pretty ruthless about cutting things off my trip. Of course, if you’re living in Europe then it’s easy to make a return visit, and a shorter trip is totally feasible.

If you’re visiting from Australia, Asia or the Americas, then I think 10 days is the minimum amount of time you should budget to fit everything into your Central Europe itinerary.

CENTRAL EUROPE ITINERARY

When is the Best Time to Visit Central Europe?

As with all things Europe, August is high season, and the kids are all on holiday. If that’s the only time you can visit, be prepared for crowds and peak pricing.

For the rest of us, spring is beautiful, but late summer into autumn is forever my favourite time to visit. The weather is usually much more settled, and you can still have lovely warm days through to late October.

BEST TIME TO VISIT BUDAPEST, VIENNA & PRAGUE | May – June or September – October

CENTRAL EUROPE ITINERARY

Planning a Central Europe Itinerary

If you don’t want to follow my exact Central Europe Itinerary (although, why wouldn’t you?!), then start with my article on Important Things to Know When Planning a Trip to Central Europe (coming soon).

In this guide, you’ll get itinerary planning advice, including how to create an itinerary that lets you see what you want without feeling rushed.

I hope you found this 2 week Central Europe itinerary helpful for planning your own visit. Please let me know if any of this information is outdated or you’ve got a great option that you’d love to see here!

Here are some other posts to help you plan a visit to Europe:

TRAVEL INSURANCE | Don’t go anywhere without it! I use and recommend Safety Wing.

THOUGHTFUL TRAVEL | No matter where you go, always be aware of the fact that travel impacts the place and people that live there. Being a thoughtful traveller is more critical than ever. Here are my top tips to make your trip a mindful one.

PHOTOGRAPHY | Love my photos and want to know how to take better shots on your own trips? Then my photography guide is for you. Here’s all the photography gear I use too. Want to buy one of my images? Head to the Print Store.

ESSENTIAL GEAR | You’ll find my travel essentials here, and a complete guide to all my hiking gear here.


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