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The notorious overnight train Belgrade to Budapest

January 10, 2016

Is the ‘nightmare’ overnight train from Belgrade to Budapest really dangerous?

Many people have terrifying experiences about the overnight train from Belgrade, Serbia to Budapest, Hungary. I am here to tell you about my own experience riding this train alone, as a solo female black (mentioned for novelty purposes) traveller.

There are 3 affordable ways to get from Belgrade to Budapest. Bus (6h), train (7h) or car share (4h).

According to the reviews online this is a dangerous journey. Many travellers state that they have been robbed, ticket scammed, frightened etc etc and warn that you should *beware of the overnight train*. As a young female traveller Id rather stay out of dangerous situations but this didn’t seem like one of them, so I proceeded.

Plain and simple: The feared overnight train from Belgrade to Budapest isn’t as scary as people think. Infact, it was almost the same as a cross country train ride in England, minus the passport control.

Here’s a quick breakdown of my trip

05/01/2016
03:59 AM
I was glad to find that tickets from Belgrade to Budapest are €15 in 2016. What a bargain!

4 Jan 2016
3PM
I bought an overnight train ticket at the ticket office with no problems whatsoever. The lady at the counter spoke English gave me two options: Bunk (€22) or seat (€15) and i chose the seat.The process was swift and easy, ticket and receipt were in my hand.

3:30PM-9:40PM
The last dinner with friends I met in Serbia. Serbians are amazing, great fun and always up for a good time!

9:50PM
The train departs on time, it is semi full.

5 Jan 2016
Around 1AM
Alot of people get off the train and its just me and a Chinese female backpacker in the carriage.

2AM
Train stops (somewhere) and police get on and ask for passports.

3AM
Train stops for a longgg time. I must say I started to get anxious because it is snowing badly so perhaps there was an accident. During this wait (40mins) another set of police get on and ask for passports.

4AM
We arrive in the first Hungarian station and again police get on and check passports

5:45AM
In Budapest, -9 freezing cold with snow. Beautiful winter.

Notes:
I had no issues with my ticket from the multiple inspectors and wasn’t charged extra.
The multiple police checked my passport in front of me and there were no issues. My passport was not taken off the train.

Off Key Notes: The passport control guards did a serious double take at me when they came onto the train. I must have been the first black female traveller they’d seen before on that train.. or ever!

The so called nightmare overnight train between Belgrade and Budapest is safe, cheap, convenient and semi comfortable.

For €15 its a great option! Plug in your headphones, read a book or sleep and you’ll be at your destination in no time.

Enjoy Belgrade or Budapest, please comment if you have questions or another experience