MAV-Start Intercity Première, Budapest Nyugati – Debrecen: Solid but with no frills

We left the Ritz-Carlton Budapest about 40 minutes before our train left for Debrecen. We arrived at the station about 25 minutes before departure.

As a reminder, here is the itinerary followed:

1DiarySummer escape in Hungary
2LoungeBritish Airways Galleries Club, Boston Logan
3FlightBritish Airways Club World, Boston Logan – London Heathrow, Boeing 777-200
4LoungeBritish Airways Galleries First, London Heathrow T3
5FlightBritish Airways Club Europe, London Heathrow – Budapest Liszt, Airbus A320
6HotelThe Ritz-Carlton, Budapest
7RestaurantOttimo at The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest
8TrainMAV Start Intercity First, Budapest Nyugati – Debrecen
9TrainMAV Start Intercity First, Debrecen – Budapest Nyugati
10HotelMatild Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Budapest
11RestaurantSpago by Wolfgang Puck at Matild Palace, Budapest
12RestaurantBistro Parísi, Budapest
13RestaurantThe Duchess Rooftop Bar at Matild Palace, Budapest
14LoungePlaza Premium Lounge, Budapest Liszt
15FlightBritish Airways Club Europe, Budapest Liszt – London Heathrow, Airbus A320
16LoungeBritish Airways Concorde Room, London Heathrow
17FlightBritish Airways Club World, London Heathrow – Boston Logan, Airbus A380-800
Today’s itinerary


Our train was already docked and announced when we arrived at Budapest Nyugati station.


We then headed to car 18, which accommodated us during our journey to Debrecen.


Cabin and welcome

The Hungarian Intercity cars have been renovated and fitted with destination indicators. They are also equipped with air conditioning and wi-fi.


Inside, the seats are fairly basic, but the 1-2 first-class configuration makes for a comfortable ride.


Also note that there are no accessible baggage racks for bulky luggage.


Service and catering

On this train, there was no catering, club car or seat vending. You have to bring your own food.


Arrival and disembarkation

The journey went smoothly, and we arrived at our destination, Debrecen, on time. Note that the train was continuing on to the Ukrainian-Slovak border, the final destination of this Intercity.

Bottom line

A comfortable on-time no-frills journey. But would you expect anything else for such a low price?

Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier has been into airline blogging since 2010. First a major contributor to the FlyerTalk forum, he created the FlyerPlan website in July 2012, and writes articles with a major echo among airline specialists. He now co-runs the TravelGuys blog with Bertrand, focusing on travel experience and loyalty programs.

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