Hungarian trains are the best way to travel in Hungary.
- Book up to 60 days in advance
- Regional trains
Hungarian trains are operated by MÁV, the national railway company in Hungary. Hungarian trains operate within the country but also offer connections to neighbouring countries. The main hub for train transport in Hungary is Budapest, the capital city. Intercity, Eurocity and Euronight trains require a seat reservation.
There are different types of trains in Hungary:
Passenger trains also known as Szemelyvonat are commuter trains with a low level of modernity and with only second class available. These trains do not require a seat reservation.
Express trains also known as Gyors are local trains which also do not require a seat reservation.
InterCity trains are the fastest train operating in Hungary. A seat reservation is required, while both first and second class are available.
EuroCity/EuroNight are international trains requiring a seat reservation, and operating between Hungary and neighbouring countries.
|Main routes||Travel time|
Receive your ticket directly to your address. Just take them with you and you are ready to travel. Shipping fees apply.
- Hungarian trains tickets are open for booking 60 days ahead.
- Get the lowest prices by booking early and don’t wait until the last minute as cheaper seats sell the fastest.
- Opt for off-peak trains when you have to travel short notice. They are more affordable than morning and evening trains along with those running on holiday eves, Friday and Sunday afternoon.
A class apart
Classes of service
|First class*||Second class|
|Comfortable seats Spacious seats with a headrest and generous legroom. small>|
|Bar buffet car Access to the bar buffet car where snacks and beverages can be bought. small>|
|Reclining seats Cosy with more legroom, reclining seats are ideal to enjoy the trip. small>|
*mostly available on InterCity EuroCity and EuroNight trains.
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Common Questions, Simple Answers
Q. Can I bring food and drinks on board?
A. Of course you can! Eating and drinking are permitted on all European trains.
You will also have the option to purchase food and drinks if the train you’re traveling on offers food services.
Q. A rail strike in Europe prevented me from fully using my rail pass as intended. Can I get a refund on the unused days?
A. Passes that have been activated or partially used are not eligible for a refund. You may wish to have your pass cancelled and noted by a European railroad official that it was “not used due to a strike” and return it to our customer relations department. The claim will be reviewed to see if we are able to provide compensation depending on the European railroads’ policies. Please send us a message using the Contact Us page on our site.
Q. Can I get off the train and get back on later using my train ticket?
A. In most cases, this is not possible. Train tickets that include a reservation are only valid for a single ride on the train for which the reservation was issued. While stepping off the train is possible if the train makes intermediary stops, you wouldn’t be allowed to resume your trip by boarding another train with the same ticket. Your train ticket is only valid on the train printed on it.
Open train tickets may be the exception. They can allow you to hop off and back on another train on a given route to continue your itinerary, as long as that new train doesn’t require or offer reservations. Special conditions do apply for breaks on regional trains, so it’s a good idea to confirm locally.
If you’re traveling with an open ticket and a reservation for your original train, you forfeit that reservation for the remaining part of your journey when you hop off. You may hop back on another train that doesn’t require a reservation, but you’d essentially be traveling with an open train ticket only and not have a reserved seat. Again, special conditions do apply for breaks on regional trains, so it is a good idea to confirm locally.
Q. Do restaurant cars cater to specific dietary needs like vegetarian, diabetic or kosher?
A. Some European trains do offer special menu items. You can check the menu card found on board the train when you get on. Please keep in mind that you are also permitted to bring food on to the train, so if you have a specific dietary condition that requires special food, you can purchase before getting on the train and avoid any disappointment if the train you are on does not cater to your specific needs.
On Eurostar a wide variety of meals can be arranged prior to your departure to Europe. They include vegetarian, kosher, halal, vegan, diabetic, low fat, low salt and gluten-free meals. For vegetarian meals, we require 24-hours notice in advance of travel. For all other meals we require 48-hours advance notice. If you need to arrange a special meal for your Eurostar journey, please contact us via our Contact Us page.
Q. Where can I find more information about European train stations?
A. We offer valuable information on the most popular train stations in Europe. You can find a link to our Train Station page in the footer on any page on the website.
Q. Will my luggage be safe, accessible, and in my line of sight throughout the duration of my trip?
A. Your luggage will either be safely above you in a luggage rack, or at the end of your train car. These are the designated locations for luggage storage. You will be able to access your bags as needed.
You are responsible for your luggage. The railways will assume no responsibility in case of loss or theft of baggage carried on board.
Be sure to have luggage tags with your name and contact information securely attached in case you leave anything behind.
Q. Should I buy my seat reservations prior to arriving in Europe, or can I just get them at the station locally?
A. We recommend that you purchase your reservations as soon as possible, once you’ve determined which train journeys you’d like to take and what dates you’ll need them.
In most cases, rail carriers set aside a limited number of seats for stand-alone reservations. Once those seats have sold out, only regular full-fare tickets can be bought for the train. Because of the limited reservation-only inventory, these seats do in fact sell out, especially during peak travel seasons such as the holidays or summer. The cost difference between a stand-alone reservation and a full-priced ticket can amount to a hundred dollars or more. There’s nothing more frustrating than being unable to use your rail pass and having to buy a full priced ticket at significant cost. Therefore, we highly encourage you to lock down your reservation and make the most of your travel budget as soon as possible.
Also keep in mind that reservations can be purchased online from Rail Europe’s website and iPhone App. Many rail carriers do not sell stand-alone reservations through their website and in most cases, you will have to go in person to the rail station to buy your reservation when in Europe.
Q. Once on the train platform, how can I find my car? Is there a difference between where first and second class carriages are located or how they look on the outside?
A. Typically you will see a (1) or a (2) or the words “First” or “Second” or a combination of both on the outside of the train car indicating First or Second class. Once you board the train, you’ll notice that some trains have inside indicators for first or second class. Some high speed trains have headrest covers that state the class of service.
For certain high speed trains such as the Thalys, TGV, or Eurostar you’ll also find displays right on the platform indicating where each car of the train will be located for boarding. You can use this chart to find the mark on the platform corresponding to the car you would like to board. It is a good rule of thumb to arrive at the station early so that you can find the train and the right car matching the class of service on your pass or ticket.
And of course, you can always ask a railway official or conductor for assistance.
Q. Is the price for a reservation the same whether I purchase it from you or locally at the station?
A. It depends. The first factor to consider is that if you purchase your reservation from Rail Europe, you will be charged in your local currency, whereas if you buy your reservation locally, you will be charged in local currency. Thus, by buying with us, you’re avoiding bank or credit card fees for foreign currency transactions.
You may find a less expensive reservation offered by the local rail carrier, but those are limited in availability.
Lastly, keep in mind that by purchasing your reservation from us in advance, you’re saving time, avoiding waiting in line at a foreign ticket counter and dealing with a local railway agent for a reservation right before boarding your train.
Q. Can I still buy train tickets from you once I’m in Europe?
A. Yes, but only for trains that offer print at home or print at the station e-tickets. In general, we don’t ship paper tickets to Europe unless you will be at the same location (and able to receive tickets) for 3-5 business days. If the train you want only offers a paper ticket option, and you won’t be able to receive those tickets in the main, you will need to buy it locally at the station.