Trains from Budapest
 

  Budapest Keleti station information

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       Click here if your journey starts in another city COVID-19 update.

This page explains how to travel by train from Budapest to other cities all over Europe, and how to buy tickets the cheapest way.  Train information is current for 2020.  Suggested hotels in Budapest.

Before you buy your tickets...

Take a moment to read these important tips for buying European train tickets.  They answer all the usual questions, such as "Do I need to book in advance or can I just buy at the station?", "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?".  And most important, click here to understand how far ahead you can buy train tickets.

European train travel FAQ...

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...

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Budapest to London...

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Budapest to Paris from €79...

Option 1, by Hungarian sleeper train to Zurich and high-speed TGV-Lyria to Paris.  This is the fastest & most time-effective option, & saves a hotel bill too...

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

2-berth sleeper. Larger photo.

 

Step 1, Budapest to Zurich by sleeping-car, seen here at Budapest KeletiMore information about this train.  Photos courtesy of Matthew Williams.

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

The sleeper from Budapest, arrived in Zurich...

 

4-berth couchettes

 

6-berth couchettes.

TGV-Lyria at Paris Gare de Lyon   TGV bar car

Step 2, TGV-Lyria from Zurich to Paris.  There's no check-in, just walk up & get on.

 

The cafe-bar, serving tea, coffee, beer, wine, hot & cold snacks & microwaved hot dishes.  Larger photo.

TGV interior by Christian Lacroix, second class   TGV 1st class by Christian Lacroix

2nd class (standard class) with a mix or unidirectional seats & tables for 4.  Seats are 2+2 across car width.  360Ί photo.

 

1st class seats, used for standard premiθre and business premiθre.  Seats are arranged 2+1 across the car width. 360Ί photo.

Option 2, by Hungarian sleeper train to Munich and high-speed TGV to Paris.  Similar to option 1, but via Munich, and it takes a little longer.

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

Step 1, Budapest to Munich on the Kalman Imre. More information about this sleeper train.

 

2-bed sleeper. Larger photo

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 at Munich

TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de l'Est

Step 2, by 200mph double-deck TGV Duplex to Paris.  This is a TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de l'Est.

TGV Duplex cafe-bar   TGV Duplex upper deck 2nd class seats

Cafe-bar on upper deck in car 4 (or 14), serving tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, snacks & microwave-style hot dishes.

 

2nd class seats on upper deck.  There's a mix or tables for 4 and unidirectional seating.  360Ί photo.

First class on board a TGV Duplex   An TGV Duplex to Munich at Paris Est.

1st class seats on upper deck, a 'club duo' on the left, a 'club quatre' on the right.  360Ί photo.

 

A TGV Duplex in Paris.  The red near the door indicates 1st class, pale green indicates 2nd class.

Option 3, by railjet from Budapest to Munich, overnight stop, TGV from Munich to Paris. This is the fastest & cheapest all-daytime option.

Option 4, by railjet from Budapest to Zurich via the scenic Arlberg Pass, overnight stop, then TGV-Lyria to Paris.  This is the scenic route! 

A railjet train about to leave Vienna

A railjet train pauses at Vienna...

  Premium class seats on the Munich-Vienna RailJet train   Railjet restaurant car

Railjet first class, with black leather seats...

 

Business class...

 

The restaurant...

Railjet train at Vienna Hbf   Railjet train standard class

A railjet arrived at the impressive modern Vienna Hbf spot on time.  More photos & information about railjet trains

 

Economy class on railjet, in open saloons with large windows.  Some seats around tables, most unidirectional.

The mountains of Austria...

Taking the train through the Arlberg pass...   Lunch is served at your seat in first & business classes

In the Arlberg pass itself, the railway hugs the valley side, past fir forests and meadows...

 

In railjet first & business class, the stewardess takes your order & serves lunch at your seat...

The lakes between Zurich and the Austrian border

The railjet clips a corner of Liechtenstein, passing non-stop through the little station of Schaan-Vaduz.  Once in Switzerland, the railjet runs alongside the Zόrichsee, then along the Walensee...

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Budapest to Nice, Cannes, Monaco, Marseille, Avignon...

Option 1, using the Vienna-Milan sleeper then a scenic coastal ride...

Option 2, by direct Russian sleeper train every Friday...

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Budapest to Brussels & Bruges from €56...

Option 1, by sleeper train to Munich, then daytime trains to Brussels...

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

Budapest to Munich on the Kalman Imre More information about this sleeper train.

 

2-bed sleeper. Larger photo

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 at Munich

High-speed ICE3 train at Brussels Midi   ICE2 train, 2nd class

Munich to Frankfurt & Brussels by ICE...

 

ICE3 2nd class seats.  Larger photo.

ICE3 train, 1st class   Lunch & beer on an ICE3 train

ICE3 1st class, with leather seats.  Larger photo.

 

ICE3 bistro car.  See sample menu.

Option 2, by day train to Munich, the Vienna-Cologne Nightjet sleeper train, then day train to Brussels......

A railjet train from Vienna to Budapest, arrived at Budapest Keleti

Step 1, Budapest to Vienna by railjet, seen here on platform 9 at Budapest's historic Keleti stationMore information about railjets.

Business class on the Vienna to Venice train   Business class on the Vienna to Venice train

Economy (2nd) class...  Larger photo.

 

First class...  Larger photo.

1 or 2 bed sleeper on Nightjet train to Cologne   en suite shower & toilet in deluxe sleeper   Comfortline sleeping-car as now used on Nightjet trains

2-berth regular sleeper with washstand.  Larger photo.

 

The toilet & shower in a deluxe sleeper...

 

Step 2, Vienna to Cologne by comfortable Nightjet sleeper train.  More information about Nightjet trains...

   

Austrian couchette car or liegewagen.  Couchettes are the economical option, flat bunks with rug & pillow.

 

6-berth couchettes, the cheapest option...

 

4-berth couchettes, ideal for families.  Larger photo.

High-speed ICE3 train at Brussels Midi   ICE2 train, 2nd class

Step 3, Cologne to Brussels by ICE.  More info about ICE3.

 

ICE3 2nd class seats.  Larger photo.

ICE3 train, 1st class   Lunch & beer on an ICE3 train

ICE3 1st class, with leather seats.  Larger photo.

 

ICE3 bistro car.  See sample menu.

Option 3, by day trains with overnight stop in Munich...

Option 4, by sleeper to Prague then day trains to Brussels - the cheapest option from €64!

The sleeper train from Prague to Budapest, boarding in Prague

Budapest to Prague by sleeping-car.  This is the Prague-Budapest sleeper at Prague.

City Night Line standard (economy) sleeper   City Night Line standard (economy) sleeper in day mode   City Night Line deluxe sleeper, private toilet & shower   Comfortline sleeper corridor

Standard sleeper set up as a 2-berth, with blind down & washstand open.  Each room can be used with 1, 2 or 3 beds.  Enlarge photo.

 

The same sleeper with berths folded away & seats folded out, washstand closed.  Very similar to a deluxe, but without the shower & toilet.

 

Deluxe sleepers are similar to standard ones, but with a bit more floorspace & compact shower & toilet instead of washstand.

 

Just like a hotel, the corridor in a Comfortline sleeping-car.  There's a shower at end of the corridor for standard sleeper passengers.

Scenery between Nuremberg & Cheb   Scenery from the train between Cheb & Prague

Scenery between Nuremberg & Cheb.  Courtesy of Arnaud Loneux.

 

Hills & forest between Cheb & Prague.  Courtesy of Arnaud Loneux.

Cheb station, en route from Brussels to Prague

Easy & relaxed interchange at Cheb...  The blue train on the left is the Czech train to & from Prague, the red train on the right is the German regional train to & from Nuremberg.

High-speed ICE3 train at Brussels Midi   ICE2 train, 2nd class

ICE3 from Frankfurt to Brussels, at Brussels Midi.

 

ICE3 2nd class seats.  Larger photo.

ICE3 train, 1st class   Lunch & beer on an ICE3 train

ICE3 1st class, with leather seats.  Larger photo.

 

ICE3 bistro.  See sample menu.

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Budapest to Amsterdam from €98...

Option 1, using the Vienna-Cologne Nightjet sleeper train...

A railjet train from Vienna to Budapest, arrived at Budapest Keleti

Step 1, Budapest to Vienna by railjet, seen here on platform 9 at Budapest's historic Keleti stationMore information about railjets.

Business class on the Vienna to Venice train   Business class on the Vienna to Venice train

Economy (2nd) class...  Larger photo.

 

First class...  Larger photo.

1 or 2 bed sleeper on Nightjet train to Cologne   en suite shower & toilet in deluxe sleeper   Comfortline sleeping-car as now used on Nightjet trains

2-berth regular sleeper with washstand.  Larger photo.

 

The toilet & shower in a deluxe sleeper...

 

Step 2, Vienna to Cologne overnight by Nightjet sleeper train.  More information about Nightjet trains...

   

Nightjet couchette car or liegewagen.  Couchettes are the economical option, flat bunks with rug & pillow.

 

6-berth couchettes, the cheapest option...

 

4-berth couchettes, ideal for families.  Larger photo.

High-speed ICE3 train at Amsterdam   ICE2 train, 2nd class

Step 3, Cologne to Amsterdam by ICE.  More info about ICE3.

 

ICE3 2nd class seats.  Larger photo.

ICE3 train, 1st class   Lunch & beer on an ICE3 train

ICE3 1st class, with leather seats.  Larger photo.

 

ICE3 bistro car.  See sample menu.

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

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

1.  Budapest to Munich by sleeper, see more information about this sleeper train.

 

2-bed sleeper. Larger photo

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 at Munich

High-speed ICE3 train at Amsterdam Centraal   ICE2 train, 2nd class

2.  Munich to Amsterdam by ICE...

 

ICE3 2nd class seats.  Larger photo.

ICE3 train, 1st class   Lunch & beer on an ICE3 train

ICE3 1st class, with leather seats.  Larger photo.

 

ICE3 bistro car.  See sample menu.

Option 3, by day trains with overnight stop in Munich...  If you prefer daytime trains and a hotel...

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Budapest to Zurich & Switzerland from €39...

Option 1, by sleeper train - the safe, comfortable & time-effective option...

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

2-berth sleeper. Larger photo.

 

The sleeping-car to Zurich, at Budapest Keleti. see more information about this sleeper train.  Photos courtesy of Matthew Williams.

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

The sleeper from Budapest, arrived in Zurich...

 

4-berth couchettes

 

6-berth couchettes.

Option 2, by daytime train from €39 - the scenic option, through the wonderful Arlberg Pass...

A railjet train from Vienna to Budapest, arrived at Budapest Keleti

A railjet on platform 9 at Budapest's historic Keleti stationMore information about railjets.

Business class on the Vienna to Venice train   Business class on the Vienna to Venice train

Economy (2nd) class...  Larger photo.

 

First class...  Larger photo.

The mountains of Austria...

Taking the train through the Arlberg pass...   Lunch is served at your seat in first & business classes

In the Arlberg pass itself, the railway hugs the valley side, past fir forests and meadows...

 

In railjet first & business class, the stewardess takes your order & serves lunch at your seat...

The lakes between Zurich and the Austrian border

The railjet clips a corner of Liechtenstein, passing non-stop through the little station of Schaan-Vaduz.  Once in Switzerland, the railjet runs alongside the Zόrichsee, then along the Walensee...

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

Option 1:  By railjet train to Vienna & Nightjet sleeper train to Italy - the most time-effective option...

You can easily reach Italy using a smart Austrian railjet train to Vienna in just 2h41, then a Nightjet sleeper train from Vienna to Venice, Florence, Milan or Rome.  It's a safe, comfortable & time-effective way to travel, from city centre to city centre with no airports and no flights...

Budapest to Italy by train...

Simply hop on an afternoon railjet train from Budapest to Vienna, have dinner in Vienna, then board the sleeper to Italy.

A railjet train from Vienna to Budapest, arrived at Budapest Keleti

Step 1, Budapest to Vienna by railjet, seen here on platform 9 at Budapest's historic Keleti stationMore information about railjets.

Business class on the Vienna to Venice train   Business class on the Vienna to Venice train

Economy (2nd) class...  Larger photo.

 

First class...  Larger photo.

The Nightjet train from Vienna to Venice, arrived at Venice Santa Lucia

Step 2, take the nightjet sleeper train from Vienna to Italy.  This is the Vienna-Venice nightjet, arrived at Venice Santa Lucia.  See more nightjet information, photos & video.

Nightjet deluxe sleeper, 2-bed   Nightjet deluxe sleepe toilet & shower   4-berth couchette compartment from Cologne to Vienna

2-berth deluxe sleeper.  360° photo.

 

...en suite toilet & shower.

 

4-berth couchettes.  360° photo.

Sunrise as the sleeper train crosses the causeway into Venice

Sunrise as the Munich-Venice Nightjet crosses the causeway over the lagoon into Venice.  Courtesy of Andreas Wiedenhoff.

Option 2, Budapest to Venice in a single day from €42 - comfy & scenic...

A railjet train about to leave Vienna

The afternoon railjet to Venice, about to leave Vienna Hbf.  More photos & info about Vienna-Venice railjets.

Railjet train at Vienna Hbf   Railjet train standard class

A railjet boarding at the impressive modern Vienna Hbf.

 

Economy class on railjet...

  Premium class seats on the Munich-Vienna RailJet train   Railjet restaurant car

Railjet first class, with black leather seats...

 

Business class...

 

The restaurant...

The railjet travels over the famous Semmering Railway, opened in 1854 and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  See the Vienna to Venice by train page for more information, photos & video.

Option 3, by daytime trains with overnight stop - same as option 2, but an overnight stop breaks up the journey nicely...

Option 4, via Ljubljana - the cheapest option at short notice, with a chance to see Ljubljana & Trieste on the way...

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Budapest to Barcelona & Spain

Option 1, by daytime railjet train through the scenic Arlberg Pass, hotel in Zurich, then TGV...

Mt Canigou in the Pyrenees

Mt Canigou & the Pyrenees...  One of the highest peaks in the mighty Pyrenees, the 2,784m (9,137 feet) high Mt Canigou dominates the skyline on the right of the train all the way from Perpignan to Girona, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CanigouMore photos of what to see on the Paris-Barcelona train journey.

Option 2, sleeper to Zurich, train to Marseille & overnight stop, morning train to Barcelona - a pleasant option...

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Budapest to Lisbon & Portugal
En route to Morocco by train: gran classe 2-bed sleeper (day mode)   en route to Morocco by train: Gran Classes 2-bed sleeper (night mode)   Paris to Madrid & Barcelona by trainhotel: Gran Classe sleepers have a private shower and toilet   Trainhotel at Madrid

Gran Clase sleeper, in evening mode with the seats folded out...

 

...return from the cafe-bar to find the beds made up...

 

Gran Clase sleepers have a toilet & shower...

 

The trainhotel from Madrid to Lisbon is an articulated Spanish Talgo train.  Seen here at Madrid Chamartin station.

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

Option 1, by daytime trains with overnight stop in Hamburg...

Option 2, by sleeper train to Berlin then day trains to Copenhagen...

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

A Danish IC3 train at Copenhagen station...   1st class seats on a Danish IC3 train

A Danish IC3 train at Copenhagen station.  IC3s now work all the Hamburg-Copenhagen trains.

125 mph tilting 'X2000' from Copenhagen to Stockholm, at Copenhagen station 2nd class seats on the X2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm The self-service buffet on the X2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm...

A 125 mph X2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm....

 

2nd class seating on the X2000.  All seats have power sockets for laptops & mobiles...

 

Self-service buffet car on the X2000 to Stockholm.

More info on X2000 trains

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Budapest to Helsinki...

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Budapest to Munich from €39...

Option 1, by EuroNight sleeper train - the time-effective option...

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

The Kalman Imre, at Munich. More information about this sleeper train.

 

2-bed sleeper. Larger photo

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 at Munich

Option 2, by daytime railjet train...

  Premium class seats on the Munich-Vienna RailJet train   Railjet restaurant car

Railjet first class, with black leather seats...

 

Business class...

 

Bistro-restaurant car...

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

Economy class on railjet, in open saloons with picture windows.  Some seats around tables, most unidirectional.

 

A railjet about to leave Budapest Keleti.  More photos & information about railjet trains.

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Budapest to Berlin from €39...

Option 1, by EuroCity train Hungaria - the leisurely daytime option...

The EuroCity train Hungaria between Berlin & Budapest

The Berlin-Budapest Hungaria with the latest air-conditioned Hungarian cars.  Photos courtesy of Siddhartha Verma.

2nd class seats on the EuroCity train Hungaria Berlin-Budapest   The restaurant car of the Hungaria from Berlin to Budapest

2nd class seats on the Hungaria...

 

Restaurant car on the Hungaria...

Scenery along the river Elbe

Between Prague & Dresden the train runs along the pretty river Elbe, or Labe in Czech.  One of Europe's major rivers, the Elbe eventually flows into the North Sea at Cuxhaven near Hamburg.  Watch for river boats, even the occasional paddle steamer.  See the photos & video of this part of the journey here.

Option 2, by EuroNight sleeper train Metropol - the time-effective overnight option, saves a hotel bill too...

2-bed sleeper on Budapest to Berlin train   Slovakian sleeping-car

A 2-bed double sleeper (above left) in the air-conditioned Slovakian sleeping-car on the Metropol from Budapest to Berlin.  Above right, a morning view of the Budapest-Berlin couchette car (nearest the camera) and sleeping-car in the morning light...

Each sleeper compartment is fitted with 3 beds so can be sold as a single, double or triple.  Sleeper compartments convert to comfortable private sitting room for evening use.  A light breakfast is included in the fare.  See larger photo.  See more photos of this type of sleeping-car. Photos courtesy Helmut Uttenthaler.

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Budapest to Frankfurt, Cologne, Hamburg & Germany from €29...
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

Direct Austrian railjet train from Budapest to Munich.  This is a RailJet train at Budapest Keleti...  More photos, video & information about Railjets

 

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.

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Budapest to Vienna 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 regular 1st class...

 

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

Budapest to Salzburg...
Budapest to Innsbruck...
Budapest to Graz, Hallstatt & other destinations in Austria...

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Budapest to Prague from €19...

Option 1, by air-conditioned EuroCity train...

EuroCity train to Budapest boarding in Prague

A EuroCity train from Prague to Budapest about to leave Prague Hlavni...

Prague to Budapest EuroCity traiin   2nd class open seating on Prague-Budapest EuroCity traiin

Restaurant car...

 

2nd class open plan saloon seating...

Option 2, by safe & comfortable sleeper train - the time-saving option

City Night Line standard (economy) sleeper   City Night Line standard (economy) sleeper in day mode   City Night Line deluxe sleeper, private toilet & shower   Comfortline sleeper corridor

Standard sleeper set up as a 2-berth, with blind down & washstand open.  Each room can be used with 1, 2 or 3 beds.  Larger photo.

 

The same sleeper with berths folded away & seats folded out, washstand closed.  Very similar to a deluxe, but without the shower & toilet.

 

Deluxe sleepers are similar to standard ones, but with a bit more floorspace & compact shower & toilet instead of washstand.

 

Just like a hotel, the corridor in a Comfortline sleeping-car.  There's a shower at end of the corridor for standard sleeper passengers.

Budapest to Českύ Krumlov...

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Budapest to Bratislava from €9...
Lunch in the restaurant car of the Jan Jesenius from Berlin to Prague   2nd class 6-seat compartment on the Jan Jesenius   1st class 6-seat compartment on the Jan Jesenius

Lunch in the restaurant car...

 

2nd class compartment

 

1st class compartment

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Budapest to Warsaw from €19...

Option 1, by direct sleeper train...

Modern Polish sleeping-car

Modern Polish sleeping-car of the type used Budapest-Warsaw.  Photo courtesy of WieselFahrer...

Modern Polish sleeper in day mode   Modern Polish sleeper in day mode   A deluxe sleeper on the Amsterdam to Warsaw train   Deluxe sleepers have a private shower & toilet

Standard sleeper in evening/morning mode with seats folded out.

 

Standard sleeper set up as a 3-berth.  It can also be sold as a single or double.

 

Deluxe sleeper, set up as a 2-berth, showing TV & wardrobe.

 

Deluxe sleeper:  En suite shower & toilet...

Option 2, by direct daytime EuroCity train from €19...

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Budapest to Krakow from just €54 including a bed in a 2-bed sleeper...

Option 1, by daytime train...

Option 2, by sleeper train.  Safe, comfortable & time-effective...

Modern Polish sleeping-car

Modern Polish sleeping-car of the type used Budapest-Krakow-Warsaw.  Photo courtesy of WieselFahrer...

Modern Polish sleeper in day mode   Modern Polish sleeper in day mode   A deluxe sleeper on the Amsterdam to Warsaw train   Deluxe sleepers have a private shower & toilet

Standard sleeper in evening/morning mode with seats folded out.

 

Standard sleeper set up as a 3-berth.  It can also be sold as a single or double.

 

Deluxe sleeper, set up as a 2-berth, showing TV & wardrobe.

 

Deluxe sleeper:  En suite shower & toilet...

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Budapest to Brasov & Bucharest from €29...

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

Sleeper on the Dacia Express   Dacia Express at Sighisoara

A 1, 2 or 3-bed sleeper with washbasin.  Larger photo.

 

The sleeping-car (vagon de dormit) of the Ister at Budapest Keleti.  Sleepers convert from beds to private sitting rooms for day use. 

Couchette car on the Ister EuroNight train from Budapest to Bucharest   Romanian couchette car from Vienna to Bucharest

The vagon cuseta (couchette car) on the Ister, at Budapest.  Always book a couchette, not just a seat.  Couchettes convert from bunks at night to seats for day use.

 

4 or 6-berth couchettes.  Larger photo.

Couchette car on the Ister EuroNight train from Budapest to Bucharest  

Enjoy breakfast in the bar-bistro eastbound, or an evening beer westbound.  The bar-bistro is attached between Simeria & Bucharest.  Bar-bistro photos courtesy of Philip Dyer-Perry.

Option 2, by daytime train...

The morning train to Brasov about to leave Budapest

The morning train from Budapest to Bucharest at Budapest Keleti, with modern air-conditioned Romanian carriages...

The 'Transylvania' train to Brasov about to leave Budapest   2nd class Romanian InterCity coach

On the left, the daytime train to Bucharest is about to leave Budapest Keleti...

 

Comfortable 2nd class seats in an air-conditioned Romanian carriage.  Larger photo.

Budapest to Cluj, Timisoara, Sibiu, Sighişoara....

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Budapest to Ljubljana from €19...

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Budapest to Zagreb from €15...
EuroCity train Rippl Ronai from Zagreb to Budapest

The Intercity train at Budapest with comfortable & modern air-conditioned coaches, both Croatian (foreground) and Hungarian (background).  A great way to travel.  Courtesy of Jonathan Hounsome.

Lake Balaton seen from the Budapest to Zagreb train

The train runs along the southern shore of Lake Balaton, Hungary's largest lake.  Courtesy of Della Mcvay.

Sunflowers seen from the train from Budapest to Zagreb

The train passes fields of sunflowers...  Courtesy of Louise Donnelly.

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Budapest to Split & Dubrovnik...

Option 1, all year round via Zagreb - allows you to stop off in Zagreb.

An ICN train to Splt at Zagreb station   1st class seats on the fast tilting ICN train from Zagreb to Split

The daytime trains to Split:  These fast, tilting, air-conditioned ICN trains link Zagreb & Split once or twice a day through great scenery.  Above right, first class seats on the train to Split.  You can now buy tickets online at www.hzpp.hr.

Scenery seen from the Zagreb-Split train

Scenery between Zagreb and Split seen from the train...  Photo courtesy of Pαraic Maguire.

Option 2, using direct sleeper train Adria from 14 June to 6 September 2020...

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Budapest to Sarajevo...

The direct Budapest to Sarajevo train was sadly discontinued in 2012, and the Zagreb-Sarajevo direct train is also currently suspended across the Croatian-Bosnian border.  But you can still travel from Budapest to Sarajevo by train with a short break in the middle by taxi, like this:

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Budapest to Belgrade for €15...  Or to Montenegro for €35...

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Budapest to Sofia...

The Budapest-Belgrade line is currently blocked by upgrading work, so the best route is now via Bucharest...

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Budapest to Lviv, Kiev & Ukraine...

Option 1, Budapest to Lviv & Kiev by direct sleeping-car.  See Ukrainian news report showing the new Vienna-Kiev sleeping-car service...

The Vienna-Kiev sleeping-car at Kiev Pass

The Vienna-Budapest-Kiev sleeping-car at Kiev Pass.  Photos courtesy of Helmut Uttenthaler.

The Vienna-Kiev sleeping-car has its wheels changed at Chop

The sleeper is jacked up to have its bogies changed at Chop on the Ukrainian border.  Photo Helmut Uttenthaler.

Sleeper to Kiev about to leave Vienna   Ukrainian sleeper corridor   1, 2 or 3 bed Ukrainian sleeper compartment

The Vienna-Kiev sleeper at Vienna Hbf... Courtesy of Helmut Uttenthaler.

 

The sleeper corridor.  Courtesy Helmut Uttenthaler.

 

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper compartment.

Option 2, Budapest to Lviv by daytime train for €26...  Also a useful alternative for Budapest-Kiev if the direct train is full...

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Budapest to Moscow & St Petersburg...

Option 1, via Kiev avoiding need for a Belarus visa - recommended route...

Option 2, using the daily Prague-Moscow sleeper train...

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Budapest to Athens, Thessaloniki & Greece...

Option 1, overland by train via Belgrade - direct route, but cancelled until further notice...

Option 2, overland by train via Belgrade & Sofia... 

Option 3, by ferry from Italy.  This is a somewhat round-about route but a viable option whilst trains from Belgrade to Greece remain cancelled.

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Budapest to Istanbul & Turkey for €65...

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.

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Budapest to other destinations...

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Railbookers custom-made tours

Custom-made tours using trains...

If you just want to buy train tickets at the cheapest price, book online as shown on this page.  However, if you want someone to sort out your whole trip for you, arranging all your trains, hotels and transfers, and to look after you if anything affects your arrangements, talk to Railbookers.  Railbookers can tailor-make a train trip around Europe to your own specification.  Just tell them what you want and they'll advise you on the best trains, routes & hotels.  They get good reports and a lot of repeat business!  They now have offices in the UK, North America and Australia.

  UK call 020 3327 0761, www.railbookers.co.uk

  US call free 1-888-829-4775, see website.

  Canada call free 1-855-882-2910, see website.

  Australia call toll-free 1300 971 526, see website

  New Zealand call toll-free 0800 000 554 or see website.


Hotels in Budapest

Suggested hotels in Budapest...

  • For something affordable near Budapest Keleti station, but with decent reviews try The Baross City Hotel just across the road from Budapest Keleti station or the Elit Hotel two minutes walk down the road.

  • For something affordable near Budapest Nyugati station, try the 3-star  T62 Hotel just across the road or the even cheaper 3-star Star Inn Budapest Centrum a few minutes walk away, both with good reviews.  The 4-star Radisson Blu Bιke Hotel is just one block along the road from the station.

  • For something different, but relatively inexpensive the floating hotel MS Maribelle gets great reviews, it's a river cruise boat permanently moored on the Pest side of the Danube close to the fortress with views across the river of the Hungarian Parliament.

  • For something special & historic, go for the New York Palace Hotel, opened in 1894 and housing the famous New York Cafe on its ground floor.  It's just 14 minutes walk from Keleti and gets fabulous reviews.  As luxury hotels go, it's pretty affordable.  Or there's the venerable Corinthia Hotel, formerly the Grand Hotel Royal, another famous hotel dating from the late 19th century.  It's 20 minutes walk from Keleti or 9 minutes by taxi.

My favourite hotel search site: www.booking.com

www.booking.com is my favourite hotel booking site and I generally prefer booking my hotels all in one place here.  You can usually book with free cancellation - this allows you to confirm your accommodation at no risk before train booking opens.  It also means you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary, and alter your plans as they evolve - a feature I use all the time when putting a trip together.  I never book hotels non-refundably.  I have also come to trust their review scores - you won't be disappointed with anything over 8.0.

Tip:  It can pay to compare prices across multiple hotel sites:  HotelsCombined.com is a price comparison site which compares hotel prices on Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, Accor, Agoda and many others.  Though if there's not much in it, I prefer keeping all my bookings together in one place at www.booking.com.

Other hotel sites worth trying...

www.tripadvisor.com is the place to find independent travellers' reviews of all the main hotels.

Backpacker hostels...

www.hostelworld.com:  If you're on a tight budget, don't forget about backpacker hostels.  Hostelworld offers online booking of cheap private rooms or dorm beds in backpacker hostels in most cities at rock-bottom prices.

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