Train Travel in Austria: Sit back relax – and enjoy the (green) ride

Train travel gets more popular by the year - and Austria might just be the perfect destination for rail fans!

Sit back and relax as you glide past some of Austria’s most scenic routes, leaving behind the stress of busy roads, and the noise of airplanes up above, all while minimizing your carbon footprint. Train travel becomes more popular by the year. And, according to a survey by Savanta ComRes, Brits are the most likely in the world to choose trains over planes for long-distance journeys. The December 2023 study found that 46 percent of Londoners prefer rail journeys and 38 percent believe they’ll travel more by train over the next five years.

Luckily, Austria makes a great destination for rail holidays. It’s easily reachable from the UK with often just one change, and once holidaymakers have arrived, Austria’s rail system will conveniently and comfortably take them through the country. Austria is among the top 3 countries worldwide with the most train travelling per year per inhabitant.

We invite you to travel like a local and make the most of you stay in Austria!


Austria is reachable by various connections from the UK, with trains taking travellers through other European countries and adjustable to their liking to break up the journey and let them enjoy the ride even more. The Eurostar connects London to Brussels, Paris, or Amsterdam, from where you can take a direct Nightjet – the Austrian sleeper train – to Salzburg or Vienna. Other destinations include Innsbruck or Salzburg, which you can get to from Paris to Zurich before going on to your final destination. This journey can be done by leaving early in the morning and arriving the same night or alternatively more comfortably with an overnight train, or even an overnight stay somewhere along the way.

A range of connections can be found online.


Once travellers set foot in Austria, getting around can often be done entirely by rail, with many trains leaving you directly in the city centre while also running along the countryside. Austria has two main train companies: ÖBB Austrian Railways and Westbahn, with the first going all around the country and the second focusing on the main routes.

Trains are known to be one of the easiest and most convenient ways to travel between Austria’s major towns. The journey from Vienna to Salzburg is less than 2.5 hours, with trains departing up to four times an hour. Travelling from Salzburg on to Innsbruck will take you less than 2 hours. Vienna to Graz takes 2 hours and 38 minutes, and Graz all the way to Innsbruck approximately 6 hours. These journeys are undertaken in a comfortable seat that often includes Wi-Fi and other perks. The frequent train times allow flexibility on your holiday, with Austrian trains having a punctuality rate of 95%.  

To make travelling even more convenient, many regions in Austria offer guest cards and passes that often include free or discounted use of public transportation in the region. Alternatively, you can book a Sparschiene (ÖBB), offering travel through Europe and Austria at a discounted rate, or a WESTsuperpreis ticket (Westbahn) for journeys within the country. Travellers following the Interrail trend, can book the Interrail Austria pass to travel the country for a month, or the global pass, which includes a visit to Austria anyway.


Train allows for a local view of some of Austria’s finest regions. Secure yourself a window seat for scenic views and step off at cities and towns along the way to experience the culture and beauty that each individual region has to offer.

Vienna to Graz via Semmering
This journey takes 2 hours and 30 minutes and leads across the Semmering mountain pass, revealing stunning views of the mountains, valleys, and villages around every corner. Equally famous are the route’s historical engineering feats, including tunnels, bridges, and viaducts – you definitely won’t get bored along the way. The train runs 17 times per day and lands you in Graz, a UNESCO world heritage site.  

Arlberg Train Ride
Connecting Tirol’s Innsbruck and Bludenz in Vorarlberg, this journey takes travellers through stunning Alpine scenery, lush valleys, and chocolate box villages, and includes the famous Arlberg Pass (a 10 km / 6 mile long tunnel). Other highlights are the 200 m long and 90 m high Trisanna bridge and the Paznaun region, a holiday hub surrounded by three-thousanders. Sit on the right side for the best views! The journey time is 2 to 3 hours depending on the train.

Salzburg to Innsbruck via Bischofshofen

Passengers on this 2-hour-route are treated to postcard-perfect mountain vistas, ancient bridges, glittering rivers, hilltop monasteries and picturesque towns like Zell am See, getting on and off the train on a UNESCO heritage site.


Photos available below. Please include photo credits.

Niederösterreich Werbung / Michael Liebert
Niederösterreich Werbung / Michael Liebert
Mittersill Plus GmbH / Daniel Kogler
ÖBB / Harald Eisenberger
ÖBB / Harald Eisenberger