It's some distance from Wien/Vienna to Hannover, but despite that SMTJ's recommendation is to take the daily ICE train.
There is an overnight train between these two cities, but it is typically scheduled to arrive in Hannover before 07:00.
When travelling between most cities by train there is only one logical option, though on other journeys there is a choice between different trains or alternative routes. If different options are available you can use the info to decide which is best for you.
1 x train per day
This direct train is suspended from April 1st to December 9th.
ShowMeTheJourney earns a small commission on Trainline ticket sales. It can be a particularly good option for: Comparing different train services; Booking international journeys with connections; Travelling between the UK to destinations beyond Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris - and for international travellers who don't reside in western Europe.
DB is the national railway operator in Germany, so its website can be used for booking journeys by German express trains; the ICE and IC trains and it doesn't charge booking fees.
It also sells tickets for journeys by direct trains on all international routes from Germany regardless of whether DB is operating the train service.
It also sells an extensive range of end-to-end journeys which involve making connections both within Germany and in neighboring countries, but journeys between Germany and Britain cannot be booked on DB.
On journeys within Germany and on most international journeys from and to Germany on trains operated by DB:
When booking both types of the discounted 'Sparpreis' tickets seat reservations are an optional extra, so need to be added when booking if you want an assigned seat(s).
OBB is the national rail operator and its booking service offers journeys by express trains within Austria, as well as international journeys which don't involve making a connection outside of Austria.
It pays off to book online, as the discounted 'Sparscheine' tickets are only ever made available on the website, and when making international journeys to and from Austria, these Sparscheine tickets tend to be cheaper.
OBB can offer particularly good value for money when travelling with children on international rail journeys, but something to watch out for when travelling between Austria and Germany on daytime trains, is that reservations are an optional extra; but if you book 1st class tickets with the Germany railways website DB, the reservations are complimentary.
OBB often takes a unique approach to its booking path, but a key thing to keep in mind is that the first price you will see for any journey is that of a Second Class seat.
The costs of upgrading to first class, a reservation, or a sleeping cabin etc, is then added to this price.
Happy Rail is a Netherlands rail ticket agency which sells tickets for both national and international journeys within a range of countries including Belgium France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland.
HappyRail doesn't charge booking fees in the conventional sense, but if you're not Dutch you can expect to pay additional transaction fees, which will be added to the total cost.
That's because the most common form of online payment used in The Netherlands is 'iDEAL' and HappyRail doesn't charge a transaction fee for 'iDEAL' payments, but only Dutch residents can sign up to 'iDEAL'.
Other forms of payment include Visa debit cards will incur a fee.
Final Destination: Hamburg-Altona
This train also calls at: Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe
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 on these trains if you want to join this train at Wien-Meidling.
Until December 9th:
This is train is suspended from April 1st to Dec 9th due to maintenance work on the the high-speed line in Germany between Fulda and Kassel.
During this time connections will be available at Wurzburg from the ICE trains which head to Frankfurt (Main) and a direct train service to Hamburg will be available thanks to an extension of the daily ICE train to Berlin, though that train will have a journey time of 10hr 2mins.
Alternative Connections (from December 10th):
There are also usually up to 4 x alternative options available per day that involve a change of train; making a connection at Wurzburg Hbf from the Wien-Frankfurt/Koln trains into ICE trains on to Hannover from Wurzburg.
And these options with a connection, tend to be cheaper than this direct train.
However, the trains on to Hannover (that will typically be sold by DB and the other ticket agents) depart Wurzburg only 5 mins after the arrival of these trains from Wien.
So ideal IF the train from Wien is on time, but if it's too late to make the connection, you'll have to visit the Reisezentrum desk in Wurzburg Hbf station to re-book any train specific tickets/reservations for the train on to Hannover
There is generally 1 x train per hour from Wurzburg to Hannover.
You won't have to re-purchase, tickets/reservations can be swapped free of charge, but it's a hassle to be avoided if possible.
When the service resumes on December 10th the plan is for ICE 4 trains to replace the ICE T on this route.
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, because between the stations until Hannover, the train will be travelling at more than 270 km/h for around 2hr 30mins.
The first high speed line in Germany was blasted through dozens of tunnels, but between many of them, the train will whizz across viaducts, so keep your eyes peeled to see the views.
Online bookings open: up to 6 months ahead of the travel date
This booking period tends to be shorter when looking up journeys between mid August and mid October.
This train is usually scheduled to depart from Wien Hbf at 13:15 so hone in on that time when looking up this journey.
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.
A choice of tickets on the DB website
Three types of tickets are always available: Sparpreis and Super Sparpreis and Flexpreis.
A key difference between these types of tickets is refunds:
The other key difference is that both types of Sparpreis tickets are only valid on the specific departures selected when booking, but the Flexpreis tickets live up to their name, as they can be used on any departure on your travel date.
Note that none of the tickets can be exchanged to a different departure.
There's no need for this to be available for Flexpreis tickets, as they aren't train departure specific.
If you book a Sparpreis ticket and want to travel by a different departure you can refund it and then use the travel voucher towards the cost of the new booking.
Super Sparpreis tickets can't be exchanged or refunded.
When travelling to and from the major cities, the Sparpreis and Flexpreis tickets also include 'City tickets', which can be used on public transport on from Hannover Hbf.
Seat reservations are optional on ICE trains.
They cost €4.90 when travelling in 2nd Class and €5.90 when travelling in 1st class.
When a journey involves two or more trains on which seat reservations are available, the fees when first booking, cover all trains.
Specific seats can be selected from seating plans - you don't have to accept the seat(s) that you will be automatically offered.
They are included within the cost of booking 1st class Flexpreis tickets.
Though despite seats being automatically assigned when booking these three types of ticket - and these tickets being valid on any departure, you will need to pay to re-book the reservations, if you subsequently decide to travel on an alternative train.
So because you won't save by booking these types of tickets in advance, it can be a good idea to wait until you are sure when you will want to travel.
When booking Super Sparpreis, Sparpreis and 2nd class Flexpreis tickets, you have the option of purchasing seat reservations later.
It can be worth re-looking up a journey a week or two ahead of travel, because the DB website will indicate how busy a departure will be.
Though in general reservations are highly recommended for this journey, particularly if you'll be travelling 2nd class; it's worth it to ensure that you have an assigned seat for the entire trip.
1st Class tickets
No matter what type of ticket booked, if you choose to travel 1st class, you will have access to the same seating areas on the train, ICE trains do not have Business or Executive lounges.
Though only those who have booked 1st class Flexpreis or Flexpreis Plus tickets can access the DB Lounges at the major stations.
Booking on the DB website
You can find this train more easily by making a proactive selection of 'Direct Trains Only'.
But if you can't see it (because the schedule is being disrupted) look again without this option.
Or to see all the combinations of trains and journey options, some of which may be cheaper, take off the 'fastest connections' default.
Booking on the OBB website
The discounted tickets are the 'Sparscheine' tickets and they can be booked online up until the day of departure, but they CAN'T be booked at stations, so booking last minute at the station is always more expensive.
Though you'll usually need to book the 'Sparscheine' tickets at least a couple of days ahead to obtain them at the cheapest possible price.
Book a Sparschiene ticket and it will be specific to the departure you selected when making a booking and it can't be refunded at all if you subsequently change your travel plans and it also can't be exchanged to an alternative, later departure.
Trains departing at different times can also be cheaper than others leaving on the same day, so you may need to look through the day's departures to find the cheapest fares
It can pay off to take a look at the guide to Austrian train tickets - it should help you save time and money and confusion.
Seat reservations are optional, but they're particularly recommended for this journey.
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 these trains, if you want to be sure of having a stress-free journey.
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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.