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Train travel in Eastern Europe

Does anyone have tips on train travel from Prague to Krakow and then to Budapest? Do I have to buy tickets way ahead of time or may I wait until I'm over there? Any problems with overnight train travel between countries? Would you advise to fly? I welcome all suggestions.Thanks!

Posted by
1158 posts


Sometimes is cheaper to fly, plus it takes much less time.
There are some European discount airlines such as:, ,, you might want to take a look at.
I heard that skyeurope has good deals until Oct.
I actually checked a few routes, and you can fly for less than $100 RT from many/to cities.
Make sure you check the total price. Taxes might be higher than the aitfare itself.

Posted by
1423 posts

Please do a search for all similar questions that have been posted. Most of your questions have already been answered. If you are still unsure, then ask again.

I personally never buy the train tickets ahead while in the US. At most I buy 1 or 2 days before traveling and only when I'm in Europe

Posted by
189 posts

I would suggest that if you are looking for a specific train on a specific date - such as the overnight train - you book ahead so you can be sure of your plans. If it's not a specific train you need, then most people seem to suggest to wait until you are in-country.

Posted by
12040 posts

If you travel during the day, there is no reason to buy train tickets in advanced. The Prague to Krakow leg of the trip is not particularly long, and if you have a clear day, you'll see some wonderful scenery of the (distant) Carpathian Mountains.

Posted by
30 posts

Dear Sue, in September 2005 we visited Warsaw, Krakow, Budapest, Viena and Prague by train. We bought the train tickets at the stations and never had a problem. The train from Krakow to Budapest was a night train, and that was the only one we bougt in First Class.
Happy Travels!

Posted by
10 posts

When I traveled in Eastern Europe by train, I always bought the first class tickets and usually bought them the day before or day of.

Posted by
2788 posts

Have you checked out: Graffiti Wall/Archived Topics/Train Traveler's Tips yet?

Posted by
26 posts

Sue, last year we did basically the same trip. On both connections, we took the night sleeper train, and it was wonderful. You must book ahead if you want the private sleeper cabin (Private room, bunk-bed, sink, about 60sq. feet). Other-wise you could by tickets for just the train, with no sleeper cabin on the spot. But you would be "sleeping" maybe in a regular train compartment car with no private bed. I think the sleeper was about 100usd for each connection for 2 people. It is the only way to go. You save on a nights hotel room rate, and get to take the very long (8-10 hour) train trip by night, and arrive early in the morning fully refreshed. Our morning started early in Krakow, about 6am but it was the most refreshing, crowd free, 3-4 hours of sightseeing watching Krakow wake up.