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train station question-Vienna to Budapest

We will be traveling from Vienna to the Hilton Budapest on September 13th. Do I need to book in advance on the OBB website or just purchase the day we travel? Any suggestions as to which station to get off at nearest to our lodging? We are planning on taking public transportation from the station to the hotel. Do we purchase the travel card at the train station, information office or probably on line before we arrive? thank you in advance for all of your advice.
Erin

Posted by
18792 posts

The regular trains often stop at Kelenfold station. From there to the Hilton there isn't an efficient public transportation route. Take a Taxi (download the City Taxi app).

The end stop for the regular trains is Keleti in Pest. Again, no simple public transportation route that doesn't include 10 to 15 minutes of walking. Get a Taxi.

There is a private train company that apparently goes to Deli Station. That's less than a 10 minute walk to the Hotel.

Between Kelenfold and Keleti, I choose Keleti for the grandure of the station and the views on the way to Buda. About the same travel time as Kelenfold.

I would be surprised if the taxi cost more than 5000 forints.

For your sightseeing there is a bus to Deak Fernec ter in Pest, takes about 20 min. But I would call a taxi.

Budapest has a great public transportation system to everything but Buda Castle Hill.

This is sort of why I don't see Buda as being on the top of the list of places to stay in Budapest. What I find interesting is that the Hilton is often used by the river boat company's for their package extensions, when for the same or less there are two excellent hotels within a 5 minute walk of the piers in Pest.

Posted by
4341 posts

You have all the best information above.

I hate to say that some of your questions would be “it depends” answers from me for arrival in Budapest. IF you are traveling light and IF you are good with public transportation, it is certainly possible to take the metro (M2) from Keleti to Széll Kálmán tér and then switch to the small bus (16 or 16a) that goes up to the Castle area - 20-25 min plus the time it takes you to orient and find your connections. Then a few minutes walk (but I don’t know if the walk is uphill or downhill). And if you arrive in the early afternoon, with beautiful weather, feeling fresh, it’s not a hard trip.

But I agree with Mister É that City Taxi will be much easier for a first arrival. And not expensive. If you are set up with the City Taxi app ahead, you can use it like Uber and even have your payment method already saved. However they take cash or card also.

I like the BudapestGo app on my phone. You don’t say how long you are staying but you can buy either the 24 or 72 hour travel card: 2,500ft or 5,500ft as far as 30 days ahead - and then just activate it when you arrive. However you need data in order to use the app. But the paper card is available at an office down in the metro area of Keleti.

I personally really like the trams and busses just to sightsee. If you are headed down to Pest, one idea would be to take the 16 or 16a down to Széll Kálmán tér and then the 4/6 tram across to wherever. Maybe just across Margrit Bridge and then take a 2 tram along the river.

Have fun!

Posted by
266 posts

My recent experience going the other way, Budapest to Vienna on a Saturday morning in mid-April, is that the train was full (or nearly so) so we were very glad to have made advance seat reservations.

Posted by
18792 posts

Listen to TexasTravelMom, she is the most natural traveler I never really met. I guess she has to be given the situation. But I do trust her advice.

Posted by
4341 posts

I have no idea what that means, but it sounds like a compliment. Lol! I definitely second Emily and Slate about having a seat reservation Vienna to Budapest - and I think a taxi train station to hotel upon arrival is a good idea (very small amount of money compared to what you must be paying for the Budapest Hilton unless you are booking on points). Then use public transportation after that!

Posted by
18792 posts

I have no idea what that means

T.T.Mom, sorry I thougt more knew. Maybe just me and peri..... ? 42 days to go the way I am counting it. Hang in there.

Posted by
65 posts

We are thinking of switching to the Hilton Garden Inn on the Buda side it is much more centrally located and very near to the Metro. We want to use points for the 4 nights of this leg of the journey.

Posted by
4341 posts

With 4 nights, that makes more sense. I think Christy has stayed there also so maybe she will chime in. The Budapest Go app, which you can set up at any time, will help with journey planning. Google Maps seems to do a pretty good job as well.

Posted by
195 posts

For a first time in Budapest, and if you're looking to spend/earn HHonors points, you can't go wrong with the Hilton Garden Inn. We've stayed there several times and love the location and the staff are great. It is a quick walk to the Opera M1 station on Andrássy. From there, you can get to wherever you want to go in quick order. Our favorite little restaurant, Pörc & Prézli Étterem, is just down the street: https://www.porcesprezli.hu/en/ Reservations are recommended and the raspberry Palinka is so good! Captain Cook pub has THE BEST burgers in Budapest and is just across the street from Pörc & Prézli Étterem.

From Vienna, If you don't mind a short walk with luggage, from Keleti station, take the M1 to Deák Ferenc tér. There are esclators to get you to the street level and then it is an easy, mostly flat walk to the HGI. It will take less than 10 minutes.

You'll purchase your BKK travel card at the station - the machines are easy to use, just tap the button for English. The 7-day pass is no longer available, but the 15 day pass is reasonably priced: https://bkk.hu/en/tickets-and-passes/prices/monthly-passes/15-day-budapest-pass.55/

I prefer to use a paper ticket so I'm not having to rely on my mobile all the time, however, mobile works great too. Budapest's transportation system is so easy to use.

Posted by
18792 posts

Christy is correct about the location of the Hilton Garden Inn, pretty convenient for sight seeing. Will save an hour a day of travel time compared to Buda. I walk past a lot, looks nice. Down around the corner is Hatchapuri for really good Georgian food (no, not fried chicken, but yes, grits)

As far as Burgers go, I haven't eaten one of the Captian's burgers but did observe them one afternoon. My issue with European burgers is that they are too fru-fru, piled 6" high with stuff G-d did not intend to be on a burger. You end up having to use a knife and fork half the time. Just isn't right, isn't natural. The only 2-handed lift and chomp burger I have found is the basic Angus burger at Zing. But, I'm just a simpleton troglodyte when it comes to burgers so listen to Christy. Sometimes I can get Kadarka to make me a clean burger.

Oh, from Keleti to Deak Ferenc is the M2 line. Take it in the direction of Déli pályaudvar

Posted by
195 posts

Yes, M2 from Keleti to Deák Ferenc tér, NOT the M1. Thanks for catching my error Mr. E!

As for the burgers at Captain Cook, the slightly pickled cucumber is solid fru-fru(ha!) and the bun is fairly significant, but SO GOOD.

James - I'll buy you one in September. ;)