Hungary by train

Map with main train connections in Hungary

Your Hungarian rail adventure will be nothing short but amazing. The Hungarian capital Budapest, split in two by the river Danube, is regarded as one of the most beautiful in the world. You also shouldn’t miss the immense Lake Balaton, the largest lake in Central Europe, and the gorgeous vineyards of Szépasszony Valley.

Hungary in images
Train types in Hungary
Places to visit in Hungary
Events in Hungary
Benefits in Hungary
More about Hungary

Hungary in images

Parliament, Budapest

Parliament, Budapest

View on lake Balaton

View on lake Balaton

View on Eger

View on Eger

Szechenyi spa,  Budapest

Szechenyi spa, Budapest

Vineyard in Balaton region

Vineyard in Balaton region

Train types in Hungary

 

Rail network

Hungary-MAVstart-logo Eurail passes for Hungary are valid on all trains operated by the national railway company MÁV-START.

 

Faster trains are the Intercity (IC) trains or the express trains (gyorsvonat). They also have comfortable 1st class (elso osztály) sections. Most IC trains have a restaurant car. In all the other train lines there are smoking and non-smoking cars. Local trains are called személyvonat, they are relatively slow. Often they only have a 2nd class (másod osztály) compartment.

 

Private railway companies

A Eurail pass valid in Hungary is also valid on the private railway lines operated by GYSEV (known as ROeEE in Austria).

GYSEV operate a number of train routes, including:

  • Sopron – Ebenfurth (Austria)

  • Fertöszentmiklós – Neusiedl/See (Austria)

 

For more information check the GYSEV website (only in German and Hungarian).

 

Budapest

Budapest is the center of all main rail connections. Budapest has three main train stations:

  • Keleti (Eastern) on Baross ter (red metro line) services most international express trains as well as domestic trains to and from the north and north-east.

  • Nyugati (Western) on Nyugati ter (blue metro line) has trains for the Great Plain and the Danube Bend.

  • Deli (Southern) at Krisztina korut has trains bound for Transdanubia and Lake Balaton.

 

Map with train stations in Budapest

Taking an InterCity train is the fastest way to travel from Budapest to the following cities: Bekescsaba, Debrecen, Dombovar, Gyor, Gyula, Hajduszoboszlo, Kaposvar, Kecskemet, Miskolc, Nyiregyhaza, Pecs, Sopron, Szeged, Szolnok, Szombathely.

 

Reservations

Some domestic trains in Hungary require a reservation:

  • For IC (InterCity) and IP (InterPici) trains reservations is compulsory.

  • For domestic journeys with EC (EuroCity) reservation is optional.

 

View reservation fees for domestic trains.

 

For the international Railjet train to Switzerland and Germany reservation is optional.

 

View reservation fees for international trains.

 

Itineraries

A nice scenic route in Hungary is Szabadbattyán - Balatonfüred - Tapolca

 

Extra info

How to get there

From Budapest there are direct connections to Hungary from and to all immediate neighbors: Austria, Croatia, Romania, Slovakia. Also to further countries like: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Switzerland and even Turkey.

 

Airport - station links

If you arrive in Hungary by air, you can easily reach Budapest city center by train from Ferihegy International Airport Terminal 1.

 

Eurail aid office in Hungary

For help with your Eurail pass, you can visit the aid office in Budapest, József Attila str. 16. See Eurail aid offices for more details.

Places to visit in Hungary

 
The Chain Bridge, Budapest
The Chain Bridge, Budapest

Capital contradictions

Budapest extends along both banks of the Danube, offering stunning views. That the city is ‘split in two’ seems rather appropriate, since the city itself is filled with contradictions. There is Roman architecture and Turkish baths, Gothic churches and Baroque museums and Art Nouveau and Viennese coffee houses. It is home to world-class opera, music and art. Take in all that this unique metropolis has to offer. 

City Park (Városliget) has indoor and outdoor pools, a bathhouse, a zoo, and many other attractions. There’s a metro stop inside the park, so it’s extremely easy to get to.

Bell peppers
Bell peppers

Culinary treasures in Szentendre

This riverside town north of Budapest is on the slopes of the Pilis mountains. Revel in its cobblestone streets, colorful houses, bustling market squares and postcard-perfect scenery. Try some authentic Hungarian cuisine too: Paprikás (beef stew in thick, bell pepper gravy), Gundel Pancake (with ground walnuts, flambéed in chocolate sauce) and Dobos sponge cake (with chocolate buttercream filling and a caramel slice on top).

The journey from Budapest station to Szentendre takes less than 30 minutes.

Dobo Square, Eger
Dobo Square, Eger

Fortification for your journey

The 13th century Castle of Eger is perched on a hill that overlooks the city of Eger. Aside from the castle itself, you’ll find a prison museum, underground artillery bunkers and the Dobó István Fortress Museum, one of the most popular museums in Hungary. Don’t miss the views from the castle walls.

The castle is about a 10-minute walk from train station Eger vasútállomás.

Lake Balaton
Lake Balaton

Mineral baths for the soul

Lake Balaton is the largest lake in Central Europe, and one of the favorite vacation destinations of Hungarians. Visit this beautiful inland beach on your way to Gyógytó Lake in Héviz. The volcanic crater spring under Gyógytó keeps it warm enough to swim year round, and the mineral-rich mud is considered medicinal, so swimming is only recommended for an hour at a time, tops. Choose from outdoor swimming or indoor swimming in a glass enclosure. The health benefits are numerous.

From train station Keszthely Vasútállomás on the shores of Lake Balaton, take a taxi to the town of Héviz. The spa and hot springs are in the center of town.

Szépasszony Valley
Szépasszony Valley

The sweet vintages of Szépasszony Valley

Directly adjacent to Eger is the Valley of the Beautiful Women (Szépasszonyvölgy). While this might sound like a place for women of ill repute, it’s actually a vineyard of high regard. Wine lovers dare not miss the rolling vineyards, quaint wine cellars and historic taverns. You’ll also get a taste of some of Hungary’s finest reds. Be sure to visit Istenes Pince (Godly Cellar), the oldest cellar in the region.

From train station Eger vasútállomás, Istenes Pince is about a 10-minute walk.

Events in Hungary

 
Sziget festival, Budapest
Sziget festival, Budapest

Sziget

August 10 - August 17, 2015

This is one of Europe’s largest music festivals and has been voted in various polls as one of the best. Spread over 8 days, the festival offers a broad range of music genres from international rock acts to jazz and world music. There's also an excellent programme of cultural activities and performances. The festival is set on Óbudai-sziget, an island in the Danube. Camping is possible.


Sziget party train

You can also start your festival on the train! Take the Sziget party train which departs from Amsterdam and has 2 party coaches with DJ's. Breakfast and champagne are available on board. Please note that this train trip is not included in your Eurail pass. 

 

For more information about this train visit the Sziget website.

Óbudai-sziget can be reached by metro from all 3 international train stations.

Benefits in Hungary

 

MÁV-START Business Lounge

First class Eurail pass holders get free access to the VIP lounge at Budapest Keleti Railway Station.

 

See all pass benefits for Hungary

More about Hungary

 

Quick facts

  • Capital: Budapest

  • Population: 10 million

  • Language: Hungarian

  • Currency: Forint (HUF)

  • Dialing code: +36

Related pages

 
- Countries in Europe
- Countries in Europe
- Countries in Europe
- Countries in Europe
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