How to Get to Budapest from Prague

If you travel to Prague, why not take the opportunity to also visit Budapest? It is a very common route and today I will show you the best ways to do it.

Carlos Bleda

Carlos Bleda

5 min read

How to Get to Budapest from Prague

Prague | ©Anthony Delanoix

If you have already enjoyed everything there is to see and do in Prague, you can complete your trip by visiting another of the pearls of the Danube. These are, in addition to the Czech capital, Vienna and Budapest. In this guide we will focus on the best ways to travel from Prague to the capital of Hungary.

Budapest is located southeast of Prague just over 500 kilometers. The Hungarian capital is very well connected to Prague and Vienna with the Danube as a common point between the three capitals. This natural means of communication between the three cities gave rise to a transport system that connects the three cities in a very efficient way. Next, I will show you which are the best means of transportation to travel from Prague to Budapest.

The best option: by train

Train from Prague| ©Janusz Jakubowski
Train from Prague| ©Janusz Jakubowski

The most comfortable way to travel from Prague to Budapest is undoubtedly the train. It is not the fastest way (the trip takes 6 hours and 45 minutes), but valuing comfort and price it is surely the best option for most travelers. Trains depart from Prague Central Station to Budapest every two hours from 5:49 am to 3:52 pm.

Ceské dráhy is the main company offering these trips and the price, on average, is around 29 euros if you buy it online. Booking well in advance it is possible to find offers for 20 euros. If we wait to buy the ticket at the station the price can go up to almost 70 euros.

The night train from Prague to Budapest deserves a special mention. This option allows us to travel at night and sleep on the same train in compartments with beds and even bathroom and shower. This train departs daily from Prague Central Station at 00:00 at night and arrives in Budapest around 8:30 in the morning. It is the best option to optimize the time, since, although it is slower, we arrive at Budapest rested and with the whole day to take advantage of.

Information of interest

  • Price: 20-30 euros normal train. 32-80 euros night train.
  • Operating companies: Ceske drahy.
  • Distance and travel time: Between 6 hours and 45 minutes and 8 hours.
  • Recommended if: you are looking for the best option in relation to price, comfort and duration.

The cheapest option: by bus

FlixBus from Budapest to Prague| ©Michael Taylor
FlixBus from Budapest to Prague| ©Michael Taylor

The bus is an alternative similar to the train in terms of travel time, slightly cheaper, but less comfortable. The duration depends on the route. Direct buses take between 6.5 hours to 7 hours. Buses depart from Prague's ÚAN Florenc bus station and there is a wide range of timetables, including a night route that departs around midnight and arrives in Budapest around 6 a.m.

There are three companies that have direct routes between Prague and Budapest:

  • Student Agency, which offers 6 daytime routes and one night route.
  • FlixBus with 3 day routes and one night route.
  • Eurolines, which offers only two daytime trips.

Prices are cheaper than by train and range between 15 and 20 euros. It always depends on the route chosen and, as with the train, if you buy online and in advance you will find better deals.

Information of interest

  • Price: 15-20 euros.
  • Operating companies: Student Agency, FlixBus and Eurolines.
  • Distance and travel time: 525 kilometers. 6 hours and 45 minutes.
  • Recommended if: you don't mind giving up the comfort of the train in exchange for saving a few euros.

The fastest option: by plane

Ryanair airplane to Budapest| ©Dylan Agbagni
Ryanair airplane to Budapest| ©Dylan Agbagni

The plane is always the fastest way to travel from Prague to Budapest. The journey takes only an hour and a quarter, although adding the transfer to the airport, boarding time, security checks and other factors, the time amounts to approximately 4 hours from the center of Prague to the center of Budapest.

The main disadvantage is the price in relation to other means such as train or bus. The average cost of the ticket is around 80 euros, if we buy it in advance, although with luck and a lot of anticipation there are offers about 40 euros. There are three companies that operate between these two cities non-stop: Ryanair, Czech Airlines and SmartWings.

Information of interest

  • Price: 80 euros on average.
  • Operating companies: Ryanair, Czech Airlines and SmartWings.
  • Distance and duration of the trip: 1 hour and 15 min flight. About 4 hours in total.
  • Recommended if: you find a good offer and you are looking for the fastest transport.

The most comfortable option: by car

Driving a car| ©why kei
Driving a car| ©why kei

If you travel to Prague by car or rent one, you can travel to Budapest by road. It is a long trip, but manageable and very comfortable considering that both cities are very well connected by good highways and roads. The most direct routeis 525 kilometers that can be covered in just over 5 hours.

If you decide to make this trip by road you must take into account that you will cross two borders, since you will pass through Slovakia to enter Hungary. Another slightly longer route will take you through Austria. Apart from the borders there are no tolls, but in Hungary it is mandatory to drive with a temporary sticker valid for 10 days that can be purchased at any service station at a price of 11 euros.

Useful information

  • Price: depends on the fuel cost. The Michelin Guide estimates about 40 euros.
  • Distance and duration of the trip: 525 kilometers. 5 hours.
  • Recommended if: you have a car and want to move with maximum freedom.

The alternative option: stop in Vienna

Strolling around Vienna| ©Luca Sartoni
Strolling around Vienna| ©Luca Sartoni

Since Vienna is located between Prague and Budapest, many travelers take the opportunity to stop for one or two days in Vienna before visiting Budapest from Prague. It is a very common route, so the options to move from one city to another are very wide. I leave you here a guide to go from Prague to Vienna.

From Vienna to Budapest there are less than 300 kilometers, so the bus and train journeys are very comfortable and by road it takes less than three hours to go from one capital to another. The airplane is not recommended, since there is little distance and the prices are very high.

Information of interest

  • Distance and travel time: 243 kilometers. 2 hours and a half.
  • Recommended if: you want to take advantage of the trip between Prague and Budapest to visit another great European capital.

Tips for traveling from Prague to Budapest

Budapest Castle| ©Dimitris Kamaras
Budapest Castle| ©Dimitris Kamaras
  • Buying tickets in advance is advisable to get them cheaper. This applies to train, bus and plane.
  • The night train is the best option. Besides being comfortable, it is the most efficient transport to visit Budapest from Prague without losing half a day of travel.
  • Tolook for your lodging in Budapest in a place well communicated with the train and bus stations.
  • Tobuy the obligatory sticker to circulate in Hungary if you travel by car is obligatory. You can do it in a service station.