Budapest-Vienna-Prague under one Lakh| Europe On Budget

Hungarian Parliament Building - Budapest
Hungarian Parliament Building - Budapest
Hungarian Parliament Building – Budapest, Hungary

How to travel through Hungary, Austria and Czech Republic under One Lakh Rupees.

This summer, If you’re planning to holiday in Europe, let Saurabh Singh help you plan better. I ask him questions about how he travelled through Hungary, Austria and Czech Republic.  READ ON: 

The last time I had gone abroad was during the FIFA World Cup 2018 summer in Russia. While we were still embracing the once-in-a-lifetime experience of the world’s greatest sporting event in beautiful Russian cities of Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Sochi, my friends and I made a pact.

Yes, the all-boys trio had made a promise to do a Euro trip for the UEFA Euro 2020. The top-flight European championship is scheduled to be hosted by 12 different European cities stretched over a month in the summer of 2020. 12 cities and a bunch of football matches in Europe – what else do you need, eh!?

When we made this pact, the three of us had never been to Europe.

But, before we could start making any bookings or travel itinerary, I received a call to work at the World Championships of Table Tennis at Budapest, Hungary. This happened in April this year and I was able to get a brief taste of Europe before the lavish plans of month-long European football sojourn in 2020 could form any shape.

I took it up as an opportunity and added two more cities in the itinerary and extended the work trip by another week of leisure. And, planned my maiden solo-trip abroad.

I ended up doing three European cities in 20 days for less than a lakh – that’s how my first trip to Europe panned out. Read on!

Why Budapest-Vienna-Prague?

My professional commitment was the main reason why I had planned this trip and Budapest was the obvious first stop.

Not too far (525km to be precise) from Budapest, there lies this beautiful city Prague in Czech Republic. It is home to a dear friend, Laura.

I know Laura through Neeru. They met in Rome when Neeru visited her about a decade ago. In the past few years, we have all met a number of times in Delhi, as well. So when my work trip to Budapest got finalized, the first thing I did was to ping Laura and ask if she would be available during those dates.

I was fortunate that Laura and her partner Faraz were welcoming, as always, and even let me stay at their place in Prague.

With Budapest and Prague plans already in place and Vienna being in the middle the two cities, I decided to add a short two-day visit in the beautiful Austrian capital as well.

And I must share that if you are part of any travel discussion forums, this itinerary has become quite a norm, with an additional stop at Salzburg too.

How to do budget travelling in these countries?

If you are traveling solo and wish to do budget travel, Budapest and Prague are one of the cheapest cities to visit in Europe. Although, Vienna is a little more expensive as compared to the other two.

A decent hostel room which is not too far off from the Budapest city center would cause a minimal damage of about five-six euros a night. You would not be able to find those costs, at decent places, in Delhi or Mumbai either. Meanwhile, a craft beer only costs a euro in Prague.

Thus, go for hostel accommodation; pick up the public transportation passes for commuting in the city.

Gabor, my local work friend in Budapest, who has also been a well-travelled guy in Asia too, shared a lot of information about Budapest and showed me the right places to visit for food and sight-seeing. I was aware of the idea that while travelling you will find the most value for money experiences where the locals usually go. But I had not really done it in practice.

I had the longest stay in Budapest and it was because of Gabor’s suggestions I could try out the local cuisines at half the price from what was on offer at touristy places. He also suggested me the best ways to go about sight-seeing in the city. Thus, fortunately, I got the tips to travel smart in Europe in the first city I visited which helped me going about the rest of the travel too.

I must add that the European cities are pedestrian friendly and the weather is usually nice to walk. Try and walk as much as possible and explore more. There are free walk tours in all these cities, ask your hostel’s reception about these.  

What are the Must-Dos and Eats?

Dos EATs

  •     Buda Castle
  •     Fisherman’s Bastion
  •     Citadel
  •     Chain Bridge
  •     Danube river (walk or cycle beside it)
  •     Metro line M1 (oldest metro of Budapest)
  •     Museum of Agriculture
  •     Thermal Bath
  •     Ruin Pubs
  •       Langos
  •       Chicken Paprika,
  •       Goulash Soup (Yum!),
  •       Hungarian Chicken/Turkey Soup
  •       Kolbász (Hungarian Sausage)
  •       Pálinka




  •     Stephansplatz
  •     Innere Stadt
  •     The Belvedere Palace
  •     Burggarten
  •     Mariahilfer Strasse
  •     The Hofburg
  •     Vienna State Opera House
  •     Volksgarten
  •      Wiener Schnitzel
  •      Sachertorte
  •      Apple Strudel
  •      Erdäpfelsalat (Austrian-style Potato Salad)
  •      Manner Wafers (Lime flavour) – bring back boxes
    of these for your loved ones




  • Old Town Square and the Astronomical              Clock
  • Prague Castle
  • Charles Bridge
  • National Theate
  • Café Louvre (no wifi – unwind and talk to            your friends/family here)
  • Tram #22 (Goes to almost all the nice                places, verified by local)


  •      Beer!
  •      Meat loafs and Sausage at Naše Maso

(Must visit place for Meat lovers)

  •      Pork Knuckle
  •      Steak Tartare
  •     Trdelník (Chimney Cake) –

this you could get in Hungary too


Your TIPS to spend smartly and what could be avoided? 

Personally for me, skipping Cathedrals and Museums did the trick. Last year in Russia, I went overboard there for my own liking. Okay, I agree the Museum tours are quite an enriching and enlightening experience about the culture and history, but it takes a lot of time and in case it does not bother you much, probably give it a pass.

While I agree that these architectural marvels of these countries are immensely picturesque and you cannot simply skip them. I did visit these places, too, but I never bought the tickets for paid areas there. Anyway, I felt the whole city and streets were also just as beautiful.

I would rather spend on a local European club’s football match than on a Museum visit, which does not really excite me much. In fact, we did plan to go for a weekend match in Prague. But the weather was not really great and my friend Laura hijacked my plans by arranging an aperetivo at home! European wines and cheese – I could not get out of this trap!

Additionally, the Cathedrals and Museums, being the tourist hubs, usually attract the maximum footfalls. Not only are these places over-crowded but the Food and Beverages around these areas are over-priced too. A beer can near the Old Town Square in Prague was for about three and a half euro. I had a craft beer near my friend Laura’s place for a euro. So that makes a lot of difference over a longer stay.

Instead, I had splurged on things that I really enjoyed – Food (places like Café Sacher in Vienna, Café Louvre in Prague are worth every penny of yours) and drinking out. I also loved the freedom of drinking on the go. Just grab a bottle of wine or beer, take a stroll on the cobblestoned streets or chill at a public park. Watch street-side artists perform; you can have the best of times with some locals or your friends!

In case you are thinking that you might have a FOMO, I suggest to visit the Museums or other tourist attractions either early morning or late in the evening. I explored Budapest mostly after my work shifts, late in the evening, when most other tourists were already back to their hotels. This gave me an opportunity to witness a very different side of the city when it looked its prettiest. This saved me a lot of physical and mental hassle of dealing with noisy – crowded side of traveling in these cities.

See unto you enjoy. Choosing to not go to certain places was my calling, you choose yours. Spend only where you know your heart will smile.

Moreover, you could really do without using any taxi. There are trains, buses, metro, trams, e-bikes, e-scooters, the options are aplenty. The services are amazingly well connected and are pretty much on time. It was so convenient to use the public transport system that I went for taxi only twice during the whole trip, out of which one time was the trip to Prague airport because I had a bit too much luggage (read souvenirs).

In fact, there is another impressive option to spend wisely. Check out the city passes like Budapest Card which comes with a lot of freebies!

How to apply for Visa?

To apply for Schengen Visa, get all the information here –

Here’s a Lowdown of Saurabh’s BUDGET for this trip: 


  • Flights – Rs. 44000 for Delhi-Budpest/Prague-Delhi sectors on Qatar Airways (roughly a month before the travel date).
  • Bus – Rs. 700 for Budapest to Vienna ride.
  • Train – The beautiful train journey from Vienna to Prague cost me Rs. 1600 (approx.)


My accommodation in Budapest was provided by the organisers of the World Table Tennis Championships 2019. In Prague, I stayed at a friend’s place. Vienna was the only place where I had to pay Rs. 3500 for two days stay.

Local Transportation

In Vienna, it cost me Rs. 1100 (approx.) for two-day pass in all public transport system and a similar three-day pass was for about Rs. 950 in Prague. The local transport pass, too, was provided to me in Budapest by the organisers, so I saved up there as well.

Shopping/Souvenirs – Rs. 2000 (Budapest), Rs. 2000 (Vienna) and Rs. 4300 (Prague)

Food & Beverages – Rs. 6100 (Budapest), Rs. 7700 (Vienna) and Rs. 2600 (Prague)

Phone Sim – Rs. 2400 (12 GB data, valid in all three countries)

Miscellaneous – Rs. 2000 to 4000 (approx.)

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