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.
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Common Questions, Simple Answers
Q. What ways can a train ticket be issued? Paper? e tickets?
A. There are potentially three ways to receive European train tickets.
Paper tickets: the rail pass or train ticket is physically printed at the Rail Europe fulfillment center and shipped to you.
Print at home e-ticket: the train ticket may be issued as a PDF which may either be emailed to you directly, or retrieved via a web link that is communicated to you at the time of purchase, depending on the rail carrier. You must print the PDF from a computer printer on any regular paper prior to boarding the train. Some e-tickets are delivered with a unique e-ticket confirmation code that is printed on your Rail Europe confirmation email. You must provide this e-ticket confirmation code along with your id to the conductor on board the train.
Print at station e-ticket: you will receive an e-ticket confirmation code (also known as PNR or Passenger Name Record) on your confirmation email, as well as a link to detailed instructions for retrieving your ticket. Use this e-ticket code at a self-service kiosk located at the train station in Europe to print out your actual ticket, prior to boarding the train.
Print at home e-ticket and print at station e-ticket are “electronic” delivery methods requiring no physical shipment to you. This means we can issue you an e-ticket whether you’re still at home or already in Europe.
Please note that all three methods are not always offered for a given train ticket. In fact, many tickets only support one of these issuance methods.
Q. Do trains offer facilities for handicapped passengers?
A. The ability to exchange or refund a train ticket while you’re in Europe depends on whether you have a paper or e-ticket, as well as the specific conditions for the fare you booked.
If you have an e-ticket that you bought on our website, you can perform the refund online, according to the conditions of your train ticket. Please visit our Cancellation and Refund page to begin.
If you purchased a paper ticket, you must perform the exchange locally at the train station. Go to the ticket window and a railway representative will be able to assist you with the exchange procedure.
Please keep in mind that exchanges on train tickets are only permitted for the same city pair or route originally booked.
If your ticket is non-exchangeable, a new train ticket must be purchased.
To obtain a refund for a paper ticket/reservation, 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.
You must mail us the original unused ticket for the refund to be processed. When you’ve returned from Europe, mail us back your train ticket. Please visit the Contact Us page on this site for further details.
If you didn’t purchase your train ticket online or are unable to initiate the refund online, please contact us using our Contact Us page for assistance. In most cases, for a refund to transpire, the associated reservation must be released before the train departure.
Q. How far in advance can I buy my train ticket?
A. Train tickets can be purchased 60 to 180 days in advance, depending on your route of travel. Rail carrier policies vary, depending on when their schedules are available for sale.
For the best deals, purchase your train tickets three months in advance, if possible. But always book as far in advance as you can to assure the best price and to avoid your class of service being sold out (especially during peak travel season on high speed trains).
Q. What do I do if no one comes to check my train ticket or rail pass?
A. It’s best to keep your travel documents (train ticket, rail pass, and/or reservation) out and ready to be checked by a conductor. If for any reason a conductor does not come by to check your train ticket or rail pass during your entire journey, no worries. Simply get off the train at your destination station and continue with your travel plans.
Please keep in mind that you will need a valid rail pass or train ticket to travel on board trains in Europe. If your pass or ticket were not looked at, it is an unusual occurrence.
Q. Can I sit in First class if I have a Second class rail pass?
A. In general, you cannot travel in first class with a second class rail pass.
In certain cases it may be possible to purchase an upgrade for your trip, you can visit the ticket window at your departure train station prior to boarding your train.
Q. Can I open the train windows?
A. If you’re traveling on a slower train you may have the option to open a window, depending on the age and configuration of the car. However, most modern rail cars are air-conditioned and you won’t have the option of opening the windows.
For safety reasons, high speed trains don’t offer the option of opening windows.
Q. How can I tell whether or not I have a reserved seat on board?
A. To tell if you have a reservation, first see if you received one or two travel documents for your trip. If you received two travel documents, you probably received an open train 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, see if it also indicates a seat number and car number. If so, your train ticket includes a reservation.
Q. What should I do if I’m unable to print my e-ticket at the station?
A. First, make sure you’re entering the correct information in the self-service kiosk. You need to provide your e-ticket confirmation code, also known as PNR, which is a 6 character letter code (or an 8 character alphanumeric code for British e-tickets) that appears on your Rail Europe booking confirmation email. Any other booking reference (like the Rail Europe booking number) will not work to retrieve your print at station e-ticket.
Don’t attempt to retrieve your ticket using a different method of identification such as swiping a credit card. This will not work.
Although highly unusual, if you’re still unable to retrieve your ticket, go to the ticket counter and seek the assistance of a railway official. Make sure you know your e-ticket number.
If you’re still unable to retrieve your ticket, you may have to purchase a new train ticket. If possible, document the circumstances that prevented you from retrieving your e-ticket. If you purchase new tickets, make sure to keep a copy of the new tickets and the receipt.
Upon your return home, contact our customer relations department and write us a letter indicating what happened. Make sure to provide the new tickets you purchased and the receipt. We’ll review the matter and work things out with you.
Q. Can I customize my group trip (meals on board, train station transfers)?
A. We love groups, and we do everything we can to make the experience as pleasurable as possible. We offer onboard catering, motor coach transfers to and from the train station, as well as luggage handling at select stations. For more information fill out our Group Quote form and a dedicated group consultant will respond to your request.
Q. I’m leaving for Europe within 3 days and need to buy train tickets or rail passes. What are my options?
A. Some European train operators now offer electronic ticketing. If the train you’re interested in offers this, you can buy a train ticket up until its day of travel and retrieve it locally at the station using your unique e-ticket confirmation code or by printing it at home before you leave.
Currently, e-tickets are only offered on Eurostar, Thalys, Renfe, Talgo, Italo & Trenitalia along with select German, French (including international TGVs), and British trains. This type of ticketing will be available on other routes in the near future. At this time, the only rail passes available as e-passes are the Renfe Spain Pass and Swiss Travel Pass.
All other trains, certain activity vouchers, and rail passes must be issued as a paper document and mailed to you prior to your departure. If you’re leaving within three days, you should contact us via our Contact Us page and we’ll be able to advise whether there’s enough time for you to get your train ticket or rail pass prior to your leaving for Europe.