• Landscape seen from a train

    See All of Austria by Train

    One of the most romantic ways to see Austria is to travel by train. Recline in a comfortable seat and watch the dramatic scenery roll past you, without having to worry about anything else.

    Getting around this way is easy, convenient, and surprisingly luxurious: The new RailJet trains are fast, efficient and well designed. While even Second-Class cars are more stylish and friendly than your average train carriages, the First-Class experience is on a whole different level. You can comfortably tour the whole country by train in less than two weeks, and this itinerary shows you how.


    Practical Information

    The best, most comfortable way to embark on a train adventure in Austria is, of course, by booking a First-Class ticket on the Railjet trains connecting Austria’s major cities and neighbouring countries. Apart from more space overall, you’ll also get amenities such as individually adjustable seats, electrical outlets for every seat and meals delivered to your seat from the dining train. The convenient First-Class lounges (check opening times) at major train stations make waiting for your train a pleasant experience with free wifi, snacks and drinks, as well as a separate ticket counter for personal service. Best of all, there are Sparschiene Tickets available for First-Class as well, making the whole experience extremely affordable, as long as you book far enough in advance. If you are the more spontaneous type, you can also just book your full-price tickets directly at the train station.


    Austria’s public transportation infrastructure is set up as an alternative to car travel in the city as well as the countryside, and it works remarkably well. A punctuality rate of 91% makes planning itineraries a breeze. No need to factor in delays, you just hop on the train, lean back, relax and get off refreshed at your next destination. All train stations are close to the respective city centres and well connected by public transportation.

    • Day 1: Vienna

      Start your journey in Austria’s largest city, the seat of the former Empire and a multicultural metropolis. According to The Economist, Vienna is one of the most charming and liveable European capitals.

      On the morning of Day 1, explore Schönbrunn Palace, a beautiful Baroque palace and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Mozart played for Empress Maria Theresia here when he was just five. The extraordinary Imperial park houses the world's oldest zoo and affords spectacular views from the Gloriette monument, where you can also enjoy a great cup of coffee.

      Enjoy an afternoon stroll through downtown Vienna. Here you will find the Gothic St. Stephen's Cathedral where Mozart got married, the Hofburg Palace, as well as countless narrow streets, hidden squares and grand boulevards.

      Take a break and enjoy a cup of coffee with some apple strudel at one of the many coffeehouses, a true Viennese tradition.

      If you have time, squeeze in a stop at the Albertina or the MuseumsQuartier for spectacular art experiences. In the evening, choose between local fare and traditional music at a wine tavern in the neighbourhood of Grinzing (take tram 38), or a performance at the venerable State Opera or the renowned Musikverein.

    • Day 2 & 3: Graz

      Head to Vienna’s Central Station (Hauptbahnhof), easily accessible by bus or metro (U1 line). The completely rebuilt station is now as much a first-rate transit hub as a shopping centre and architectural attraction. From here, take the train to Graz (approx 2h30m).

      The old town of Austria’s second-largest city is a UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Site and exploring is fitting for your first day here. Enjoy the amazing views over the medieval roofscape from the top of the Schlossberg (city mountain), and marvel at the Armoury, with the world’s largest collection of medieval arms. Sample local delicacies at the farmer’s markets and end the day with dinner at the restaurant Der Steirer, which serves Styrian tapas.

      Day 3: Time to explore Graz’s contemporary side. As a UNESCO City of Design, Graz features many architectural highlights such as the Kunsthaus: Blue and bubble-shaped, the construction looks like a spaceship landed in Graz’s stuccoed Old Town; located right along the trendy Mariahilferstrasse, with cute design & coffee shops.

      The Mur-Insel, a shell-like construction in the adjacent river is another contemporary accent. Graz’s innovative architecture follows you all the way back to the train station, which is located conveniently close to the city centre. The main terminal’s interior is decorated with abstract graphics and the platform shelter is one undulating metal wave.

    • Day 4 & 5: Salzburg

      The train ride to Salzburg takes about 4 hours. Upon arrival, buy a 48h Salzburg Card at the tourist office next to the station for free public transport and entry to attractions.

      Charming Salzburg is surrounded by magical mountains and its Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is famous as the birthplace of Mozart, and the film location of The Sound of Music. Its true attraction is its magnificent Baroque architecture, the Hohensalzburg Fortress castle perched majestically on the Mönchsberg mountain and its many internationally renowned cultural events. For splendid views of the city, take a walk to the Museum of Modern Art.

      Try local products, such as Kaspressknödel (bread dumplings filled with cheese) in one of Salzburg's most attractive market on Universitätsplatz square. Through a narrow passage walk to Getreidegasse, the iconic main street with many interesting shops, charming courtyards, and Mozart’s birthplace. Sweet tooth? it is a must to try the most famous dessert in town: the Salzburger Nockerl.

      Day 5: take Bus 25 to Hellbrunn Palace to experience the unique trick fountains. Then dive into Salzburg's famous beer culture and relax in one of the many beer gardens. Learn about local brewing history at the Stiegl-Brauwelt. Salzburg, is renowned for its music, and in the summer months, an opera or a concert at the famous Salzburger Festspiele is an unforgettable experience.

    Hallstatt, Upper Austria / Upper Austria

    Day 6 & 7: Excursions from Salzburg

    Take the train from Salzburg to Hallstatt (2h30m). Nestled between the mountain and lake, Hallstatt is a real feast for the eyes. Visit the world's oldest salt mines and the viewing platform above the village.

    After lunch, take the train from Hallstatt to Bad Ischl (25 min), a small historic town with hot thermal springs. Visit Café Zauner and try their signature pastry, the "Zauner Stollen." Continue on bus 546 (25 min) to St. Wolfgang, a charming village, take a boat ride on Wolfgangsee lake (45 min) to St. Gilgen, where Mozart's sister lived. Then take bus 150 (45 min) back to Salzburg.

    Day 7: take the train to Werfen (40min). Tour the medieval Hohenwerfen Fortress perched on a hill with impressive views of the mountains. Don't miss the falconry demonstration in the inner courtyard gardens. Have lunch in one of Werfen's gourmet restaurants before hiking the nearby Sound of Music trail.

    • Day 8: Kufstein

      In the morning, take the Railjet from Salzburg to Kufstein (1h10m). The beautiful town in Tirol’s north has a Medieval fortress at its centre. Explore the stronghold and enjoy the spectacular views over the region. Kufstein’s fortress has a local history museum and the world’s largest free-standing organ. Next, stroll through the town centre and walk down Römerhofgasse, a charming street lined with wine taverns. Kufstein’s parish church is a late Gothic building dating from around 1400.

      About a 15-minute walk south of the church is a traditional Tirolean glassmaker: Riedel’s glasses are known around the world for their delicate design. At the factory, you can watch the glassblowers do their work, then shop Riedel’s collection of stemware and artful decanters.

      Depending on the time of year, you might be able to watch a performance at the Tirol Festival Erl. The classical music festival's repertoire spans popular operas and is also known for its Passion Plays.

    • Day 9 & 10: Innsbruck

      Take an early train from Kufstein to Innsbruck (40min). We recommend buying the Innsbruck Card for 48 or 72 hours which includes free public transportation in the city and surrounding villages, plus access to many attractions and cable cars.

      This beautiful Alpine city with its medieval old town is nestled in the Nordkette mountains. Hungerburgbahn Station is one of the most magnificent examples of modern design in Tirol. A rack railway and a cable car take you up to an Alpine landscape at over 2,000 meters (6,562 ft) from where you can enjoy stunning views of the city.

      If the mountain air has made you hungry, try local specialities such as Schlutzkrapfen (dumplings stuffed with cheese or spinach), Käsespätzle (pasta tossed with onions and cheese) and Tiroler Gröstl (a pan with potatoes, meat and vegetables) in one of the traditional restaurants. Dedicate the rest of the day to sightseeing and shopping in Innsbruck.

      Day 10: Spend the day visiting three emblematic places around Innsbruck's historic centre. Take tram 1 to the Bergisel Ski Jump, then continue to the small mountain village of Igls (only 15 min on the J bus). In the afternoon, take tram 3 to Ambras Castle which houses a unique collection of art.

    Hall in Tyrol

    Day 11: Excursions from Innsbruck

    Explore the Swarovski Crystal Worlds, (incl. in the Innsbruck Card) in Wattens. Take either a shuttle bus (4 times/day, around 30 min) directly to the entrance, or a commuter train to Fritzens-Wattens (16 min) and continue 15 min. by foot.

    If you prefer an active morning, take the STB train from Südtiroler Platz station (30 min) to the village of Mutters. Walk towards the church, on the main street, you'll find a typical Tirolean farm with painted facades. Continue to the Mutteralm cable car (incl. in the Innsbruck Card), and take it up the mountain to enjoy a great hike followed by lunch in a traditional mountain hut.

    Afterwards, take a regional train (8 min) to Hall in Tirol. This beautiful Medieval town with picturesque streets and squares is well worth a visit with its Hasegg Burg castle (home of the Mint Museum, also called the birthplace of the Taler coin and the modern-day Dollar), the Magdalena chapel with its frescoes and altar, and the churches of St. Nikolaus and the Jesuits.

    Day 12: Arlberg Region

    A morning direct train from Innsbruck to St. Anton am Arlberg only takes an hour and puts you in the middle of an Alpine paradise. The Arlberg is one of Austria's westernmost mountain resorts and is famous for stunning hikes, upscale entertainment, and an elegant atmosphere. Explore St. Anton first, where the Galzig and Valluga cable cars whisk you up to the summit of the region's tallest mountain. Incidentally, one of St. Anton’s best gourmet restaurants, the Verwallstube, is located at the top of the Galzigbahn. Next, visit the St. Anton MUSEUM, which is housed in a lovely historic building and focuses on the village’s history as well as the history of skiing, which are closely interlinked.

    As an alternative, or if you like to add another day in this lovely region, take Bus 91 from St. Anton to Lech, another one of Arlberg's famous idyllic villages. In Lech, grab a gourmet lunch at Hotel Post Lech, before embarking on a walk down the lively main street. Do some shopping at shops like Sagmeister and Strolz, which combine rich Alpine tradition with international designer names.

    If you're feeling sporty, embark on one of the region's many hiking trails. Take your time marvelling at the picture-perfect Alpine scenery before descending back into the village. Art enthusiasts will love Skyspace Lech, the fascinating light installation by James Turrell, which is located just a short hike away from Oberlech.


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