Travel between 3 iconic European cities for under $30 – Here’s how to do it

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With the higher cost of air travel to Europe, many travelers feel they need to make the most of their time abroad by seeing as much as possible while traveling. While budget airlines make travel between European countries more affordable, costs can quickly add up. Fortunately, there are cheaper alternatives to air travel all over Europe. In reality, you can travel between 3 iconic European cities for less than $30 using the train instead of the plane. You can travel from Vienna to Budapest and from Budapest to Prague for a grand total of $28.20.

Budapest Parliament building at night

How to do

By taking advantage of traveling by train rather than plane, you can see Vienna, Budapest, and Prague for less than the cost of a budget plane ticket. Using RegioJet, fares from Budapest, Hungary to Vienna, Austria have been chosen for July 26e. A week in Budapest was assumed and fares from Vienna, Austria to Prague, Czech Republic were selected for August 2n/a.

Train journey from Budapest to Vienna

Cost: $10.10

Travel time : 2.5 hours

Train journey from Vienna to Prague

Cost: $12.14

Travel time : 5 hours

Total cost: $22.24

Tariff Screenshot
Image courtesy of: RegioJet

Advantages over flying

  • Cost. The most obvious advantage of traveling by train over flying is the cost. For less than $30 you can travel between 3 major European cities. That’s less than a single plane ticket between just two of these destinations.
  • Comfort. Adjustable seats with headrests and ample legroom, electrical outlets for devices and free Wi-Fi are all standard amenities on board a RegioJet train.
  • Flexibility. RegioJet, and many other train lines, allow you to cancel your trip up to 15 minutes before your scheduled departure. If plans change, it’s not hard to cancel like it would be for a plane ticket. Even if it did, you wouldn’t lose a lot of money anyway.
RegioJet train at the station

Why these cities?

Vienna, Budapest and Prague are among the best-known tourist destinations in Europe. Each offers a unique experience for travelers looking to broaden their horizons, and their proximity makes them ideal destinations to combine into a single trip. At the end of the Prague tour, you can catch a train back to Budapest for a night or two before returning home. Alternatively, you can book a one-way ticket to Budapest from your home city ($550 from JFK at time of writing) and then a one-way ticket from Prague ($918 to JFK at time of writing).

Budapest, Hungary

Aerial view of Budapest at sunset

Why it’s worth the detour: Travelers love Budapest for its rich history, world-class Turkish baths and spas, vibrant nightlife, and delicious cuisine.

Popular Attractions:

  • The Széchenyi thermal baths are a luxurious and soothing atmosphere by day and an unlimited booze party fueled by electronic music by night.
  • Buda Castle is a 13eCentury Palace which houses the Castle Museum, the Hungarian National Art Gallery and the National Széchenyi Library. If immersing yourself in culture is what you are looking for, this is the place to do it.

Vienna, Austria

Aerial view of Vienna

Why it’s worth the detour: Incredible food, beautiful architecture, and a music scene that has spanned generations make this city a wonderful place to visit.

Popular Attractions:

  • Schonbrunn Palace is the city’s most popular tourist attraction and welcomes around 8 million visitors a year.
  • Travelers enjoy exploring the historic center of Viennaas it is home to captivating baroque castles, grand buildings and beautiful parks.
  • Vienna was recently named one of the top 5 European destinations where you can get the best value for money.

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague with river and bridges aerial view

Why it’s worth the detour: This city is filled with history, magnificent buildings, art and fantastic landscapes. There is so much to do and see; visitors return to this city again and again.

Popular Attractions:

  • Charles Bridge was once one of Prague’s most important bridges, and it remains a much-visited symbol of the city. It is, however, a known hotspot for pickpockets.
  • Prague Castle welcomed more than 8.5 million visitors in 2019 and is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the city.
Young woman taking a photo of the Tyn Church in Prague

Travelers are finding new and exciting ways to combat rising travel costs and record inflation. These cheap train rides are just another example of how you can still travel the world without sacrificing your wallet.

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