How are the buses in Hungary? We need to get to Zagreb to begin a tour. The schedule looks like it will work but my companion is leery of traveling by bus. Any experience anyone's had would be helpful. Thanks.
Why would't you take the direct train instead?
Originally, I was interest in the train. However, there seem to be only 2 direct trains/day, one very early and one arriving late. And then, my companion did research on the trains and read that the Hungarian trains are old, in poor repair and encounter frequent breakdowns. I read that the Croatian trains were new and nicer but I don't know if one switches trains at the border. Anyway, that's why.
Well, some of this is personal preference - but I happen to enjoy train travel and dislike long bus rides. I get motion sick on buses but usually not on trains. I like to get able to get up and walk around like I can on a train, even take pictures out the windows (some train windows actually go down!). I've taken long bus rides when I've had to, but it's always a last resort, and I've always tolerated the rides at best, whereas I have taken many long train rides where I was almost disappointed to get to my destination too soon. I find trains relaxing and fun.
But, some people don't really care about the mode of transportation - a bus or a train is just the same to them. What matters most is which one is quickest and cheapest. Most European buses I've been on have been modern and (for a bus) comfortable enough. So, if that's how you feel about it, the bus might be your best bet. It certainly wouldn't be for me. I've taken beautiful modern trains as well as old, obsolete trains (Poland mostly). Some train rides have been delayed, but they've all been at least fine if not great. One train in Poland did break down (before it left my station) and delayed me a few hours, but it also gave me a colorful story of sorts. I've had buses delayed too.
So, even if the Hungarian trains are "old" I'd still take a direct train to Zagreb in a heartbeat. Still sounds like fun. But again, some of that is personal preference. (And I do doubt they are so "broken down" that they aren't reliable at all.)
FYI, have your read this?
I've been on a fairly wide cross section of Hungarian trains and haven't yet been on a train that appeared to be in poor repair. And while i am sure it happens, i haven't yet met someone who was on a train that broke down. Never heard of one breaking down either. Are they new? Well, not on that run, but the dirtiest train i have ever been on was Rome to Florence. At least on a train you can get up and walk around. Not as possible on a bus.
Both well worth the time and effort.