Budapest to Ljubljana: The Most Efficient Route

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The journey, Hungary’s Budapest to Ljubljana, Slovenia is a popular one and it’s easy to see why. The trip easy, safe and both the cities of Budapest and Ljubljana deserve a visit. Here is a step by step guide on the best way to travel from Budapest to Ljubljana.

Budapest From Libtery Statue I Budapest to Ljubljana

Public Transport In Europe

Like many European connections, train* is the best way to travel between Hungary and Slovenia. Our train had a small café, was spacious and the journey was scenic. When researching the best routes and ways to travel in Europe I check four websites

*although I hear that in the Balkans, the bus is faster than the train. In the UK, the train is definitely more expensive than buses.

Budapest to Ljubljana I Train

Budapest to Ljubljana by train

Buying Train Tickets in Budapest

Train tickets can be bought at both Keleti (Budapest, Baross tér Tel: (+36-1) 413 – 4610) and Déli station (Budapest, Krisztina krt. 35-37. Tel: (+36-1) 375-6593) in Budapest. I tend to discourage anyone from purchasing tickets online from third parties in Europe as they are always unnecessarily expensive. I do encourage buying tickets before departure day.

At the time of writing the cost of a one-way ticket is 15-29 Euros for one seat (this not a seat in a cabin).

Our ticket was open between two dates, with no time restriction. The journey took around eight hours. Do remember to take a mobile/cell battery pack with you if you use your phone for music, reading etc. We use battery packs and they’ve never failed us.

There was no option of a night train Budapest to Ljubljana that was time efficient, online there is one advertised but it takes 25 hours and has 4 stops. Budapest to Ljubljana train times can be found out in the station too.

The train was quiet so there was no reason to worry about our belongings. If you are travelling solo and/or carrying expensive electronics with you I recommend investing in the PacSafe secure protector.

You put your day bag with your electronics stored in it into the net, pull tight and attach the cables around something that does not move such as a table leg, bag frame, etc and then lock with a padlock. We then cover the bag up with a throw or jacket. It stops opportunists having the chance to grab and run.

This was our security system for our trip with a Macbook and camera for 17 months around the Americas and Europe and it was successful. You can check out more reviews here.

Alternatively you may want to upgrade to the PacSafe laptop and camera bag which has the slash-proof net built into the bag and padlock system attached.

If you are looking for advice on buses and trains in Hungary, check out this transport planner.

Buying a Budapest Train Ticket Online

A reader (thanks, John) has just returned from doing the Budapest to Ljubljana train journey and successfully booked his ticket online using this website.

John punched the reservation code into the ticket machine at Budapest Deli Station and a train ticket printed. His train consisted of three carriages but no food cart.

The journey lasted eight hours and was even a minute early to his delight! The price of the ticket was 15 Euros. He also checked this price on the day and it was still the same. There was no border control check for John (there was for us).

Budapest’s Southern Déli Train Station

Our Budapest to Ljubljana train departed from Déli. Déli can be reached by subway, buy a subway ticket and activate it by stamping it at the machine (fines can occur if caught without this). The station itself has an internal and national ticket box office, food stalls, and lockers.

Lockers in Budapest

A thing of the past in America post 9/11, large lockers are available to rent at Déli. Extremely useful for backpackers with a few hours to explore Hungary’s capital.

Budapest Lockers I Budapest to Ljubljana_

Border Control, Slovenia

You will need to show your passport to the Slovenian authorities who will approach you on the train (they were friendly!) This was pretty much a direct train from Budapest to Ljubljana, it was the fastest available. 

Welcome to Ljubljana

You are in for a treat, this small city is charming and beautiful! The central train station (Ljubljana zelezniska postaja) is situated in the middle of the city.

Turn left at the bottom of the stairs to head to the city centre. The bus station (address: Trg OF) is very close for those making connections to the likes of beautiful Bled.

In the south of Slovenia is the unique glamping experience at Big Berry on the Kolpa River, not a tent pole in sight! If you are getting from Budapest to Ljubljana, do the reverse journey and buy tickets at Ljubljana train station.
Remember if you are coming from overseas and hopping between countries you must have travel insurance. We use True Traveller because of their customer service and coverage. Check out if they work for you too by clicking here to see their rates.

Budapest to Ljubljana I Ljubljana Bridge

Train Budapest to Ljubljana, easy and safe.

Bla Bla Car

An alternative option is to travel from Budapest to Ljubljana by car (or the other way around).

Check out the Bla Bla Car website for a car share possibility. This site connects drivers with travellers. Type in your location and designation, check the price, type of car, luggage restrictions etc. We found that the later you leave it, the more expensive Bla Bla Car journeys become.

We’ve checked out Bla Bla Car for our next trip, Zagreb to Sarajevo, the bus is 25 euros per person and Bla Bla Car is 17 – 25 euro, however, there are no drivers available on the date we want to leave.

KiwiTaxi

If you are looking for the most private and comfortable journey check out a Book your KiwiTaxi how to get from Budapest to Ljubljana, will you make this scenic trip? 

Country Itineraries

Tips on what to do and essential travel information…

Budapest:

Ljubljana:

Like it? Why not pin it to your Europe Pinterest board?

Budapest to Ljubljana- The Most Effective Route

Over to you, any questions or updates?

Gemma and Craig are full-time workers with a life-long travel habit. Flirting with 30 and let loose on the world! Gemma writes, Craig looks good in the photos.

Comments 49

  1. We did the trip the other way around — from Ljubljana to Budapest. It was a slow train (8 hours!), but the views of Slovenia’s countryside were wonderful! Love traveling by train! 🙂

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      Me too! Guess what? Just went to book the train from Sarajevo to Belgrade – they don’t have any trains, maybe in one month! The bus from Zagreb to here was brutal. At least this journey is a bit shorter. Laptop up to my chin trying to do work!!

  2. We have a Eurail pass and are planning to travel Budapest-Ljubljana on Tues Sept 6th…wondering if it will be necessary to book seat reservations, or if there is generally plenty of space available in first class? Haven’t been able to figure out how to make reservations, so kinda hoping I can just quit trying 🙂

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      You need to go into the station in person (always best for Europe). Our train was empty! However, we were just cattle class. Enjoy the journey (sit on the left hand side), so beautiful as make your way into Slovenia. I’m very jealous! Check out our tips for Ljubljana and Budapest and don’t miss a trip to Bled if you have time in Slovenia.

      1. Hi, your posts are really helpful for me. I am planning a trip to Hungary and Slovenia in June. Do they have night trains from Budapest to Slovenia?

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          I don’t know for certain but according to DB Bahn there is and there also appears to be a bus with Flixbus too but I’m not sure if it leaves at 11am or pm it’s not clear. I’ve asked my Hungarian friend if he knows for sure. I’ll let you know the feedback.

          1. Has anyone used Flixbus? It seems faster than the train. Please tell me how you bought your ticket. Thanks.

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      2. Hi,
        I’m looking to travel to Ljudljana in September by train from Budapest. Can you tell me if you have to change trains on the journey or is it a direct journey?
        Thanks, Kate.

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  3. Hello

    I am looking at travelling from Ljubljana to Budapest on 30th December.

    i am having some difficulty finding out if trains run on this route and times.

    Any chance anyone could advise on the best website?
    Thanks

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  4. I am thinking of going in May, but hear the weather is rainy. Coming from Ireland, this makes me wonder. What time of year would you suggest?

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      Budapest or Ljubljana? We were in Budapest around March/April then Ljubljana in May and it was mixed, if you are looking for sunshine I wouldn’t bank on it. Some days were nice, others were downpours although warmer than the UK when it was nice. There is plenty to do when it pours in both. Like most European cities, summer is best.

      1. Thank you. I’ve already booked, I’m a photographer, and I have to take my chances. I’m also headed to Slovenia, then to Vienna, back to Budapest in June. Maybe better better weather then… ?

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          Such a lovely area of Europe. Budapest is grand and fun, Ljubljana is the cutest European city I’ve visited. Do go to Bled too, fairytale! Will be great for photographs. Two pages that might interest you. 1. Hungary 2. Slovenia

  5. Thank you, I am going to all the places you mentioned! I will look at your links, thank you for all your help, you’ve been lovely, look forward to following in future.

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  6. Hi! we are planning to take the train from Budapest Deli to Ljubljana on 6th July this year. You seem to suggest that we should buy are tickets at the station when we are there, rather than booking them up on-line and collecting them at the station? Is there some reason for this? Do you have any experience of booking on-line and collecting tickets, can you advise us?

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      Hi Arthur, there was no way for us to book online hence the trip to the station beforehand. I’m sure there are sites which charge escalated prices we never accept that if we have the time to collect ourselves. Hope this helps. Both Budapest and Ljubljana are fun cities and differ wildly! If you need any tips of what to do in them check out our Pest guide (especially this food guide) and our things to do in Ljubljana post, will you be going to Bled?

      1. Hi, just found your site! I’m planning on traveling from Osweicim to Budapest in September and cannot get accurate prices for trains. I’m wondering if we have to wait to actually go into the train stations to book? And what about overnights on the trains in general – we’ve read that you have to book in advance? And do you suggest any particular train line? I’ve been working out an itinerary using Czech transport line. It at least gives me an idea of times and dates and prices. We’re trying to see a lot in 3 weeks with the 4 th week in the Netherlands. Prague – Auschwitz – Budapest – Ljubljanna – Split – Venice – Zurich (Bernina Pass) – Amsterdam. It’s kind of crazy, but that’s what we’re trying to do!! Any advise? :)?

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          Hi Helen, thanks for reading our blog post on Hungary to Slovenia. As the post says, you do need to go into the station to book and my previous experience of sleepers in Poland was that you did have to book. We could not find a sleeper from Budapest to Ljubljana. If you can find a way to book online you could do that but I didn’t have any luck. You’d have to ask these questions in the station. We used the Go Europe website for info on travelling between Germany and Austria by train but it doesn’t seem to cover Slovenia. Good luck!

  7. I’m travelling from Budapest to Ljubljana in Sept (yay, next month!) taking the same train you took from Deli.

    The journey is long but at least it’s direct. We bought the tickets online and just have to get them printed from one of the kiosks at the station by entering the codes they emailed us (like how you can print your boarding passes at airports).

    Are there toilets in the train and any food/drinks being sold on train? Also, are the seats comfy? did you happen to see what first class looked like? We decided to buy first class since it’s 9hrs ish.

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      You managed to get some online, that’s excellent. Can you send me the link to where you bought them? Do come back to me and let me know how it goes?

      We didn’t see first class however, the standard seats were big and clean so you will be happy with first class if that’s any comparison.

      There are toilets on the train, we took our own food (there are small cafes at the station) but I think there was a food cart. Let me know if that’s wrong.

      1. The english language version of the website is this: https://www.mavcsoport.hu/en
        The MAV website is not a third party such as Rome2Rio, it’s the railway’s official site.

        I did some research before booking and this website provided some useful information:
        https://www.seat61.com/websites/mav-start.htm

        We paid 70 Euros for 2 people, one way ticket from Budapest (Deli station) to Ljubljana direct.

        Our train ride is scheduled for 9th Sept, so will let you know about it then.

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          I did a bit of digging after we spoke and found the site. My Hungarian friend gives it the thumbs of for legit. Seat 61 is a great resource for us travellers! Have a wonderful trip and thank you for coming back to me. I’ve updated the article 🙂

  8. Where are you finding direct trains from Ljubljana to Budapest. I can only find ones with at least two changes. I’m looking at September 03, 2017, but I’ve checked the weekdays as well. Am I missing something?

  9. Cancel my enquiry. I assumed because there were direct trains from Budapest to Ljubljana that they should exist the other way around, but not so.

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      Ah that’s interesting! Trains in Europe online are not easy to find. We really struggled and ended up doing it in person. Did you find a route that works?

  10. Yes, only on the Hungarian train website did I find it. Can’t book online from Ljubjlana to Budapest as the ticket has to be picked up in Hungary, but I can buy it locally in Ljubjlana. Also, it may be direct but it has a lot of stops.

    Thank you for replying!

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  11. My plane arrives in BUD at 8:15 am and the Flixbus at Bud Nepliget leaves at 10 am for LJU. Can I just buy the tickets for Flixbus at Bud Nepliget since I don’t know if I’ll make it on time for the 10 am bus & the next direct bus is at 4 pm? If I have to make the 10 am bus, then I assume taxi is the quickest way?

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      I can’t answer that, sorry Dina! Are they on Twitter – you try asking there. We took the train between the two countries. Let me know how you get on and have a great trip.

  12. hello! your article has been helpful! I am planning to fly into Budapest and then train to Ljubljana. After that, what do you suggest is the best way to get back to the USA? Is there a best airport to use?

    One of my contacts suggested flying out of Zagreb, Croatia. If I did that, would it be an easy train to get there? Or would you fly to Zagreb from Ljubljana?

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      Hey CK. We took the bus from the south of Slovenia to the north of Croatia then straight on to Sarajevo so can’t help you there. Never been to Croatia for a trip, would love to though. Have a great trip.

  13. Hello! With the train journey, did you stop at multiple stations going through? We are looking to take it, but would like to get off earlier at Murska Sobota, not go through to Ljubljana Thank you

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  14. hi, have booked the Budapest to Ljubijana train online at official Mav-Start website, 15 Euros special SPAR ticket in 2nd class, travelling on April 4th 2019, just have to put emailed code into ticket machine to get ticket, will update with food, drink etc and anything else that people might find of interest Thanks John

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  15. Hi! I’m interrailing with a friend in August and I was trying to see if I could book in advance for a train from Budapest to Ljubljana (following the links people put on this page), however everything is really complicated online and i can’t even find a train on any dates to book, would it be ok just to show up at the train station a day before and ask about the times for trains to Ljubljana? And do you think we would have to pay extra fees even if we have an Interrail pass?
    Really helpful blog by the way!!

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      Thanks, Caroline. Yeah, you can just book the day before by going into the office. That’s what we did too. Interrailing was my first backpacking trip back in the early 2000s! It’s a fun way to see Europe. Come back and let me know how you get on?

  16. Hey!
    I will be doing a Euro trip with friend this August and will need to get a ticket from Ljubljana to Budapest.
    Does it work the same way? Should I just go there and ask for a ticket?

    I’m a bit worried because I will have a flight the following day from Budapest and definitelly need to get back.

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      Hey Kris, I can’t speak from the Ljubljana side as we went from Budapest to Slovenia but I’d guess it would be the same, as in you purchase your ticket at the station. You should go before the journey to make sure.

      The only issues I’ve had in Europe with trains have been the price going up because I didn’t pre-book [in the UK] and not getting on an overnight train because I hadn’t pre-booked [in Warsaw, Poland].

      Come back and let me know how you get on, please. You’ll love both cities. Lots of fun and beautiful. Great food too. Here are our guides to Ljubljana and Budapest

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