Wien to Venezia - Europe's Epic Express Train Journeys

The gorgeous cities at either end of this Wien / Vienna <> Venezia / Venice route by themselves justify making this journey, but why fly or drive when the railway route between these two cities is one of the most beautiful in all of Europe - it's why ShowMeTheJourney also doesn't recommend taking the overnight train between these cities.

When heading south from the Austrian capital, the first 45 mins of the journey is across a flat landscape, so try to stay awake, particularly if you have set off on the early morning departure!.

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.

Around 1hr 50 mins into the journey the train will arrive in Bruck an der Mur and on departure from there, these trains from Vienna to Venice, take a different railway line to that followed by the trains between Vienna and Graz - and beyond.

The daytime trains between Wien and Venezia head south-west towards Klagenfurt, and this route is delightful, particularly once the train has departed from Leoben.

The railway follows the River Mur as it travels between the regions of Styria and Caranthia and there are views over the river from both sides of the train.
Following the River Mur on a train between Vienna and Venice
The Semmering Railway steals the limelight, but ShowMeTheJourney was much more delighted by the scenery on the 1hr 50min journey between Leoben and Klagenfurt.

As this selection of images and videos illustrate, vegetation doesn't get in the way of the sweeping vistas across the valleys - though apologies for the lack of precise location info, though trust me, that won't matter, you'll just want to sit back and take in the ride.
 

Travelling through the stunning countryside of Styria in Austria on a train heading to Venice
The stunning Austrian countryside from a train between Vienna and Venice
For this part of the journey between Leoben and Klagenfurt, there are great views to be had from both sides of the train, the image above was captured on the right, while this video below was taken on the left-hand side.


The beautiful views from a Vienna to Venice train
The charming journey through southern Austria by train from Vienna to Venice
Though one landmark worth looking out for is the view of the stunning Hochosterwitz Castle, which can be seen on the left as the train travels through Launsdorf station - around 20 minutes before arriving in Klagenfurt.

However, take the opportunity to travel this way, while these  Wien / Vienna <> Venezia / Venice are still taking this route, because from 2025 these trains will likely be diverted on to the new Koralm Railway, that is currently under construction.
When it opens, trains which travel between Vienna and Klagenfurt, and beyond, will be able to serve Graz and still save 20 minutes off the journey time.

But between Vienna/Wien and Graz, the trains also won't be travelling over the Semmering Railway, showcased above, instead they'll be travelling through the under construction Semmering Base Tunnel.
So from 2025, this journey will be faster and much less scenic, though the trains will still travel along the shore of the Worthersee, to the south of Klagenfurt.
Travelling by the Worthersee when taking a train from Venice to Vienna
The train will travel by the shore of the lake for around 15 mins, and the stunning views are on the LEFT when heading south.
Travelling by the Worthersee when taking a train from Vienna to Venice
South of Tarvisio, the railway line travels through the Julian Alps, until it reaches Gemona, though more than 90% of this part of the route involves tunnels, so look when the train crosses the bridges over the Tagliamento river.

The best of the views are on the LEFT to the north of Gemona station, but I wasn't able to capture usable images on this part of the route, as a track fault meant that the train I was on didn't pass through here until dusk.

But on many previous journeys I had been able to experience the thrilling conclusion to this journey as the train cross the Venetian lagoon in order to arive Venezia S. Lucia station.
 

It's worth remaining on your seat, until journey's end, despite the temptation to rush off to see the wonders of Venice - the best views over the lagoon are on the LEFT.
Journey's end on the Vienna to Venice train

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 'Popular Cities' rail pass itinerary.

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THE OTHER EPIC EXPRESS TRAIN JOURNEYS:
 

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

KOLN/COLOGNE TO KLAGENFURT


MALAGA TO BARCELONA

MARSEILLE TO GENOVA

MILANO TO GENEVE


MILANO TO ZURICH

MUNCHEN TO VENEZIA

OSLO - BERGEN


PARIS - TORINO/TURIN

ROME and NAPLES - SICILY


SALZBURG TO ZAGREB

WIEN/VIENNA TO LJUBLJANA

YORK TO ABERDEEN

ZAGREB TO WIEN/VIENNA


ZURICH TO GRAZ