Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Tough to Get from Budapest to Sarajevo. Any Other Suggestions?

Tough to Get from Budapest to Sarajevo. Any Other Suggestions?

Old Sep 28th, 2019, 01:01 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 1,109
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Tough to Get from Budapest to Sarajevo. Any Other Suggestions?

Hi everyone. For my trip to Eastern Europe next summer, my itinerary takes me from Budapest to Sarajevo on a Thursday. It will be difficult to adjust days at this stage due to booked flights, combined with not wanting to cut either Prague or Budapest down to less than 4 nights each. Researching my options to get from Budapest to Sarajevo on a Thursday next Spring, I've noted the following:

a. Flying is less than optimal. The only airline flying direct I've been able to find is Wizzair but they only fly on Wed. and Sun, All other routes require at least one stop (Istanbul looks to be the only reasonable option) but still means about 10 hours of airport wait time and flight time.

b. Buses take 14+ hours. I could walk faster.

c. Trains don't appear to be an option as it looks like all international trains into BiH were suspended a few years back.

d. Private shuttles look to be the best option as most take about 7 hours direct from Budapest to Sarajevo. Most offer the opportunity to stop along the way for a small extra fee (e.g. Travnik). The average price looks to about around $400US (ouch) but that's not all that much more than flying. The TA reviews on various companies range from glowing to ghastly.

Right now, the direct shuttles with a reputable provider look to be my only real option. Has anyone done this direct route before and if so, how did you do it?

Thank you.

MB
MinnBeef is offline  
Old Sep 28th, 2019, 01:27 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 841
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi,

You summed upo your options pretty well. your information iss correct and I have nothing to add. There's no secret option of getting easily from Budapest to Sarajevo. The direct flight by Wizzair is by far the best option: cheapest, fastest. safest.

The difference between spending 3 or 4 nights in Budapest is not that huge. You can see quite a lot from Budapest even in 2-3 days if you're planning it well and take your time. Not to mention you may come back to Budapest in the future if you like it and in case you don't like it 2 days will be enough. Onthe other hand you'll have more time in Sarajevo so it's not a lost time.

I'd leave Budapest 1 day earlier and take that direct flight on Wednesday. If you had more time you could go via Belgrade or Zagreb by trains and buses, but it's clear that you don't have time for this.

We were riving from Budapest to Sarajevo a month ago and it was about 9 hours, including waiting time on the borders, stopping to fill up the car and have a coffe, stopped for a quick lunch. The roads in Bosnia are very slow going, full of speed limit signs.

"The average price looks to about around $400US (ouch) but that's not all that much more than flying."

400 dollars not all that much than flying??? The direct flight for next week is less than 20 dollars.

Last edited by BDKR; Sep 28th, 2019 at 01:33 PM.
BDKR is offline  
Old Sep 29th, 2019, 12:53 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 7,661
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
What about Austrian Airlines: Vienna dp 20.20 - Sarajevo ar 21.30? Connecting train from Budapest dp 14.40
neckervd is offline  
Old Sep 29th, 2019, 09:32 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 841
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
That's a great idea if you want to spend Wednesday night in Budapest.

Actually I'd take a morning train to Vienna and have a day in the city. It'll be the perfect prelude to Sarajevo as you can directly compare the Austrian/Habsburg influences on Sarajevo with fresh experiences from Vienna.

By all means, visit the Military History Museum in Vienna to see the relics of the assasination of archduke Franz Ferdinand which sparked the WWI. You can see the car with the bullet holes, the gun, the bloodstained shirt of the archduke. Than next day you can stand in the same spot in Sarajevo where all this happenned.
BDKR is offline  
Old Sep 29th, 2019, 09:42 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,032
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'd contact Sarajevo Funky Tours and see if they'll come up with a transport option for you. https://sarajevofunkytours.com
I had a similar issue three years ago - wanted to go one-way from Sarajevo to Bedgrade -- and they provided a full and very long day of combined transport and sight-seeing for my husband and I and another couple whom we didn't know. They are a relatively young and creative company, so I'd at least ask them. And definitely if you are looking for any tours in B&H, I would recommend them without question.

BTW, If I had to cut a night from Budapest or Prague, I'd definitely cut it from Prague. We have spent a total of 4 nights in Prague and 13 in Budapest, and I don't feel any need to return to Prague. It's beautiful, but difficult to enjoy given the throngs of tourists.
GinnyJo is offline  
Old Sep 29th, 2019, 10:03 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 841
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Another time saving option is to save a travel day by taking the night train from Prague to Budapest. The train takes 7 hours in daytime and even a flight is close to 4-5 hours if you include time to get to and from the airport, check in, security and all that.

With the night train you can leave Prague at 10pm after a full day of sightseeing and arrive to Budapest next morning by 9AM. A great feature of this night train is that it spends 3 hours waiting at a station(Breclav) between 1 and 5 am, so even those people who can't sleep well on night trains will have 3 hours rest when their bed is not moving.

https://www.seat61.com/trains-and-ro...t-by-train.htm
BDKR is offline  
Old Sep 30th, 2019, 05:25 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 1,109
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
@BDKR: When I said that the price of the shuttle wasnít much more than flying, I wasnít referring to the Wizzair flight as it wasnít an option for me but rather, vs. the flights that are an option.
MinnBeef is offline  
Old Sep 30th, 2019, 05:30 PM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 1,109
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
BDKR and neckervd thats an intesting option to essentially do a daytrip via train and then flight to/from Vienna. I will definitely look into and consider that. Doing that would mean giving up a 1/2 day of time in Sarajevo as the shuttle would get me there as early as 2:00 pm if Inchose to leave at 7;00 am. In your opinion, is 2 full days enough to really appreciate Sarajevo?
MinnBeef is offline  
Old Sep 30th, 2019, 05:31 PM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 1,109
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
GinnyJo thank you for the tip on Sarajevo Funky Tours. I will definitely contact them. How much time did you have in Sarajevo?
MinnBeef is offline  
Old Sep 30th, 2019, 05:50 PM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 1,109
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Another question on the Vienna option for neckervd and BDKR Are there luggage lockers in the Vienna train station large enough to hold a medium sized roller bag? In this day and age, my experience is that many of the larger world cities have eliminated these lockers and they are now only found in smaller cities, such as when I stopped off last spring in Avila, Spain on my way to Salamanca.
MinnBeef is offline  
Old Sep 30th, 2019, 06:02 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 841
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"In your opinion, is 2 full days enough to really appreciate Sarajevo?"

Yes, I spent 2 days as well and actually started to get a bit bored on the afternoon of the 2nd day, although it was enterily my own fault(I think it's very stupid to get bored when travelling and I normally never get bored).

OK, this was only 4 years after the war ended and a lot of sights were still closed or ruined. There is a lot more to see and do these days, but I reckon 2 full days is enough.

If you take the shuttle it's not a flight or a train and I think arriving at 2pm with a 7am start is a best case scenario, you could arrive 1-2 hours later depending on the circumstances(morning rush hour traffic in Budapest, waiting times on the borders, road works, accidents, bad weather, etc). As I said I have very fresh memories from this road trip and it is kind of slow going, although we never excedeed the speed limits for fear of getting fined, the shuttle driver may be faster if he doesn't care about the speed limits(from 400 USD he can afford a 50 USD fine-Balkan traffic cops are usually up for haggling). If you arrive at 3-4pm to Sarajevo how much time will you have left from the day after checking in to your hotel? Not worth it IMHO.

"Are there luggage lockers in the Vienna train station large enough to hold a medium sized roller bag?"

There are luggage lockers at Wien Hauptbahnhof(Vienna main railway station) in all sizes, you can check the dimensions here, but a medium sized roller bag is a typical size luggage, it would be pretty stupid if lockers were designed for smaller luggage.

https://www.oebb.at/en/reiseplanung-...bewahrung.html

Last edited by BDKR; Sep 30th, 2019 at 06:07 PM.
BDKR is offline  
Old Sep 30th, 2019, 07:15 PM
  #12  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 23,019
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by BDKR View Post
"In your opinion, is 2 full days enough to really appreciate Sarajevo?" ... I reckon 2 full days is enough.
I couldn't disagree more! But MinnBeef already knows my opinion from his original planning thread. Ultimately, MinnBeef -- like the rest of us -- would have benefitted from deciding his priorities, checking opening / closing hours, and plotting things out on a calendar that also includes realistic plans for getting from one place to another. I'm sorry he's learning some very painful lessons with his plans for this particular trip. At least he's guaranteed to see some wonderful things along the way.

Last edited by kja; Sep 30th, 2019 at 07:52 PM.
kja is offline  
Old Sep 30th, 2019, 10:55 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 841
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm afraid, given the time constraints of the OP, the question is not really if it's worth to spend 3 days in Sarajevo, but whether Budapest and Prague are worth more time than Sarajevo. Of course they're worth more time.
BDKR is offline  
Old Sep 30th, 2019, 11:05 PM
  #14  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 23,019
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
@ BDKR -- the OP can get to Budapest or Prague much more easily than Sarajevo. For someone who seems intent upon telling every one that they can and perhaps should sample places (without knowing whether returning is a serious option -- which it is not for all travelers), the fact that some places are harder to reach than others would seem to be something you might want to consider, at least if you decide to continue telling people what they should do. JMO. (Actually, I think you acknowledged the ease of access to certain places in a recent thread about Istanbul and other parts of Turkey, didn't you?) In any case, how much time a place "is worth" is always relative to what one wants to see and experience, isn't it? But "really appreciate"? Well, that's a bit different IMO.

BUT: You are free to have and express your opinion, as am I, and we don't need to agree. Perhaps reading both our opinions will prove useful to the OP. Viva la difference!

Last edited by kja; Sep 30th, 2019 at 11:56 PM.
kja is offline  
Old Oct 1st, 2019, 04:51 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,032
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
GinnyJo thank you for the tip on Sarajevo Funky Tours. I will definitely contact them. How much time did you have in Sarajevo?[/QUOTE]

We had 5 nights in Sarajevo
GinnyJo is offline  
Old Oct 1st, 2019, 10:27 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 841
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
All the time in Sarajevo or including day trip(s)?
BDKR is offline  
Old Oct 2nd, 2019, 02:59 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,032
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by BDKR View Post
All the time in Sarajevo or including day trip(s)?
All in Sarajevo. It was our first stop on a 5-week jaunt, so we leisure time to deal with jet lag. We had planned a day trip to Mostar with Sarajevo Funky Tours, but woke up that day not feeling great, so we called and canceled. (it was no problem for them, no drama about canceling the morning of.) After 5 nights, they drove us to Belgrade.
GinnyJo is offline  
Old Oct 2nd, 2019, 05:41 PM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 1,109
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the replies everyone. Whether or not I choose to do a day trip to Vienna on the way to Sarajevo (and itís an intriguing option- particularly to see the car in which the Archduke and his wife were assassinated in), I will have 5 nights in BiH. 3 nights in Sarajevo (be it 2 or 2 1/2 days) and 2 nights in Mostar, which includes a day trip to some combination of Pocitelj, Medjugorge and Klavice Waterfalls.

My concern about a Vienna day trip is the obvious one-logistics. Getting there via train from Budapest is easy-barely two hours and so I can get there as early as about 9:30. But then there is the time to stow luggage before beginning touring. After touring, itís back to the train station to retrieve luggage and then off to the airport to arrive 90 minutes before my evening flight. And THEN WHAT if for whatever reason the flight is severely delayed or canceled?

i will definitely do more research on the Vienna option and report back on my choice. But like I said, itís intriguing.

PS- GinnyJo it looks like SFT DOES do a transfer from Budapest to Sarajevo and their price is comparable to other transfer companies. They also have outstanding TA reviews. Even if I end up not needing them for a transfer, I may well use them for one of their Sarajevo walking tours such as the one in the Bosnian war.
MinnBeef is offline  
Old Oct 2nd, 2019, 05:47 PM
  #19  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 23,019
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
MinnBeef: the Sarajevo tourist office runs excellent tours of the Tunel and other Bosnian war-related sites -- or at least it used to do so. They were committed to making sure that those who led the tours had been involved in / affected by the war. There were two guides for the small group (maybe 8 people?) I joined -- one had been a soldier who, for a time, went through the tunnel nearly nightly; the other lived through most of the siege and then, after his soldier-father's death, escaped with his mother through the tunnel.
kja is offline  
Old Oct 2nd, 2019, 06:15 PM
  #20  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 1,109
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Awesome! Thanks kja
MinnBeef is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -