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The ten best 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.

The ten best 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 we head into 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.


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).


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.


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.


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.


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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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.


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.


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.


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.


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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For members


EXPLAINED: How does Austria’s Klimaticket work?

With summer around the corner 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.

EXPLAINED: How does Austria’s Klimaticket work?

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.

READ ALSO: Five of the best weekend getaways from Vienna

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.

READ ALSO: The ten best destinations by direct night train from Austria

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.

READ ALSO: 365 Ticket: Everything you need to know about Vienna’s cheap annual metro pass