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 Train
There are no direct rail services between Amsterdam and Budapest. There are numerous options for getting between the 2 cities by train – you can choose to travel on daytime services (with or without an overnight stop) or make use of night sleeper trains.
Options involve travel via Germany and Austria with possible connections in Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna or taking an alternate Eastern route via Berlin.
Amsterdam-Budapest by daytime trains
Whilst it’s possible to do the entire Amsterdam-Budapest journey by the daytime we would recommend either stopping overnight along the way or taking one of the night train services. Trying to do the trip in a single day limits your train options and so prices could be higher and availability restricted.
An example of a journey by day is taking the 0638 ICE International train from Amsterdam to Frankfurt (Main) Hbf, arriving at 1031. From Frankfurt there are various combinations to get to Budapest – such as taking the 1253 ICE train to Munich (arrives 1637) and then taking the Austrian Railways OBB Railjet at 1730 which gets to Budapest at 0019.
For a more relaxed journey using daytime trains consider making an overnight stopover in Munich. On day one, travel from Amsterdam to Munich with a change in Frankfurt (Main) Hbf using ICE trains.
The Amsterdam-Munich journey time takes less than 8 hours and fares start from €37.90 (2nd class) and €59.90 (1st class).
After an overnight stay in Munich, take the modern OBB Railjet train to Budapest via Salzburg and Vienna. For example, the 0929 departure gets into Budapest Keleti station at around 1619, a journey of just under 7 hours. Fares start from €37.90 (2nd class) and €56.90 (1st class).
You can book Amsterdam-Munich and Munich-Budapest fares at the NS International site.
If coming from Budapest, do the opposite by taking the Railjet to Munich, making an overnight stop and then using the ICE trains from Munich to Amsterdam via Frankfurt.
Amsterdam-Budapest using sleeper trains
There are 3 possible sleeper options on this route though these still require connections. They are the Amsterdam-Vienna NightJet, the Munich-Budapest Euronight and Berlin-Budapest EuroNight. We would probably recommend the first option.
NightJet via Vienna: Austrian Railways ÖBB operates a NightJet nightly train service both ways between Amsterdam and Vienna.
The Amsterdam-departing train runs via Utrecht, Arnhem, Düsseldorf, Cologne and Frankfurt. It continues to Nuremberg where the train splits into a Munich-bound section (via Augsburg) and a Vienna-bound section via Linz.
The train departs Amsterdam at 1930 and arrives in Vienna at 0919 the next day. From Vienna the nightly train departs at 2013 and arrives the following morning in Amsterdam at 0958. Total journey time is around 14 hours.
One-way tickets prices for NightJet range as follows: €30-€109 for a 2nd class seat; €60-€139 for a couchette bunk (4-6 people); €90-€169 for a sleeper cabin for 1, 2 or 3 people.
You can book NightJet tickets at the NS International site.
There are Eurocity and RailJet trains running regularly throughout the day between Vienna and Budapest with a journey time under 3 hours. Tickets cost from €19.90 (2nd class) and €29.90 (1st class). Vienna-Budapest tickets can be booked at the TheTrainline site
Munich-Budapest sleeper: Travel by ICE train from Amsterdam to Munich via Frankfurt during the day. Then take the EuroNight sleeper train (known as the Kalman Imre) which departs Munich at 2320 and arrives in Budapest at 0919. From the other way, it departs Budapest at 2040, arriving in Munich at 0630.
Single fares range from €30 (seat), €59 (6 berth couchette) to €129 (1 bed sleeper). Book at the TheTrainline site
Berlin-Budapest sleeper: Take a morning Intercity Berlin 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). Bookable at the NS International site.
Then take the EuroNight sleeper train (known as the Metropol) which departs Berlin at 1843 and arrives at Budapest Nyugati station at 0820 – a trip of around 14 hours. From the other way, it departs Budapest Nyugati at 1940, arriving in Berlin Hbf at 0951.
Fares range from €49 (6 berth couchette) to €129 (1 bed sleeper). Book at the TheTrainline site
You could also make an overnight stop in Berlin. The IntercityHotel Berlin Hauptbahnhof is very conveniently located across the street from Berlin Central station and is well-rated.
Then take the daytime Eurocity service operated by Hungarian Railways which leaves at 0916, travels via Prague and Bratislava and reaches Budapest at 2020 (11 hour journey). The corresponding train leaves Budapest at 0740 (direction Hamburg-Altona) and arrives in Berlin at 1842. [This Eurocity train runs from 1 September 2022 onwards]
Singles start at €39.90 (2nd class) and €69.90 (2nd class).
To sum up, we would probably recommend the Amsterdam-Vienna NightJet sleeper and Vienna-Budapest Railjet for a really comfortable trip. Or stay the night along the way. Book at the NS International site.
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) has 4-5x daily non-stop flights between Amsterdam and Budapest using either its Boeing 737 aircraft or KLM Cityhopper-branded Embraer 175/190 aircraft. Return airfares are priced from €150 excluding luggage.
Easyjet also serves Amsterdam and Budapest but only flies 3-5x weekly (depending on season) using Airbus A319 aircraft. Expect to pay about €100 return for an advance booking that includes checked luggage.
3. Amsterdam-Budapest by Coach
Amsterdam-Budapest by coach is rather a long-haul with journey times ranging from 21 to 32 hours.
Flixbus runs coach connections via Germany or Austria from Amsterdam Sloterdijk to Budapest Népliget and Kelenföld. Note, some connections offered route via Paris – these are over 30 hours and probably should be avoided.
If booking well in advance prices can start at €38, although ranges of €50-70 are more common for shorter notice trips.
Looking for a convenient hotel near Amsterdam Central station? Check out the stylish Kimpton-De Witt which is a short walk from the station. For those on a budget the Ibis Amsterdam Centre is literally on top of the western edge of the station platforms.
The Iamsterdam City Card (1-5 days) offers free entry and discounts to numerous Amsterdam museums and attractions. It also includes a free public transport pass, a canal cruise and bike rental as well. You can order your Iamsterdam City Card online here
This article was originally published in 2013 and has continuously been updated. Last update 24 June 2022.