I have 1, 2 or 3 days to get from Budapest to Prague. Is there an overnight train? Is an overnight train the best, or is there a don't miss stop on the train route for a lunch stop or a day stop?
And miss Vienna?
After 4 days in Budapest take a morning train to Vienna and spend 1 or 2 nights. Next morning Bean Shuttle to Cesky Krumlov. Spend the night and take a late afternoon Bean Shuttle to Prague.
There is a night train connection from Budapest to Prague. If it's on schedule, it arrives in Prague shortly after 0400, which although I take night trains does not sound that appealing. If it got in after 0530, I would be more likely to choose this option. You could break the ride up by transfering in Vienna ie, Wien Hbf, ( a brand new and huge station), then continue.
Having 3 days to get from Budapest to Prague I would go with James' suggestion.
I enjoyed Vienna on a previous trip . It surely needs to be seen, but I will be skipping it this time. Looking more for of a day stop on the way. I trained from Edinburg Scotland to London. I hopped off in York for lunch and a couple hours of walking before jumping on a later train. It cost nothing to do so. Very glad I broke up the ride. Looking for something similar.
One day stop between Budapest and Prague? Try either Bratislava or Brno. Google both and use new Search Engine on this website to decide which one would suite you better.
I guess I would say Brno. But I would not waste an entire precious day of my vacation sitting on a train. Its a good 7 hour trip. So why not fly? Czech Airlines is under $150 and takes less than 2 hours.
James good point about flying. I need a little extra time in a foreign airport. If train goes from city center to city center like many do, iI would pay more for a 7 hr train trip, than a 5-1/2 hour city center to city center that included the airport mayhem. I probably give the train more romance than it deserves, but I have had limited experience withthe train, and have been thrilled with the experience. Air travel is really tiring to me. I will absolutely check the flight schedule for convenience, which I would not have without your input. Thanks
I understand your position on flying. But this is a big spread. Lets compare:
Taxi from Budapest Center to Airport is .5 hours. Check-in is 1.5 hours in advance at most. So its a two hour spread at the Budapest end. At the Prague end, gate to Old Town is about 1 hour. So you have a total of 4.5 hours including flight time..
By train you will leave central Budapest about an hour before train time. You don't have to, but you don't know the station so youw will. And at the Prague end its going to take you almost an hour from train arrival to Old Town. So its a total of 9 hours.
The Budapest airport is pretty easy to deal with. New, clean, relatively simple in design and function. Prague is a little more complex but you are arriving so you don't have to deal with security or anything else.
That nets out at a 4.5 hour savings by flying. But again, I do understand your aversion. I'm not much different but I push through it by reminding myself of how valuable each minute is, as well as my inability to sit still for 7 hours.
Be sure to check the discount carriers and go directly to the Czech Airlines site.
I think that James is overly optimistic with times of flying between Budapest and Prague. But even if I would accept that difference in time (by the way I can walk from Prague Main Train Station to Old Town in about twenty minutes, not mentioning taxi or subway /certainly it does not take one hour/) I would still not fly. Difference in comfort sitting in plane sardine class or in train is enormous. Besides you can divide this train ride into two and see one smaller town: Bratislava or Brno. Budapest - Bratislava is 2 hours 42 minutes, Bratislava - Prague 4 h 11 min. Or Budapest - Brno 4 h 14 min., Brno - Prague 2 h 49 min.
No, Ilja, I think I am pretty accurate:
Central Pest hotel to platform in train station including a little advance arrival time = 45 minutes
Train Ride = 7 hours
Ilja’s dash to old town = 30 minutes (added 10 minutes because the OP will get a little lost)
Total 8.25 hours
Time with boring scenery = 3.5 hours at a minimum
Central Pest hotel to airport plus check in time = 2 hours
Czech Airlines direct flight = 1.5 hours
Prague Airport seat of plane to Old Town Hotel = 1 hour
Total 4.5 hours.
Difference something less than 4 hours.
Sardine Time = 1.5 hours
I'll check the comfort level at the airport upon arrival and get a feel for the transportation involved to weigh the difference.
I always hope for that convenience of finding a nice place near the train station. Like Madrid or Amsterdam (NOT Brussels). I can afford a last minute decision. Upon looking at Brno as a stop en rout, it looks appealing. Thanks for the advice. BTW I saved a lot of money buying my flight from Lisbon to Barcelona on Expedia. I never would have believed it. Saved about $ 150.00. I always research the sites and try to by from the carrier. First time I ever booked it that way, and there were no issues.
Budapest is not a place where you want to stay near the train station. The neighborhood is fine but why spend the extra time several times a day, every day you are there; just to save time one time on the day you leave. This isn't perfect, but its pretty good advice: http://1drv.ms/1Ji1bD4