Please sign in to post.

Help! Munich~vienna~budapest trip

Hi
We're family of 2 flying from Canada to Munich from Oct 10-19. We need some help with planning the transportation between the cities.

This is my itinerary so far:
Oct 10-11: Munich
Oct 12-15: Take morning train to Vienna (i have already booked the train on obb app, is seat reservation recommended?
Oct 15-17: Take morning train to Budapest
Oct 17-19: back to Munich - we're considering whether we should be taking a train back on 17th morning... Or should we do flight instead? Which option would be more convenient? We have never taken a train in Europe before, not sure if it will be very confusing? We can only read English.

Thanks in advance! Any recommendations will be appreciated!

Posted by
1506 posts

Hi Winnie, You can take a train from Vienna to Budapest on your date for as little as $16, with most discounted nonrefundable tix going for $21. Have a look at www.TheTrainline.com to see schedules and fares. You can check the Austrian Railway website ( www.oebb.at ) to see if it has the tickets for less.
For the Budapest to Munich leg, a 7-hour Railjet train for $42 leaving Budapest Keleti train station at 9:40 am is your best bet. There’s a change of trains in Vienna and Salzburg. The least expensive airfare from Budapest to Munich is $110. You can see airfares on www.Skyscanner.com. I find that train travel is more relaxing and not as stressful as going to an airport for an international flight. Air travel in Budapest means you have to add the one hour and the cost to get to the airport two hours before the flight to go through security and passport control in a city where the signs are in Hungarian. Then, there is 60-90 minutes at the other end to exit the plane, pick up any checked luggage, go through customs and immigration, and then find the metro to buy a metro ticket to take that 45-minute ride into Munich. All of that is a big interruption to the fun a vacation is supposed to be about. A train will take you directly from one city center—where most travelers in Europe stay—-to the next city’s center.
When I was in Budapest last September we checked out the Keleti train station the day before the trip so we knew exactly how to get there on the tram and exactly where the tracks were to catch the train the next morning. That way, we had time for breakfast and could leave the apartment at the last minute with no worries.
Have a great Trip!

Posted by
7073 posts

Slight correction on the above: the 9.40 Railjet from Budapest is direct to Munich. No changes in Vienna or Salzburg.

Posted by
1506 posts

Yes- the schedule shows there’s actually 2 trains departing Budapest Keleti at 9:40 am; one with no change of trains and one with two changes.

Posted by
169 posts

We did a similar trip in 2018 however we flew from Vancouver to Amsterdam to Budapest

We then trained Budapest - Vienna - Prague - Berlin

The trains on that route (at least back then) were plentiful. Generally when I’m at the train station or even nearby I’ll go in and buy my departing tickets for the next day/whenever I’m leaving. However I think the trains between these points could be easilly purchased day of.

We found Vienna a bit of a bore, be sure to check out the museums that hold the Muchas. Other than that though if you need to fill a day you can take the hydrofoil from Vienna to Bratislava. Which is kind of equally boring but it’s somthing to change it up lol

Posted by
4335 posts

I guess I will be the one to ask if you can change your tickets to fly into Munich and out of Budapest (or the other way round)? Consider the cost of getting back to Munich as you decide that, in addition to the extra day of vacation you would get by eliminating a day of just travel.

Posted by
4 posts

Unless something has changed since we did this trick in 2016, you should have the option--for no extra charge--to get off the train in Salzburg, explore for a couple of hours, then catch a later train from Salzburg the rest of the way to Vienna. There are cheap lockers at the train station to stash your bags. A great way to grab a quick bit of extra sightseeing.

We did reserve our seats, and we went for the slightly upgraded seats. IIRC the stop-off at Salzburg had to be booked/arranged ahead of time (not a spur-of-the-moment thing)

Posted by
461 posts

A lot of long days in transit vs time spent seeing stuff. The ratio seems rushed imo.
Backtracking to Munich seems like a waste. Can you fly open jaws from Budapest and add a day to Budapest and Vienna?

Posted by
18765 posts

Fine schedule. When you start fine tuning Budapest let me know.
Get your train ticket to Munich here: https://jegy.mav.hu/
But it is a 7 hour trip and it will probably cost you 57 Euro.

OR

Fly. Most days there are flights in the morning, but I like the 6:10pm flights you can spend the morning in Budapest instead of on a train. Prices start at 125 Euro.

So lets do the math.

TRAIN: Realistically you will leave your hotel at 08:30 for the train station.
You will arrive in Munich at 16:33, then finding a taxi and getting to your hotel figure you get to your hotel at 17:15 at worst.
That's 8:45 total time.

PLANE: Realistically you will leave for the airport at 15:30
Your flight lands in Munich at 19:25
Getting of the plane with carryon only and getting into the center of Munich by taxi figure you arrive at your hotel no later than 20:45
That's 5:15 total time. Add 30 minutes if you check a bag. Remember this is all Schengen so no passport control or customs.

03:30 faster for as little as 65 euro? I guess its a personal thing.

Posted by
3 posts

Just got back from a wonderful trip to Prague, Budapest and Vienna. We traveled by train between all three destinations. For the most part the trains were on-time or slightly delayed with the exception of one leg of the trip from Vienna to Budapest which was delayed @ 1.5 hours. In Budapest there are four train stations. The main train station is Keleti. And in answer to your question about seat reservations, yes, reserve a seat. Our train from Budapest to Vienna was packed.

Have a fantastic time!