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  • Arrival in Austria by Train. © ÖBB / Philipp Horak Arrival in Austria by Train. © ÖBB / Philipp Horak

    See All of Austria by Train

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One of the most romantic ways to see Austria is by train. You sit in a comfortable car and watch the dramatic scenery roll past you, without having to worry about anything else. Getting around this way is also easy, convenient, and cost-effective: Over 3,700 miles of railways run through Austria and connect both large cities and small villages. You can tour the whole country using the rail system, and this itinerary shows you how.

Your Journey on a Map

Your Journey on a Map

Day 1: Vienna

  • Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna © Österreich Werbung / Rainer Mirau Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna © Österreich Werbung / Rainer Mirau
  • Schoenbrunn palace with Gloriette in back © Österreich Werbung / Julius Silver Schoenbrunn palace with Gloriette in back © Österreich Werbung / Julius Silver
  • Haas Haus and St. Stephen's Cathedral © Österreich Werbung / Georg Popp Haas Haus and St. Stephen's Cathedral © Österreich Werbung / Georg Popp
  • Imperial palace in Vienna © Österreich Werbung / Julius Silver Imperial palace in Vienna © Österreich Werbung / Julius Silver
  • View of Vienna © Österreich Werbung / Karl Thomas View of Vienna © Österreich Werbung / Karl Thomas
Vienna is undoubtedly one of the most charming European capitals. It is also easy to reach with great flight connections from the US and Australia. On the morning of Day 1, take the U4 underground train to Schönbrunn Palace, a baroque palace and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Mozart played for the Empress Maria Theresia here when he was just five. The extraordinary imperial park houses the world's oldest zoo and you can go up the Gloriette mounument for great views.
 

Most buildings of interest are in the old town. Here you will find the Gothic St. Stephen's Cathedral where Mozart got married, the Imperial Hofburg, plus countless narrow streets and hidden squares. In the evening, enjoy a casual dinner with popular local music at a traditional tavern in the neighbourhood of Grinzing (take tram 38). White wine such as the Grüner Veltliner is the Viennese speciality and it goes particularly well with a good pork dish.

Day 2 and 3: Graz

  • Clocktower in Graz Austria © Österreich Werbung / Julius Silver Clocktower in Graz Austria © Österreich Werbung / Julius Silver
  • Eggenberg castle in Graz © Graz Tourismus  / Harry Schiffer Eggenberg castle in Graz © Graz Tourismus / Harry Schiffer
  • Kunsthaus museum in Graz © Graz Tourismus  / Harry Schiffer Kunsthaus museum in Graz © Graz Tourismus / Harry Schiffer
  • Enjoying a sunny day on a rooftop terrace in Graz' city center © Kastner & Öhler / Lupi Spuma Enjoying a sunny day on a rooftop terrace in Graz' city center © Kastner & Öhler / Lupi Spuma
  • Island in the river Mur by night © Graz Tourismus Island in the river Mur by night © Graz Tourismus
On Day 2, take the train leaving from Vienna Central Station to Graz (around 2h30m). Austria’s second largest city carries two UNESCO titles: Not only is its medieval Old Town a Cultural World Heritage Site, Graz also became a UNESCO City of Design in 2011. On your first day, make sure to soak in the city’s historic side. Walk around the Schlossberg (a mountain in the historic center) for great views over the red brick roofs, visit the Armory, which has the world’s largest collection of medieval arms, and take Trams 1 or 7 outside the center to see Eggenberg Palace. End day 2 with local food at restaurant Der Steirer, which serves Styrian tapas, perfect for sampling and sharing.
 

Use Day 3 to see Graz’ contemporary landmarks. The Kunsthaus contemporary art museum is a sight in itself. Blue and bubble-shaped, the construction looks like a space ship landed in Graz’ stuccoed Old Town. The “Friendly Alien,” as locals call it, is right by the up-and-coming Mariahilferstrasse, lined with cute design shops and coffee shops. Don’t leave without venturing onto the Murinsel, an artificial island suspended inside the Mur river. The shell-like construction is another contemporary accent in the city scape. Graz’ innovative architecture follows you all the way back to the train station. The main terminal’s interior is decorated with abstract graphics and the platform shelter is one undulating metal wave.

Day 4: Salzburg

  • The city of Salzburg © Österreich Werbung / Julius Silver The city of Salzburg © Österreich Werbung / Julius Silver
  • Mirabell Gardens © Julius Silver Mirabell Gardens © Julius Silver
  • Kapitelplatz (Chapter Square) © Tourismus Salzburg GmbH Kapitelplatz (Chapter Square) © Tourismus Salzburg GmbH
  • Modern Museum Salzburg © Tourismus Salzburg GmbH Modern Museum Salzburg © Tourismus Salzburg GmbH
  • Museum of modern Art in Salzburg © Museum der Moderne Museum of modern Art in Salzburg © Museum der Moderne
  • Mozart's birthplace in Salzburg © Tourismus Salzburg GmbH / Bryan Reinhart Mozart's birthplace in Salzburg © Tourismus Salzburg GmbH / Bryan Reinhart
The direct train to Salzburg takes about 4 hours. Make sure you buy a 48h Salzburg Card at the tourist office beside the station upon arrival for free public transport and entry to attractions.

Baroque Salzburg is surrounded by magical mountains and its Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the birthplace of Mozart, and The Sound of Music was filmed in Salzburg and its surrounding areas. Hohensalzburg Fortress perches majestically on the Mönchsberg. For splendid views of the city, take a walk to the Museum of Modern Art on the mountain.

One of Salzburg's most attractive markets is situated in Universitätsplatz square, where you can try local products such as Kaspressknödel (bread dumplings filled with cheese). Through a narrow passage walk to Getreidegasse, the iconic main street where Mozart was born, along which you will find beautiful courtyards. For those with a sweet tooth, it is a must to try the most famous dessert in town: the Salzburger Nockerl.

Day 5 Salzburg

  • Enjoy a beer in Salzburg © Tourismus Salzburg GmbH Enjoy a beer in Salzburg © Tourismus Salzburg GmbH
  • Beer culture in Salzburg © Tourismus Salzburg GmbH Beer culture in Salzburg © Tourismus Salzburg GmbH
  • The famous Salzburg festival © Silvia Lelli The famous Salzburg festival © Silvia Lelli
  • Hellbrunn palace © Tourismus Salzburg GmbH Hellbrunn palace © Tourismus Salzburg GmbH
  • Gwandhaus in Salzburg bei Hellbrunn © Österreich Werbung / Ulli Cecerle-Uitz Gwandhaus in Salzburg bei Hellbrunn © Österreich Werbung / Ulli Cecerle-Uitz
The next morning, take Bus 25 to Hellbrunn Palace and enjoy the unique trick fountains in the park. Come afternoon, it is time to sample Salzburg's famous beer culture. There are countless breweries offering their own beer with pretty gardens that serve food. We also recommend a visit to the Stiegl-Brauwelt where you will learn about brewing history. Salzburg is renowned for its music, and in the summer months it goes without saying that you should attend an opera or a concert at the famous Salzburger Festspiele.

Day 6 and 7: Excursions from Salzburg

  • Hallstatt, Upper Austria © Österreich Werbung / Wolfgang Weinhäupl Hallstatt, Upper Austria © Österreich Werbung / Wolfgang Weinhäupl
  • The famous Kaiservilla in Bad Ischl © Oberösterreich Tourismus GmbH The famous Kaiservilla in Bad Ischl © Oberösterreich Tourismus GmbH
Take an early train from Salzburg to Hallsatt (around 2h30m with a change in Attnang-Puchheim) to enjoy the beautiful landscapes of lakes surrounded by mountains. Hallstatt is a real feast for the eyes and at the top of the village you can visit the oldest salt mines in the world. Eat on the banks of one of the lakes where you can enjoy some fresh catch such as Forelle (trout) or Saibling (char).

After lunch, take a regional train from Hallstatt to Bad Ischl (around 25 min), a small historic town with hot thermal springs. It is a tradition to go to the Café Zauner and try their exquisite pastries. Continue with bus 546 (around 25 min) to St. Wolfgang, a charming village, to later take a boat trip along Wolfgangsee lake (around 45 min) to St. Gilgen, the town where Mozart's sister lived. As the day draws to an end, take bus 150 (around 45 min) back to Salzburg.

From May until late October, you have two options for enjoying the wonders of nature on day 8 of your round trip. The first option takes you to the Krimml Waterfalls, the highest in Europe, in the National Park Hohe Tauern. Take two trains: first a regional train to Zell am See (around 1h35m) and then the local narrow gauge train (around 1h25m); a pleasant trip with great scenery. On Thursdays and in the summer months also on Tuesdays, you can take the nostalgic train with an old steam locomotive. From Krimml station a bus takes you to the village.

The second option is to take the train from Salzburg (around 40 min) to Werfen. Go to the medieval Hohenwerfen Fortress which is situated on a hill with an impressive chain of mountains in the background. Give yourself an hour to visit the castle’s interior and then try to make it to the inner courtyard gardens to watch the spectacular falconry demonstration.

Day 8: Kufstein

  • The town of Kufstein in summer © TVB Kufsteinerland The town of Kufstein in summer © TVB Kufsteinerland
  • Römerhofgasse in Kufstein © TVB Kufsteinerland Römerhofgasse in Kufstein © TVB Kufsteinerland
  • Kufstein fortress © TVB Kufsteinerland Kufstein fortress © TVB Kufsteinerland
  • Kufstein fortress © Kusteinerland Kufstein fortress © Kusteinerland
  • Riedel glass manufacturer in Kufstein © TVB Kufsteinerland Riedel glass manufacturer in Kufstein © TVB Kufsteinerland
  • كوفشتاينرلاند © TVB Kufsteinerland كوفشتاينرلاند © TVB Kufsteinerland
Take the Railjet from Salzburg to Kufstein (1h10m). The beautiful town in Tirol’s north has a medieval fortress at its core. Explore the stronghold and enjoy 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 center 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 from the church is a traditional Tirolean glass maker. Riedel’s glasses are known around the world for their delicate design. At the factory, you can watch the glass blowers do their work and shop Reidel’s collection of stemware and artful decanters.

Depending on the time you're traveling, 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: Innsbruck

  • Ambras Castle in Innsbruck © TVB Innsbruck / Bernhard Aichner Ambras Castle in Innsbruck © TVB Innsbruck / Bernhard Aichner
  • At the banks of the Inn © TVB Innsbruck / Christof Lackner At the banks of the Inn © TVB Innsbruck / Christof Lackner
Take an early train from Kufstein to Innsbruck (40min). We recommend buying the Innsbruck Card for 48 or 72 hours which includes free public transport in the city and to surrounding villages, plus tourist 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 to where you can enjoy views of the city. And one last cable car takes you to an alpine landscape at over 2,000 meters (6,562 ft).

Back down in Innsbruck you can try specialties 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 town.
 

Day 10

  • Bergisel Olympic ski jump offers stunning views © TVB Innsbruck / Christof Lackner Bergisel Olympic ski jump offers stunning views © TVB Innsbruck / Christof Lackner
  • Ambas castle in Innsbruck © Tirol Werbung Ambas castle in Innsbruck © Tirol Werbung
Spend the day visiting three emblematic places around Innsbruck's historic centre. Take tram 1 to the Bergisel Ski Jump  and then continue to the small mountain village of Igls (only 15 min with the busline J). In the afternoon, take tram 3 to Ambras Castle which houses a unique collection of art.
 

Day 11: Excursions from Innsbruck

  • Swarovski Crystal Worlds in Tyrol © TVB Innsbruck / Swarovski Swarovski Crystal Worlds in Tyrol © TVB Innsbruck / Swarovski
  • Hiking around Innsbruck © TVB Innsbruck / Christian Vorhofer Hiking around Innsbruck © TVB Innsbruck / Christian Vorhofer
  • Mutters Village © TVB Innsbruck Mutters Village © TVB Innsbruck
  • Picknick auf der Alm © TVB Innsbruck /  Moser Picknick auf der Alm © TVB Innsbruck / Moser
  • Town square in Hall © Tourismusverband Hall Wattens / Watzek Town square in Hall © Tourismusverband Hall Wattens / Watzek
Early in the morning, make a visit to the village of Wattens to admire the Swarovski Crystal Worlds, also included in the Innsbruck Card. From the station take either a shuttle bus (4 times a day, around 30 min) leading you directly to the entrance, or a commuter train to Fritzens-Wattens (around 16 min) and continue 15 minutes by foot. 

Return to Innsbruck and take the STB train from Südtiroler Platz station (around 30 min) to the village of Mutters. From the station, walk towards the church, and on the main street you will find a typical Tirolean farm with painted facades. If you continue to the next stop you will arrive at the Mutteralm cable car (included in the Innsbruck Card) where you can enjoy a half-day hike followed by lunch in a mountain hut.

End the day taking a regional train (only 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 (where you find the Mint Museum, also called the birthplace of the Taler coin and the modern day Dollar), the fascinating Magdalena chapel with its frescoes and altar, and the churches of St. Nikolaus and the Jesuits. The town is even more charming admidst the colourful Christmas lights.

 

Day 12: Arlberg Region

  • St. Anton am Arlberg © TVB St. Anton am Arlberg / Christoph Schöch St. Anton am Arlberg © TVB St. Anton am Arlberg / Christoph Schöch
  • Running in St. Anton am Arlberg © TVB St. Anton am Arlberg / Christoph Schöch Running in St. Anton am Arlberg © TVB St. Anton am Arlberg / Christoph Schöch
  • 5-star romantic hotel " Die Krone von Lech " in Lech am Arlberg © Romantik Hotel „Die Krone von Lech“ 5-star romantic hotel " Die Krone von Lech " in Lech am Arlberg © Romantik Hotel „Die Krone von Lech“
  • Hiking in the summer © TVB St. Anton am Arlberg / Christoph Schöch Hiking in the summer © TVB St. Anton am Arlberg / Christoph Schöch
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 famous for stunning hikes, upsclae entertainment, and an elegant atmosphere. Explore St. Anton first, with its Valluga cable car (it takes you to the summit of the region's tallest mountain), and the mystical Verwalltal valley. Take a hike in St. Anton's hinterland, or just relax by Verwallsee lake, which is accessible by bus.

Take Bus 91 from St. Anton to Lech, another one of the Arlberg's five 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 a rich Alpine tradition with international designer names. 

If you're feeling sporty, embark on the first leg of the Green Ring, a circular hiking trail above Lech that features artsy installations along the way. Take your time marveling at the picture-perfect Alpine scenery before descending back into the village.
Letters from Austria - a video series © Österreich Werbung Letters from Austria - a video series © Österreich Werbung

Watch our video about train travel in Austria

„Letters from Austria“ is a collection of stories from one stunning road trip through Austria. It features stops in the Arlberg Region, Salzburg, the surrounding SalzburgerLand, Graz, and Vienna. Explore these picturesque and romantic parts of the country and feel the magic of the mountains.

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