We are planning a trip to Europe in August and want to spend a few days in each of these cities, taking the train between them. It is 8 hours by train from Prague to Krakow and 10 hours from there to Budapest. Any suggestions on a sleeping compartment vs. a day train?
If you search this Helpline for information on night trains, you'll see that Rick and some others like them, and many others don't. If you can't sleep on them (and you won't know until you try it), you will be miserable the next day.
Hi, If you're taking a night train, expect it to be 10-12 hrs. I would do that if the arrival is between 0600-0900, direct after I board, and if the day route involves 2 or more transfers. The day trains usually don't have mandatory reservations but getting a sleeper reqires such a reservation, even if it's just seat in a compartment. When I took the early Krakow-Berlin 10 hrs. (like yours to Budapest), day, it was direct.
Barbara: To go to those three cities is quite a distance on the train. Budapest is 150 miles southeast of Vienna. Prague is 170 miles northwest of Vienna. Krakow is 330 miles due east of Prague. It might be better if you visited Budapest, Vienna and Prague; dropping Krakaw until your next trip. These are all Great European cities, and worthy of spending substantial time in. A trip to Poland greatly complicates your itinerary, and will not result in efficient travel.
I never sleep well on night trains, and dislike getting to my hotel before check in time and having to stash out my luggage.