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Budapest to Munich: by train or air?

Questions about travel from Budapest to Munich, August 2019.

We disembark from a Viking cruise in Budapest, then go to visit friends in Perlach (a southeast suburb of Munich). We are looking at either a night train (EN462, leaves Budapest 8:40 PM, arrives München Ost around 6 AM), or flying BUD-MUC.

  1. Is there a convenient place to stow our bags while walking around Pest after disembarking from the cruise until time to board the train?

  2. We plan to book the train through the DB website. How long in advance does booking become available? Is there a "sweet spot" of time where a Sparpreis is available?

  3. We're thinking about a 1st-class compartment on the train. Any first-hand observations about the accommodations? Is it ÖBB equipment?

  4. Any opinions about whether the train or flying would be preferable for this trip?

Many thanks!

Posted by
16808 posts

Figure about 6 hours if you fly, 1 hour central Budapest to airport, 2 hours for arrival, check in, security, waiting to board, 1 1/2 hour flight, 1 1/2 hours to deplane and get train(s) to Perlach.

7 1/2 hours on a day train, direct to Munich Hbf then change to Perlach. Right now, 79.80 EUR for 2, 2nd class, 119.80 in 1st class. With a 15:40 departure and a 23:06 arrival in Perlach. Available for purchase in about 2 weeks.

Night train takes 10 hours, leaving at 20:40, arriving Perlach 6:46 following day. Can't determine price right now, but could be pricey with first class cabin. I am no longer a fan of night trains, can be a noisy night. You are basically paying a lot for a tiny hotel room with bunk beds that shakes. But if you have not done it before, maybe the "adventure" factor is appealing.

Posted by
12891 posts

As you are weighing the salient factors whether to take the night train option or not, keep in mind that it's a direct connection arriving at a decent time. I have not taken this particular night route but 10 hr night trains getting in sometime between 0600 to 0930 hrs I've taken on every trip since 2009 and are. ideal.

Posted by
2319 posts

I flew from Budapest to Munich last May, about 70 minutes on Lufthansa, cost was approx. $150 US. I arrived around 10 am so really didn't feel I had lost a day the way I would have on a train, was out exploring Nyphenburg Palace by noon or so.

Posted by
21071 posts

That night train makes eleven stops between Budapest and Munich, including these:

St.Pölten Hbf 11:59 PM
Linz Hbf 1:03 AM
Wels Hbf 1:18 AM
Salzburg Hbf 4:27 AM

Unless you are both uncommonly heavy sleepers, you may find that you get virtually no sleep and are totally miserable the next day.

Posted by
13555 posts

Figure about 6 hours if you fly, 1 hour central Budapest to airport, 2
hours for arrival, check in, security, waiting to board, 1 1/2 hour
flight, 1 1/2 hours to deplane and get train(s) to Perlach.

Pretty fair and accurate. Maybe 45 minutes to the airport at most, but otherwise rings pretty true. I dont count one hour of the time because it usually my breakfast in the terminal coffee shop; which I would be eating someplace anyway. So 5 hours net.

Posted by
16808 posts

I was on the 13:35 Lufthansa flight on Tuesday. 45 minutes is accurate, and we even had a 10 minute delay as a fender-bender accident between two taxis closed one lane of a two-lane road. Time enough at the gate for one last Soproni beer before boarding.

PS. I now understand James E's enthusiasm for Budapest.