Review: EuroCity Train “Hungaria” Budapest to Brno

This review details EuroCity train EC 172 “Hungaria” which links Budapest with Bratislava (Slovakia), Brno and Prague (Czech Republic) and Dresden, Berlin and Hamburg (Germany).

Hungary to Slovakia and the Czech Republic

After a short but great night of sleep at the T62 Hotel, I simply walked across the road to reach Budapest Nyugati station from where I would continue my trip.

This morning I would take the EuroCity train “Hungaria”, which links Hungary’s capital with Bratislava in Slovakia, Brno and Prague in the Czech Republic and Dresden, Berlin and Hamburg in Germany.

On the outbound journey from Budapest to Prague, Berlin and Hamburg the Hungaria is listed in the timetables as EuroCity train EC 172, while on the return it has train number EC 173.

As the name of this train implies, the Hungaria is operated by the national railways of Hungary (MÁV) and consists of Hungarian rolling stock.

Although the Hungaria EuroCity train only runs once a day, there are also multiple Czech Railways (ČD) operated “Metropolitan” EuroCity trains departing Budapest each day, although these only run as far as Prague.

nyugati station budapest
Budapest Nyugati station is the departure point for trains to Bratislava, Brno, Prague, Dresden, Berlin and Hamburg among others. ©Paliparan
budapest nyugati station
The main entrance of Nyugati station. ©Paliparan
Budapest Nyugati Pályaudvar
Budapest Nyugati Pályaudvar in the early morning. ©Paliparan

Budapest Nyugati

Although not as imposing as Keleti station, Budapest’s other main railway terminal, Nyugati is still an absolutely wonderful train station to depart from.

Budapest Nyugati Pályaudvar – often abbreviated as Budapest Nyugati Pu in timetables and search engines – simply means “western station” and is the departure point of a lot of Hungarian domestic trains as well as services towards Bratislava, Brno, Prague and Berlin.

I always love departing from a Hungarian train station.

The train announcement sounds and the Hungarian station jingles alone are magical.

hungarian train budapest nyugati
A Hungarian regional service under the beautiful train shed of Budapest Nyugati station. ©Paliparan
departures board
The departures board at Nyugati station. ©Paliparan
budapest nyugati palyaudvar
Wonderful Budapest Nyugati station. ©Paliparan

Nyugati station facilities

The terminus station of Budapest Nyugati has all the facilities you might need, as you will find ticket offices, left luggage lockers, ATMs and small kiosks and shops selling food and drinks.

It may also be the only place in the world where I would recommend you to visit the McDonald’s and McCafé, as they are both located in a grand historic hall directly to the right when you enter the station building.

Platforms 10, 11, 12 and 13 are the ones located directly underneath the beautiful train shed.

However, the Hungaria EuroCity train usually departs from platform 7, 8 or 9 – but always double check this on the departures board on your day of travel.

You can reach platforms 1 to 9 by simply walking approximately 200 metres along platform 10 until you see these tracks on your left-hand side.

On the day when I travelled, the Hungaria was already ready for boarding some 20 minutes before departure on platform 7.

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The McDonald’s at Budapest Nyugati station. ©Paliparan
station building
The McDonald’s and McCafé are located in an adjacent building directly on your right when you face the main station entrance. ©Paliparan
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Simply walk along platform 10 to reach platforms 1 to 9 at Budapest Nyugati station. ©Paliparan
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Budapest Nyugati station. ©Paliparan
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The Hungaria EuroCity train is already waiting for departure at platform 7 of Budapest Nyugati station. ©Paliparan

Inside the Hungaria train

The Hungaria train has carriages with compartments as well as open-plan saloon cars for both 2nd and 1st class.

Both 1st and 2nd class compartments feature 6 seats, while seating in the open-plan saloon cars is two abreast at either side of the aisle in second class and 1+2 in first class.

First class has slightly more comfortable seats, but only in the open-plan saloon carriages you will also profit from more personal space.

There are power sockets at each seat irrespective of travel class and carriage type, although the Hungaria train doesn’t have WiFi internet.

Seat reservation (between €3 and €6) is optional but is recommended if you travel at peak holiday times.

The Hungaria EuroCity train also features a proper MÁV dining car which is well-worth seeking out for some drinks or freshly cooked food during the long trip from Budapest to Prague and Berlin.

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The Hungaria EuroCity train waiting for departure at Budapest Nyugati station. ©Paliparan
hungaria eurocity train budapest brno prague berlin
Boarding the EuroCity train “Hungaria” towards Bratislava, Brno, Prague and Berlin. ©Paliparan
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Lovely sunrise colours above Budapest Nyugati station when I boarded the train. ©Paliparan
budapest berlin train
On the day I travelled, the Hungaria train only ran as far as Berlin and not all the way to Hamburg. ©Paliparan
hungaria seating carriage
Second class open-plan saloon seating carriage on the Hungaria. ©Paliparan
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Second class seats on the Hungaria train. ©Paliparan
compartment mav
Some of the carriages have 6-seat compartments instead of open-plan saloon seating. ©Paliparan
first class carriage mav
In first class open-plan saloon cars, seats are in a 1+2 configuration. ©Paliparan
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The dining car on the Hungaria EuroCity train. ©Paliparan

Book your ticket

You can book an online ticket on the website of the Hungarian RailwaysCzech Railways or German Railways irrespective of the train you take and your destination.

It’s always best to compare prices between these websites as they can differ depending on travel date, destination and how many days in advance you book your ticket.

As with most other trains in Central Europe, there are cheaper advance purchase fares available, so if you have your travel dates fixed by all means book it as far out as you can.

However, tickets cannot sell out and you can always buy the full fare on the day of departure at the station.

I booked my 2nd class ticket from Budapest to Brno online at the Czech Railways website a week before departure and paid €21 for it.

second class carriage mav
Second class was fairly empty on the day I travelled. ©Paliparan

Budapest departure

At 7.40am on the dot, the Hungaria EuroCity train departed from Budapest Nyugati station on its long journey towards the north-west.

Although first class was quite full, the second class carriages had plenty of empty seats on the late October day when I travelled so I was quite happy that I didn’t pay the extra few euros for the optional seat reservation.

Instead of taking a seat in one of the second class carriages I headed straight to the dining car of the Hungaria train and ordered some breakfast.

While I watched the train pass through the Budapest suburbs, coffee and orange juice were brought out to my table and the on-board chef started cooking my breakfast in the kitchen.

hungaria eurocity train dining car budapest prague brno
The dining car of the Hungaria EuroCity train from Budapest to Bratislava, Brno, Prague and Berlin. ©Paliparan
budapest departure
Departing Budapest Nyugati station. ©Paliparan
nyugati trainyards
Passing by the Nyugati trainyards. ©Paliparan
Rákospalota-Újpest station budapest
Rákospalota-Újpest station in the Budapest suburbs. ©Paliparan
budapest apartment block
High-rise apartment blocks in the outskirts of Budapest. ©Paliparan
coffee orange juice dining car
Coffee and orange juice in the dining car. ©Paliparan


As the train approached the town of Dunakeszi just outside of Budapest, breakfast was finally brought to my table.

I had ordered some fried eggs with ham for breakfast, which was served with a bread basket.

The breakfast in the restaurant wagon of the Hungaria train was tasty and at €7.50 with coffee and orange juice included in the price it certainly was affordable too.

breakfast MÁV dining car budapest bratislava prague berlin train
Breakfast in the MÁV Hungarian Railways dining car. ©Paliparan
Industrial landscapes around Dunakeszi. ©Paliparan


The Hungaria EuroCity train makes a few stops in Hungary before it reaches the border with Slovakia, with the city of Vác being the most important one.

However, only a handful of people disembarked or entered the train.

Vác station budapest bratislava prague berlin train
Arriving at the station of Vác. ©Paliparan
Vác train station
Vác train station. ©Paliparan
Vác station
Stop at the railway station of Vác. ©Paliparan

Beer time

Apart from four other passengers sitting at a table together, the dining car was rather empty this morning.

Despite most tables in the dining car of the Hungaria EuroCity train being unoccupied, there was still some kind of a party atmosphere in the restaurant wagon.

The four passengers – seemingly two couples going on a trip together – decided to order multiple rounds of beers as well as a bottle of Hungarian sparkling wine with their breakfast.

It wasn’t a hard choice to follow suit and order a beer myself despite it still being early in the morning.

The Hungaria EuroCity train has quite an extensive drinks menu, which includes both draught beer (Gösser) as well as a dozen or so other beers from bottle or can.

With a beer in my hand and the lovely views from the window over the foggy Hungarian countryside, I was really beginning to like this trip.

draught beer dining car
A tasty draught beer in the MÁV dining car. ©Paliparan
hungary train budapest brno prague berlin
Gorgeous morning views over rural Hungary. ©Paliparan
morning fog
The morning fog created some wonderful views. ©Paliparan
Nagymaros-Visegrád station
Nagymaros-Visegrád station. ©Paliparan
hungarian town
Riding through quiet Hungarian towns. ©Paliparan


After the station of Nagymaros-Visegrád, the Hungaria EuroCity train traverses one of the most scenic stretches of railway line on its long journey between Budapest, Prague and Berlin.

At this point, the railway line almost runs directly along the mighty Danube river.

Make sure you are seated on the left-hand side of the train for the best views over the Danube if travelling north.

danube river train
First glimpse of the mighty Danube river. ©Paliparan
beer train
A beer, great views from the window.. What more could you possibly want from a train ride? ©Paliparan
danube hungary river view budapest bratislava prague berlin train
View of the Danube from the railway line between Nagymaros and Szob. ©Paliparan

Into Slovakia

Unfortunately, the dining car temporarily closed when the train crossed the Hungarian-Slovak border.

Due to Slovakia’s COVID restriction at the time of travelling (autumn 2021) the sale of food and drinks on Slovak soil was temporarily banned, which meant that the dining car could only reopen once the train would reach the Czech border.

When the train halted at Štúrovo – the first major stop in Slovakia – I left the dining car and took an empty seat in the second class carriage.

At Štúrovo, the railway line leaves the Danube behind and runs inland through relatively flat and boring fields and farmland.

Before reaching the Slovak capital of Bratislava, the Hungaria also halts at the important railway junction of Nové Zámky.

slovakia fields budapest bratislava prague berlin train
Agricultural fields dominate the scenery in south-western Slovakia. ©Paliparan
Nové Zámky station
Arriving at Nové Zámky station. ©Paliparan
Nové Zámky station
Nové Zámky station. ©Paliparan


At 10am on the dot, the Hungaria EuroCity train arrived at the central station of Slovakia’s capital Bratislava.

It’s an important stop and quite some passengers disembarked at Bratislava, with even more people taking their place and boarding the train.

scenery slovakia
Scenery between Nové Zámky and Bratislava. ©Paliparan
bratislava railway
Arriving at Bratislava. ©Paliparan
slovak trains bratislava
Passing by some Slovak trains just before arriving at Bratislava’s central station. ©Paliparan
bratislava train arrival budapest bratislava prague berlin train
Arriving at Bratislava. ©Paliparan
Bratislava hlavná stanica
Bratislava hl. st. (hlavná stanica) – which simply means main railway station. ©Paliparan

Into the Czech Republic

After Bratislava, the Hungaria EuroCity train halts at Kuty before crossing the Slovak-Czech border.

Just before the train reached the first Czech station of Břeclav, I returned to the dining car to grab an early lunch.

To my surprise the dining car was almost completely full already and I was lucky to find an empty table.

I told the waiter that I had to leave the train in 40 minutes when we would reach Brno and asked him whether it would be enough time to cook my food.

He reassured me that it would be fine, so I ordered some food and a small bottle of Hungarian Korona wine, which was certainly tasty.

korona wine dining car hungarian
A small bottle of Korona wine in the Hungarian dining car. ©Paliparan
dining car view budapest bratislava prague berlin train
View from the dining car as the Hungaria train passes the Slovak-Czech border. ©Paliparan
Břeclav station
Břeclav station. ©Paliparan
breclav railway station budapest bratislava prague berlin train
Breclav is an important railway junction in the east of the Czech Republic. ©Paliparan


Halfway between Breclav and Brno, my food was finally brought to my table.

I had ordered a Hungarian dining car classic for lunch: The beef goulash stew with dumplings.

The food was again delicious and enjoyed the lively vibe in the MÁV restaurant wagon as we approached the city of Brno.

For the food and wine combined I paid €12.90.

MÁV dining car goulash hungaria eurocity train budapest bratislava prague berlin
Hungarian beef goulash stew with dumplings in the MÁV dining car. ©Paliparan
restaurant wagon dining car hungaria eurocity train budapest prague berlin bratislava
At this point, the restaurant wagon was completely full with everyone seemingly enjoying their food and drinks. ©Paliparan

Arrival in Brno

At 11.35am, the Hungaria EuroCity train arrived on time in Brno.

Make sure you sit on the left-hand side of the train as it arrives in Brno as you can enjoy some great views of the city’s skyline, which is dominated by the hilltop Špilberk Castle and the towering Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul.

Although I was looking forward to explore Brno, I felt a bit sad having to leave this great train as I would have loved to stay on board until Prague or Berlin.

brno railway
Approaching Brno. ©Paliparan
brno arrival
From the left-hand side of the train, you have some beautiful views over Brno on arrival. ©Paliparan
brno train
The Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul is one of the Brno landmarks you can clearly see from the train. ©Paliparan
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The Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul as seen from the train. ©Paliparan
brno central station
Arriving at Brno’s central station. ©Paliparan
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The Budapest to Berlin “Hungaria” EuroCity train at Brno. ©Paliparan

Towards Prague and Berlin

Although I got off the train in Brno, the Hungaria EuroCity train still has a long way to travel before it reaches its other main stops of Prague, Dresden, Berlin and Hamburg.

If you stay on board, you still have the best of the journey to look forward to.

The scenery between Brno and Prague is quite pretty as you will travel between rolling hills and forests.

However, the best is to come between Prague and Dresden when the train traverses the gorgeous Elbe river gorge – make sure you sit on the right-hand side for this stretch when going north.

In the German capital, the Hungaria EuroCity train halts at the underground platforms of Berlin Hbf.

Although on the day when I travelled the Hungaria EuroCity train was cut back to just Budapest-Berlin, it normally travels on towards Hamburg Hbf, with the terminus station of Hamburg Altona being its final stop in the evening hours.

brno prague railway
Scenery between Brno and Prague. ©Paliparan
elbe river gorge
Between Prague and Dresden, the Hungaria train traverses the Elbe river gorge, which perhaps is the most picturesque bit of the long journey between Budapest, Bratislava, Berlin and Hamburg. ©Paliparan
dresden hbf
Dresden Hbf. ©Paliparan
berlin hbf tief
In Berlin, the Hungaria train halts at the underground platforms (Berlin Hbf tief) of the main railway station. ©Paliparan
hamburg hbf
Hamburg Hbf. ©Paliparan


A trip on the Hungaria EuroCity train which links Budapest with Bratislava, Brno, Prague, Berlin and Hamburg is one of Europe’s most epic railway journeys.

This Hungarian train does not only connect many of Central Europe’s most important cities such as Budapest, Bratislava and Prague, but does so with a lot of passenger comfort.

The Hungaria EuroCity train features comfortable seats in both compartments and open-plan saloon cars, as well as a proper dining car where you can enjoy freshly cooked meals.

Indeed, there are few things better than having a drink and some tasty food in the restaurant wagon while admiring the fine views from the window as the train rides along big European rivers such as the Danube and Elbe.

Whether you use the Hungaria EuroCity train on a long journey between Budapest and Berlin or for a shorter hop between Bratislava, Brno and Prague, you will certainly enjoy this iconic European train.

Trip report index

This ‘Trains, Planes, Beer and Tapas: A Trip to Prague and Madrid’ trip report consists of the following chapters:

1. Review: Ryanair Bucharest to Chania (Boeing 737-800)
2. A Rainy Chania Stopover
3. Ryanair Hell: My Bad Chania to Budapest Flight Experience
4. Review: T62 Hotel, Budapest, Hungary
5. Review: EuroCity Train “Hungaria” Budapest to Brno (current chapter)
6. A Walk Through the Historic Old Town Centre of Brno
7. Review: EuroCity Train “Metropolitan” Brno to Prague
8. Review: K+K Hotel Central, A Prague Art Nouveau Delight
9. Beer Boozing in Prague: Sampling Some Czech Brews
10. Praha Hlavní Nádraží – Prague’s Stunning Art Nouveau Station
11. Review: Leo Express Train Prague to Olomouc
12. Olomouc Guide: Baroque and Belle Epoque Beauty
13. Review: RegioJet Train Olomouc to Prague
14. Review: Erste Premier Lounge Prague Airport
15. Review: Air France HOP Business Class Embraer 170
16. Review: Air France Schengen Business Lounge Paris CDG Terminal 2F
17. Review: Air France Business Class Paris CDG to Madrid (Airbus A220)
18. A Madrid Tapas Crawl: Bar Hopping in Spain’s Capital
19. Review: Ibis Madrid Aeropuerto Barajas
20. Review: Puerta de Alcala VIP Lounge Madrid Airport
21. Review: Air Europa Economy Class Madrid to Milan (Boeing 787)
22. How To Transfer Between Milan Malpensa and Bergamo Airport

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Koen works as a freelance journalist covering south-eastern Europe and is the founding father and editor-in-chief of Paliparan. As a contributor to some major Fleet Street newspapers and some lesser known publications in the Balkans, he travels thousands of miles each year for work as well as on his personal holidays. Whether it is horse riding in Kyrgyzstan’s Tian Shan mountains, exploring the backstreets of Bogotá, or sipping a glass of moschofilero in a Greek beachside taverna, Koen loves to immerse himself into the local culture, explore new places and eat and drink himself around the world.

One thought on “Review: EuroCity Train “Hungaria” Budapest to Brno

  • July 17, 2022 at 5:06 pm

    You’ve done it again Koen, another journey I must make! I’ve done this rail journey Berlin-Dresden-Prague with a few days stop in Dresden and I really enjoyed my week. I don’t remember the food service being as good as you got but maybe it has improved – that was back in 2004. I don’t remember decent on-train beer supplies for certain!

    Brno is one of those places that always comes up on the moving map when flying over the area and I’ve always wondered what it was like and that it must be worth a visit so I’m eager to see your report on this and now I must travel further but perhaps just a visit from Prague.

    Years ago I did the hydrofoil journey down the Danube from Vienna-Bratislava-Budapest and although it’s long at six hours and quite a bit of it is more of the same, nothing beats the arrival in Budapest on it if you ever get a chance to do it – if you haven’t?


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