Despite the trains from Wien/Vienna to Frankfurt spending less than 5% of the journey travelling on a high speed line, swish ICE trains are used on this route.
Final Destination: Frankfurt (Main) or Dormund
All trains also call at: Passau, Regensburg, Nurnberg s smf Wurzburg
Departing from Wien/Vienna:
If your journey in Vienna is commencing in the south west corner of the city, or the area on the ring road around the Opera House - then it's likely that you'll have a faster and more convenient journey if you join the train at Wien-Meidling station.
Wien Meidling is connected to line U6 of the Vienna Metro, which serves the western side of the city centre.
Though we particularly recommend opting to make reservations for this journey if you want to join these trains at Wien-Meidling as they become busy on departure from Wien Hbf.
6 x trains per day
Book early and save: Yes
Online bookings open: 6 months ahead of the travel date, usually
It can be worth comparing prices on the different ticket agents, the cheapest 'Europa Spezial' tickets can still be available on DB, the German railways website, when the most heavily discounted 'Sparschiene' tickets are sold out on OBB, the Austrian railways website.
And the reverse can be true, cheaper Sparschiene tickets can still be available on OBB, meaning that DB can be more expensive.
There is a 4 hour gap between departures of these direct trains between around 11:15 and 15:15.
That is because the train that departs Wien at 13:15 will be heading to Hamburg; and this train has an 8 min connection at Wurzburg into a train on to Frankfurt (Main) Hbf.
Book this journey and miss the connection, due to the train from Wien running late, and tickets/reservations can be swapped at the DB Reisezentrum desk in Wurzburg station to a later train on from Wurzburg.
There should be another ICE train departing from Wurzburg to Frankfurt (Main) around 30mins later.
Book 1st class ticket journey tickets on DB and your seat reservation is included, but they're optional when booking 2nd class tickets, or if you will be travelling with a 1st or 2nd class rail pass.
If you will be travelling 2nd class we highly recommend opting to add a reservation when booking, the ICE trains to Germany from Austria are always comparatively busy.
So if you don't reserve, being able to remain in the same seat all the way from Vienna to Frankfurt, is something you definitely can't take for granted.
Note that if you opt to book 1st class tickets on OBB, your seat reservation won't be automatically be included, so you will need to be proactive and add it to your booking.
Rail pass users:
As explained on our guide to using rail passes on German trains, a tick in the box for travelling by ICE trains, is that you won't HAVE to make a seat reservation.
However, irrespective of whether you will be travelling with a 1st class or 2nd class pass, we recommend opting to make the reservation on this train, if you want to enjoy a stress-free journey.
|Ticket Provider||Approximate Cost|
|Save A Train||from €39.90|
|Happy rail||from €39.90|
There is now also a Railjet train service from Wien to Frankfurt (Main) which is scheduled to depart at 09:55, but it is best avoided for a journey between these two cities, as it takes a different longer route, so has a journey time of close to twelve hours.
From Wien/Vienna until Wels the train will travel at up to 230 km/h (close to the high speed threshold) on the main Western Railway which crosses Austria.
On departure from Wells the train will head towards the border with Germany and to the south of Passau, the railway takes a charming route on the east bank of The River Inn, which can be seen on left.
Then between Passau and Regensburg the River Danube is on the right.
Between Regensburg and Nurnberg the train rushes across a delightful rolling landscape and then until Wurzburg the train remains on the conventional railway.
On departure from Wurzburg comes a part of the journey with a wow factor, the train will be on the high speed line for less than 15 minutes, but there are some nice views as the train crosses some long viaducts; in particular look out for when the train will burst out of a tunnel and then immediately cross the River Main.
Between this river bridge and Aschaffenburg comes another scenic part of the trip when the railway winds through some valleys.
As the train will spend less than 3% of its journey on the high speed line, it didn't see right to put this journey in the high speed (partial) category.
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This is one of more than 100 train travel guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.