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Train travel from Budapest to Paris

We are planning to travel by rail from Budapest to Paris and are looking for suggestions on best routes and places to see along the way. Looking at Eurail pass, but open to ideas from seasoned travelers.
Also wonder if we should fly part of the way?

Posted by
6950 posts

The best route from Budapest to Paris is via, the big European budget air carrier.
It's 913 miles via roads from B to P, so it's a long, long way. That far exceeds my self imposed maximum time on a train of 3 1/2 hours.
Most rail travelers choose to go individual tickets vs. Eurail Passes at the present time. Eurail's now expensive.
Budapest remains one of my favorite European cities.

Posted by
2165 posts

It's 870 miles from Budapest to Paris and by train it will take you most of a full day. It's definitely a route I would fly. If your entire vacation was going to consist of Budapest, Paris and a few cities in between, you'd need close to 3 weeks to make it work at a pace that would be fun for you. Is this your first trip to Europe and/or Paris and Budapest? If so, each city deserves 5 days so you can really get a feel for them. Then you could choose 3 stopping points in between for a few nights each to fill your time. You could choose stopping points based on the rail connections you see when you search rail fares, but if I were you, I would choose my extra cities by looking through guidebooks to see what piques your interest.

If you have less time than that and you're tied to those two cities, you might have to pare down your options.

Also, not sure a rail pass makes sense...I usually just buy point-to-point tickets in advance and I come out ahead.

Posted by
2353 posts

It sounds like you do not mean to go all in one day:

"looking for places to see along the way" - how many days do have for this journey?

A little more info would result in better answers.

Posted by
13015 posts


If you get the Eurail Pass, the ride from Budapest to Paris can absolutely be done and is covered. The rest of it depends on your travel plans and style.

You can go straight or break it up. Going straight: I would take the night train Budapest to Frankfurt, transfer Frankfurt Hbf to Paris Est. Or, you can tailor the routes you choose to take. Take the night train Budapest to Munich, then Munich to Frankfurt on the ICE, stay a night in Frankfurt, then the ICE Frankfurt to Paris Est. Budapest and Munich are hubs for night train routes...still. Don't think that these routes are falling into disuse. I took two night train routes within the last month, one was packed like a sardine can (Frankfurt airport to Munich), the other almost so. True, I did not hear any American accents as loads of people were boarding, only Germans, Russians, Asians, etc.

Posted by
2487 posts

If you're not in a hurry, this can be made in a very nice trip. Vienna, Salzburg, Regensburg, Stuttgart and Strasbourg are major stops on a direct route. A lot of interesting places in between or nearby, and a range of other places come into view with some slight detours.

Posted by
2329 posts

I did the reverse in May, got an excellent price to fly from Paris to Budapest for $120 on Air France, 2 hours and I was out enjoying Budapest by 10:30 am. If you want to see more along the way then of course a train is better, but I wanted to have as much time as possible in Budapest so flying was perfect for me.