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Budapest to Vienna to Prague- is Raileurope best way to book

Budapest to Vienna to Prague- is Raileurope best way to book

Old Jun 21, 10, 3:54 pm
  #1  
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Budapest to Vienna to Prague- is Raileurope best way to book

Train newbie here. I have searched past threads and see some talk of how to book train travel. I went to raileurope and it was very easy. The whole thing in first class was $416 for 2 people. I have no idea if this is a reasonable price or if there are better sites/way to get a deal. I appreciate any comments you have.

The last time I traveled you needed not just a ticket but a reservation for an acutal seat (in Italy). Is this the same here?


For $416 the site says:
Reservations
Reservation Included

Exchange/Refund
No
Lounge Access
No

On-board Meals
For a Fee

Cabin
1st Class Seat
detony is offline  
Old Jun 21, 10, 5:55 pm
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Originally Posted by detony View Post
Train newbie here. I have searched past threads and see some talk of how to book train travel. I went to raileurope and it was very easy. The whole thing in first class was $416 for 2 people. I have no idea if this is a reasonable price or if there are better sites/way to get a deal. I appreciate any comments you have.

The last time I traveled you needed not just a ticket but a reservation for an acutal seat (in Italy). Is this the same here?


For $416 the site says:
Reservations
Reservation Included

Exchange/Refund
No
Lounge Access
No

On-board Meals
For a Fee

Cabin
1st Class Seat
On the Austrian Railways website you can buy 2 tickets in first class from Budapest to Vienna and from Vienna to Prague for $168.
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Old Jun 22, 10, 2:47 am
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Originally Posted by Track View Post
On the Austrian Railways website you can buy 2 tickets in first class from Budapest to Vienna and from Vienna to Prague for $168.
Not quite - you can't buy one way tickets Budapest - Vienna online on the Austrian Railways website; nor can you buy (any) international tickets online on the Hungarian Railways website.

There are no discounted 1st class tickets available from Budapest to Vienna (only in the opposite direction!), which is a bit of a pain, but not a great problem because the trains are new Railjets, and 2nd class is perfectly OK. I would wait until you are in Budapest to buy this ticket. If you can buy the ticket at least 3 days before date of travel, there are €13 special fares (including reservation). There are trains every 2 hours during the day, and although these tickets are subject to a quota, I have never had a problem getting one. Otherwise, pay the full fare, which shouldn't be more than €25 in second class.

For the Vienna - Prague journey, as Track says, you can buy online in advance - cheapest fares in 1st class cost €39.

Regarding the OP's general question, you don't need a seat reservation on the Railjets between Budapest and Vienna, and the only day train from Vienna to Prague on which a reservation is compulsory, is the SuperCity train (EC 72) leaving Wien Meidling at 14:33 daily.
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Old Jun 22, 10, 4:11 am
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I asked about the full one-way 2nd class fare Budapest - Vienna and it is €38. This is ridiculous, because you can buy an unrestricted, walk-up round-trip fare for €31 (valid on any train). This is valid for 4 days, and you simply don't use the return. Not only that, but you get free public transportation (metro, buses, trams, local trains) in Vienna for the first two days with this ticket!

Note this ticket is only valid from Budapest - there used to be a similar 4-day round-trip ticket Vienna to Budapest, but it was scrapped some years ago.
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Old Jun 22, 10, 7:46 am
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thank you very much for your comments.
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Old Jun 22, 10, 6:30 pm
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Originally Posted by railways View Post
Not quite - you can't buy one way tickets Budapest - Vienna online on the Austrian Railways website; nor can you buy (any) international tickets online on the Hungarian Railways website.

There are no discounted 1st class tickets available from Budapest to Vienna (only in the opposite direction!), which is a bit of a pain, but not a great problem because the trains are new Railjets, and 2nd class is perfectly OK.
Hmm, the Austrian Railways website shows a first-class discounted ticket price from Budapest to Vienna, but when one continues in the booking process, you are right, a message pops up noting that it can't be bought on the internet. A previous window mentions buying the ticket through the railway's call center or by email, but I've never tried that. Have you, or do you have any information on those options, particularly from another country to Austria? (And should I have read your post to mean that on the internet there are "no discounted 1st class tickets available..."?) The German railway, by the way, will also book the ticket for you through their call center, but not on the internet - and with no indication of whether they can apply the discounted fare.
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Old Jun 23, 10, 4:54 pm
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Buy these tickets in the stations! Here in CEEurope we are still haven't given into bucket pricing and are used to buying ticket more or less walk-up, but the EU/local railways have many discounts that aren't very limited making it cheaper than prices quoted from other int'l railways or raileurope.

MÁV Hungarian Railways international desk at Kelti Station are helpful. (Way back over in the hall to the left of the platforms. Take a number from the machine!!) Don't let their gov't job attitude get to you, smile, show any railway discount card, int'l student- or senior-ID you have and more likely than not they'll sell you the €13 ticket to Vienna, right up to departure (this is techically not allowed, but they are nice in their own wierd way--as long as you don't annoy them by being obviously loud/clueless/insisiting on them running 5 seperate credit cards for a group going together). This ticket is bound to an included reservation for a specific train. It is worth checking the schedual and try to get on a RailJet (very reliable/comfortable). The trains are rarely full and reservations are only loosely followed. Just stay in 2nd class ("economy" class on the railjet.) Check out wikitravel for descriptions of the other tickets and instructions for the cheapest ticket to Prague.

Its also possible to travel by bus (free coffee/tea/headphones/newspaper with service attendant and films) for €7 one-way. These are good if you are really worried about pre-booking. See wikitravel.
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Old Jun 23, 10, 5:09 pm
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Also, In Budapest most any accomidation should be able to book and pick-up the tickets for you for a small service fee $1-$5.

From Vienna there are a few oddball trains to Prague (leaving from Praterstern Station, instead of Meidling) at the moment as one of the major stations is closed for construction. Buy your tickets at any station with a ticket desk (there are several) but make sure they tell you where you depart from.

You never need a reservation on an Austrian train to/from/within Austria. Sometimes one is included in international discount tickets, but its not required. The only place you need to worry about it is if you take the highly-reccomended Czech high-speed Pendelino SuperCity from Vienna to Prauge, departing once-daily Vienna/Wien-Meidling at 14:33, but when you a buy your ticket they'll tell you that.

If you want business / first / premium class you can ask for it at the station as well, althogh most people find second / economy in the international high-speed Austrian and Czech trains more than adaquate.
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Old Jun 24, 10, 1:51 am
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Originally Posted by ofto View Post
The only place you need to worry about it is if you take the highly-reccomended Czech high-speed Pendelino SuperCity from Vienna to Prauge, departing once-daily Vienna/Wien-Meidling at 14:33, but when you a buy your ticket they'll tell you that.
Well, I certainly wouldn't highly recommend it. The ride is not particularly comfortable (not nearly as good as on a Railjet, for example), and although they may be high speed in name, on this journey (Vienna - Prague), they take exactly the same time as conventional trains.
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Old Jun 24, 10, 2:01 am
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Originally Posted by ofto View Post
MÁV Hungarian Railways international desk at Kelti Station are helpful. (Way back over in the hall to the left of the platforms. Take a number from the machine!!) Don't let their gov't job attitude get to you, smile, show any railway discount card, int'l student- or senior-ID you have and more likely than not they'll sell you the €13 ticket to Vienna, right up to departure (this is techically not allowed, but they are nice in their own wierd way--as long as you don't annoy them by being obviously loud/clueless/insisiting on them running 5 seperate credit cards for a group going together).
Well, I'd take that with a large pinch of salt. And Keleti station international ticket office is a grim, horrendous place with lots of shady characters hanging around. Avoid it. If you have to buy an international ticket at Keleti station, go to the Wasteels office on platform 9. They sell the full range of tickets at no extra charge, and the service is much better.

However, the best place to buy train tickets in Budapest is at MAV's new downtown ticket office, near Deak square metro interchange (József Attila utca 16). There's never been anyone it when I have used it.
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Old Jun 24, 10, 10:02 am
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Originally Posted by railways View Post
Well, I'd take that with a large pinch of salt. And Keleti station international ticket office is a grim, horrendous place with lots of shady characters hanging around. Avoid it. If you have to buy an international ticket at Keleti station, go to the Wasteels office on platform 9. They sell the full range of tickets at no extra charge, and the service is much better.

However, the best place to buy train tickets in Budapest is at MAV's new downtown ticket office, near Deak square metro interchange (József Attila utca 16). There's never been anyone it when I have used it.
Yes if booking yourself in advance definately go to the office near Deak Square, only MŔV (either the Downtown Office or the International Ticket Desk) can sell the €13 ticket the day of or day before departure in my experience. I find it most simple to just go to the ticket desk as they have always been good with the language, accept credit cards and have the best price in my experience. I haven't seen these shady charecters or the grimmness of the grand old ticket hall albeit perpetually under 'renovation'. It might be easiest just to pay your accomodation the small service charge for their trouble.
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Old Jun 25, 10, 2:54 am
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One thing to remember is that if you buy through RailEurope, you will pay too much.
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Old Jun 28, 10, 7:17 am
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There are other websites to buy from. I would suggest you use a travel agent. There is no downside, they get paid from the RailEurope or other company not by you. They can look at several of the rail ticket vendors and give you quotes from a few.
You are new to train travel. Keep it simple for yourself until you really get the hang of it.
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Old Jun 28, 10, 9:49 am
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Originally Posted by angiecov33 View Post
There are other websites to buy from. I would suggest you use a travel agent. There is no downside, they get paid from the RailEurope or other company not by you. They can look at several of the rail ticket vendors and give you quotes from a few.
You are new to train travel. Keep it simple for yourself until you really get the hang of it.
It doesn't work that way, I'm afraid. There aren't "several rail ticket vendors" who can give you a range of quotes. Good luck in trying to get a US travel agent to issue a €19 Vienna - Prague ticket. They'll either do it from the operator's website (which you could do yourself) and charge you a whopping great service fee, or charge you the full fare (much more expensive) plus the inevitable service fee.

It's very easy to buy tickets online directly from the operator. In some cases it is worthwhile to buy tickets locally when you arrive, but don't expect to get this advice from a travel agent in the US - best to get it here or on other forums.
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