Hi I want to travel from Budapest to Milan on 20th (or if necessary 21st) April but on checking obb website there's no seats on salzburg-milan night train on 20th. Is there another route I can use? I've booked a seat on a train from Saltzburg around 6am on 21st but no idea how to get there from Budapest! Thanks. Carole
Have you considered alternative routings across the Alps, e.g. from Vienna to Venice or Munich to Verona or Bologna. All of these have good fast connections to Milan.
Alternatively there are many trains from Budapest to Salzburg via Vienna. Every other train is direct.
There is even an evening train that would get you to Salzburg at 2 am.
Many thanks Yorkie. The problem seemed to be the overnight section from Salzburg to Milan but by breaking it down as you have it seems I could get the late train and then at least I would only have 4 hours to hang about Salzburg - still not ideal but better! As a newbie I don’t know how to break up journeys, but the alternative routes you suggest across the alps sound good - I suppose again I really need to break the journey down rather than put in budapest-milan?
Or you could travel entirely on 20th April, a long travel day for sure but possible (using only one travel day)
(maybe the reservation from Salzburg on 21st can be refunded)
- Budapest-Keleti - Zürich HB 06:40 - 17:20
- Zürich HB - Milano Centrale 17:33 - 20:50 or later
- Budapest - Innsbruck Hbf 06:40 - 13:44
- Innsbruck Hbf - Verona Porta Nuova 15:24 - 18:58
- Verona Porta Nuova - Milano Centrale 19:32 - 20:45
Both routes have great scenery.
Thanks for this. I think I did look at this option but didn’t really want to leave Budapest that early in the morning (although technically I could) but also the short time between trains at Zurich worried me a bit). The Innsbruck option looks okay. Also I wasn’t sure about travel in Switzerland; I assume interrail pass is okay for that? My Salzburg reservation was only 3 euro so not a big deal!
There are at least 3 later trains from Zurich so don't worry. It would be cheaper via Zurich (all trains included)
- Budapest - Zürich HB 06:40 - 17:20 optional 3€
- Zürich HB - Arth-Goldau 18:05 - 18:45
- Arth-Goldau - Lugano 18:49 - 19:58
- Lugano - Milano Centrale 20:02 - 21:17
All reservation-free (no need to do it)
The connecting trains in Switzerland will wait
The option would be :
- Budapest - Innsbruck 3€ reservation
- Innsbruck - Verona 10€ supplement + 3€ reservation
- Verona - Milan 10€ seat reservation
Thank you so much, really appreciate it. Another question, sorry, is there a night train option from zurich? I have a friend there so could possibly stop off in zurich for a few hours then take night train onto milan - if I can get a reservation!
No as the journey is quite short (3h15) there are no night trains. You could maybe overnight in Zurich and then take one of the many trains the following day (of course using a second travel day).
Just a note : the direct EC to Milan has a seat reservation fee of 11€ while the other connections (with at least one change in Lugano or two changes in Arth-Goldau and Lugano) are reservation-free.
If you were to overnight in Zurich, I'd really recommend the Old Gotthard Line on the second day (hourly Interregio train). It's very scenic, more than the 57-km Gotthard Tunnel !
Thank you again, very helpful and your scenic trip tip sounds great. Using travel days is not an issue for me as I have a two month pass and I definitely won’t be using all of that. More food for thought but it is good to know I can use options - it’s just hard to do that when you don’t know how the sites work and getting reservations etc but you have been very helpful.
Oh sorry I do have another question! If none of my trains need reservations can I really just turn up or could they still be full? If I add them to my travel pass does that mean I am guaranteed to get on them - even if I’m not guaranteed a seat? And presumably any that do need a reservation I should really make a decision and book them in advance? Thanks.
No worries, happy to help. Let me know if you need anything else
Since you have a 2-month pass, I'd indeed split the journey somewhere.
tickets.oebb.at will be very helpful for all the reservations around Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia and the mandatory ones within Italy too
Yes for trains that don't need any reservations, you just turn up, board the train and find a free seat.
You'll be guaranteed to get in that train 100% of the time and 99% of the time you'll get a seat.
Of course on long journeys like Budapest - Zurich or on busy mainlines like Brussels or Amsterdam to Germany, it is recommended to make a seat reservation. So you won't need to play musical chairs if needed.
For mandatory seat reservations it is recommended to book in advance yes. But they shouldn't sell out so you could always buy it last-minute (except for Eurostar, Thalys where there is a quota. TGVs often sell out). There are always reservation-free alternatives that take longer
Many thanks again, you are a star! Yes the oebb site looked good but clearly the overnight train I looked at was fully booked. I will check out these other options and at least now I’m not so worried about getting on some train anyway!
Sorry to bother again! Is there any route where I can leave Budapest on 20th and get to Milan on 21st using an overnight train? I'd prefer not to have to book accommodation on 20th but travelling overnight doesn't look possible. Thanks.
There’s a night train from Vienna to Milan 1918 - 0742. You’d be looking at €34-44 for a couchette, or €54-134 for a bed in a sleeper. It can be booked on ÖBB.
I find this map useful to visualise night trains (the ones from Nightjet at least) https://www.nightjet.com/en/dam/jcr:6a8041cb-0131-4ad3-84fd-25154548e5dd/nightjet-streckennetz-deutsch.pdf
Having checked, there is availability on that train on the 20th, in pretty much any choice of seat/ couchette/ cabin - which is good luck because many night trains are fully booked. If you want this option, I would reserve ASAP.
Thanks Ralderton, that's helpful.
Oh, and of course there’s a night train from Budapest-Zurich, departing at 2040. This has couchettes available, but no sleeper cabin on the 20th.
So you have the choice of:
A) 2.5 hours Railjet or Eurocity from Budapest to Vienna, then Nightjet to Milan (spend the afternoon in Vienna?), or
B) Euronight from Budapest to Zurich, then 3h15 on Eurocity to Milan.
This Euronight also calls at Buchs near the Swiss/ Liechtenstein border in the morning. You could instead get off the train here and take a beautiful scenic ride over the Bernina Pass to reach Milan if you have the time? It’s slower, but stunning. And doesn’t need reservations (as long as you avoid the panorama car).
Here's the description https://www.seat61.com/trains-and-routes/bernina-express.htm
You wouldn’t arrive in Milan until 1540, but it’s well worth it if you have the time.
Option B (via Zurich)
Option B (via the Bernina Pass)
Thanks a lot. This is very interesting as I'm sure when I looked for overnight from Zurich I couldn't find anything. I don't need a cabin, even a seat is ok so will definitely look at this. Was it on oebb site? Also scenic route sounds lovely & I'm not in a rush.
You’d need a reservation for either of those overnight trains - even in a seat. I would strongly recommend you pay the extra €20 to get a couchette if you want to get some sleep!, but it’s up to you.
If you’re taking the scenic route over the Bernina Pass, and have even more time, then it’s worth jumping off somewhere during the journey. You don’t have to decide in advance - just jump off somewhere that looks nice, and get the next train an hour later. There’s no reservations to worry about.
Thanks but which site did you use oebb or another? I know I need reservation on night trains but when I was looking for options from salzburg and Zurich I couldn't find any on oebb.
Yes, it's all on oebb.
If you put Budapest - Zurich departing 2000 or Vienna - Milan departing 1900 you should find these trains.
Add your Interrail discount where it says 1 Adult here, then click on Find Services > One way tickets and day tickets. (Not ‘seat reservation only’)
Many thanks. I'll try again!