There are several options to reach Budapest from Prague, so everyone can choose the best one for them: a plane, a train, or a car. The distance between Prague and Budapest is 530 kilometers, and, of course, the fastest way is travelling by plane - it takes less than 1.5 hours. Still, it's not that cheap – it costs EUR 400. It is cheaper to take a bus Prague – Budapest (the price is from EUR 19 to EUR 31, depending on the carrier), but this trip takes around 7-8 hours. As for trains from Prague to Budapest, they will get you to the train station Keleti in 7 hours. If you're travelling in second class, it will cost you EUR 30, if in first class - EUR 36-46. A popular option among tourists is taxis and transfers – they can cover this distance in around 6.5 hours and for EUR 400 on average.
When choosing one or another type of transport, you should consider not only the ticket price and travel time. You should also take into account other details: for instance, the air fare for a trip from Prague to Budapest on weekends and holidays is higher; and moreover, the price varies depending on the season. However, a ticket booked in advance can help you save some money. One more issue you need to think about regarding the plane trip: the airport is located 17 kilometers from Budapest; the price for a taxi trip to the city will add around EUR 20, but you can make it cheaper (EUR 2) if you take a bus or metro. Please note that you can't rely on night trains to Budapest from Prague, since they only have daytime routes. You can choose a bus to travel at night, but you will hardly be able to have enough sleep and rest there.
First of all, Budapest is a very popular resort. It's known by its rich heritage, incredibly beautiful buildings, lots of cozy patios, and European style streets. Surely, the main part of the city is the Danube river, that's why Budapest is full of picturesque views. Moreover, any tourist will be happy with the loyal currency exchange rate so that anyone can feel comfortable staying in the city. Having arrived to the capital of Hungary, don't forget to enjoy the gorgeous Parliament of Budapest, visit the Thermal baths places, and take a stroll in Városliget City Park.
All trains from Prague to Budapest depart from Prague main train station that is located almost in the city centre, not far from Wenceslas Square. Thus, the journey to the station will take not more than 30 minutes, even if you go by public transport. The train Prague-Budapest travel time is 6 hours 46 minutes. They currently have no night routes, so tourists reach the destination in the evening. The tickets for trains Prague-Budapest are better to be bought on the official website of the Czech Republic rails (booking starts two months before the trip). The price for an adult ticket is EUR 36-46 (first class) and EUR 30 (second class). In Budapest, the train arrives at Budapest Keleti railway station (Eastern Railways); from the station to the city centre, you can get in 15 minutes (by metro red line M-2).
Direct train to Budapest
From 9.49 a.m. to 3.49 p.m.
Hlavni Nadrazi train station – Keleti train station
7h 20min (6h 46min - the train trip from Prague to Budapest, 30min - the metro trip)
High: spacious and clean compartment, high windows, soft seats
EUR 31 (EUR 30 - to Budapest, EUR 1 - to the train station)
young tourists, couples without small children, those who know the route and are ready to change transport
The trains start their journey from Prague main train station which you can reach by taking trams 5, 9, 26, buses 505,511, or metro red line (C).
The cheapest way to get from Prague to Budapest is by bus, yet it's pretty a long way of 7-8 hours. They currently have several carriers, and one of the cheapest ones is called Student Agency. The bus Prague – Budapest will get you to the destination in 7 hours 15 minutes and for EUR 22. If you use the OrangeWays company, it will be even cheaper – EUR 19 (the travel time is 6 hours 20 minutes), and they have some night routes, as well.
Student Agency, OrangeWays to Budapest
From 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Florenc bus station – Nepliget bus station
7h (6h 20min – bus trip, 35/40min – metro)
High: soft seats, w/c, plug sockets, Wi-Fi, free drinks
EUR 20 (EUR 19 – bus trip, EUR 1 - getting to the bus station)
young tourists, couples without small children, those who have no large luggage
You can get to Florenc bus station by metro (B and C lines) and by trams 8 and 24 to the station of the same name.
The trip by plane Prague-Budapest will be fast if you use Czech Airlines, the direct route without changing planes. The duration of the flight is 1 hour 25 minutes, the ticket cost is EUR 394. There are only two flights a day (both in the daytime). Thus, if you have missed the last plane, you can leave only on the next day. Don't forget that you will also need to get to the destination from Ferenc Liszt Airport. Use a taxi or public transport for that.
Direct route by Czech Airlines
Several routes during the day
Vaclav Havel Airport Prague – Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport
1h 50min (1h 25min – plane, 25min – metro from Budapest Airport)
4-5h between flights
High: comfortable high seats, clean and spacious compartment, drinks
EUR 396-420 (EUR 394 – tickets, EUR 2 – public transport to Budapest / EUR 25 – taxi)
wealthy tourists, young couples, businessmen
From Terminal 2 buses 200E run to the metro station, and bus lines 914 / 950 operate at night there.
For those who have no wish to have a fuss with all the tickets issues and getting to the train station or airport, there is a very good option - to book a taxi from Prague to Budapest. The transportation can be made by a regular car or minibus – that depends on the number of passengers. Depending on the money the traveller is ready to spend, the comfort level inside the car can vary, too. The car trip for four people will cost from EUR 406.
To your hotel in Budapest or given address
Taxi on the spot: you need about 5 minutes for searching;
Transfer booked in advance: no need to wait – at specified time, the driver meets you at the exit from the arrivals area with a nameplate
Taxi on the spot: air-conditioning, no stops, no other passengers
Transfer booked in advance: child seats, cold drinks, operator supervising the trip, paying online (if you wish), spacious minibuses and Comfort-class cars
From EUR 406
families with children, inexperienced travellers who are in the Czech Republic/Hungary for the first time, aged tourists, those who arrive at night
Taxis can be found at the stand in front of the exits from Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.
To choose the right transport for your journey from Prague to Budapest, you need to define your priorities first. So you need to consider the price, travel time and comfort level. May your journey bring you lots of positive moments!