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activate my railpass

landing by air in budapest... where can I activate my railpass?
will they activate it at the downtown MAV ticket office? thanks for help!

Posted by
1826 posts

It is activated at the first train station ticket counter you ask to do it.

Posted by
52 posts

thank you, but..... I dont want to activate it immediately as it has limited travel days... so I was hoping to be able to activate it downtown at the MAV office Rick mentions. anyone have knowledge about this?

Posted by
1826 posts

I don't know what the MAV ticket office is but I know you can activate your railpass at any ticket station you want, andy time you want. We have paid for point to point tickets before activating a pass, and have bought point to point tickets after our pass ran out. You do not have to use a MAV ticket office. Any ticket counter will have someone to activate your pass whenever you want it done. Well, maybe not at 2:00AM in podunk village.

Posted by
1568 posts

When planning our 8 week trip to Europe and it was firm. I then compared point-to-point ticket costs to cost of a travel day on our Rail Passes. Next step was to calculate when to use a Rail Pass Day. For example....Paris to Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland...used a Rail Pass Day. Saving money is all in the research and planning. Activate your Rail Pass the first time you use you Rail Pass....just before you get on the train. Ask a train station agent..I am not sure what the MAV is.

Posted by
127 posts

While I did not validate my pass when I was in Budapest, I'd validated my pass at the West Banhof station in Vienna on the day I first traveled--went like clockwork. I'd check with the MAV ticket office in Budapest. If staff there can't help you and directs you to a rail station, go to whichever station will send you on your journey--whether it's Keleti or Nyugati in Pest, or Deli in Buda. You might write out in Magyarul what you need, in case staff at the rail station doesn't speak English. The Budapest Metro stops at each station: M2 (red) line goes to Keleti and Deli; M3 (blue) goes to Nyugati. M2 and M3 intersect at Deak Ferenc ter. Be sure to present your passport.

Posted by
11250 posts

MAV is the Hungarian rail company (like FS in Italy, DB in Germany, or SNCF in France). Just as there are SNCF Boutiques in French cities, Budapest has a central MAV office, which Rick says is easier to use than the train stations. What Michael needs to know is, can you activate your rail pass without using up a day, or must you wait until the first day of use to activate it? This way, he can plan where is the most convenient time and place to activate it. He also needs to know if he can activate it at the MAV office (I'm guessing he can, but don't know for sure). If not, he needs to plan a separate trip to the station, or else arrive early at the train station on his first travel day. (Sorry, Michael, I don't know the answers myself. But I hope clarifying your issues helps others give you the answers).

Posted by
4359 posts

"It is activated at the first train station ticket counter you ask to do it." What Monte said is still true; he didn't say validate it immediately at the first tkt counter you see, just at the first one you ask. RS' info on activating railpasses: http://www.ricksteves.com/rail/usepass.htm If RS says it's easier to use the downtown MAV tkt ofc, that's good enough for me... Sounds like you're using a Global Pass continuous pass, or traveling for two months...?