Our travels in Hungary
Whilst we were travelling in Hungary, we utilised 2 different modes of transport. Below is a summary of where we went, the mode of transport used, the length of time the journey took, and how far it was.
Click on the link in the table below
|Journey||Mode of transport||Distance (miles)||Time taken||Cost per person (Euro)|
|Vienna (Austria) to Budapest||Bus||151||3 hrs||9|
|Budapest (Hungary) to Brasov||Sleeper train||435||13 hrs 45 mins||47|
We were only in Budapest for a day. Therefore we didn’t stay in any accommodation.
From our very limited experience of eating in Hungarian restaurants, both the service and food were good. Not all of the menus were in English and not all of the restaurant staff spoke English. But with some pointing and smiling, we got there.
For our international bus journey between Vienna in Austria and Budapest, we used FlixBus. The international buses generally stop about every 2 hours for a toilet break. The toilets are western-style toilets and don’t have toilet paper. Drinks, snacks, and meals are available where the buses stop.
Hungary’s domestic bus network covers the entire country. Buses tend to be far quicker and more direct than the train.
Bus stations for both long and short distance buses are often found in the same building. However, Budapest has separate bus stations for long-distance and local buses. Arrive early to find the correct departure bay.
Our tickets were purchased through the FlixBus website.
Bus tickets can be purchased in various ways:-
At ticket counters of bus terminals or by using the ticket machines positioned there (paying by cash or bank card).
From the driver of the bus at the time of boarding (paying in cash). If the bus is boarded anywhere other than a bus terminal, tickets can generally only be purchased from the driver.
Seat reservations are only guaranteed by purchased tickets (e.g. at ticket counters, vending machines). Again arriving around 30 minutes before departure time should allow sufficient time for ticket purchases. Buses are reasonably comfortable and have adequate legroom. On longer journeys there are rest stops every couple of hours.
Luggage is stored under the bus. It’s a good idea to keep your valuables with you at all times. Watch your bags being loaded onto the bus and keep an eye on what bags are taken off at stops.
Hungary has a well-developed railway network that covers virtually the whole country.
Trains are probably the most popular means of getting around the country, being inexpensive, and generally running on time. However, the trains are slow, really slow.
Classes of trains
There are three classes of trains-
Fastest and most comfortable trains. These trains only stop at major towns/cities. Seat reservations are also required for this class.
Gyorsvonat and sebesvonat
Fast trains. These stop more frequently than the InterCity trains.
Local passenger trains’. They stop at every city, town, village, and hamlet on the journey.
To purchase train tickets in Hungary, there are 3 options-
The state railway of Hungary website MAV. Train tickets may be purchased through the website. Advance registration by email is required. Once purchased, tickets can be presented to railway staff in a number of ways:-
Downloading to a smartphone.
Printing at home.
Print the ticket using a ticket vending machine at the railway station. This is done using the small blue internet collection machines (Hungarian domestic tickets only) or the larger yellow ticket machines (domestic & international tickets) at the main Hungarian train stations.
The machines have a touch screen facility in English. Simply enter the 10-digit reference number provided when the tickets were booked, touch Bevitel (Hungarian for enter), and outcome the tickets.
Tickets for domestic travel may be purchased from the railway ticket vending machine, payable either by cash or bank card. The ticket vending machines are located at each Budapest terminal, as well as busier Budapest and suburban railway stations.
Finally tickets can be purchased directly from the ticket office at the station.
Train travel tips
Tickets can be purchased on the day of travel up to 30 min before departure.
Sleeping berths can be purchased on the day of travel up to 1 hour before departure. Although if you want to guarantee to get a ticket, we would not recommend leaving your ticket purchase this late. You could be disappointed when you find that the train is fully booked.
Toilet paper and soap, are not provided on trains.
Catering is not always provided, so take food and water. Some stops will be long enough to allow a visit to a station food vendor.
All of our train journeys were safe and enjoyable. Should you be travelling late at night, we would advise sitting with other passengers rather than in an empty compartment.
Budapest Public Transport
Public transportation around Budapest is good and cheap.
You can get to any sight and attraction easily by travelling on the metro, tram, bus, and trolley bus services.
Current ticket prices can be found on The Budapest Public Transportation Center (BKK) website.
A variety of tickets are available, including single journey tickets and travelcards, which are valid for longer periods of time.
A single ticket is valid for one journey and requires validation after purchase and before travel. Simply insert the ticket face up, numbered end first in the orange validation machines provided.
Provided a station is not excited. Transfers between metro trains with the same ticket are permitted.
However, each time you board a new vehicle (bus, tram or trolley bus) or the mode of transport is changed. You will need to purchase and validate a new ticket.
Travel cards are valid for an unlimited number of journeys over a longer period of time and don’t require validation for each journey.
If public transport is used at least five times within 24 hour period. Then a more economical option would be the day pass.
Located at the bus and tram stops at all metro stations. Tickets can be purchased from the purple machines
Payment can be made with Hungarian Forints or international credit/debit cards. The machine allows the selection of several different operating languages, including English, Spanish, German, and French.
The purchase of single tickets from drivers is possible on some buses and trams in the city center. They are cash purchases only and are more expensive than a ticket from the machines.