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EXPLAINED: How does Austria’s Klimaticket work?

Aaron Burnett
Aaron Burnett - [email protected]
EXPLAINED: How does Austria’s Klimaticket work?
An ÖBB train in the Austrian city of Innsbruck. Image: Pixlr

With summer and vacation planning in full swing, does it make sense to buy Austria’s 'Climate Ticket' for trips within the country? We explain the different types of ticket, and how they can save you money.


Austria’s Klimaticket for affordable public transport recently came in third overall in Greenpeace’s Europe-wide ranking of environmentally-focused public transport tickets – being praised for saving bearers money and encouraging people to trade their cars for public transport trips.

At a maximum cost of €1,095 per year for a ticket that covers nearly all public transport nationwide, with a bit of planning, it could come in handy for the upcoming summer travel season – depending on what your plans are.

When do I need to purchase the ticket?

When it comes to Austria’s Klimaticket, a bit of advanced preparation is not only a good idea – it’s absolutely necessary. That’s because if you purchase it online, your ticket will only be valid a minimum of 15 days after your purchase date.

You can avoid this waiting period if you go directly into a service centre – either for national rail operator ÖBB or at your local or regional operator. You’ll obviously have to plan a trip in, but if you buy it in person, you can avoid the waiting time that comes with an online purchase.

In either case, you can only buy the ticket a maximum of one month before it’s supposed to become valid. So if you’re looking to have the ticket ready in time for summer holidays starting July 1st, think about marking your calendar to make your purchase on June 1st.

To buy it, you’ll need a valid ID to prove your age and a photo.

READ ALSO: What are your rights if your trips is delayed of cancelled in Austria?

Is it definitely €1,095 per year? Or are there cheaper options?

The top price of €1,095 a year works out to €3 a day or about €35 a month. That’s a lot less than most European public transport – which is one of the reasons Greenpeace scored Austria’s Klimaticket so highly.

But there’s still ways to get a better deal. The first is by checking to see if you qualify for a reduced rate. The second is to check and see if regional options suffice as opposed to a nationwide option.

First up, travellers who are 25 years of age or younger – or travellers who are 65 or older, can get the KlimaTicket for an annual rate of €821, or almost €200 cheaper. This discount also applies for disabled people who can present appropriate documentation.

If you’ve bought a valid KlimaTicket, you can also purchase an additional Family Ticket add-on for another €110 a year. If you do this, you’ll be able to take up to four kids with you between the ages of six and fifteen.

A Nighjet train from Vienna (Austria) to Venice (Italy) of the Austrian Federal Railways (OeBB).

A Nighjet train from Vienna (Austria) to Venice (Italy) of the Austrian Federal Railways (OeBB). You can use the day coach on Nightjet trains on Austria's KlimaTicket, and pay an extra fee to reserve a sleeper. You can also pay less for a foreign journey, as you'll only have to pay for the non-Austrian leg of your trip. (Photo by ALEX HALADA / AFP)

If you don’t think you need the nationwide KlimaTicket, you can also purchase a regional ticket directly from your local or regional public transport provider, rather than the national ÖBB.


These have varying characteristics in terms of price and perks. The standard Salzburg KlimaTicket costs €365 a year and is valid across the entire region – but not nationwide. Discounted tickets are €274. Carinthia’s meanwhile, costs €399 for a standard ticket and €299 for youth or senior tickets. Styria’s, meanwhile, will set you back €468 for a standard ticket and €351 for a reduced one.

Upper Austria has some of the most confusing and expensive regional offers. €365 there will get you a standard KlimaTicket, but it will exclude public transport in Linz, Wels, and Steyr. If you need those cities as well, you’ll pay more – up to a maximum of €550 for an Upper Austria KlimaTicket that includes all three of those cities.

At the top of the regional tickets is VOR, where you can get a KlimaTicket valid across the entire capital regions of Vienna, Lower Austria, and Burgenland. That’ll set you back about €860 a year – only a little less than a nationwide ticket – so you’ll have to consider what options work best for your travel plans.

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Can I pay monthly, yearly, or cancel my KlimaTicket at anytime?

You can choose to pay for your KlimaTicket for a year all at once, or request a monthly debit. If you opt for the monthly option, you’ll be billed for the first two months at once, with the remaining payments taken out every month from the third month.

You can cancel your KlimaTicket but only once you enter the seventh month of its validity, so you’ll be committing for a while. If you do, you’ll be charged a cancellation fee equivalent to one monthly fee. If you paid for a year, you’ll only get credit for the full months you didn’t use after cancelling.

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Where is the KlimaTicket valid and where not?

The ticket is valid for nearly all public transport across Austria. You can even travel on long-distance ÖBB trains and the day coaches of Nightjet trains. If you book a sleeper cabin, you just have to pay the cost of reserving the cabin. The base fare is still covered by the KlimaTicket. If you take an international journey, you only have to pay extra for the non-Austrian part of your journey. The KlimaTicket doesn’t cover first class, although you can get a seat there by just paying the reservation charge. The base fare is, again, covered by your KlimaTicket.

Certain regional services aren’t covered by the KlimaTicket, and you’ll need to pay extra to use those.

In Vienna, these include the 6011 bus and Vienna Airport Lines, for example. Most night buses are covered, but night services aren’t covered in Styria and Salzburg – for example.

You can find a helpful map, telling you what’s exempt by region here.

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