This review details the EuroCity train “Metropolitan” which links Budapest with Bratislava (Slovakia), Brno and Prague (Czech Republic).
From Brno to Prague by train
After a great afternoon in Brno, it was time to travel onward to Prague.
The rail connection between Prague and Brno – the two biggest cities in the Czech Republic – is certainly good as there is at least one train departure each hour (sometimes even two per hour).
Besides these trains, Czech private railway company RegioJet operates several trains a day as well between Brno and Prague, while the Hungarian Railways operate the daily EuroCity train “Hungaria” on this stretch.
Most of these trains actually originate or continue to other destinations.
For example, the Railjet trains between Brno and Prague originate in Vienna or Graz in Austria, with some continuing all the way to the German capital of Berlin.
About the Metropolitan train
The name “Metropolitan” is given by the Czech Railways (České Dráhy, abbreviated as ČD) to all EuroCity trains linking Prague with Brno, Bratislava and Budapest.
Train numbers EC 272, EC 274, EC 276, EC 278 and EC 280 are all Metropolitan EuroCity trains from Budapest to Bratislava, Brno and Prague, while EC 270 only runs from Budapest until Brno.
The other way around, train numbers EC 273, EC 275, EC 277, EC 279 and EC 281 are all Metropolitan EuroCity trains from Prague to Brno, Bratislava and Budapest, while train EC 271 only runs from Brno to Budapest.
My 2nd class ticket for one of the Brno-Prague Metropolitan trains was just 245 CZK (10 euro) when booked a week in advance on the Czech Railways website.
As seat reservation is optional, tickets can never sell out for these trains.
Seat reservation for a domestic journey within the Czech Republic is free, although it will cost you 75 CZK (3 EUR) when travelling internationally on the Metropolitan train.
I was booked on EuroCity train EC 278 which would depart Brno at 1.39pm and arrive in Prague at 4.38pm.
Brno has a charming Habsburg-era train station which is located smack in the middle of the city centre.
Unfortunately, my train was delayed for just over 30 minutes on its way from Budapest to Brno but after a seemingly endless wait on the platform it finally showed up.
On board the Metropolitan train
The Metropolitan EuroCity train offers second and first class seats.
Second class seats are either in open-plan saloon cars with seats in bays of four or in wagons with six-seat compartments.
In first class, seats are in a 1-2 configuration in open-plan saloon coaches, so you benefit from more space and shoulder room.
Both first and second class train wagons are fitted with power sockets although there was no WiFi internet.
Czech dining car
The Metropolitan EuroCity train does have a Czech dining car which can be accessed by everyone on the train regardless of travel class on a first come, first serve basis.
In my opinion, Czech Railways dining cars are among the best you can find in Europe and make for a real treat.
As I could certainly use a drink after my afternoon hike through Brno, I headed straight to the dining car for a refreshing pint of Pilsner Urquell (the restaurant wagons of Czech Railways all have draught beer available!).
Although I boarded the Metropolitan EuroCity in Brno, the train already had quite a long ride behind it since its start at Budapest Nyugati station.
Indeed, the most scenic part of a ride on the Metropolitan EuroCity train is in Hungary where it runs right along the mighty Danube river.
On its way from Budapest to Brno, the Metropolitan calls at the Hungarian stations of Vác, Nagymaros-Visegrád and Szob, the Slovakian stations of Štúrovo, Nové Zámky, Bratislava and Kúty as well as in Břeclav, its first stop in the Czech Republic.
Departure from Brno
Although the prettiest scenery was already behind me, I still thought the train ride between Brno and Prague was pleasant.
After clearing the Brno suburbs, the Metropolitan train rides through green fields and rolling hills as it slowly makes its way to the north-west.
A meal in the dining car
I was still seated in the dining car and after my first beer I decided it was time to other another one as well as some food.
Food and drinks are certainly affordable in the Czech dining car as you pay around 7 euro for a main dish, around 1.50 euro for a bottle of water or soft drink and 2 euro for a pint of beer or a coffee.
You can pay by card or cash in Czech koruna (CZK), Euro (EUR) or Hungarian forint (HUF).
To start, I ordered some goulash soup, which was fairly tasty (unsurprisingly, you can get better quality goulash on the Hungaria train).
My main dish of pork cheeks in black beer sauce with mashed potatoes, red onion and honey chutney was however excellent and went well with my Pilsner Urquell.
To finish, I ordered chocolate pancakes and a coffee to round up a great dining car experience.
There really is no better way to travel than watching out of the window and seeing different landscapes pass by while enjoying some great food and drinks on the train.
Around the halfway point of the journey, the Metropolitan train leaves the Czech region of Moravia and enters Bohemia, the historic region in which Prague is located.
Although we still passed along the odd forest or sleepy town, it felt that the prettiest views were behind us now as the landscape became more flat.
Due to major track works, the Metropolitan train was diverted on another railway line and had to make a detour.
The 30 minute delay turned into a full hour, which was rather annoying as I was supposed to meet some friends upon arrival.
Fortunately, the nice sunset views on the railway line between Kolin and Prague made up for it.
Arrival in Prague
Just before our arrival in Prague, I walked all the way back to the last carriage of the train.
From the rear vestibule, I had a perfect view back over the railway tracks as the Metropolitan train rolled into Prague.
In the end, my Metropolitan EuroCity train arrived at Prague’s wonderful central station with a delay of just over 70 minutes.
If it’s your first time arriving by train at Prague Central Station (called Praha Hlavní Nádraží or simply Praha hl.n. in Czech) you should really take a few minutes to admire the Art Nouveau splendour of this amazing railway cathedral.
I had a great trip on the Metropolitan EuroCity train between Brno and Prague.
These EuroCity trains are comfortable to ride on no matter if you travel in second or first class.
The highlight of a trip on the Metropolitan EuroCity train is the excellent Czech Railways dining car where you can enjoy some highly affordable and high quality drinks and food.
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
6. A Walk Through the Historic Old Town Centre of Brno
7. Review: EuroCity Train “Metropolitan” Brno to Prague (current chapter)
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