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Night train from Krakow to Budapest

Has anyone taken the night train from Krakow to Budapest? Or can you give me some advice? My wife and I are thinking about getting a sleeper car through the night so we can tour Budapest when we get there. Any things to expect like will we sleep ok? Would we have to get up in the middle of the night to show our tickets? Do the sleeper cars have a private bath and shower? Any information would be helpful. Thank you. Dallas Howard

Posted by
1386 posts

You'll get dramatically different points of view on this topic. And the real answer is "only you can know."

I took the night train from Krakow to Prague and loved the adventure of it! I slept soundly through all the station stops and starts. I woke up ready to begin a full day of sightseeing. (I was taking cold meds, which may have helped.) I was not woken up to show my ticket. I have a vague (and subject to bad memory) recollection that the conductor took my ticket in the evening and gave it back to me in the morning. Not 100% sure of that.

The sleeper car I booked was en-suite, with private bath and tiny shower. There were other sleeper cars that were beds only. You can choose when you book.

Because the train originates in Poland, I was never aware of a way to book online. I used PolRail and had an excellent experience. They delivered my train tickets to my Krakow hotel a few days before my stay with everything in order.

Edit to add: sorry, I see I had already responded to your broader request in the Czech forum. Sorry for the duplication. Perhaps someone else has taken the specific Krakow-Budapest train.

Posted by
48 posts

I took a night train from Krakow to Prague a few years ago. It was a very uncomfortable night with little sleep. The sleeper car looked as if it was leftover from the communist era. It was very cramped and spartan. There was no private bathroom, only a small non working sink. The electrical outlets in the compartment also did not work. We heard brakes screeching at every stop during the night. I recommend spending extra on alternative means of transportation.

Posted by
6540 posts

Forget night trains. The Flixbus is the preferred way by ground from Krakow to Budapest--240 miles and 7 hours. But you can fly reasonably on Lufthansa, Lot or Austrian airlines in 65 minutes during the day.
I'm okay on trains up to 4 hours. After that, I'm not into the journey. Remember that many trains in the East are not like the trains you experience in Italy and France. They are old, dingy, slow and have bad ventilation.

Posted by
12084 posts

I don't dispute those aspects of what could bother you when taking a night train. That's true, I come across them on each night train I take. They don't bother me. I don't take that sleeper option either.

This route Krakow to Budapest I've not taken on a night train but long routes, Hamburg to Vienna, Düsseldorf to Vienna, and so on I 've done numerous times.

Take the night night to Budapest. Check out the offerings.

Posted by
364 posts

I used to take night trains all the time, but now they're much more infrequent in Europe. I've had good and bad experiences - one from Berlin to Munich that was horrible, others from Switzerland to Holland and Italy that were fantastic. Generally you hand your ticket to the attendant shortly after boarding and he/she gives it back to you in the morning - you're not woken up in the middle of hte night. I used to just take an antihistamine and set an alarm for myself 30 mins before my arrival.

Posted by
1 posts

We took the night train in May of this year Krakow to Prague. We also used PolRail. We picked up our tickets at the post office in Krakow. They sent clear instructions and it was very easy. I would suggest you book early this way if you want a private bath because those are limited.

We booked the private sleeper with en suite. It was small but adequate. All the outlets worked as did the tiny washroom. I did not sleep well but my husband did. I fully expected that to happen as I am a light sleeper. The train swayed alot in the night as it made stops. We were able to shower and get ready for the day with the private bath.

Even though I did not sleep the best I would do it again if the option is available. We were able to hit the ground running early in the morning and did not lose a day. We are only able to be away for 2 weeks at a time so all of our hours are precious. I also do not love dealing with airports and transport to and from. We were able to walk to our hotels from the train stations in each location.

I also looked alot for advice before and while I was nervous we decided to go for it and I'm glad we did.

Posted by
12084 posts

The advantage in taking night trains in central and east-central Europe is that certain cities are night train hubs, Budapest is one of them , so is Munich....all very advantageous. This last trip of 18 days in October I factored in two night train rides.

Posted by
3112 posts

I've taken multiple night trains although not this one, and my experiences have varied. In private (e.g. 1 or 2 person compartments) I tend to sleep well, but then I'm a sound sleeper. I don't recall any with private baths and showers. In 6 person compartments or if you're a light sleeper, it's more difficult to get a good night's rest. Unless Budapest is the last stop for the night train, you'll need to make sure you're awake for the stop as there are no wakeup calls. Krakow to Budapest is all Schengen so you shouldn't be awakened to show tickets or passports. These days I prefer to fly rather than to endure an overnight train.