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Take an InterCity two-hour day trip from Budapest to Balaton, along the scenic and soothing Lake Balaton.

Like its Eastern European neighbors, Hungary has invested some money (with the help of the European Union) to modernize its rail network. Yet, it’s still in a restructuring mode, one that’s apparent when traveling the best trains versus local services.

For long distance or international travel to and from Budapest, InterCity trains or international rail services are a comfortable choice. These services mandate assigned-seating, so be sure to make a reservation. No need to worry if you’ve purchased a ticket with Rail Europe—your seat is automatically pre-assigned. And, if you hold a rail pass, you can book a seat from us as well.

You can also make reservations locally, but, by then, your train may be fully booked. Simply follow the signs that say “Foreign Railway Tickets—Seat Reservation” in the Budapest main station in Keleti. Though larger stations have English-speaking agents, their conversational skills might be somewhat limited. So planning ahead while still at home is always good advice (unless, of course, you’re fluent in Hungarian).

Hungary offers some wonderful rail journeys. Take an InterCity two-hour day trip from Budapest to Balaton, along the scenic and soothing Lake Balaton (the largest lake in Central Europe). Siofolk is also on this route, and is probably Hungary’s best bathing resort, just 90 minutes from Budapest. Other day trip possibilities ? Kecsemet (a great photography museum) and the university city of Szeged in the Southern Great Plains.

For optimum enjoyment, travel InterCity rail services as often as possible, and ride first class. (Local trains are charming—but slow.) And beware of a navigational brain-twister. Hungary’s rail network was built around Budapest so you often have to go through the capital for long distance trips. There are three separate train stations : Keleti (east) is the main station and an interesting architectural piece ; Nyugati (west), is the smallest station but very well-equipped ; and, finally—here’s the twist—Deli (south) is a modern, concrete building (on the Budapest side) that’s actually west of the city.

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Reviews & ratings

  • Locating Train was difficult |
    "I had some trouble finding the track at Gare de Lyon in Paris. Also I had trouble finding my coach at the Lyon Airport train going to Paris. "

  • Efficient and on time service |
    "Excellent service. On time and comfortable "

  • A trip over Alpes |
    "I've been travelling to Geneve to meet my daughter. the train was very comfortable and the staff very kind. I bought a good sandwich with salami and butter, a black tea with cinnamon. Very new flavour for me. The viw around the lake from Geneve to Montreux was great. "

  • Very good option  |
    "It was a very good journey. The train was comfortable, the attendants were friendly. Service on board was perfect including the breakfast, which was delicious. "

  • Resumo de minha viagem |
    "Confortável, chegamos ao destino descansados. Valor um pouco alto, mas deixamos para adquirir as passagens na última hora, por isso o alto preço. Conveniente, pois é mais rápido e confortável do que viajar por via aérea. "

  • Exceptional Trip |
    "Exceptional trip from St Pancras to Paris with the help of VIP transfer service from St. Pancras hotel. Highly recommended. "

  • Good |
    "Very fast journey. Comfortable. "

  • Better than flying |
    "Coming from Australia I assumed flights would be far better than trains but having the stations right in the centre of the city made it much more convenient and easier to manage without a phone. The train was smooth and quick. "

  • Trouble free,excellent journey |
    "Excellent service.We booked and printed tickets on line which scanned easily on day of journey. All baggage x rayd so great security before entering platform. Allocated seating upon booking. Train on time. Value for money 5 stars. (auto star system not working. )22 euros per person each way. "

  • To MAdrid |
    "my trip was great but I was wonder that the crew was not speaking English and she couldn't understand me once I order. "

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