Published: July 21 2023
While romanticized visions of a leisurely boat ride on the Danube from can be quite appealing, there is no direct ferry service available between these two capital cities. That said, there are some intriguing alternatives to explore if you're committed to seeing the Danube from a new perspective.
A popular alternative to a direct ferry is a river cruise. Several companies, such as Viking River Cruises or Avalon Waterways, offer multi-day cruises that start in Budapest and stop in Vienna. This is a luxurious option which offers not only transportation from point A to point B, but also fine dining, guided tours, and comfortable accommodation. However, you'll want to keep in mind that these tend to be quite expensive, and you'll generally have to book several months in advance.
Day Cruise Out of Vienna or Budapest
Since there is no direct ferry service from Budapest to Vienna, another option is to take a Danube day cruise. Both Vienna and Budapest offer this kind of trip, which allows you to experience the beauty of the river without committing to a multi-day cruise. In Budapest, you might consider the Hop-On Hop-Off Boat Day Pass, or in Vienna the DDSG Blue Danube Schiffahrt. These services permit you to explore the cities along the river at your own pace.
The most efficient and cost-effective way to travel between Budapest and Vienna is by train. With regular services every day, the trip takes approximately 3 hours. You’ll get to enjoy some beautiful countryside views, and the central train stations in both cities are well connected to other forms of transportation, making it exceptionally convenient for travelers.
While there is no direct ferry from Budapest to Vienna, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the Danube in depth. Whether you prefer to enjoy a leisurely cruise or prefer the efficient train journey, the travel between these two cities can be an experience in itself. Safe and happy travels!