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Bikes on Train Budapest to Prague

Old 01-20-20, 10:55 PM
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Gyro_T
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Bikes on Train Budapest to Prague

As I am finally getting down to pulling the trigger on plane reservations, I went into shock at the big jump in cost flying "multi city". We originally planned to fly into Prague from the US and fly home from Budapest, the end of our cycling trip. I was feeling pretty discouraged as the cost was looking prohibitive. A train ride from Budapest to Prague so that Prague would be round-trip would save a couple thousand dollars! It has been difficult to get definitive information on the high speed trains regarding bike transport. The third party ticket vendors are just saying "check at the station". If anyone has experience with this, I would be most appreciative.
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Old 01-21-20, 08:29 AM
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Your airfare figures don't sound correct. Are you sure you're searching for an open-jaw ticket, as opposed to two one-way tickets? Usually an open-jaw ticket, which is flying to one city but returning from another, costs about the average of what each round-trip ticket would have cost. Two one-way tickets are usually much more. Go to a site like https://www.kayak.com/flights and select "Multi-city". The first leg of your flight should be your departing city to Prague, say PDX to PRG. The 2nd leg should be BUD to PDX. There should be no third leg. You should see much more reasonable fares.
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Old 01-21-20, 10:07 AM
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My information is from 2011, so possibly not pertinent, but I flew to Prague and returned from Budapest. Airfares were not out of line compared to other nearby options at that time, flew Delta.

Side note, there was an express bus from the Prague airport to the downtown train station that i took, but I did not have a bike with me so I can't comment on whether or not they take bikes on the bus. There was a very small grocery store (Billa) in the downtown Prague train station, bring your own grocery bag.

There were several currencies along that route, but I exchanged my excess Czech and Hungarian currencies for USD at the Budapest airport, I thought that the exchange rates at the airport were reasonable at that time.

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Old 01-21-20, 10:08 AM
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Google is your friend; just keep looking. Try https://www.oebb.at/en/reiseplanung-...ahrradmitnahme for some info. Also, what do you mean by "high speed". If thinking the TGV equivalent, its very limited and only available on a few lines. Think regional trains (they go slower due to more stops) but generally take roll on/roll off bikes. You may also want to look at Budapest to Vienna and then Vienna to Prague
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Old 01-21-20, 10:12 AM
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A bit dated, but there is a contact email so you can ask directly:

https://czech-transport.com/index.php?id=22347
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Old 01-21-20, 08:39 PM
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On iphone i downloaded an app named idos

then selected train only allowing bikes and got results (see screenshot)
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Old 01-21-20, 10:12 PM
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I looked and you are right. Found some rates that were comparable to my searches last Fall. I somehow got sucked into a United rabbit hole on that one, seeing rates around $2800 in economy class, now finding rates around $1300 =/- from Lufthansa or Delta. So that looks much better thanks. I did learn that that Eurail has only certain high speed trains that carry bikes, and you have to buy a bike ticket at the station, not online. It was nice of them to provide a link to timetables that you could search "only trains that carry bikes" Here is that link: https://mandrillapp.com/track/click/...U5MTYzXCJdfSJ9
But we will probably fly anyway this time.

Thanks to all of you that responded.

Gyro Gearloose

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Old 01-21-20, 10:15 PM
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Thanks PedalingWalrus!
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Old 01-21-20, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Gyro_T View Post
... Lufthansa or Delta. ...
I think it was roughly half a year ago when Delta dropped their oversize fee for bikes. If I recall correctly, American beat them to it. To the best of my knowledge they are the only major USA based airlines that no longer have extra oversize fees for bikes. But if you would fly in and out of an airport that is served by a European airline, you might also find bike friendly fee structures with European airlines.
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Old 01-22-20, 02:26 AM
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Best international train planner: Deutsche Bahn. Taking bikes on high speed trains is getting progressively more difficult, but this particular connection might be ok. There's also Flixbus, an international bus operator that links virtually every European city. It's a cheap and reasonably dependable service, most buses take 2 bikes.
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Old 01-26-20, 10:00 PM
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Hi Tourist in MSN. We invested in S&S couplers and cases on our first European trip in '14. By the end of this trip, we should have saved the cost of the couplers. The only downside is the 3 hour set up and take down it take us for two bikes. They are 29ers and we have to remove the fork, crank, bars, and on my bike the rear derailleur to squeeze them into the cases. This is our first trip where we will be leaving from a different airport that we arrived. A bicycle tour company in Prague will be delivering our cases (with a little luck) to our stay in Budapest for the departing flight. Keeping fingers crossed all works out this time.

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Old 01-27-20, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Gyro_T View Post
Hi Tourist in MSN. We invested in S&S couplers and cases on our first European trip in '14. By the end of this trip, we should have saved the cost of the couplers. The only downside is the 3 hour set up and take down it take us for two bikes. They are 29ers and we have to remove the fork, crank, bars, and on my bike the rear derailleur to squeeze them into the cases. This is our first trip where we will be leaving from a different airport that we arrived. A bicycle tour company in Prague will be delivering our cases (with a little luck) to our stay in Budapest for the departing flight. Keeping fingers crossed all works out this time.
Yup. I also have to pull all that stuff off of my S&S bike. And mine has 26 inch wheels which should make it easy. I can't fit rear rack in my S&S case, that goes in my other checked bag. Bike plus case exceeds 50 pounds, thus pedals and a few other small but heavy things go in my other checked bag.

Last summer I finally paid off the couplers and the S&S Backpack case with airline savings, just in time for the airlines to drop the oversize fees. On a different thread a few days ago I commented on packing up an S&S bike, if you are curious it is at:
https://www.bikeforums.net/21298766-post50.html

In 2011 I did the Prague to Budapest REI Travel cycling trip. They provided indoor lodging, most meals, van support to haul luggage, and the bikes. It was a lot of fun. Some very interesting history. I think we had three different currencies for that trip. I went early and did Prague sightseeing before the start of the group trip, then stayed extra days at the end for more solo sightseeing.
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