Hungarian e-ticket collection point
 

Book online:  You can now book many international trains from Budapest to neighbouring countries at the Hungarian Railways website www.mav-start.hu.  Look for these blue e-ticket collection machines at Budapest Keleti station....  Location of internet ticket collection machines at Budapest Keleti station

This page explains how to travel by train from Budapest to other key European cities, and how to buy the cheapest tickets, usually online direct from the operators with print-at-home or collect-at-station tickets & few or no booking fees.  It doesn't matter where you live, in Europe, Asia, the USA or Australia, you can buy train tickets from Budapest as shown below and save money over expensive railpasses or travel agent mark-ups.

I want to travel by train from Budapest to...

          

       Click here to buy tickets starting in another city

       Click for information about Budapest Keleti station & first class lounge

Before you buy your tickets...

I recommend taking a moment to read these important tips for buying European train tickets.  It answers all the usual questions, such as "Do I need to book in advance or can I just turn up & buy at the station?", "How far ahead can I book?", "Can I stop off?", "Are there Senior fares?" and that old favourite, "Should I buy an $800 railpass or just go online & buy a €35 point-to-point ticket?".

Answering your questions about European train travel...

Introduction to European train travel

 

Senior fares (over 60)

 

Guide to Eurail passes (overseas visitors)

Important tips for buying train tickets

Youth fares (under 26)

 

Guide to InterRail passes (for Europeans)

How to check European train times

Child fares & child age limits

 

Couchettes & sleepers on night trains

Do I need to book in advance?

Luggage on European trains

 

Train seat numbering plans

How far ahead can I book?

Luggage storage at stations

 

Wheelchairs & special needs

Can I stop off on the way?

Taking a bike by train

 

Real-time service updates

Should I travel 1st or 2nd class?

Taking a car by train

 

Hotels & accommodation

How long to allow for connections?

Taking dogs & pets by train

 

Changing stations in Paris by metro or taxi

How early to arrive at the station?

Maps of the European rail network

 

What to do when things go wrong...



Budapest to other destinations in Hungary...

Budapest to London...

Budapest to Paris from €78...

Option 1, by Railjet to Munich and City Night Line sleeper train to Paris...

Option 2, by Hungarian sleeper train to Munich and high-speed TGV to Paris... 

The sleeper train to Budapest   Sleeper compartment in the Hungarian sleeping-car from Munich to Budapest

Step 1, catch the overnight sleeper from Budapest to Munich... This is the modern air-conditioned Hungarian sleeping-car of the Kalman Imre.  The sleeping-car has 1, 2 or 3 berth compartments with washbasin, with toilets at the end of the corridor.  The fare includes a light breakfast of coffee, juice & croissant. Exterior photo courtesy of Istvαn Halαsz.  Watch the Hungarian sleeping-car video.

6-berth couchettes on train to Budapest   4-berth couchettes on train to Budapest   Couchette car on the Kalman Imre to Budapest

6-berth couchettes...

 

4-berth couchettes

 

Hungarian couchette car...

TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de l'Est   Upper deck second class on board a TGV Duplex.

Step 2, now take a 200mph double-deck TGV Duplex to Paris... A relaxing journey with reading book.  Above right, a 2nd class table for four on the upper deck.


Budapest to Brussels & Bruges...

Budapest to Amsterdam from €98...

Option 1, by day train to Munich, then sleeper to Amsterdam...

The morning RailJet train has arrived in Vienna.   Premium class seats on the Munich-Budapest RailJet train   Economy class seats on the Munich-Budapest RailJet train

Step 1, take a smart Austrian Railjet train from Budapest to Munich.  This is a RailJet train at Budapest Keleti station...

 

Business class costs €15 more than normal 1st class...

 

Economy class on RailJet, comfortable open saloons with large picture windows.  Some seats around tables, some unidirectional.

Sleeping-car compartment (1 2 or 3 berths)   4-berth couchette compartment on Paris-Munich overnight train   6-berth couchette compartment on Paris-Munich overnight train  

The sleeping-car on the Paris-Munich overnight train boarding at the Gare de l'Est

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper: The most comfortable option, economy with washbasin or deluxe with shower & toilet.

 

4-berth couchettes:  Ideal for families, much more space per person than 6-berth couchettes.

 

6-berth couchettes:  A very economical option, far better than a seat for just a few euros more...

 

Step 2, take the City Night Line sleeper train from Munich to Amsterdam...

More pictures & information about City Night Line trains...

Option 2, by sleeper train to Munich, then daytime trains to Amsterdam...


Budapest to Zurich & Switzerland from €49...

Option 1, by direct time-effective sleeper train...

Option 2, by daytime Railjet train through the scenic Arlberg Pass...


Budapest to Venice, Milan, Florence, Rome & Italy...

You can easily reach Italy using a smart Austrian Railjet train to Vienna in just 3 hours, then a time-effective EuroNight sleeper train from Vienna to Venice, Florence, Milan or Rome.  City centre to city centre.

Budapest to Venice by train...

Simply hop on an afternoon Railjet train from Budapest to Vienna, have dinner in Vienna, then board the sleeper to Venice (pictured below).  Wake up as you roll over the causeway into central Venice, walk out of Venice Santa Lucia station to see vaporettos and gondolas on the Grand Canal right outside!

The morning RailJet train has arrived in Vienna.   Premium class seats on the Munich-Budapest RailJet train   Economy class seats on the Munich-Budapest RailJet train

Step 1, take a smart Austrian Railjet train from Budapest to Vienna.  This is a RailJet train at Budapest's historic Keleti station...

 

Business class costs €15 more than normal 1st class...

 

Economy class on RailJet, comfortable open saloons with large picture windows.  Some seats around tables, some unidirectional.

1 & 2 berth standard sleeper on the Austrian EuroNight train.   EuroNight sleeper train to Vienna:  6-berth couchettes   The Cologne-Vienna sleeper train is an Austrian Railways (OBB) EuroNight train

1 or 2 bed sleeper: The most comfortable option. Standard sleepers have a washbasin, deluxe sleepers a private shower & toilet.

 

4 & 6-berth couchettes:  The economy option, ideal for families.  Couchettes are basic padded bunks with rug & pillow.  This is a 6-berth couchette, 4-berth also available.

 

Step 2, take the cosy & comfortable EuroNight sleeper train from Vienna to Venice...

Sleeper & couchette passengers receive a complimentary light breakfast with tea or coffee in the morning.

More pictures & information about these EuroNight trains (the Cologne-Vienna train is identical to the Vienna-Venice one)


Budapest to Munich, Berlin, Frankfurt, Cologne, & Germany from €29...

The photos below show the EuroCity train Jan Jesenius from Budapest to Berlin, which uses Hungarian carriages with restaurant car.  Budapest to Berlin starts at just €39 if you book in advance at www.bahn.de.

  Lunch in the restaurant car of the Jan Jesenius from Berlin to Prague

The Jan Jesenius seen at Dresden...

 

The Hungarian dining-car on the Jan Jesenius...

2nd class 6-seat compartment on the Jan Jesenius   1st class 6-seat compartment on the Jan Jesenius   Lunch in the restaurant car of the Jan Jesenius from Berlin to Prague

2nd class compartment

 

1st class compartment

 

Civilised! Lunch in the restaurant car...


Budapest to Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck & Austria from €13...
The morning RailJet train has arrived in Vienna.   Premium class seats on the Munich-Budapest RailJet train   Economy class seats on the Munich-Budapest RailJet train

Austrian Railjet trains link Budapest with Vienna every 2 hours.  This is a RailJet at Budapest's historic Keleti station...

 

Business class costs €15 more than normal 1st class...

 

Economy class on RailJet, comfortable open saloons with large picture windows.  Some seats around tables, some unidirectional.


Budapest to Prague from €19...
Restaurant car on train EC277 from Prague to Budapest   On board chef!

Comfortable, spacious, civilised, and tickets as cheap as €19...  Head for the restaurant car on the Budapest to Prague EuroCity train for a meal and a beer or glass of wine while you watch the world go by.  A main dish cooked by the on-board chef costs as little as €11.  Photos courtesy of Thomas Gigon.


Budapest to Bratislava from €19...

Budapest to Warsaw from €49 or less in a 2-bed sleeper...

Budapest to Krakow from just €49 including a bed in a 2-bed sleeper...
The Polish sleeping-car on the Budapest to Krakow and Budapest to Warsaw trains   A newly-refurbished sleeper compartment as used on the Budapest to Krakow & Budapest to Warsaw trains

The Budapest to Krakow & Budapest to Warsaw trains have smartly-refurbish Polish sleeping-cars like this, with 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments with washbasin...

 

Cosy 2-bed sleeper with washbasin...


Budapest to Brasov or Bucharest from €29...

Option 1, by time-effective sleeper train...

En suite toilet & shower on EuroNight sleeper train Ister to Bucharest   Single-berth sleeper on the EuroNight sleeper train 'Ister' to Bucharest   EuroNight sleeper train 'Ister' from Budapest to Bucharest

Deluxe sleeper...  The en suite toilet & shower in a deluxe sleeper from Budapest to Bucharest.  Courtesy Andy Brabin.

A sleeper set up as a  1-berth compartment with middle & top berths folded away against the wall.  Courtesy Andy Brabin.

 

The Budapest-Bucharest Ister:  This is the modern air-conditioned Romanian sleeping-car.  The letters above the windows say 'Voiture-Lits - Sleeping-car - Carrozza Letti - Vagon de Dormit'...  Welcome to your hotel on rails, some compartments with toilet & shower.  Courtesy Andy Brabin.

Couchette car on the Ister EuroNight train from Budapest to Bucharest   6-berth couchettes   Romanian couchette car from Vienna to Bucharest

The vagon cuseta (couchette car) on the Ister, at Budapest.

 

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

Option 2, by daytime train...

The 'Transylvania' train to Brasov about to leave Budapest   Hungarian restaurant car on the train to Sighisoara & Brasov

An InterCity train to Romania (left) about to leave Budapest.

 

The restaurant car on the InterCity train to Romania...

2nd class Romanian InterCity coach   Romanian InterCity seating coach

Air-conditioned 2nd class seats used on the Traianus from Budapest to Bucharest.  Or take your own picnic with beer or wine...


Budapest to Belgrade for €15...  Budapest to Sofia for €55...

 

Serbian air-conditioned coach   1st class seats in a Serbian air-conditioned train

Above:  The daytime EuroCity train from Budapest to Belgrade, seen at Budapest Keleti.  Just €15!

The Serbian couchette car on the Belgrade to Sofia train   A 6-berth couchette compartment on the Belgrade to Sofia train

Above:  The overnight Serbian couchette car between Belgrade & Sofia, seen at Belgrade station.


Budapest to Zagreb for €29...

Budapest to Ljubljana...

Budapest to Sarajevo...

Budapest to Lviv, Kiev & Ukraine...

Budapest to Moscow...

Budapest to Copenhagen, Stockholm, Gothenburg, Oslo & Scandinavia...

Option 1, Budapest to Copenhagen by train from €78 including couchette!  Runs until 1 November, after that use option 2.

Option 2, by daytime trains with overnight stop in Hamburg...

Option 3, by daytime trains with overnight stop in Berlin...


Budapest to Helsinki...

Budapest to Barcelona & Spain

Option 1, using a time-effective sleeper train Budapest-Zurich then Geneva to Barcelona by high-speed TGV...

Option 2, by daytime Railjet train through the scenic Arlberg Pass, hotel in Zurich, then TGV...


Budapest to Istanbul & Turkey for €84...

Option 1, via Bucharest.  This route used to take two nights, but now requires an extra night in a hotel in Bucharest as the connection between trains in Bucharest is now too tight for a reliable same-day connection.  But it's a scenic route, with comfortable sleeping-cars as well as couchettes on both overnight trains.

Option 2, via Belgrade & Sofia.  This route takes 2 nights, includes a day to explore Sofia and is very inexpensive, although there are only couchettes, not sleepers, on both of the overnight trains involved.


Budapest to Athens, Thessaloniki & Greece...

Budapest to other destinations...

Find hotels in Budapest & other cities

 

◄◄ Hotel search & price comparison.

www.hotelscombined.com checks all the main hotel booking sites at once to find the widest choice of hotels & the cheapest seller.  It was named as the World's Leading Hotel Comparison Site at the World Travel Awards 2013 and I highly recommend it, both to find hotels in even the smallest places and to check that another retailer isn't selling your hotel for less!

www.booking.com is my favourite booking site.  It's really clear and you can usually book with free cancellation and so confirm your accommodation at no risk months before train booking opens.

Other hotel sites worth trying...

Backpacker hostels...


Travel insurance & health card...

 

 

Columbus direct travel insurance

Get travel insurance, it's essential...

Never travel overseas without travel insurance from a reliable insurer, with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover.  It should also cover cancellation and loss of cash (up to a limit) and belongings.  An annual multi-trip policy is usually cheaper than several single-trip policies even for just 2 or 3 trips a year (I have an annual policy myself).  Here are some suggested insurers.  Seat61 gets a small commission if you buy through these links.

In the UK, try Columbus Direct or use Confused.com to compare prices & policies from many different insurers.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over 65 (no age limit), see www.JustTravelCover.com.

        If you're resident in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland or the EU, try Columbus Direct's other websites.

  If you're resident in the USA try Travel Guard USA.

Get a spare credit card, designed for foreign travel with no currency exchange loading & low or no ATM fees...

It costs nothing to take out an extra credit card.  If you keep it in a different part of your luggage so you're not left stranded if your wallet gets stolen, this is a form of extra travel insurance in itself.  In addition, some credit cards are significantly better for overseas travel than others.  Martin Lewis's www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-travel-money explains which UK credit cards have the lowest currency exchange commission loadings when you buy something overseas, and the lowest cash withdrawal fees when you use an ATM abroad.  Taking this advice can save you quite a lot on each trip compared to using your normal high-street bank credit card!

You can avoid ATM charges and expensive exchange rates with a Caxton FX euro currency Visa Card, or their multi-currency 'Global Traveller' Visa Card, see www.caxtonfx.com for info.

Get an international SIM card to save on calls & mobile data...

Mobile phones can cost a fortune to use abroad, so consider getting a global pre-paid SIM card for your mobile phone which can cut call & data costs by up to 90%.  At the time of writing, www.roamsure.com claims a definite 25% saving within the EU and up to 90% saving in the rest of the world.  Incoming calls are free in 73 countries, including the USA, Australia, South Africa and EU.  There's no contract or commitment, and at time I write this Roamsure is offering a global SIM card for free when you buy £20 of call credit.  Seat61 gets some commission to support the site if you buy airtime from Roamsure.

 


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