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Yet another train question Budapest - Salzburg

I am responsible for buying train tickets for a group of 14 people.

I have read everything I can find on purchasing train tickets Budapest - Salzburg (July 17, 2018) and have successfully navigated the MAV site for 6 of their discount tickets for the 11:40 Railjet #64, 2nd class to Munich (and we'll get off in Salzburg).

I still need 8 tickets. I know the discount tickets are gone or they would show up. But I cannot find ANY tickets at any price available on the MAV site for this train. Not 1st class, not with a return, --- only on a different train.

I read that tickets will definitely be available once we get to Budapest. And if it was just my husband and me, I would chance it without worrying. But it makes me nervous to be responsible for a group and not have a ticket code ready to go.

Since I know I will have to pay more for tickets, can I actually buy them on the Austrian or German sites? I can see them there at 60 euro.

It also looks like I can buy five tickets (since I am limited to 5 at a time, that is as much as I can check on) Budapest - Vienna at 19 euro. Then I can go to OBB and buy Vienna-Salzburg at 19 euro (don't know how many - haven't followed this up yet and I would still need seat reservation on this portion). Is this workable or crazy? It would definitely be a savings over 60 euro/each.

I know lots of people will say not to worry - or change plans, etc. But with group schedule constraints, we prefer to travel together and be on this particular Railjet train.

Having 14 people is my worry - and I can't look at standing room for them. Advice on the process would be wonderful!

Posted by
16344 posts

Try OBB first (I see the whole ticket there) but note that you probably need Verified by Visa or MasterCard SecureCode for credit card approval and would be booking a maximum of 5 or 6 at a time. I forget whether OBB recently added a PayPal option. Or you can try purchasing by phone with their group specialist: http://www.oebb.at/en/angebote-ermaessigungen/gruppenreisen. DB doesn't sell this direction of travel online.

Posted by
9305 posts

I had to call MAV for assistance some time back and they were very helpful. If I were really desperate I would call Barbara: https://helpers.hu/ who for a fee will do about anything in Budapest....

Posted by
416 posts

Thank you both for the helpful suggestions. (And not saying I am crazy - ha!) Laura, I have already used the OBB site for purchases, so I am good to go there if need be. James, I may try calling
MAV and see what they say. And an extra name "in country" is a wonderful tool.

Also, I am making dinner reservations for one night (a Sunday) and have narrowed the choices to Kiraly100 or Macesz Bistro - recommendation for either of these for a group of 14? We are staying at the K+K Opera and either will be convenient.

Posted by
9305 posts

Kiraly 100 is a pretty good walk from the K&K so i suggest taking the M1 metro (about 2 minutes from your hotel) to Vörösmarty utca and then walking the last two blocks. The last two blocks to Kiraly 100 are "amazing" after dark, but unquestionably safe. This place has been here for 100 years, but i presume changed hands a number of times; including recently. Picture 1960 Budapest, a dimly lit restaurant and dozens of overweight communist party bosses smoking fat Cuban cigars. Most nights there is a violin which is nice; Budapest is so much about the music. The menu has the usual Hungarian staples like Duck, Goose, Mangalitsa Pork as well as steaks. Still its not the most varied Hungarian cooking. The last time I was there the food was very good as was the atmosphere.

Macesz Bistro opened about five years ago and is run by the same gentleman who runs one of the more successful wine bars (a few doors away). The location is on the edge of District VII, what was the Jewish Deportation Ghetto. When you walk there from the K&K (good choice), you will walk down Kazinczy utca. When, on Kazinczy utca you cross Kiraly utca, at the line that marks the far end of the first building at the corner of Kazinczy and Kiraly utca, hesitate for a moment. Your next step is beyond the Nazi built wall (no longer there) and you have entered the Ghetto. Anyway a little further down on the left at the corner of Dob utca is the restaurant. The walk from the K&K is pleasant and informative.

Macesz is bright and more like a cafe. The food is heavily typical Hungarian and very good. I think you will find this less expensive as well. The downside is Kazinczy utca, somewhat further down, is the Ruin Pub zone and there is a lot of foot traffic beginning about the time you are leaving dinner. On the way back stop at the Kadarka wine bar at the corner of Kiraly utca and Vasvari Pal utca.

Both of these places, and any place you go for food or wine, will require an advance reservation for a group of 14. I would do it a month in advance and then confirm it a week or two in advance.

Posted by
9305 posts

Another idea for a Frday night would be Spinoza Cafe for the Klezmer show and dinner.

Posted by
9305 posts

Or any night at Rézkakas Bistro for excellent Hungarian food, service and gypsy music.

Posted by
416 posts

Oh, thanks, James! I researched all your recommendations made on a different thread; but 14 people is not the same as 2 or 3, so knowing either is an option is really nice (I read the comment "don't go dressed as a tourist" - ha!). We won't be there on a Friday or I'd go for the klezmer! It IS a group of choral singers, so any extra incorporation of music is a bonus. I had looked at Kiraly 100 as a potential stop on the way back from Heroes Park, with convenient subway -- and at Macesz Bistro as a fairly easy walk from the hotel. We'll have transportation passes, so all good there.

Thanks again!

Posted by
9305 posts

There is another place a short walk from Hero's Square (Hősök tere metro stop) called Paprika that is pretty authentic with some inteeesting unrestored mansions along the way. http://www.paprikavendeglo.hu

With the M1 metro I doubt you will get 14 people in one of the small cars so make sure they know where to get off. Google the M1 in Budapest for interesting history. Also, if you have time on the way up or back from Hero's Square, get off at the first stop, walk to the next stop and get back on; repeat till you are where you want to be. People miss so much great scenery and architecture by staying underground. Andrassy ut us beautiful and varied from one end to the other.

Posted by
416 posts

Thanks, James! Yet another great option. :) We are looking forward to our trip!

Posted by
416 posts

Reporting back on the train ticket question for anyone searching something about this question in the future.

Buying tickets outright on the OBB website was going to cost 60 euro each (plus 3/e for seat reservation). So I hated to start there. I was working up to calling MAV and since it's Monday, I thought I would take one more look at the MAV website (just in case).

Sure enough, they had more tickets. They were higher (39euro/e) but I was able to get my needed 8 additional tickets. And while they were higher than 19 or 29 euro/e, they were certainly cheaper than 60/e! And all 14 of the seat reservations are in the same car, as a bonus.

A note on website usage: last week using my credit card was fine, once I got registered. And today I bought 5 additional tickets (max at one time) with no problem. I SHOULD have gone back and added my last 3 tickets (for only one check out process) but I was so excited that I just finished the process for 5 and then went back to buy 3 more. At that point, my credit card did not work. Looked at all my notifications and it did not appear to be a problem from my end. Tried a different card - same thing. So I went back and tried a third time with the original card - and it went through. I don't know why, but persistence paid off.

Glad to have that done!