Zurich-Budapest by train

Cosy single-berth sleeper in the Zurich-Budapest sleeping-car.  Book online at www.thetrainline.com

Buy sleeper train tickets from Zurich to Budapest

Introducing the EuroNight sleeper train Kalman Imre...

Every night, a comfortable Hungarian Railways EuroNight sleeper train called the Kalman Imre links Zurich & Budapest.  The train has a comfy air-conditioned Hungarian sleeping-car with 1, 2 or 3 berth compartments with washbasin and two air-conditioned Hungarian couchette cars with a bunks in 4 & 6 berth compartments, ideal for families.  City centre to city centre overnight, it saves time even compared to flying, and saves a hotel bill too!  The train is named after the composer Emmerich Kálmán.

COVID-19 update:  This train has been running normally, but currently has no sleeper accommodation, only seats & couchettes due to the Hungarian Covid situation.  More COVID-19 travel info.

small bullet point  Train times

small bullet point  What's the sleeping-car like?

small bullet point  What's the couchette car like?

small bullet point  Travel tips

small bullet point  Route map

small bullet point  How much does it cost?

small bullet point  How to buy tickets

small bullet point  Watch the video:  To Budapest by sleeping-car

small bullet point  Zurich HB station information

small bullet point  Budapest Keleti station information

small bullet point  Trains from Zurich to other cities & daytime trains Zurich to Budapest

small bullet point  Trains from Budapest to other cities & daytime trains Budapest-Munich, Budapest-Zurich

Train times 2021...

 Zurich ► Budapest


 Budapest ► Zurich

 Days of running:



 Days of running:



Train type:



Train type:



 Zurich HB depart:


 Budapest Keleti depart:


 Salzburg depart


 Vienna Hbf depart


 Vienna Hbf arrive


 Salzburg arrive:


 Budapest Keleti arrive:


 Zurich HB arrive:


if you're travelling to or from Vienna...  ÖBB (Austrian Railways) provide sleeping-cars & couchettes between Zurich & Vienna as one of their Nightjet trains, with exactly the same departure/arrival time in Zurich, but a later (more civilised) arrival in Vienna eastbound and an earlier (not as late-night) departure from Vienna westbound.  If you are travelling from Zurich to Vienna or Vienna to Zurich I recommend using this Austrian Nightjet train as there's a better breakfast in sleepers, a light breakfast in couchettes as well, and there are deluxe sleepers with en suite toilet & shower as well as standard ones with washbasin.

What is the sleeping-car like?

The Zurich-Budapest portion of this train has one Hungarian sleeping-car.  Inside the sleeping-car it's air-conditioned, carpeted, quiet and civilised.  Built in the early 1990s by Spanish manufacturer CAF, each sleeping-car has a side corridor off which open 11 sleeper compartments.  Each compartment can be sold as a 1, 2 or 3 bed room.  There's crisp clean bedding, soap, towel, bottled water.  Morning tea or coffee, croissant & fruit juice is included in the fare.  The compartments have normal locks plus a security deadbolt which can only be locked & unlocked from inside and a security chain.  Sleeper berths are sold individually, if you don't want to pay for a single-bed sleeper you can book one bed in a 2 or 3 berth and share with another passenger of the same gender.  Compartments are single-sex unless your party occupies the whole compartment.  An excellent way to travel...

The EuroCity train Hungaria from Budapest to Berlin & Hamburg

The sleeper from Budapest to Zurich, about to leave platform 6 at Budapest KeletiCourtesy of David Frankal.

Zurich to Budapest sleeping-car corridor   Zurich to Budapest sleeper compartment   Zurich to Budapest sleeper compartment in seats mode   Sink

A corridor runs along one side of the car.  Larger photo.


Sleeper compartment set up as a single-berth.  Larger photo.


Same sleeper, converted to seats for morning use.  Larger photo.


Sink, with bottled water & toiletries provided.

Sleeper train Zurich to Budapest   Sleeper compartment, Zurich to Budapest train   Locks & chain on sleeper door

The Budapest to Zurich sleeper at Zurich HB, in the old colours.


Other side of the compartment...


Lock, deadbolt & chain...

Breakfast on the sleeper train to Budapest   Good morning Hungary!

A light breakfast is included in the fare...

Good morning Hungary!

What is the couchette car like?

The Kalman Imre has two comfortable couchette cars between Zurich & Budapest.  Each couchette car has a side corridor and 9 compartments, each of which can be used as 4-berth or 6-berth.  Clean sheets and a pillow are provided, the doors have a normal lock and security lock or chain.  Toilets and washrooms at the end of the corridor.  Couchette compartments are not segregated by gender, as you do not normally get fully undressed.  These  couchette cars were built in the early 1990s by Spanish manufacturer CAF, they are now being refurbished with a new blue & white exterior colour scheme.  See generic couchette car numbering plan.  Click the compartment images for larger photos.

Hungarian couchette car to Budapest   4-berth couchettes on train to Budapest   6-berth couchettes on train to Budapest

Couchette car in the new colour scheme.


4-berth couchettes


6-berth couchettes...

Restaurant car:  New for 2021...

New for the 2021 timetable (in theory, starting 13 December 2020, but in practice starting after local coronavirus restrictions are over), a Hungarian restaurant car will be attached between Salzburg & Budapest in both directions, to serve breakfast eastbound from 04:30 until arrival in Budapest, and to serve dinner westbound from soon after departure until after midnight.  A variety of inexpensive hot and cold freshly-cooked meals is available.  If you get any good photos of this restaurant car and the food, please let me know!

Travel tips...

Route map...

Zurich & Munich to Budapest train route map

Click for larger map   Highlighted = Zurich/Munich-Budapest sleeper route.  Green = scenic sections of lineRed = new high-speed line.

Reproduced from the excellent European Rail Map with kind permission of the European Rail Timetable people.  I recommend buying the European Rail Map for your travels and a copy of the European Rail Timetable, www.europeanrailtimetable.eu with shipping worldwide.

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets

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VideoBy sleeping-car to Budapest...

This shows a journey in the Munich to Budapest sleeping-car, which is identical to the car used between Zurich & Budapest.  In fact, Munich-Budapest and Zurich-Budapest portions run coupled together between Salzburg & Budapest.

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