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Train Venice to Budapest

Adelaide
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Train Venice to Budapest

My wife and I will be travelling in Europe this September, mostly by rail. One of our legs is Venice to Budapest, and then on to Vienna. I've searched Trenitalia and Bahn.de for infoemation, and come away more confused than ever.

Can anyone shed some light on ways to cover this leg by rail, or are we better off flying.

Albufeira, Portugal
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1. Re: Train Venice to Budapest

I think the best option is to travel via Vienna but it is very long journey and you might consider flying.

Venice to Vienna in daytime itself is a 7 hour journey, the first 3hrs 30 minutes hours of which are actually on a bus to Villach! Or there is one train at night, leaving Venice at 2105 arriving in Vienna Westbahnhof at 0822 next morning. There is a train from Vienna Westbahnhof to Budapest at 0954. The fast trains between Vienna and Budapest run about every 2 hours.

You can get the details but not buy tickets at www.reiseauskunft.bahn.de

I hope that helps.

Quainton, United...
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2. Re: Train Venice to Budapest

No problem! And the train ride saves a hotel bill and takes you from centre to centre, not just remote airport to remote airport.

1) Take an afternoon Railjet from Budapest to Vienna in just 3 hours. The 15:10 from Budapest Keleti arrives Vienna Westbahnhof at 18:00. Why not take an earlier one and see a bit of Vienna?

You can buy this ticket at the station for around €30, no advance reservation needed, or save a bit of money by pre-booking at www.MAV-start.hu (Hungarian Railways website) from €19. It's a bit fiddly, if you use Google Chrome browser this will translate the pages where the system switches itself back from English to Hungarian. But it does work!

2) Now take the 20:40 EuroNight sleeper train from Vienna Westbahnhof to Venice Santa Lucia, on the very banks of the Grand Canal, arriving at 08:34 next morning.

This has comfortable Austrian sleeping-cars with 1 & 2 bed compartments with washbasin, a few deluxe sleepers with 1, 2 or 3 beds and private shower & toilet, and 4 and 6 bunk couchettes (basic flat sleeping bunks with rug and pillow).

You can pre-book this train at the Austrian Railways website www.oebb.at.

If you book in advance cheap 'clover leaf' fares start from just €39 with a couchette or €69 per person with a bed in a 2-bed sleeper with washbasin with complimentary 'welcome' drink or sparkling wine and a light breakfast included.

Edited: 9:22 am, May 28, 2012
Europe
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3. Re: Train Venice to Budapest

In case OP has some time I would suggest to skip Vienna (and Austria overall), especially since it will be next destination after Budapest, but instead see Bohinj Railway and catch cheap Ljubljana-Budapest train for which you don't need to book any tickets in advance.

Plan would look something like Venice-Gorizia-Nova Gorica-Jesenice-Ljubljana, spend a night there and continue by the morning train to Budapest. Total fare (from Venice to Budapest) per passenger will be around 55 euro without any need to buy tickets in advance, plus you get to see a bit of Slovenian capital

If time does matter, than going via Vienna is fastest option, although a bit expensive even with discounted tickets. Vienna-Budapest ticket bought in advance from OeBB website is 19 euro, while same thing on the way back Budapest-Vienna is 13 euro (if bought from MAV website). Also, in case you stay in Budapest <4 days, OeBB does sell a limited amount of special Excursion tickets, it is return Vienna-Budapest ticket for 39 euro, the later are usually still available when one-way 19 euro ones are already sold out

Quainton, United...
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4. Re: Train Venice to Budapest

Sorry, got it the wromg way round...

Venice depart 21:05 by EuroNight sleeper, arriving Vienna Westbahnhof 08:22.

Book this at the Italian railways site, NOT the Austrian, www.fsitaliane.it (tip: Double seat compartment = 2-bed sleeper!). Look for the fare selector and try 'smart' price, this is the cheap book-ahead rate.

09:54 Railjet from Vienna arrives Budapest keleti at 12:49.

Book this at the Austrian site, www.oebb.at from €19.

Adelaide
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5. Re: Train Venice to Budapest

Thanks for your valuable input everyone. We will be spending 3 nights in Vienna after Budapest, then on to Prague and finish in Munich on around 1 Oct for the second week of Oktoberfest. We're meeting our son and some friends there, so that's the only date cast in stone.

I had thought that Venice - Budapest - Vienna - Prague - Munich was the logical way to do this, but if we're going through Vienna to get to Budapest I may have to rethink the route.

australia
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6. Re: Train Venice to Budapest

Just a question on the Venice to Vienna night train: We seem to have missed out on any 'Smart' fares for 2 seat compartment Is there a real chance by not booking now with full price ticketing, that we may miss out on the 2 seat compartments thus needing to resort to couchettes or 2nd class??

In other words, should we now be booking for mid September?

Thanks

Quainton, United...
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7. Re: Train Venice to Budapest

If you book a month or two ahead, you should see 'smart' fares, but book as soon as booking opens for the best rates, just as you would for flight tickets.

Edited: 7:21 am, June 29, 2012
australia
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8. Re: Train Venice to Budapest

Thanks for the quick reply. I can book 'normal' price for the date, but Smart appears to have been taken. Guess we will have to wear this one and put it down to inexperience in Europe train bookings!

NY
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9. Re: Train Venice to Budapest

My wife and I are thinking about doing the same trip the same time of year as you. How did it work out for you? Was the weather good?

Any help or comments would be greatly appreciated!

Adelaide
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10. Re: Train Venice to Budapest

@Mrschris, this thread has been dead awhile now, and I only chanced on your post purely by accident when looking at who we booked through to help another TA member, but here goes:

Following advice given above, most notably by the man in seat 61, we changed our itinerary a bit and ended up going from Venice to Vienna via overnight train, stopping there for a couple of days before heading on to Budapest, Prague and Munich.

Cabin on the night train was pretty small, and we had a fair bit of trouble fitting two medium size cases in. Despite booking well in advance we couldn't get any reduced fares, and ended up paying (I think) around 245 euro for a twin sleeper. Beds were narrow, no leg space to speak of while sitting, and pillow was the size of a handkerchief and almost as thin.

I thought I didn't sleep much, but my wife (Helsie57 above is my wife) said I snored all night, so I must have slept. Regardless, we both arrived at Vienna around 8:45 (train was late) pretty tired and both feeling sleep deprived. After this experience we re-arranged our planned itinerary to avoid any more overnight journeys. A few days later we continued our trip into Budapest via the Railjet day service.

Weather in Vienna was coolish, with a little light rain at times but not unpleasant. But we didn't really take to Vienna, and I still wonder if our bad overnight train experience was partly to blame for that. Weather in Budapest was wonderful: warm enough to go to the thermal baths and enjoy getting out of the water.

If you sleep well on trains, then all I can say is go for it. But don't combine a night train with an immediate departure from Vienna by day train to Budapest. There's just so much a human body can endure (especially at our age).

Hope this helps.