Train travel can often be one of the highlights of a multi-centre city break.
During the current migrant crisis in Western Europe, publicity has been focussed on some of the main railway stations, particularly Budapest’s Keleti station. For a few days the area outside the station became a very squalid refugee camp, as the Hungarian government blocked the migrants from making any onward travel to Austria. Now the situation has changed as the migrants were after all permitted to board trains to take them out of Hungary to Vienna and on to German cities, particularly Munich.
Passengers leaving Budapest by rail to travel to Austria may still be subjected to extra strict checks, but travel between the cities should no longer be a problem. The service is operated by RailJet, Austrian Railways’ high-speed train, capable of 143 mph. RailJet trains operate on the Budapest-Vienna-Salzburg-Munich route and also on the Graz-Vienna-Prague route along with Czech Railways RailJets. From Budapest to Vienna the landscape is flat, wide open farmland, sporting hundreds of wind turbines. Just after leaving Budapest the train crosses the Danube, although a modern road bridge obscures the view along the river.
Budapest also has excellent rail links with Bratislava in Slovakia. Comfortable air-conditioned EuroCity trains link Bratislava Hlavna with Budapest Keleti every couple of hours, with the journey time being just 2h45.
The journey between Budapest and Prague is a little longer, with trains taking just under 7 hours to connect the two capital cities. However, it’s a comfortable journey on air-conditioned EuroCity trains with restaurant cars which run roughly every two hours.
These excellent rail links are ideal for the growing number of people who are looking to take a multi-centre city break holiday, visiting cities such as Prague, Vienna and Budapest or Vienna, Budapest and Bratislava on one holiday. The rail travel can enhance the holiday experience and for most people is so much more enjoyable (and is certainly cheaper) than flying between the cities.