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Prague - Budapest - Vienna by rail

Can anyone make suggestions for a train trip Prague to Budapest, then Budapest to Vienna? thanks in advance

Posted by
13743 posts

Suggestion? Buy tickets from the originating rail company. First class is good, but there is very little difference in second class.

and from Budapest to Vienna

Buying in advance may save you as much as 80 euro a ticket but will cost on flexibility.

You realize that Prague to Vienna to Budapest is more efficient?

Prague to Budapest i would choose to fly, but thats just me.

Prague to Budapest by train is 6:30 and costs about $25 to $100 depending on if you pre-buy and first or second class. Being in a new city and because you are asking these sort of questions i would bet you leave for the train station no less than 1 hour before the train leaves. In Budapest uncertainty etc will probably mean it takes you another hour to get to your hotel or .... So 8:30 door to door; okay maybe 8 hours.

The flight on Czech Air takes 1:10 and cost $50 to $100 per ticket depending on the flight. Figure you leave for the airport 2 hours before flight and it takes you 1:30 to get off the plane pick up your luggage and get a taxi into town (I do it 3 - 4 times a year and 1:30 is generous). So its 4:40 to no more than 5:00. Use the time at the airport to eat breakfast and you can rationalize that travel only took 4 hours. Half the time than the train.

For a lot of good train information go here:

Posted by
13743 posts

In Budapest you can take public transportation to your hotel. Luggage on the metro can be a bit of a hassle and in some cases you have to buy a ticket for it. The M3 Metro Line serves Nyugati Station in Budapest. While this is a gem designed by Eiffell of the tower fame, it isnt the prettiest environment in town and the underground is a real "experience". Dont worry, 1000% safe, just "interesting". The

Out front of the station is the 5/7 Tram. New and polished, this tram holds the record in Europe for the number of riders each day. The 5/7 joins Buda with the Oktogon and beyond.

If you decide to take a Taxi then as the train pulls into the Budapest station call City Taxi at +36 1 211 1111 The will give you a taxi number. You meet the taxi out the northwest side of the station (look for taxi signs or Nyugati ter signs.

Posted by
72 posts


“You realize that Prague to Vienna to Budapest is more efficient?”

No, I didn’t. Thanks.


“Prague to Budapest i would choose to fly, but thats just me.”

Sounds like a good idea.


“Going to Vienna first also means you have the option of the new
Regiojet service between Prague and Vienna.”

I am starting this (still hypothetical journey) from the north, Berlin. SO Berlin-Prague-Vienna-Budapest(?)-Vienna-Salzburg.

Is Bratislava worthwhile. Seems like it could be a day trip from Vienna.

Posted by
13743 posts

Never been to Bratislava, but yes, its only about 30 miles so i expect it would make a decent day trip.
Between Budapest and Vienna at almost the mid point of the rail line is Gyor which is work a night if you have time. Gyor and the Archabbey near by at Pannonhalma.

Posted by
15058 posts

Just spoke a couple days ago with friends who'd been in Vienna and Bratislava. They stayed overnight in Bratislava and then went straight to the Vienna airport to fly home. They did say that it would have been an easy day trip but for other reasons, they chose to spend the night.

Vienna is sorta half-way between Prague and Budapest, so it's most convenient to fly open-jaw and take the train between them, stopping in Vienna for a couple/few nights.

Posted by
13743 posts

I guess the other info you might need. Depending on your interests and what time you arrive in the city.

Prague 3 to 4 nights
Vienna 2 to 4 nights
Budapest 4 to 5 nights

Add a night to the city in which you arrive from the US

Posted by
21317 posts

I started digging into the website last night and found that there is now a direct bus (#100E) from the Budapest airport to Deak Ferenc ter, departing from the airport on the hour and the half hour. Traveling from the airport there are also stops at Kalvin ter and Astoria. The fare is HUF 900; you can't use the regular city transit tickets. There is supposedly a place on the airport arrivals level to buy transit tickets, or you can pay the driver (no change given). There's probably a vending machine, too.

For those flying in or out of Budapest before/after a same-day train journey involving Ferihegy Station, it appears that a HUF 300 airport-bus extension ticket will cover the fare on the #100 bus. However, that information is based on my reading of info on the website, not personal experience.

Posted by
13743 posts

I had seen the article on that. You have to admit that its an easy airport to get to and can be done on most any budget.
Here is some more information

To my home (for two)
Taxi 7,000 ft ($28) 40 minutes from curb to curb

Minibus 5,900 ft ($24) I will guess on average not less than 1 hour. But depends on how long it takes them to fill a van and where your destination appears on the route. Could be faster or could be a lot longer)

Public 2,500 ft. ($10) To my home, no less than 1 hour

Also, there are some limitations for luggage on the metro and busses. I don’t recall what and only looking briefly I couldn’t find what I was looking for.

Posted by
15058 posts

I took the airport bus (100E)when I left Budapest last September. It was an easy 10 minute walk from near James's home. It was possible to buy tickets from the regular machines near the bus stop. There was also a fellow selling tickets next to the bus (cash only - in forints). I went past around 5-6 pm and the bus was packed - it's a regular city bus, no luggage storage or racks - and there were already people lined up for the next one. My flight was late at night, I left around 8-8.30 pm and there were barely half a dozen people on the bus.

Posted by
13743 posts

It was an easy 10 minute walk from near James's home.

Chani!!!! What if my wife reads this!!!!

(but i do remember that night)