Vienna - Bratislava - BudapestTrain Route With The European East Pass
If you’re looking for a trip that takes you through several European capitals and along the second largest river in Europe, you should consider this train route from Vienna via Bratislava to Budapest.
These three capitals will enchant you with old buildings from all periods of architecture, artistic and musical talent, and culinary specialties. Popular buildings and tranquil nature are reflected in the gentle waters of the Danube, which accompany you throughout your East Europe itinerary.
All stages of the journey can be easily reached by train – the Austrian railway even offers its own ticket for this multi-country route.
Price Range: $$$
Recommended Days: 5 Days
Riding Hours: Approx. 3.5 hrs
Distance: 246 km
Vienna: City Of Music
If you think of the Austrian capital, classical music, comes to mind quickly. Here in Vienna you can follow the footsteps of the numerous legendary musicians such as Mozart, Strauss, and Beethoven, and attend a concert or two.
Besides classical music, there is also a more modern art scene in Vienna. Numerous young artists are discovering themselves in the city whilst slowly finding their place in the world of fine arts. If you’re in town anytime from December 31 to Ash Wednesday, the Viennese Ball Season offers an astounding 450 different ball dances to be attended.
A place where extravagant balls would have been held was the summer residence of Empress Sissi, the Schönbrunn Palace. This baroque building mesmerizes its visitors framed by its enchanting park and stunning architecture.
Everyone also knows the popular “Wiener Schnitzel“, which is often served with a variety of potatoes in Vienna. In addition, the city offers many small coffee houses where you can try the numerous Viennese coffee specialties such as the Capuchin. Craving something sweet? Try the Sacher Torte at Hotel Sacher, it’s worth the wait in line …we promise.
Wien Hbf → Bratislava hl. st. | Duration: 0:59 h | Transfers: 0 | Transport: Train
A ÖBB REX train departs hourly from Vienna Central Station to Bratislava. Tickets are available at OMIO from 12€.
Bratislava: The Forgotten City
Everything here seems somehow reserved, the tourists make themselves scarce, and it’s not often that someone chooses this capital as a destination for a nice holiday. What a shame but here we are since it’s worth checking out in our books!
The Slovak capital is a creative mixture of the Middle Ages, old buildings, and brilliant modernity so lovers of all eras will find enjoyment here. You may find your happy place at a nearby vineyard or in a beautiful fairytale alleyway, or perhaps a visit to one of the several small shops or hipster cafes that may interest you.
Regardless of your belief in the extra-terrestrial, there is a “Ufo” in Bratislava, a landmark in the form of a tower with a futuristic-looking viewing platform. Here you will find music, a bar and of course a great view of the city.
Bratislava hl. st. → Budapest Nyugati | Duration: 2:23 h | Transfers: 0 | Transport: Train
From Bratislava, there are several direct connections to Budapest. On the homepage of the Slovak Railway, you’ll find the departure times; however, online booking is not possible. You will have to buy the tickets at the station and if you have an Interrail Global Pass, you’re able to take any train of your choice.
Budapest: The Pearl Of The Danube
As your trip ends in the beautiful city on the Danube, it will be hard to decide what to fit in your schedule while here. Szechenyi Baths are one of the most notable thermal baths in Europe, offering spa treatments and access to saunas, it is worth a visit.
After relaxing a bit, a walk along the Danube promenade provides the first sight of the two cities. Yes! Budapest is actually two cities, Buda and Pest, split by the river.
Depending on which side you’re on, you’ll be able to access the other side by walking over the Chain Bridge. On the Buda side, you will find Castle Hill and the Fisherman’s Bastion, and from here you have a stunning view of the Parliament hugging the Danube on the Pest side. From a different vantage point, a 1-2 hour lunch or dinner cruise displays the city in all its grandeur.
The city’s Jewish ghetto was left in ruins after WWII, but born from its remnants today you’ll be able to experience the quirky Ruin Pubs, favorites include Szimpla, Instant, and Fogás Haz. Before you wrap up this trip, if you’re a lover of dirt-cheap arcade games and pinball, make sure to visit the Flipper Museum.
Budapest Kelenfoeld → Wien Hbf | Duration: 2:31 h | Transfers: 0 | Transport: Train
If you want to head back to Vienna take the train from Budapest Keleti Station to Vienna Hbf. Every hour there is a direct train operated by ÖBB. The tickets start at 45 €. Book here.
*Disclaimer: Due to the fluidity of transportation schedules, the information seen on RailwayHero may not be up to date at the time of readíng. Always double-check with the operator for the latest information.