Wien / Vienna to Salzburg by train

How to take a rail journey from Wien/Vienna to Salzburg

On the rail route from Wien/Vienna to Salzburg, train services operated by Westbahn, a private company, compete with the trains provided by the national rail operator, OBB.

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Routes

Option 1: taking the Railjet trains

Travel Information

Travelling by Railjet trains managed by the Austrian national rail operator, OBB.

The faster Railjet services on this route have been re-branded as 'Railjet Express' or 'RJX' services.
These RJX services only make three station calls between Wien/Vienna and Salzburg.
The slower 'Railjet' services make 10 station calls.

Departing from Wien/Vienna:

The Railjets depart from Wien Hbf and Wien Meidling stations.

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.

All of the Railjet Express and most of the slower Railjet trains also commence their journeys at Wien Flufghagen/Vienna Airport station
The Railjets are the only direct trains from Wien Flufghagen/Vienna Airport to Salzburg.

2 x trains per hour

Tickets

Book early and save: Yes

Online bookings open: 6 months ahead of the travel date

The train service between Wien and Salzburg is split between these Railjet trains  operated by OBB and alternative trains operated by WestBahn.
On the Trainline website these Railjet trains are shown as 'OBB'.

The limited numbers of discounted 'Sparpreis' tickets for the alternative WestBahn trains, are cheaper than the discounted 'Sparschiene' tickets which are made available by OBB for these Railjet trains.
However, those Westbahn 'Sparpreis' tickets can sell out faster than the 'Sparschiene' tickets, so taking the Railjets can be the cheaper option - the 'Sparschiene' tickets can be booked online up until the day of departure.

Though a sliding scale of prices is applied to the 'Sparschiene' tickets, so you can save by booking ahead; the most heavily discounted tickets inevitably remain on sale longer for the slower Railjet services.

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.

Tickets for the trains operated by Westbahn are not available on the OBB ticket booking site and vice versa, tickets for these trains operated by OBB are not available on the Westbahn site, but both services can be directly compared on the Trainline website (see below).

Last minute tickets booked at the station are more expensive than booking the discounted tickets in advance online.
Though if you want to leave booking tickets until the day of travel, it's highly likely that you'll save by taking the Westbahn trains.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
OBB from €19.90

OBB Guide

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.

Trainline Österreich from €19.90

Trainline Österreich Guide

On this journey

Journey Features

Scenic - NoNot High Speed

Good to Know

Comparing the Railjet and Westbahn services:

Departure stations in Wien/Vienna
Railjet Express and Railjet = Wien Hbf and Wien Meidling
Westbahn = Wien Westbahnhof and Wien Hutteldorf

Final Destinations:
Railjet Express = Munchen; Zurich or Innsbruck or Bregenz
Railjet = Salzburg or Klagenfurt
Westbahn = Salzburg

Journey times from Wien Hbf to Salzburg:
Railjet Express = 2hr 22 min
Railjet = 2hr 53min
Westbahn = 2hr 28 min

The on board experience:

The Railjet trains offer three levels of service and the Westbahn trains have two levels of service.

A key difference between the two services is catering:
Railjets = a bar car offering hot and cold food to all passengers PLUS a restaurant service.
The restaurant menu is also available as an at seat service in first and business class

Westbahn = vending machines which sell hot/cold drinks, sandwiches, snacks; plus a catering trolley with no hot food available, which provides an at-seat service in the equivalent of 1st class and may also be available in 2nd class.

Ticketing Summary:

Trainline sells tickets for both train services, though except when promotions are running, the Westban tickets are a fixed price.

The limited numbers of discounted 'Sparpreis' tickets for the alternative Westbahm trains, are cheaper than the discounted 'Sparschiene' tickets which are made available by OBB for these Railjet trains.
However, those Westbahn 'Sparpreis' tickets can sell out faster than the 'Sparschiene' tickets, so taking the Railjets can be the cheaper option.

If you will be buying tickets last minute you will likely save by taking the Westbahn, also on the Westbahn trains you can pay a €1 surcharge to buy a ticket from the conductor.

It's a pleasant, but unremarkable train journey between these two cities, with distant views of mountains to be seen from the left hand side of the train after it has departed from Linz.

Instead of building an entirely new high speed railway, the decision was taken to upgrade and straighten the main Western Railway which crosses Austria.
So between Wien/Vienna and Linz the train will travel at up to 230 km/h (close to the high speed threshold).

Option 2: taking the Westbahn services

Journey Summary

From
Wien / Vienna
Image coming soon...
Wien Westbahnhof
Travel Time
2hr 28 min
Frequency
Daily
Travel Information

Final Destination: Salzburg or Munchen

The Westbahn trains leave from alternative station in Wien/Vienna to those used by the Railjets, they commence their journeys at Wien Westbahnhof.
Unlike Wien hbf the Westbahnhof is served by line U3 of the Vienna Metro which calls at city centre stations with no direct link to the main hbf station including Volkstheater

The Westbahn trains also call at Wien Hutteldorf a station not served by the Railjets, which has an interchange with line U4 of the Vienna Metro, which makes multiple stops on the southern side of the city centre, including at Karlsplatz.

1 x train per hour from Wien Westbahnhof

Tickets

Book early and save: Yes

The train service between Wien/Vienna and Salzburg is split between Raijet trains operated by OBB and these trains operated by Westbahn.

The two train services have similar journey times*, the difference is generally less than 10 mins compared to OBB's fastest services), but the Westbahn trains depart from a different station in Wien/Vienna

Tickets for the trains operated by Westbahn are not available on the OBB ticket booking site and vice versa, tickets for the trains operated by OBB are not available on the Westbahn site, but both services can be looked up and booked on Trainline.

The limited numbers of discounted 'Sparpreis' Westbahn tickets are cheaper than the discounted 'Sparschiene' tickets which are made available by OBB for the Railjet trains.

Like those ''Sparschiene' tickets, the 'Sparpreis' tickets for these Westbahn trains, are specific to the departure you select when making a booking.
However, these Westbahn 'Sparpreis' tickets can sell out faster than the 'Sparschiene' tickets, so the taking the Railjets can be the cheaper option

Last minute tickets booked at the station are more expensive than either of these discounted tickets.
Though if you want to leave booking tickets until the day of travel, it's highly likely that you'll save by taking the Westbahn trains.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
Westbahn *
Trainline Österreich *

Trainline Österreich Guide

On this journey

Journey Features

Scenic - NoNot High Speed

It's a pleasant, but unremarkable train journey between these two cities, with distant views of mountains to be seen from the left hand side of the train after it has departed from Linz.

Instead of building an entirely new high speed railway, the decision was taken to upgrade and straighten the main Western Railway which crosses Austria.
So between Wien/Vienna and Linz the train will travel at up to 230 km/h (close to the high speed threshold).

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