Street from Belgrade to Budapest by bus

Belgrade to Budapest by Bus: The WORST Journey (2023)

In 2023 I spent two weeks in Serbia’s capital to explore everything Belgrade has to offer. After my time in Serbia, I wanted to head to Hungary and spend some time in Budapest. Without looking much into it I decided to go from Belgrade to Budapest by bus.

The bus seemed the cheapest, most convenient, most eco-friendly and the easiest way. You cannot imagine how much I regretted this decision later! The delay at the border was more than the whole bus journey. So, before making your travel plans I recommend reading this article on why I wish I hadn’t taken the bus.

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How to get from Belgrade to Budapest

There’s supposed to be a railway connecting Serbia’s and Hungary’s capital but you cannot find train tickets online. This leaves you with two different ways to get from Belgrade to Budapest, by bus or by plane.

Street from Belgrade to Budapest by bus
Road leading into Budapest

The bus is the cheapest travel option to travel between the capital cities of Serbia and Hungary. It costs about €30 and the fastest bus takes about 6 hours. So, it seemed like a good idea to make the journey by bus.

The bus from Belgrade to Budapest

Different bus companies do the trip from Belgrade to Budapest. The predominant company is Flixbus.

Flixbus from Belgrade to Budapest
Flixbus from Belgrade to Budapest

Ticket prices vary depending on the company, starting with a low price of about €25. The prices for the bus ride might increase depending on the number of passengers.

In order to enter the bus terminal in Belgrade or in Novi Sad you need to buy a ticket at the bus station. That’s the first thing that surprised me. I already booked the bus ticket online but I wasn’t able to enter the platform until I bought a separate ticket just for entering the platform.

Ticket booth in Belgrade bus station
Ticket stall where you can get a platform ticket in Belgrade

This platform ticket is quite cheap, in Belgrade it costs a bit less than 2 Euros and in Novi Sad about 1 Euro. You can only buy those platform tickets in cash at the bus station itself. So, plan in enough time since you might need to queue up for it and don’t forget to bring cash.

The bus has an on-board toilet, power outlets and supposedly free WiFi. On the bus I took, the free WiFi hardly ever worked and then there was a data restriction per device.

Why getting from Belgrade to Budapest by bus was the worst

Getting the bus from Belgrade via Novi Sad to Budapest is definitely the cheapest option. A travel time of about 6 hours seems very reasonable as well. That’s why I booked the bus ticket without looking much further into it.

When I booked the ticket I would never have imagined that the journey would take 14 hours instead of 6 hours!

Flixbus in Budapest bus station
Flixbus in Budapest bus station

Most passengers boarded the bus in Belgrade same as me. There was no seat reservation, but my boyfriend and I managed to get two seats next to each other. Some people got on the bus in Novi Sad, the only stop between Belgrade and Budapest.

The bus journey went very smoothly until we reached the border. There were a few buses in front of us at the Hungarian Border, but we could see the border control from the bus. So we thought it wouldn’t take that long. Then hours went past and we had hardly moved at all. Altogether, we spend 8 hours at the border controls between Serbia and Hungary. So I was really glad for the on-board toilet, not so much for our seats next to the toilet because it started selling bad after some time.

Seats in a Flixbus from Belgrade to Budapest
Seats inside the Flixbus

Our bus set off in Belgrade at 4:30 pm and was supposed to arrive at 10:30 pm at the Budapest bus station. Instead, we arrived at 6:30 am the following day. So we spent 14 hours on a bus and we paid for the first night in Budapest without even getting to spend the night there.

We also had hardly any snacks or drinks packed since we didn’t expect the journey to take that long. So, by the time we arrived at our Budapest hotel at 7 am, I was really glad to have some great drinkable tap water in Budapest to quench my thirst.

Getting from Belgrade to Budapest by plane

The plane from Belgrade to Budapest is more expensive than the bus but in hindsight, I would have gladly spent a bit more money to avoid spending 14 hours on a bus.

Going from Belgrade to Budapest by plane is the fastest way and only takes 1 hour and 15 minutes.

The best way to get from Belgrade to Budapest by plane is with Air Serbia. They offer direct flights for less than €100.

Check the prices now:

FAQ about getting from Belgrade to Budapest

How long is the bus ride from Belgrade to Budapest?

The bus ride from Belgrade via Novi Sad to Budapest is supposed to take about 6 hours, when I took the bus the journey took 14 hours.

Is there train from Belgrade to Budapest?

There is supposed to be a train from Belgrade to Budapest but you cannot find any tickets online.

How do I get from Serbia to Hungary?

The cheapest way to get from Serbia to Hungary is by bus but I would recommend getting a plane because of the very long waiting times at the border.

Is Belgrade cheaper than Budapest?

Yes, Belgrade is cheaper than Budapest.

Belgrade to Budapest Distance?

The shortest distance, so the air line, between Belgrade and Budapest, is about 319 km. The shortest route you can take by car or bus is 379 km.

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