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Author Topic: Trains and Prices Budapest-Cluj Napoca-Budapest  (Read 9126 times)
SmoothGuy
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« on: February 19, 2013, 11:46:57 am »

Hello,

Me and some friends want to take a trip to Budapest and Cluj. First we like to spend some days in Budapest, and then take a (sleeper) train from Budapest to Cluj. After a few days, we want to travel back to Budapest again ...

How many trains service this line, and at what times?
Also, what options of tickets do we have available?

Thank you so much for your help!
« Last Edit: February 19, 2013, 12:51:19 pm by tUt » Logged
tUt
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« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2013, 12:50:09 pm »

How many trains service this line, and at what times?
At the moment there are 4 direct train between Budapest and Cluj per day: 6:40am-14:42 (IC 367), 9:40am-17:40 (IC 363), 14:40-22:38 (IC 365) and 17:40-1:36am (train #407)
Also, what options of tickets do we have available?
Well, standard full fare one-way ticket Budapest-Cluj is 32,50 €, while return is 50,00 €. Besides that there is also discounted one-way tickets from 19 euro (need to be purchased in advance). And finally for Budapest-Cluj route available as well so-called 'Excursion ticket' ("kirándulójegy" in Hungarian), it is return ticket valid during 4 days, so in case you plan to stay in Romania <4 days, this option might be the best in terms of money.
What is the price difference between a day train and a sleepertrain?
Difference basically is in sleeper reservation fare, but the problem for you is that there is no real overnight train option here (see timetable above). So you will either need to travel with change in the morning (for instance in Alba Iulia) or opt for daytime journey. Anyway cheapest couchette/sleeper options for Budapest-X (station where you'll change in the morning) start from 29 euro in couchette or 49 euro for sleeper (in both cases ticket+reservation included) 
How big are the sleeper/couchette rooms and how much do they cost?
For sleepers you can expect something like this, while couchettes are obviously a bit more spartan
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SmoothGuy
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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2013, 01:20:29 pm »

Thank you so much for your quick answer!

Do you happen to have the timetable of the return journey, so from Cluj to Budapest?

Also, after a bit of discussion, we might wanna travel from Cluj to Bucharest by train. Do you also have that timetable and price maybe? We hope maybe a sleepertrain on sundaynight if possible for this route ...

« Last Edit: February 19, 2013, 01:41:47 pm by SmoothGuy » Logged
tUt
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« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2013, 01:45:21 pm »

Do you happen to have the timetable of the return journey, so from Cluj to Budapest?
As of now direct connections are 2:21am-8:20am (train #406), 7:22am-13:20 (IC 364), 10:32am-17:20 (IC 366) & 15:01-21:20 (IC 362). And also remember that both timetables to & from Budapest include time difference between Romania and Hungary

For timetable search & ticket purchase you can use official MAV (Hungarian Railways) website - elvira.mav-start.hu

Also, after a bit of discussion, we might wanna travel from Cluj to Bucharest by train. Do you also have that timetable and price maybe? We hope maybe a sleepertrain on sundaynight if possible for this route ...
No problem to catch overnight train (even trains) from Cluj-Napoca to Bucharest, for timetable, prices & ticket purchase available via official CFR (Romanian Railways) website - cfrcalatori.ro
« Last Edit: February 19, 2013, 01:49:27 pm by tUt » Logged
SmoothGuy
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« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2013, 08:45:39 pm »

I saw the discounted tickets for 19 euros right?

They are for second class only I believe? When are you eligible for these tickets and is first class noticably better then 2nd on these trains?
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tUt
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« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2013, 12:48:37 am »

I saw the discounted tickets for 19 euros right?
You can see and purchase them with a help of mentioned above MAV website (we have a step by step guide on how to purchase such and alike tickets - http://europetrainsguide.com/Advice/How-to-Buy-Train-Tickets/Hungary-MAV.html
They are for second class only I believe?
Yes, discounted tickets for the 1st class rarely available in this part of Europe
When are you eligible for these tickets
Discounted 19 euro tickets (offer is called 'Fortuna') available from dates 60 days in advance and sold until all the quota gets sold out, thus number of discounted tickets is limited per each departure. However mentioned above return 'Excursion ticket', which is 31 euro, doesn't necessarily have to be purchased in advance
and is first class noticably better then 2nd on these trains?
In seating carriages it's not that big of a difference (can expect something like 1st class vs. 2nd class), at least definitely not worth of overpaying for full standard 1st class ticket (48,2 euro vs. discounted 2nd class for 19 euro)

Btw, since you also want to include Bucharest, it might make to think about arranging the trips in manner like Budapest-Bucharest (overnight train, couchettes from 39 euro, sleeper from 59 euro), then overnight Bucharest-Cluj & daytime Cluj-Budapest (Fortuna tickets for 19 euro) or reverse - Budapest-Cluj-Bucharest-Budapest
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SmoothGuy
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« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2013, 10:01:26 am »

Hello again  ;D

I looked some more into things and found this. The train from Budapest to Cluj leaves from Keleti station. But we arrive same day in the airport.

I saw its possible to travel from Ferengyi station to Szolnok, get off the train there  and then board the train to Cluj that left from Keleti around the same time as the train from Ferengyi to Szolnok.

My questions are is this correct and how far from terminal 2 is the trainstation Ferengyi and what is the best way to travel there (taxi, bus, foot)?
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tUt
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« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2013, 10:36:28 am »

I saw its possible to travel from Ferengyi station to Szolnok, get off the train there  and then board the train to Cluj that left from Keleti around the same time as the train from Ferengyi to Szolnok.
Yes, it is possible, but you won't be able to purchase ticket Szolnok-Cluj Napoca via MAV website, as result you'll either have to do it already in Szolnok and pay full standard fare or purchase discounted ticket Budapest-Cluj Napoca, but board the train in Szolnok, because for Budapest-Cluj Napoca you can get discounted ticket, which is obviously cheaper than standard price ticket. Anyway with trick involving Ferihegy and Szolnok actual win for you seems to be only about a bit of time
how far from terminal 2 is the train station Ferengyi and what is the best way to travel there (taxi, bus, foot)?
Station Ferihegy located in front of the Terminal 1 of the airport, thus roughly 5,5 km from Terminal 2. Bus #200 (runs every 10 min. during the day) coming from Terminal 2 to the nearest subway station (Kőbánya-Kispest) makes an intermediate stop at Terminal 1 (Terminal 2 - Terminal 1 journey time is just 7 min.)
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SmoothGuy
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« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2013, 10:57:05 am »

The main problem is our plane is landig at 16.15.

Train from Keleti leaves at 17:40. I dont know if that is enough time to get to Keleti from airport on time.

If we take the train from Ferihegy, which leaves around 17:45 also to Szolnok, we have same amount of time for lesser distance ...

You know how much the train cost from Ferihegy to Szolnok?

I know i am asking a lot of questions, but you are really helping me out, thanks! ;-)
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tUt
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« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2013, 11:19:34 am »

The main problem is our plane is landig at 16.15.Train from Keleti leaves at 17:40. I dont know if that is enough time to get to Keleti from airport on time.
Well, bus #200 from Terminal 2 to the subway station takes 22 min. (as was mentioned runs every 10 min), metro ride with change of line at Deak Ferenc ter will take roughly 30-35 min (clean travel time there is 21 min.). So if you plane is on time and you don't need to go through border control/customs procedures, then 1:25 seems like enough time to make it to Budapest-Keleti station on time, although we see your concern here, especially if someone travels route from Airport to Keleti station without prior experience it might take longer
If we take the train from Ferihegy, which leaves around 17:45 also to Szolnok, we have same amount of time for lesser distance ...
Better to rely on trains at 16:48, 16:54, 17:24 (with change in Cegled), since 17:43 train in an InterCity for which you'll need additional seat reservation
You know how much the train cost from Ferihegy to Szolnok?
1680 HUF for ordinary trains or 1980 HUF for InterCity (because of compulsory seat reservation)
I know i am asking a lot of questions, but you are really helping me out, thanks!
Not a problem, we are here to help fellow travelers  ;)
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SmoothGuy
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« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2013, 01:06:26 pm »

So, looking at our situation.

Our plane is scheduled to land at 16:15.

We wanna catch the train to Cluj. We can catch in at Keleti at 17:45 but also at Szolnok around 19:00

What seems most logical option for us to you?
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tUt
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« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2013, 09:42:06 pm »

What seems most logical option for us to you?
Well, for someone familiar with Budapest (& public transport there) would recommend going to Budapest-Keleti, since it's cheaper and easier. But for someone not very experienced with Budapest transport, Szolnok option might be saver, since it will almost definitely give like an hour layover in Szolnok, thus enough time to print your discounted ticket (or purchase full fare standard one) and calmly wait for your #407 train to Cluj-Napoca
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SmoothGuy
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« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2013, 10:28:06 am »

The thing we wanted to go to has been replaced, from Cluj to Brasov ... aaaaaargh.

Now I know we can still take the train from Budapest to Brasov. It only take a littie longer, but because its mostly a night journey, thats ok.

I now have a question about the booking.

Online, the form says there are only 6-persons couchette and 3-persons sleeper. But on other sites I found it also has 4-persons couchette and 2-persons sleeper. How do I book this? We are probably with 8 people, so 2 4-persons couchettes would be the best option!

Also, if I reserve for 4 people at once, how do I know we all end up in the same compartment?

Thank you for your help!
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tUt
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« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2013, 01:40:24 pm »

Online, the form says there are only 6-persons couchette and 3-persons sleeper. But on other sites I found it also has 4-persons couchette and 2-persons sleeper. How do I book this?
Well, the answer here is rather simple - MAV sells discounted tickets for overnight connection to Brasov only for seats, 6 berth couchette and 3 bed sleepers. And that is why when you search for couchette berths it shows a possibility to purchase only 6 berth for 29 euro per passenger. For 4 berth couchette, double and single sleepers you'll be charged full price

Also, if I reserve for 4 people at once, how do I know we all end up in the same compartment?
System usually automatically selects seats/beds in one compartment when you order more than one at once. Also it is possible to see whether it is same compartment or not by the number of seat/bed (will be shown during reservation process). Anyway if you able to purchase discounted tickets it more or less means that there is still plenty of seat/beds available, so in such situation you'll almost definitely get one compartment or seats near (when it's airplane type open configuration) to each other
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SmoothGuy
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« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2013, 03:00:33 pm »

Explains a lot, thank you. Bit odd that discount this much is for the 6 persons, but not for the 4 persons but I guess thats the way it is ...

Already found a next problem though (getting tired of me yet? ;-) ) ... our group travels with 7 or 8 people.

If we want 2 berths for ourself, it is cheapest to get 9 discount tickets; 6 for the 6pers couchette and 3 for the 3pers sleeper. The system only lets me book 6 tickets at once, so how can I help it that the sixth bed in the couchette berth will not be sold to anyone else?
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