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Trip planning for 4 night stay in Budapest.

OK. After a RS tour that ends in Vienna, we are planning 4 nights in Budapest before training either back to Vienna to see what we couldn't see during the tour, or going all the way to Salzburg before training south to Italy. So I am looking for favorite places to stay, neighborhoods to stay, either hotels or apartments.

Also, how easy is it to get train tickets from Vienna to Budapest, and back west to Salzburg? Is it necessary to do in advance, how far in advance? I am comfortable with the Italian train system and usually only book a few days in advance.
I will follow other posts about what to see and where to eat, but those comments are welcome too!!

Posted by
6252 posts

RovingCarole one would hope JamesE will answer your queries. He’s posted numerous times on his Budapest stays. Very knowledgeable.

Posted by
21662 posts

To answer the question about train tickets -- our experience is that tickets are always available. You may miss some discount for early purchases but trains are rarely sold out. Prior to the pandemic we were in Budapest and took the train to Vienna. Purchased a couple of days before. This was early Oct.

Posted by
3254 posts

We took the train in the opposite direction Budapest>Vienna. About 2.5 hrs. As mentioned up thread, hopefully James E. will chime in. He was our go to for our 5 night stay in Budapest. Very knowledgeable. We were there in 2019.

Posted by
13410 posts

I haven't run into a full train to Vienna since the migrant crisis, but I guess it could happen; still
with a bunch of trains each day and 3 carriage classes I doubt you will have much trouble except maybe during a major holiday..

You get the internet discount if you purchase even the night before.

My favorite mid range hotel is the K&K for cost and location; my favorite high end hotel is the Corinthia for class and location; my favorite area for a short term rental is that area between Dob utca and O utca and the inner and outter ring roads.

My least preferred areas to stay (especially for a first time visitor) are Buda and District V.

Posted by
14784 posts

For a first visit to Budapest, a hotel is a better choice than an apartment. I've met folks who were unhappy staying in a flat because they didn't have someone to answer questions, offer advice and help with arrangements. 4N is a short stay for a city with so much to offer, it would be a shame to waste time.

Posted by
13410 posts

Chani is always full of wisdom. Especially on a short trip. Anything less than 4 nights I always stay in a hotel. If you were staying longer and doing some overnight side trips then the apartment makes perfect sense. And while I doubt this works for you seeing how you are just ending a RS tour, but for anyone wanting to explore Eastern Europe Budapest is an ideal base. You can get to all of the major capitals for well under $100 each way on a direct flight that is usually under 1.5 hours. Its what I have done for years. Drop the heavy stuff in the apartment, hop a flight to someplace for a few days, then a few more days back in Budapest.

Posted by
85 posts

hotel it will be. Keep the hotel suggestions coming. and restaurants. it's still almost a year away, but I can dream.

Posted by
1687 posts

Carole, I have made that train trip the huge total of one time…. Late morning in July, 2018. I would advise making sure you have a seat reservation both ways whenever you book. My Vienna-Budapest train was very full and I had to haul out my seat reservation printout to prove to a young man he was in my seat before he would move (wouldn’t take my word for it). He (and a number of others) ended up standing most/all of the way. It wasn’t full headed Budapest-Salzburg.

I also booked that return on the Hungarian train site for a significant savings, but Budapest - Salzburg wasn’t an option, so using Seat 61 advice, I booked all the way to Munich and just got off in Salzburg (where it stopped). Still a savings.

It was definitely cheaper to book early. There were a limited number of lower fares available. And caveat, I don’t know if anything has changed between 2018 and now…..

Posted by
13410 posts

I'm not a big train rider either. Maybe 6 times in 20 years. But I did check the site today. Budapest to Vienna. Tomorrow the cheapest ticket is 22 euro. 5 days out I can get one for 13 Euro, 10 days out several for 13 euro. So booking a week or two early could save 10 bucks (a 0.25% increase in total holiday cost on a $4000 holiday) Or pay the 22 euro and have some flexibility. Of course I checked Budapest to Vienna because I had the like on my phone, you should check the Austrian rail service).