Travelling from Novi Sad to Budapest
One reader asked about travelling in the reverse direction, returning from Novi Sad to Budapest, particularly if you are at the Exit Festival.
The options for getting back are much the same as for coming:
1) Gea minibus: most comfortable option, direct to the airport, picking up at Novi Sad train station, about 35 EUR one way, taking 4 hours or so, but unfortunately likely to be highly-booked up in that period. You could certainly try to make a reservation, they may be laying on extra buses, but I am not sure whether they would be willing to make a good-faith reservation at such a busy period. Maybe there is some way you can pay for the ticket in full in advance…See here for Gea’s contact details.
2) Bus: there is a regular line to Budapest run by the Fudeks company. It is about 30 EUR in one direction and departs Belgrade (21:00) and Novi Sad (22:25) and takes about 6.5 hours (that is very slow, it takes the back roads to save motorway tolls!). You can try and make a reservation on their own number: 011/3620-255, 011/3620-256 (Belgrade) or even online, but only five days ahead of the trip, which means buying a ticket for the exact day as soon as you arrive in Novi Sad! Psst! You might just steal a march on everyone else that way! The big disadvantage is that the bus does not have access to Budapest airport, but rather stops at some obscure location in town and at an AGIP petrol station about 2km from the airport! How you get from there to the airport I have not yet found out! But I guess I could ask them and let you know here! Even walking wouldn’t be THAT much of a problem. Also, this bus is mostly used by “shoppers” (smugglers, often!), so I wouldn’t recommend taking this bus TO Serbia, because you will be hassled at the border together with the dodgy smuggler-types.
3) Train: the regular line from Novi Sad to Budapest runs daily, as follows:
dep. 08:10 arr. 14:00
dep. 23:28 arr. 05:03
Both go to Budapest’s Keleti Palyaudvar station, the latter is a night-train and so has sleeper cars too, which can be pretty comfortable. If possible get a spavaća kola, not a kušet. The later is mixed-sex and you share with 5 other people, which is OK, but a bit stuffy. The former is a sleeper car with only 3 bunks, and they are single-sex unless you are sharing with friends, and you can often get one to yourselves.
So as soon as you get into Novi Sad for Exit, or whatever other reason, again, you should go and buy a ticket for the return train as soon as possible. Frankly, you can get on any train, they will sell you a ticket even if there are no seats left probably, so you can get to Budapest even if it means standing in the corridor! But if you make a reservation you might have a chance for a sleeper or at least seating. A regular ticket should be around 30 EUR one-way, though that depends on whether you get a sleeper car or a regular ticket. It’s not too expensive either way.
Once you get to Keleti, you can get an airport minibus from the station to the airport – I think that it may be as little as 10 EUR. Instructions are here – I am not sure if there is a regular shuttle from Keleti, or whether you have to book it as mentioned on that page.
Or you take a very torturous route, which I cannot be bothered to describe, using two metro lines and a clunky bus line! But if you are a glutton for punishment, you could try the “metro and bus” route described here.
Having said ALL this, there may well be some enterprising people setting up shop providing some form of transport directly from Exit to Budapest for a “reasonable” fee. Ask around once you get there, if you want to try this. A word of warning, they may not be operating legally, they may not be insured, they may be charging over the odds. But use your discretion, and if you are happy to pay the price, well, that’s an option too.
I hope this is some help!
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