train- Budapest to Prague

Feb 1st, 2008, 07:43 PM
  #1  
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train- Budapest to Prague

We have never taken a train between cities. This should be fun.

We leave Budapest-Keleti at 9:30am and arrive in Prague-Holesovice at 16:24pm.

Is there a specific time you have to be at train stations, like airport rules? We are figuring on getting there about 30 minutes before train.

Can we bring food on the train? It's a long ride.

We are booked with 2 aisle, 1 middle seats, compartment, first class, non-smoking.

Any train thoughts/suggestions/comments?

tbsdebbie is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2008, 01:24 AM
  #2  
 
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There is no check-in time for these trains. I think the only European trains with a check-in time are the Eurostar trains from the UK to France and Belgium (30 mins in advance) and Spanish high-speed trains (2 minutes). Everywhere else, you just need to be on the train before the doors close and it starts moving. Half an hour is plenty of time to find the right platform and get on board the train: it probably won't be ready to board half an hour in advance.
Your Budapest-Praha train is a Eurocity train with a restaurant car which will serve drinks, snacks and meals. You can take your own food and drink, which is what many people do.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2008, 01:54 AM
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Also bear in mind that Holesovice station is not in the "center" of the city...

When you come up from the tracks, there is a tourist office...but we arrived on a Saturday and it was closed! There is a sit-down Macdonald's there where you can collect your thoughts...

We checked the taxi rank but they quoted like 25 Euros to the hotel...a tourist rip-off clearly. Area looked a little seedy.

So we just walked 20 metres to the Underground station, and told the chap where we were headed, and he sold us the ticket, and told us where to get off. Perfect.

Worked fine , but keep your wits about you, as there were a number of characters ready to take advantage of you.

Also there was an ATM machine by the tracks...since you will need Czech crowns. You will have a great time. Rouss

roussillon is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2008, 07:29 AM
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tbsdebbie,

That is a long boring day trip. I would take the night train. You save the day and save a night in a hotel. A couchette cabin would probably cost about €30 to 40. As for being early just be there before the conductor waves "take off" to the engineer. Then he climbs on and closes the doors. For night trains it is a good idea to be a half hour early so you can find your bunk and get settled in.

Sure, you can take food and drink on the train. There is probably a diner car on the train also. For train newbies the page at http://tinyurl.com/eym5b will help get you oriented.

Call B.E.T.S in Ann Arbor at 1-800-441-2387 to discuss alternatives.

hopscotch is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2008, 02:50 PM
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I don't know the schedule in that direction. We went from Prague to Budapest.

The taxi from the hotel to Keleti was a fixed price and about 25E.

At first I thought of taking a sleeper but didn't like the idea of being woken up twice as you cross 2 borders.

We took a 4:20PM train that was perfect. We had most of the day for sight-seeing and left when it was time for a rest. We got to the train station less than a half hour before the train left. We had pre-purchased the tickets.

It went pretty quickly and arrived in Budapest about 11:30PM. We had the hotel arrange for a taxi to meet us (our cost). He was waiting with a name sign and took us directly to the hotel.
Myer is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2008, 02:57 PM
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Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic joined the Schengen agreement on 21 December, so there should be no passport or customs controls on trains between Budapest and Praha.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2008, 03:02 PM
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Hi,
I took the night train from Budapest to Prague. Yes they did wake you up twice, but if you leave your pass port with the supervisor of the sleeping car, then they do not wake you up. I did not want to give anyone my passport, so indeed, "passport control." There was no dinning car on the night train. Take your own food as train food is only OK. Do be careful of the cabs at the train station. The meters go faster than an electric fan. Ask at the tourist office what you should pay and get a cab driver to agree on that price. You will have such a great time.

Yipper
yipper is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2008, 04:13 PM
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There is no "check in". But you need to get there early enough to find you correct track and the spot on the platform for the car you have seats in.

Trains typically only allow a few minutes for boarding so you want to be in the right place - not racing down the platform - or dragging your luggage all through the train to get to your seats.
nytraveler is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2008, 04:44 PM
  #9  
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Thanks so much for all the suggestions and comments!

The train is part of the package deal, we are ok traveling during the day. We figure it will give us time to rest and relax between cities.

Thanks for the info about walking to metro. Hotel is right off Andel stop, so we wanted to just catch that down through the city.

We are excited to visit Budapest and Prague. A trip with our daughter before she heads off to college.

Thanks!


tbsdebbie is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2008, 02:13 PM
  #10  
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Great train article. Thanks! It gave me more information to feel more comfortable for our trip.
tbsdebbie is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2008, 05:45 PM
  #11  
 
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I didn't take that route, but went from Budapest to Novi Sad. We arrived about 2 hours early in Budapest and really shouldn't have, especially since our train was running late as well. There aren't that many track options at Keleti-Pu. It is easy to navigate. We packed a picnic from a local market and that was perfect. Enjoy the time as a good opportunity to relax, read a little, nap a little, watch the beautiful countryside and maybe meet some new friends. We had some delightful conversations wtih a couple who were originally from Serbia but now reside in Canada. I spoke no Serbian but they spoke beautiful English and gave me some wonderful insights into the culture and area. I hope you find some locals to speak with on your long trip as well.
Kellye is offline  
Feb 25th, 2008, 03:36 PM
  #12  
 
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Hello. Is it resonably safe for a single female to take the night train from Prague to Budapest?
Msbelle51 is offline  
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