I'm just starting to plan a trip to Prague, Krakow & Budapest -- what's the best way to travel between these cities bus or train (safety, cost)? Also, debating on whether to start my trip in Prague and end up in Budapest or, to reverse that? I'll be traveling from Washington, DC. Thanks.
I would start and end with the best flight schedule. Where you start and end is not very important. Use the train. It is cheap and convenient. Last summer we end in Budapest and had difficulty finding a good flight back to Denver. So we actually took the train to Vienna - two hours and connected through Chicago. Better flight options. So -- I might start in Budapest.
This might help.
you could start with rome2rio.com to see the options but you then need to go to the specific transport sites to get accurate schedules. Some may not be daily, some may be at difficult hours. For train schedules you can also use bahn.com. You want Prag hbf and Krakow Glowny, and Budapest (don't specify train stations, there are several).
You are planning 3 cities that are pretty far apart from each other. Most people here recommend flying btween Prague and Budapest as being faster than the train. Getting to Krakow from either city takes even longer. There are no safety issues on trains or buses that I know of. I took the bus from Krakow to Budapest (before there were direct flights) and it took nearly a whole (wasted) day. You'll lose at least 1/2 day in travel from city to city, maybe 3/4.
Unless you have more than 12 nights on the ground, choose 2 of those cities and a third nearby. Vienna is a good stop by train between Prague and Budapest and well worth seeing. Maybe save Krakow for a trip to Poland with Warsaw and Gdansk.