Best sites / coaching for purchasing 2 person compartment overnight tickets for Budapest to Prague in mid-December? Thank you.
I haven't bought train tickets online for that part of Europe, but I'm sure someone else here can assist you on that score.
But have you looked at the details of that train? I assume you're interested in the one that doesn't require a middle-of-the-night transfer:
Budapest-Keleti dep 20:25
Vac dep 21:08
Sturovo dep 21:43
Nove Zamky dep 22:10
Bratislava hl.st. dep 23:04
Kuty dep 23:43
Breclav dep 00:25
Brno hl.n. dep 02:46
Pardubice hl.n. dep 05:00
Prelouc dep 05:10
Kolin(CZ) dep 05:26
Praha-Liben dep 05:57
Praha hl.n. arr 06:04
The train makes nine stops between 10 PM and 6 AM, six of them after midnight. The longest period you go without a stop is 2 hr. 21 min. Every stop is accompanied by braking, station noise and acceleration. For many people a night train means very little or no sleep and the near-inability to function the next day.
In addition, arriving in Prague at 6 AM will leave you with rather a lot of time to kill before most tourist attractions are open. I don't know that the temperature in the station will be very comfortable, either.
If the night train to Prague is the blue CD train, the compartments sit 6 people. These are very nice, modern, and comfortable compartments. No problem getting into Prague central station at 6 am, Praha hl n is a big, modern station with all the amenities, eateries and so on expected of a big train station as you would find in Wien Hbf, Berlin Hbf, etc etc.
I would have no problem arriving on the night train at 0600 hrs ...just be warmly dressed for the winter. In the summer at 0445 or so, it's daylight there. At 6 am the food vendors are opening up or some are already open since 5:30 or 5 am to get that coffee and breakfast. You can always go the waiting room. Budapest is a hub for night train in east central Europe.
Listen to acraven, and review the list of middle of the night stops. It is a 6 1/2 hour train ride in the day, its nearly 10 hours at night. Also when are you planning this trip? The train is not listed after December 8, although that does not mean it won't show up on the schedule as we get closer to that date.
Unless you have a specific reason for wanting the night train, I would forego that experience and take the day train, it's under 7 hrs and a much better experience and, unless you want to sit up on the night train, it'll be less expensive than a sleeper.
A 10 hour night train is the perfect amount of time, IMO. You can get a good night's sleep with that number of hours and enjoy a bit of time on the train. I love the train. It is fun. If you have never taken a night train with a 2 person compartment before, this would be a nice one to try to see if you love it or not. Travel is for the adventure and for trying new things after all.
I can't coach you on those specific tickets. It looks like you are trying for a private compartment for two, which I would recommend. I just wanted to give you encouragement, like Fred did.
I find it interesting that people don't hesitate to sit up all night in uncomfortable seats in a tube in the air to get to Europe, yet they say a bed on a train is horrible. I'll do just about anything to avoid an overnight flight. Different strokes for different folks as they say. Sometimes I'll travel just for the overnight train. We are soon to set off on the California Zephyr and back, for the fun of it.
See tips for using either of the national railway web sites at https://www.seat61.com/trains-and-routes/prague-to-budapest-by-train.htm#sleeper_train. But dates past Dec. 8 may not be available to book until much closer to that date. You can also buy tickets in train stations over there.
It's much easier to sleep on the night train than it is on the plane, even though I know I'll sleep on both anyway, but the night train is far easier. True, a ten hour night ride provides ample time to get in at least 6-7 hrs so by 6 to 8 am upon arrival, that is, I am good to go Of course, I've only done this in the summer.
@ bdconwell...I believe I misunderstood what you said of a "2 person compartment." You mean a "Sleeper"/Schlafwagen" as you see on the CD train. Sorry.
It would be interesting to see a survey of people who have taken night trains. Would they ever do it again? And is there a statistical connection between that answer and the age of the respondent?.
The condition of the rails can make a difference, I believe. Some sections of track are simply jerkier than others.
Best sites / coaching for purchasing 2 person compartment overnight tickets for Budapest to Prague
Follow the advice of the man in Seat 61 (www.seat61.com.) I followed his advice for all my train connections from Krakow to Prague to Cesky Krumlov (to Vienna via shuttle) to Budapest and everything went exactly according to his guidance.
It would be interesting to see a survey of people who have taken night trains.
I took the "Chopin" night train from Krakow to Prague at the beginning of this month and absolutely loved the experience! I agree with Wray that it's part of the adventure of travel! (To compare my perspective against your own, my sense of fun also included overnight trips in a motor home as a kid.)
Would they ever do it again?
I would absolutely do it again - in fact, I would look for an opportunity to do it again. I got a restful night sleep, which I actually think was enhanced by the rocking of the train.
Ten stops between midnight and 6:30 AM, each accompanied by braking, station noise and acceleration.
Here's a funny story. I originally thought that my train had only 1 overnight stop. I was going to advise against a train with 10 overnight stops But in comparing the Budapest->Prague route to the Krakow->Prague route, I see that they both have 10 overnight stops. Apparently I slept through all the stops except the first! (Notes: I am a light sleeper. I don't sleep very well on international flights. I had a cold, so I was taking nighttime cold meds, which very likely helped.)
And is there a statistical connection between that answer and the age of the respondent.
57, solo female traveler. A bit of an adventurer, but not a strictly budget traveler. I booked a single sleeper compartment with private WC and shower - for the security of the en-suite WC.
CWsocial, can I ask what a single ensuite compartment cost you on that train? I'm a solo senior female and have hesitated to take night trains because I didn't think they even had single sleeping compartments and I don't want to share or have to find a bathroom in the middle of the night.
I've taken so many night trains I couldn't tell you how many. My first were when I was 21 and they were 4 or 6 bed compartments, no sheets, coed. Since then I/we get rooms. I believe it depends on the type of train and route as to whether there is a toilet, etc. in the room, but you can check that ahead of time. My last European night train was Umeå to Stockholm in 2015, bathroom included in the room, female, traveling solo,age 61 at the time. I agree that the Man in Seat 61 website is the place to start.
CWsocial, can I ask what a single ensuite compartment cost you on that train?
I bought an advance-purchase fare, approx. 60 days prior to travel, for 495 Polish Zloty (about $141 in August, 2018, price included VAT) for what was referred to as: Single category (1-person deluxe compartment, with WC & shower)
It was a 2-bed compartment, configured with the 2nd (upper) bed folded up out of the way and priced as a single. The ensuite bathroom had shower (tiny, of course) and toilet and sink. You can read here how it was priced for the particular sleeper that I took. Then search for your route to see if there is a similar option available:
Of the post-retirement trips, 10 in ten years, I have taken night train rides one to three times on each trip...no problems. Only once would I rate one night ride as less than satisfactory but that was a fluke since it was going to Paris. On the last trip in May/early June, I had planned 4 night rides but finally lazied out on the 4th planned night ride.
In the summer night train rides do sell out. I experienced that once when trying to reserve on a week-end last minute. All the capitals in central and east central Europe, Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Berlin, Warsaw, are connected by night trains.