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What is the best drive/train ride from Budapest to Prague

In early September we will be taking a Danube cruise from Vienna to Budapest (including Melk and Bratslava) and then need to get to Prague for a few days. Recommendations for driving/training/busing through Slovakia to eastern CR to Prague or back through northern Austria up through Cesky Krumlov to Prague? Any locations/hotel recommendations? Many thanks for any response.

Posted by
4637 posts

As James says it all depends how many days you are allocating to your transport. About hotels: are you asking about hotels in Prague or on your way then best hotels or more into budget?

Posted by
13 posts

I will have from Saturday to Saturday. I was figuring reaching Prague by Tuesday so 2-3 days to arrive in Prague.
What would you recommend?

Posted by
18515 posts

Day 1 Budapest to Gyor by train (1.5 hours). See Baroque center and the Archabbey
Day 2 Gyor to Vienna by morning train (1.5 hours). Spend late morning and early afternoon seeing area around the Kärntner Straße then take the 4pm Bean Shuttle Service on to Cesky Krumlov (3 hours)
Day 3 Take the 5pm Bean Shuttle on to Prague (3 hours)

Alternate
Day 1 Budapest to Vienna by train (3 hours). Spend morning seeing area around the Kärntner Straße then take the 4pm Bean Shuttle Service on to Cesky Krumlov (3 hours)
Day 2 Take the 5pm Bean Shuttle on to Prague (3 hours)

Alternate
Day 1 Budapest to Vienna by train (3 hours). Spend the day seein Vienna
Day 2 Take the 9:30am Bean Shuttle Service on to Cesky Krumlov (3 hours)
Day 3 Take the noon Bean Shuttle on to Prague (3 hours)

Posted by
4637 posts

James got some good suggestions for you. In the case you got enough time to see Vienna before your cruise (by the way cruising from Vienna to Budapest Melk is not on your way. It's the other direction from Vienna) I can recommend two other options. Instead of going to Vienna get on direct train to Prague and get off in Breclav. Change to regional train and in about 10 minutes you will be in Valtice. There is a nice chateau there. If you are into wine check this website:
http://www.salonvin.cz . There is another even nicer chateau in nearby (4 miles) Lednice. Tropical greenhouse, ponds, minaret. It's all in one huge park. It's under UNESCO Heritage list. You can rent a bicycle and go from Valtice to Lednice on some of many trails through the park. Nearby is a little historical town of Mikulov also with a chateau and full of wineries. Valtice, Lednice, Mikulov are recommended by Rick Steves in his book: Prague & the Czech Republic. Another option would be to go one stop farther beyond Breclav and get off in Brno. It is the second largest city in the Czech Republic, not in Rick Steves book and therefore quite untouristy. If you decide for Brno I can give you some tips. Also there is a lot of information on google and in Visitor Center. I was also thinking about Bratislava but you will see it on your cruise. Old Town is cute.
Car would give you an option to see even more, but renting it in Budapest and dropping in Prague would be unreasonably expensive. I would take train.

Posted by
18515 posts

If you don't want to back track Vienna then there is a direct train from Budapest to Linz, Austria (about a 5 hour trip). Pretty town. Spend the night, then take the Bean Shuttle to Cesky Krumlov (couple hours), then Bean again to Prague the next day.

More creative, more expensive but a stunning trip would be Budapest to Krakow by private transfer, then Krakow to Brno, then Cesky K. then Prague. But $$$$$ in reasonable transportation costs. We from time to time travel from Budapest to the Polish border near Krakow and its a beautiful trip with Castles, wonderful villages, mountains and lakes.