Are you planning a day trip to Vienna from Budapest? From time to time users ask me whether the journey is doable. Not only is Wien overwhelming in terms of attractions but also located at 250 km distance. My answer is yes, do it, by train, by car but not by boat (too long). Since you will want to get the most out of this trip, I have collected the best travel options below.
Day Trip To Vienna From Budapest By Train
Provided that you love self-guided trips, arranging your train journey and day in Vienna is straightforward. There are several trains from Budapest Kelety train station to Vienna each day. You will take less than three hours to arrive at Vienna railway station. In Trains to Vienna you will find further information.
Upon arrival at Wien Hauptbahnhof (Vienna Central Station), buy a 24-hour public transport ticket. This will get you everywhere you’d want to go. From there, you can either take metro U1 to Karlsplatz/Oper or Stephansplatz, or take tramway D to Karntner Ring/Oper. If you need inspiration, check out my seven day itineraries in 24 Hours In Vienna and the best mapped out routes to take through Vienna city centre.
Alternatively try to book a local guided tour, such as this guided city walk which on some days conveniently starts at midday.
Private Car Transfer To Vienna
What if you’d like someone to drive you to Vienna and back?
While the fastest train from Budapest to Vienna takes 2.41 hours, you will need 30 to 40 minutes each to get to and from the train into the center. Compared to this, a door-to-center car transfer takes maximum three hours on a great highway.
There are a few transfer companies in both Budapest and Vienna who will ferry you across the highway between the two cities. For example, this private transfer service has a good reputation, and does early morning and late night transfers without charging extra.
As one day in Vienna just flies past, each hour gets precious. When I dispose of just 60 minutes in Wien, for example, I use it either for a walk through my favourite streets, a themed tour, coffee and cake in a traditional coffeehouse, gift shopping, and even a classical concert. Of course that’s easy to do because I know Vienna by heart.
If you hire your own private car with tour guide you will integrate your own private sightseeing tour while onsite. I like the fact that with this particular trip, the guide drives you along Ringstrasse first. This is the ideal start that I recommend to visitors in my home city. After that, feel free to shape your schedule with your guide and throw in some special hidden gems, such as Franziskanerplatz or some historic Pawlatschen courtyards in the city center. Find out more.
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