I'd do 4 in Budapest, 3 in Vienna and 2-3 in Prague if it were me, based on two separate vectors: first, in my view that's in descending order of density of things you might want to visit in each city ... Budapest is most spread out, Prague most centralized and compact; second, Budapest is more about settling into milieu and getting a feel for the city's rhythm, the people and the cafes and the life are in my view most welcoming. I could add as well that your funds will go further in Budapest than the others, allowing you to spend more per day in the other two.
Moving from one city to another takes at least half a day. So when you say 10 days, actually you would have, let's say 8.5 days total at best, altogether for the 3 cities. That's average 2.8 days in each city. Even less, if 10 days include your travel time from home and return.
Thanks very much for all the inputs!
Hmmm according to OP's reply on the same question he posted on Prague Forum, it seems he has decided 4 days in Prague. I tend to agree with that. I like both cities but Prague is " prettier " and more walkable. Also their public transportation is as good as Budapest's if not better. Also as cheap. I may be biased a bit. I have been to Prague countless times. Budapest, I have visited so far only 3 times.
Regular posters on the Prague forum will 'strongly recommend' 4 days in the city. Regular posters on the Vienna forum will do the same for Vienna. Probably even tell you to add Salzburg as a day trip.
I would advise to research things to do and attractions in each city, check Google maps for distances, read guide books - spend 4 days in the location that seems to appeal to you most. Otherwise, being a novice with each city, dividing your time equally seems logical to me. Bearing in mind, you will probably be tired in Budapest on the first day after your flight, so may be wise to add the extra day here - but of course I don't know how experienced a flier you and your spouse are, you may be able to start exploring straight away.
Thanks very much. Yes been getting mixed opinions from the various forums. Will do some more research on things to do in each place and then decide. Appreciate all the inputs!
And Budapest knocks the spots off Prague: what can you say about a city where the guide recommends a restaurant and when you say what is the speciality replies 'potato dumplings' ? Hungary has an amazing cuisine: and Budapest has a variety of spas to relax in.
For me - Prague I wanted to like a lot more but 2 full days would have been enough.
Vienna for me is a much easier city to visit and I don't have that feeling that someone is trying to scam me at each step which is how I felt in Prague.
There is so much to do and there is a reason it keeps getting voted as the most liveable city! 4 days is a good amount of time here.
Budapest - will let you know in a couple days as we travel there tomorrow.
To me Vienna felt like a cleaner, nicer version of Prague. Purely from a tourist perspective.
Looking forward to seeing what Budapest brings to our travels.
Its funny, everyone has different opinions about the same places.
Im sorry but I can not help with Vienna but last year we went to Prague and last week we went to Budapest and as has been said Budapest is more spread out than Prague. BUT Budapest has a fantastic transport system and you can get around very quickly to everything you need - want to see (get a 24 or 72 hour pass ) But Prague - yes is more compact but the transport in our experience does not fully service the sights like Budapest does and I now call Prague the "neck ache" city because the architecture is fantastic and you spend all your time looking up and to use the transport would spoil it. Prague is more concentrated and so you walk every were, we only used the trams once in prague to go up to the monestry for a beer and great views but in Budapest we had a 72 hour pass and lost count of the trips we made with it, some were just one stop as we were walking along and a tram stopped in front of us ( it would be rude not to jump on )
I recommend 3 in Budapest and 4 in Prague ( ideally 5 in each ) and we also found the same, that the food in Prague is not as good as that in Budapest