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Travel from Budapest to Bratislava or Vienna

We just heard that today Austria has closed the border for trains from Hungary. We originally planned to leave Keleti station to Bratislava on the 23rd, then take the train from Bratislava to Vienna the next day.

So, if border is closed to trains, does anyone know if buses and shuttles are also being blocked? Someone recommended the high-speed hyrdofoil (and pricey - 79 euros each) as it is still running, but only on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and of course we are leaving Budapest on Wednesday.

Flying seems to take all day, requires a transfer, and is at least 3 times the cost of a hydrofoil...

Does anyone know of car hire service they can recommend? We are three adults - and that might be our best best - assuming that the border is open...

Any other suggestions?

Much appreciated.

Sandy

Posted by
4073 posts

I think you should calm down and just wait to see what is happening on the 23rd. The border isn't closed, that would be crazy. The border is being monitored and is closed some days for some refugees. I would still plan on taking the train. You could also rent a car.

Posted by
42 posts

We were supposed to take the train today from Vienna to Budapest. Since the train border is closed, we changed our tickets to go from Graz to Budapest. We will be going back to Vienna on the 16th and hope the normal trains are running. Otherwise we will see what the rail staff suggest.

Posted by
19 posts

Even though we are 4 weeks away from our trip, I am very concerned that this situation is not going to get any better. We still want to go to Budapest, but we are thinking of re-routing to Poland (Krakow) after visiting Budapest. Are there any issues with getting out of Budapest via train if we go North? Any other great options withing a few hours to look at that might be off the beaten track but still allow us to get a flight back to London?

Posted by
10894 posts

A couple of options.

Arrive Budapest then after 4 or 5 days fly to Prague. You can do this for under $200. After 3 days in Prague take Bean Shuttle to Cesky Krumlov. Next day Bean Shuttle to Vienna. After a few days in Vienna fly home. No train station scan you will be running against the flow of traffic.

Or, Vienna across Slovakia to Kosice and Kosice to Budapest. All by train, again across the flow. I love Slovakia and revisit it every couple of years.

Getting between Krakow and Budapest or Vienna isn't very efficient. Depending on your time and budget you can go from Orava Poprad in Slovakia up to Krakow by train and then a few days later return to Poprad or Orava and continue the route to Kosice.
http://www.slovakia.com/castles/orava-castle/

Posted by
10894 posts

I will be in Budapest in a few days and will try and figure out the situation on that day, but it is so fluid who knows what you will encounter.

Posted by
19 posts

We just made executive decision to skip Vienna. So, I think, after reading more posts that we may use the transfer transportation and go to Krakow then fly out of Warsaw back to London. We don't want to miss Budapest and after looking at some of the options I think going up through Slovakia looks incredible. James I really appreciate all your posts they are very helpful! Karla

Posted by
85 posts

We hired a private driver to take us from Budapest to Vienna yesterday. We had no problems and the price was $270 for 4 aduts. We leave on Wednesday for Salzburg and have purchased our train tickets in advance, so hopefully we will not have any problems.

Posted by
16764 posts

While I don't have my finger on the pulse of what's happening in Budapest, I have not seen any info about the trains to/from Bratislava being blocked. Both legs are on a different train line than the disrupted route via Hegyeshalom.

Posted by
10894 posts

I am sitting in Montenegro listening to a news broadcast in which the Slovakians are discussing closing their borders as has Denmark, Germany and Austria.

Posted by
8 posts

With not knowing if keleti station will be open is there another station oj the way to bratislava that we can use

Posted by
10894 posts

If you go to the MAV ( Google Mav Elvira) you can see the stops the various trains make. Me personally I wouldn't be overly dependent on any train from that direction. Keep Kosice to Budapest as a backup.

Posted by
3 posts

Hello friends,

first of, allow me to confirm that Hungary and Austria are experiencing an unprecedented number of war refugees travelling across the borders.

The Austrian railways OEBB are doing an amazing job, they have opened their stations to refugees and are putting on an extraordinary amount of support for the challenges facing us and giving the aid agencies room and resources to operate. The atmosphere at the railway stations is peaceful and very well organised. The Austrian people are providing support in every way imaginable.

The border between Austria and Hungary is open (as are the borders to Germany, you'll just have to show your passport). The problem is just that with the overcrowding of trains, the railways have been forced to stop some regular services, in order to allow safe passage of the refugees.

At the moment the OEBB http://fahrplan.oebb.at/bin/help.exe/en?tpl=showmap_external (in German, but Google does a good job translating) has cancelled the standard route from Budapest to Vienna. Friends came into Vienna via Bratislava just yesterday, so that was OK.

So you might end up on a different train, and you might experience some delays. But get over here. Vienna is open for business.

I'm moved to tears by the humanitarian response here. If you want lend your support, please give to the Red Cross, Caritas, Train of Hope, or your local aid agency.

See you in Vienna

Jonathan from (www.viennagreeters.com)