11 Reasons Budapest and Vienna are the Most Underrated European Destinations

By Devin Billbrough

  1. Thermal Baths: We all go on vacation to have a little me time. So why not sit back, relax and enjoy the world’s largest outdoor “hot tub”?  Enjoy these healing waters until your fingers turn all pruny or wait until the Széchenyi Thermal Baths turn into a rave at night.1920332_10152304586777502_1700682705_n
  2. Bar Scene: From the ruins pubs in Budapest to the Bermuda Triangle in Vienna, you have plenty of options to wet your whistle. Taste test everything from the traditional Hungarian pálinka to the variety of Bavarian beers or schnaps offered in Vienna.
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  3. Food: Any foodie knows the most important part of traveling is eating local cuisine, and Budapest and Vienna have incredible dishes to choose from. Enjoy everything from goulash and dumplings to schnitzel and noodles (thank you Julie Andrews) #yummmm
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  4. Fresh Markets: If meats don’t tickle your taste buds, treat your sweet tooth to some apple strudel and Sachertorte. Traveling and trying to stay healthy? The Great Market Hall in Budapest and Naschmarkt in Vienna have farmer’s markets every day that display their prize winning crops.
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  5. Public Transport: Lazy and don’t feel like walking anymore? Vienna, the dreamboat that it is, has an awesome public transportation network (deemed one of Europe’s best) with buses, trains, trams, and subways.  Budapest, while extremely pedestrian friendly with compact neighborhoods, has metro stops every 5 minutes from each other.
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  6. It’s cheap – Ball out like a young Marie Antoinette in Vienna or live like kings in Budapest. Both cities are extremely budget friendly. The Hungarian Forint’s (HUF, Hufflepuff, etc.) exchange rate is one of the best you’ll ever experience while in Europe. All you can eat buffet meals will cost you around €15, and you can get a beer of stein for around €3.
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  7. Hidden gems: Ever wonder what it’s like to crawl through caves beneath a city? Experience it for yourself in Budapest. It’s like a gold mine down there. Want to feel the wind in your hair? Vienna’s Prater amusement park is just another way to channel your inner child and escape the city feel.
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  8. Opera for penny pinchers: Like music? On a budget? Want to see some of the most beautiful opera houses in all of Europe? You’re in the land of Mozart and Beethoven, so why not?! You can get €1 tickets in Budapest and €4 tickets in Vienna. Even if you just go for 30 minutes, well worth it.
    Dancers dance at the traditional opera ball in Vienna
  9. Vienna Zoo: It’s not every day you’ll be able to visit the world’s oldest operating zoo! Located just behind the Schönbrunn Palace, you can see some of the most beautiful and elegant creatures ever created. Feed some giraffes, pet some pigs, and oogle at the beauty of penguins.
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  10. Christmas Markets: The Christmas markets in Austria are breathtaking. And you can get some souvenirs for mom and dad!
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  11. Green Space: Claustrophobic and feel like skyscrapers are closing in on you? Just think of big, wide, open spaces. Budapest and Vienna both have plenty of green space for you to enjoy. Silent meditation in a park not enough? Take a hike. Literally. Up to Buda Castle. The views you’ll get of the city are breathtaking.
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