Review: RegioJet Train Relax Class from Bratislava to Prague and Back

During our stay in Slovakia earlier this year, my wife and I did a quick trip to Prague. While in the past there used to be Bratislava – Prague flights operated by CSA (and also SkyEurope) covering the route in less than an hour, that’s not the case anymore. Instead, trains and buses are the only options.

With trains being more comfortable, we decided to take one operated by RegioJet, a major bus and train company in the region, both ways. Continue reading this review to see what the four-and-a-half-hour rides were like.

RegioJet Train
RegioJet train from Bratislava to Prague and back.

Booking the Tickets and RegioJet Classes of Travel

I booked the tickets through RegioJet’s website. While I had no problem finding the trains I wanted to take, none of my Japanese credit cards worked when trying to make the payment (that happened to be a recurring theme when trying to pay through Slovak online payment gateways). As such, I had to use my sister’s Slovak debit card.

I am not sure what the issue was, however, I assume it had something to do with the payment gateway not being compatible with the payment authorization system my Japanese cards use.

There are four classes of travel on RegioJet trains:

  • Low cost: simple cars with seats in 2-2 layout, service limited to free water and online orders from buy on board menu
  • Standard: cars in 2-2 layout with personal entertainment screens and 6-seat compartments, full service as described further in this review
  • Relax: cars in 1-2 layout, full service as described further in this review
  • Business: cars with 4-seat compartment, full service plus free sparkling wine and juice

We decided to book Relax class for about 25 EUR per person for the outbound and 18 EUR for the return leg. While Business class was only slightly more expensive, I decided not to book it to avoid potentially being stuck in a four-seat compartment with strangers.

RegioJet Train Business Class
Business class.

RegioJet Train Relax Class Cars and Seats

On the trains that we took, there were two cars with Relax class. Each of the cars was split roughly in half with one half consisting of four Business class compartments and the other of an open Relax class area with 32 seats. As mentioned earlier, the seats were in a 1-2 configuration, all with fixed direction (i.e. they couldn’t be rotated to face backward/forward).

There were both single seats facing forward and backward. Additionally, there were two pairs of single seats facing each other with a table in between. The pairs of seats offered similar seating options.

RegioJet Train Relax Class
Relax class.
RegioJet Train Relax Class Class
Seats for four.
RegioJet Train Relax Class Class
Seats for two.

The seats closer to the wall were equipped with a power outlet.

Those seats that were not facing each other with a table in the middle were equipped with a large foldable tray table and a footrest. There were small trash cans mounted on the walls too.

Above windows, there were coat hooks, and above those, there were standard size luggage racks.

RegioJet Train Relax Class Class Tray Table
Tray table.

While the seat recline couldn’t be adjusted, the seats were comfortable.

The single seats facing each other were nice, but the seats arranged in rows offered a bit more space and the tray table was larger. The pairs of seats facing each other looked nice too. However, if you are traveling in a group of three or four, I would recommend splurging a bit and getting Business class tickets for the extra privacy instead.

The onboard lavatories were relatively clean and functional.

My only issue with the hard product was that the lights in the car kept going on and off randomly throughout the ride.

RegioJet Train Relax Class Class Lavatory
Lavatory.

RegioJet Train Relax Class Onboard Service

Right after departure from each station, the train attendant offered us a small bottle of still water. We were also offered something to read from a selection of Czech newspapers and magazines.

RegioJet Train Relax Class Class Welcome Drink
Water.
RegioJet Train Relax Class Newspaper
Newspaper.

Not long after that, the train attendant went through the car taking orders. Fresh mint tea with honey and a selection of illy coffee drinks (including espresso, lungo, cappuccino, and latte macchiato) were offered free of charge.

Throughout the four-and-a-half-hour ride, the attendant passed through the car regularly to take orders.

RegioJet Train Relax Class Class Peppermint Tea
Peppermint tea.

In addition to the free drinks, there was also an extensive buy on board menu. It included everything ranging from soft drinks, wine, and beer, through snacks and light bites to eat like salads and croissants, all the way to soups, hot meals, and even cakes.

The full menu can be found here.

To say that the items on the menu were reasonably priced would be an understatement. After all, some of the cakes were as cheap as 0.40 EUR and some of the hot meals were offered for as little as 2.80 EUR.

RegioJet Free Drinks
Free drinks.
RegioJet Buy-on-Board
Part of the buy-on-board menu.

On our way to Prague, both my wife and I decided to have red curry. I also had a cheesecake with chocolate crumble and Vinea (a Slovak carbonated grape drink).

Both the curry and the cake were good and, as mentioned, incredibly cheap.

I was also pleasantly surprised that the meal came with proper, full-size metal spoons/forks and that the cake was served on glassware rather than a paper plane or similar.

In addition to the above, we also had some chips.

RegioJet Train Relax Class Class Snack
Snack.
RegioJet Train Relax Class Class Buy-on-Board
Meal.
RegioJet Train Relax Class Class Meal
Curry.
RegioJet Train Relax Class Class Dessert
Cake.

The last thing I should note here is that all of the staff members that we interacted with onboard were extremely pleasant and friendly. That was the case even on the Bratislava to Prague ride where the car was quite full and many passengers ordered from the onboard menu, creating a considerable workload for the crew.

RegioJet Train Relax Class Onboard Entertainment and Wi-Fi

Some of the seats in Standard class were equipped with personal entertainment screens. None of those in Relax class were, though. Still, that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t any onboard entertainment.

After connecting to the free onboard wi-fi, one could access RegioJet’s entertainment portal. It featured dozens of movies in both English and Czech, as well as some other video programs, news, and onboard service information.

While I didn’t try it, there was a note saying one could borrow a pair of headphones from the crew.

RegioJet Entertainment
Wi-fi portal.
RegioJet Movies
Movies.

As for the wi-fi itself, the internet access was stable and fast enough not only for some basic work but also for streaming videos through YouTube, etc.

RegioJet Lounge at Prague Train Station

The last thing worth noting about taking RegioJet is that at some of its stations (namely Prague and Brno), it offers simple lounges for its passengers. You can check the opening hours here.

Prior to our ride from Prague to Bratislava, we visited the lounge at Prague train station. It was equipped with about a dozen seats mainly arranged around coffee tables and provided a comfortable enough place to wait for departure. There was also free wi-fi.

That said, while I believe normally, free tea and coffee are offered in the lounge, during our visit, they were not due to “technical reasons.” I am not sure whether that meant the coffee machine was broken, the service was temporarily suspended due to COVID-19, or something else.

RegioJet Train Lounge Prague
Ticket office and lounge.
RegioJet Train Lounge Prague
Drinks were not offered during our visit.
RegioJet Train Lounge Prague
Lounge seating.

RegioJet Train Relax Class Summary

When it comes to traveling between Slovakia and the Czech Republic using public transportation, RegioJet trains are most likely the best option. They run a few times a day between Bratislava and Prague and are generally close to on time (both of our rides were only a few minutes late).

Additionally, the crew on our rides was pleasant and the onboard service which included some free drinks and extremely cheap but good buy-on-board items was great. Considering the long time spent onboard, I especially appreciated the latter.

All in all, other than the times I choose to drive, RegioJet will be my preferred option when visiting the Czech Republic. That is until there is hopefully air connection again one day.

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