Summaries of how to take direct trains from Czechia to Austria, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Slovakia and Switzerland.
Czechia/The Czech Republic is a country which serves international rail travellers well, its top-ranked trains are used on the international express routes and it has also kept open most of its lesser cross border routes, meaning that its spa towns, as well as its major cities can be accessed by international trains.
The trains from The Czech Republic to Austria take one of three routes, but most of them travel on the route via Breclav as it links Praha/Prague to Wien/Vienna.
The day trains:
This is the route taken by most of the express trains from Czechia to Austria, with five different groups of train services coming this way, including the trains from the Czech capital to the Austrian capital.
(1) Railjets which every two hours take a Praha/Prague –Pardubice – Brno – Breclav – Wien/Vienna – Wiener-Neustadt – Bruck an der Mur – Graz route.
The 10:24 departure from Praha connects in Graz with a train on to Zagreb via Maribor.
(2) Alternative Regiojet trains take the same route between Praha/Prague and Wien/Vienna, though two of these trains now travel beyond Wien Hbf to terminate in the station at Wien Flughafen/Airport.
(3) There are EC trains which travel through Czechia on their journeys from Poland to Wien/Vienna.
These four daily trains all take a Katowice – Ostrava – Brno – Breclav – Wien/Vienna route, but they commence their journeys at different destinations in Poland; which are Gydnia, Warszawa and Przemysl.
As a result Ostrava is linked to Wien/Vienna by 4 x trains per day.
The night trains:
(4) There are Euronight trains to Wien/Vienna from Poland, but they travel through Czechia in the very early hours of the morning.
(5) The Nightjet train from Berlin to Vienna/Wien; which also travels across Czechia early in the morning.
In even hours during the day local trains depart from Ceske Budejovice and head to Cezke Velenice.
At Cezke Velenice connections are available into REX trains that travel to Wien/Vienna via Gmund, though they arrive at the Franz-Josefs station in the Austrian capital and not at the main station, Wien Hbf.
Ceske Budejovice is served by hourly trains from Plzen, so this route is an alternative to travelling via Praha/Prague on a Plzen to Wien/Vienna journey.
Though this routing through Cezke Velenice has from become easier, as direct trains branded 'Silva Nortica' are now available throughout from Praha hl.n to Wien Franz-Josefs station.
They depart Praha at 07:46 on Sat/Sun and at 17:46 daily.
These trains also provide a new direct rail link from Tabor to Wien/Vienna.
This border crossing in southern Czechia has benefited from a significant increase in train services in recent years.
Eight trains per day, which are operated by CD, the Czech national rail company, travel from to Ceske Budejovice to Linz.
Four of these trains to Linz are now EuroCity exress trains branded 'Jinzi Express' which commence their journeys in Praha/Prague.
Linz has trains which head west to Salzburg and Innsbruck, so when travelling from Praha to these cities, this route can be a faster alternative than travelling via Wien/Vienna.
An overnight train from Praha/Prague, which typically departs Praha hl,n shortly after 18:00 to Zurich also comes this way.
Sleeping cars are attached to a train from Praha to Linz and then on arrival in Linz, they are shunted on to the overnight train to Zurich, which typically arrives there at 08:20.
Trains from Germany to Czechia take multiple routes as there are numerous direct trains from Germany to the spa towns in western Czechia, but all of the express trains between the two countries take the one spectacular route along a valley shared by the River Elbe.
This is the only route taken by long distance express trains from Czechia to Germany.
Every two hours EC trains take a Praha/Prague – Decin – Bad Schandau – Dresden – Berlin – Hamburg route.
One of these trains commences its journey in Budapest and travels travelled via Vac, Bratislava Brno and Pardubice.
A new overnight train service also takes this route, it is named the Canopus and it links Praha and Decin with Basel and Zurich in Switzerland, on a route which also has multiple station calls in south-west Germany, including Karlsruhe, Offenburg and Freiburg.
Seven trains per day take a Praha/Prague – Furth im Wald – Regensburg – Munchen/Munich route.
Though they are regional and not express trains, so also makes stops in some more minor towns.
Local and regional trains provide rail links on four routes between the popular spa towns in Bohemia (western Czechia) and Germany.
If you want to travel between Frantiskovy Lazné/Franzensbad, Karlovy Vary/Carlsbad and Marianské Lazne/Marienbad and Germany by train, connections are often required, but the journeys aren't particularly complicated.
1: towards Nurnberg
Cheb is a gateway station between the Czceh spa towns and many destinations in Germany.
Cheb has regular trains from the three most popular spa towns, Frantiskovy Lazne, Karlovy Vary and Marianské Lazne and it also connected to Nurnberg on most days of the year by up to 5 x direct trains per day, which travel via Marktredwitz.
At Nurnberg connections are available into ICE trains to multiple destinations across Germany including Frankfurt (Main), Hamburg, Hannover, Koln>/Cologne and Munchen/Munich.
Since the discontinuation of the direct Praha/Prag > Nurnberg trains some years ago, this routing via Cheb and Nurnberg is the main rail route for train journeys between the Czech capital and central Germany; Cheb has direct trains from Praha/Prague
2: to Hof, connect for Bamberg and Dresden
Every two hours local trains travel a Cheb – Frantiskovy Lazné – As – Hof route.
In Hof straightforward connections are available into Regio trains to Bamberg, Bayreuth and Dresden (connect for Berlin and Leipzig), Munchen/Munich and Nurnberg.
So this route is typically the best option when travelling from Frantiskovy Lazné/Franzensbad to Germany by train
3: a quicker, but less frequent connection to Dresden
Four local trains per day take a Cheb – Frantiskovy Lazné – Bad Brambach - Plauen route.
At Plauen connections are available into Regio trains heading to Dresden via Zwickau and Chemnitz, so if you’ll be heading to these German cities from Cheb and Frantiskovy Lazné, this is a slightly quicker route than travelling via As and Hof.
4: from Karlovy Vary/Carlsbad
Up to seven local trains per day travel from the spa town of Karlovy Vary/Carlsbad over the German border and terminate in Johanngeorgenstadt, where connections are available into trains to Zwickau.
From Zwickau there are trains heading to Chemnitz and Dresden.
The train operator Regiojet operates overnight train services between Praha/Prague and two resorts on the Adriatic Coast of Croatia, Rijeka and Split.
The train, which conveys couchettes and seats, but no sleeping cabins, leaves from Praha's main station on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, from the final Saturday in May until the final Saturday in September.
It departs from Praha hln. at 16:38 then calls at Brno and Breclav, it travels as one combined train to Zagreb, where it arrives at 05:17.
It then continues as one train to Oglulin where it divides in two with one part of the train arriving into Rijeka at 10:13, while the other part of the train takes the beautiful route to a Split where it arrives at 13:44.
Connections are available in Breclav with trains to and from Wien/Vienna.
The train departs on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, from Rijeka at 19:55, from Split at 15:51 and from Zagreb at 01:13, before heading on to Breclav, Brno and Praha where it arrives at 13:14.
The long-distance trains from Czechia to Poland take one of two primary routes, though its the route through Bohumin which conveys more than 90% of the journey options.
All of the express trains from Czechia to Poland travel through Bohumin while following a route from Ostrava to Katowice, though some of the day and night trains which come this way commence their journeys in Austria and Hungary.
the daytime trains to Warszawa / Warsaw and beyond
These train services comprise:
(1) Two EC trains which take a Praha/Prague – Pardubice – Olomouc – Ostrava – Katowice – Warszawa route.
(2) One EC train per day that takes a Wien/Vienna – Bréclav - Ostrava – Katowice – Warszawa – Gdansk - Sopon - Gydnia route; this train is named the 'Sobieski'.
(3) One EC train per day that takes a Graz - Wien/Vienna – Bréclav - Ostrava – Katowice – Warszawa route; this train is named the 'Polonia'.
So Warszawa has 2 x trains per day from Wien/Vienna.
(4) One train per day named the 'Bathory' which takes a Budapest – Vic - Bratislava – Bréclav - Ostrava – Katowice – Warszawa – Terespol route.
In summary Ostrava has 6 x trains per day departing for Warszawa.
the daytime trains to Cracow / Krakow and beyond
(1) One train per day that takes a Wien/Vienna – Bréclav - Ostrava – Katowice route; this train is named the 'Moravia'.
(2) Two trains per day operated by Czech national rail operator, CD, are now taking a Praha/Prague – Pardubice – Olomouc – Ostrava – Katowice – Krakow route.
The first departure of the day is named the 'Galicja' and as far as Katowice, the coaches for Krakow are attached to a train heading to Warszawa.
The second train of the day is named the 'Caracovia'.
(3) One train per day that takes a Graz - Wien/Vienna – Bréclav - Ostrava – Katowice - Krakow - Rzeszow - Przemysl route; this train is named the 'Porta Moravica' and now conveys an observation car which can be accessed by first class ticket holders.
(4) On Fridays and Sundays year round, two x trains operated by Leo Express also take a Praha/Prague – Pardubice – Olomouc – Ostrava – Katowice – Krakow route.
In summary Ostrava has up to five trains per day departing for Krakow.
The night trains
The night trains which travel via Bohumin are on these routes:
LeoExpress had introduced a two trains per week service from Praha hlvani (hl.n.) station to Wroclaw, but these trains were suspended due to the pandemic and have yet to be reinstated.
Therefore the only trains which currently travel over this border crossing are local trains from the Czech town of Lichkov; three of which per day terminate in Wroclaw.
However, travelling to Lichkov from Praha/Prague requires another change of train in Usti nad Orlici; so its a tad awkward, but it's not impossible to make this journey by train.
The trains from Czechia to Slovakia usually take one of three primary routes.
This border crossing between Breclav and Kuty is used by trains heading from Czechia to Bratislava and on into Hungary, the services which travel this way are:
(1) Six EC trains per day which take this route: Praha/Prague – Pardubice – Brno* – Bréclav – Bratislava – Vac – Budapest
One of these trains commences its journey in Hamburg and also calls at Berlin – Bad Schandau – Dresden – Decin .
*An additional morning train commences its journey in Brno.
(2) Two daily Regiojet trains, which compete with those EC trains on the Praha/Prague – Pardubice – Brno – Bréclav – Bratislava – Vac – Budapest route.
(3) Three other Regiojet trains per day which take this route as far as the Slovakian capital Praha/Prague – Pardubice – Brno – Bréclav – Bratislava
(4) One x EC train per day which takes this route: Terespol - Warszawa – Katowice – Ostrava - Bréclav – Bratislava – Vac – Budapest.
So this train, which is named the 'Bathory' provides a daily direct service from Ostrava to Budapest.
(5) The Euronight train from Prague/Praha to Budapest.
(6) The Nightjet train from Berlin to Budapest via Ostrava
This border crossing through Cadca station is used by trains heading from Czechia to Zilina and Kosice and rival train operators compete on this route:
Praha/Prague – Pardubice – Olomouc – Ostrava – Cesky Tésin – Cadca – Zilina – Poprad Tatry – Kosice
The train service from Praha to Kosice is split between:
(1) One SuperCity* train per day operated by the Czech national rail operator, CD
(2) One train per day operated by LeoExpress
(3) One train per day operated by Regiojet
(4) Three regional trains per day which commence their journeys in Ostrava and travel as far as Zilina
*= Rail pass users will need to make reservations prior to boarding these trains.
Rail passes are also now accepted on the Regiojet and Leo Express trains.
CD also operates 5 x EC trains per day from Praha/Prague to Puchov, the final train of the day continues beyond Puchov to Zilina, but the other four services all connect in Puchov with trains on to Zilina.
I wanted to share my passion for train travel and explain how anyone can take the fantastic journeys I have taken.
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.
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