Detours on the Salzburg-Vienna Train Line

Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic - Suzanne Swartz

Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic – Suzanne Swartz

When traveling from Salzburg to Vienna or vice versa, take some time to see what other fantastic tourist destinations Austria and the surrounding area have to offer.

Small towns and cities dot the Austrian countryside off of one of the main train lines, and are well worth an afternoon or full day trip. Here are a few possibilities when you catch regional train connections from the stops on the Vienna-Salzburg line.

Take a Train to Steyr

This beautiful small city southeast of Linz is well worth a day trip. It’s best if you pick a day when the sun is shining, otherwise your options may be limited, as most of what Steyr has to offer lies in its charming town center and scenic paths along its two rivers. To get there, connect at St. Valentin if your train will be stopping there; the train ride is about twenty-five minutes. Otherwise, hop off at Linz; from there, Steyr is forty-five minutes to an hour.

The Regional Line to Bad Ischl

If you’re coming from Vienna, get off the train at Attnang-Puchheim to get to this resort town once popular with the Habsburgs. Connections are just about every hour and the regional train ride is, like Linz-Steyr, 45 minutes to an hour. If you’re starting in Salzburg, there’s a direct bus to Bad Ischl, so there’s no need to take the train.

Krems in the Wachau

Reachable via St. Valentin or Amstetten, this town is approximately an hour from Vienna and is located in the beautiful green, hilly Wachau region. Also in this area are Melk Abbey and the tiny village of Dürnstein.

Gmunden in the Salzkammergut Region

With the mountain Traunstein towering over Gmunden, there is plenty of scenery to take in around this lakeside town. Schloss Ort, a castle on the lake, often has museum exhibitions, and the town itself boasts a promenade perfect for a stroll on a sunny day. There are direct buses to Gmunden from Vöcklabruck. It’s also possible to reach the town from Linz or from Attnang-Puchheim.

North of the Border from Linz

The Czech city of Ceske Budejovice, known in German as Budweis, is the home of the original Budweiser beer. After jumping off of your train from Linz (either direct or with one connection at the border), head to the brewery or stroll around the attractive city center, complete with a massive town square and a wide selection of shops and cafes. From Budweis, you can catch a regional Czech train to the quaint town of Cesky Krumlov.

Other Places to Consider

  • From Linz, it’s possible to connect to trains heading for most other Austrian cities, like Graz.
  • Mauthausen concentration camp is located in the small town of Mauthausen, a short regional train ride from St. Valentin.
  • From Wien Hütteldorf, you can take a regional train down to the province of Burgenland, home of Lake Neusiedl.
  • From Vienna, you can take a train over the border to Bratislava, Slovakia.

For more information about destination possibilities, see the Austrian rail system, the ÖBB’s, website. With such an intricate and efficient train network, there is a long list of places to visit; the only trick is finding enough time to see it all!

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