I am looking to book a ticket from Budapest to Bucharest on board the 473 Ister train operated by Hungarian railway (https://www.mavcsoport.hu/en) departing Dec 6th 2018. The website mentions that bookings open 90 days in advance but it does not list any tickets for Dec 6th (the last date for which tickets are available are Dec 5th).

It has been this way for quite a few days now. It is highly unlikely that the entire train is sold out for this date (or for any dates post Dec 5th since they all show tickets not available)

I have sent an email to Hungarian Railway asking them the cause and an automated reply that I got back said it takes anywhere from 1-3 months for them to get back.

I was wondering if any experts can help here. I understand European timetable changes on Dec 8th. But Dec 6th should still be listed.enter image description here

  • 1
    Tickets seem to be available now on 3rd, 4th and 5th of December. Oct 4, 2018 at 16:51
  • Sorry I actually meant to write the 5th. Edited the question now. Its been open since a few days now till 5th Dec but nothing after that. Oct 4, 2018 at 17:09
  • 3
    That Hungarian Railway takes 1 -3 months to answer an email query suggests they don't keep up with things. In turn, that suggests that while the website says bookings open 90- days in advance, HR only "opens" or resets the booking page not daily, but at some longer or varied or occasional interval. Oct 4, 2018 at 17:20
  • Well since this is not likely to be a rush route, I will wait for a few more days/weeks until I absolutely have to either book or look for alternative means of transport. Oct 4, 2018 at 17:30

3 Answers 3


As of now (5 October 2018) tickets on this route are available until 8 December 2018.

Screenshot of MAV booking Page for required journey

In response to your comment, about not being able to book the ticket. I think that MÁV could invest some time in training their web page developers with some user experience improvement.

The exact steps are these:

  1. Select "Budapest Keleti [Budapest-Keleti]" as your departure station. Select "BUCURESTI [Bucureşti Nord]" as your destination station. Choose your date of travel. Click the "Search" button.

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  1. Make the choices about how you want to travel and then enter your date of birth (make sure you use the format yyyy.mm.dd, including leading zeros if necessary). NB: I could not do this in Google Chrome and I am using an older version of IE. Click the button "Tickets and Prices".

enter image description here

  1. Click the tiny down arrow next to "Further Information"

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  1. Click in the radio button in your train's line.

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  1. Click the "Ticket to the cart" button

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  1. You now need to create a login for MÁV. Click on the "Registration" link and fill in your details, then sign in and pay.

Enjoy your trip!

  • I am sorry but that is just the timetable displayed. If you click on Tickets and Prices, you will not see an option to buy. Oct 5, 2018 at 12:00
  • Thank you so much. That's at least an assurance that one of the trains is running. Now I just have to wait for Sleeper/Couchette seats to open up. Right now only 2nd Class seems available. Oct 10, 2018 at 16:05
  • 1
    Hi Bhushan, I'm sure you are able to book a sleeper car. I tried several times and the only combination I was not able to buy was a single compartment.
    – Nick
    Oct 11, 2018 at 9:16
  • Thanks Nick. Well not I at least can be sure that a sleeper class will be attached to the train. However, i just edited my question to show you what happens after i click on Tickets and Prices. May be the website detects and international IP and restricts booking (that's just a wild guess) Oct 11, 2018 at 13:47
  • 1
    Hi Bhushan, it's nothing to do with your international IP address. I am in Switzerland. I believe the mistake you are making is to do with step 1. You need to choose "BUCURESTI [Bucureşti Nord]" from the destination list as the destination station, not, as you did, "BUCURESTI*". Once you have entered the actual destination station, you will be able to book.
    – Nick
    Oct 12, 2018 at 8:01

I tried to book the Romanian part of the journey on the CFR web site (they do not offer international connections there) and Romanian railway tickets can obviously only be booked 60 days in advance.

Even if Hungarian railways generally sell tickets 90 days in advance, they are for international tickets likely bound by a combination of the restrictions of all participating trains operators. I would simply wait a few more days and assume that tickets for the 6th of December will be made available for booking soon.

  • On the CFR site, did you just search for domestic routes from Curtici to Bucharest? or Did you actually login to try to buy tickets online? on CFR domestic timetable (on their home page), I am not even given schedules beyond 2nd Nov. Oct 4, 2018 at 19:43

The following is the reply I received from Hungarian Railways. So guess I should wait for a few days/weeks before I try again.

enter image description here

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