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by train to and from Budapest/Hungary

An Introduction

A unique in depth, independent guide to travelling to and from Budapest by train and using the primary stations in Budapest.

Why Go To Budapest

Wikipedia guide to Budapest

Budapest is also the gateway to destinations and countries further to the east.
If you're heading by train to Istanbul it's a good idea to travel via Budapest because from Budapest you can choose to travel via Bucharest OR Belgrade/Sofia.
Budapest has direct trains to Belgrade/Beograd, Bucharest, Ljubljana, Sarejevo, Sofia (for connections by bus/train on to Greece) and Zagreb.

Budapest Stations

Budapest has three main line stations (1) Deli, (2) Nyugati and (3) Keleti.

Keleti is the principle station in the Hungarian capital as it is served by the majority of the international day and night trains including departures to Belgrade, Bratislava, Berlin via Dresden, Bucharest, Hamburg, Kiev, Krakow, Moscow, Munich via Linz and Salzburg, Prague, Sofia, Vienna, Warsaw and Zurich .

Trains also run from Keleti to many tourist destinations within Hungary including Eger, Gyor, Kestheley, Kosice, Miskolc, Pecs, Slofok, Sopron, Szekesfehervar.

Click here for a Google Map link of Keleti station in Budapest.

Kelenfold station is a junction station outside of Budapest city centre where virtually all trains to/from south and south-west Hungary call, whether they depart from/arrive at Deli OR Keleti sation
This includes trains from Budapest to the Lake Baloton area, so if you're planning to travel from Hungary to Lake Baloton by train it can be a good idea to use Kelenfold station, more details of how to do this are listed below.

Train Departures

All train departures from Budapest (all three main line stations) can be be found on the online D-Bahn timetable HERE
Click here for the therebytrain.com guide to using the D-Bahn timetable.

Trains TO Budapest

Click the cities below for summaries of trains to Budapest from these popular destinations:

We'll be adding more cities to the above list when the new pan-European railway timetables change in mid-December

DAY trains and Journey Time Summary From central stations in Budapest

DIRECT trains from Budapest Train types in brackets

  • Less Than One Hour::
    Szekesfehervar from Deli station
  • One – Two Hours::
    Gyor (RJ/IC) from Keleti station
    Miskolc (IC) from Keleti station
    Slofok from Kelenfold station
    Veszprem from Deli station
  • Two – Three Hours::
    Balatonfured from Kelenfold station
    Bratislava(EC) from Keleti station
    Debrecen (IC) from Nyugati station
    Eger from Keleti station
    Pecs (IC) from Keleti station
    Sopron (IC) from Keleti station
    Szeged (IC) from Nyugati station
    Vienna/Wien(RJ) from Keleti station
  • Three - Four Hours:
    Keszthely - from Kelenfold station
    Kosice (IC) - from Keleti station
  • Four-Five Hours:
    Linz (RJ) from Keleti station
  • Five – Six Hours::
    Salzburg (RJ) from Keleti station
  • Six – Seven Hours::
    Prague/Praha (EC) from Keleti station
    Zagreb from Keleti Deli station (13:25)
  • Seven – Eight Hours::
    Belgrade/Beograd (EC) and other express train from Keleti station
    Munich/Munchen (RJ) from Keleti station
  • Ten- Eleven Hours::
    Ljubljana from Deli station (this train is now routed via Zagreb and is therefore slower than the previous (EC) from Keleti station
  • Eleven – Twelve Hours::
    Berlin (EC) from Keleti station
    Zurich (RJ) from Keleti station

Trains between Budapest and Veszprem only depart from/arrive at Deli station.

Trains from Budapest to Kestheley, Slofok, Szekesfehervar call at Deli station around 10 mins after they leave Keleti so it can be quicker to reach these destinations by using Deli station.

Trains to Debrecen and Szeged depart from Nyugati station in central Budapest.

Types of Train

These types of train operate over long distance railway routes to/from Budapest, click the type of train for more information:

  • EC -international daytime trains
  • EN- 'Euronight' overnight trains
  • other - overnight trains
  • IC trains
  • RJ Railjet trains to Vienna/Wien and Munich/Munchen.

International Departure Summary - UPDATED

The following international DAY trains depart from Budapest to:

  • To the Romanian cities of Arad, Alba lulla, Brasov, Cluj Napoca, Sibiu, and Targu Mures (IC) from Keleti station

  • Belgrade - from Keleti station at 13:00 (EC train arries Belgrade/Beograd at 20:48)

  • Bratislava - Prague/Praha - Dresden - Berlin - Hamburg
    EC trains departing at the following times from Keleti station
    05:25 to Bratislava - Prague - Dresden - Berlin - Hamburg
    09:25 to Bratislava - Prague - Dresden - Berlin
    11:25; 13:25 and 15:25 to Bratislava - Prague
    17:25 to Bratislava

  • Bucharest/Buccuresti 07:10 from Keleti staion - NEWLY INTRODUCED DAYTIME SERVICE

  • Ljubljana from Deli station at 13:25 - this train may not be air-conditioned and now takes a slower route via Zagreb

  • Sarajevo from Deli station SERVICE WITHDRAWN

  • Vienna - Linz - Salzburg - Munich/Munchen and Zurich (Railjet trains) from Keleti station at these times;
    06:05 to Vienna - Linz - Salzburg - Innsbruck - Zurich
    07:10 to Vienna - Linz - Salzburg - Munich
    09:10 to Vienna - Linz - Salzburg (connection for Munich)
    13:10 AND 15:10 to Vienna - Linz - Salzburg - Munich
    17:10 to Vienna - Linz - Salzburg
    There are also EuroNight trains to Vienna/Wien with limited numbers of 2nd class seats only at 19:10 and 21:10

  • 07:25 from Keleti station to Ostrava - Katowice (change for Krakow) - Warsaw/Warszawa (EC train arrives Warsaw/Warszawa) at 17:31

  • Zagreb 13:25 from Deli station - this train may not be air-conditioned.

International Overnight Train Summary

Click the 'overnight trains' link above to access further information on the types of accommodation and facilities offered on the different types of overnight train from Budapest.

Trains depart from Keleti station in Budapest to:

  • Belgrade - departs 22:20; arrives at 06:06 ('other' overnight train )

  • Berlin - departs at 20:05; arrives at 09:10 (EuroNight (EN) train)

  • Bucharest - until Jan 19th and between Apr 2 and Oct 1 a 'EuroNight' (EN) train 'Dacia' departs at 23:30; arrives at 15:05;
    from Jan 21-Apr 22 AND Oct 22-Dec 7th (ie. when the 'Dacia' train is NOT operating) depart 22:30; arrive Bucharest at 14:05 (other 'overnight' train)

  • from Oct 2nd
  • Munich/Munchen (EN) train departs at 21:10; arrives at 06:15)
  • Prague/Praha (EN) train departs at 20:05, arrives at 06:23
  • Sofia - 'other' overnight train departs 22:20; arrives at 17:47 (couchettes not available to Sofia)
  • Zurich (EN) train departs at 19:10; arrives at 07:20

The principle services which does not use Keleti station is the daily international train to Ljubljana and Zagreb that departs from Deli station.

From London to Budapest by train

Click HERE to access a page on which you'll find details of our pick of the best (easiest/convenient train departure times/fastest) rail connections FROM London TO Budapest.

Budapest Public Transport

Budapest has a dense public transport network that comprises trams, trolleybuses, metro, local trains and buses. It is operated by BVK, which has an excellent English language website.
A map of the complete public transport network in Budapest can be found here

City Centre Access from Keleti Station

Keleti station is located to the east of the city centre and is fairly distant from the tourist heart of the city which is a 20 minute walk along 'Rakozi' ut - the main road heading to the west from the front of the station, reach it by walking under the elevated roadway.

However, the walk isn't recommended, particularly after dark. Keleti station is not in the smartest area of Budapest, so using the Metro to reach the city centre is highly recommended.
However, be vigilant when transferring to the Metro as the station can be something of a pick-pocket target.
Ideally have all money and valuables locked and be particularly aware of beggars, try not to get distracted, particularly when looking at the metro maps or using the ticket machines.
Don't let this advice stop you coming to Budapest by train, 99.9% of travellers won't have any problems, we're just making it clear that it can pay to be vigilant.

The quickest way to reach the heart of the city by public transport is to take the Budapest Metro Line M2 three stops to ‘Deak Ferencz Ter station in the direction of Deli station.
Metro line M2 links Keleti directly with Deli station.

Aside from the Metro, Keleti is comparatively poorly served by public transport links. Only one tram line (No.24) serves Keleti station and this does not run towards the city centre.
To connect to the city’s busiest tram lines, No.4 and No.6 you have to take the Metro one stop to Blaha Lujza Ter.

City Centre Access from Deli Station

Deli station is also on line M2 and the quickest route to the city centre is to take the train to Deak Ferencz Ter station. Tram Lines 4 and 6 can be accessed by changing at Mozkva Term, one stop from Deli.

City Centre Access from Nyugati Staion

Nyugati station has the best public transport links of the three stations. It is on Metro line M3, which also runs to Deak Ferencz Ter for interchange to lines M1 and M2, and the tram routes 4 and 6 stop outside the entrance.

Trains to Budapest Airport from Nyugati Station

Trains depart from Nyugati station for Ferihegy station - which is directly linked to the airport’s main terminal.
During the day local trains on which supplements are not required depart from Nyugati at these minutes past each hour:

  • 03 – destination Cegled (daily)
  • 08 – destination Monor (Mon-Fri only)
  • 33 - destination Szolonok (Mon-Fri only)
  • 38 – destination Monor (daily)

The journey time is approximately 23 minutes.

An alternative route between the city centre and the airport is to take the Metro Line M3 to/from Kobánya-Kispest station which has a bus link to the airport, service no. 200E

Travelling by train from Budapest to Lake Balaton

For the north shore of Laka Balaton including Balatonfured, the majority of direct trains from Budapest depart from Deli station, but ALL call at Kelenfold station.
Many of direct trains from Budapest operate only between June 18th and August 28th, there is a daily year round service from Deli station at 12:26
When no direct train is available, particularly in the morning, connections are available at Szekesfehervar.

The majority of trains from Budapest to the south shore of Lake Balaton, including the towns of Slofok and Fonyod depart from Deli station, but there are trains at 06:30; (10:15 Daily until Sep 25th and Saturdays only from that date) and 17:05 from Keleti station.
All trains to the south shore also call at Kelenfold station in Budapest.

The easiest way to reach Kelenfold station from the city centre is by tram lines 19 and 49, line 19 runs along the west bank of The Danube, while line 49 runs through the heart of the city centre including a stop at 'Deak Ferenc Ter' metro station.