Train Tour Around Austria
Austria is known for its dramatic landscapes and fascinating culture, but there is plenty more to be seen from this astounding country. You will also have the chance to try some incredible dishes and delectable wine. Pass through mountain ranges and luscious green fields, enjoy a classical music concert or feast on plates of Käsespätzle, drink a coffee on a Hallstatt lake, or enjoy the thermal hot springs of Bad Gastein, this Austria itinerary has something for everyone.
Price Range: $$$
Recommended Days: 14 Days
Riding Hours: Approx. 22 hr
Distance: 868 km
Vienna: The Musical City
Vienna is famous for classical music and opera, but it is also home to fascinating architecture, from palaces, art galleries, and museums. Vienna is a city not to be missed on any itinerary. For some exquisite baroque architecture and also to enjoy a bit of the history, check out the Belvedere Palace. This UNESCO World Heritage site holds the largest collection of Gustav Klimt’s paintings, formal gardens, and fountains which create a magnificent sight to see.
Classical music and opera are an integral part of the Viennese culture. The Golden Hall is one of the most respected concert halls in the whole of the country. When you step through the doors, you will be able to witness the sounds of Mozart and Strauss performed by the Vienna Mozart Orchestra. Or you listen to a two-hour concert from international opera singers.
Vienna is also host to many historic coffee houses where they celebrate their history today with offered newspapers and card games. Looking for a museum? Take a step back in time by heading to the Natural History Museum.
Wien Franz-Josefs-Bahnhof → Krems An Der Donau | Duration: 1:11h | Transfers: 1
There are several connections every hour throughout the day leaving to Krems. Book your tickets online with Omio. Along part of the journey, the train hugs the Donau River, and passes quaint Austrian villages.
Krems: Stop And Wine A Bit
The valley of Wachau is famous for its wine and the Danube River running right through it. The valley is full of delicious wonders to be explored, such as Krems with its traditional architecture. Head to the Old Town where you will find the only remaining gate from the city walls that once surrounded it.
Aggstein Castle is a sight not to be missed during your trip to the Wachau area. Set atop a cliff face, it has been restored into its gothic beauty and looks out across the valley and river below. Within the castle walls, you can visit a museum showcasing the history of the beautiful castle. There is also a tavern to be enjoyed for food and drink.
The Wachau Valley is also home to a variety of vineyards that are well worth a visit. Head to the terraced vineyard of Loibenberg. It has a variety of soil types to grow some of the freshest grapes within the area. Here you will find a variety of Rieslings that are precise and cool to enjoy. Kellerbeg is hidden behind the scenic village of Dürnstein and has terraces facing the Danube so that you can enjoy a tipple with a view. Another vineyard that is famous for its Rieslings. You will find some harmonious pairings of fruit and spice within these bottles.
Krems an der Donau → Linz Hbf | Duration: 1:25-2:14h | Transfers: 1
There are several indirect connections throughout the day to Linz, with an easy transfer in St. Pölten. The options range from 1:25h to 2:14h in the length of time and there is a difference in prices throughout the day. Make sure to check on Omio to see if the shorter or longer train journey is a better deal.
Linz: Culture Capital
In 2009, Linz was titled the European Capital of Culture due to its promotion of cultural heritage. You will find that traditions are of great importance within the city. But it is not afraid to combine tradition with innovation. You will find classic music and modern art. As well as some impressive Austrian architecture that is sure to take your breath away.
One thing that is great about the city of Linz is that a lot of the rooftops are open to the public. So why not take a walk along the rooftops? Artists from all around show exhibitions atop the delicate rooftops to showcase their spectacular art against a magnificent landscape. These interactive exhibitions are well worth a visit.
Austria is known for some delicious cuisine, and you should not miss out on trying the Linzer Torte. You will find this delectable pastry at the K & K Hofbäckerei. The oldest and most traditional bakery in all of Linz. The Linzer Torte is a family secret, but you will be sure to taste nuts and jam layered throughout. Another great activity to enjoy in Linz would be the many vintage boutiques that line the streets. You will find diverse offerings within the boutiques, and maybe even uncover some unique treasures in the forms of furniture, jewelry, and designer clothing.
Linz Hbf → Hallstatt | Duration: 2:00 h | Transfers: 1
There are multiple options throughout the day to get to Hallstatt. There is a direct train five times throughout the day (2:04h). Or there are other several indirect trains with a short transfer in Attnang-Puchheim (1:52-2:26h). Buy these tikets from ÖBB.
Hallstatt: Austrian Beauty
Overlooking the beautiful Lake Hallstatt is the popular destination town of Hallstatt. A functioning lakeside town with under 1000 residents. You will be able to explore glorious surroundings and plenty of architecture within this wonderful town.
The Kalvarienberg Church is a colorful masterpiece of baroque architecture. It was donated by a childless married couple for people to have somewhere to pray. It stands out among the rest of the street and is an interesting sight to see. Market Square is right in the center of Hallstatt and is home to a variety of buildings and a statue of the Holy Trinity. Around the square, you will find restaurants, souvenir shops, bars, and cafes.
For a bit more history on the area, head to the Hallstatt Salt Mine. It was used to be one of the most important locations for mining within the region. The Salt Mine is no longer in use, but instead is a tourist attraction that shows the history of the mines and the life of the miners.
Hallstatt → Zell am See | Duration: 4:12 h | Transfers: 1-2
There are no direct connections to Zell am See but with 1-2 easy transfers, you’ll be there in no time! There is an option to take the train from Hallstatt to Stainach-Irdning and wait for around 1:23h before catching another train to Zell am See (total time 4:14h), or take the train from Hallstatt to Attnang-Puchheim, change to a train to go to Salzburg, then transfer again to go to Zell am See (total time 4:12h). Book your tickets online on Omio.
Zell am See: Outdoor Lover’s Paradise
Zell Am See is a hidden beauty to many travelers, but it is a magical wonder that is well worth a stop on our Austria itinerary. Here you will find mountains, glaciers, lakes, forests, and a charming town. For a picturesque Austrian fairytale location, there is none other like Zell Am See.
If hiking is something that excites you, why not try climbing to the top of Kitzsteinhorn. Just 20 minutes outside of Zell Am See. It is a mixture of a mountain and a glacier and is home to some fantastic sights of the region. And if you don’t feel like hiking it, why not try skiing or snowboarding down it. There is also a viewing platform so that you can overlook the incredible mountain range.
As it can get quite chilly being surrounded by mountains, warm yourself up with some Austrian mac n’ cheese, also known as Käsespätzle. It looks, smells, and tastes so good that you will want several more helpings. If mountaineering isn’t really your speed, you can head down to Lake Zell and enjoy some water sports. Climb aboard a paddleboard and try to stay afloat or relax on a boat as you go out sailing.
Zell am See → Bad Gastein | Duration: 1:26-1:59 h | Transfers: 1
There are several options throughout the day to get to Bad Gastein. Take a train from Zell Am See Bahnhof to Schwarzach-St.Veit where you will have to wait 20-45 minutes and then catch the train to Bad Gastein. Book your tickets on Omio.
Bad Gastein: Thermal Therapy
The old town of Bad Gastein is impressive, not only for its mountain scenery but also for its wondrous hot springs. During the winter, it is a great sport for skiing but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of opportunities for excitement during the summer.
Head up into the mountains among some of the most exquisite hiking trails. Grab a guide and go out on hiking tours to the Gamskarkogel. There you will see panoramic views and maybe even an impressive sunset break across the mountains.
Are you a bit of a foodie and want to try some famous Austrian bites? Head to a traditional Brettljause where you can eat sausages, cheese, and more among the mountains.
Are you looking for something a bit more relaxing, maybe a bit more healing? Then head to one of the many spas and hotels that make use of the thermal hot springs in the area. With temperatures as high as 46° Celsius, you will be able to absorb the natural minerals and activate the body’s self-healing powers.
Bad Gastein → Villach Hbf | Duration: 1:01 h | Transfers: 0
There are eight direct connections throughout the day to Villach. In just one hour, the train hugs the Drau River and passes amongst the mountainous region. Book your tickets on ÖBB.
Villach: Monkey Business
Often an unknown town within Austria, it was once a Roman town with an abundance of nature, history, and culture. Running beside the town is the beautiful River Drau which you can walk along. You can head to the gardens filled with tulips, take a colorful trail to a waterfall, or maybe even hit the slopes during the winter.
One stop on your list of must-visit attractions in Villach has to be Landskron Castle. You climb the scenic walk to reach the castle where you will see medieval fortress walls in ruin. And if you are lucky you may even get to see the eagles and birds of prey that call this castle home flying about as you look out at the breathtaking views.
If you have always wanted to see Japanese macaque in a natural environment, then look no further than Monkey Mountain, also known as Affenburg. The monkeys live within large enclosures that are surrounded by trees, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t be willing to come over and say hi. If you head over during the summer, you may even see them frolicking in the water and enjoying a swim.
Villach Hbf → Graz Hbf | Duration: 3:16 h | Transfers: 1
There are eight indirect connections throughout the day to Graz, with a short transfer in Leoben or Bruck/Mur Bahnhof depending on which connection you choose. The connections range from 3:08h to 3:49h in the length of time. Make sure to check on Omio for the train schedule and to book your tickets there.
Graz: Markets, Markets Everywhere!
Graz, is the second-largest city in Austria. It is a preserved historical area in Europe and is home to universities, museums, many culture-fille activities, and plenty to be explored. The Altstadt von Graz is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to medieval and Italian Renaissance buildings. Here you will find the town hall, storefronts, charming cafes, and during the winter a local Christmas market.
If you want to explore an authentic Austrian market, heat to the Kaiser-Josef-Platz Market that is located in the market square. Here you will find organic food and a variety of Austrian delicacies.
An architectural wonder of the city has to be the Eggenberg Palace that is located at the edge of the city center. You can wander through the medieval castle, or even take a walk through the gardens with roaming peacocks and interesting structures.
There are direct connections leaving hourly to Vienna (2:36h). From there you can end your trip or head to another place by train! Explore Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Germany, or even Switzerland all by train. That’s the amzing thing about Europe and train travel, you can get just about anywhere!
*Disclaimer: Due to the fluidity of transportation schedules, the information seen on RailwayHero may not be up to date at the time of readíng. Always double-check with the operator for the latest information.