Austria by train
Train times, train tickets and other rail information - all you need to know about taking the train in Austria
Austria’s rail system
Austria is a very popular tourist destination, particularly the picturesque cities of Vienna and Salzburg. Winter lovers are also drawn to the country’s numerous skiing resorts, such as Innsbruck and Mayrhofen. The Austrian rail network ensures they are well connected by train.
Even the most basic of Austrian trains is comfortable and civilised, and the country also benefits from some of Europe’s finest and fastest services.
French TGV and German ICE trains run across Austria, rivalling one another for speed and for style.
You can normally book national and international tickets online up to three months ahead. Print them out at home or in station vending machines.
You don’t need a reservation for most Austrian trains, but you do need a ticket before you get on the train – booking in advance online is the safest bet.
And the cheapest.
InterRail and EuRail passes offer travellers a convenient and flexible way of travelling around Europe by train.
All of Austria’s major cities and towns are linked by rail.
Vienna’s a good place to start. From there, take one of the hourly services to Salzburg, Austria’s second city, which takes three-and-a-half hours.
Exceedingly pleasant hours.
Or there’s an overnight train from Vienna to Bregenz. Arrive in the morning, breakfast on the shores of Lake Constance, and then climb the Pfander: a mile-high mountain with views over the Alps.
Whoever designed Europe was helpful enough to put Austria right in the middle – Vienna is one of the continent’s major rail hubs.
Which means there are lots of possibilities for where to go next.
One particularly glamorous option is the City Night Line train to Cologne: it has a restaurant, a bar, and deluxe sleepers with en suite showers.
Or Prague is just four-and-a-half hours away.
For more national and international journey ideas, see our ‘top routes’.
Our travel articles – rail journeys in Austria
Taking the train in Austria? The articles below are the first hand accounts of our trusted travel writers who have been recording their experiences of rail journeys throughout Europe.