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Munich - Budapest - Prague - Munich - Train versus fly?

I’m planning a trip this fall for my wife and me. The big picture is that we would fly to Munich RT and from there we would travel to Budapest (three or four nights), then to Prague (three or four nights), then back to Munich (one or two nights) before flying home.

I’m familiar and comfortable with European train travel but with the length of these these six to eight hour train rides I began to wonder if it makes more sense to fly between these cities even with the hassle of getting to/from these airports, dealing with security, etc.

(or alternately – should I just try to book night trains so as to not lose almost entire days on the rails) ?

Thoughts?

Posted by
865 posts

Are you dead-set on flying in and out of Munich? You could fly into Munich, train to Prague, train to Budapest, fly home from Budapest. I see no reason to backtrack to Munich unless the cost savings is dramatic. To me, a 6-hour train ride is the same as flying when you account for checkin, security, and all that. Now 8 hours may tip the balance for me of flying vs. train.

Posted by
20718 posts

Kathy had my same thoughts so I changing my posting. Night trains are essentially a thing of the past and a part of old movies. With the high speed trains and discount airlines, those type of slow, long distance travel are gone. Finally, you get damn little sleep on a night train. One or two for the seek of the experience might be worth it but as a principle means of travel - forget it.

Almost all of our trips are open-jaw, generally cheaper, and far more efficient. We only do RT when we are staying in the area for an extended period of time -- 2,3 weeks.

Posted by
228 posts

You can fly non-stop between Munich and Budapest (check Skyscanner), Budapest and Prague and Prague and Munich. That's what I would do.

Posted by
1580 posts

The fastest connection between Prague and Munich is the bus, like DB bus or RegioJet, which take just over four hours. All things factored in, flying will not save any time but adds more hassle. And bus fares start at approx. €19.

Posted by
1262 posts

Night trains are essentially a thing of the past and a part of old
movies. With the high speed trains and discount airlines, those type
of slow, long distance travel are gone.

Actually not, they are coming back and getting more popular. There are direct night trains between Munich and Budapest and Budapest and Prague that would be perfect for you. And travelling while sleeping is as you mention very time efficient.

Finally, you get damn little sleep on a night train.

That depends, some people have a hard time getting a good night's sleep on a night train, others sleep extremely well.

Posted by
6 posts

Thanks for the replies everyone - I should have mentioned that the reason for the round trip from Munich is that my daughter works for one of the airlines and I am fortunate enough to be able to use one of her passes to/from Atlanta which is my home airport. However, there may be an option to fly from Prague to JFK so that will be something I'll have to check out. Mostly I wanted to get your thoughts on the intra-European travel since most of my previous trips have been wholly within a single country rather than crossing borders

Appreciate everyone's kind and thoughtful responses. Happy Trails!