Published: June 12 2023
One of the most popular day trips or weekend getaways for both locals and tourists in Hungary is a trip to the beautiful Lake Balaton. Known for its picturesque surroundings, quaint towns, and crystal-clear water, it's no wonder travellers are always eager to know the duration of the train ride from Hungary's capital, Budapest, to Lake Balaton. In this blog post, we provide detailed information on the train ride duration, along with the various routes and travel options available.
Direct Trains to Lake Balaton from Budapest
There are direct trains with no transfers required on the journey from Budapest to Lake Balaton. The primary station to depart from in Budapest for this route is Budapest-Déli, which connects to the major towns along Lake Balaton directly. The duration of the train ride depends on the destination town you choose along the lake. Here are some popular options:
- Budapest-Déli to Siófok: Approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. Siófok is a lively town situated on the southern shore of Lake Balaton, well-known for its nightlife and beaches.
- Budapest-Déli to Balatonfüred: Approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes. Balatonfüred is a historical town nestled along the northern shore of the lake, with elegant architecture and beautiful nature.
- Budapest-Déli to Keszthely: Approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes. Keszthely, situated on the western end of the lake, is home to the stunning Festetics Palace and offers a rich cultural experience.
Please note that these travel times are approximate and can vary depending on the specific train service selected.
Alternative Train Travel Options
While direct trains are the most convenient means of transportation, there are also alternative travel options available, which may require transfers but can be faster for certain destinations.
Traveling via Székesfehérvár
For some locations along Lake Balaton's southern shore, it can be quicker to take a train from Budapest-Déli to Székesfehérvár and then transfer to a local train service. For example, the journey from Budapest-Déli to Székesfehérvár takes approximately 1 hour, and from there you can catch a train to destinations such as Balatonalmádi (40 minutes), or Balatonfüred (1 hour).
Traveling via Tapolca
For destinations on Lake Balaton's northwestern shore, you can consider traveling through Tapolca. This route involves taking a train from Budapest-Déli to Tapolca (2 hours and 30 minutes), followed by a transfer to a local train to reach towns such as Keszthely (1 hour).
Tips and Recommendations
- Train tickets can be purchased online at the Hungarian State Railways (MÁV) website, or at the train station ticket office. It is advisable to buy your tickets in advance for a more seamless travel experience.
- First-class tickets are available, offering more comfortable seating and amenities. They are only slightly more expensive than standard-class tickets and could be worth the upgrade for longer trips.
- Trains frequently run between Budapest and Lake Balaton throughout the day, but it's always a good idea to check the timetable on the MÁV website for the most up-to-date schedules.
In conclusion, the train ride from Budapest to Lake Balaton can range from approximately 1.5 hours to 3 hours, depending on the specific destination and route chosen. With a multitude of direct and alternative options available, there's no shortage of ways to explore the beautiful regions surrounding Lake Balaton and enjoy a memorable Hungarian experience.