MAV-start ticket collection - touch screen
 

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

I want to go from Budapest to...

      

       Click here for journeys starting in another city.

       Train information is current for 2018.

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

For information on Budapest Keleti station & 1st class lounge, click here.

For information on Budapest Nyugati station, click here.

For coffee, beer or meal before your train, try the Baross restaurant on platform 6.

Minimal disruption due to refugees...

The Hungarian Railways website www.mavcsoport.hu is the place the check for any updates.  Trains resumed running all the way to Vienna, Salzburg & Munich in late 2015.  Trains to Zagreb & Croatia resumed in March 2016.  Most routes are 100% normal, you may not even see any refugees when you travel, whatever you see on the 'news'.  So stop worrying!

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...

Back to top


Budapest to London...

Back to top


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...

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

The Kalman Imre, about to leave Munich... Watch the Hungarian sleeping-car video

 

2-berth sleeper...

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   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.

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

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

 

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! 

Back to top


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...

Back to top


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

The Kalman Imre, about to leave Munich... Watch the Hungarian sleeping-car video

 

2-berth sleeper...

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

ICE3 second class ICE3 first class High-speed ICE3 train at Cologne

ICE3 2nd class.  All seats in both classes have power sockets for laptops & mobiles...

ICE3 1st class, with real leather seats.  Staff provide at-seat service of drinks & food.

An ICE3 at Cologne Hauptbahnhof.  More info about ICE.

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

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

2-berth regular sleeper with washstand.  Enlarge photo.

 

The toilet & shower in a deluxe sleeper...

 

Step 2, travel overnight from Vienna to Cologne by comfortable Austrian Nightjet 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...

ICE3 second class ICE3 first class High-speed ICE3 train at Cologne

ICE3 2nd class.  All seats in both classes have power sockets for laptops & mobiles...

ICE3 1st class, with real leather seats.  Staff provide at-seat service of drinks & food.

Step 3, take an ICE3 at from Cologne to Brussels.  More info about ICE.

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 €56!

Back to top


Budapest to Amsterdam from €98...

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

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

2-berth regular sleeper with washstand.  Enlarge photo.

 

The toilet & shower in a deluxe sleeper...

 

Step 2, travel overnight from Vienna to Cologne by comfortable Austrian Nightjet 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...

ICE3 second class ICE3 first class High-speed ICE3 train at Cologne

ICE3 2nd class.  All seats in both classes have power sockets and free WiFi...

ICE3 1st class, with real leather seats.  Staff provide at-seat service of drinks & food.

Step 3, take an ICE3 at from Cologne to Amsterdam.  More info about ICE.

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

The Kalman Imre, at Munich... Watch the Hungarian sleeping-car video

 

2-berth sleeper...

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

ICE3 second class ICE3 first class High-speed ICE3 train at Cologne

ICE3 2nd class.  All seats in both classes have power

 sockets for laptops & mobiles...

ICE3 1st class, with real leather seats.  Staff provide at-seat service of drinks & food.

An ICE3 at Cologne Hauptbahnhof.  More info about ICE.

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

Back to top


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 Munich to Budapest   The sleeper train to Budapest

2-berth sleeper...

 

The sleeping-car to Zurich, at Budapest Keleti. Watch the Hungarian sleeping-car video...  Photos courtesy of Matthew Williams.

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

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...

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 at Budapest Keleti...  More photos & information about railjet trains.

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

Railjet first class, with black leather seats...

 

Business class...

 

Bistro-restaurant car...

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 Lichtenstein, passing non-stop through the little station of Schaan-Lichtenstein.  Once in Switzerland, the railjet runs alongside the Zόrichsee, then along the Walensee...

Back to top


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.

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

2-berth regular sleeper with washstand...

 

The toilet & shower in a deluxe sleeper...

 

Step 2, travel overnight from Vienna to Italy by comfortable Austrian Nightjet 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...

Option 2, Budapest to Venice in a single day from €42 - comfy & scenic, possible once more from December 2017...

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

  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.

Back to top


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.

Back to top


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.

Back to top


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

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

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

A Danish IC3 train at Copenhagen station...   Inside 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

Back to top


Budapest to Helsinki...

Back to top


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... Watch the Hungarian sleeping-car video

 

2-berth sleeper...

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...

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.

Back to top


Budapest to Berlin from €39...

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

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

A Hungarian EuroCity train at Dresden...

 

Hungarian dining-car...

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

Civilised! Lunch in the restaurant car...

 

2nd class compartment

 

1st class compartment

Option 2, by sleeper train to Prague then EuroCity train...

The sleeper train from Zurich to Prague

A Czech sleeping-car of the type used on this train.  Photo courtesy of Shaiq Ali Khan

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.

Back to top


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.

Back to top


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...

Back to top


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.  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.

Back to top


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

Back to top


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...

Back to top


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

Back to top


Budapest to Brasov & 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

En suite toilet & shower in deluxe sleeper.

A sleeper set up as a  single-berth...

 

The modern air-conditioned Romanian sleeping-car.  Photos 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.

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

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

 

There may be no restaurant car so take your own picnic and beer or wine along...

2nd class Romanian InterCity coach   Romanian InterCity seating coach

Air-conditioned 2nd class seats used on the Traianus from Budapest to Brasov...

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

Back to top


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

Option 1, by one of two daytime trains...

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

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

Option 2, by overnight train...

A Serbian sleeping-car on the Belgrade to Budapest train   Serbian 6-berth couchettes

The Belgrade to Budapest couchette car, arrived at Belgrade...

 

Elderly Serbian 6-berth couchettes...

Back to top


 

Budapest to Sofia...

Option 1, sleeper to Belgrade then day train - the most time-effective option...

Option 2, day train to Belgrade, overnight stop, onward train to Sofia - the all-daytime option with overnight hotel.

Back to top


Budapest to Ljubljana from €19...

Back to top


Budapest to Zagreb from €9...
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.

Back to top


Budapest to Split & Dubrovnik...

Via Zagreb all year round - 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.

 

Back to top


Budapest to Sarajevo...

Back to top


Budapest to Lviv, Kiev & Ukraine...

Budapest to Lviv & Kiev by direct sleeper train.  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.

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

The Vienna-Kiev sleeper about to leave Vienna Hbf... Courtesy of Helmut Uttenthaler.

 

The sleeper corridor.  Courtesy Helmut Uttenthaler.

 

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper compartment.

Budapest to Lviv by direct daytime train from €26...

The Latorca train from Budapest to Kiev

The Kiev-Budapest train in Poland.  The cars with the yellow stripe are the Ukrainian sleeping-cars, the blue and grey cars beyond them are Hungarian daytime cars attached at the border.  Courtesy of Scott Keir.

Gauge changing at Chop   1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper compartment   Each compartment has a washbasin

Changing the wheelsets at Chop. Courtesy Simon Schubert

 

A cosy sleeper compartment...

 

...with washbasin.

Back to top


Budapest to Moscow & St Petersburg...

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

  • Step 1, travel from Budapest to Kiev by direct sleeper train as shown above.  Leave Budapest in the evening of day 1, arrive Kiev late afternoon on day 2.

  • Step 2, travel from Kiev to Moscow by sleeper train, there are several trains every night, perfectly safe for westerners in spite of any tensions between Russia & Ukraine.  There's usually a train around 19:33 arriving Moscow Kievskaya station around 10:00 next morning, which would be day 3 from Budapest.  This route avoids Belarus and the need for an expensive Belarusian visa so it's the route I'd recommend.

    The fare is around €92 with a bed in 4-berth kupι or €180 with a bed in a 2-berth spalny vagon.

    You can ask www.polrail.com to book this for you too, or you can book tickets from Kiev to Moscow at the Ukrainian Railways site https://booking.uz.gov.ua/en/ booking from Kyiv to Moskva Kievskaya.  You collect tickets at the station in Kiev.  Feedback appreciated!

Option 2, via the Warsaw-Moscow Polonez - 3 times a week, reduced from daily in June 2017...

  • Day 1, take the daily sleeper train from Budapest to Warsaw Centralna as shown above.  Book this online as shown. 

  • Day 2, spend most of the next day in Warsaw, see Warsaw Centralna station & city information.   Warsaw's historic old town is a 20 minute walk from Centralna station - if you fancy a modest splurge, the celebrated Ufukiera restaurant (www.ufukiera.pl) is excellent and right on the square in the heart of Warsaw's old town.  The Palace of Culture (a wedding cake style Soviet skyscraper and distinctive Warsaw landmark, www.pkin.pl) is right next to the station and has a viewing terrace on the 30th floor.

  • Day 2 evening, take the daily sleeper train Polonez leaving Warsaw Centralna at 16:25 on Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays and arriving Moscow Belorussky station next day at 12:11 (late March to late October) or 13:11 (late October to late March) (day 3 from Budapest).

    The Polonez is now operated with Russian carriages, using brand-new Austrian-built sleeping-cars with 4-berth compartments introduced in 2014, see panorama photo inside one of these modern sleepers.  Eastbound, these 4-bed sleepers only exist on the Polish reservations system as 2nd class 4-berth, so if you want dual or single occupancy you have to buy up multiple berths in one compartment.  Westbound there's no problem, as the Russian reservations system is configured book these compartments as 1st class single, 1st class double or 2nd class 4-berth.  A Russian restaurant car is attached between Brest (on the Polish/Belarus border) & Moscow. Map of Moscow showing Belorussky station.

    To book the Warsaw to Moscow sleeper, most nationalities except the USA can try en.oui.sncf, which might work - tickets are sent by regular post to most countries except the USA, but you MUST make sure Europe (other countries) remains selected top right with the EU flag showing.  The UK version uk.voyages-sncf.com does not correctly book this train, it tries to sell an open ticket with no reservation which is no good to anyone.

  • Alternatively, you can easily book the Polonez by contacting highly-recommended Polish train ticketing agency www.polrail.com - their booking system is at http://booking.polrail.com.  They can arrange train tickets for international trains starting in Poland with tickets collected in Warsaw or (at extra charge) shipped to any address worldwide.

    Don't forget to arrange both your Russian visa and Belarus transit visa as the train runs via Belarus.

    For St Petersburg it's best to travel via Moscow.  Moscow to St Petersburg takes as little as 3h50 by daytime Sapsan trains, or can be done an a number of traditional overnight sleepers.  See the train travel in Russia page to buy tickets within Russia.

Back to top


Budapest to Athens, Thessaloniki & Greece...

Back to top


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.

Option 2, via Belgrade & Sofia.  This route takes 2 nights, includes a day to explore Sofia and is very cheap.

Back to top


Budapest to other destinations...

Back to top


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 & 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 has been named as the World's Leading Hotel Comparison Site in the World Travel Awards and I highly recommend it, both to find hotels in even the smallest places and to check that another retailer isn't selling the same hotel at a cheaper rate.

►► My recommended booking site:  www.booking.com

www.booking.com is my favourite hotel booking site, and unless HotelsCombined throws up major price differences I prefer doing my bookings 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 great feature I use all the time when putting a trip together.

Other hotel sites worth trying...

Backpacker hostels...

Back to top


 


Back to home page