National rail operator
Facts about Austria
- Currency: Euro (EUR)
- Timezone: 1+ UTC
- Language: German throughout; Slovene and Croatian enjoy official status in specific areas
Austria is a perfect destination for rail travellers. Getting to Austria by train is easy from many parts of Europe; once there you’ll find trains that are fast, frequent and punctual. The country benefits from a dense network of rail routes. Connections between trains and buses are usually perfectly coordinated. This is a country which takes public transport seriously.
There are several celebrated routes through picturesque Alpine scenery. One of the best is the Tyrolean route which runs west from Innsbruck; it's used by all direct trains from Vienna and Salzburg to Switzerland. Another favourite is the Semmering Railway which runs south-west from Vienna towards Graz and Klagenfurt. Don’t expect high speed on these scenic mountain routes. These journeys are a chance to sit back and savour the landscape. With a national rail network that extends to remote valleys, often serving small communities, there is plenty of opportunity to take the pulse of rural life across Austria.
Vienna is particularly well served by night trains from across Europe. There are nightly direct services to Vienna from a dozen German cities (including Cologne, Hamburg, Dresden and Berlin) and a wide choice of Italian cities (including Rome, Venice and Milan). Overnight trains arrive into Vienna from further afield as well, including from Warsaw, Bucharest and Moscow. There are also overnight sleeper trains entirely within Austria, linking stations like Bregenz and Feldkirch in the westernmost parts of the country with the capital.
Note that national operator ÖBB also operates a number of express coach services (eg. from Klagenfurt to Graz or Villach to Venice). These bus links are fully integrated into the national rail ticketing system, and can thus be booked on Loco2.
Image credits: Innsbruck, Austria © Nikolai Sorokin