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Five European cities you can reach from Austria in less than five hours by train

Austria is located right at the centre of the European continent, and its extensive rail network can get you to many beautiful cities in just a few hours. Here's five to help you plan your trip.

austria train ebb
Austria's ÖBB train with scenery views (© ÖBB/Philipp Horak)

Summer is almost upon us and with Covid-19 levels at manageable levels for the first summer in three years, people in Austria as elsewhere are looking to travel again.

Austria may be landlocked but has some beautiful spots for swimming that are definitely worth at least a short trip over the warmer months.

READ ALSO: Austria home to the ‘best bathing waters’ in Europe, new ranking claims

Many villages and destinations can also be visited on a day trip from Vienna. But if you want to go further, and see different cities in Europe, then a train ride might be just the option – especially given the problems around European airports this year.

Trains are becoming more popular form of transport, especially among those looking for a convenient and greener way of travelling.

It may not be as cheap and quick as some low-cost flights, but travelling by train also has its advantages, such as enjoying the incredible view (especially in and around Austria), being able to work and have internet and phone access, and leaving from and arriving at city centres, instead of far away airports.

READ ALSO: IN PICTURES: Inside Austria’s Europe-wide’ night train of the future’

Even more, train travelling has become cheaper and faster in the last few years. In a country with an extensive railroad system and surrounded by beautiful lands, train travelling becomes even more attractive.

Here are some suggestions if you are looking for great summer (or any season, really) destinations from Austria by train.

Budapest Hungary

Budapest can be reached in just a few hours from Vienna (Photo by Anna Hunko on Unsplash)

From Vienna to Budapest, Hungary

Looking for a city destination with plenty of music festivals, cultural events, parks, and beautiful sightseeing opportunities? A train leaving Vienna’s central station will get you to Hungary’s enchanting capital in just about 2 hours 40 minutes.

Prices vary, but tickets can be found at as little as € 24.90 for the one way on a Friday.

Prague, in the Czech Republic, is also one of the beautiful destinations from Vienna (Photo by Alice on Unsplash)

From Vienna to Prague, Czech Republic

A train from the central station of Vienna will get you to historical and lively Prague in 4hours and 40 minutes, for under € 40, depending on the day – even cheaper if you don’t mind changing trains during the trip.

Prague is a great city to visit, cheaper for tourists than other European capitals. It offers plenty of activities for people of all ages.

Zagreb croatia

Zagreb, and the surrounding attractions, make for a lovely family trip (Photo by Tuba Mert on Unsplash)

From Graz to Zagreb, Croatia

How about a visit to the stunning Plitvice lakes in Croatia? From Zagreb, driving to the beautiful Dalmatian coast, and dropping by the lakes to enjoy your summer by the Adriatic Sea is easy.

A direct train leaves from Graz’s central station and arrives in the centre of Croatia’s capital about 3hours 50mins hours later. Tickets can be found for € 29,90 on the ÖBB website.

Munich germany

Munich is also a great and popular destination for people living in Austria (Photo by Sergey Mind on Unsplash)

From Salzburg to Munich, Germany

This is a very popular trip since both cities are relatively close, and trains back and forth drive often. You can get on board at Salzburg’s main station and arrive in Munich less than two hours later for just over € 30.

Munich is a major touristic destination, and summer is filled with events, festivals and cultural offers.

Lovely Zurich is a perfect summer destination just a few hours from Innsbruck. Photo: Pixabay

From Innsbruck to Zurich, Switzerland

Austria’s neighbour by the Alps is also known for its beautiful lakes. It is just the perfect scenery for a nice summer trip with friends and family. From Innsbruck, the ride is relatively short by train, just about three and half hours. A ticket can be found for € 39,90 on a direct train – you can also venture a trip with four changes that will still get you there in less than five hours but cost € 14.30.

If you want to go on even further, many destinations can be reached after longer trips of six, seven, or eight hours. Austria’s rail operator ÖBB also offers a series of night trains that can get you almost anywhere from Split to Amsterdam.

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Five things to do in Vienna this weekend

Vienna is full of events, places to visit and great new restaurants to try out. If you are overwhelmed with the possibilities or just wondering where you can find a cool event only the locals know of, here are some ideas.

Five things to do in Vienna this weekend

Haus des Meeres

Since it looks like we are heading for a rainy weekend in Vienna, it’s a good idea to check out some interesting indoor places. If you haven’t visited Austria’s aquarium in Vienna 6th district, the weekend is a great time to do so.

The aquarium has several areas, including a crocodile park, a tropical house with free-flying birds and monkeys going up and down, and loads of animals in different tanks. The top floor has a roof terrace and a bar with beautiful views of Vienna.

Here you can find more information.

Free beginner Forró class

How about learning a typical Brazilian dance called Forró? This Saturday, August 20th, from 8 pm to 9 pm, there will be a free beginner course at Jo&Joe Hostel in Vienna’s 15th district.

After the class, DJ Serginho will bring some Latin Vibes music to spice up your evening. The beginners class is free, but you should register beforehand – and wear proper clothes and shoes to dance away during the night.

Here you can find more information.


While the weather is still lovely and hot, of course, ice cream parlours are very popular in Vienna. One of the most famous is the vegan shop Veganista, founded by two sisters and with several branches in the city.

Besides being vegan, the ice cream is made with no paste or ice powder mixtures, artificial additives or flavourings. The ice cream is delicious and popular even with non-vegans.

Here you can find more information.

Vienna Classic Days 2022

Every year, old and classic cars parade on the Vienna Ringstrasse, turning the city’s centre into a moving museum. They drive from the Donaupart through Viennese suburbs and the Vienna Woods, then through the first district until Wien Mitte and, this year, around 250 old vehicles are expected.

The drive starts at 9 am on Saturday, but the parade through the first district should be at 3:30 pm and the great drive on Vienna’s Ringstrasse starts at around 5:30 pm. A similar but shorter route is also happening between 10 am and 1 pm on Sunday.

Here you can find more information.

Neustifter Kirtag 2022

The end of summer, just before the start of school, is when several traditional events called Kirtage (kermesse) take place. This weekend, one of the most traditional, with people dressing up in Lederhosen and Dirndl and enjoying a wine fair, is happening in the 19th district.

The Neustifter Kirtag has free entrance and is back after being cancelled during the coronavirus pandemic. A very quintessential Austrian event, there are processions, food and beverage for the entire family from Friday (19th) to Monday (22nd).

Here you can find more information.

Do you know any other cool events happening in Vienna during the weekends? You can email us at [email protected] to share your tips and suggestions.