Bus or Train from Krakow to Budapest?

Bus or Train from Krakow to Budapest? Discover the best option with prices and information about this route

Krakow and Budapest are some of the most popular destinations in Europe. Check our guide and choose a bus or train from Krakow to Budapest and vice versa.

Photo by Nico Trinkhaus

Budapest and Krakow are two cities in Central Europe that share a lot of common points: they both attract millions of tourists per year, they both have an excellent nightlife and they are somewhat close to each other in geographic terms. Odds are that, if you are in Southern Poland, you might want to extend your journey on a train from Krakow to Budapest.

The road and rail distance between Krakow and Budapest range from approximately 400 to 650 km depending on which route you take. The trip time is usually above 6 hours.

Train from Krakow to Budapest

One of the most evident options one can probably think of is to take the train from Krakow to Budapest, as train lines are interconnected and rather cheap in this area of the world.

Even if this is quite surprising, Krakow and Budapest have quite poor train connection. Depending on the season, there is a direct option (night train) that leaves Krakow in the beginning of the night and arrives in Budapest in the early morning, in a total exceeding 10 hours of travel.

As of 2023 there are also daily trains connecting Budapest Nyugati Station (Western Station) and Krakow Glowny (Main Station).

All the other options involving train are quite complicated, involving at least 2 connections via Katowice.

It still might be a good option though, in some cases. If you are travelling slowly in Central Europe, you can choose some of the cities along the way for a stop-over. Some of the options are Bratislava in Slovakia and Brno in Czechia.

Budapest Nyugati Station

Budapest Nyugati Station, a magnificent architectural gem built in the late 19th century, stands as a symbol of grandeur and connectivity in the heart of Hungary’s capital city. With its ornate façade and majestic interior, the station not only serves as a transportation hub within Budapest but also holds the distinction of being the starting point for trains bound for diverse European cities, including Krakow, Warsaw, and numerous other captivating destinations across the continent.

Whether embarking on a journey to explore the historic streets of Krakow or delving into the vibrant cultural tapestry of Warsaw, Nyugati Station stands ready to whisk travelers away on unforgettable adventures throughout Europe.

Bus from Krakow to Budapest

Another option you might consider is taking a bus. There are a few companies operating in this route, such as Flixbus. You might be able to find each leg for as low as 10 to 12 euros in both companies.

The best idea is to compare ticket prices between the train and the bus and then choose the best option according to your needs.

Alternatively, you can book tickets for this route directly on infobus.eu and Flixbus.

Budapest Nepiglet Bus Station

Located in Budapest, the bustling Nepiglet Bus Station serves as a vital hub for travelers seeking convenient and efficient transportation options. With its bustling atmosphere and well-organized facilities, the station offers a gateway to an array of captivating destinations.

Notably, Nepiglet Bus Station serves as the starting point for trains departing to various European cities, including the enchanting locales of Krakow, Warsaw, and numerous other vibrant urban centers across the continent. Whether embarking on a journey to explore the historic streets of Krakow or immerse oneself in the rich cultural heritage of Warsaw, Nepiglet Bus Station stands as a gateway to unforgettable experiences throughout Europe.

Flight from Krakow to Budapest

Depending on the season, you can find direct flights operated between Krakow and Budapest. They are generally operated by Ryanair, a low cost airline. Alternatively, you can also fly from Krakow to Vienna, and take a bus or train to Budapest (but this option is not so time effective considering the time spent on the airport plus the extra leg from Vienna do Krakow).

What to choose from Krakow to Budapest

Certainly a night train on a sleeper car is more comfortable than a bus, and depending on the purpose of your trip, you can save one night of hotel booking, taking the train. If you are on a budget and want to go the fastest way, the bus is invincible at the moment. 

If you are traveling slowly, you can stop in another city on the way. The best options in this route would be Brno, in the Czech Republic and Bratislava in Slovakia. Finally, another great option might be renting a car, especially if you are traveling in a group of more than 3 persons.  

Hotels in Krakow

Hotel Jan – a reasonably price hotel close the Krakow Market Square.

Hotel Imperial – an excellent hotel in the old town, very close to the Krakow Market Square.

Hotels in Budapest

Ibis Budapest City – a great reasonably priced option to stay in a very central location in Budapest. 

Boscolo Budapest, Autograph Collection – the Boscolo Budapest is not only one of the most iconic in Hungary, but in all of Central Europe.

Other Resources for Traveling in Hungary and Poland

Check our guide on where to stay in Krakow, as well as the best places to stay in Budapest to enjoy the most of your trip. You can also check the cost of living in Budapest, Hungary. And how to travel by train from Budapest.