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Europe Trains Guide Forum  |  General discussion  |  All other train travel questions  |  Buying Train Ticket in Keleti Station in Budapest to Bratislava Questions
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Author Topic: Buying Train Ticket in Keleti Station in Budapest to Bratislava Questions  (Read 12649 times)
warlord
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« on: July 06, 2010, 09:35:24 pm »

  Ok just needed some help trying to figure out the best way to navigate my way around for this trip.  I'll be coming into Budapest fairly late and I will be at the Keleti Pu station around 10pm.  Do they sell train tickets that late for the next morning (5:30 departure)? 

I believe the international tickets will be on the left when I first enter the station (is this correct)?

Do they speak English in case I have some confusion buying a ticket at Keleti?  (I will be writting down the train info on the one I want to show them, to make it easier, but just in case wondering how frequent english speaking ticket agents are there.

When I get my ticket, what is the word to know what Gate my train departs from since my Hungarian very bad.  Any other usefull information I'll need to know about the ticket since I probably won't be able to understand everything on it.

When I do find the gate and wait for the train, will I have to show my ticket to anyone before hand?  I know there have been some reports of scammers dressed up in uniforms that will try and 'check' your ticket. I just want to know if there are any legit people that will do this or that is done when boarding the train?

  Lots of question I know, but this will be my first time there and never have booked a Euro train before.  Thanks...
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tUt
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« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2010, 11:49:29 pm »

Yes, counters are still open at 10pm, so don't worry. And yes, they located on your left when you enter the building from the main entrance, but not exactly on your left - you will need to walk app. 50 meters straight forward besides platforms, then you will see International tickets sign (it used to be in blue). You can as well enter International ticket counters from the outside, if you'll use left wing entrance (in case you stand in from of the main entrance) to the station.
Cashiers don't speak English fluently, but will be able to understand you, especially such simply things as destination of your choice. No problem to buy ticket for the next morning. Most international tickets are valid for one or even two months (unless you need seat reservation for specific train), so they probably won't even ask the date of departure, but simply issue ticket from today
It is not that hard to interpret your ticket (will look like this - http://www.railfaneurope.net/pix/hu/ticket/01_024b_Budapest_ZahonyGr.jpg), as you can see it is clearly written "from" ("von") and "to"(nach), in the lower right corner you can see fare in Hungarian forints (sometimes in euro as well), other things aren't that important for you.
Just when you enter the station you can huge screen showing all the trains and platform number, so no problem to find yours, especially at 5:30am.
During the day there are special rail stuff checking your ticket before they let you to your platform, but during late evening and early morning usually there are nobody there. Afterwords the only person you will need to show your ticket is train conductor, he/she will be in MAV uniform. If it is sitting carriage, then they will come after train departs, if sleeping, then conductors will be standing near one of the wagon doors.
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warlord
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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2010, 04:33:36 pm »

 Thank you so much that is great information.  Are the platforms easy to find?  And when I get the ticket I can acutally use that for anytime that next day and not just the 5:30 one?  That would be good in case I accidently sleep in and miss that one and I can just catch the 9:28 one instead.

  Anything else I need to know or what to avoid there?  I heard the station can get crowed and packed, but like you mentioned I shouldn't encounter that many people at 5:30...
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tUt
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« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2010, 10:28:16 am »

As far as we can see you plan to use EC train Budapest-Hamburg (or Budapest-Berlin at 9:28), those trains are usually depart from central platforms (from #9 to #12) located directly in front of main entrance, so you won't encounter any problems with finding those.
Platforms with numbers less than 9 located in the left wing of the station (you need to walk same direction as to international ticket counters), platforms #13 and more - symmetrically in the right wing.

Ticket question: the answer depends on a type of tickets and destination. If you travel to Bratislava or any other station in Slovakia, then you can use your ticket any time during one month validity period. In case of Czech Republic and Germany, then the answer depends on a type of your ticket - regular ticket gives you the same freedom of use any time, but if you hold discounted Spar ticket - you can use it only with specific train on specific date.

p.s. one more thing to know - try to avoid money exchange at the station, because exchange rates there are far from ideal.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2010, 10:30:11 am by tUt » Logged
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warlord
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« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2010, 05:57:19 pm »

  Great thanks again for the info.  I'll be getting money before I leave the US so that hopefully won't be an issue.  Hopefully I can also use my credit card to buy the ticket too, or is Forints better?  And I assume on the train I can use Forints to buy food as well?  Or will Euros be better on the train since most the countries it goes to use Euros?
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tUt
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« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2010, 06:15:53 pm »

Hopefully I can also use my credit card to buy the ticket too, or is Forints better?
Last time I've been there International counters didn't accept credit cards. Cards were accepted only in Wasteels travel agency and MAV ticket office in the city (Deak Ferenc ter). Maybe something changes since that time, but be ready to pay in cash
And I assume on the train I can use Forints to buy food as well?  Or will Euros be better on the train since most the countries it goes to use Euros?
Usually buffets on the train accept multiple currencies, so no problem there.

p.s. just checked, restaurant wagon in EC 174 belongs to Hungarian Railways, so you won't have problems with forints.
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warlord
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« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2010, 05:51:59 pm »

  Cool this is such a great help for me, being all new to the train travel there.  It will definately make the stress a lot better as I will be very tired and with very little sleep the night I arrive in Budapest.  And it's really good to know I can catch any train that next day if I happen to miss the 5:30 one...
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tUt
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« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2010, 08:26:07 pm »

Just in case: there are another interesting and cheap way to travel from Budapest to Bratislava. Use domestic train Budapest-Esztergom (departs every hour, 1100 HUF), Esztergom located just opposite to Slovak town Sturovo, so you can simply cross the bridge from Esztergom to Sturovo (see google maps). And then catch domestic Slovak train from Sturovo to Bratislava (trains depart rather often too, 6.3 euro)
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warlord
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« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2010, 09:44:53 pm »

  I would be difinatly affraid of missing the train that route.  Maybe if I was more experienced in travelling by train there I would do that.
 
  Now I just have to find out how often the trains are from Bratislava to Vienna (as I can't seem to find Sudbahnhof Station listed on the Slovak rail website).  I have heard it's quite often though.

  Plus getting from Vienna back to Budapest I would hope is also fairly straight forward.  I need to look into that as well...
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tUt
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« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2010, 12:14:03 am »

Now I just have to find out how often the trains are from Bratislava to Vienna (as I can't seem to find Sudbahnhof Station listed on the Slovak rail website).  I have heard it's quite often though.
You can check timetable here - http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en?newrequest=yes&protocol=http:& As you can see, trains between Bratislava and Vienna run really often. Ticket to Vienna cost 11 euro, you can as well purchase Bratislava-Vienna ticket that includes Vienna city transport (14.6 euro)
Plus getting from Vienna back to Budapest I would hope is also fairly straight forward.
Same website for timetable. In order to save some money buy discounted 19 euro tickets in advance from Austrian railways website - https://ticket.oebb.at/bin/frame_ticket.pl?ticket=jticket.pl&LANG=EN

As you can see, your total expenses for visiting Budapest-Bratislava-Vienna-Budapest with a help of direct trains will be at least 46 euro, but you can visit all three cities for only 27 euro in case you are ready to switch sequence from your original to Budapest-Bratislava-Vienna-Bratislava-Budapest (second visit to Bratislava will be only for transit)
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warlord
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« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2010, 05:35:14 pm »

  Thanks for that link.  I decided to just purchase my ticket directly for Eu 22 (EU 3 for the seat).  This will help save me a lot of time trying to buy the ticket at the train station the day I am leaving to head back to Budapest...
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