Serbian Railways offers ‘Budapest special’ promo tickets for journey between Belgrade and Budapest for only 26 EUR. One way ticket is 15 EUR. It’s not possible to buy tickets online via Serbian Railways website. MAV which is a Hungarian State Railway offers booking via internet but you need to collect your ticket at any of the ticket collection points at the railway station. Home printing is not possible so if you arrive without a collected ticket you’ll need to buy a new one.
However, you can buy tickets directly at the station, even before the start of the journey as usually there are no shortage of tickets. Making a reservation is a good idea if you want to travel during holidays such as New Year’s Eve or during the time of some festivals. These promo tickets are valid for 2nd class only.
There are three daily departures from Belgrade to Budapest, at 07:20, 11:35 and 21:50. The departures from Budapest are following: at 08:05, 12,05 and 22:25. The full timetable can be seen here. You need to type BEOGRAD instead of Belgrade.
Belgrade to Budapest by train
I departed from Belgrade at 7:20 in the morning. The passenger car was part of MAV – Hungarian State Railway. The seats were okay considering this is 2nd class. There were many empty seats, just around 10 people in my passenger car. The train has a restaurant and two power outlets per car. You can’t use it for a laptop but it’s good for charging your phone. Power outlets are at the beginning and the end of the car if you wanna catch those seats 😉
The train has WiFi but it only works on the Hungarian territory. Actually it barely works on it too as the signal disappears often.
Arrival to Subotica is around 11:20am and the first passport check is here. The journey continues at 12:50. It takes two hours for passport check at the both sides. Hungarians are really strict especially because of the current situation with immigrants.
Budapest to Belgrade by train
The train leaves Budapest at 08:05. The passenger car was owned by Serbian Railways. This one was much more spacious and with more comfortable seats. Again the car was almost empty but a lot of people entered in Novi Sad. This car has power outlets by every window. No WiFi here.
This is important so I’ll mention it too. There’s a lot of material on internet by people whose valuables were stolen. There are stories that guards at the border and the train conductors are corrupt and that they work together with robbers. Now I don’t know how true this is but I will write about my experience. A woman who’s a Hungarian citizen entered a train car in Subotica and sat to the right side of our seats. Now what was weird is the fact that she didn’t take her sunglasses off during passport check by the Hungarian guards and she also seemed nervous. The guards didn’t ask her to take the sunglasses off which is really unusual considering this is a border and they’re identifying the passengers.
After we entered the Hungarian territory I spotted that she talked with a man who was sitting in a different car. When she got back in our car she suddenly approached me and my companion while showing us a cute animal video. Of course this is pretty suspicious as we didn’t talk to her at all before that and you just don’t approach strangers like that. We were disinterested so she moved back to her seat. She was discreetly monitoring us and our every move while constantly chatting to someone on the phone. My guess is that she was collaborating with a man from the different train car. After I moved a bag with our personal belongings closer to me she left the train at the next stop. Or maybe she just changed the cars looking for a new potential victim.
Just stay alert. That’s it.
Any questions or comments, feel free to write below.