Photo: Yurasov Valery/Shutterstock

You Can Travel From Vienna to Budapest by Train for Less Than $10

Vienna Budapest Train Travel
by Morgane Croissant Jul 25, 2023

If you think that low-cost airlines are the way to travel around Europe, you have not looked at European trains closely enough. The rail network in Europe is extensive and will get you just about anywhere, from big capital cities to small towns you’ve never heard of. Also, European trains are fast , inexpensive, and have no luggage restrictions, therefore competing with even the lowest airline fare you can find. You can travel from Paris to Amsterdam for $50, from Prague to Vienna for less than $14, and from Vienna to Budapest for just $9.95. Now, that’s a deal.

Is there a direct train between Vienna and Budapest?

There are direct trains between Vienna and Budapest every day, departing every hour throughout the day.

Most of the train that travel on this route are EuroCity trains and Railjet Express trains, which are operated by a partnership between the Austrian and Hungarian national railways (ÖBB and MÁV). Others are operated by Regiojet, a private railway company, by MÁV alone, or by the Romanian railways.

Is there a high-speed train between Vienna and Budapest?

Railjet Express trains (RJX), operated by the Austrian and Hungarian national railways together for this route, are high-speed trains that can reach a top speed of 143 miles per hour. Railjet Express trains travel between Vienna and Budapest several times per day, but they are no faster than other trains on this route.

Is there a sleeper train between Vienna and Budapest?

Some the trains that run between Vienna and Budapest are indeed sleeper trains coming from or going further afield, such as the Dacia Express train — operated by the Romanian railways — that goes from Vienna to Bucharest in Romania, or the EuroNight Kálmán Imre train — operated by ÖBB and MÁV — that runs from Munich/Zurich to Budapest. That said, the ride between Vienna and Budapest is much too short (2.5 hours) for travelers between the two cities to need sleeping accommodations.

How long does it take from Vienna to Budapest by train?

The beautiful Budapest Keleti train station

Photo: Yurasov Valery/Shutterstock

Across all railway operators and trains, the direct journey between Vienna and Budapest takes between two hours and 31 minutes and two hours and 42 minutes.

What is the train like from Vienna to Budapest?

Because there are several different trains and operators traveling on that route, the comfort, service, cleanliness, amenities, etc. will vary. That said, the videos below will give you a very good idea of what it’s like to travel between Vienna and Budapest on the Railjet Express train and with Regiojet.

On the Railjet Express train

With Regiojet

How much does it cost to ride from Vienna to Budapest?

The price of the train ride between Vienna and Budapest varies according to the demand at the time of booking, as well as the operator you choose, the class of service you opt for, and the level of flexibility you need regarding changes or cancellations.

As always, it’s very a good idea to book your train trip in advance to get the best price, especially if you’re traveling in the summer when demand is high.

How much does it cost to go from Vienna to Budapest on a Railjet Express or EuroCity train?

On this particular route, Railjet Express and EuroCity trains are operated by both the Austrian and Hungarian national railways (ÖBB and MÁV). Railjet and EuroCity trains are the most frequent trains on this route.

The lowest fare you can get for either of those trains is $14.35 (13 €).

Note that it is consistently cheaper to book your ticket on MÁV’s website than it is to book it on ÖBB’s website — sometimes by a lot!

There are three classes of service on Railjet Express trains: Economy Class, First Class, and Business Class. Railjet Express trains have free WiFi, an on-board restaurant, as well as zones for quiet travelers and families.

EuroCity trains have two classes of service: First Class and Second Class. All the cars (open cars and compartments) have air conditioning, ad there’s an on-board restaurant or a trolley offering food and drinks. There is also a women’s compartment for women traveling alone, a breastfeeding compartment, and a compartment for children.

How much does it cost to go from Vienna to Budapest on a Regiojet train?

The lowest fare you can get to travel with Regiojet on this route is $9.95 (9 €).

Regiojet trains have four classes of service: Low-Cost, Standard, Relax, and Business.

Note that Regiojet also operates buses for that route, so be careful upon booking if you don’t want to purchase a bus ride instead of a train trip.

How many days in Budapest is enough?

Spending three days in Budapest should give you a good feel for the city and allow you to see the big attractions. First on your list should be a guided tour of the Parliament, the most iconic building in all of Hungary. Then, walk on the 19th-century Széchenyi Lánchíd or Chain Bridge, the first permanent bridge over the Danude river unifying the cities of Buda and Pest. From the bridge, you’ll have great views of the Parliament which is beautifully lit up at night. Of course, a trip to Budapest would not be complete without spending a day at one of the city’s famous thermal spas, Széchenyi Thermal Bath being the most well known of them all. In the evening, make sure to visit a few of Budapest’s romkocsma, or ruin bars, to see what the local nightlife looks like. For something a little out of the ordinary, visit some of Budapest’s underground spots, including checking out the caves in the Buda Hills and visiting the very unusual Cave Church.

Where to stay in Vienna and Budapest to be near the train stations?

If you prefer staying in a short-term rental while in Vienna or Budapest, consult Matador’s selection of the excellent Vienna Airbnbs and great Budapest Airbnbs. If it’s a fancy hotel you’re after, check out Matador’s picks for the hotels in Vienna’s trendiest neighborhoods.

We hope you love the hotels we recommend! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay. Listed prices are accurate as of the time of publication.

Best hotel near Vienna’s central station (Vienna Hauptbahnhof): Andaz Vienna Am Belvedere

Photo: Expedia
Photo: Expedia
Photo: Expedia
Photo: Expedia

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Located just seven minutes on foot from the central train station, the Andaz Vienna Am Belvedere hotel is a modern, five-star property of 303 rooms. There is a large variety of rooms and suites on offer to fit every traveler’s need, and all of them have floor-to-ceiling windows from where guests can admire the views of the city, as well as free WiFi and air conditioning. The decor in this property is modern, with elegant and comfortable furnishings and contemporary art pieces. The highlights of this stunning hotel are its well-equipped spa and fitness center, its huge rooftop terrace and bar, as well as its restaurant where you can sample Austrian cuisine.

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Best hotel near Budapest’s main train station (Budapest-Keleti): IntercityHotel Budapest

Photo: Expedia
Photo: Expedia
Photo: Expedia

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The IntercityHotel Budapest is located only three minutes away from Budapest’s main train station: Keleti station. In fact, it’s so close that you can see the beautiful architecture of the train station from your room. The four-star property of 312 rooms is clean, modern, and has a trendy urban decor devoid of frills. There is free WiFi throughout the hotel and breakfast is available for a surcharge.

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