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Budapest to Vienna train issue

We are doing a day trip from Vienna to Budapest in December. We can book the train to Budapest it seems but am having issues booking the return train. The time we want is listed as Ticket Unavailable on both the OBB site and the MAV site. I emailed OBB and got this response:

“For tickets, which are not available in our ticket shop, the booking is necessary via the operated sale.”

I am not sure what this means. Any tips?

Thanks!

Posted by
12123 posts

I can't respond to your particular details. For the return trip I would purchase them from MAV, the Hungarian rail service. I've never done it on line, but others here have, without incident. http://elvira.mav-start.hu

Personally, I would just wait till I got to Budapest and buy my ticket for the 8:40pm train upon arrival. Better yet, stay the night at the Marriott on the riverfront (or the Intercontinental) and return early in the morning. Budapest has so much to offer in the evening it would be a shame to miss it.

Posted by
12123 posts

Okay, right now they let you go as far out as 9 December. I plugged information to the point i got a ticket in the checkout cart, then deleted it, so it does work. Wait a week or two and check again if your date is beyond 9 December..... But dont fret, the train between Vienna and Budapest is easy, worst case scenario is you purchase at the station for a bit more than the 19 euro online price.

Posted by
8889 posts

Second Sunday in December (10th December this year) is the annual timetable changeover. Some companies are always late in publishing the new times for the next year.
You just need a little patience, and keep checking back every day.

Posted by
52 posts

So is there a reason you can buy for every other time on the schedule EXCEPT for the 8:40pm train? The only difference I see is it’s an EN train. I checked for today just to see and I could buy a ticket for that time BUT it was 69 euros!

Posted by
5530 posts

Similar question, so thanks all for the answers -- I will wait to book our January tickets, checking to see when the dates become available and maybe just buy in Budapest. And not worry (much).

Posted by
15751 posts

The "EN" designation shows this to be a night train that continues on to Munich. Looks like Sparschiene tickets for this train are a lot more expensive than regular Railjet trains when looking at the schedule before Dec 9. The last Railjet is at 18:40. So you'll need to pay top dollar, er Euro or Forint, to return on the EN train. Or as James E suggests, spend the night and go back on the 6:40 the following morning.

Posted by
52 posts

Thanks, Sam. We're pretty pressed for time, so I don't think staying over is an option. Looks like the 18:40 train is going to be our only option.

Posted by
12123 posts

I looked up a random date on the MAV site and the 18:40 train from Budapest to Vienna is a EuroCity (EC) train. The internet fare is 13 euro. At the station it might cost you 39 euro. EC trains are fine. No faster, now slower than rail jets. Just a bit older generally; but its less than a 2:41 hour ride so no biggie......

Posted by
52 posts

Right, I saw that. We were just trying to leave later if possible.

Posted by
12123 posts

I think its way too early too. But it appears to be the last direct train of the day. The two later ones are long, long, long trips. 20:40 doesn't even give you time for dinner. You really ought to look at the next morning.

05:40 Budapest-Keleti 08:18 Wien Hbf 2:38

or

07:40 Budapest-Keleti 10:35 Wien Meidling 2:55

Posted by
52 posts

Thanks, James, but we just don't have time to spare the next day. I'm not too concerned with dinner. We do have a guide meeting us so we will at least be efficient that way. We're going to keep checking the site to see if they release tickets for the 20:40. It's possible to buy them now for closer dates. If not, we'll get them when we get to Vienna.