Does anyone have experience with this train? We would be getting a sleeper (2 person) in May.
I took a sleeper train from Budapest to Prague. We liked it. It was a good use of time. I will say that you probably need to be a sound sleeper or use a sleep aid.
I am trying to weigh a little less sleep but saving the days to tour versus spending 7 hrs daytime including transportation to and from airports, flights, layover in Warsaw- essentially losing a day.
I have not taken that night train. My last (in both senses of the word) night-train experience was between Rome and Sicily a few years ago. Not one wink of sleep followed by the need to crash as soon as I could get into my hotel room the next day, followed by messed up sleep patterns for a day or two. Not to be repeated.
According to information on the MAV website, the Budapest-Lviv night train makes the following stops:
Záhony arr 00:20, dep 01:10
Chop arr 02:28, dep 05:10
Every stop involves deceleration, station noise, and acceleration. I'm not positive what happens at Zahony and Chop if you're in a sleeper on the night train or how noisy it will be in those stations in the wee hours. I understand the desire to save a travel day, but some people do not do well at all with night trains and end up being non-functional the next day.
I have had two decent overnights- Paris to Rome and Prague to Krakow. Curious to see if anyone can compare these to Budapest-Lviv. The change of wheel gauge is one glaring difference that sounds very disruptive at 1 am. May still chance it.
Getting in at 10 am is all right, much rather prefer arriving sometime between 6-8 am in May. From the schedule would I do this night option...no problem, from what I have seen of Hungarian trains. I've never taken this specific route but night routes of similar duration I have easily done, say , say Kiel to Vienna.
Budapest is a night train hub as several cities/capitals are accessible from Budapest direct by night train...very convenient.
Keep in mind if you choose "the sleeper option" you won't be the only one in the sleeper (Schlafwagen), since those tickets are the first to sell out. Every time I've seen a night train pull in or am getting ready to board my night train, I always see the Schlafwagen occupied.
True, I have not experienced night trains' changing the gauge but every thing else I've probably seen, stopping every single hour, more or less, the screeching and bright lights in the stations. passenger entering you're compartment at 2 am while you're asleep. etc, etc
Budapest to Lviv is the perfect excuse to spend a night or two in Kyiv.
Or rearrange the order of your trip....