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Which Budapest train station is "best" coming from Munich?

Just starting to do train research for our October trip. We need to get from Munich to Budapest, and I'd discovered yesterday that Budapest has several stations. We are staying at Le Meridian (unless Viking changes it to "or similar") for two pre-cruise nights. The hotel website tells us how to take the red metro line from the Keleti Pu (eastern) station (3 stops to the hotel) or the Deli Pu (southern) station (4 stops to the hotel). Does anyone have a preference for one station over the other as far as congestion, distance from train platform to metro platform, number of staircases to climb, etc? And/or which station does the train hit first?

Posted by
10788 posts

Most trains use only one of Budapest's three main stations (Keleti, Deli, or Nyugati). And for most destinations, you don't get much of a choice in which station your train can arrive at. It's not worth taking a convoluted route to arrive at a particular station, so just take the easiest and fastest train(s) from Munich to Budapest.

By the way, "pu" is short for pályaudvar, which is Hungarian for station (so, it's the equivalent of "stn" in English).

Posted by
9305 posts

Congratulations, Le Meridian is one of my favorite locations in Budapest. I just checked a random day and all but one 14 hour train ride arrived in Keleti. Keleti is easy to negotiate. You can take the metro (brand new metro station renovation) or you can call a taxi. For the metro go down the stairs, look for the window and purchase a ticket or a book of tickets or a multi-day card if you are staying for a while. Follow the directions to the M2 Line towards Deli pályaudvar (the directions are marked by their end stop). Validate the ticket in the little orange box where you will see an "assistant" standing and hop on the first train. If you purchased a multi-day card you just have to show it to the guard and when asked. These tickets and cards are valid on the underground, the trams and the busses and the innercity trains as far as the city limits of Budapest. It's a deal. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budapest_Metro Get off at the Deák Ferenc tér stop. You can see the names of the stops on the walls as your arrive, they are announced and there are maps in the cars so you can count the dots.

For the taxi, you really should call for one before you leave the arrival hall. Don't use the ones sitting on the curb outside. If a taxi might be a possibility let me know and I will give you the details. It will cost you less than $20 by taxi and about $4 for two metro tickets.

Posted by
11825 posts

Hi,

Coming from Munich the train will only stop at Keleti, which is indeed an easy station to navigate. That's why it's easy from Munich or Austria.

Posted by
9305 posts

Actually there are two trains a day into Deli but you would have to be nuts as they are 14 hour trips with 5 or 6 changes but the tickets are being sold. Also I have noticed by the questions on this forum that for some reason those booking through the German rail site that their routes might not always end at Keleti. Don't be too surprised if it comes up showing Kelenföld which is one stop shy of Keleti.

Posted by
609 posts

Hi from Wisconsin,
Gosh I miss Budapest, lovely city. 3 stops is not far. It can be walked. But get accustomed to the metro. It is great. And a three day pass would serve you well. Hop on or off any mass transit in the city except the funicular up Buda hill to the castle. You can take a bus to get there.

I have not been in Budapest since they finished the metro at Keleti. Looking forward to seeing it.
My experience with taxis at Keleti...don't do it.

Go to the Opera. Doesn't matter what the performance. Nose bleed tickets are about $6 each. Tours of the opera are $20. Why do the tour when you can go to the opera and see really good performances. Stop at eh Muvesz Kave Haus on the opposite side of the street from the opera house for a dort either before or after your performance.

wayne iNWI

Posted by
11825 posts

Hi,

You will see that Keleti pu is an interesting historic train station, the station where trains from Austria and Germany end up, ie the terminus.

Posted by
9305 posts

Keleti pályaudvar (literally meaning “East Railway Station” while pályaudvar is sometimes abbreviated as “pu.”) is interesting and represented my first view of anything in Budapest a little over a dozen years ago. Still a little rough around the edges, but not a bad first impression of Budapest. The whole taxi issue is a little overplayed … but none the less real. Just call a taxi when you arrive and then don’t worry any more about it. http://www.budapest.com/city_guide/sights/monuments_of_art/keleti_railway_station.en.html

Equally interesting, or possibly more interesting from a historic point of view is the Nyugati pályaudvar (literally meaning “West Railway Station”). A few years older than Keleti and certainly more ornate the Nyugati Station was designed and constructed by the Eiffel Company of the Eiffel Tower fame. The station was completed in 1877 the year before the Eiffel Company assisted on the Statue of Liberty and 12 years prior to the Eiffel Tower. http://welovebudapest.com/budapest.and.hungary/sights.1/nyugati.railway.station

A third train station that you will never arrive at but might still be interested in seeing is the Józsefvárosi pályaudvar
http://books.google.com/books?id=OJVGOxZmcgkC&pg=PT206&lpg=PT206&dq=budapest+Jozsefvarosi+train+station&source=bl&ots=19qemY52_a&sig=HwfnS-PRgBIwwiAWr-SoR9Y3jVo&hl=en&sa=X&ei=C4f8U5SsGo7l8gHgnYGYDA&ved=0CGoQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=budapest%20Jozsefvarosi%20train%20station&f=false
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9b/Jozsefvaros_pu.jpg
There are plans to convert the old station to a museum, but there is a lot of controversy over the slant of the presentation. Very much in the Hungarian news right now.

Posted by
11825 posts

"...not opposed to public transportation." Take the M4 subway with its fast escalators. The M4 station reminds me of Paris, Vienna, and London in its layout and efficiency.

Posted by
9305 posts

@Fred, I am jealous. I was last in Budapest in June but I haven't even been on the new metro yet. Nice to hear something positive about it.

And @worldinbetween, I knew the Jewish section was behind the Kerepesi Cemetery but I haven't yet made it. I've seen photos and it tells a pretty good story of the position's the Jew's held in Budapest from then turn of the century until the start of WWII. I did spend an entire day once in the Kerepesi Cemetery and could easily spend another entire day. Anyone going to Budapest should go to Google Images for Kerepesi Cemetery before they finish planning their trip.

Posted by
11825 posts

That was on 3 May 2014 when I was in Budapest and took the M4. No doubt impressive, and if one knows the metro in Paris/Tube/U-Bahn in Wien, you'll see reminders of all that in a M4 station.

Posted by
9305 posts

@FRED, we will be back for Christmas so I will give it a look. I've been watching them build the stations literally for years and years. Nice looking at street level too. Where we always stay puts us in a location that we rarely have to board anything other than the M1 and a few trams. That's nice because its always better to spend as much time above ground as possible. But the M4 does go fairly near my cardiologist's office so maybe that's a good excuse.

@Worldinbetween; the cemetery is glorious fantastic. I saw the Jewish cemetery on a map and had an idea of where to go but just never made it. I will give it a try at Christmas if there is no snow.

I think the topic "degraded" into a really useful thread. Sometimes they exceed their original purpose.

Posted by
186 posts

"Go to the Opera. Doesn't matter what the performance. Nose bleed tickets are about $6 each. Tours of the opera are $20. Why do the tour when you can go to the opera and see really good performances. Stop at eh Muvesz Kave Haus on the opposite side of the street from the opera house for a dort either before or after your performance."

OK, what's a dort? If it's sweet count me in! We'll be on our own in Budapest Saturday, Oct 4th before starting a Viking River Cruise. Anyone know if we can walk up to Opera house that evening for tickets and expect to get in, or is this something we'd need to arrange in advance?

Posted by
9305 posts

Dang if I know what a dort is? Maybe a Tort? Or a Snort? Both possible across the street from the opera. Not one of my favorite places but if you research the history before you go you may find it meaningful.

October 4th at the Opera is Tosca. There are plenty of 600ft (about $2.75) tickets available. BUT, if he has a sports coat or better with him I would go for a better seat. They range from 600ft to 14,500 ft but it looks like the truly best ones available tonight are 11,500 ft (about $50). The nose bleed seats are good to see the show and the theater, but you will be among a lot of other tourists (generally). If you want to sit in a theater full of tourists you will be better served inI Vienna. The better seats will put you with the Hungarian audience which makes it a more authentic experience. I’ve seen this production and it’s about an 8 out of 10 as their performances go. You can get tickets at their website http://www.opera.hu/en/musor/201410 Dont wait too long as Hungarian love their arts and shows generally do sell out.

Make reservations at Callas for dinner after the Opera. Callas is immediately next to the opera.

Not sure where you are staying but I will guess the Sofitel or somewhere nearby as that’s where a lot of the boat people stay. From there you can walk to Vörösmarty tér in about five minutes then take the M1 metro to the third stop …. Or walk maybe 15 minutes tops.