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Best travel option from Krakow to Budapest please

Hello;
I was wanting opinions please on the best mode of transport to get from Krakow to Budapest. We are traveling next May. I do have a rail pass but we are not keen on multiple train transfers (some with a 10 minute transfer time between trains). Has anyone got any better options at all?
Thanks Tracey

Posted by
4741 posts

Take a short flight on a budget carrier (Wizz Air, etc.)

Posted by
437 posts

We haven't travelled with them yet, so cant tell you how they are, but we booked a transfer from Budapest to Krakow for October with Daytrip (mydaytrip.com). It sounds kind of like an Uber type program for long distance transfers. We decided it would be a good opportunity to see some countryside rather than another airport, and is affording us the chance to see a castle in Slovakia along the way. Not sure how the price compares to flights, and the time is probably longer, but it's an option. I'll report back after we try it.

Posted by
1564 posts

We did a private ride with Prime Tours Krakow. It was pricey but comfortable. Our driver was really nice and he stopped for lunch at a town that was clearly not on their normal stopping radar. But he was game for it and a good sport, even when I got him a little lost;)

It's a long drive, made longer by the fact that the road, as it goes through Slovakia, goes through many many villages with low speed limits and so we moved pretty slowly. I believe it took us 8 hours.

Posted by
490 posts

Wife and I have a trip planned going in the other direction this May. We had planned on flying to Krakow, but Tamara's suggestion is intriguing.

Posted by
19 posts

We took the Polski bus between Krakow and Budapest in September 2016. It cost $10.32 for two of us. We had comfortable seats and saw lots of beautiful scenery. If I remember correctly, we had wifi, made one break stop, and the trip took about 6 hours. I would do it again.

Posted by
10165 posts

Hi,

You have different options here, ie, the bus, discount carriers such as Wizz Air, etc., day trains, and also the night train connection which unlike the day train is direct.

Posted by
10 posts

Thanks everyone,
I don’t really want to fly however bus or the private transfer sounds interesting. Will look into this more but, with regards to the bus, I hope they do more than one comfort stop in a six hour drive!

Posted by
812 posts

I understand that Polski bus is no more. We took it from Berlin to Krakow. Nice ride except the first 50 miles inside Poland. Road was a washboard.

Posted by
8319 posts

an hour on a plane or 6 hours by road? fly. gives you more time at one end or another.

Posted by
4741 posts

Yes, Polski Bus has been folded into FlixBus, which is a well-known budget carrier throughout Europe (go on the FlixBus website to check out schedules and prices). Very inexpensive, but the trip will obviously take much longer than flying.

Posted by
11544 posts

I took FlixBus last September. I would have flown but direct flights hadn't yet started. I was looking forward to a scenic ride through Slovakia on a tourist-class bus. . . wrong on both counts. The route was not particularly scenic though some stretches were nice and it rained nearly the whole time. The bus was uncomfortable, maybe tourist class from the 1950's. I don't think I even saved any time over the train option because the bus was significantly late due mostly to traffic delays.

Posted by
75 posts

There is an overnight train that runs from Krakow to Budapest. I think it is called the "Chopin". You can sleep your way to your destination!

Posted by
11107 posts

That night train makes ten stops between 11 PM and 7 AM (eight of them between midnight and 6 AM), so for most of us, there would be precious little sleeping going on.

Posted by
10165 posts

Hi,

You basically have two options since the flying option is precluded. I wouldn't fly either...not this route.

The disadvantage with the bus is that you may encounter delays because of the traffic, if arriving more or less on time is important to you. A few years back I took the Greyhound from San Antonio to Austin, arriving ca one hour after the scheduled arrival. Well, I had not counted on that.

The advantage of the night train is that it's a direct connection, 23:00 to 07:00 is perfect. I've taken night trains during those hours, no problems, plus since this ride is in May, ie, by 0500 hrs or a bit earlier, it will be daylight. In your case, I would absolutely opt for the night train, all the more so as I am familiar with both stations.
Budapest Keleti is a night train hub.

Posted by
11544 posts

I missed your question about comfort breaks on the bus. There was one break, just before we crossed the border from Poland into Slovakia - no more than 2 hours from Krakow. The bus made one unscheduled stop at a gas station for some 20 minutes but no one was allowed off the bus. Sometime during the ride through Slovakia the bus stopped in the middle of nowhere so passengers could get off the bus and have a cigarette. BTW there was no wifi after we crossed the Polish border. There was a toilet on the bus that some of the passengers used.

Posted by
10 posts

Thanks everyone for your comments. We aren’t too keen on flying as with check in and luggage times and costs seem to blow out somewhat. We also have Accomodation booked at both ends so night travel is out. So it looks like either bus or private transfer options.. I do thank you all for all your comments as this will
Be our first OE to Europe and I’d like to be as hassle free as possible.