The main station hall at Zurich HB

Budapest to Zürich / Zurich by train

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Routes

Option 1: travelling by day

Tickets

Book early and save: Yes

Online bookings open: around 140 days ahead of the travel date

Note that the price shown on MAV will be in €s but you will actually make the payment in Hungarian forints.

RESERVATIONS are optional for this journey, but this train tends to be particularly busy in 2nd class.

However, seats will actually be assigned when booking tickets online on MAV.

But if you book at the international rail desk at Keleti station (you can book using the computer terminals), you will have to request that a reservation be added to the booking.

Rail pass users can purchase reservations in person at the international travel desk at Keleti station - but do that when you first arrive in Budapest, the office won't be open before the train makes it early start!

Or book the reservations online with Eurail or InterRail, but if  you do so you will have to pay a booking fee.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
MAV from €39

MAV Guide

MAV is the national railway operator in Hungary and its newly relaunched website is still at the 'beta' stage, but it can be used to make bookings.
The MAV website also sells tickets for the direct international trains from Hungary and it's booking path for overnight trains is particularly easy to follow.

On this journey

Journey Features

Scenic - YesRiver viewsLake viewsMountain views

Good to Know

The train is scheduled to depart from Budapest Keleti at 06:40.

Departing from Budapest:

The train will call at Budapest-Kelenfold station around 10 mins after departing from Budapest-Keleti.

If the starting point of your journey in Budapest is on Metro Line 4, or has an easy connection to Line 4, then take the Metro to Kelenfold station and join the train there.

Not only will your journey be quicker overall, the Metro transfer at Kelenfold is much easier, particularly if you have luggage.

Journey description:

Step on board one of Europe's most epic rail journeys, for amazing views of two Swiss lakes AND a passage through the stunning Arlberg Pass.
This is a journey that improves in terms of its scenic splendor, the further you travel from Budapest, so try to stay awake.

Except where indicated, all of the videos were taken on a train travelling in the opposite direction.

Between Kuftstein and Innsbruck the journey isn't usually as scenic as it once was, as most departures are now diverted into lengthy tunnels.
Though between Kufstein and Worgl the railway runs beside the River Inn.

The only section of the journey in which the best of the views are on the right is to the west of Landeck-Zams station.

Between St.Anton and Feldkirch, the train threads the stunning Arlberg Pass, though in summer the trees can get in the way.

Then between Feldkirch and Buchs, the train will travel through Liechtenstein.

After departure from Sargans, the train will travel by a series of beautiful lakes, virtually all the way to Zurich.
The first of which is the stunning Wallensee; and this video was taken from a train heading in this direction, towards Zurich.

...and then 20 mins later, the train will be travelling by the Zurichsee.

Sit on the left (when facing the direction of travel) on departure from Vienna/Wien.
The best views of The Arlberg Pass are from this side of the train.

The Swiss lakes are on the right, but the train will reverse direction on departure from Buchs.

Between Salzburg and Innsbruck Between Salzburg and Innsbruck
Travelling through The Arlberg Pass Travelling through The Arlberg Pass
Between St Anton and Buchs Between St Anton and Buchs
A view over the Walensee after leaving Sargans A view over the Walensee after leaving Sargans
Looking over Lake Zurich Looking over Lake Zurich
Approaching Zurich Approaching Zurich

Option 2: travelling overnight

Tickets

Book early and save: No*

Online bookings open: 2 months ahead of the travel date

*A plus of booking online is that you can secure your first choice of accommodation, not all options may still be available if you make a booking at Budapest-Keleti station

This train comprises;

- Compartment Seats
- Couchettes ; 4 berths AND 6 berths
- Sleeping cars with 3 bed, 2 bed and 1 cabins (there are no deluxe sleeping cars with showers in the cabins available on this route)

Click the train button below for more info including the rail pass reservation fees:

Rail pass users must reserve before boarding these trains, but these reservations cannot be booked online on MAV

Reservations can be arranged and paid for at the InternationalTravel desk at Budapest Keleti station - ideally do this when you first arrive in Budapest on the preceding train on your itinerary.

Or book the reservations online with Eurail or InterRail - this is the only means ensuring your reservations before you embark on your itinerary, but you will have to pay a booking fee

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
MAV *

MAV Guide

MAV is the national railway operator in Hungary and its newly relaunched website is still at the 'beta' stage, but it can be used to make bookings.
The MAV website also sells tickets for the direct international trains from Hungary and it's booking path for overnight trains is particularly easy to follow.

On this journey

Journey Features

Night

Good to Know

This train is usually scheduled to depart from Budapest Keleti at 20:40 and arrive in Zurich HB at 08:20.

You will miss out on experiencing on what is a partially spectacular journey if you don't take the day train, but that day train isn't scheduled to arrive in Zurich until 17:20.

Though if you rise early and will be travelling in the summer months, there are some spectacular morning sights to be seen, if you have a view out of the right hand side of the train, as it approaches Zurich.

Final Destination: Zurich

The train also calls at: Buchs (connect for Landquart and Chur)

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