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TRANSPORT

Ten destinations by direct night train from Austria

Want to explore Austria’s neighbouring countries? Then consider travelling by night train to some of Europe’s most exciting destinations.

Ten destinations by direct night train from Austria
Travellers no longer need to show a 3G proof to enter Austria. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)

The return of the night train in Europe has been a welcome development for many people that like to travel but are concerned about the impact of flying on the environment.

Plus, with Austria’s convenient Central European location, there are currently around 30 night train routes in every direction out of the country and from several different Austrian cities. 

As Covid-19 travel restrictions across the continent start to relax and we edge closer to spring, here are ten European cities that can be reached by night train from Austria.

The timetables and ticket prices mentioned in this article were correct at the time of writing but could change. All ticket prices are for a one-way journey.

Berlin

The Nightjet overnight service by ÖBB (Austria’s national railway system) has a direct route from Vienna to Berlin in Germany. The service takes around 12 hours departing from Vienna Central Station (Hauptbahnhof) at 10.10pm, arriving in Berlin at around 10am the next morning.

The train travels north east out of Vienna to the border with Slovakia and the Czech Republic, before transiting through Poland and into Germany.

Ticket prices range from €90 for a Sitzwagen (a seated carriage) to €140 for a Schlafwagen (sleeping carriage).

Paris

From Vienna, travellers can reach Paris Gare de l’Est train station in 14 hours with the Nightjet. The service runs on Monday, Thursday and Saturday at 7.40pm and ticket prices range from €110 to €195.

This route travels west out of Vienna and stops at Wien Meidling, St. Pölten, Linz and Salzburg before crossing into Germany.

Rome

The Nightjet runs daily from Vienna to Rome with stops at Wien Meidling, Wiener Neustadt, Bruck, Leoban, Knittelfeld, Friesach, Klagenfurt and Villach. The train leaves Vienna at 7.23pm and arrives in Rome at 9.10am.

Ticket prices start at €40 for a seat and go up to €130 for a sleeping carriage.

ÖBB also runs a Nightjet service from Munich to Rome that picks up passengers in Salzburg at 10.02pm and arrives in Rome at 9.10am. Ticket prices for this route range from €70 to €150.

A woman walks her dog past the Colosseum in Rome on May 8, 2020.

Rome can be reached by night train from Vienna and Salzburg. Photo by: Alberto Pizzoli / AFP.

Zurich

The ÖBB Nightjet service to Zurich in Switzerland operates daily, leaving Vienna at 9.27pm and arriving in Zurich at 8.20am the next morning. Ticket prices range from €45 to €140.

This service stops at several other train stations in Austria, including Wien Meidling, St. Pölten, Amstetten, Linz, Wels, Attnang-Puchheim, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Landeck-Zams, Bludenz and Feldkirch.

Alternatively, Magyar Államvasutak (MÁV) – Hungary’s national rail operator – runs an overnight service between Vienna and Zurich, which leaves Vienna at 11.27pm and arrives in Zurich at 8.20am. There are no sleeping carriages on this route and ticket prices start at €50.

Similarly, a Nightjet service runs daily from Graz Central Station to Zurich. The train leaves Graz at 10.26pm and arrives in Zurich at 9.20am. This route includes the option to load a car or motorbike on the train between Graz and Feldkirch from €39.90.

Brussels

Overnight train services operate between Vienna and Brussels Midi (the main train station in Brussels) on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. The train leaves Vienna at 8.13pm and arrives in Brussels at 9.54am, stopping at Brussels Nord seven minutes earlier.

Before leaving Austria, the service stops at Wien Meidling, St. Pölten, Linz and Wels. The train then travels through Germany before reaching Brussels.

Ticket prices start at €70 and go up to €160.

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Ljubljana

The Nightjet train service from Salzburg Central Station to Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital city, is operated by HŽ Putničkim prijevozom, Croatia’s national rail operator. The final destination is Zagreb in Croatia.

Trains between Salzburg and Ljubljana run daily, setting off from Munich, and the service stops at Schwarzach-St.Veit and Villach before crossing into Slovenia. It leaves Salzburg at 1.40am and arrives at Ljubljana at 6.20am. 

Ticket prices start at €19.90 for a seated carriage. There are no reclining or sleeper carriages on this route.

Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana is just five hours from Salzburg by night train. Photo by: Blaž Gostinčar / Pexels.

Amsterdam

From Kufstein in Tyrol, travellers can take the Nightjet service to Amsterdam in the Netherlands. The train leaves Innsbruck at 8.44pm and stops in Kufstein at 9.35pm before crossing into Germany. It arrives in Amsterdam at 9.59am.

Additionally, a daily Nightjet service leaves Vienna at 8.13pm and arrives in Amsterdam at 9.59am. This route stops at Wien Meidling, St. Pölten, Linz and Wels.

Ticket prices range from €100 to €170.

Split

From June 3rd to September 23, a Nightjet service connecting Vienna and Split in Croatia will operate on Tuesday and Friday, including vehicle transportation. Travellers in Austria can also board the train at Wien Meidling, Wiener Neustadt, Bruck/Mur and Graz.

The route is operated by Slovenske železnice (Slovenian Railways) and offers both seating and sleeper carriages. Ticket prices range from €40 to €120.

Hamburg

Overnight trains between Vienna and Hamburg run daily. The service departs Vienna at 8.13pm and arrives at Hamburg Central Station at 8.50am. The route stops at Wien Meidling, St. Pölten, Linz and Wels before crossing into Germany.

This service offers seating, reclining and sleeper carriages with ticket prices ranging from €80 to €180.

Krakow

A daily Nightjet service runs between Vienna and Krakow in Poland, leaving Vienna Central Station at 10.10pm and arriving in Krakow at 5.46am. Vienna is the only stop in Austria for this route.

The service is operated by Polskie Koleje Państwowe (Polish State Railways). Ticket prices start at €49 and go up to €84.

Essential German words for train travel

Hauptbahnhof – main train station

Zug – train

Sitzwagen – seated carriage

Schlafwagen – sleeping carriage 

Liegewagen – reclining (chair) carriage

Einzelfahrschein – one-way ticket

Rückfahrschein – return ticket

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CRIME

EXPLAINED: What to do if you experience online abuse in Austria

Following the suicide of an Austrian doctor who received threats from Covid-19 anti-vaccination activists, the government has now launched a new campaign to help victims of online abuse.

EXPLAINED: What to do if you experience online abuse in Austria

The Austrian medical community was left in shock in July when Lisa-Maria Kellermayr, a local doctor in Seewalchen am Attersee in Upper Austria, took her own life following months of online abuse.

Kellermayr, 36, had been targeted by anti-vaccination activists and Covid-19 conspiracy theorists for her out-spoken support of vaccines, and the abuse even included death threats. 

Her death prompted candlelight vigils and demonstrations in Vienna and the tragic story was picked up by news outlets around the world.

READ MORE: How Austria’s attempt to make vaccines mandatory changed the country

This led to calls for tighter laws against online bullying and the ability for perpetrators to be prosecuted in other EU countries – particularly as at least two of the people who are believed to have targeted Kellermayr are based in Germany, according to the Guardian.

The Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) has even called for the creation of a special public prosecutor’s office to deal with “hate-on-the-net”, but this has been rejected by prosecutors and other political parties, as reported by ORF.

Instead, the Federal Justice Department has launched a new information campaign, website and hotline to help people dealing with online abuse.

FOR MEMBERS: What happens if you get arrested in Austria?

What is in the new campaign?

Austria’s Justice Minister Alma Zadic (Greens) said they have launched the campaign to raise awareness about the issue and to inform victims about the support available.

Zadic said: “It is important to me that those affected know that they are not alone in this situation and that the judiciary supports them with free psychological and legal process support.”

“You don’t have to cope alone with the extraordinary burdens that criminal proceedings can entail, for example through confrontation with the perpetrators.”

READ ALSO: Austria in shock over doctor’s suicide following anti-vax abuse

Part of the support package is the new website Hilfe bei Gewalt (Help with Violence), which details how to access help from the authorities, as well as secure free legal advice and representation from a lawyer.

The website states the service is for victims of bullying and/or hate online, defamation, stalking, terrorism, incitement, sexual violence and robbery.

The service is designed to be anonymous with options to contact the Justice Department by phone or via a chat box. The website also lists contact details for regional support services in all provinces across Austria. 

The free (kostenlos) hotline for Hilfe bei Gewalt is 0800 112 112.

Useful links

Hilfe bei Gewalt

Austrian Federal Justice Department

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