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Krakow to Budapest

I am looking for recommendations on the best way to travel from Krakow to Budapest. I have looked at a couple of "one day tours" where the drive includes a sight seeing stop and lunch. I have also seen an option that includes Auschwitz on the way. I plan on seeing Auschwitz while in Poland, if I choose this option I may give myself another day in Krakow. What have you done and what would you recommend? This travel will be booked for 3/30/16. And yes I am on a time crunch. Please also share insight as to the rough cost that is appropriate on your recommendation. Thank you for any insight and advice in advance!

Gillian

Posted by
16866 posts

The tour sounds convenient, especially since Auschwitz now requires reservations; do they say how much time you have there? The most direct public transport is the overnight train (10.5 hours). You might not find a direct flight. The flight vs. train vs. people-who-hate-night-trains issue has been pretty thoroughly discussed in this forum.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you both! The bus looks like a great option for the very low price! The tour was quoted at 560 Euros, which is not something I will even consider at that price. I have no problems sleeping on the train and happily get a private room to ensure I sleep well as I feel safer.

I am now currently considering -
Overnight Train
Rental Car - This will allow me to make stops along the way if I wish.
Polski Bus

If anyone has insist/experience related to this trip please share your experience and wisdom.

Thanks Again!

Posted by
14399 posts

I looked into this several months ago. There are 3 bus companies that have this route, day/evening times. All take about 7 hours. I'm told the drive through Slovakia is very scenic. The only other direct travel option is to hire a private car/driver for about €250 or more. That will take the same route, same amount of time (or more for stops) but with a guide. There are no direct train or plane connections.

Posted by
6742 posts

If anyone has insist/experience related to this trip please share your experience and wisdom.

The only other addition I can make is you will definitely get a better price on the bus the earlier you book (cheapest fares go first), although it should still be inexpensive relative to other options (not sure if same it true for the train as I haven't done an overnight trip).

Posted by
16866 posts

I'm glad that Agnes mentioned the bus option, because I keep forgetting about it. I'd be quite willing to give it a try for convenience, even though Rick's Eastern Europe book includes this caveat:

By Bus: While train connections are typically faster, buses can be less expensive and make sense for some trips. Polski Bus prides itself on offering buses with Wi-Fi and electrical outlets (www.polskibus.com). However, some of my readers have reported hot, crowded, uncomfortable rides on these buses--you get what you pay for.

Posted by
6742 posts

I take a bus like this to NYC all the time - it's called Bolt. I'd be surprised if it's hot in March, although yes, it could be crowded (but it's still March). Nothing is comfortable for 7 hours straight (with mandated stops, I'm sure). If you try it, please report back!

Posted by
13 posts

We flew on Air Berlin from Budapest to Krakow with a stop in Berlin in 2014. The Polski bus is not something I knew about then, but it would be less of a hassle than two airport transfers.

Posted by
44 posts

There is a comfortable, overnight train service on this route. You leave Krakow at about 10 p.m., you arrive in Budapest about 8:30 a.m. Book a sleeping car, and settle down for a night's sleep. You save time, as you travel during the night, and you also save on the cost of one night in a hotel.

Posted by
308 posts

I really enjoyed taking the night train from Krakow to Budapest. I can't say I got a restful night of sleep, but it was nice not losing any day time so I could spend more time in Budapest.

Posted by
12400 posts

Hi,

Regarding direct connections by plane or train: There is also the EN night train connection, Krakow to BP, direct too, if you decide to skip the bus option. Taking the night train option depends on your travel style, I would.