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Istanbul or Budapest?

Travel Forums Europe Istanbul or Budapest?

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1. Posted by fantomas (Budding Member 4 posts) 7y


Long time traveller, planning on going to either Istanbul or Budapest with my girlfriend in the end of October or beginning of November. The problem is which to choose? We're only going for 3-4 days, so either city is obviously too big, but I was hoping I could get some pointers in here regarding which to choose for that time of year, number of days etc.



2. Posted by BedouinLeo (Inactive 698 posts) 7y

Very good two choices to decide from. I have done both cities many times and love them equally.
Two days in one could prove easy compared to the same amount of time in another. Meaning that Budapest is roughly 200 sq. km. and has a population under 2million and Istanbul is around four times the size with a population close on 12million.
Temperature wise there will be little in it at around +5c to +10c, but the chances are you will see much more rain in Budapest throughout Oct/Nov.
There are cheap budget fares with quite a few airlines to both cities and a room will be roughly the same in price.
You may find overall that Istanbul is a cheaper city, but if you are EU citizens then there is an entry fee into Turkey, but not Hungary.

3. Posted by fantomas (Budding Member 4 posts) 7y


Thanks for advice. I guess autumn rain may tip the scales in favour of Istanbul. But if the weather turns nice, crisp autumn days in Budapest might be great. Gamble though. We're Norwegian, so not EU citizens, but Schengen. Dunno whether that has anything to say? The flight to Budapest is ca. 2/3 of the Istanbul price, but I reckon the latter is somewhat cheaper, as you say.

Any other thoughts?

We might end up flipping a coin, hehe.

4. Posted by BedouinLeo (Inactive 698 posts) 7y

It won't be crisp autumn days in Budapest that time of year. November is one of the wettest months of the year there.
I have been to Budapest in just about (if not all) every month of the year. I can guarantee you it will be wet, rather than cold.
Other suggestions? 4 days is not a lot and that time of year isn't really a time for t-shirts and lots of walking in either city really, but as an alternative I would recommend perhaps the Austrian tyrol. There at that time of year it will definately be cold and crisp with a high possibility of some snow. There are flights to both Salzburg and Innsbruck with buses locally to the region.
How about (again it'll be crisp and cold, but probably dry) Norway (Torp) to Krakow (Poland)? One of Europe's most beautiful cities. I have been there and can thoroughly recommend it.
Ryanair do the route and their prices are well affordable.

5. Posted by fantomas (Budding Member 4 posts) 7y

Ok. This is very useful information. Might be Istanbul then, or perhaps Krakow. Heard a lot of good words about that city, and of course it has a great historical perspective as well. Nevertheless, I doubt any place in Europe can be wetter than Bergen where I live that time of year. Had 89 days of rain Oct-Dec a couple of years ago, hehe.

6. Posted by BedouinLeo (Inactive 698 posts) 7y

Try anywhere in the UK in 2009. It's rained pretty much right through the summer.

7. Posted by Monkeypod (Budding Member 54 posts) 7y

I Lived in Budapest for 6 years and it is one of the most romantic cities in the world - either in Summer when it is hot and the nights are balmy or in the Winter when the castles and palaces are lit up and are covered in snow.

In Autumn it rains and its cold. go to Istanbul and go visit hungary when its at its best.

8. Posted by anatolie (Budding Member 2 posts) 2y

That was back in 2009 but in year 2014 Istanbul is a more expensive city than Budapest or Prague, and it is a place you want to compare with Paris, London, Madrid, New York, Rio.. rather than smaller Euro capitals in terms of what it has to offer.

[ Edit: Edited on 23-Aug-2014, at 11:00 by anatolie ]

9. Posted by VintageRider (Budding Member 23 posts) 2y

Budapest is more romantic, much more to see and distances are smaller. However, the weather during October and November is not the best time.
I suggest May-September.

Istanbul is beautiful, much cheaper than Budapest, but harder to get around. It has a unique magic around it. Weather may be better there in October than in Budapest.

I think you should make a list with the attractions and then choose which one you'd rather visit.

10. Posted by anatolie (Budding Member 2 posts) 2y

Budapest is definitely cheaper than Istanbul in year 2014 and Istanbul has lots more to see- a city of 15 million- capital of several empires often referred to by travellers as their favourite city in the world along with many superlatives vs a city that is a lot smaller but nice, romantic and worth a visit anyway. You'll be fine spending your weekend in Budapest but will need at least a week to 10 days in Istanbul to see it properly.