Overnight Train - Budapest to Prague

Old Aug 11th, 2010, 09:22 AM
  #1  
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Overnight Train - Budapest to Prague

Three friends are taking the long train ride from Budapest to Prague, but want to do it overnight so it doesn't cut into sightseeing time. Has anyone taken the overnight train from Budapest to Prague? If so, any details you can provide would be appreciated...advance ticket purchase or wait until we're in Budapest? Price? Travel first class? Time of trip? Overall experience? I heard there is only one overnight train?

Any advice is greatly appreciated. We leave in 2 weeks!!
chernsu is offline  
Old Aug 11th, 2010, 09:43 AM
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You will find answers from real experts to those multi-faceted questions in these superb European train sites - www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com; www.ricksteves.com - I have taken literally zillions of overnight trains in Europe, including in Eastern Europe and they are all different in some ways - Security seems to be the main concern and the best way to avoid any thefts that can happen on overnight trains is to book a T-3 or private triple with a door that locks from the inside. If in a multi-person compartment like cheaper couchettes - up to 6 mixed sex passengers in three bunks on each side of an aisle - then when folks go out at night they do not always lock the compartment from the inside when they return, etc.

Plus privacy is paramount IMO - you know each other and who snores and who don't, etc but when mixed in with others like in a couchette it's kind of a crap shoot who will be in there. so try to book a T-3 - If you will be in Budapest a few days ahead of time that should be sufficient to book but if not then book ahead if the train is crucial to your itinerary - and there are not as many T-3s as couchettes often so it depends on what you want. I believe it is not possible to book this online thru Hungarian Railways - you can book thru RailEurope.com in the U.S. but you typically would pay more here than there - but peace of mind may be priceless. (For any RailEurope product i recommend contacting Budget Europe Travel (site given above) who i have bought passes from for years and can attest to great personal service - but generally you should be fine if you will be in Budapest a few days ahead of the train.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Aug 12th, 2010, 12:28 PM
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PalenQ,

Thank you for the very helpful information. We'll be in Budapest for 4 days, so we'll book when we get there. And, I got all the other information I needed from the links you sent.

Many thanks!
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Old Aug 12th, 2010, 12:40 PM
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We did not go Budapest to Prague, but we did do a Budapest to Krakow overnight a few years ago. Had to buy it at the station in Budapest and for some reason, through a travel agent at the station. Seems like booking trains in Eastern/central Europe is still like back in the cold war days. I let my Russian-speaking wife handle those things when they pop up.
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Old Aug 12th, 2010, 01:59 PM
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yes and as rs899 says booking trains in Eastern/Central Europe IME too could be a throwback to old commie days when clerks had customer satisfaction at the bottom of their list

so i recommend going to www.bahn.de - the German Rail web site that has train schedules and details for all of Europe and printing out the exact train, train number and train time and from and to and handing it to the clerk - as well as the type of sleeping accommodations you desire - unlike Western Europe where train station clerks always seem to speak some English IME this is not always so in old Eastern Europe - so have all the info printed out so there is no language barrier or mix up. A good way to access the English schedule page of the Wunderbar bahn.de site is to go to the home page of budget europe travel that i gave in my earlier post and click on the link "All European Railway Schedules" or some such wording and this brings you to the English schedule page of bahn.de where you fill in the blanks and change the default date and time to ones that comport with your proposed train. I mention this home page link because the page also gives several useful tips on fully using bahn.de that may not be apparent at first glance.
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