Wien / Vienna to Ljubljana: Europe's Epic Express Train Journeys

The majority of ShowMeTheJourney's pick of Europe's Epic Journeys by Express Trains can be enjoyed in their entirety in either direction, but this route an only be fully appreciated when travelling by train from Vienna/Wien TO Ljubljana

The train which travels in the opposite direction from the Slovenian capital to Austria isn't usually schedeuled to arrive in Wien after 22:00 (10pm), so it travels across the spectacular Semmering Railway in dusk or darkness - but as can be seen below, you won't miss out on that part of the route when travelling from Vienna/Wien.

Also if you check out the guides to the journeys between Vienna/Wien <> Venice and Zagreb <> Wien and Salzburg <> Zagreb, you'll notice some similarities, because this particular journey combines highlights from those three routes!

When heading south from the Austrian capital, the first 45 mins of the journey is across a flat landscape, so try to stay awake on the early morning departure - because virtually the entire remainder of the journey is fantastic!

On leaving Weiner Neustadt the railway line initially travels through a forest and then on the left, the River Schwarza comes into view.
Heading south from Vienna on the train to Venice
Approximately twenty minutes after departing from Wiener Neustadt, the train will pass through Gloggnitz station, which is located at the beginning of The Semmering Railway 

For around 35 minutes the train will travel over this historic railway, twisting up to and then over The Semmering Pass.

You'll know that the train has reached the Semmering Railway when you can see the watchmen's houses - there are 57 of them which line the route.

The railway begins to ascend once the train has crossed over The River Schwarza, to the west of Payerbach-Reichenau station.
Ascending up the Semmering Railway on a train from Vienna to Venice
The Semmering Railway has been granted U.N.E.S.C.O World Heritage status, but it achieved that distinction due to its pioneering and epic method of construction, the train will pass through 14 tunnels - and not because of the views which can be seen from a train.

There's obviously nothing to see while the train travels through those tunnels, but the railway isn't above the tree line, so dense foliage lines the track - ShowMeTheJourney was snapping away as the train ascended up to Eichberg station, and this is the only image I captured, which showcases this part of the journey.
On the train to Wien from Zagreb via Graz
The view is of the railway line to the east of Payerbach-Reichenau station, which the train had been travelling through 10 minutes earlier.

Because of the vegetation it's best to keep a look out for when the train crosses the 16 viaducts, because that's when the trees don't block the views.
Travelling over the Semmering Pass by train
The two most spectacular views both occur just as the train leaves a tunnel, and can be seen around 15 mins into the journey on the Semmeringbahn - just when you're about to give up on seeing anything special.
The first of these views can be seen from the Kalte-Rinne viaduct.
On the train from Zagreb to Wien
And then minutes later, you can appreciate the stunning view from the Adlitzgraben Viaduct.
The stunning Semmering Pass from a train
This video is not ShowMeTheJourney's finest work, not helped by the fact that despite three journeys over the Semmering Railway, I have yet to experience the route in sunshine, but what it does showcase is how fleeting these stunning vistas are when seen from the train.

It was also filmed when travelling north, but when heading south you need to be sat on the LEFT in order to see the best of these views on the Semmeringbahn.

The highlights of this journey aren't over once the train has passed over the summit, because the thrilling views continue as the train descends,this view was captured from a backwwards facing seat after a train had passed through Steinhaus am Semmering station.

Although make the most of the journey on The Semmering Railway while the express trains, such as this one, still climb through the pass - from 2024 there are due to be diverted away into the Semmering Base Tunnel.

The lovely views of the Austrian countryside are pretty much continuous until the train reaches Graz.

Shortly after the train has departed from Maribor, the train travels through the beautiful landscape of central Slovenia.

South of Lasko the railway line travels on the east bank of the River Savinja until Zidani Most, so on this part of the journey the best of the views are on the RIGHT

The two images below were taken between and Lasko and Zidani Most.
On the Zagreb to Vienna train

As the train arrives in Zidani Most it will take the route, which turns to the west into the station, which is located in the heart of the spectacular River Sava gorge - the view below was taken from a train while it was in the station.

The journey between Zidani Most and Ljubljana and will take around 1hr 10mins and the video and the three images below were taken on this part of the journey.

On this section of the journey, the views of the river are on the LEFT.
To Zagreb from Austria on the train

The stunning views of The River Sava on the Vienna to Ljubljana train journey

If your seat isn't on the left-hand side, you can also usually have a great view through the glass panels in the rear door of the train.
Looking through the rear window of a train travelling through beautiful Slovenia


For all the practical information you need to know about making this incredible journey - including details of the tickets, trains and stations...

This journey is also featured on the GUIDE to European trains which only depart once per day.



click on the journeys listed below to discover why they are so fabulous: