Budapest is the capital of Hungary and is located some 1,160km south-east from Amsterdam.
Let’s look at the options for travel between these 2 cities by air, train and bus:
1. Amsterdam-Budapest by Air
Flying is by far the quickest and most convenient option with flight times between Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS) and Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport (BUD) taking around 2 hours.
Dutch airline KLM (Skyteam) flies the route up to 4x daily using Boeing 737 aircraft. Return prices start from around €110 not including checked luggage.
Easyjet also serves Amsterdam and Budapest but only flies 4x weekly using Airbus A319 aircraft. Expect to pay about €100 return for an advance booking that includes checked luggage.
Airlines flying indirectly between Amsterdam and Budapest include Lufthansa (via Munich), Swiss (via Zurich), Austrian (via Vienna) and CSA Czech (via Prague).
Note that no-frills airline Wizzair operates 2x daily flights between Eindhoven airport (EIN) and Budapest.
KLM-subsidiary Transavia flies up to 4x weekly from Rotterdam-The Hague airport to Budapest.
2. Amsterdam-Budapest by Train
There are no direct rail services between Amsterdam and Budapest.
There are various options via Germany although we would probably recommend making an overnight stop in either Munich or Berlin. This means you can split the tickets and have more choice in finding lower fares.
Amsterdam-Munich-Budapest: You can travel from Amsterdam to Munich during the daytime by comfortable ICE trains. For example, take the 1040 Frankfurt-bound ICE from Amsterdam Central which arrives at Köln (Cologne) Hbf at 1315. With a 40 minute wait, connect onto the 1355 ICE which gets you into Munich Hbf at 1827.
The Amsterdam-Munich journey time takes less than 8 hours and fares start from €39.90 (2nd class) and €69.90 (1st class).
After an overnight stay in Munich (book your hotel near Munich station here), take one of the modern Austrian Railways Railjet train to Budapest via Salzburg and Vienna. For example, the 0930 departure gets into Budapest Keleti station at around 1620, a journey of just under 7 hours. Fares also start from €39.90 (2nd class) and €69.90 (1st class).
You can book Amsterdam-Munich and Amsterdam-Budapest through-fares at the NS International site. The cheapest Amsterdam-Budapest fares are from €69.90 (2nd class) and €109.90 (1st class). You can also book tickets at the German Railways Bahn.de site (useful if splitting the journey in Germany).
If coming from Budapest, do the opposite by taking the Railjet to Munich, making an overnight stop and then using the ICE trains with 1 stopover to Amsterdam.
There is also the possibility of a sleeper train between Munich and Budapest. Known as the Kalman Imre, this service departs Munich at 2335 and arrives in Budapest at 0924. From the other way, it departs Budapest at 2040, arriving in Munich at 0610. Single fares range from €59 (6 berth couchette) to €129 (1 bed sleeper).
Amsterdam-Berlin-Budapest: Take the Intercity train between Amsterdam and Berlin (runs 5x daily each way, takes 6 hours 15 minutes) with fares from €39.90 (2nd class) and €69.90 (1st class).
Make an overnight stop in Berlin (book your hotel near Berlin Hbf station here). Then take the daytime Eurocity service which leaves at 0917, travels via Prague and Bratislava and reaches Budapest at 2019 (11 hour journey). The corresponding train leaves Budapest at 0741 (direction Hamburg-Altona) and arrives in Berlin at 1841. Singles start at €39.90.
Book your rail tickets as far in advance as you can to secure the lowest possible prices.
3. Amsterdam-Budapest by Coach
Eurolines runs an overnight coach service daily between Amsterdam Duivendrecht and Budapest (Nepliget bus station). This journey takes 22 hours and a change of bus is required in Prague, Czech Republic. Single fares start from around €53.
Flixbus runs frequent coach connections via Germany/Austria from Amsterdam Sloterdijk to Budapest Népliget and Kelenföld. Journey times range from 21 to 32 hours and prices start at €54 single.