Trains from Budapest to Vienna: How To Travel Cheap by Train?

Traveling by train from Budapest to Vienna is simple, cheap and comfortable. Now you can even save by buying your train ticket online in advance. Here are some frequently asked questions with the answers:

Railjet - economy class seats of Budapest - Vienna train travels

Railjet – economy class seats of Budapest – Vienna train travels

How much does it cost to travel from Budapest to Vienna by train?

Single train tickets

The single train ticket from Budapest to Wien is approx. 3600 HUF/ 13 Euros / 20 USD (single ticket). This is currently the cheapest Budapest – Vienna train ticket. This ticket is called SparSchiene‘ ticket (say shpar-shee-ne). An interesting thing is that the Budapest – Vienna train ticket is slightly cheaper to buy in Budapest than in Vienna (e.g. single is 13 Euros in Budapest vs. 19 Euros in Vienna).

Return train tickets

A return train ticket for Budapest – Wien – Budapest is

  • 9300 HUF/ 33 Euros / 45 USD (return ticket). It’s the price of a full adult ticket. This ticket is called TripTicket Austria (Kirandulojegy in Hungarian), which for this price (33 Euros) contains the rail trip from Budapest to Vienna, in Vienna you can use the public transport free of charge for two days, then you can travel back to Budapest. (Note: the train ticket does not contain free public transport in Budapest only in Vienna)
  • 7,100 HUF/ 25 Euros / 33 USD (return ticket, also called TripTicket Austria): the other return ticket from Budapest to Vienna and back to Budapest does not contain the local public transport in Wien, Austria, only the return train trip between the two cities: Budapest-Vienna-Budapest. This option is ideal for a 1 day quick trip to Vienna (in Hungarian ‘Becs’ Bécs)
Nyugati Train Station Budapest

Nyugati Train Station Budapest (photo: Damian Entwistle)

Kids between 6-14 years of age travel at approx. half price, but there is no price discount on the Sparschiene tickets (single train tickets at the cheapest price).

Return Ticket Deals from Budapest

Special deal about the return train ticket: if you buy the more expensive TripTicket Austria return ticket for the route Budapest – Vienna-Budapest, your two-way ticket is valid for 4 days. Plus on the first two (only 2!) days of your trip to Vienna, you can freely use the public transport in Vienna, i.e. trams (streetcars), metros, buses free (incl. VOR 100 zone local buses, S-Bahns, ÖBB regional trains and Wiener Lokalbahnen trains too.), so the ticket acts like a Vienna travel pass combined with the return railway tickets.

What if Discount Tickets are Sold Out?

Budapest Train Departures

Budapest Train Departures (photo: Robin Brown)

Mind you, if the very favorable ‘SparSchiene’ and ‘TripTicket Austria’ tickets are sold out (they are limited and only sold online, so usually they easily sell out weeks before a trip), you can still buy regular train tickets at the railway stations in Budapest a one-way train ticket from Budapest to Vienna is about 6700 HUF/ 24 euros / 36 USD (no public transport pass included), or a standard return ticket for Budapest-Wien-Budapest. So if you cannot book online in advance, or you do not want to book in advance, there are still tickets available, but at a slightly higher price.

The trains have never been so full that no train tickets were available for a given day (there are more trains from Budapest to Vienna on a day, and you will surely get a ticket for one of them! Although Christmas time is special, as many Hungarians love to visit both the Budapest Christmas markets and the Vienna Christmas market!) See further deals and useful travel tips below.

Is it cheaper if I buy the train ticket online?

YES, it is! We do not want to seem overtly joyful as the interface of the Hungarian Rail company’s online train ticket purchase system is still awfully lame and useless (sorry, that’s the truth, even though we love MAV). BUT we have made a detailed guide to How to Buy Hungarian Train Tickets Online?

Let’s just say that the current online purchase system of train tickets is not really prepared for buying railway passes / tickets in English. Although the interface starts off in English, at a point it turns into fully Hungarian. So hopefully our guide will be of help to travel from Budapest to Vienna.

NOTE!

In the Hungarian MAV internet train system:

  • you can buy tickets from Budapest to Vienna
  • you can buy tickets from Vienna to Budapest, if it is a return trip, i.e. Budapest – Vienna – Budapest
  • you cannot buy tickets from Vienna Budapest as a single trip (only in Wien can you buy it)
  • you cannot buy return tickets from Vienna, i.e. Vienna – Budapest – Vienna (only in Wien can you buy it)

In the Austrian OBB internet train system:

  • you can buy tickets from Vienna to Budapest
  • you can buy tickets from Budapest to Vienna, if it is a return trip, i.e. Vienna – Budapest – Vienna
  • you cannot buy tickets from Budapest to Vienna as a single trip (only in Budapest can you buy it)
  • you cannot buy return tickets from Budapest, i.e. Budapest - Vienna – Budapest (only in Budapest can you buy it)

Bear in mind that – supposing you travel from Budapest to Vienna – you cannot buy your ticket via OeBB as they only deal with train trips originating in Austria and not in Hungary (i.e. from Vienna to Budapest and not from Budapest to Vienna). However, you always have the option to buy a return train ticket (currently about 25 euros), and use it as a one-way ticket, which in some cases may be cheaper than a normal one-way ticket. You could ensure your cheap train seat by

  • buying your Budapest – Vienna train ticket online (allow half an hour) OR
  • by going to any of the major train stations in Budapest:  Nyugati Train Station (the nicest!), Deli Train Station or, where most of the Budapest – Vienna trips depart from, Keleti train station a few days before the planned trip (especially in summer time / high season). Don’t forget to take Hungarian forints with you. Younger train ticket agents are more likely to speak English.
Budapest - Vienna railjet trains at Keleti Pu Railway Station in Budapest, Hungary

Budapest – Vienna railjet trains at Keleti Pu Railway Station in Budapest, Hungary

Are there Further Train Deals?


Special discount is for kids between the age 6 and 14 (approx. -50%). Additional goodies: the TripTicket Austria ticket includes a two-day free public transportation pass in Vienna: during the first 2 days in Vienna, you can freely travel by trams (streetcars), metros, buses, and the following vehicles in the VOR 100 zone: local buses, S-Bahns, ÖBB regional trains and Wiener Lokalbahnen trains too. If you are visiting Budapest with kids, and you cannot buy the cheaper train tickets online, don’t worry, you will surely be able to buy some at the cashier: please allow at least one hour before train departure (to locate the cashiers, stand in queues, buy tickets, go to your platform)

Where do trains from Budapest to Vienna leave from?

Budapest-Vienna trains leave mostly from Keleti Train Station (in Hungarian Keleti Palyaudvar), abbreviated as Keleti pu. railway station (say: keh-let-tee pah-yah-ood-vahr). Some trains leave from Deli train station.

If you arrive at Budapest airport, and take the train to Nyugati train station , here is how you can get from Nyugati to Keleti train station. Learn more about Budapest airport transfer here. If you want to buy a Budapest card, you can get it online here (5% discount on online buying). Budapest cards (24h, 48h, 72h), are in fact quite cool: check out the 2013 list of Budapest card benefits. The cards include the local transport in Budapest, free guided tours, free tickets to museums, and many more discounts (even a free ticket to a Budapest bath). You can also buy simple Budapest travel passes, without further tourism deals (just for travel).

You can easily get to Keleti Railway Station by taking the metro (M2 red metro line) and getting off directly at Keleti pu. station (approx. 10-15 min from the city center, Deák tér station). You can also take the bus number 7, whose route goes from the Buda side to the Pest side and touches upon Gellert Spa Bath, Elisabeth Bridge, Vaci utca shopping street, Astoria square, Blaha square and then Keleti Train Station.

Where on earth is Keleti Pu. Railway station?


OK, here’s the Budapest Tourist Map to help you (see the train sign in the middle? You can also click on any of the icons to get more info, or follow the blue link ‘View Larger Map’ under the map to get a larger picture of Budapest).


View Budapest Tourist Map in a larger map

How long does the train trip take from Hungary to Austria?

Traveling time is about 3-4 hours (similarly to the Budapest Vienna bus ride). Check the exact duration here.

Are there any passport checks, delays or other inconveniences when the train crosses the border of Austria and Hungary?

Not any more! Hungary joined the Schengen area December 21, 2007. No more borders to keep buses up for passport check. (likewise, rail passengers enjoy the same smooth crossing between the two countries). But if you are a tourist from outside the EU, you will need to check if you need a visa to Hungary, and a visa to Austria.

How many trains leave for Vienna a day? What about the train schedule?

Trains leave almost every two hours! So trains are very frequent between these two beautiful cities. For instance, on a weekday you could leave Budapest for Viena at approx. 6am, 7am, 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm, 6pm, 7pm, 8pm, 9pm. Excellent connections, right? The Budapest-Vienna train schedule may change, so always check the fresh data, please:

Where can I buy train tickets in Budapest?

Train tickets can be bought at any railway stations in Budapest: e.g. Nyugati Pu (on the Pest side – accessible easily by blue metro line), Deli pu (on the Buda side – accessible easily by red metro line) or at Keleti pu (on the Pest side – accessible easily by red metro line). All 3 major railway stations are quite close to the city center, and are the names of given metro stops, so you can’t miss them.
Online purchase: unfortunately, on the Hungarian railway ticket system, you need to speak Hungarian to go through the purches process, so let’s skip this option for a while. Here is the Austrian railway ticket system online train ticket system, or you can call the Austrian call center if you have any questions: 00-43-05-1717.

Are the Budapest – Vienna trains comfortable?

Sure they are. If you need something more comfy, you need to buy a more expensive train ticket for the first class (the prices above refer to second class regualr seats)

Keleti Train Station, Budapest - photo by Matt Francis

Keleti Train Station, Budapest – photo by Matt Francis

Any quick programs at Keleti railway station?


If you are stuck at Keleti train station (which is a beautiful historical building), and you have a couple of hours to kill, for example you want to eat something in the neighborhood, there are some budget options or mid range options in the vicinity of Keleti train station:

  • McDonalds with a McCafe 2 min walk from the entrance of the train station
  • Montenegroi Gurman Balkan Bar, 12 min walk, open day and night, 24/7 food bar
  • Sissi Food Bar (Sissi Ételbár), 8 min walk, Mon – Fri: 7:30 am-4:00 pm
  • sausages, chicken legs, etc. at the counter of a traditional Hungarian butcher, 80 Rakoczi Way Budapest District VII, about 7 min walk
  • you can see from the entrance of the train station the Golden Park Hotel or diagonally the Best Western Hotel Hungaria, which are two hotels right on the Baross square (5 min walk from the railway station) – you can have an elegant cup of coffee or lunch there.

Budapest Attractions by Keleti Train Station:

In general, the city center is only 15-20 min by metro (red metro line) so you can check out some of the attractions of Budapest (also on the map).

Buses or Trains from Budapest to Vienna?
The vast majority of users on forums (me added) will say: TRAINS are better to travel from Hungary to Austria. But if you wish to learn more about bus travel from Budapest to Vienna, follow the link.

What to do in Budapest?

Here are some ideas what to do in Budapest, Budapest attractions and upcoming events (festivals, concerts, exhibitions, free programmes, etc.) in Budapest Events Calendar - note: the calendar is a bit slow to download but worth having a look at.

Last updated: June, 2013

Comments

  1. Ken Bielman says:

    What is the name of the railroad depot on the Austria/Hungary border on the line from Vienna to Budapest?
    Thanks,
    Ken

  2. Hi, I will arrive in Budapest Saturday May 22nd noon, and i would like to travel by train from Budapest to Vienna on Monday morning may 24th. If I buy the ticket shortly after my arrival in budapest, would I be able to buy the SparSchiene ticket? I’m on a budget and I don’t want to pay full price. Would you be able to book it for me? (I’ll pay you in advance). Please contact me through my email

  3. Anna from Budapest says:

    Dear Megan, I am sorry but we cannot make a reservation for you. I hope you will be able to to buy the SparSchiene from Budapest to Vienna. I cannot forecast the train traffic for May, but I think you stand a good chance if you try the train ticket booking on the day of your arrival. Have a nice time in Budapest and Vienna.

  4. I will be doing a similar trip in Sept. Will be going from Keleti to Bratislava, then to Vienna then back on my trip. My question is I’ll be getting to my hotel (near Keleti) around 10pm and was wondering if you can still purchase tickets for the next morning (5:30) at that time? Also where exactly do I buy tickets in the station? I have heard the international tickets are to the left as you enter the main area. Also how common is it for ticket agents to speak english? Thanks…

  5. Thanks for your help, it s been a long time that I m looking for this information.

  6. Hi
    My family and I plan to cycle from Vienna to Budapest this summer. Can we take our bikes on the train back to Vienna? Many thanks, Pippa

    • Anna from Budapest says:

      Hi Pippa, most of the trains from Budapest to Vienna have specific bicycle coaches, but not all. You need to check the train schedule for the bicycle symbol to make sure you can take your bike on the train (there is some extra bike transportation fee). Here are some of the Budapest – Vienna trains with the bicycle symbols on top (and wheelchairs for accessibility) (but always check the actual website for updates please): http://www.mav-start.hu/res/a1oda_11.pdf

  7. Can you take luggage (normal traveling suitcase, Not carry on size) on the trains with you? Is there an extra fee? Where would the luggage be stored during the train ride?

  8. It’s not so expensive

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  10. Hallo,

    thank you for the information. I’ll travel with my wife from Vienna to Budapest. But still searching the cheap transport to there. Any suggestion? Or can I use the Sparschiene ticket too for Vienna-Budapest?

    regards,
    azhan

  11. Hi I travel from Vienna to Budapest. Please advise where I could get sparschiene ticket in Vienna? Is there any website for this train ticket? Thanks

  12. Anna from Budapest says:

    Hello, there are Sparschiene rail tickets issued in Vienna, if you want to travel from Vienna to Budapest. ÖBB sells tickets there, and you can order your train ticket online on the official OeBB site with a form:
    https://ticket.oebb.at/bin/frame_ticket.pl?ticket=jticket.pl
    (you will see that the default language is set for German, so click on the English language option in the upper left hand corner – English language option is with tiny red letters)
    Have a nice trip and let us know how your ticket purchase worked.
    Anna

  13. I will be travelling from Budapest to Vienna by coach. my final destination is Vienna airport. does the coach leaving Budapest pass by / stop at Vienna airport?

    george

    • Anna from Budapest says:

      Hello George, having checked the Hungarian bus company website (Volanbusz.hu / Eurolines ), there are 2 options when you buy your bus ticket from Budapest to Vienna:
      Vienna Airport Ankunft Vorplatz (Arrival side)
      Vienna VIB U3 Station Erdberg
      So based on the website info I would say yes, but if you want to be absolutely sure, please contact the official site at info@volanbusz.hu or you can try their facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/eurolineshungary

  14. Hi, i was just wondering if you can buy a return ticket by train from Budapest to Vienna on the day at the train station or do you have to book before hand?

    • Anna from Budapest says:

      Hello Domenic, it is safer to book beforehand, but, especially in low season, I think you stand a good chance to get a return ticket (Budapest-Vienna) on the day of the trip too.
      Kind regards,
      Anna

  15. Hi Anna,

    Thank you for your response

    How much is a train ticket in January from Budapest to Vienna return?
    Do you know of any day tours from Budapest to Vienna?

    • Anna from Budapest says:

      Hi Domenic, you may wish to buy the Sparschiene return train ticket from Budapest to Vienna – http://www.mav-start.hu/utazas/sparschiene.php
      You can get it from 25 euros depending on availability, seasons, etc. but I have no idea how MÁV, the Hungarian train company updates its prices from January (the website fees are valid until mid Dec).
      One day tours? There must be several. I googled Vienna-Budapest 1 day tour and found this for instance http://www.gohungarytours.com/itin/regular-tours-budapest/vienna-tour.html
      (I looked at the programme and there is no guided tour on the way from Budapest to Vienna)
      But, if I were you, I would simply buy the Sparschiene and have a tour arranged in Vienna separately. Vienna Explorer is a tour agency that got great reviews on tripadvisor: Haidmannsgasse 8, Vienna 1150, Austria (they seem to have all sorts of tours: wine tasting, cycling, city tours, etc.) http://www.viennaexplorer.com/
      Hope this helps

  16. Thank you so much for this website; it helped a lot!

    I am going to Vienna on Thursday (three days from now). I’ll be arriving at Budapest airport at 11.40am, no luggage except carry-on. Will I have any trouble catching the 1.10pm departure for Vienna?

    I used the Hungarian website (MAV-Start) for as long as it was in English, and got listed a price of 13 euros (SparSchiene, one-way). Is it possible to get some simple translation of how to continue the online-booking, or will I be able to buy a ticket at the train station for a somewhat similar price?

    All help is deeply appreciated!

    • Anna from Budapest says:

      Hello Espen,
      to be honest, it sounds a tight timing from the airport to the train station but you may be OK – I myself would not have timed it so sparingly.
      I am sure you can buy a ticket at the train station if they are not fully booked yet (as it is December it is not likely), but you may not get it at the same favourable price.
      Anna

  17. Thank you Anna

  18. Hi Anna! Thank you for the information, it helps a lot! A quick question: the one way SparSchiene Bud-Vienna (13eur), also includes free transport en Vienna? Or is it just for the return ticket?
    Thanks a lot!! : )

  19. Hi Mariel, I am not sure, and the (Hungarian MAV) website is not helpful in this respect unfortunately. The free local transport within Vienna is only mentioned on the page specifying the details for the Budapest – Vienna return train ticket which I think suggests that the single Sparschiene ticket does not include further discounts and free rides.
    The cashier will let you know what options you have if you ask about the details.
    Have a good trip!

  20. As soon as a get to Budapest I will go to the station and ask about the details. Thank you Anna!

  21. Hi Anna!!
    Thanks a lot for all the info you blog! I have found it really useful as I am travelling to Budapest next May.
    I wonder if you could help me as I have planned to do Budapest-Vienna on the 31st of May, should I wait till I arrive in Budapest (on the 27th) to get the ticket? Would it be possible to have not ticket availability if I wait that long?
    Any piece of advice would be highly appreciate.
    Best regards

  22. Hello Begona,
    as far as I know there is no way to make an advanced booking via the Hungarian website yet, but the best is to contact MÁV directly and find out about the current options. You can mail them directly at eszrevetel@mav-start.hu.

    But I think you should be OK to buy your ticket on 27th at the Budapest MÁV cashier, 4 days in advance. Please let us know.
    Anna

  23. Hi Anna, I am trying to get a train ticket from Budapest to Bratislava on the website http://www.mav-start.hu/english/index.php without much success.
    The site keeps giving an error when I try to input the departure date in the format asked. The requested format is yyyy.mm.dd, and I am inputing 2012.04.06 but still get the error message.
    I am looking for a ticket from Budapest to Bratislava on Friday 6th April at around mid day.
    Could you please let me know where/how could I book it?
    How much would it be?
    If I do not book it until my arrival to Budapest, 2 days before the trip to Bratislava (4th April) is there any chance all tickets for the 6th April are sold out or should I be ok to buy it at the station with only 2 days in advance? I am a bit worried, bearing in mind the 6th April is high season (Good Friday, Easter).
    Many thanks for your help.
    Dulci.

  24. Hi Dulci, I have checked the site for Budapest – Bratislava for April the 6th and I also got an error message while proceeding to ‘ticket information’, but if you just give the date and stay on the page right after giving the date, you will get a long list of the trains available – for midday it should be a Eurocity train at 11:25 or 13:25. Both of them direct trains, from Keleti railway station in Budapest, arriving about 3 hours later in Bratislava (2:41 is the duration). I think you should be fine buying the ticket personally two days before the planned date even if it’s Easter time. There is no online booking or advanced purchase via the website anyway – at least, not that I know of. So good luck! Hope this helps

  25. Can’t understand why, if you want cheap rail info for Vienna Budapest you only get Budapest Vienna from Anna.
    Am I loosing it! Clem.

  26. hola!! llego a budapest un viernes y me voy a viena el lunes, podre comprar un SparSchiene el viernes en keleti cuando llegue a budapest o lo tendré que pagar mas caro?
    un saludo

    • Anna from Budapest says:

      Hello Oscar, could you repeat your question in English please? As much as I understand Spanish is
      -if you can buy your ticket at Budapest Keleti train station to Vienna: yes, you can
      -if it is going to cost more: you may get a deal if you book / buy your ticket well in advance (which is currently impossible from outside Hungary as the paying system is not set up for international transactions as far as we know), but you will still get a ticket at a good price at the cashier I think

  27. Ana Oliveira says:

    Hi!

    I’m going from Budapest to Vienna in the 19th of april. I’ve heard that it’s better to go by train, but since I don’t speak either German or Hungarian, its impossible to buy the tickets by the internet. Do you think its risky to buy the tickets when I get there, in the 17th? (I’m affraid that there will be no more tickets available then) And would it be much more expensive?

    Thank you!

    • Anna from Budapest says:

      Hi Ana, the problem is not the language problem but the awkwardness of the online paying system (both Hungarian and Austrian) at the train companies I’m afraid. I think you will be fine to get a ticket 2 days in advance for Budapest-Vienna. Have a nice trip!

  28. Hi! I’m planning to go to Vienna from Budapest’s, by train. I’ll arrive at the airport at 13:50 on April 28th. What is the best way to do it?
    How much is a round-trip to Vienna, from Budapest? I’ve seen some “seat reservation” supplements, what is that? Many thanks and congratulations for your blog! :)

    • Anna from Budapest says:

      Hi Nuno, I am somewhat puzzled. You mean how to get to Budapest airport to the train station and head to Vienna without sightseeing or anything? There are taxis, buses and even a train from the airport (recently renamed as Liszt Ferenc airport) to Nyugati train station (the cheapest way).
      round trip: if you can get the cheaper Sparschiene a return train ticket should be around 8600 HUF, otherwise it could be approx. 11600 HUF.
      Yes, some Budapest – Vienna trains will require you to buy some seat reservation extra ticket (from Dec 2o11, a new regulation – on each Dacia international trains) on top of the standard ticket of about 25 euros (or 31 euros if you buy the expanded ticket which is valid on the buses, trams etc. in Vienna too). The compulsory seat reservation ticket on Dacia trains is about an extra 1o euros – 2o euros for a return trip … quite a lot, I know. Try to schedule your trip for a cheaper international train.

  29. I will be travelling to Europe in July 2012. I want to travel by train from Prague to budapest on 24th July at 07:42 morning, then Budapest to Vienna on 26th July 13:10 in afterniin and finally Vienna to Prague on 28th July 08:25 in morning. My questions are
    1, Is there any ecnomical rail pass for this travel or I have to buy three point to point tickets?
    2, How to make this trip by rail on budget?
    3, What is the cost in euros of these train ticket or pass for this journey?
    4, Where and when to buy tickets?
    5, Is it necessary to book in advance or I can get ticket at stations and will not have any problem regarding reservation?
    6. Will SparSchiene or any other saver deal applicable on this route / tour?
    Hope Anna can difinetly help my queries….
    Regards,
    Asif

  30. Hello everyone!
    I want to book train tickets from budapest to vienna and then from vienna to budapest again .
    I am afraid that on the website http://www.oebb.at/ i can only book the return route!The one that goes from vienna to budapest!
    Can anybody help?!!
    Thank you for your great help!!

    • Anna from Budapest says:

      Hi Angie, sorry about the hassle the ticket purchase systems of the Austrian and Hungarian Train Companies are not harmonised for issuing return tickets. The Austrian OBB therefore has no means to issue online tickets for trains that leave from elsewhere than Austria (outside Austria) as the Hungarian train company, MÁV, cannot see, manage the same database to check which tickets were sold for the same train in Vienna and in Budapest. The problem is that your train trip starts in Hungary, so only the Hungarian train company can efficiently issue return tickets for Budapest – Vienna- Budapest, while the Austrian train company ÖBB can issue return tickets for Vienna-Budapest – Vienna train routes. In the latter case, the Austrian train official could print out a confirmation receipt for you. Unfortunately, the Hungarian train company’s website is not suitable for foreign train ticket purchases, the online system is set for Hungarian buyers, as far as we know. But no worries, once you are in Budapest, you can buy the tickets easily at any of the big train stations (Nyugati Train Station, Keleti Train Station, Deli Train Station – all easily availabel by metros).
      Nevertheless, on Fodor’s travel guide there is an interesting and recent (March 2o12) forum thread, where one of the advisors (EuropeTrainsGuidecom) says this: “The trick is that after choosing a train, MAV website redirects you to the OTP bank webpage (which is in Hungarian) to proceed with payment and there you can already find those few lines where you need to insert your name and card details (manageable with google translate).
      Obviously not the most convenient way to buy tickets, but it allows you to get 13 EUR discounted ticket for one-way travel. Same discounted ticket can be bought at the station as well, but since they are in limited number, then chances to buy it are rather low (unless doing it for week(s) in advance). But at the same time no need to pay full fare (which is 36 euro), since MAV sells special tourist ticket (called Kirándulójegy in Hungarian) for as low as 25 EUR (or 31 EUR with pass for Vienna city transport), those are sold in unlimited number, so easily can be purchased when you already in Budapest” and then one of the users added this super useful info (we haven’t tried it ourselves though, so let us know if it actually works when buying tickets on MAV Start Budapest – Vienna
      “Hi all,
      After playing around with the website for a few more hours, I managed to work it out! There is something wrong with the link when it is in English. When you get to the final page where you want to click on payment, click on the payment button when the page is in Hungarian. It will then finally take you to the OTP website where you can input your credit card details and get your ten digit code to use to pick up your ticket.
      Goodluck!”

      (the original question of the tourist was this: “I have tried to purchase train tickets from Budapest to Vienna at their online website MAV start. Has anyone used this site to successfully purchase train tickets? I pick the train I want and put my tickets into the que. But I cannot find the place to actually put in my credit card information.
      Help please”
      see the forum thread on Budapest Vienna train tickets online here:
      http://www.fodors.com/community/europe/mav-start-questions-buying-budapest-to-vienna-train-tickets-online.cfm

  31. Richard from London says:

    Angie I managed to book rail tickets using the MAV web site with a little help from the Google Translator copying and pasting as I went along. Took a while longer but I succeeded. A little later I discovered a very helpful web site that guides you through the process step by step. Link here. europetrainsguide.com/Advice/How-to-Buy-Train-Tickets/Hungary-MAV.html

  32. Dimitris says:

    I have just paid (online by VISA) for my tickets from Budapest to Wien (23/5) and back (26/5). I received the confirmation email with the 10digit code but when I tried to translate I found out something bizarre. At the last paragraph the google translation says:
    ” 1 x Austrian excursion ticket without a return ticket the second local transport class
    Valid: 23/05/2012 – 05/26/2012
    Price: £ 7,250 (€ 25) ”
    Is it a wrong translation or I did something wrong and I have to pay again for a ticket in Vienna for my return journey?
    Here is the original text in Hungarian:
    ” A kód az alábbi jegyek átvételére jogosítja fel:
    Budapest-Keleti – Wien Westbf
    1 db helyjegy
    Vonat: rj 65 Kocsiszám: 21 Hely(ek): 65
    Indulás: rj WIEN WEST 05.26 15:54
    Ár: 870 Ft (3 €)
    1 db helyjegy
    Vonat: EN 466 Kocsiszám: 412 Hely(ek): 56
    Indulás: EN BUDAPEST KELETI 05.23 19:10
    Ár: 870 Ft (3 €)
    1 db menetjegy Osztrák kirándulójegy helyi közlekedés nélkül menettérti 2. osztály
    Érvényes: 2012.05.23 – 2012.05.26
    Ár: 7 250 Ft (25 €) ”
    Could you, please, translate the last part for me?
    Thank you
    Dimitris

    • Anna from Budapest says:

      Hello Dimitris, no need to worry, your google translation about the Budapest Vienna train trip is pretty scary when it comes to currency too:
      the original Hungarian ticket says ‘Ft’ which is short for the Hungarian currency called Forint (= Ft). For some reason google translated this amount into GBP with the symbol for the English pound, which would be an awfully expensive train ticket…
      So “1 db menetjegy Osztrák kirándulójegy helyi közlekedés nélkül menettérti 2. osztály Érvényes: 2012.05.23 – 2012.05.26. Ár: 7 250 Ft (25 €) ” translates into English properly as

      1 (piece of) train ticket ‘Austrian excursion ticket’ without a return ticket local transport (in Vienna), return (=menettérti), 2nd class (másodosztály)
      Valid: 23/05/2012 – 05/26/2012
      Price: £ HUF 7,250 (€ 25)
      So “helyi közlekedés nélkül” is literally ‘local transport without” i.e. “without local transport”
      Cheers and have a nice train trip to Vienna!
      Anna

  33. Richard from London thank you very much for your great help!!!!

  34. Dimitris says:

    I had figure out already but thank you anyway.
    It’ s a helpful site, I will inform friends who travel to Hungary about the site.

  35. hi i’m going to be in budapest for 6 days in september i want to travel to vienna and bratislava stopping over night in one or both places and then returning to budapest . what type of train ticket would i need to get that allows me to stop and start like this or would it be better to get two seperate tickets ,ie, budapest-bratislava return and bratislava-vienna return. any help would be grateful thanks

  36. Anna from Budapest says:

    Hi Taz, I think separate tickets are your best options. As far as I know MAV, the Hungarian rail company has not made triangular ticket discounts yet, i.e. discounts for visiting 3 tourist destinations (Budapest – Prague – Bratislava – Vienna are typically well visited in the region).
    The train ticket to Bratislava from Budapest will be cheaper if you buy the return rather than the single train ticket. Sounds insane, but the Hungarian MAV and the Slovakian ZSSK give a 60% reduction for return rail tickets. It is easier to buy your ticket at Nyugati Train Station or at Deli Train Station as Keleti train station can be much too busy and unfriendly. Go to the international train ticket offices not the regular ones. The cheapest ticket is 17,5 euros, which is very cheap I think (for a return Budapest – Bratislava) for Budapest Vienna, see our updated info above

    how to buy train tickets online from Budapest: http://budapestblog.luxuryhotelsbudapest.com/how-to-buy-hungarian-train-tickets/

  37. How much distance, in kilometers, is the railway line from Budapest to Vienna?
    Thanks!

    • Anna at Budapest Blog says:

      Hi Gullit, I could only find data for the Hungarian rail distance from Budapest to Hegyeshalom it is 191km regarding the rails in kilometer. How much more from Hegyeshalom to Wien I could only guess based on this data.

  38. Hallo. I have booked online sparschiene return train tickets from Budapest to Vienna. I have read that on the first two days of my trip to Vienna, I can freely use the public transport in Vienna. How does it work?

    • Anna at Budapest Blog says:

      Hi George, the two day ticket starts to calculate your public transit pass in Vienna on the day you start your trip from Budapest to Vienna. There cannot be a break between the dates, they are for consecutive dates. Once you have validated your train ticket, you need to keep it as it also proves that you have a special rail and public transport combined ticket.

  39. What is the difference in price between booking online and booking at the train station? Does the price change the closer to departure you purchase the tickets? Thanks!

    • Anna at Budapest Blog says:

      Hi Scott, sorry, hope still in time: yes, the price of the cheapest online tickets are better than the price of the available train tickets sold at the train station (both single and return train tickets for Budapest Vienna travel). See both prices in the article. You either buy a rail ticket from Budapest to Vienna days or weeks in advance at a cheaper price, or you buy it at the station. There are set prices for both (they do not increase gradually as it if was a train ticket auction system – though an interesting idea)

  40. Also, is it adviseable to reserve seats in advance? Is there standing space?

    • Anna at Budapest Blog says:

      Some of the trains seem to have standing spaces (usually it is stated for a given train route and train type if you need to buy a special seat reservation or not). Please ask the cashier too just to make sure that your ticket will, if needed, include the seat reservation (helyjegy or helybiztositas).
      For the return TripTicket Austria the pdf guide (the pdf is behind the little i letter by the train tickets) says that helybiztositas: nem, which I think means that you will need to buy a special seat reservation on top of the return ticket. But honestly I am not sure, I myself always ask it each time from the cashier for any train travels in or from Hungary. I will try to find it out if I manage to get them on the phone soon.
      For the Sparschiene tickets however, the guide specifically states that the seat reservation IS ALREADY included in the price, so no additional costs are involved.

      There are some Hungarian trains where no seat reservation is needed and these slower trains can get really very full (e.g. the summer trains from Budapest to Lake Balaton). The online train ticket purchase will inform you if you need one or if it is included in the price

  41. hello i just came back from wien and would like to mention a few things,
    1} they cannot print out the Sparchiene tickets in Keleti pu. currently, cos they don’t have the machine that can enter lettes for the booking code, so one must get the tickets by local OBB office that cost 1 euro.
    2} the Sp. tickets don’t include the public transport in Vienna, it’s good because it’s cheaper, but the special deal train tickets by MAV does and it’s 7125ft/adult.

    ~by the guy who bought the ticket twice

    • Anna at Budapest Blog says:

      Hi Jki, many thanks for the heads up! Tickets can be printed out at the other two train stations too (and Nyugati is better to visit if you do the printing in advance).
      Special thanks for the Sparschiene update too, they have renamed the tickets, so I also updated many things in the article (TripTicket Austria is the new English term used by MÁV, which is a literal translation of the kirandulojegy that has been in use for many years, but reflects the differences better between Sparschiene (spar meaning save money in English), which is really very very cheap, a good deal!
      But I do not understand why you bought the ticket twice, what was the problem? Or does it only mean that you have travelled twice from Budapest to Vienna?
      Thanks again!!
      Anna

  42. Hi ,
    Managed to get two tickets from Budapest to Vienna @€13.00 each ,but they are six of us. We make the booking from keliti stations, how far is the distance from Keleti station to Keleti pu? We a bit comfuse. we will be staying at the La Prima fashion hotel, please if you could advice which is the nearest train station we can print our tickets in advance? Date of travel in 29/5/2013.

    • Anna's Guide, Budapest Blog says:

      Hello Lillian, Keleti station is the same building as Keleti pu (Keleti pu means Keleti palyaudvar for short, where palyaudvar is the train station in Hungarian).
      Keleti raiway station is approx. 15 min by bus from Ferenciek square Budapest (closest to La Prima Fashion hotel), while Nyugati train station is 12 min by the M3 blue metro line (also leaving from Ferenciek Square / Ferenciek tere) downtown Budapest. Nyugati can be a bit friendlier I think if all you want is to buy the tickets and print them out. But your train will leave from Keleti, so you may wish to get to know the building a bit before your departure to Vienna.

  43. Hello. I am Hazwan. I am coming to Budapest on the 19th of June by plane but I will continue my journey to Vienna on the 21st. Can I ask for your advice please? How much is the ticket for one way journey and since I am a student in the UK, can I use my student card to get the student price? Is it better for me to buy the tickets online – can I get cheaper price by buying online and can you please provide me the website address to buy the online tickets? I hope you will reply to my questions soon. Thanks lots!

    Kind regards,

    Hazwan

    • Anna's Guide, Budapest Blog says:

      Hello Hazwan, as you are commenting the topic Trains from Budapest to Vienna: How To Travel Cheap by Train? I would assume that you have read through the article, which contains replies and tips for many of your questions. Yes, you can buy a discount student train ticket as you are an EU student and you will need to bring your student ID along with your passport to prove that you are entitled to the discount.
      price, online buying, where to buy the tickets are all in the description above. Hope you will find the time to read it, and have a nice trip for the summer!

      • Hi Anna,

        we are planning to visit budapest and vienna. I found that the MAV return tciket from BUD to VIE is 25 euro valid for 4 days. We are reaching 13 th July to BUD and returning on 16th Morning. Only one day we are planning to vienna, in this case, if my ticket start date 13 th means i can use any day from 13th to 16th?

        Is it correct understanding or we must need to travel on 13th and return valid for 4 days (16th)?

        • Anna's Guide, Budapest Blog says:

          Hello Kumi, if you do not buy a train ticket that is for a specific day, like Sparschiene, I assume you could use it for any time within the given time. We have forwarded your question to MAV about your planned trip, but have not received any info yet.
          I would say that it could be safer to buy your ticket at the cashier. Sparschiene is more complicated than regular return train tickets, gist: only or a given train on a given date, quote (please use google translate to see the details, but the gist should say it all): “A SparSchiene-kedvezmény minden esetben konkrét vonathoz és naphoz kötött, és minden vonatra és napra csak korlátozott mennyiségben kapható. Egyes viszonylatokra az egész mennyiség ugyanazon az áron váltható meg, míg más vonalakon csak a jegyek egy részét kínáljuk a legolcsóbb áron, utána némileg drágábban, de a normál árnál még így is kedvezőbben vásárolhatja meg ezeket a jegyeket.”

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Trackbacks

  1. [...] There are all sorts of boat tours in Budapest, from relaxed, simple tours to fancy tours, like the Budapest Fireworks Cruise, or the Budapest Party Boat, river cruises with beers, cocktails, wines and champagne, boat tours for families with kids – everyone can find their tastes and budget. Most cruises on the river Danube take about 60-90 minutes, some include the tour guides too (audio guide), while other cruise take longer where you can see more than the city centre of Budapest in an hour, and will take you on boat to Szentendre or the Danube Bend, or even from Budapest to Vienna (to be more precise the Budapest – Vienna river cruise is not on a boat, but on a noisy hydrofoil, so you may be better off taking the train from Budapest to Vienna). [...]

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