Zagreb , located in Central Croatia, is the capital of the country known for its charming medieval old town and cobbled stones reminding visitors of Prague, Vienna or Budapest. And speaking of Central European capitals, it’s also very easy to travel from Zagreb to all of them, including Budapest.
Your best bet, if you are looking for a cheap way to get between Zagreb and Budapest is to travel by train. The travel time is more than 6 h but with no buses serving this route, there aren’t any cheap choices.
Flights from Zagreb (airport code: ZAG) to Budapest
Zagreb International Airport (ZAG) is located 17 km from the city center and is the most important airport in Croatia. It is hub for Croatia Airlines and handles only flights within Europe.
Budapest Franz Liszt International Airport (BUD) , colloquially referred to as Ferihegy, is the largest of Hungary’s five international airports. It offers mainly flights to Europe, but connections are available to Asia, Africa, North America and Middle East. It is located 16 km from the capital to which it’s connected by bus and metro. It is hub for Malév Hungarian Airlines, Travel Service (Hungary) and Wizz Air.
Direct flights between Zagreb and Budapest are operated only by Malév. The flight time is 1h. Regardless of when you fly in 2012, expect to pay €249 per person, one way.
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Trains from Zagreb to Budapest
A quick search on Bahn.de will let you know that there are the following direct InterCity trains between Zagreb Glavni Kolod and Budapest
- 9:55 a.m., to Deli pu: travel time: 6 h 50 min
- 4:08 p.m. , to Keleti pu: travel time: 6 h 11 min.
On the way back, catch the trains from Budapest at:
- 06:15 a.m., from Keleti pu : travel time: 6 h 14 min
- 1:11 p.m. from Deli pu, travel time: 6 h 33 min
Tickets cost between €30 and €50 per person, one way. If you buy return tickets, typically there’s a discount available.
Buses from Zagreb to Budapest
There aren’t any bus connections between Zagreb and Budapest.
Driving from Zagreb to Budapest
You can rent a car in Zagreb and drive the 346 km between Zagreb and Budapest on E71. The drive time is about 3h 20 min. Make sure to ask the car rental agency whether you are allowed to take the car across the border (especially because Croatia is not yet part of the European Union).
Budapest Keleti pu photo by Cristina Puscas (2011) and may not be used without permission