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Arrival Day: Budapest to Vienna

Working on final details for our Vienna and Budapest trip. We are scheduled to arrive in Budapest from the USA (thru Munich) at 12:45. We will head directly by train to Vienna. I’ve been cautioned about purchasing train tickets in advance in case of flight delays. Can anyone help me:

  1. Estimate the time from landing at the airport to making our way to the main train station by taxi?
  2. Ease my nervousness about not buying train tickets in advance? That’s not my usual travel style!
  3. Tell me how you would handle this part of the travel?

I have already read the Man in Seat 61 suggestions.

Thank you!

Posted by
9305 posts

Assuming your flight is more or less on time I would figure 45 min to get off the plane and get your bags and reach the taxi. Then 45 minutes is generous to get to the train station. Then 1 more hour to deal with an unfamiliar train station; so 2.5 hours.

As for tickets, buying from a broker on line is expensive, buying from the Hungarian rail service on line might require you to print them out of a machine at the station (not certain) but would be the cheapest ... check the MAV website. Buying at the station might cost 10 or 15 euro more, but still pretty cheap; what I would do. Actually, I would spend the night and leave in the morning, rested and with a clear head.

Be sure your tickets are from Keleti train station.

Posted by
9305 posts

Get a room at the Marriott on the river, take a short nap then spend the evening on the river from end to end on the No2 Tram. Stunningly beautiful and a great way to adjust to the time change. Then in the morning go to the train station for the 2.5 hour ride to Vienna.

Posted by
9305 posts

TAXI: Fotaxi runs a pretty slick operation. Follow the black line on the floor from baggage to their kiosk right outside and tell the person in the Kiosk where you are going. They will give you a receipt with the max you can be charged printed on it. You take that about 40 feet to where another person will help you with your bag and get you in the right taxi. In no time you are there (30 to 40 minutes to the train station)

Posted by
9305 posts

The Intercontinental is another good riverfront hotel.

When you come back to Budapest stay deeper in the city to see more of the city.

Posted by
105 posts

Thanks, James E. We are committed to pushing on to Vienna that day, but we will be back to Budapest later in the trip. Looking so forward to exploring both places!

Posted by
9305 posts

From my home its a 18 hour trip. After that i just dont have it in me to go further. Not as young as once was. Give yourself 2.5 to 3 hours and you should do fine. I always get the tickets in town, but i know i pay a bit more for that. I like the flexibility. Again, just a preference. Im one of those people that doesnt believe in right or wrong ways to do things. So its all good. Although i am a bit biased. Read the Hello from Pest post and you will see just how biased.

Posted by
105 posts

Looks beautiful! May look a bit different with our predicted weather - 50 and rain!

Posted by
9305 posts

No weather prediction more than 2 hours in advance is anywhere near accurate. Be positive!! When do you go?

Posted by
105 posts

The end of this month - we will enjoy regardless of the weather!

Posted by
9305 posts

Our second trip to Budapest was in mid-March. The sky was clear and the most incredible deep blue. It was probably 50F, but the sun was so warm that we took off our coats. Then we walked down to the river. The wind was out of the north and was funneled down between the Buda hills and the tall buildings of Pest. It was bitter cold and fierce so that we had to walk backward to keep from freezing our faces. It was a stunningly beautiful day. I wish you the same.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.budapestbylocals.com/march-in-budapest/amp/

http://tenthingstodo.topbudapest.org/by-months/things-to-do-in-budapest-in-march/