I am traveling from Budapest to Vienna at the end of May. I am wondering if there are currently any travel delays / complications between these two cities (the only one I can see is at Salz / Munich)? Also, is it best to buy the train ticket ahead of time, and through the local Hungarian rail site (MAV)? I've read through various forums, but hard to find a conclusive answer. Thanks in advance!
There are no travel delays between Budapest and Vienna. That was many, many months ago and was very short lived. If you want the 13 Euro fare, you should buy now as you have waited quite late to do this. The instructions are here:
Buying at the station on the day of travel will cost about 45 Euro.
PS - There are also no problems between Salzburg and Munich.
I prefer spending more time in fewer places rather than spending lots of time packing and unpacking. If you go to lots of places in a relatively short time (10 days) you tend to just get a superficial experience of each place. Spending a little longer time gives you more of a feel for the people and the place, which is my main joy in traveling.
Also, I think I've had the most spectacular experiences outside the cities when visiting Italy, so I like to encourage people to think beyond the Rome-Florence-Venice triumvirate for at least part of their trip.
Emily is probably very accurate about Salzburg to Munich. If anything there might be a layer of Identification processing before boarding the train. That would be consistent with the Hungarian to Munich passengers being taken off the train in Salzburg and then processed before getting on the train that goes on into Munich. And I am only assuming that is still going on because the notice is still on the MAV website.
Now as to what is the “better” way to get tickets from Budapest to Vienna. Well, Emily gave you a good link, but it says 2nd class is 13€ in advance vs 29€ the day of travel. I’ve made the trip in 2nd Class and it’s pretty comfortable. For such a short trip I can’t see paying for anything better. Don’t get hung up on RJ vs EC trains. Pick one that does the trip between 2.5 and 3 hours no matter what it is called.
Still doesn’t answer the question. I’ve only purchased tickets in town, never on the internet. No particular reason except I am there so often and I do a lot of things spur of the moment. Maybe Emily can confirm, so I don’t tell you wrong, but those Internet tickets are for a specific train? So if you want to change your plans you are going to have to purchase a new ticket? That would be unfortunate because with trains leaving so frequently it would be nice to have an option if something came up. Of course that option will apparently cost you 16€ or about $18 if you pre-purchase tickets.
Thank you Emily and James for the help! Emily, that site is very useful - funny I hadn't stumbled upon it yet through all my research. I was hoping to take a morning train out, looks like the 13 EUR option is out on the day I need, so its 38 EUR on MAV or 58 EUR on OBB. From a flexibility standpoint, if I can't get the 13 EUR tickets, maybe it's worth waiting as to play it by ear what we want to end up doing? Thank you both again for the help.
There are some more info about train ticket option price when traveling between Budapest and Vienna - http://europetrainsguide.com/Advice/How-to-Travel/Budapest-to-Vienna.html
Apparently Austria this week started vehicle checks on traffic from Hungary again. If this will somehow spill over into rail service is yet to be seen. But I sort of doubt it. Still everything else being equal, if I were to plan a trip in the region I would plan the direction from North to South (against the migrant flow) and that way the odds of anything disrupting the trip would be minimized.