There is one daily direct train for Ljubljana, Slovenia to Budapest, Hungary. It leaves at 8:40am and arrives at 17:45. Second class ticket costs EUR 39, which I found rather cheap compared to the EUR 43 ticket from Florence to Mestre.
Yes, you calculated right: 9-hour train ride! That seems really long. This is when I hear Mika’s song: “Took a ride, to the end of the line where no-one ever goes, ended up on a broken train with no body I know…”!
The train goes through the Slovenian country, with lovely steep and lush mountains to the North, and goes through my host Daso’s home region: Prekmurje. Then closer to the Hungarian country and on the Hungarian side, it is mainly flat plains with fields and villages.
The biggest city we went through is Murska Sobota, Slovenia, and it’s not big… The train itself was rather small and pretty empty. Only four carriages, and I was alone all the way in my 6-seater compartment.
They were four engine changes. The line is electrified from Ljubljana to the Hungarian border, but there we had to change for a diesel locomotive. Then just a few hours into Hungary, the line was electrified again, and there was another loco change. And again later when our train was merged with another, forming a 10+ carriage train.
I had plenty of time to sleep, read, play on my phone, eat, and sleep again, and play again… But eventually the ride didn’t seem long at all!
Some stops were the shortest I ever experienced: less than 20 seconds! “Ok, stop here. No-one getting off? No-one the platform? Ok here we go, Byyyye!”
In the end, the train arrived exactly on time in Budapest. 17:45 sharp!
My Hungarian host was wating for me at the station. She took me to her place, and then we went out to an outdoor Fesztival concert… listen to the music in the Hungarian Beats article.