We have read some conflicting information about how best to do this. Would love to hear from you with specifics.
To me, the easiest way is to buy the tickets at the train station in Budapest when you're ready to leave. These trains don't require reservations, don't sell out, and should not add up to more than about $50 per person in 2nd class.
You also didn't mention timing. Are you spending a night in Bratislava?
Go first class if you want but the advantages are minor. The cost difference is minor too.
Go to the MAV site for the schedule from Budapest to Bratislava and the Slovakrail site for the Slovak to Bratislava ride. Or the Bahn site will show it all, but I just like being loyal to the individual carriers.... but makes no real difference in function.
You will depart from the Budapest Keleti station, so pay a visit on your first day in town and purchase the tickets. Go down the central stairs and look to your right or if you arrive on the Metro look to your left before you go up the stairs to the center of the station. I think that is where they have moved the ticket office after the remodel. If not, just ask most anyone you see. Hungarians are good to tourists.
Both Keleti and Nyugati Stations are worth a visit for the architecture, so you aren't wasting time.
I would purchase my next ticket in Bratislava. This is all very workable, but I cant say its the best advice. We travel around Hungary on the trains and run up to Vienna on a rare occasion and always do it this way.
If you are just looking to break up the trip to Vienna you might want to look at Gyor and the Archabbey at Pannonhalma. If you are looking for an overnight trip you might look at Kosice, SK.
Many thanks, James. I love architecture so look forward to the stations...
We are arriving 6pm in Budapest on the 19th, and leaving by train to Bratislava on the 23rd, where we will spend the night, then head to Vienna the next day to rent a car to head to the Alps...
Any suggestions as to what to do/see in Bratislava, or favorite places in and around Bad Ischl?
Before Eiffel did that tower thing in that French town, he did the Nyugati Train Station.
Cant help you on Bratislava. I love Slovakia but we always go up into the Tatras (fishing) and have never been to Bratislava. I just haven't been able to get excited about Bratislava. Someday I know we have to go.
Very, very happy you dropped in!
Julie, would you like to post the link........ I have it but...........
Julie, G-d Bless
Just curious - is there place to leave luggage in Bratislava train station if we are breaking the journey and want to check out the city for few hours?