How to Get from Prague to Budapest: 6 Best Ways to Travel
Both Prague and Budapest are must-see stops on any Central Europe itinerary. Find out the best way to travel from Prague to Budapest and vice versa in this short post.
Prague and Budapest are two of Europe’s most beautiful cities. If you’re wondering whether you can visit them both on one trip, the answer is definitely yes. Located just half a day’s travel apart, it’s easy to visit both Prague and Budapest on one trip.
Europe is renowned for its efficient and comprehensive public transportation systems, making travel between cities and countries both convenient and straightforward. With an extensive network of trains, buses, trams, and subways, navigating from Prague to Budapest is fairly easy all in all.
So how do you get from Prague to Budapest? There are many ways to consider depending on your travel preferences, time and budget. Keep reading to find all the best ways to travel from Prague to Budapest for a smooth and easy transfer.
*This ‘best way to get from Prague to Budapest ’ guide contains affiliate links meaning I might make a small profit if you choose to book at no extra cost to you. This helps me to keep providing you with top-quality content for free.
Short on time and looking to book your transfer to Budapest right away? Here are all the links to book now.
Prague to Budapest by Bus – Book here via Bookaway
Prague to Budapest by Hassle-free Private Transfer – Book here via Viator
Prague to Budapest by Sightseeing Transfer – Book here via Viator
Prague to Budapest by rental car – Book a car here with Discover Cars
Need to Knows Before You Go
↠ The driving distance from Prague to Budapest is about 530 km ( 330 miles).
↠ The most popular ways to get between Budapest and Prague are by car, train, bus, plane or by transfer.
↠ For the more budget-conscious, the cheapest way to get from Prague to Budapest is generally by bus. However, when booked in advance it’s possible to occasionally find trains for a similar price.
↠ To travel from Prague to Budapest you’ll need to go through either Austria or Slovakia ( or both if you like). Both the Czech Republic and Hungary, as well as Austria and Slovakia, are in the EU so there are no formal border crossings involved.
Looking for the perfect Prague Itinerary? Read 2 Days in Prague: The Perfect First-Timer’s Itinerary
6 Best Ways to Travel from Prague to Budapest
Prague to Budapest by Train
Average Trip Time: 7 hrs -10 hrs
Estimated Cost: from €30
Frequency: 8 daily direct trains
The distance between Prague and Budapest by train is 443 km or 275 miles and there are many daily departure times between Prague and Budapest.
Taking the train between Budapest and Prague is the most popular option to get between the two Central European capitals. Trains are frequent, cost-effective, fast and don’t succumb to traffic like buses do.
Going from Prague to Budapest by train is the perfect way to just relax, perhaps get some work done and see the beautiful rolling green hills zoom past your window. It’s a lovely way to see more of the countryside too.
Trains leave from Prague’s main train station and take you to Budapest’s main station. There are many different trains per day, however, I’d recommend getting a direct train or fast train from Prague to Budapest to avoid wasting time with unnecessary stopovers.
One of the most budget-friendly options is the RegioJet Train, which connects Prague with the rest of Central Europe and beyond. The day train has many different seat classes and services available. Another option is EuroCity Trains which also connect Prague with Budapest.
On the IC Metropol sleeper train, you’ll be able to find 1st and 2nd class tickets as well as a restaurant car or dining car on this night route.
Are there direct trains from Prague to Budapest?
There are many direct trains from Prague train station to Budapest. The first train departs at 5.45 am and there are 4 total direct trains in the morning. There are 3 direct services in the afternoon and even a direct overnight train from Prague to Budapest.
Trains from Praha to Budapest generally cost from €30 depending on the train, class, ticket availability and season of travel.
Generally travel during the winter low season is much more budget-friendly than in the high summer months when the ticket price often doubles. You might want to also avoid travelling at the weekend, particularly on Friday evening.
It’s generally a good idea to book tickets in advance when going from Prague to Budapest by train for the best rates. For the easiest way to book Prague Budapest train tickets check the box below.
Similar schedules also operate when going from Budapest to Prague by train.
Prague to Budapest by Bus
Average Trip Time: 7 hours
Estimated Cost: €30- 50
Frequency: 10-12 times daily
Taking a bus from Prague to Budapest is another great way to get between the two capital cities. Taking a bus is the cheapest option but it’s not the fastest as buses get delayed occasionally and traffic can slow down your trip.
It might be the best option for those travelling on a budget and who have more time.
The bus trip is a smooth highway trip and if you don’t mind the 7 hours of watching the countryside go by to some of your favourite music or podcasts, this is a good option.
Buses depart Prague from UAN Florenc or Na Knizeci Bus Station which are both in the city centre and connected well by public transportation.
Buses also arrive in Budapest to the centrally located bus station. This means you’ll be able to quickly get to and from the station and have more time for exploring.
If you’d like to take the bus from Prague to Budapest but don’t want to lose any of your daytime, it is possible to take an overnight bus from Prague to Budapest.
Prague to Budapest by Private Transfer
Average Trip Time: 5-6 hours
Estimated Cost: €350 pp
Frequency: Daily, 24 hours a day
How to Book: via Viator
The easiest and most convenient way to get from Prague to Budapest is by private transfer. It’s also the fastest way to get from Prague to Budapest.
On this private transfer, your driver will pick you up at your requested location in a modern, spacious vehicle, put your luggage in the trunk and take you all the way to your hotel or apartment in Budapest. There really isn’t much more to than that.
Drivers are English-speaking and transfer times are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Transfers also include all fuel costs and toll costs so there’s nothing to worry about. All cars are air-conditioned.
This is the perfect option for those who want a fast and hassle-free way to travel to Budapest without the long journey. You’ll be able to relax, read a book or even get out your laptop and do some work, all the way there.
Prague to Budapest by Sightseeing Transfer
Average Trip Time: 10 hours (with sightseeing)
Estimated Cost: €320 pp
How to Book: via Viator
For travellers who don’t have a car and don’t want to rent a car, yet want to do some sightseeing on the way to Budapest, a Prague to Budapest sightseeing transfer is a brilliant option.
On this sightseeing tour your local guide and driver will pick you up from your hotel or apartment in Prague. You’ll then drive to Lednice Palace and Gardens and tour the beautiful 19th-century grounds of this Czech castle and UNESCO World Heritage Site, located close to the border with Austria and Slovakia.
The tour then stops in Bratislava where you can have lunch and explore the hidden gems of Bratislava Old Town.
Then, before arriving in Budapest, you’ll also have the chance to explore beautiful but little-visited Győr, a lovely Baroque town in Hungary.
If you prefer to have more flexibility in your sightseeing transfer, have a look at this sightseeing tour from Prague to Budapest which offers you the choice to stop in one (or two) out of seven stops. Which you stop at is completely up to you.
Stops include Lednice Castle and Gardens, Mikulov Chateau, Brno or Bratislava.
Prague to Budapest by Car
Average Trip Time: 5.5 – 6.5 hours
Estimated Cost: €30-70 per day + fuel
For those planning to drive from Prague to Budapest, there are two main routes you can take.
The first is via the E65 which will take you through the beautiful Czech city of Brno and then via Bratislava in Slovakia. Both those cities make lovely stops along the way if you want to break up your trip.
This is the most direct route and is also the fastest. It’s 525 km and takes 5 hours and 20 minutes to travel from Prague to Budapest.
The second option is to take the M1 via Vienna and then from Vienna straight into Hungary. This is the ideal way to go if you also fancy a quick stopover in Vienna. You can also take a quick detour to spend some time in the stunning medieval town of Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic.
This route is a little longer than the first at 545 km. It takes about 6.5 hours to complete.
Travelling from Prague to Budapest by car is the fastest and most direct way to complete the trip.
While you don’t really need a car for the city centres of Prague and Budapest it’s certainly handy having one when travelling between the two cities. You also have more flexibility when it comes to making some stops along the way.
If you’re planning to hire a car, I’d recommend checking both Rental Cars and Discover Cars. These two companies always have the best car rental deals in Europe. I generally check them both and go with the better deal.
Important Note: It’s worth noting that you will need a Highway Toll Pass when driving on Highways in Central Europe. You will need a separate highway toll pass from Czech Republic, another from either Austria or Slovakia, depending on which route you choose, and another from Hungary.
The average price of a week toll pass for each country is between €12-20 so this can add up quickly.
All toll passes can be bought online on the country’s official highway website and the process is fairly straightforward- I know we didn’t have any issues buying them when we did this trip by car.
Alternatively, they can be bought physically at highway stops/petrol stations along the highway as soon as you enter the respective country.
Prague to Budapest by Plane
Average Trip Time: 1 hr 10 minute flight time + 4 hours for getting to the airport and airport wait times
Estimated Cost: €20-€300 one way (dependant on many factors such as time of booking, time of year, luggage etc)
Frequency: At least 2 flights daily, depending on the season.
How to Book: Through Kiwi Flights
For those short on time, it’s also possible to fly from Prague to Budapest and vice versa.
Ryanair offers two daily direct flights (more in summer) from Prague to Budapest. The scheduled flight time is 1 hour and 10 minutes. Many other European airlines fly between Prague and Budapest but as they aren’t direct flights, taking them makes little sense.
To check out the best deals on flights from Praga to Budapest, use the form below or book here.
It is best to fly or take the train?
The best way to travel from Prague to Budapest does depend on personal preferences but I personally wouldn’t recommend flying between the two cities.
It can be the most expensive option (unless you have just a small bag) and when you add up all the time spent at the airport and the transfers from the airports to the city center, taking the train will probably end up being faster and cheaper.
Not to mention, it’s also much more environmentally friendly to take the train.
Read more: 20 Best Things to Do in Budapest
Other Ways to Get from Prague to Budapest (and Vice versa)
You might come across some websites suggesting to walk, hitchhike or bike from Prague to Budapest. While these are valid ways to get somewhere, they are definitely not your fastest option.
Nevertheless, they could be fun for those with more time and an adventurous side.
I probably wouldn’t recommend hitchhiking, even though Central Europe is generally a safe place to travel in but for those up for something new you could try to bike or walk.
Note that biking or walking the 526km between Prague and Budapest will take special training, preparation and equipment so it’s probably not for everyone, definitely not for those short on time or on your average trip around Europe.
So, what’s the best way to travel from Prague to Budapest for you? Have any questions or comments about your trip? Let me know in the box below.
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Planning a trip right now? These are just some of my favourite websites I use to book everything from hotels to rental cars!
Rentalcars.com for quick and easy car rentals worldwide
Booking.com for great deals on hotels
Agoda also for great deals on hotels
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