I can't get into the MAV link to purchase online train tickets from Budapest to Prague. I've tried everything but no luck. Can I just purchase these tickets on the Vienna or Prague online train ticket links instead?
or purchase them when you get to Bpest
I thought i might need to book ahead because of summer travel? I'm traveling on July 15th from Budapest to Prague. If would be great if I could just purchase when I'm there.
I've purchased ticket in town on a number of occasions without any problem. I would suggest you do it your first day in Budapest if possible. I also make no guarantees ;-0 But I travel quite a bit and it is what I would do. I have also tired the MAV site and it does seem to work. They take your money and set a reservation but they will not issue you a ticket on line you have to go to the station to print your ticket. http://www.mav.hu/english/ You may have had problems if you tried to early. In this part of the world its tough to make a reservation for anything more than 60 days in advance (if that soon).
By the way, its a 7 hour trip and the fare is only 19 euro. A real deal, but way too long on a train for me. You really ought to think about stopping in Vienna for a day or two.
I would second James' idea of a stop in Vienna. My wife and I were in all three cities in early May. We traveled by train from Budapest to Vienna to Prague. Each leg was brief enough that we traveled at mid day and thus gave us a "rest" during the day so we could spend all morning and have lunch in the departing city and the afternoon and evening in the arrival city.
This can be done online(because I did it last year) but it's confusing. Try googling "How to buy Hungarian train tickets" and you should get a link to a blog that will walk you through it with pictures. Seems like I also found something similar on tripadvisor. Anyway, I was successful in doing this. You will receive a code and still need to go to any Budapest train station to print your ticket via a machine. The walk thru shows you what the machine looks like which is really helpful.
Or you could just walk into one of the ticket offices in Budapest and buy tickets. As long as you aren't looking for a compartment on a night train you shouldn't have a problem. Here's the address: 1051 Budapest , József Attila utca 16.