20 days in Istanbul, Budapest & Cesenatico Itinerary

20 days in Istanbul, Budapest & Cesenatico Itinerary

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Route & dates

20 days in Istanbul, Budapest & Cesenatico Itinerary

Start: Cape Town, South Africa
Fly:  9 h 30 min
1
Istanbul, Turkey
— 5 nights
Fly:  3 h 15 min
2
Budapest, Hungary
— 4 nights
Fly + Drive:  5 h 45 min
3
Cesenatico, Italy
— 7 nights
Drive + Fly:  9 h 15 min
4
Istanbul, Turkey
— 1 night
Fly:  12 h 30 min
End: Cape Town, South Africa

5
nights
Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul ©
A physical and cultural bridge between Europe and Asia, the transcontinental city of Istanbul serves as a living reminder of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires.
Popular historic sites such as Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya) and Little Hagia Sophia are in your itinerary. Get a sense of the local culture at Topkapi Palace and Suleymaniye Cami . There's much more to do: admire the striking features of Basilica Cistern, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Rustem Pasha Mosque, take a stroll through Sultanahmet District, and stroll around Gulhane Park.

Plan a Istanbul trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

Cape Town, South Africa to Istanbul is an approximately 12.5- hour flight. The time zone changes from South Africa Standard Time to Eastern European Time, which is usually a 1 hour difference. In May, daily temperatures in Istanbul can reach 25°C, while at night they dip to 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 11th (Wed) to allow time for travel to Budapest.

Things to do in Istanbul

Museums Historic Sites Neighborhoods
Highlights from your plan
Basilica Cistern ©
Basilica Cistern
Suleymaniye Cami ©
Suleymaniye Cami

4
nights
Budapest, Hungary

Budapest ©
You might consider the city of Budapest, divided by the Danube River into two distinctive cities--Buda and Pest--to be essentially one large World Heritage Site.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Halaszbastya and Buda Castle. Explore hidden gems such as Liberty Statue and Vajdahunyad Castle (Vajdahunyadvar). There's lots more to do: steep yourself in history at Matthias Church, make a trip to Hősök tere, examine the collection at Hospital in the Rock Nuclear Bunker Museum, and get a sense of history and politics at Hungarian Parliament Building.

To plan Budapest vacation without wasting time, ask Inspirock to design an itinerary.

Fly from Istanbul to Budapest in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 2 hours traveling from Istanbul to Budapest. Traveling from Istanbul in May, plan for a bit cooler nights in Budapest, with lows around 11°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 15th (Sun) to allow time for travel to Cesenatico.

Things to do in Budapest

Historic Sites Museums Spas
Find places to stay May 11 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Matthias Church ©
Matthias Church
Halaszbastya ©
Halaszbastya
Buda Castle ©
Buda Castle

7
nights
Cesenatico, Italy

Cesenatico ©
Cesenatico, a vibrant port city on the Adriatic coast, is home to the Canal Harbor, thought to be designed by Leonardo da Vinci.
Visit Basilica - Santuario di Santo Stefano and Basilica San Vitale for their historical value. Explore hidden gems such as Castello di Gradara and Santuario di Madonna di San Luca. Change things up with these side-trips from Cesenatico: Ravenna (Basilica di Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, Mausoleo di Galla Placidia, &more), Basilica di Sant'Apollinare in Classe (in Classe) and Ferrara (Centro Storico Ferrara, Castello Estense, &more). There's lots more to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Chiesa di Santa Maria della Vita, contemplate the long history of Basilica di San Petronio, admire the landmark architecture of Archiginnasio di Bologna, and enjoy the sand and surf at Altamarea Beach Village.

To see where to stay, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Cesenatico driving holiday planning app.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Budapest to Cesenatico. May in Cesenatico sees daily highs of 25°C and lows of 13°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 22nd (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Istanbul.

Things to do in Cesenatico

Historic Sites Beaches Parks

Side Trips

Bologna, Ravenna, Ferrara, Basilica di Sant'Apollinare in Classe, Altamarea Beach Village
Highlights from your plan
Basilica San Vitale ©
Basilica San Vitale
Castello di Gradara ©
Castello di Gradara
Santuario di Madonna di San Luca ©
Santuario di Madonna di San Luca

1
night
Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul ©
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Mon): steep yourself in history at Historic Areas of Istanbul, take in panoramic vistas at KIz Kulesi, steep yourself in history at Valens Aqueduct, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Pierre Loti Tepesi, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Sultan Ahmed Mosque.

For ratings, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Istanbul online sightseeing planner.

The Route module can help you plan travel from Cesenatico to Istanbul. The time zone changes from Central European Time (CET) to Eastern European Time (EET), which is usually a 2 hour difference. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Mon) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Istanbul

Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Sultan Ahmed Mosque ©
Sultan Ahmed Mosque
Pierre Loti Tepesi ©
Pierre Loti Tepesi
Historic Areas of Istanbul ©
Historic Areas of Istanbul

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