Budapest to Ljubljana: The Most Efficient Route

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The journey, Hungary’s Budapest to Ljubljana, Slovenia is a popular one and its easy to see why. It’s 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 to Ljubljana by train

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, train is definitely more expensive than buses.

Budapest to Ljubljana I 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. It seems as if there has now been some progression in Hungary and you can try purchasing using this website. At time of writing the cost of a one-way ticket is 39 Euros for one seat (this not a seat in a cabin) which appears to be the same price advertised on this site. We can not vouch for buying online as we bought in person but please do come back to tell me and let me know if you were successful. It looks like you buy online but print off at a collection point.

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 Anker 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 travelling 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 without Hungary, check out this transport planner.

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 not used it yet but our friends over at The World Pursuit have used Bla Bla Car from Venice to Ljubljana and were happy to share their experience with us.

We were super tentative and were not reassured when our ride was forty-five minutes late. However, when they picked us up we were pleasantly surprised to be greeted by a friendly group of Ukrainians headed home from Italy. They shared their food and drink with us and were a total pleasure to be around, even if there was a bit of a language barrier. To top it all off, it cost us a fraction of what the bus or train would and it took significantly less time.

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.

So now you know 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:

Further reading

Ljubljana:

Buy guides online

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?

 

Comments 35

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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!!

  1. 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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      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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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!

  6. 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 🙂

  7. 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?

  8. 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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  9. 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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