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blackthorn Jan 10th, 2010 08:18 AM

Travelling from Budapest to Prague
My husband, my 20 yr old daughter, her friend and I are intending to visit Budapest and Prague in late August this year. We plan to have 3 nights in Budapest and 4 in Prague and will fly into one city and out of the other, travelling by train between the two.
I am trying to decide whether to take the overnight train or to use a day for the 7 hour journey. My husband sugests the day journey as he feels we would benefit from a day not walking (he often reaches saturation point with site seeing after 3 days) and he thinks the views from the train will be interesting while he worries about not being able to sleep on the train. I feel that it may just be a waste of a day. Is there anyone who has made this journey and who can comment on it? Is it worth while booking first class or not? If we decide to go for the overnight journey is it best to reserve a sleeper before we travel or when we arrive?

bratsandbeer Jan 10th, 2010 10:55 AM

No, we flew into Prague - stayed 3 nights - then trained to Vienna for 3 nights and then trained to Budapest. This would be nice if you could get 2 more nights.

I would prefer 4 nights in Budapest and 3 nights in Prague.

There is also a bus between Prague and Budapest. I have not taken that bus but perhaps someone else has info on it. When I checked it out it was cheaper.

blackthorn Jan 10th, 2010 11:01 AM

Thanks for your reply.
We went to Vienna in 2008 and it is partly because we enjoyed that trip so much that we decided to visit Budapest and Prague. A week is all the girls can manage this time so we'll need to stick to the two cities.
What were the trains like when you travelled from Vienna to Budapest?
Why would you suggest more time in Budapest than Prague - when I have looked at the two it seemed that there was more to do in Prague.

mohun Jan 10th, 2010 12:11 PM

The 7-hour daylight train journey was much less costly for my wife and me when we traveled Budapest to Prague in 2007, and was a nice day of relative rest from walking around Buda and Pest. Prague was a marginally more enjoyable walkaround place for us over Budapest. The cities are very different in that Prague seems much smaller in the downtown area and easier to walk, and, especially in their historic differences: Hungary was allied with Germany WWII and for the end of that period was ruled by a vicious fascist government modeled on the Nazis, while Prague in what was then known as Czechoslovakia was a country occupied by the Nazis. I recommend a tour of the Jewish quarter in Prague as a most meaningful experien, as well, from an artistic cultural experience, a visit to Prague's Mucha Museum.

bratsandbeer Jan 10th, 2010 12:52 PM

blackthorn The train was okay from Vienna to Budapest - no problems. The station in Budapest is not the best. It was probably very nice at one time. We took a taxi to our hotel.

4 days in Budapest would be a personal preference. There is a day trip to Szentendre which we would liked to have done if we had had an extra day.

We stayed at the Hotel Pest which we liked. It was just off Andrassay Ave. There you could catch the metro or the bus. The baths are just down Andrassay AVenue and also Heros Square. The hotel is also one block from the opera house.
We had dinner at a restaurant on the river called "The Spoon". We enjoyed that very much.
At night we went to the top of the hill to see the Freedom Statue and the lights of Budapest.

I know nothing about the train from Prague to Budapest. I am sure a lot of people do use it. On an overnight train I put my purse between me and the wall. We have taken bungy cords to secure the door if possible. I travel with my sister and my niece so we are more cautious.

My sister was on an overnight train when a compartment was robbed. She happened to see a small group of men come on at one station. They were talking to the conductor. They got off at the next station. Shortly after that it was found out that some compartments had been robbed.

Another thing is we never leave our compartment without one person there. We could be completely over-cautious but we don't want a problem either.

We did take an overnight train from Budapest to Vienna. I would hesitate to recommend it to anyone. We did okay and we arrived in Venice safe and sound the next morning. I think going in the day would have been very nice to see the secenery in Slovenia and Croatia.

We did like Prague. We stayed at a b&b away from the town center. We walked to the metro or the tram. There were a couple of restaurants along the walking route that we liked. We do like b&bs because of the personal consideration they give you. One thing about Prague is the politeness of the people. when we would get on the tram or metro and there would be standing room only there was always a young person who gave us their seat. It was hard to believe but much appreciated.

yipper Jan 10th, 2010 01:32 PM

I did take the overnight train from Budapest to Prague. I am too old to sleep all night in a chair, so for me the sleeper was important. There is a ladder that goes diagonally across the door to the room that you place there to access the upper bunk. We left the ladder there all night and no one could open the door wide enough to get inside the room. With the ladder, locking the door, and wearing our money belts I felt very safe. The train does arrive early into Prague, but the porter will wake you up. I will tell you that there is pass port control between Hungary and Slovakia and Slovakia and the Check Republic. At least there was when we traveled. My memory is you could leave your past port with the porter or they will wake you up at the boarders to check you pass port. We kept our pass ports and I would rethink that decision. I find sleeping on trains restful and to me a fond memory, but not all agree. You will have a fabulous time.

wobbers Jan 14th, 2010 10:08 AM

there is no passport control any more - all those countries are in schengen.

joannyc Jan 14th, 2010 10:49 AM

Can't help with the train but I think there is much more to see in Prague so I'd spend the 4 nights there.

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