Does the train from Prague to Budapest go through Slovakia? If so, would I have to pay extra if my railpass is only good for Austria, Czech Republic, and Hungary?

If I have a pass good for Austria, Czech Rep, and Hungary, and I want to take a train from Prague to Budapest, I'm not sure what happens if the train ever travels through Slovakia. The schedule shows a direct train (no changes) leaving 9:52; arriving 16:35., with a stop in Bratislava. Other trains go through Vienna, but I'm not sure if they go through Slovakia. Would I have to pay extra if these trains go through Slovakia?
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) July 14, 2016 15:46
    Hi David,

    Direct trains from Prague to Budapest

    The direct trains from Prague to Budapest do pass through Slovakia. Therefore, if your rail pass does not include Slovakia, you would need an additional ticket to cover you for this stretch of the ride. Specifically, the ticket you would need to be covered for your passage through Slovakia would be a ticket from Breclav (at the Czech Republic/Slovakia border) to Szob (at the Slovakia/Hungary border). This ticket can be purchased on our website just by doing a search from 'Breclav' to 'Szob' under 'Find Train Tickets' on the homepage, www.raileurope.com.

    When you pull up the results of your search, you can disregard the departure and arrival times that display, because, for your purposes, you would just be using this ticket as an 'open ticket'. This means that the specific Breclav-Szob train for which you purchase a ticket does not have to be the same as the actual train you take from Prague to Budapest. The two do not have to correspond. You can use the Breclav-Szob ticket you purchase to take any train from Prague to Budapest that day. Even though you would be purchasing a ticket from Breclav to Szob, that does not mean you would get off the train in either city. You would remain on the train for the full route from Prague to Budapest.

    On the direct trains from Prague to Budapest, it is also the case that reservations would be highly recommended (in addition to the Eurail Select Pass and your Breclav-Szob ticket). You would purchase reservations by clicking the 'Seat Reservations' tab on our homepage (www.raileurope.com) and entering the full route (i.e. 'Prague' to 'Budapest'). You would also have to indicate that you'll be traveling with a rail pass, however, to be quoted the correct reservations, you would have to indicate that you'll be traveling with a rail pass that covers the full route of the train. Therefore, just for the purpose of purchasing these reservations, you would have to indicate that you'll be traveling with a 'Eurail Global Pass' (even though it is actually the case that you'll be using a combination of the Eurail Select Pass and the Breclav-Szob to cover your ticket costs).

    The direct trains from Prague to Budapest are EuroCity (EC) trains. Generally, these trains can only be reserved once within 60 days of an intended departure date.

    Prague to Budapest with a train change in Vienna

    Otherwise, if you opt for a connection that involves changing trains in Vienna, then you would not pass through Slovakia en route. Therefore, in this case, you would not need to purchase the supplemental Breclav-Szob ticket. The connections from Prague to Budapest via Vienna would just take about 45 minutes longer than the direct trains. The direct trains from Prague to Budapest take about 6 hours and 45 minutes, while the connections via Vienna take about 7 and a half hours.

    The trains from Prague to Vienna and Vienna to Budapest are Railjet trains on which reservations would be highly recommended in addition to your Eurail Select Pass. When purchasing passholder reservations for a connection such as this, you would just have to break up your search in Vienna. Therefore, you would do one search for trains from Prague to Vienna and another search for connecting trains from Vienna to Budapest. When you enter these searches, you can also just indicate that you'll be traveling with a 'Eurail Three Country Select Pass' for the appropriate reservation costs to be offered.

    Additionally, when you pull up the results of your search from Vienna to Budapest, our website may only display 'Budapest Kelenfoe' as the station of arrival in Budapest. However, after stopping at Kelenfoe, these trains do continue on to the Budapest Keleti station, which is Budapest's main rail station. Rest assured, even if the reservation we issue shows 'Kelenfoe' as the station of arrival in Budapest, you can remain on your train until it arrives into the Keleti station. For your reference, these trains arrive into Keleti about 17 minutes after they are shown to be arriving into Kelenfoe on our website.

    Generally, the trains from Prague to Vienna can only be reserved within 60 days of an intended departure date, while the trains from Vienna to Budapest can be reserved within 90 days of an intended departure date.
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