How to Get to Budapest from Vienna

Live one of the best experiences getting to know the beautiful Budapest from your location in Vienna. Do you want to know how to do it? Read on to the end!

Joaquín Montaño

Joaquín Montaño

7 min read

How to Get to Budapest from Vienna

Vienna | ©Sandro Gonzalez

One of the best ways to make the most of a multi-day stay in Vienna is to explore nearby destinations both inside and outside Austria. Its privileged location connects it to other important destinations in Europe, which is why visiting Prague from Vienna or visiting Budapest is easier than you might imagine and one of the best things to do in Vienna as long as your itinerary allows it.

Will you be in Vienna for 4 days or more? Take the opportunity to get to know Budapest with all the information I share with you below.

1. The best way to get there: an organized excursion

Getting to know Budapest| ©Andrea Piacquadio
Getting to know Budapest| ©Andrea Piacquadio

An excursion to Budapest from Vienna is the best way to get to know both destinations and have a hassle-free vacation; fortunately in the Austrian capital you will find numerous providers that offer this experience and at really affordable prices. The aim is to ensure vital aspects such as transfer, regulated departure times or visiting hours to the attractions.

What these excursions include

Day trips to Budapest from Vienna usually start early in the morning. After all Budapest is 243 km away which implies a minimum road time of 2 hours and 30 minutes. Leaving early in the morning ensures that you get the most out of your day trip.

Accompanied by an expert guide and in private transport you will drive through the fields and plains southwest of Vienna on the Austria-Hungary route to reach the capital and see the most important monuments and attractions of Budapest.

Although the itinerary may be modified depending on the company you finally decide to hire for the excursion, some of the destinations you can expect to see include: the Buda Castle complex, the Fisherman's Bastion, the magnificent Parliament building, which can be visited with guided tours and more.

Useful information

  • Price: It could vary a lot depending on the type of tour you choose, group tours are available from 130€, individual tours from 300€.
  • Duration of the trip: These are day trips to Budapest, departing from Vienna early in the morning. You will need to book between 12-14 hours for this experience.
  • Recommended if: You are looking for a comfortable, practical and easy option to enjoy Budapest on your next vacation in Vienna. The Budapest experience is one of the best excursions from Vienna, as rated by travelers.

Book your tour to Budapest

2. The fastest option: the Vienna - Budapest train.

Train Vienna - Budapest.| ©Maria J
Train Vienna - Budapest.| ©Maria J

The favorite option for locals and tourists who wish to visit Budapest from Vienna is the train service. Keep in mind that a train trip requires much more organization on your part and be very attentive to the schedules in order not to miss your departure.

It is recommended to book tickets and ensure availability on the day of your excursion, especially if you are traveling during the peak tourist season such as summer in Vienna.


The route departs from Vienna Central Station (Wien Hauptbahnhof) at different times and arrives in the center of Budapest, specifically Budapest-Kelenfoeld train station.

Companies offering this service

The companies that offer connection between the two cities depart at different times and with different time periods. Here are the most important ones.

  • RegioJet: a train on the Vienna-Budapest route departs every 4 hours on average.
  • ÖBB EuroCity you will find a new train every 4 hours on the Vienna-Budapest route.
  • Railjet: this company operates three trains a day.
  • Hungarian Railways (MÁV): this company operates a train Vienna-Budapest once a day.

Useful information

  • Price: Depending on the company and availability, you can estimate an average range of 30€ to 50€ each way. Generally the Budapest-Vienna route is more expensive than the Vienna-Budapest route.
  • Travel time: This is a fast travel option and the train trip will take approximately 2 hours 30 minutes.
  • Recommended yes: A great alternative for those looking to have autonomy on their trip to Budapest and do not want to pay for an excursion, although you will have the responsibility of organizing many details of the excursion. It is a comfortable and fast option to move between the two destinations.

3. The most economical option: the Vienna - Budapest bus.

Bus to Budapest| ©brianrounds
Bus to Budapest| ©brianrounds

In addition to economic it is an interesting option due to the departure time of some bus companies that operate from early hours in the morning. If you plan to spend a whole day touring Budapest, this alternative allows you to arrive to the Hungarian capital early in the morning to make the most of the hours of fun.


Buses depart from the International Bus Terminal located at Wien Hauptbahnhof (Vienna Central Station). In Budapest you will arrive at one of the two main Budapest stations: the Népliget which connects to Budapest Metro Line 3 and the Kelenföld which connects to Budapest Metro Line 4 and Budapest Tram Line 19.

Companies that offer this service

Similar to train transportation, bus service in Vienna is a popular option for travel to nearby destinations within Austria, such as Salzburg, or outside Austria, such as Budapest or Prague.

This translates into multiple companies offering the service and multiple schedules to choose from. These are the most popular and convenient companies offering direct, non-stop connections between the two destinations.

  • RegioJet: A new bus leaves on the Vienna - Budapest route every 3 hours on average.
  • FlixBus: Buses of this company depart 3 times a day.

Useful information

  • Price: It may vary slightly depending on the company you choose and the schedule. You can estimate an average cost between 7€ and 17€ euros each way.
  • Duration of the trip: It is possibly one of the slowest options you will have to stipulate about 3 hours of travel and add the waiting time at the station before boarding your bus.
  • Recommended if: you are making a low cost, relaxed trip and you can afford to lose a few hours in order to save money. Keep in mind that this travel option will require punctuality above all to avoid missing your ride.

4. The most flexible option: Travel by car from Vienna

Traveling by Car| ©tobi
Traveling by Car| ©tobi

Although a car trip from Vienna gives you a lot of flexibility and the opportunity to customize the route according to the destinations you want to visit, it is not an option that I recommend if it is your first time visiting this area of Europe, mainly because it requires a lot of planning and because, as I explained in the previous points, there are many other cheaper and more comfortable alternatives to carry out.


If you choose this alternative you will have to invest time and attention in planning the route carefully in order to ensure a pleasant trip free of unforeseen events.

Depending on your travel plan you can follow several different routes. The most direct route to Budapest is via A4 and M1. If you take A4 and A6 you will have a longer trip but you will cross very close to Bratislava. Consider a new destination to arrive in Budapest in the evening and explore it thoroughly the following days.

Companies offering this service

Car rental companies are diverse so I recommend you to do your own research; some of the most reliable and popular ones are listed below.

Useful information

  • Price: Renting a cheap car in Vienna costs approximately 26€ per day. Fuel costs must be added to the budget.
  • Duration of the trip: A trip by car from Vienna will take about 3 hours on average, not including stops.
  • Recommended yes: taking into consideration the public transport facilities between Vienna and Budapest or the many advantages of a private tour I would only recommend this option if you are making a multi-destination route.

5. The most expensive option: a plane from Vienna to Budapest.

Plane from Vienna| ©Riik@mctr
Plane from Vienna| ©Riik@mctr

Although there is the possibility of flying from Vienna to Budapest, it is not an option that I recommend to any of my traveler friends. It is, in short, a very expensive option, with not very frequent flights and it does not allow you to save time either.


Your flight will depart from Vienna International Airport (Fri) to land at Budapest Airport. Whether you are traveling with luggage, with small children or simply for convenience, it is good to keep in mind that in both destinations you have transfer options between the airports (located on the outskirts of the city) and your final destination or point of departure.

Companies offering this service

At the moment the only company that offers direct flights between both destinations is Austrian Airlines, which offers several flights a week and seasonally several flights on the same day.

Useful information

  • Price: Although it is possible to get cheap deals around 30 € at certain times of the year, airline tickets can cost up to 150 € per passenger.
  • Travel time: The flight between the two cities takes only 45 minutes. However, transfers between airports can take an additional 20 to 40 minutes each. To this you must add the waiting time and check in.
  • Recommended yes: I do not recommend this option under any scenario, due to the high price and the fact that it takes as long, sometimes longer, than a train ride.
  • Organized excursion
  • The best option
  • Price: from 135€.
  • Duration: 12-14 hours
  • Train
  • The fastest option
  • Price: Between 30€ - 50€ each way.
  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes.
  • By bus
  • The most economical option.
  • Price: from 7€ to 17€ each way.
  • Duration: 3 hours.
  • By car
  • The most flexible option
  • Price: from 26€.
  • Duration: 3 hours.