Travel by train to and around Austria to be rewarded with incredible scenery, a relaxing journey and the chance to see many of Austria's most interesting towns and cities. Here's just five of them...
Allowing the train to take the strain with Austrian National Railway ÖBB is a great way to see and appreciate the rich diversity and drama of Austria. No matter where you decide to go and what you want to do, whether it’s a city break or an alpine adventure, you can get there in comfort by rail, enjoying swathes of epic scenery as you go.
Read on for five incredible Austrian cities you can see by train, and the best things to see and do there...
The delights of Vienna are a good starting point, especially if you’re travelling by rail. Trains bring in passengers from all over Europe - including Prague, Venice, Paris and London – straight into Vienna’s bustling central station, so you can explore Austria’s enticing capital from the moment you step off the carriage.
Art enthusiasts should make a beeline for the city’s world-renowned art galleries. For example, the Belvedere Palace houses the largest collection of Gustav Klimt’s work, including ‘The Kiss’, whilst other museums of intrigue include the Sigmund Freud Museum and the Fälschermuseum (or ‘museum of fakes’). Be sure to also make the most of all the green spaces in Vienna, with a stroll in one its 2,000 parks. They are incredibly well tended to, and you will find botanical gardens, artistic fountains and some impressive monuments and statues emerging from the greenery.
Day trips are a great example of the opportunities the railway network can bring, so if you’re based in the capital of Vienna why not strike out to Salzburg? Zip across to the birthplace of Mozart and you can savour its remarkable mountain setting from the perch of the Hohensalzburg Fortress before a stroll through its cathedral quarter and Gardens of Mirabell Palace. Culture lovers are best to time their visit to coincide with the legendary Salzburg Festival (mid-July to August) and on the ÖBB Railjet Xpress and Railjet service you can reach the city in less than 2.5 hours, with services running 32 times per day.
As Austria´s second-largest city, Graz tempts with its impressive architecture, both historic and modern. The Styrian Armoury, the world´s largest historic armoury, is an unmissable attraction designed to spirit visitors back to the days when knights battled each other in these lands. The route to Graz further includes the Semmeringbahn, a spectacular stretch of railway engineering that has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With ÖBB, you can get to Graz in just over 2.5 hours, with trains running 17 times per day.
It’s also an easy hop from Vienna to Innsbruck on the ÖBB Railjet Xpress and Railjet, reachable in 4h 14min and with services 15 times per day. The capital of the Austrian Tirol offers a combination of big city charm and bountiful nature. In the morning, you can catch a cable car up into the vaulting peaks of the Nordkette mountain range and be back in the afternoon to check out the Hofburg, the Hofkirche and the cathedral, all which are within a 15-minute walk of the central railway station.
From Innsbruck you can easily reach the alpine resort of Kitzbühel. With a town centre that’s more than 750 years old, its historic streets are a pleasure to stroll with plenty of shopping and gourmet restaurant options too. Then there’s more than 2,500km of hiking trails to tempt in the Kitzbühel Alps. You can then walk to picturesque Lake Schwarzsee or ride the famous Hahnenkammbahn cable car to take in those panoramic mountain views or why not head further out to find the Hohe Salve mountain, soaring up to 1,828m.
Austrian National Railway ÖBB and its network of high-speed Railjet services spreads right across the mountains to all corners of Austria, serving Vienna’s airport and with connections twice hourly to Salzburg and once every hour to Innsbruck during the day.
In addition to free Wi-Fi, on-board entertainment and an on-board restaurant, there are three comfort classes available on the train - Economy Class, First Class and Business Class – to help make your journey even more comfortable, with special compartments and extra services relaxing rest stops before or after your trip available at the ÖBB lounge. With such a convenient way to travel, all you need to do is lean back and let that impressive landscape slide by your window as you journey to your next Austrian adventure.
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