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Overnight train from Budapest to Prague

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Aug 23rd, 2009, 06:20 AM
  #1
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Overnight train from Budapest to Prague

Our group of 21 is taking the overnight train from Budapest to Prague. We have triple sleeper cars reserved. Although this may not be the easiest way to get there, we plan on making it an adventure. As none of us have ever overnighted on a train before, I would appreciate any information and advice you can give me - such as how does our luggage get handled, can we bring our own food/drink, will they wake us up in the morning, and how much time do they allow us to get off the train? Will they wake us up during the night to check our passports as we cross borders? Also, are there restaurants in or nearby the Prague Station where we can have breakfast when we arrive? We are staying at the Hotel Ibis Praha Old Town - can we walk there or will we need to take taxis to get there? Arrangements have been made for early luggage storage and check-in there. Thanks in advance for everyone's help, Reid777
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Aug 23rd, 2009, 08:19 AM
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Wow a group of 21!

I try to answer as I can but others who know better can eventually add and correct.

> how does our luggage get handled
Usually you are on your own (and I think it's better) unless you want to arrange a porter for groups beforehand. Bring your luggage in your T-3 compartment. Leave it on the floor and above (above may be hard when your suitecases are heavy but I have done it - there are usually space for that)

> can we bring our own food/drink
Yes of course.

> will they wake us up in the morning
Usually yes, for breakfast and to return you your passport.

> how much time do they allow us to get off the train?

A few minutes, it depends. Are you getting off at the last stop? then a bit longer. In any case be ready and wait already in the corridor before the train arrives at your stop.

Will they wake us up during the night to check our passports as we cross borders?

They won't IF the conductor collected your passport beforehand.

> are there restaurants in or nearby the Prague Station where we can have breakfast when we arrive? We are staying at the Hotel Ibis Praha Old Town.
> can we walk there or will we need to take taxis to get there?

There are more than one train station. Many seem to arrive at Holesovice but some do at Hlavni Nadrazi (central station). Which one is yours? In Hl.N. is central and Holesovice is somewhat out of city center. But in any case, you will not fancy walking to your hotel with your luggage (or would you?). From Hl.N. it's about 2km, from Holosovice, much much farther. Both station have restaurants. Holosovice also has a McDonald by the tram/bus stop BUT if you arrive early enough, I would rather go right away to the hotel and find a place by the hotel (or even the breakfast at the hotel?). Holosovici, nor Hl.N. are not the nicest part of the town. There is another station Masarykovo, possibly 5 minutes walk to your hotel but I don't think your train will arrive there.
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Aug 23rd, 2009, 08:34 AM
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I see EN (EuroNight)472 dep.Budapest Keleti at 19h58 and arrived at Prague Holosovice at 03h29 (that's awfully early!). This train then leaves for Dresden/Berlin at 03h40 so it will stop at the station for 11 minutes or so.
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Aug 23rd, 2009, 12:07 PM
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I don't see any other direct trains besides the one kappa points out. Arriving at 3:39am sounds awful. It's hard to kill 3 hrs before sunrise even for the heartiest souls.

The 7hr direct train departing at 9:28am arriving at 4:29pm sounds much more attractive to me.

If you can make an adventure of the overnight for all 21 of you more power to you. I've been the unofficial tour organizer/guide for much smaller groups (4-5 or so) and vow never to do it again. You can't please everybody, and there's always a grumbler/complainer in the crowd. I hope you're not responsible for all the details of the trip, for your sake.

One more thing regarding passports. There will be no border checks from Hungary to Slovakia to Cz republic as they are all Schengen zone countries. There is the small possibility of a random border check, so the conductor will likely collect your passport when you board & give it back to you in the morning. This is all standard procedure.
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Aug 23rd, 2009, 12:15 PM
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Your other post about Prague tours says you're arriving at 8:30am. I don't see such a train. I do see a 6:22 arrival (requires a very fast 4min change in Hegyeshalom at 10pm.) or 9:35am arrival, (2 changes, one in Vienna at midnight and another in Bratislava with a 4 hr layover from 1-5am.)

You'd better check your itinerary so to be sure which train(s) you're taking.
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Aug 23rd, 2009, 12:54 PM
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Kappa1 - thnks so much for all the info. Hopefully we can arrange in advance to be picked up and taken to the hotel. J62- We do arrive at Hlavni Nadrazi at 6:22. We are scheduled to leave at 7:58PM from Keleti on Metropol #476. The travel agent I am working with still has our tickets, and I couldn't reach him today. How does the change work in Hegyeshalom? Thanks in advance,reid777 - P.S. yes, I am probably out of my mind -I have pretty much done this whole thing myself!
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Aug 23rd, 2009, 02:04 PM
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I'm not sure of the details of your train. The 19:58 train arrives in Prague at 3:30am. It may be that the sleeper cars are disconnected somewhere along the way like Bratislava then connected to a different train.

The 476 arrives in Bratislava at 22:42 for 13min, - maybe that's long enough to disconnect the sleeper cars that continue on to Prague. The 470 train is the one that arrives in Prague at 6:22. It leaves Budapest at 19:40, and arrives in Bratislava at 23:19 for a 35min stop.

I'm guessing that you will be on a sleeper car on the 476 out of Budapest, and that car will get switched over to the 470 in Bratislava. Definitely check with your travel agent on the details.
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Aug 23rd, 2009, 02:42 PM
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Train 470 ("Amicus") has sleeping cars from Budapest Keleti at 1940 to Praha Hlavni n, arriving at 0622. The train crosses the border into the Czech Republic (between Kuty and Breclav) at around 0045.
The sleeping cars end their journey at Praha so there's no need to worry about having time to disembark. The sleeping car attendant will wake passengers in time.
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Aug 23rd, 2009, 06:36 PM
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Geoff - OP is not on the 470 departing at 19:40. They are scheduled to leave at 7:58PM from Keleti on Metropol #476.
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Aug 24th, 2009, 01:54 AM
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It is very complicated. Both trains (470 leaving Budapest at 1940 and 476 leaving at 1958) have sleeping cars for Praha. Train 476 gets to Breclav (in the Czech Republic) at 2348 and the sleeping cars for Praha are detached while the rest of the train goes to Berlin.
Train 470 takes a different route in Hungary (via Györ) and gets to Breclav at 0054. The other sleeping cars are then attached (along with sleeping cars from Wien) and the combined train leaves at 0127 to get to Praha Hlavni at 0622.
On certain dates, train 470 also has sleeping cars from Romania and Bulgaria.
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Aug 24th, 2009, 02:03 AM
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I should add that you don't have to change trains, or even get out of bed, at Breclav. Passengers on train 476 have over an hour to sleep on a stationary train before the sleeping cars are attached to the other train.
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Aug 24th, 2009, 07:54 AM
  #12
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As always, you all have been very helpful. I feel much better and more informed. We leave on Sept 3rd, and I don't think I could have done this trip without all the help I got from this website. Thanks again, Reid777
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