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. Note that there have been some significant changes to service frequencies due to the ‘coronavirus’ measures.
1. 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 Frankfurt Hbf at 1431. Then connect onto the 1454 ICE which gets you into Munich Hbf at 1807.
The Amsterdam-Munich journey time takes less than 8 hours and fares start from €37.90 (2nd class) and €56.90 (1st class).
After an overnight stay in Munich, take the modern Austrian Railways Railjet train to Budapest via Salzburg and Vienna. For example, the 0930 departure gets into Budapest Keleti station at around 1619, a journey of just under 7 hours. Fares also start from €37.90 (2nd class) and €56.90 (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 which is 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 2315 and arrives in Budapest at 0919. 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). Note, currently the train is running but there are no sleepers/couchettes available.
Amsterdam-Berlin-Budapest: Take the Intercity train between Amsterdam and Berlin (runs 5-6x daily each way, takes 6 hours 30 minutes) with fares from €37.90 (2nd class) and €59.90 (1st class).
Make an overnight stop in Berlin. Then take the daytime Eurocity service which leaves at 0916, travels via Prague and Bratislava and reaches Budapest at 2025 (11 hour journey). The corresponding train leaves Budapest at 0740 (direction Hamburg-Altona) and arrives in Berlin at 1842. Singles start at €39.90.
Book your rail tickets as far in advance as you can to secure the lowest possible prices.
2. 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 3x daily using Boeing 737 aircraft. Return prices start from around €110 not including checked luggage.
Easyjet also serves Amsterdam and Budapest but only flies 3-4x 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 flights between Eindhoven airport (EIN) and Budapest.
3. Amsterdam-Budapest by Coach
Flixbus runs coach connections via Germany from Amsterdam Sloterdijk to Budapest Népliget and Kelenföld. Journey times range from 24 to 30 hours and prices start at €58 single.
This article was originally published in 2013 and has continuously been updated. Last update 7 October 2020.