Hungary (MAV) E-mail

Country info: Hungary (Magyarország)

Rail companies: MAV (Magyar Államvasutak)   

How to Buy train Tickets in Hungary? We offer a Step by Step Guide

How to Travel from Budapest to Vienna? or How to Travel from Budapest to Prague? or How to Travel from Budapest to Poland (Warsaw, Krakow, etc.)?

Hungarian Rail Network Map

Accommodation: Best deals on hotels in Hungary

Currency: 1 euro = app. 310 Hungarian forints (HUF)

 

Train travel in Hungary: train types, tickets, fares, discounts & other info

 
National (Domestic) Train Service:

Train types in Hungary: Passenger, Express, Rapid, InterCity, RailJet and EuroCity/EuroNight/International trains

mav_passenger_trains
  • Passenger trains ( in Hungarian szemely, marked in black on the MAV website): passenger trains stopping at all the stations; no seat reservation required, however potential passengers should be prepared that carriages in the Hungarian szemely trains might not be very new (or clean)
  • Rapid trains (in Hungarian sebes, marked in green on the MAV website): medium & long-distance service; no seat reservation required, but a special tariff supplement (depending on the distance range from 150 to 735 HUF) applies
  • Express / Fast trains (in Hungarian gyors, marked in red or green on the MAV website): long-distance trains with stops only at some major stations; no seat reservation required, but a special tariff supplement applies (depending on distance ranging from 150 to 735 HUF)
  • InterCity (marked mainly in blue on the MAV website): long-distanc service; seat reservation required (ranging from 330 HUF to 1035 HUF depending on the distance, purchase channel & timing). NB: on certain MAV connections (e.g. Budapest to Szeged) nominally InterCity trains also can include carriages without an obligatory seat reservation (those will be listed as gyors category), which basically means that potential passenger can de-facto travel on the same train while paying two different fares
  • RailJet (marked in red on MAV the website): high-speed international daytime trains connecting Hungary with Austria, Germany and Switzerland; seat reservation is obligatory on all domestic journeys within Hungary (from 330 HUF to 1035 HUF depending on the distance & purchase channel)
  • EuroCity / EuroNight (marked in red on the MAV website): international daytime & overnight trains; seat reservation is obligatory on all the journeys within Hungary (from 330 HUF to 1035 HUF depending on the distance & purchase channel)

Hungarian Railways (MAV) try to promote ticket purchase through a non-ticket desk channels, so they offer a couple types of discounts for those passengers who buys their tickets via MAV ticket machine or online via official MAV website: 5% discount is given for the ticket purchase via MAV ticket machine, while 10% or even 20% discount is given for the ticket purchase via MAV website (20% discount applies on certain >100 km connections marked by @ sign on the MAV timetable.

In case you plan a return trip within Hungary than there are also some tricks allowing potential passengers to save money on domestic journeys with MAV:

One of the interesting ticket tricks is to rely on the international tickets even if you travel within Hungary. Sounds illogic & strange, right? But not in Hungarian case. Absurdly enough, but because of the specific international discounts between Hungary and some neighboring countries buying the ticket to an abroad destination might be cheaper than paying regular MAV domestic fare. For example, let's take a trip to the picturesque and very popular among tourists destination in southern Hungary - town of Szeged. Full-fare one-way standard ticket for the most common on this route express train cost these days 3705 HUF (or 7410 HUF there & back, making it roughly 24 euro in total), while at the same time return ticket Budapest-Horgos (first Serbian station near Szeged) can be purchased for only 20,90 euro. What does it all mean? It means that on the trip Budapest-Szeged-Budapest passenger can save about 3 euro basically out of nothing just by smartly (and entirely legally!) byuing the international ticket till the first Serbian station instead of the ordinary MAV domestic ticket to Szeged.

budapest-deli

And there are many other destinations where it can be cheaper to buy international ticket instead of the more expensive domestic return tickets (e.g. same trick can work for many stations nearby the Croatian, Slovenian, Slovak or Ukrainian borders)

International Train Service:

a) Regular discounts

  • 60% off the SCIC-NRT ticket fare for any return ticket from Hungary to Croatia (NB: 30% off for one-way ticket)
  • 60% off the SCIC-NRT ticket fare for any return ticket from Hungary to Serbia or Montenegro (NB: 30% off for one-way tickets Hungary-Serbia, except Subotica-Szeged route, where 60% discount is valid for one-way tickets as well) or from Hungary to Montenegro
  • 60% off the Hungarian and Slovak legs for any return journey between Hungary & Slovakia (+ special fares for certain connections, see below). NB: for one-way tickets discount is 30%
  • 60% off the Hungarian and Slovenian legs for any return journey between Hungary & Slovenia (NB: for one-way tickets discount is 30%)
  • 60% off the Hungarian, Croatian and Slovenian legs for any return journey between Hungary & Slovenia via Croatia (NB: for one-way tickets discount is 30%)
  • 60% off the Hungarian, Croatian and Bosnian legs for any return journey between Hungary & Bosnia and Herzegovina via Croatia (NB: for one-way tickets discount is 30%)
  • 50% off the Hungarian and Romanian legs for any return journey between Hungary & Romania (NB: for one-way tickets discount is 35%)
  • 40% off the Hungarian, Slovak & Czech legs for any return journey between Hungary & Czech Republic via Slovakia
  • 40% off the Hungarian, Slovak, Czech & Polish legs for any return journey between Hungary & Poland via Slovakia & Czech Republic
  • 50% off the Hungarian & Serbian legs and 30% off the Bulgarian leg for any return journey between Hungary & Bulgaria via Serbia
  • 50% off the Hungarian & Romanian legs and 30% off the Bulgarian leg for any return journey between Hungary & Bulgaria via Romania
  • 50% off the Hungarian, Romanian, Bulgarian legs for any return journey between Hungary & Turkey via Romania
  • 50% off the Hungarian, Serbian, Bulgarian legs for any return journey between Hungary & Turkey via Serbia
  • 50% off the East-West tariff fare for the Hungarian & 40% off for the Ukrainian leg on any one-way or return ticket between Hungary & Ukraine
  • 50% off Hungarian part & 30% off Russian part East-West tariff fare for return journeys between Hungary & Russia via Ukraine
  •       
    rail_museum_budapest
Passengers planning their rail trips in the region can as well take advantage of the special Multilateral Agreement between a number of the Central European railway companies. It allows to get 30% (or 40% for youth <26 years old and 50% for groups more than 6 passengers) discount from a regular SCIC-NRT tariff fare on any return ticket purchased for connections between countries participants of the tariff Agreement (Czech Republic (CD), Hungary (MAV), Romania (CFR), Poland (PKP), Slovakia (ZSSK), Bulgaria (BZD), Serbia (ZS) and FYR Macedonia (MZ))

Though at the same time one needs to be careful and also consider possible bilateral agreements between Hungarian Railways (MAV) and rail companies in other countries (those might turn out to be cheaper at the end). In case of Hungary it's cheaper to purchase tickets to Czech Republic, Romania, Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Serbia and FYR Macedonia with a help of other discounts (Special offers and bilateral agreement for Serbia, bilateral agreement for Slovakia, SparSchiene and bilateral agreement for Czech Republic (Budapest-Brno/Prague connections), SparSchiene for Poland (Budapest-Krakow/Warsaw), bilateral agreements for Romania and FYR Macedonia and CityStar for Bulgaria)

b) Special offers (SparSchiene)

Ticket offers with unlimited number of tickets per each departure (=basically means that you can purchase it on the day of travel):

  • Austria: "Excursion (Tourist) Ticket" (in Hungarian it is called Kirándulójegy) with a 4 day validity period -- from Budapest to Vienna (33 euro or 43 euro additionally includes Vienna city transport pass for two days), from Debrecen to Vienna (39 euro or 49 euro with Vienna city transport pass), from Budapest to Graz (39 euro), from Budapest to Linz (39 euro),  from Budapest to Salzburg (45 euro), from Budapest to Bad Ischl, Bad Gastein, Zell am See, Kitzbühel (69 euro ), from Budapest to Klagenfurt, Villach, Radstadt (79 euro ), from Budapest to Innsbruck, Jenbach, Lienz (89 euro ) & from Budapest to Wiener Neustadt (19 euro)
    mav_rb_regional 
  • Croatia: "Zagreb Spezial" from Budapest to Zagreb & back (29 euro); Budapest-Split-Budapest for 77 euro
  • Czech Republic: "Excursion (Tourtist) Ticket'" (in Hungarian called Kirándulójegy) with a 4 day validity period - from Budapest to Prague (49 euro or 59 euro including Prague city transport pass); Budapest to Brno (39 euro)
  • FYR Macedonia Skopje Spezial' Budapest-Skopje for 29 euro one-way or 49 euro return ticket
  • Montenegro: 'Montenegro Spezial' Budapest-Bar return ticket for 66 euro
  • Poland: "Poland Special" return tickets: from Budapest to Krakow (39 euro), from Budapest to Katowice (39 euro), from Budapest to Warsaw (49 euro)
  • Romania: "Excursion (Tourtis) Ticket" (in Hungarian called Kirándulójegy) with a 4 day validity period - from Budapest to Arad (21 euro  ), from Budapest to Oradea (21 euro), from Budapest to Timisoara (27 euro  ), from Budapest to Cluj-Napoca (36 euro  ), from Budapest to Targu-Mures (43 euro), Budapest to Sibiu (46 euro), Budapest to Miercurea Ciuc (53 euro), Budapest to Brasov (55 euro), Debrecen to Oradea (14 euro), Debrecen to Cluj-Napoca (29 euro)
  • Russia: from Budapest to Moscow (currently a direct through carriage once a week via Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland and Belarus), "global price" tickets (174,90 euro for 3 bed sleeper, 262,60 for double sleeper & 294,60 for single sleeper)
  • Slovakia: "Excursion (Tourtis) Ticket" (in Hungarian called Kirándulójegy) with a 4 day validity period - from Budapest to Tatras region (Poprad, Strba) - 36,50 euro
  • Slovenia: from Budapest to Ljubljana "Ljubljana-Spezial" (39 euro one-way or 49 euro return)
  • Serbia: from Budapest to Belgrade "Beograd-Spezial" (15 euro one-way or 26 euro return ticket) & from Budapest to Backa region (Backa Topola, Vrbas, Sombor, Novi Sad) "Bacska-Spezial" (12 euro one-way or 20 euro return ticket)
  • Switzerland: from Budapest to Zurich (one-way 71 euro or "Zürich Spezial" return ticket 144 euro), from Budapest to Basel ("Basel Spezial", return ticket for 166,60 euro), from Budapest to Bern ("Bern Spezial", return ticket for 177,80 euro), from Budapest to Lausanne ("Lausanne Spezial", return ticket for 198 euro), from Budapest to Geneva ("Genf Spezial", return ticket for 208,20 euro), from Budapest to Luzern ("Luzern Spezial", return ticket for 160 euro), from Budapest to Montreux ("Montreux Spezial", return ticket for 201,40 euro); from Budapest to Chur ("Chur Spezial", return ticket for 127,4 euro)

EURegio Special (4 day validity ticket): Austria (Tatabánya to Vienna and back 26 euro; from Győr to Vienna and back 23 euro (27,80 euro with Vienna city transport pass included); from Mosonmagyaróvár to Vienna and back 19 euro (23,80 euro with transport); from Szombathely to Graz and back 19 euro; from Szombathely to Vienna and back 27 euro), etc.


Ticket offers with limited number of tickets per each departure (= purchase in advance required):

  • Austria: from Budapest to Vienna (one-way 13 euro in 2nd class or 29 euro in 1st class); from Gyor to Vienna (one-way 9 euro in 2nd class or 19 euro in 1st class); Zahony, Nyíregyházá or Debrecen to Vienna (one-way 19 euro in 2nd class or 35 euro in 1st class); from Budapest to Graz (one-way 19 euro in 2nd class or 35 euro in 1st class), Szombathely to Graz  (one-way 9 euro in 2nd class or 19 euro in 1st class)
  •  Bulgaria (via Romania): SparNight from Budapest to Sofia (seats from 29 euro, couchettes from 39 euro & sleepers from 54 euro)  
  • Germany: from Budapest to Berlin (Berlin Spezial: seats from 39 euro in 2nd class and 65 euro in 1st class); from Budapest to Dresden (Dresden Spezial: seats from 29 euro in 2nd class and 45 in 1st class); from Budapest to Munich (Munchen Spezial/SparNight seats from 29 euro; couchettes from 49 euro, sleepers from 69 euro);    from Budapest to Frankfurt/Stuttgart (SparDay: seats from 39 euro in 2nd class and 60/55 euro in 1st class), etc. Also available so-called Add-on-Tarif, e.g. in case of Budapest-Berlin you pay extra 9 euro and can travel to Frankfurt (Oder), Brandenburg, Lübbenau or you pay extra 29 euro and can travel to Hannover, Wolfsburg, Magdeburg, Rostock, Stralsund, Schwerin, Cottbus, Dessau, etc.
    mav_intercity_train
  • Czech Republic: from Budapest to Prague (SparDay from 19 euro in 2nd class or 35 euro in 1st class & SparNight ('Metropol' train) seats from 19 euro, couchettes from 29 euro and sleepers from 49 euro); from Budapest to Brno (SparDay from 14 euro in 2nd class or 29 euro in 1st class), from Budapest to Ostrava (SparDay from 19 euro in 2nd class or 34 euro in 1st class)
  • Croatia: Budapest to Zagreb SparDay ticket for only 9 euro (2nd class)
  • Italy: from Budapest to Venice (via Vienna) seats from 39 euro, couchettes from 59 euro & sleepers from 79 euro; from Budapest to Verona and Milan (via Vienna) seats from 39 euro, couchettes from 59 euro & sleepers from 79 euro; from Budapest to Rome, Florence, Bologna & Pisa (via Vienna) seats from 49 euro, couchettes from 69 euro & sleepers from 89 euro;     
  • Poland: from Budapest to Krakow (SparNight: seats from 19 euro, couchettes from 39 euro, sleepers from 49 euro); from Budapest to Warsaw/Katowice (SparNight: seats from 19 euro; couchettes from 39 euro, sleepers from 49 euro)
  • Romania: SparDay from Budapest to Timisoara (seats from 15 euro), from Budapest to Brasov, Sibiu, Cluj-Napoca, Targu Mures, Miercurea Ciuc, Sighisoara, Sighetu Marmatiei, Craiova, etc. (seats from 19 euro), from Budapest to Bucharest (seats from 29 euro), etc. SparNight From Budapest to Sighisoara, Brasov, etc. (couchettes from 29 euro, sleepers from 49 euro), from Budapest to Bucharest/Craiova, Sinaia (couchettes from 39 euro, sleepers from 59 euro), etc.
  • Slovakia: SparDay ticket from Budapest to Bratislava from 9 euro or from Budapest to Kosice from 9 euro
  • Slovenia: from Budapest to Ljubljana with direct daytime EuroCity "Citadella" - 2nd class from just 9 euro or 35 euro in 1st class
  • Switzerland: from Budapest to Zurich (by 'Wiener Walzer' EuroNight train 466/467, seats from 39 euro, couchettes from 59 euro and sleepers from 79 euro euro) or SparDay offer for daytime RailJet train - 39 euro (2nd class) or 59 euro (1st class).

c) CityStars

  • Austria (4 days validity & limited number):
    • Price level 1: 26 euro (OeBB<75km); 36 euro (OeBB>75km & <300km); 46 euro (OeBB>300 km & <500km); 51 euro (OeBB >501km & <999 km)
    • Price level 2: 31 euro (OeBB<75km); 41 euro (OeBB>75km & <300km); 56 euro (OeBB>300 km & <500km); 66 euro (OeBB >501km & <999 km)
  • Germany (via Austria, 4 days validity & limited number):
    • Price level 1: 91 euro (OeBB>300 km & <500km); 96 euro (OeBB >501km & <999 km)
    • Price level 2: 116 euro (OeBB>300 km & <500km); 126 euro (OeBB >501km & <999 km)
  • Bulgaria (via Romania, 15 days validity):
    • 122 euro (MAV<100km); 128 euro (MAV>100km<250); 134 euro (MAV>251km) 
  • Bulgaria (via Serbia, 15 days validity):
    • 87 euro (MAV<100km & BDZ<70km); 93 euro (MAV>100km<250 & BDZ<70km); 99 euro (MAV>251km & BDZ<70km)
    • 109 euro (MAV<100km & BDZ>71km); 115 euro (MAV>100km<250 & BDZ>71km); 121 euro (MAV>251km & BDZ>71km)
  • Romania (15 days validity):
    • 60 euro (MAV<100km & CFR<400km); 66 euro (MAV>100km<250 & CFR<400km); 72 euro (MAV>251km & CFR<400km)
    • 90 euro (MAV<100km & CFR>401km); 96 euro (MAV>100km<250 & CFR>401km); 102 euro (MAV>251km & CFR>401km)
  • Czech Republic (15 days validity):
    • 62 euro (MAV<100km & CD<100km); 68 euro (MAV>100km<250 & CD<100km); 74 euro (MAV>251km & CD<100km)
    • 84 euro (MAV<100km & CD>100km<300km); 90 euro (MAV>100km<250 & CD>100km<300km); 96 euro (MAV>251km & CD>100km<300km)
    • 104 euro (MAV<100km & CD>301km); 110 euro (MAV>100km<250 & CD>301km); 116 euro (MAV>251km & CD>301km) 
      mav_timetable

 

Cross-border fares to the neighboring countries: 

  • Slovakia: from Budapest to Bratislava return (17,50 euro); from Budapest to Kosice return (20 euro); from Miskolc to Kosice return (6,50 euro); from Budapest to Poprad return via Kosice (28,50 euro); from Budapest to Nove Zamky return (10,50 euro); from Budapest to Sturovo return (6,50 euro); from Vac to Nove Zamky return (8,50 euro); from Vac to Sturovo return (3,80 euro, 2 day validity ticket); from Szob to Sturovo return (1,80 euro, 2 day validity ticket) + Bratislava Regio Special fares on the newly reopened Hegyeshalom-Rajka-Bratislava line (Rajka-Rusovce 1,50 euro (one-way) or 2 euro (return); Rajke-Bratislava-Petržalka 2 euro (one-way) or 4 euro (return); Hegyeshalom - Bratislava-Petržalka 3 euro (one-way) or 6 euro (return)).
  • Austria: see EURegio Austria above
  • Serbia: from Budapest to Subotica (15,80 euro one-way or 18,10 euro return); from Budapest to Novi Sad (23,80 euro one-way or 27,20 euro return), however note that newly introduced "Bacska-Spezial" (see above) turns out to be cheaper when traveling from Budapest to Vojvodina region (Northern Serbia); Kiskunhalas to Subotica (2,60 euro one-way or 5,10 euro return)
  • Romania: from Püspökladány to Oradea (Nagyvárad), one-way 6,70 euro or return 9,60 euro; from Békéscsaba to Arad (one-way 5,80 euro or return 8,30 euro); from Békéscsaba to Salonta (one-way 5,50 euro or return 8 euro); from Debrecen to Carei (Nagykároly) one-way 9,30 euro or return 13,40 euro; from Mátészalka to to Carei (Nagykároly) one-way 4,50 euro or return 6,50 euro
  • Ukraine: from Budapest to Chop one-way is 19,50 euro or 39,10 euro return (valid for 15 days); from Zahony to Chop one-way 2,30 euro (*however potential passengers should keep in mind that such one-way ticket, unlike return or from any earlier HU station or till any later UA station, can be bought only in Zahony) or return 4,70 euro, (valid for 15 days).

It is also possible to purchase Rail Plus card in Hungary (allows 25% discount on any international ticket between almost all the euroopean countries)

Prices: <26 and >60 – 15 euro and 25 euro for adults.

budapest-nyugati

 

How to Buy Train Tickets in Hungary:

National (domestic) and many international tickets (including the discounted offers) can be purchased online via MAV website - www.elvira.mav-start.hu (other tickets should be purchased at the International/domestic counters, travels agencies (Wasteels etc.) or MAV ticket machines)

 Step-by-step guide on how to purchase ticket via MAV Online Ticket Shop - europetrainsguide.com/Advice/How-to-Buy-Train-Tickets/Hungary-MAV.html

 

For a short trips (e.g. Budapest to Szolnok, Esztergom, Szob etc.) it is possible to purchase tickets via MAV ticket machines located at all the major train stations


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