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Munich to Budapest -- preferred method of travel

Thanks to everyone on the forum who helped me figure out where to go after the Munich opera festival in early July.
Prague sounds charming, but the consensus seems to be that summer will be tourist madness and I think I will visit Prague on a different trip.

I think I would enjoy Budapest after Munich, and was hoping to get your suggestions on the best way to get there. Someone suggested taking the train with a stopover for a day in Vienna. I was in Vienna last summer, and saw quite a bit of the city, but I would consider it.

I love taking the train when I can, but would flying directly into Budapest from Munich be a better use of time?

I will be in Munich for 4 days, and then can allocate about 5 or 6 more days to another city.

Would love your thoughts.


Posted by
12139 posts

Todd, when traveling from the states I take Lufthansa from Munich from time to time. It's an easy airport. Round trip is about $300 while one way is about $400. Easyjet or Ryan or Wizz might fly out of another airport close enough to worth looking at.

Flight time is 1:10. Car or train will take about 7 hours and according to Google you can walk it in as little as 6 days if you don't eat or sleep.

So, 1:10 flight time plus 1:30 early arrival, plus 1:20 to and from airports = 4:00 vs 7 hours on the train plus 30 minutes early arrival, plus 1:00 to and from the train stations = 8.5 hours. Difference in cost is maybe $200.00 savings on the train. Of course, if there is a night train you can save on the cost of a hotel room too. But I find night trains miserable. Just me Fred. Cut me some slack.

Train point to point something less than 8 hour hotel to hotel. Cost, maybe $75 to $85 with transfers; based on one traveler.

Flight point to point something less than 4 hours hotel to hotel. Cost, maybe $325 to $350 with transfers; based on one traveler.

One more Edit. Nigel is right about the Railjet in general. But don't pay much mind to the term Railjet when traveling inside of Hungary. Since most of the trip is running through Germany and Austria in this instance it may make a difference, but within Hungary and Budapest to Vienna the Railjets don't run any faster than the standard trains; sometimes slower. Maybe Hungary just has crummy tracks. I really don't know why this is. Just pick shortest duration train meets your schedule needs. But the Railjet is generally a little nicer train..

Posted by
24881 posts

Train, a Railjet, with no changes in 6:45 and Saver fares available for tomorrow of €59.

I would only get to the station 10 or 15 minutes ahead, and it drops me right in town - likely much less than an hour from my nearby hotel.

Munich Hbf is big but easy to navigate, and very well served by trams, buses and U- and S-Bahn.

Posted by
12139 posts

So you have 5 days.

Let’s say you take the flight that arrives about 11pm in Budapest. Get to your digs, get comfortable and go to sleep. Or wander a little if you like. For that you will want to be staying along Andrassy ut or Kiraly ut or down in the Fifth District if you like being in the center of the tourist drag. All great places to wile the evening away. No matter what I will assume you are staying in Pest somewhere near or close to Deak Ferenc ter.

Day One:
MORNING: Buda Hill
AFTERNOON: Nyugati Station, Oktogon, upper Andrassy, House of Terror and Hero’s Square.

Day Two:
MORNING: Parliament, Falk Miska utca, No 2 tram along the embankment.
AFTERNOON: Market Hall, Vaci utca, Basilica

Day Three:
Day Trip to Szentendre. Train there and the boat back

Day Four:
MORNING: Kiraly utca, Great Synagogue tour
AFTERNOON: Jewish District and the lower end of Andrassy ut

Day Five:
MORNING: Museum Day: Trains, Transportation, Art, History, Military. What’s your interest

EDIT: Each of the places listed above is as much about the neighborhood as the place named. For instance, "Bath House" is City Park, the Zoo, the lake, possibly boating on the lake, etc.......

Day Six:
Special Days:
Wine Tours (one day or overnight)
Overnight to Pecs (amazing town. Google it)
Day trip to the Archabbey at Pannonhalma and the town of Gyor
Overnight to Eger the wine town and the Tokaji wine region
Drive a Russian main battle tank
Shoot AK’s
Delve deeper into the Jewish History of district VII and VIII
Day trip on a vintage train (coal burners and early diesel)
This could go on for 10 years……….

Posted by
206 posts

James thank you so much! What a great and varied itinerary.
I'm so excited -- this forum and posters are the best!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season --


Posted by
312 posts

Several years ago, we took the train from Munich stopped in Salzburg for a day. Then continued on for 2 days in Vienna. Final destination was Budapest.

I enjoy visiting Budapest. Here are some ideas:

Buda side: you can either take stairs to the top or take a funicular up to the Castle area, see Matyas Church, and the Fishermen's Bastion, and a lovely coffee house called Ruszwurm.
Public transportation is fairly easy throughout the city.
Walk across the Lanc (chain bridge) to the Pest side.
A stop at the Central Market. From there, you can take tram #2 to the Parliament Building and then either walk or take the metro to St. Stephen's Basilica.
Take Metro 1 ( I believe, the oldest metro on continental Europe) to get to the Szechnyi Baths, Heroes Square, some museums, and the Vajdahunyad Castle and the zoo/park area. This is called Varosliget.
There are many interesting museums, thermal spas/baths, squares, and galleries throughout Budapest.
A favorite spot during Spring and summer is the island in between Buda and Pest called MargitSziget. A lovely bath area, fun island to explore on bicycles or foot.

Szentendre is a little art community. You can either take the HEV train or a boat trip there.
Some boats will continue on to Visegrad (a 13th century castle), and then to Esztergom.

If time permits, I'd go for a day trip to Hortobagy and see the Hungarian Plains. They have horsemanship demonstrations.

Another day trip is to the beautiful lake called the Balaton.

Have a wonderful journey!