How to Travel by Train in Hungary

Step 1:  Choose your destination.

Step 2: Check the timetable.  It is conveniently found online, in English.

(http://www.mav-start.hu/english/index.php)

top row: departure, arrival, # of transfers, time, distance, 1st/2nd class prices, type of train        below: departure/arrival locations and times, platform #s and train #s

Pricing: Train rides are priced by distance.  A ride to a certain location can cost different prices depending on the length of the route it takes.  Fares are also affected by using “IC” trains (e.g., the 2nd train listed above “Tenkes IC”). These trains are nicer, faster, have limited stops, and require a seat reservation, which costs 140 ft. extra.

Step 3: Decide if your itinerary has enough leeway built in, in case your first train arrives late and your next train doesn’t wait for it.

When should your train arrive at your station, and how long will it wait there?

Step 4: Purchase the ticket (“Szeretnék egy jegyet”).

Step 5: ALSO, purchase the reserved seat on any IC trains your route requires.

Step 6: IF you have internet access while you wait for the train, the MAV website allows you to track your incoming train.  You can find out if it is on time, or how late it will arrive at your station.

My connecting train is running 7 minutes late, so my connection won’t be as tight as I had planned.

Step 7: Show up at the train station on time, enjoy using public transportation, and hope you don’t miss your connections!

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3 thoughts on “How to Travel by Train in Hungary

    • Why, Kellie? Does it stress you out if you know more information, like if the train’s going to be late? It sounds oh-so-complicated, but much better to have trains carrying many people than having tons of cars packing the highways, filling the air with noise and exhaust.

      • No – it’s bad that I learned something, because I’ve traveled by train just as much as Bobby and should know everything he posted about. But… I learned a thing or two. Traveling by train in Hungary feels like a crap-shoot basically every single time! But we manage.

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