Hungarian trains are the best way to travel in Hungary.
- Book up to 60 days in advance
- Regional trains
Hungarian trains are operated by MÁV, the national railway company in Hungary. Hungarian trains operate within the country but also offer connections to neighbouring countries. The main hub for train transport in Hungary is Budapest, the capital city. Intercity, Eurocity and Euronight trains require a seat reservation.
There are different types of trains in Hungary:
Passenger trains also known as Szemelyvonat are commuter trains with a low level of modernity and with only second class available. These trains do not require a seat reservation.
Express trains also known as Gyors are local trains which also do not require a seat reservation.
InterCity trains are the fastest train operating in Hungary. A seat reservation is required, while both first and second class are available.
EuroCity/EuroNight are international trains requiring a seat reservation, and operating between Hungary and neighbouring countries.
|Main routes||Travel time|
Receive your ticket directly to your address. Just take them with you and you are ready to travel. Shipping fees apply.
- Hungarian trains tickets are open for booking 60 days ahead.
- Get the lowest prices by booking early and don’t wait until the last minute as cheaper seats sell the fastest.
- Opt for off-peak trains when you have to travel short notice. They are more affordable than morning and evening trains along with those running on holiday eves, Friday and Sunday afternoon.
A class apart
Classes of service
|First class*||Second class|
|Comfortable seats Spacious seats with a headrest and generous legroom. small>|
|Bar buffet car Access to the bar buffet car where snacks and beverages can be bought. small>|
|Reclining seats Cosy with more legroom, reclining seats are ideal to enjoy the trip. small>|
*mostly available on InterCity EuroCity and EuroNight trains.
From our travel community
Reviews & ratings Hungarian trains
Common Questions, Simple Answers
Q. Does my train ticket include a seat reservation?
A. Rail Europe tickets include a reservation whenever possible. To tell if you have a reservation, see if you received one or two travel documents for your trip. If you received two travel documents, you probably received an open ticket and a reservation. The reservation portion will show a train number, car number and seat number assigned to you personally.
If you received only one document, you should also see if it indicates a seat number and car number. If so, your ticket includes a reservation.
The only case where you may not have a reservation with your ticket is if you received an open ticket. With these tickets, you can simply hop on any non- reservable train that travels on the route for which you bought your ticket.
Q. What food and drink options are on board?
A. If the train you’re traveling on offers a bar-buffet car, you’re free to walk in, sit down and eat. Or as soon as the restaurant car opens, make a reservation for any time of day.
On many long distance trains there may be an attendant with a snack cart who travels from car to car.
Bar-buffet cars are a unique part of the train experience, where the quality of the food and wine can rival that of a gourmet restaurant. With the exception of Eurostar, special meal requests are not available. But typically, regular menu options are plentiful and usually cater to most taste buds or dietary restrictions.
If you travel with a Premier Class ticket, food and drinks are included and served at your seat or in the bar-buffet car.
On local trains there’s usually no catering. However, you are welcome to bring your own food and drinks on board. Please make sure to follow the local law when considering taking alcoholic drinks on board any train.
Q. Can a reservation date on an overnight train be changed?
A. This is possible in some cases, but with the limited availability of overnight trains, please do it as soon as you can and at least 24-hours before the train’s departure. New reservations will be required when you reschedule. Make sure to check the fare rules for the reservation you’ve purchased so you’re aware of the exchange policies. If you’re already traveling in Europe and need to make a change, you may be subject to local service fees and/or upgrade charges.
Q. Do I need to buy a train ticket for children or infants?
A. In general, any traveller that will occupy a seat will need to have a train ticket. Children under the age of 4 may travel on your lap, though the exact age can vary by rail company. If you want them to have a reserved seat on a train, that offers or requires a reservation, you would need to pay the same price as an older child on most trains.
Q. Can I purchase seat reservations from Rail Europe once I’m already traveling in Europe?
A. Yes, but only when an e-ticket is offered for the train you want to take. If only a paper train ticket is offered, you’ll need (and want) to purchase your reservation(s) locally at the train station to avoid international shipping fees and delivery times.
Q. What is a Rail Pass?
A. A rail pass is a travel document that entitles you to travel on European trains in a specific geographic area (country/countries), for a specific number of days.
Be mindful that having a rail pass doesn’t necessarily mean that you can hop on any train at will, within the geographical area covered by your rail pass. Depending on the country, the type of train and the route, you may need to purchase seat reservations at an additional cost.
Lastly, rail passes are packed with additional benefits, also known as rail pass bonuses which can range from discounted shopping in retail stores, to preferential rates on other modes of transportation like ferry or bus, to rebates on hotel nights, reduced admission at museums attractions, and more.
Q. Do I need to purchase a reservation and if I do, how do I book it?
A. To find out if the train you plan on taking requires travellers with a pass to purchase a seat reservation, use our reservation booking tool.
You can book most reservations from our website or mobile site, prior to your departure to Europe. In some countries, Greece and Portugal as an example, seat reservations are mandatory for some trains and can only be purchased locally.
If you’re already in Europe, you can still purchase your reservation from us as long as e-tickets are offered for the train you wish to travel on.
Q. How do I have my train ticket endorsed to indicate it was not used?
A. If you will not be taking the train and have a train ticket that includes a reservation, contact us by phone or go to the ticket window before the train departure and have your reserved seat released, as a courtesy to other travellers. Request that the cancelled train ticket also be stamped “Not Used".
If a train is canceled by the railroads due to a strike, weather, or other issues, and alternate transportation has not been offered or if you decline the alternate transportation, then a railway official at the origin station must cancel your seat and they must stamp the back of your ticket/reservation “Not Used” before the original train departure time.
Our partners at the European Railroads will not allow us to process a refund unless this step has been taken.
Q. When I board the train, can I sit anywhere I want?
A. If you booked a reservation for a specific train, you’ll have a designated car and seat number. This information will be located on your ticket.
If you don’t have a reservation and the train you’re traveling on either doesn’t accept reservations or reservations are not mandatory, then you’ll be able to get on board and look for an available seat in the class of service you booked. Keep in mind that during the train journey, if another traveller gets on board and has reserved the seat you’re occupying, you will need to move.
Keep in mind that local commuter trains generally do not accept reservations. During peak hours (typically before 9am and in the evening between 5-7pm) the trains are used by locals going to work and tend to be a bit more crowded. This may make it more difficult to find an available seat.
Q. What's the difference between a rail pass and a train ticket?
A. A rail pass and a train ticket are two completely different types of travel documents.
A train ticket is valid for a single journey between two cities. Many tickets also include a reservation, which mean that they are valid only for a specific train, on a specific date and at a given time. To learn more about tickets, read our article: tickets explained.
A rail pass, on the other hand, is good for travel in an entire geographical area (1 country, 2 countries or more). With it you can take as many train trips as you want within that geographical area, for as many travel days as you purchased, within a set period of time (the pass validity period).