City of Salzburg, Austria - travel from the UK by train!

UK to Austria without flying:  City of Salzburg.

 

 

London to Austria by train in a day!

It's easy to travel from the UK to Austria by train.  You can travel from London to Vienna, Salzburg or Innsbruck in a day by high-speed train.  Or take an afternoon Eurostar from London to Brussels or Paris from £78 return and the excellent Nightjet sleeper train from Brussels or Paris to Salzburg & Vienna from €59 each way with couchette.  How about the scenic route through Switzerland?  London to Paris by afternoon Eurostar in 2h20 and an evening TGV-Lyria onwards to Zurich in 4h05, stay overnight, then take a morning railjet train from Zurich to Innsbruck, Salzburg or Vienna through the fabulous Arlberg Pass.  It's comfortable, affordable and much better for the environment than any flight.  This page explains train times, fares & how to buy tickets.

small bullet point  London to Linz & Vienna

small bullet point  London to Salzburg

small bullet point  London to Innsbruck, St Anton, Kitzbühel & Tirol

small bullet point  London to Graz

small bullet point  London to Hallstatt, Villach, Klagenfurt

small bullet point  London to Austria via the Harwich-Hoek ferry

small bullet point  UK to Austria by ferry from Newcastle or Hull

small bullet point  Starting from other UK towns & cities

Train travel within Austria

small bullet point  Train travel in Austria

International trains to & from Austria

small bullet point  Which station in Vienna?

small bullet point  Trains from Vienna to other European cities

small bullet point  Trains from Salzburg to other European cities

small bullet point  Trains from Innsbruck to other European cities

small bullet point  Trains from other European cities to Austria

Useful travel information

small bullet point  Useful country information: currency, dial code...

small bullet point  Hotel recommendations in Vienna & Salzburg

small bullet point  Holidays & tours to Austria by train

small bullet point  General European train travel information

small bullet point  Child age limits & travel with kids

small bullet point  Luggage on trains   Left luggage at stations

small bullet point  Taking your bike  -  Taking your dog

small bullet point  Insurance, mobile data, VPN & other tips

small bullet point  ÖBB first class lounges

small bullet point  Vienna Hbf station guide

small bullet point  Salzburg station guide

small bullet point  Innsbruck Hbf station guide

Interactive map

Click a route or destination for times, fares & tickets.

Route map, London to Austria by train

Useful country information

Train operator

in Austria:

ÖBB (Österreichische Bundesbahnen) - for train times & fares in Austria, see www.oebb.at Eurostar times & fares.  All-Europe online train times.

 

Railpasses:

Beginner's guide to European railpasses   Buy a rail pass online

Time zone:

GMT+1 (GMT+2 from last Sunday in March to last Saturday in October).

Dialling code:

+43

Currency:

£1 = approx 1.15 euros  Check current exchange rates

Tourist information:

www.austria-tourism.at   Vienna U-bahn (Underground)   Guidebooks

Hotels & tours:

Find hotels in Austria    Hotel reviews: www.tripadvisor.com

Page last updated: 

18 June 2024.  Train times valid 10 December 2023 to 14 December 2024


London to Linz & Vienna

Which route to choose?

Which option is cheapest?  You have to go online and see, because each option involves several tickets and the price of each ticket varies like an air fare.  However, the London-Vienna in a day option is usually cheapest as no sleepers or hotels are involved.  At short notice, the Harwich ferry option may be cheaper than Eurostar.

Can you go out one way, back another?  Yes!  Almost all European train fares are priced as one-way, so you can book one-way out on one route and one-way back on another.  Eurostar is the exception where a return fare is cheaper than two one-ways, so book London-Paris or London-Brussels as a round trip if you can.

Can you stop off?  Of course!  Simply book trains either side of the stopover on whatever dates you want.  Each part of these journeys is ticketed separately in any case (for example, the Eurostar and the sleeper train), so it's no problem to stop off on the way in (for example) Paris or Brussels.

What if you're not starting from London?  See this advice about starting your journey from elsewhere in the UK.


Option 1, London to Vienna in a day

  High-speed ICE3 train from Brussels to Frankfurt
 

An ICE to Frankfurt at Brussels Midi.  More photos & information about ICE trains.

Thanks to Europe's high-speed trains, it's possible to travel from London to Vienna in a single day, potentially the cheapest option.

The Man in Seat61 says:  "Returning from a conference in Vienna, I travelled back to London by high-speed train in a single day.  ICEs are amongst Europe's most luxurious high-speed trains, a day of me-time, chilling out with a good book, with a refreshing weissbier or two in the restaurant car as you speed through the landscapes of Austria, Germany & Belgium.  Breakfast & lunch are served on real china, you'll even glimpse the Danube after Passau as you'll see in my video..."

London ► Vienna (06:16 departure, Monday-Friday)

London ► Vienna (08:16 departure, daily)

Vienna ► London (06:49 departure, daily)

Vienna ► London (09:13 departure, daily except Saturdays)

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets

Another way to buy tickets

Using an Interrail pass

Have your trip arranged as a package

How to buy tickets by phone

What's the journey like?

1. London to Brussels by Eurostar

Eurostar trains link London & Brussels in just 2 hours, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More about Eurostar & check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide Brussels Midi station guide & short cut for changing trains in Brussels.

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at St Pancras.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

3. Brussels to Frankfurt by ICE3

Germany's superb ICE (InterCity Express) high-speed trains have a restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  In 1st class, food & drink orders are taken and served at your seat.  The ICE3neo train from Brussels to Frankfurt calls at Liège, where you can admire the impressive station designed by celebrity architect Santiago Calatrava, and at Cologne Hbf, where you'll see Cologne Cathedral to the right as you approach, right next to the station.  Immediately after leaving Cologne Hbf, the train crosses the long Hohenzollern bridge over the Rhine before joining the 300km/h high-speed line to Frankfurt.  More about ICE trains Brussels Midi station guideFrankfurt (Main) Hbf station guide.

ICE3neo at Brussels Midi

An ICE3neo at Brussels Midi with restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  More about ICE trains.  ICE3neo photos courtesy of OM the rails

ICE3neo at Cologne   ICE3neo at Cologne

1st class seats on an ICE3neo.  Larger photo.

 

The restaurant car.  See current month's menu.

ICE3neo at Cologne   ICE3neo at Cologne

An ICE3neo at Frankfurt Flughafen.

 

2nd class seats on an ICE3neo.  Larger photo

3. Frankfurt to Vienna by ICE-T

Also with restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  In 1st class, food & drink orders are taken and served at your seat.  On the ICE-T train from Frankfurt to Vienna you'll pass rolling countryside, it runs along the Danube in several places.  More about ICE trainsFrankfurt (Main) Hbf station guideVienna Hbf station guide.

Berlin to Vienna ICE train

An ICE-T from Frankfurt to Vienna with restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  More about ICE trains.

1st class table for two on the Berlin to Vienna ICE train   Lunch in the restaurant car on the Berlin to Vienna ICE train

Table for two in 1st class, my favourite configuration.  There are also tables for four in both classes.

 

Lunch in the restaurant.  In 1st class you're served at your seat.  I recommend the Erdinger Weissbier!  See  current month's menu.

ICE-T train, driving cab   ICE-T train, 2nd class

You can see into the cab at each end of the train.

 

Comfortable 2nd class seats on the ICE-T to Vienna.

Scenery from the train

Chill out across Germany & Austria, with glimpses of the Inn and Danube rivers.

Video: Vienna to London by train in a day

The video shows departure from Vienna Westbahnhof, but remember that the train now leaves from Vienna's new Hauptbahnhof.

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Option 2, London to Vienna using the Brussels-Vienna Nightjet

This is the easiest & most time-effective way from London to Vienna.  Take Eurostar to Brussels then the excellent Nightjet sleeper from Brussels to Vienna, this runs 3-times-a-week but should become daily from autumn 2024.  Incidentally, option 3 is almost identical, but via Paris rather than Brussels, so check that out too.

London ► Vienna

Vienna ► London

How much does it cost?

 1. London to Brussels by Eurostar

 From £52 one-way, £78 return 2nd class.

 From £97 one-way, £168 return 1st class.  Child fares 

 

 2. Brussels to Vienna

 by Nightjet sleeper train,

 one-way per person per bed

In a seat

In a couchette

In the sleeping-car

6-berth

4-berth

3-berth

2-berth

1-berth

3-berth

+ shower

2-berth

+ shower

1-berth

+ shower

 Fares start at:

€29.90

€49.90

€59.90

€89.90

€109.90

€159.90

€99.90

€139.90

€189.90

Fares vary like air fares, book early for the cheapest prices.  Return fares are twice the one-way fare.

On the sleeper train, berths are sold individually, so one ticket means one bed, the other beds in your compartment will be sold to other passengers.  For sole occupancy, simply book 1 ticket in a 1-berth sleeper or 2 tickets in a 2-berth sleeper or 4 tickets in a 4-berth couchette and so on.

How to buy tickets

Or use an Interrail pass

Have your trip arranged as a package

How to buy tickets by phone

What's the journey like?

1. London to Brussels by Eurostar

Eurostar trains link London & Brussels in just 2 hours, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More about Eurostar & check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide.  Brussels Midi station guideIn Brussels, I recommend using the Pullman Hotel bar as your VIP waiting room.

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at St Pancras.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Brussels to Vienna by Nightjet  See the Nightjet guide

This is an Austrian Railways (ÖBB) Nightjet train, with two sleeping-cars, two couchette cars & two seats cars.  The sleeping-cars each have nine 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments with washbasin and three 1, 2 or 3 bed deluxe compartments with private shower & toilet.  The sleeper berths come fully made up with sheets and duvets, all sleeper passengers get mineral water in the evening and a light breakfast served in their compartment next morning.  Towels & toiletries are provided, including shampoo and shower gel in the deluxe sleepers.  In the more economical couchettes, you can book a couchette in a cheaper 6-berth compartment or a less-crowded 4-berth compartment, each provided with sheet, blanket, pillow & small bottle of water, and couchette passengers get a tea or coffee in the morning.  When waiting for the northbound sleeper train in Vienna, if you have booked a sleeper you can use the ÖBB lounge with complimentary refreshments.  More about Nightjet trains.

The Nightjet sleeper from Brussels to Vienna at Brussels

On 20 January 2020, the inaugural Nightjet left Brussels for Vienna, the first scheduled sleeper train to leave Brussels in 16 years.  Above, that inaugural train is seen ready to leave Brussels Midi on 20 January - naturally, the Man in Seat 61 was on board!

Nightjet deluxe 2-berth sleeper   Nightjet deluxe sleeper in day mode   Nightjet deluxe sleeper toilet & shower   Nightjet standard (economy) sleeper

Deluxe sleeper.  Each compartment can be used as a 1, 2 or 3-bed room.  Larger photoVideo of deluxe room

 

Same deluxe sleeper in evening/morning mode with beds folded away, seats folded out.  Larger photo.

 

Deluxe rooms have a compact shower & toilet, towels & hair/body wash provided.  Larger photo.

 

Standard sleeper set up as 2-berth, washstand open.  It can be used as a 1, 2 or 3 berth.  Larger photo.

6-berth couchettes   4-berth couchette on Nightjet train   Couchette car on Brussels-Vienna sleeper

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car on the Brussels-Vienna Nightjet.

Video guide: By Nightjet to Vienna

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Option 3, London to Vienna using the Paris-Vienna Nightjet

Almost identical to option 2, but via Paris instead of Brussels.  Option 2 involves an easy same-station change in Brussels from Eurostar to Nightjet, this involves an easy 7 minute walk from the Gare du Nord to the Gare de l'Est, that's the only real difference.  The Paris-Salzburg (-Vienna) & Brussels-Salzburg (-Vienna) Nightjets run on the same 3 days of the week, in fact they run coupled together as a single train between Mannheim and Vienna.

London ► Vienna

Vienna ► London

How much does it cost?

 1. London to Paris by Eurostar 

 From £52 one-way, £78 return 2nd class.

 From £97 one-way, £168 return 1st class.  Child fares 

 

 2. Paris to Vienna

 by Nightjet sleeper train

 one-way per person per bed

In a seat

In a couchette

In the sleeping-car

6-berth

4-berth

3-berth

2-berth

1-berth

3-berth

+ shower

2-berth

+ shower

1-berth

+ shower

 Fares start at:

€29.90

€49.90

€59.90

€89.90

€109.90

€159.90

€99.90

€139.90

€189.90

Fares vary like air fares, book early for the cheapest prices.

On the sleeper train, berths are sold individually, so one ticket means one bed, the other beds in your compartment will be sold to other passengers.  For sole occupancy, simply book 1 ticket in a 1-berth sleeper or 2 tickets in a 2-berth sleeper or 4 tickets in a 4-berth couchette and so on.

Return fares are twice the one-way fare.

How to buy tickets

Or use an Interrail pass

How to buy tickets by phone

What's the journey like?

1. London to Paris by Eurostar

Eurostar trains link London & Paris in just 2 hours 20 minutes, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More about Eurostar & check-in procedureSt Pancras station guideGare du Nord station guide.

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at St Pancras.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Paris to Vienna by Nightjet  See the Nightjet guide

This is an Austrian Railways (ÖBB) Nightjet train, with two sleeping-cars, two couchette cars & two seats cars.  The sleeping-cars each have nine 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments with washbasin and three 1, 2 or 3 bed deluxe compartments with private shower & toilet.  The sleeper berths come fully made up with sheets and duvets, all sleeper passengers get mineral water in the evening and a light breakfast served in their compartment next morning.  Towels & toiletries are provided, including shampoo and shower gel in the deluxe sleepers.  In the more economical couchettes, you can book a couchette in a cheaper 6-berth compartment or a less-crowded 4-berth compartment, each provided with sheet, blanket, pillow & small bottle of water, and couchette passengers get a tea or coffee in the morning.  When waiting for the northbound sleeper train in Vienna, if you have booked a sleeper you can use the ÖBB lounge with complimentary refreshments.  More about Nightjet trains Paris Gare de l'Est station guide Vienna Hbf station guide.

The Nightjet sleeper from Munich to Amsterdam

A comfortline sleeping-car on a Nightjet sleeper train.  More about Nightjets.

Nightjet deluxe 2-berth sleeper   Nightjet deluxe sleeper in day mode   Nightjet deluxe sleeper toilet & shower   Nightjet standard (economy) sleeper

Deluxe sleeper.  Each compartment can be used as a 1, 2 or 3-bed room.  Larger photoVideo of deluxe room

 

Same deluxe sleeper in evening/morning mode with beds folded away, seats folded out.  Larger photo.

 

Deluxe rooms have a compact shower & toilet, towels & hair/body wash provided.  Larger photo.

 

Standard sleeper set up as 2-berth, washstand open.  It can be used as a 1, 2 or 3 berth.  Larger photo.

6-berth couchettes   4-berth couchette on Nightjet train   Couchette car on Brussels-Vienna sleeper

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car on a Nightjet.

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Option 4, London to Vienna using the Amsterdam-Vienna Nightjet

This is similar to option 2, but instead of taking an afternoon Eurostar from London to Brussels and the 3-times-a-week Nightjet sleeper train from Brussels to Vienna, you take a late-morning Eurostar to Amsterdam, spend some time there, then take the daily Nightjet sleeper train from Amsterdam to Vienna.  This is a round-about route taking a few hours longer, but London-Amsterdam Eurostar fares are similar to (and often less than) London-Brussels fares, Amsterdam-Vienna Nightjet fares are the same as Brussels-Vienna, this option runs every day and you get some time in the Dutch capital.  What's not to like?

London ► Vienna

Vienna ► London

How much does it cost?

 1. London to Amsterdam by Eurostar

From £40 each way in 2nd class.

 

 2. Amsterdam to Vienna

 by Nightjet sleeper train

 one-way per person per bed

In a seat

In a couchette

In the sleeping-car

6-berth

4-berth

3-berth

2-berth

1-berth

3-berth

+ shower

2-berth

+ shower

1-berth

+ shower

 Fares start at:

€29.90

€49.90

€59.90

€89.90

€109.90

€159.90

€99.90

€139.90

€189.90

Fares vary like air fares, book early for the cheapest prices.

On the sleeper train, berths are sold individually, so one ticket means one bed, the other beds in your compartment will be sold to other passengers.  For sole occupancy, simply book 1 ticket in a 1-berth sleeper or 2 tickets in a 2-berth sleeper or 4 tickets in a 4-berth couchette and so on.

Return fares are twice the one-way fare.

How to buy tickets

How to buy tickets by phone

What's the journey like?

1. London to Amsterdam by Eurostar

Eurostar trains link London & Amsterdam in just 3h55, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More about Eurostar & check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide.  Amsterdam Centraal station guide.

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at St Pancras.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Amsterdam to Vienna by Nightjet  See the Nightjet guide

This is an Austrian Railways (ÖBB) Nightjet train, with sleeping-car, couchettes & seats.  The sleeping-car has nine 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments with washbasin, plus three deluxe compartments with 1, 2 or 3 beds with private shower & toilet.  The sleeper berths come fully made up with sheets and duvets, all sleeper passengers get mineral water in the evening and a light breakfast served in their compartment next morning.  Towels & toiletries are provided, including shampoo and shower gel in the deluxe sleepers.  In the more economical couchettes, you can book a couchette in a cheaper 6-berth compartment or a less-crowded 4-berth compartment, each provided with sheet, blanket, pillow & small bottle of water, and couchette passengers get a tea or coffee in the morning.  When waiting for the northbound sleeper train in Vienna, if you have booked a sleeper you can use the ÖBB lounge with complimentary refreshments.  More pictures & information about Nightjet trains.

Nightjet sleeper train at Amsterdam Centraal

The new Amsterdam-Vienna Nightjet started in early 2021.  Above, the Nightjet at Amsterdam Centraal.

Nightjet deluxe 2-berth sleeper   Nightjet deluxe sleeper in day mode   Nightjet deluxe sleeper toilet & shower   Nightjet standard (economy) sleeper

Deluxe sleeper.  Each compartment can be used as a 1, 2 or 3-bed room.  Larger photoVideo of deluxe room

 

Same deluxe sleeper in evening/morning mode with beds folded away, seats folded out.  Larger photo.

 

Deluxe rooms have a compact shower & toilet, towels & hair/body wash provided.  Larger photo.

 

Standard sleeper set up as 2-berth, washstand open.  It can be used as a 1, 2 or 3 berth.  Larger photo.

6-berth couchettes   4-berth couchette on Nightjet train   Couchette car on Nightjet sleeper train

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car on a Nightjet.

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Option 5, London to Vienna with overnight stop in Zurich

The scenic route!  If you prefer daytime trains & scenery to overnight sleepers and want a leisurely journey with an overnight break, here's the scenic route with a hotel stop in Zurich.  Take an afternoon Eurostar & evening high-speed TGV-Lyria from London to Zurich in Switzerland, stay overnight, and next morning take a relaxing low-speed ride on a swish modern railjet train along the Zürichsee then snaking through the fabulous Arlberg Pass into Austria.  The world-class scenery through the Alps makes it a worthwhile experience!  By all means go one way by sleeper, the other by day.  See for yourself, watch the video & see the photos below.

  On board a railjet to Austria

First class on a railjet to Vienna, with a nice weissbier served at my seat.  Cheers!

London ► Vienna

Vienna ► London

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets

Or use an Interrail pass

Have your trip arranged as a package

How to buy tickets by phone

What's the journey like?

1. London to Paris by Eurostar

Eurostar trains link London & Paris in 2h20, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More about Eurostar & check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide Paris Gare du Nord station guide.

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at Paris Nord.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Paris to Zurich by TGV-Lyria

All TGV-Lyria trains are now 320 km/h (199 mph) double-deck TGV Duplex like the one shown below.  TGV-Lyria trains have 3 classes:  Standard class (2nd), standard premiere (1st class) and business premiere (1st class with hot meal & drinks included in the fare).  There's a cafe-bar car selling drinks & snacks.  There are power points for mobiles & laptops at all seats in all classes.  Lyria is a consortium of the French and Swiss national railways.  More about TGV-LyriaParis Gare de Lyon station guideZurich HB station guide.

TGV-Lyria train from Paris to Switzerland, at Paris Gare de Lyon

TGV-Lyria TGV Duplex train at Paris Gare de Lyon. More about TGV-Lyria.

TGV Duplex cafe-bar   TGV Duplex 2nd class seats, upper deck

The cafe-bar on the upper deck in car 4, serving tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, snacks & microwaved hot dishes.

 

2nd class seats, this is upper deck seating.  There's a mix or tables for 4 and unidirectional seating.  360º photo.

TGV Lyria first class, upper deck   A TGV-Lyria train from Paris to Switzerland

1st class on the upper deck, with a club duo on the left, a club quatre on the right. Larger photo.

 

A TGV-Lyria boarding at Paris Gare de Lyon.  You enter on the lower deck, with 9 stairs up to top deck.

3. Zurich to Vienna by Railjet

Railjets are ÖBB's (Austrian Railways) premier trains, with economy & 1st class, plus a premium 1st class called business class.  There's a restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  In 1st & business class, restaurant car orders are taken and served at your seat.  This journey takes you along the Swiss lakes Zürichsee & Walensee, past Sargans castle, then into Austria through the beautiful Arlberg Pass.  More photos, information & tips about railjet trains & the scenic Arlberg RailwayZurich HB station guide.

A railjet train about to leave Zurich Hbf for Innsbruck, Salzburg & Vienna

A railjet to Innsbruck, Salzburg & Vienna about to leave Zurich HB.

Business class seats on a railjet train   Railjet restaurant car

Business class.  About.

 

14-seat restaurant & bar counter.

Business class seats on a railjet train   Economy class seats on a railjet train

First class.

 

Economy class.

Scenery on the Arlberg route

The lakes between Zurich and the Austrian border

Swiss lakes:  Soon after leaving Zurich, the railjet runs alongside the shore of the Zürichsee and then the Walensee.

Train into Austria: Mountain scenery   Schaan-Vaduz station

Sargans castle:  Watch out for hilltop castles, this is the one at Sargans.

 

Liechtenstein:  The train cuts across Liechtenstein, passing non-stop through Schaan-Vaduz station.

Scenery in the Arlberg Pass

Arlberg Pass:  Above, we're now in Austria, with brooding skies over the Arlberg pass.  The pass itself is long, narrow and curvaceous with the train snaking along the valley sides, often high above the valley floor.

Arlberg Tunnel:  Between Bludenz and St Anton am Arlberg the train passes through the Arlberg Tunnel, 6.2 km (6.3 miles) long and opened in 1884.  See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arlberg_Railway_Tunnel.

Scenery in the Arlberg Pass

River Inn:  Running alongside the river Inn in the Tirol, somewhere between Landeck & Ötzal.

Scenery in the Arlberg Pass

Mountains near Innsbruck.  The train calls at Innsbruck Hbf for several minutes.

Kufstein station and castle   Lunch is served at your seat in first & business classes

Kufstein:  The train stops at Kufstein, where the castle towers above the station.

Above right, lunch is served.  In first & business class on a railjet, the steward takes your order & serves lunch at your seat.

Scenery as the train cuts across Germany

Cutting across Germany:  East of Kufstein, the train takes a short cut through Germany without stopping, see the route map here.  All fast Innsbruck-Salzburg-Vienna trains do this, they're still considered Austrian domestic trains even though they spend an hour on German territory!  Such a train is called a Korridorzug.  The train crosses back into Austria near Freilassing, just before Salzburg.

View of Salzburg as the train crosses the River Salzach

Salzburg:  View of the Fortress Hohensalzburg on the right hand side as the railjet crosses the River Salzach into Salzburg Hbf heading east.

Video: By railjet through the Arlberg

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London to Salzburg

  Mozart's birthplace, Salzburg

Salzburg Castle.  The views over the old town and to the nearby mountains are wonderful.  The castle is reached via a funicular railway, included in the admission price.  See www.hohensalzburgcastle.com.

Which route to choose?


Option 1, London to Salzburg in a day via Paris

  Mozart's birthplace, Salzburg

Mozart's birthplace.  This is the house where Mozart was born, in Salzburg's old town, see www.mozarteum.at.  Salzburg is in many ways a much nicer place to visit than Vienna, though others may disagree!

You can travel from London to Salzburg in a single day using Eurostar, a Paris-Stuttgart TGV Duplex and an Intercity train.  This route is sometimes cheaper than option 2, sometimes not.  It's slightly faster and more reliable than option 2, in fact, I'd choose this option 1 for that reason alone, but it's not as scenic as option 3.

London ► Salzburg

Salzburg ► London

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets

How to buy tickets by phone

What's the journey like?

1. London to Paris by Eurostar

Eurostar trains link London & Paris in 2h20, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More about Eurostar & check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide Paris Gare du Nord station guide.

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at Paris Nord.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Paris to Munich by TGV Duplex   See video

In Paris it's an easy 7 minute 500m walk from the Gare du Nord to the Gare de l'Est for the TGV to Germany.  Sit back with a glass of red and enjoy the ride - book an upper deck seat for the best views.  The train is equipped with power sockets for laptops & mobiles at all seats in both classes, and a cafe-bar serves drinks, snacks & microwaved hot dishes.  The train soon leaves the Paris suburbs behind and speeds across a vast wide open plateau of woods & farmland at up to 320 km/h (199 mph), past picturesque French villages of the Champagne region.  An hour or two later, the train leaves the high-speed line and slowly meanders through pretty wooded hills, the countryside eventually flattening out towards Strasbourg.  On leaving Strasbourg, look out for Strasbourg cathedral on the left with its famously missing second tower.  Minutes afterwards you rumble across the river Rhine into Germany, before heading on to Stuttgart & Munich.  Paris Gare de l'Est station guideMunich Hbf station guide.

TGV Duplex at Paris Gare de l'Est

TGV Duplex at Paris Est. These impressive 320 km/h double-deck trains link Paris with Nice, Marseille, Frankfurt, Munich, Barcelona & Switzerland.

TGV Duplex cafe-bar   TGV Duplex upper deck 2nd class seats

Cafe-bar on upper deck in car 4, serving tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, snacks & microwaved hot dishes.

 

2nd class seats on the upper deck.  There's a mix or tables for 4 and unidirectional seating.  360º photo.

First class on board a TGV Duplex   An TGV Duplex at Paris Est.

1st class upper deck, a club duo on the left, a club quatre on the right.  360º photo.

 

A TGV Duplex.  The 1 near the door indicates 1st class, a 2 indicates 2nd class.

Option 2, London to Salzburg in a day via Brussels

This route involves one or two more changes compared to going via Paris (option 1), but the changes of train are all easy same-station changes.

London ► Salzburg

Salzburg ► London

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets

Another way to buy tickets

Using an Interrail pass

Have your trip arranged as a package

What's the journey like?

1. London to Brussels by Eurostar

Eurostar trains link London & Brussels in just 2 hours, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More about Eurostar & check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide.  Brussels Midi station guide & short cut for changing trains in Brussels.

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at St Pancras.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2.  Brussels to Frankfurt & Frankfurt to Munich by ICE

Germany's superb Intercity Express (ICE) high-speed trains have a bistro-restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  In 1st class, food & drink orders are taken at your seat.  The ICE3 train from Cologne to Frankfurt calls at Liège, where you can admire the impressive station designed by celebrity architect Santiago Calatrava, and at Cologne Hbf, where you'll see Cologne Cathedral to the right as you approach, right next to the station.  Immediately after leaving Cologne Hbf, the train crosses the long Hohenzollern bridge over the Rhine before joining the 300km/h high-speed line to Frankfurt.  More about ICE trains Brussels Midi station guideFrankfurt (Main) Hbf station guideMunich Hbf station guide.

ICE3neo at Brussels Midi

An ICE3neo at Brussels MidiMore about ICE trains.  ICE3neo photos courtesy of OM the rails.

ICE3neo at Cologne   ICE3neo at Cologne

1st class seats on an ICE3neo.  Larger photo.

 

The restaurant car.  See current month's menu.

ICE3neo at Cologne   ICE3neo at Cologne

An ICE3neo at Frankfurt Flughafen.

 

2nd class seats on an ICE3neo.  Larger photo

Travel tips

Back to top


Option 3, London to Salzburg using the Brussels-Salzburg Nightjet

This is the easiest & most time-effective way from the UK to Salzburg.  Take Eurostar to Brussels, then the excellent Nightjet sleeper from Brussels to Salzburg.  This runs 3 times a week, but should become daily in autumn 2024.  Incidentally, option 4 is almost identical, but via Paris rather than Brussels, so check that out too.

London ► Salzburg

Salzburg ► London

How much does it cost?

 1. London to Brussels by Eurostar

 From £52 one-way, £78 return 2nd class.

 From £97 one-way, £168 return 1st class.  Child fares 

 

 2. Brussels to Salzburg

 by Nightjet sleeper train,

 one-way per person per bed

In a seat

In a couchette

In the sleeping-car

6-berth

4-berth

3-berth

2-berth

1-berth

3-berth

+ shower

2-berth

+ shower

1-berth

+ shower

 Fares start at:

€29.90

€49.90

€59.90

€89.90

€109.90

€159.90

€99.90

€139.90

€189.90

Fares vary like air fares, book early for the cheapest prices.  Return fares are twice the one-way fare.

On the sleeper train, berths are sold individually, so one ticket means one bed, the other beds in your compartment will be sold to other passengers.  For sole occupancy, simply book 1 ticket in a 1-berth sleeper or 2 tickets in a 2-berth sleeper or 4 tickets in a 4-berth couchette and so on.

How to buy tickets

Or use an Interrail pass

How to buy tickets by phone

What's the journey like?

1. London to Brussels by Eurostar

Eurostar trains link London & Brussels in just 2 hours, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More about Eurostar & check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide.  Brussels Midi station guideIn Brussels, I recommend using the Pullman Hotel bar as your VIP waiting room.

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at St Pancras.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Brussels to Salzburg by Nightjet  See the Nightjet guide

This is an Austrian Railways (ÖBB) Nightjet train, with sleeping-car, couchettes & seats.  The sleeping-car has nine 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments with washbasin and three 1, 2 or 3 bed deluxe compartments with private shower & toilet.  The sleeper berths come fully made up with sheets and duvets, all sleeper passengers get mineral water in the evening and a light breakfast served in their compartment next morning.  Towels & toiletries are provided, including shampoo and shower gel in the deluxe sleepers.  In the more economical couchettes, you can book a couchette in a cheaper 6-berth compartment or a less-crowded 4-berth compartment, each provided with sheet, blanket, pillow & small bottle of water, and couchette passengers get a tea or coffee in the morning.  When waiting for the westbound sleeper train at Salzburg Hbf, if you have a sleeper you can use the ÖBB lounge with complimentary refreshments.  More pictures & information about Nightjet trains.

Nightjet sleeper at Brussels

Brussels to Salzburg by Nightjet.  Above, a Nightjet sleeper at Brussels Midi.

Nightjet deluxe 2-berth sleeper   Nightjet deluxe sleeper in day mode   Nightjet deluxe sleeper toilet & shower   Nightjet standard (economy) sleeper

Deluxe sleeper.  Each compartment can be used as a 1, 2 or 3-bed room.  Larger photoVideo of deluxe room

 

Same deluxe sleeper in evening/morning mode with beds folded away, seats folded out.  Larger photo.

 

Deluxe rooms have a compact shower & toilet, towels & hair/body wash provided.  Larger photo.

 

Standard sleeper set up as 2-berth, washstand open.  It can be used as a 1, 2 or 3 berth.  Larger photo.

6-berth couchettes   4-berth couchette on Nightjet train   Couchette car on Brussels-Vienna sleeper

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car on the Brussels-Vienna Nightjet.

Back to top


Option 4, London to Salzburg using the Paris-Salzburg Nightjet

Almost identical to option 3, but via Paris instead of Brussels.  Option 3 involves an easy same-station change in Brussels from Eurostar to Nightjet, this involves an easy 7 minute walk from the Gare du Nord to the Gare de l'Est, that's the only real difference.  The Paris-Salzburg (-Vienna) & Brussels-Salzburg (-Vienna) Nightjets run on the same 3 days of the week, in fact they run coupled together as a single train between Mannheim and Vienna.

London ► Salzburg

Salzburg ► London

How much does it cost?

 1. London to Paris by Eurostar 

 From £52 one-way, £78 return 2nd class.

 From £97 one-way, £168 return 1st class.  Child fares 

 

 2. Paris to Salzburg

 by Nightjet sleeper train,

 one-way per person per bed

In a seat

In a couchette

In the sleeping-car

6-berth

4-berth

3-berth

2-berth

1-berth

3-berth

+ shower

2-berth

+ shower

1-berth

+ shower

 Fares start at:

€29.90

€49.90

€59.90

€89.90

€109.90

€159.90

€99.90

€139.90

€189.90

Fares vary like air fares, book early for the cheapest prices.

On the sleeper train, berths are sold individually, so one ticket means one bed, the other beds in your compartment will be sold to other passengers.  For sole occupancy, simply book 1 ticket in a 1-berth sleeper or 2 tickets in a 2-berth sleeper or 4 tickets in a 4-berth couchette and so on.

Return fares are twice the one-way fare.

How to buy tickets

Or use an Interrail pass

How to buy tickets by phone

What's the journey like?

1. London to Paris by Eurostar

Eurostar trains link London & Paris in just 2 hours 20 minutes, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More about Eurostar & check-in procedureSt Pancras station guideGare du Nord station guide.

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at Paris Nord.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Paris to Salzburg by Nightjet  See the Nightjet guide

This is an Austrian Railways (ÖBB) Nightjet train, with sleeping-car, couchettes & seats.  The two sleeping-cars each have nine 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments with washbasin and three 1, 2 or 3 bed deluxe compartments with private shower & toilet.  The sleeper berths come fully made up with sheets and duvets, all sleeper passengers get mineral water in the evening and a light breakfast served in their compartment next morning.  Towels & toiletries are provided, including shampoo and shower gel in the deluxe sleepers.  In the more economical couchettes, you can book a couchette in a cheaper 6-berth compartment or a less-crowded 4-berth compartment, each provided with sheet, blanket, pillow & small bottle of water, and couchette passengers get a tea or coffee in the morning.  When waiting for the westbound sleeper train at Salzburg Hbf, if you have a sleeper you can use the ÖBB lounge with complimentary refreshments.  More pictures & information about Nightjet trainsParis Gare de l'Est station guideSalzburg Hbf station guide.

The Nightjet sleeper from Munich to Amsterdam

A comfortline sleeping-car on a Nightjet sleeper train.  More about Nightjets.

Nightjet deluxe 2-berth sleeper   Nightjet deluxe sleeper in day mode   Nightjet deluxe sleeper toilet & shower   Nightjet standard (economy) sleeper

Deluxe sleeper.  Each compartment can be used as a 1, 2 or 3-bed room.  Larger photoVideo of deluxe room

 

Same deluxe sleeper in evening/morning mode with beds folded away, seats folded out.  Larger photo.

 

Deluxe rooms have a compact shower & toilet, towels & hair/body wash provided.  Larger photo.

 

Standard sleeper set up as 2-berth, washstand open.  It can be used as a 1, 2 or 3 berth.  Larger photo.

6-berth couchettes   4-berth couchette on Nightjet train   Couchette car on Brussels-Vienna sleeper

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car on a Nightjet.

Back to top


Option 5, London to Salzburg with overnight stop in Zurich

The scenic route!  You can reach Salzburg in one day from London using options 1 & 2 above, but it means an early start and late arrival, and it's a long day.  A more leisurely and scenic way is to break your journey in Switzerland, taking an afternoon Eurostar & evening high-speed TGV-Lyria from London to Zurich, stopping overnight, then taking a relaxing low-speed Railjet train snaking through the fabulously scenic Arlberg Pass into Austria.  The world-class scenery through the Alps makes it a worthwhile experience, see for yourself, watch the video & see the Arlberg Railway page.  By all means go out one way and back another.

London ► Salzburg

Salzburg ► London

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets

Or use an Interrail pass

Have your trip arranged as a package

How to buy tickets by phone

What are the trains like?

1. London to Paris by Eurostar

Eurostar trains link London & Paris in 2h20, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More about Eurostar & check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide Paris Gare du Nord station guide.

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at Paris Nord.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Paris to Zurich by TGV-Lyria

All TGV-Lyria trains are now 320km/h (199 mph) double-deck TGV Duplex like the one shown below.  TGV-Lyria trains have 3 classes:  Standard class (2nd), standard premiere (1st class) and business premiere (1st class with hot meal & drinks included in the fare).  There's a cafe-bar car selling drinks & snacks.  There are power points for mobiles & laptops at all seats in all classes.  Lyria is a consortium of the French and Swiss national railways.  More about TGV-LyriaParis Gare de Lyon station guideZurich HB station guide.

TGV-Lyria train from Paris to Switzerland, at Paris Gare de Lyon

TGV-Lyria TGV Duplex train at Paris Gare de Lyon. More about TGV-Lyria.

TGV Duplex cafe-bar   TGV Duplex 2nd class seats, upper deck

The cafe-bar on the upper deck in car 4, serving tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, snacks & microwaved hot dishes.

 

2nd class seats, this is upper deck seating.  There's a mix or tables for 4 and unidirectional seating.  360º photo.

TGV Lyria first class, upper deck   A TGV-Lyria train from Paris to Switzerland

1st class on the upper deck, with a club duo on the left, a club quatre on the right. Larger photo.

 

A TGV-Lyria for Geneva, boarding at Paris Gare de Lyon.  You enter on the lower deck, with 9 stairs up to top deck.

3. Zurich to Salzburg by Railjet

Railjets are ÖBB's (Austrian Railways) premier trains, with economy & 1st class, plus a premium 1st class called business class.  There's a restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  In 1st & business class, restaurant car orders are taken and served at your seat.  This journey takes you along the Swiss lakes Zürichsee & Walensee, past Sargans castle, then into Austria through the beautiful Arlberg Pass.  More photos, information & tips about railjet trains & the scenic Arlberg RailwayZurich HB station guide.

A railjet train about to leave Zurich Hbf for Innsbruck, Salzburg & Vienna

A railjet to Innsbruck, Salzburg & Vienna about to leave Zurich HB.

Business class seats on a railjet train   Railjet restaurant car

Business class.  About.

 

14-seat restaurant & bar counter.

Business class seats on a railjet train   Economy class seats on a railjet train

First class.

 

Economy class.

Scenery on the Arlberg route

The lakes between Zurich and the Austrian border

Swiss lakes:  Soon after leaving Zurich, the railjet runs alongside the shore of the Zürichsee and then the Walensee.

Train into Austria: Mountain scenery   Schaan-Vaduz station

Sargans castle:  Watch out for hilltop castles, this is the one at Sargans.

 

Liechtenstein:  The train cuts across Liechtenstein, passing non-stop through Schaan-Vaduz station.

Scenery in the Arlberg Pass

Arlberg Pass:  Above, we're now in Austria, with brooding skies over the Arlberg pass.  The pass itself is long, narrow and curvaceous with the train snaking along the valley sides, often high above the valley floor.

Arlberg Tunnel:  Between Bludenz and St Anton am Arlberg the train passes through the Arlberg Tunnel, 6.2 km (6.3 miles) long and opened in 1884.  See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arlberg_Railway_Tunnel.

Scenery in the Arlberg Pass

River Inn:  Running alongside the river Inn in the Tirol, somewhere between Landeck & Ötzal.

Scenery in the Arlberg Pass

Mountains near Innsbruck.  The train calls at Innsbruck Hbf for several minutes.

Kufstein station and castle   Lunch is served at your seat in first & business classes

Kufstein:  The train stops at Kufstein, where the castle towers above the station.

Above right, lunch is served.  In first & business class on a railjet, the steward takes your order & serves lunch at your seat.

Scenery as the train cuts across Germany

Cutting across Germany:  East of Kufstein, the train takes a short cut through Germany without stopping, see the route map here.  All fast Innsbruck-Salzburg-Vienna trains do this, they're still considered Austrian domestic trains even though they spend an hour on German territory!  Such a train is called a Korridorzug.  The train crosses back into Austria near Freilassing, just before Salzburg.

View of Salzburg as the train crosses the River Salzach

Salzburg:  View of the Fortress Hohensalzburg on the right hand side as the railjet crosses the River Salzach into Salzburg Hbf heading east.

Watch the Video:  Through the Arlberg

Back to top


London to Innsbruck & Tirol

Which route to choose?

Option 1, London to Innsbruck via the Arlberg Pass

This is the fastest & most direct route, you take a Eurostar from London to Paris in just 2h20, a 320 km/h TGV-Lyria from Paris to Zurich in 4h05 and an Austrian railjet train from Zurich to Innsbruck in 3h31.  City centre to city centre through the scenic Arlberg Pass, no airports, no flights.

The highlight of the journey is the amazingly scenic run through the Arlberg Pass between Zurich and Innsbruck, see the Arlberg Railway page and watch the video.  After leaving Zurich the train runs along the lovely Zürichsee and Walensee lakes, then hugs the mountainside and snakes through a huge valley, past scenery lifted straight from the Sound of Music.  For the best views, find an unreserved seat on the left hand side of the train leaving Zurich, that way you'll be on the lake side of the train, the train changes direction at Buchs, then you'll be on the right-hand (valley) side of the train through most of the Arlberg Pass.  A restaurant car is available for dinner, in first and business class food orders are taken by the stewardess & served at your seat.

This option is in fact three options, each explained below:  First, thanks to Europe's 320 km/h (199 mph) high-speed trains, you can now travel from London to Innsbruck in a single day.  It means an early start from London and a late night arrival in Innsbruck, in the outward direction it's only possible on Mondays-Saturdays and of course the scenic part will be in darkness except in summer, but it's easily done.  Second, you can leave London at lunchtime and stop overnight in Zurich, arriving in Innsbruck around lunchtime next day.  Third, you can leave London in the evening with an overnight hotel stop in Paris and an arrival in Innsbruck late afternoon or early evening next day.  Stopping overnight breaks up the journey and allows a later departure from London if you're starting from outside London.  It also means that the scenic Zurich-Innsbruck section will be done in daylight.

London ► Innsbruck in a single day

London ► Innsbruck with overnight stop in Zurich

London ► Innsbruck with overnight stop in Paris

Innsbruck ► London in a single day, early departure

Innsbruck ► London with overnight stop in Zurich

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets

Have your trip arranged as a package

How to buy tickets by phone

What are the trains like?

1. London to Paris by Eurostar

Eurostar trains link London & Paris in 2h20, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More about Eurostar & check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide Paris Gare du Nord station guide.

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at Paris Nord.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Paris to Zurich by TGV-Lyria   More about TGV-Lyria

All TGV-Lyria trains are now 320km/h (199 mph) double-deck TGV Duplex like the one shown below.  TGV-Lyria trains have 3 classes:  Standard class (2nd), standard premiere (1st class) and business premiere (1st class with hot meal & drinks included in the fare).  There's a cafe-bar car selling drinks & snacks.  There are power points for mobiles & laptops at all seats in all classes.  Lyria is a consortium of the French and Swiss national railways.  More about TGV-LyriaParis Gare de Lyon station guideZurich HB station guide.

TGV-Lyria train from Paris to Switzerland, at Paris Gare de Lyon

TGV-Lyria TGV Duplex train at Paris Gare de Lyon. More about TGV-Lyria.

TGV Duplex cafe-bar   TGV Duplex 2nd class seats, upper deck

The cafe-bar on the upper deck in car 4, serving tea, coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, snacks & microwaved hot dishes.

 

2nd class seats, this is upper deck seating.  There's a mix or tables for 4 and unidirectional seating.  360º photo.

TGV Lyria first class, upper deck   A TGV-Lyria train from Paris to Switzerland

1st class on the upper deck, with a club duo on the left, a club quatre on the right. Larger photo.

 

A TGV-Lyria for Geneva, boarding at Paris Gare de Lyon.  You enter on the lower deck, with 9 stairs up to top deck.

3. Zurich to Innsbruck by Railjet

Railjets are ÖBB's (Austrian Railways) premier trains, with economy & 1st class, plus a premium 1st class called business class.  There's a restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  In 1st & business class, restaurant orders are taken and served at your seat.  This journey takes you along the Swiss lakes Zürichsee & Walensee, past Sargans castle, then into Austria through the beautiful Arlberg Pass.  More photos, information & tips about railjet trains & the scenic Arlberg RailwayZurich HB station guide.

A railjet train about to leave Zurich Hbf for Innsbruck, Salzburg & Vienna

A railjet to Innsbruck, Salzburg & Vienna about to leave Zurich HB.

Business class seats on a railjet train   Railjet restaurant car

Business class.  About.

 

Restaurant.  In 1st & business you're served at your seat.

Business class seats on a railjet train   Economy class seats on a railjet train

First class.

 

Economy class.

Scenery on the Arlberg route

The lakes between Zurich and the Austrian border

Swiss lakes:  Soon after leaving Zurich, the railjet runs alongside the shore of the Zürichsee and then the Walensee.

Train into Austria: Mountain scenery   Schaan-Vaduz station

Sargans castle:  Watch out for hilltop castles, this is the one at Sargans.

 

Liechtenstein:  The train cuts across Liechtenstein, passing non-stop through Schaan-Vaduz station.

Scenery in the Arlberg Pass

Arlberg Pass:  Above, we're now in Austria, with brooding skies over the Arlberg pass.  The pass itself is long, narrow and curvaceous with the train snaking along the valley sides, often high above the valley floor.

Arlberg Tunnel:  Between Bludenz and St Anton am Arlberg the train passes through the Arlberg Tunnel, 6.2 km (6.3 miles) long and opened in 1884.  See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arlberg_Railway_Tunnel.

Scenery in the Arlberg Pass

River Inn:  Running alongside the river Inn in the Tirol, somewhere between Landeck & Ötzal.

Scenery in the Arlberg Pass

Mountains near Innsbruck.

Watch the Video:  Through the Arlberg

Back to top


Option 2, London to Innsbruck by Nightjet sleeper train

Take a lunchtime Eurostar to Brussels, a high-speed train to Cologne, then the time-effective Austrian Nightjet sleeper from Cologne to Innsbruck overnight.  This is a comfortable & time-effective option. 

Tip:  Before booking this option, consider option 3 via Amsterdam - although you leave London a few hours earlier, it's usually cheaper, it only involves 1 change of train not 2, and you get to spend some time in the Dutch capital.

London ► Innsbruck

Innsbruck ► London

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets

How to buy tickets by phone

What's the journey like?

1. London to Brussels by Eurostar

Eurostar trains link London & Brussels in just 2 hours, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More about Eurostar & check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide Brussels Midi station guide.

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at St Pancras.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Brussels to Cologne by Eurostar (formerly Thalys)

These trains have 3 classes, Standard (2nd class), Comfort (1st class seating) & Premium (1st class seating with at-seat food & drink included in the fare).  There's a cafe-bar selling drinks, snacks & hot dishes.  All seats have power sockets and there's free WiFi.  More about Eurostar (formerly Thalys).

3. Cologne to Innsbruck by Nightjet

The Austrian Railways (ÖBB) Nightjet train has a sleeping-car, couchettes & seats.  The sleeping-car has 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments with washbasin, and three deluxe compartments with 1, 2 or 3 beds with private shower & toilet.  The sleeper berths come fully made up with sheets and duvets, all sleeper passengers get mineral water in the evening and a light breakfast served in their compartment next morning.  Towels & toiletries are provided, including shampoo and shower gel in the deluxe sleepers.  In the more economical couchettes, you can book a couchette in a cheaper 6-berth compartment or a less-crowded 4-berth compartment, each provided with sheet, blanket, pillow & small bottle of water, and couchette passengers get a tea or coffee in the morning.  When waiting for the northbound sleeper train in Innsbruck, if you have booked a sleeper you can use the ÖBB lounge with complimentary refreshments.  More about Nightjets.

The Nightjet sleeper at Innsbruck

A Comfortline sleeping-car on the Nightjet train from Cologne, arrived at Innsbruck.

Nightjet deluxe 2-berth sleeper   Nightjet deluxe sleeper in day mode   Nightjet deluxe sleeper toilet & shower   Nightjet standard (economy) sleeper

Deluxe sleeper.  Each compartment can be used as a 1, 2 or 3-bed room.  Larger photoVideo of deluxe room

 

Same deluxe sleeper in evening/morning mode with beds folded away, seats folded out.  Larger photo.

 

Deluxe rooms have a compact shower & toilet, towels & hair/body wash provided.  Larger photo.

 

Standard sleeper set up as 2-berth with washstand open.  It can be used as a 1, 2 or 3 berth.  Larger photo.

6-berth couchettes   4-berth couchettes   Couchette car on Nightjet sleeper train

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car on a Nightjet train.

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Option 3, London to Innsbruck via the Amsterdam-Innsbruck sleeper

This is similar to option 2, but instead of taking a mid-afternoon Eurostar from London to Brussels, a high-speed train to Cologne, then picking up the Nightjet sleeper train to Innsbruck in Cologne, you take a late-morning Eurostar to Amsterdam, spend some time there, then take the Nightjet sleeper train from Amsterdam to Innsbruck.  OK, so this is a more round-about route and you have to leave London a couple of hours earlier - but it involves only 1 simple same-station change of train instead of 2 changes, you get to spend some time in the Dutch capital, you can board the sleeper earlier in the evening rather than late at night, and it's cheaper:  London-Amsterdam Eurostar fares are similar to (and often less than) London-Brussels fares, Amsterdam-Innsbruck Nightjet fares are the same as Cologne-Innsbruck fares and you don't need a Brussels-Cologne ticket.  What's not to like?

London ► Innsbruck

Innsbruck ► London

How much does it cost?

 1. London to Amsterdam by Eurostar 

 From £40 each way in 2nd class.

 

 2. Amsterdam to Innsbruck

 by nightjet sleeper train,

 one-way per person per bed

In a seat

In a couchette

In the sleeping-car

6-berth

4-berth

3-berth

2-berth

1-berth

3-berth

+ shower

2-berth

+ shower

1-berth

+ shower

 Fares start at:

€29.90

€49.90

€59.90

€89.90

€109.90

€159.90

€99.90

€139.90

€189.90

Fares vary like air fares, book early for the cheapest prices.

On the sleeper train, berths are sold individually, so one ticket means one bed, the other beds in your compartment will be sold to other passengers.  For sole occupancy, simply book 1 ticket in a 1-berth sleeper or 2 tickets in a 2-berth sleeper or 4 tickets in a 4-berth couchette and so on.

Return fares are twice the one-way fare.

How to buy tickets

How to buy tickets by phone

What's the journey like?

1. London to Amsterdam by Eurostar

Eurostar trains link London & Amsterdam in just 3h55, travelling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph).  There are two bar cars, power sockets at all seats and free WiFi.  Standard Premier and Business Premier fares include a light meal with wine (or breakfast, on departures before 11:00).  There's a 30-minute minimum check-in as all border formalities are carried out before you board the train.  More about Eurostar & check-in procedureSt Pancras station guide.  Amsterdam Centraal station guide.

A Eurostar e320 train at London St Pancras   Eurostar e320 first class seats

Eurostar e320 at St Pancras.  More about Eurostar.

 

1st class:  Standard Premier or Business Premier.

Eurostar e320 2nd class seats   Eurostar e320 cafe-bar

Standard class.  Larger photo.

 

One of two cafe-bars, cars 8 & 9.  Larger photo.

2. Amsterdam to Innsbruck by Nightjet

This is an Austrian Railways (ÖBB) Nightjet train, with sleeping-car, couchettes & seats.  The sleeping-car has nine 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments with washbasin, plus three deluxe compartments with 1, 2 or 3 beds with private shower & toilet.  The sleeper berths come fully made up with sheets and duvets, all sleeper passengers get mineral water in the evening and a light breakfast served in their compartment next morning.  Towels & toiletries are provided, including shampoo and shower gel in the deluxe sleepers.  In the more economical couchettes, you can book a couchette in a cheaper 6-berth compartment or a less-crowded 4-berth compartment, each provided with sheet, blanket, pillow & small bottle of water, and couchette passengers get a tea or coffee in the morning.  When waiting for the northbound sleeper train in Innsbruck, if you have a sleeper you can use the ÖBB lounge with complimentary refreshments.  More pictures & information about Nightjet trains.

Comfortline sleeping-car at Innsbruck

A Comfortline sleeping-car at Innsbruck.

Nightjet deluxe 2-berth sleeper   Nightjet deluxe sleeper in day mode   Nightjet deluxe sleeper toilet & shower   Nightjet standard (economy) sleeper

Deluxe sleeper.  Each compartment can be used as a 1, 2 or 3-bed room.  Larger photoVideo of deluxe room

 

Same deluxe sleeper in evening/morning mode with beds folded away, seats folded out.  Larger photo.

 

Deluxe rooms have a compact shower & toilet, towels & hair/body wash provided.  Larger photo.

 

Standard sleeper set up as 2-berth, washstand open.  It can be used as a 1, 2 or 3 berth.  Larger photo.

6-berth couchettes   4-berth couchette on Nightjet train   Couchette car on Nightjet sleeper train

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car on a Nightjet.

Option 4, London to Innsbruck via Munich

It's also possible to travel by Eurostar to Paris and TGV to Munich, or Eurostar to Brussels, ICE to Cologne or Frankfurt and onwards to Munich.  Stay overnight in Munich and travel to Innsbruck next morning.  See the London to Germany page for travel between London & Munich, then see information on Munich to Innsbruck trains here.

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London to Graz

Option 1, by Nightjet sleeper train via Vienna

This is the most time-effective option, and includes a moonlit run down the Rhine Valley in your sleeper.

London ► Graz

Graz ► London

Fares & how to buy tickets

Option 2, by daytime trains with overnight stop in Munich

London ► Graz

Graz ► London

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets

How to buy tickets by phone

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London to Hallstatt, Villach, Klagenfurt

London ► Hallstatt, Villach, Klagenfurt

Klagenfurt, Villach, Hallstatt ► London

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets

How to buy tickets by phone

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London to Austria by ferry from Harwich

The ferry alternative!  It's a great option if you live in East Anglia (there's a direct train from Cambridge & Ipswich to Harwich to connect with the night boat), if you want to avoid the Channel Tunnel or if there are strikes in France.  And if you need to travel at short notice when Eurostar is expensive, the rail & sail fare is usually cheaper.  I don't recommend the Dover-Calais route because of poor train/ferry connections, the Stena Line rail & sail service via Harwich & Hoek van Holland is the one to use as it has co-ordinated timetables and integrated ticketing, see the Stena Line Rail & Sail page & watch the video.  It's one of the routes shown in dark blue on the route map above.

London, Cambridge & Harwich ► Austria

Austria ► Harwich, Cambridge & London

How much does it cost?

How to buy tickets

What's the journey like?

Step 1, London to Utrecht or Amsterdam by train & ferry

A train takes you from London's Liverpool Street station directly to the ferry terminal at Harwich.  You walk off the train, into the terminal, get your boarding card & cabin key at the Stena Line check-in desk and walk straight onto the overnight ferry to Hoek van Holland.  The superferry Stena Britannica is the largest ferry of its kind in the world.  All passengers travel in private cabins with shower, toilet & satellite TV.  The journey from London to Utrecht or Amsterdam is explained in detail on the Stena Line Rail & Sail page See the video.

Stena Line ferry at Hoek van Holland

The Stena Britannica at boarding at Harwich, a floating hotel with private cabins, restaurant, bar, lounges, shop & kennels.

Standard outside cabin on Stena Line ferry   Stena Plus lounge on the ferry to Hoek van Holland

Above left, a standard outside cabin.  Larger photo.  360º photoAbove right, the Stena Plus lounge with complimentary red & white wine, tea, coffee & snacks.

Bar on the Stena Line ferry to Hoek van Holland   London to Amsterdam via the Stena Line ferry

Above left, the bar on 9 deck. Above right, a Captain's Class cabin with complimentary minibar, toilet & shower.

Step 2, Amsterdam or Utrecht to Austria by daytime train

At Hoek van Holland, you walk off the ship, through passport control and straight onto the station for the frequent metro train to Schiedam & Rotterdam.  Change at Schiedam Centrum for a Dutch Railways (NS) train to Amsterdam Centraal, or at Rotterdam Alexander for a train to Utrecht.  You can pick up a German Railways (DB) train to Cologne & Frankfurt at either Amsterdam Centraal (where these trains start) or at Utrecht Centraal (a bit quicker).  Change in Frankfurt for an onward daytime train to Austria, More info about ICE trains.

ICE3neo at Frankfurt Flughafen

An ICE3neo at Frankfurt Flughafen.  More about ICE trainsICE3neo photos courtesy of OM the rails

ICE3neo at Cologne   ICE3neo at Cologne

1st class seats on an ICE3neo.  Larger photo.

 

The restaurant car.  See current month's menu.

ICE3neo at Cologne   ICE3neo at Cologne

An ICE3neo at Frankfurt Flughafen.

 

2nd class seats on an ICE3neo.  Larger photo

Or Amsterdam to Vienna or Innsbruck by Nightjet sleeper train  See the Nightjet guide

This is an Austrian Railways (ÖBB) Nightjet train, with sleeping-car, couchettes & seats.  The sleeping-car has nine 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments with washbasin, plus three deluxe compartments with 1, 2 or 3 beds with private shower & toilet.  The sleeper berths come fully made up with sheets and duvets, all sleeper passengers get mineral water in the evening and a light breakfast served in their compartment next morning.  Towels & toiletries are provided, including shampoo and shower gel in the deluxe sleepers.  In the more economical couchettes, you can book a couchette in a cheaper 6-berth compartment or a less-crowded 4-berth compartment, each provided with sheet, blanket, pillow & small bottle of water, and couchette passengers get a tea or coffee in the morning.  When waiting for the northbound sleeper train in Vienna, if you have booked a sleeper you can use the ÖBB lounge with complimentary refreshments.  More pictures & information about Nightjet trains.

Nightjet sleeper train at Amsterdam Centraal

The Nightjet sleeper to Vienna, boarding at Amsterdam Centraal.

Nightjet deluxe 2-berth sleeper   Nightjet deluxe sleeper in day mode   Nightjet deluxe sleeper toilet & shower   Nightjet standard (economy) sleeper

Deluxe sleeper.  Each compartment can be used as a 1, 2 or 3-bed room.  Larger photoVideo of deluxe room

 

Same deluxe sleeper in evening/morning mode with beds folded away, seats folded out.  Larger photo.

 

Deluxe rooms have a compact shower & toilet, towels & hair/body wash provided.  Larger photo.

 

Standard sleeper set up as 2-berth, washstand open.  It can be used as a 1, 2 or 3 berth.  Larger photo.

6-berth couchettes   4-berth couchettes   Couchette car on Amsterdam-Vienna sleeper

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car on the Nightjet.

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Scotland & the North to Austria

Naturally, you can take a train up to London then travel to Austria as described above.  You can buy special connecting train tickets from most British stations to London International, see my advice on buying connecting train tickets to London.  But DFDS Seaways (www.dfds.com) run an excellent overnight cruise ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam, and P&O Ferries (www.poferries.com) sail overnight from Hull to Rotterdam.  After a day in Amsterdam, take the Nightjet sleeper to Austria.  So why not by-pass London, and have some time in Amsterdam into the bargain?

Scotland & the North ► Austria

Austria ► Scotland & the North

Fares & how to buy tickets

What's the journey like?

Step 1, Newcastle to Amsterdam (DFDS) or Hull to Rotterdam (P&O) by overnight ferry,

Both ferries have private cabins all with shower & toilet, restaurants, bars, cinema, a floating hotel.  If travelling with DFDS from Newcastle, a transfer bus takes you from IJmuiden ferry terminal to Amsterdam Centraal station next morning.  If travelling with P&O from Hull, a transfer bus takes you from Rotterdam Europoort ferry terminal to Rotterdam Centraal, from where frequent Dutch trains run to Utrecht or Amsterdam.

Princess of Norway (now Princess Seaways) at Newcastle   A standard cabin on DFDS Seaways Newcastle-Amsterdam ferry.

DFDS Seaways Princess of Norway (now Princess Seaways) about to sail overnight from Newcastle to Amsterdam.  The ferry also has deluxe Commodore class cabins with minibar, satellite TV, shower & toilet.  See the video.

 

A standard Seaways class cabin with shower & toilet on DFDS Princess of Norway from Newcastle to Amsterdam.

P&O Ferries Pride of Rotterdam   Cabin on P&O Ferries Pride of Rotterdam

P&O Ferries Pride of Rotterdam at Rotterdam Europoort.  The ferry also has deluxe class cabins with minibar, satellite TV, shower & toilet.

 

A standard outside cabin with shower & toilet on P&O's Pride of Rotterdam from Hull to Rotterdam.

Step 2, Amsterdam to Austria by Nightjet sleeper train

The sleeper has sleeping-car, couchettes & seats.  The sleeping-car has nine 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments with washbasin, plus three deluxe compartments with 1, 2 or 3 beds with private shower & toilet.  The sleeper berths come fully made up with sheets and duvets, all sleeper passengers get mineral water in the evening and a light breakfast served in their compartment next morning.  Towels & toiletries are provided, including shampoo and shower gel in the deluxe sleepers.  In the more economical couchettes, you can book a couchette in a cheaper 6-berth compartment or a less-crowded 4-berth compartment, each provided with sheet, blanket, pillow & small bottle of water, and couchette passengers get a tea or coffee in the morning.  When waiting for the northbound sleeper train in Vienna, if you have booked a sleeper you can use the ÖBB lounge with complimentary refreshments.  More pictures & information about Nightjet trains.

Nightjet sleeper train at Amsterdam Centraal

The Nightjet sleeper, boarding at Amsterdam Centraal.

Nightjet deluxe 2-berth sleeper   Nightjet deluxe sleeper in day mode   Nightjet deluxe sleeper toilet & shower   Nightjet standard (economy) sleeper

Deluxe sleeper.  Each compartment can be used as a 1, 2 or 3-bed room.  Larger photoVideo of deluxe room

 

Same deluxe sleeper in evening/morning mode with beds folded away, seats folded out.  Larger photo.

 

Deluxe rooms have a compact shower & toilet, towels & hair/body wash provided.  Larger photo.

 

Standard sleeper set up as 2-berth, washstand open.  It can be used as a 1, 2 or 3 berth.  Larger photo.

6-berth couchettes   4-berth couchettes   Couchette car on Amsterdam-Vienna sleeper

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

 

Couchette car on the Nightjet.


Holidays & tours to Austria by train

If you want a holiday to Austria by train not plane, and want someone to organise all the train tickets & hotels for you, several specialist companies do just that, for a holiday with no airport hassles and no long days in cramped coach seats on motorways.  Railbookers offer tailor-made individual holidays with departure on any date you like.

Railbookers logoRailbookers, railbookers.co.uk

Railbookers are a train travel specialist who can put together a tour or holiday to Austria as a package, including rail travel, hotels & transfers.  Their website has a range of suggested tours & holidays which can be varied or customised to your requirements.  As you're booking a package, they'll take care of you if anything happens such as a strike or delay. 

For example, they can do a 2-night short break from the UK to Vienna by train both ways, or an 8-night trip to Vienna & Venice via the Swiss Alps.  Or how about 8 nights to Vienna, Prague & Budapest, also by train throughout?  See the Railbookers Austria page for suggested itineraries & sample prices.

UK flag  UK call 0207 864 4600, www.railbookers.co.uk

US flag  US call free 1-888-829-4775, see website

Canadian flag  Canada call 1-855-882-2910, see website

Australian flag  Australia call 1300 971 526, see website

New Zealand flag  New Zealand call 0800 000 554 or see website

Byway logoByway, byway.travel

Byway (Byway.travel) is a UK-based eco-holiday firm with a 5-star TrustPilot rating.  If you're nervous about booking train travel yourself, book a one-way or return UK-Austria trip through Byway as a package, including hotels and starting from any British station you like.  Byway includes package protection, a 100% Covid refund guarantee, free disruption and re-planning and on-demand WhatsApp support while you're away.  They can build a trip to your requirements if you email them or use this contact form.  When you book, please say you heard about them from Seat 61.

Tailor Made Raill logoTailor Made Rail, tailormaderail.com

Tailor Made Rail can also organise a trip to Austria by train, with hotels and transfers. Call their dedicated seat61 phone line 020 3778 1461 and quote seat 61 when booking.  From outside the UK call +44 20 3778 1461.  Lines open 09:00-17:30 Monday-Friday.  Their website is www.tailormaderail.com/destinations/austria.

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European Rail Timetable & maps

Thomas Cook European Timetable -  click to buy onlineTraveller's Railway Map of Europe - buy onlineThe European Rail Timetable (formerly the Thomas Cook European Timetable) has train & ferry times for every country in Europe plus currency & climate information.  It is essential for regular European train travellers and an inspiration for armchair travellers.  Published since 1873, it had just celebrated 140 years of publication when Thomas Cook decided to pull the plug on their entire publishing department, but the dedicated ex-Thomas Cook team set up a private venture and resumed publication of the famous European Rail Timetable in March 2014.  You can buy it online at www.amazon.co.uk (UK addresses) or www.europeanrailtimetable.eu (shipping worldwide).  More information on what the European Rail Timetable contains.

Rail Map Europe is the map I recommend, covering all of Europe from Portugal in the west to Moscow & Istanbul in the east, Finland in the north to Sicily & Athens in the south.  Scenic routes & high-speed lines are highlighted.  See an extract from the map.  Buy online at www.europeanrailtimetable.eu (shipping worldwide) or at www.amazon.co.uk (UK addresses).

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GuidebooksAmazon logo

A good guidebook is a sound investment, even in the internet age.  For independent travel, the best guides are the Lonely Planet or Rough Guide.  Both guidebooks have the same excellent level of practical information and cultural and historical background.  You won't regret buying one!

Click the images to buy at Amazon.co.uk

Click to buy - Lonely Planet Western Europe Lonely Planet Austria - buy online at Amazon.co.uk Rough Guide to Austria - buy online at Amazon.co.uk

Alternatively, you can download just the chapters or areas you need in .PDF format from the Lonely Planet Website, from around £2.99 or US$4.95 a chapter.

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Hotels in Austria

Hotels in Vienna

Hotels in Salzburg

Find hotels at Booking.comMy favourite hotel search: www.booking.com

Booking.com is my favourite hotel booking site and I generally use it to book all my hotels in one place.  I've come to trust booking.com's review scores, you won't be disappointed with any hotel that scores 8.0 or more.  Crucially, booking.com usually lets you book with free cancellation, which means you can confirm accommodation risk-free before train booking opens and/or you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary and alter your plans as they evolve - a feature I use all the time when planning a trip.  I never book hotels non-refundably!

Backpacker hostels

www.hostelworld.com:  If you're on a tight budget, don't forget about backpacker hostels.  Hostelworld offers online booking of cheap private rooms or dorm beds in backpacker hostels in Paris and most other European cities at rock-bottom prices.

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Travel insurance & VPN

 

Staysure travel insurance

 

Columbus Direct logo

Always take out travel insurance

You should take out travel insurance with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover from a reliable insurer.  It should cover trip cancellation and loss of cash & belongings up to a reasonable limit.  These days, check you're covered for covid-19-related issues, and use an insurer whose cover isn't invalidated by well-meant but excessive Foreign Office travel advice against non-essential travel. An annual policy is usually cheapest even for just 2 or 3 trips a year, I have an annual policy with Staysure.co.uk myself.  Don't expect travel insurance to bail you out of every missed connection, see the advice on missed connections here.  Here are some suggested insurers, I get a little commission if you buy through these links, feedback always welcome.

UK flag  www.staysure.co.uk offers enhanced Covid-19 protection and gets 4.7 out of 5 on Trustpilot.

UK flag  www.columbusdirect.com is also a well-know brand.

US flag  If you live in the USA try Travel Guard USA.

 

Maya.net logo

Get an eSIM with mobile data package

Don't rely on WiFi, download an eSIM with a European mobile data package and stay connected.  Most newer mobile phones can download a virtual SIM including iPhone 11 & later, see device compatibility list.  There's no need to buy a physical SIM card!  Maya.net is a reliable eSIM data retailer with a 4.5 out of 5 Trustpilot rating and a range of packages including unlimited data.

 

Curve card

Curve card

Get a Curve card for foreign travel

Most banks give you a poor exchange rate then add a foreign transaction fee on top.  A Curve MasterCard means no foreign transaction fees and gives you the mid-market exchange rate, at least up to a certain limit, £500 per month as I write this.  The money you spend on your Curve card goes straight onto one of your existing debit or credit cards.  And you can get a Curve card for free.

How it works:  1. Download the Curve app for iPhone or Android.  2. Enter your details & they'll send you a Curve MasterCard - they send to the UK and most European addresses.  3. Link your existing credit & debit cards to the app, you can link up to two cards with the free version of Curve, I link my normal debit card and my normal credit card.  4. Now use the Curve MasterCard to buy things online or in person or take cash from ATMs, exactly like a normal MasterCard. Curve does the currency conversion and puts the balance in your own currency onto whichever debit or credit card is currently selected in the Curve app.  You can even change your mind about which card it goes onto, within 14 days of the transaction.

I have a Curve Blue card myself, it means I can buy a coffee on a foreign station on a card without being stung by fees and lousy exchange rates, just by tapping the Curve card on their card reader.  The money goes through Curve to my normal debit card and is taken directly from my account (in fact I have the Curve card set up as payment card on Apple Pay on my iPhone, so can double-click my phone, let it do Face ID then tap the reader with the phone - even easier than getting a card out).  I get a little commission if you sign up to Curve, but I recommend it here because I think it's great.  See details, download the app and get a Curve card, they'll give you £5 cashback through that link.

 

Express VPN

Get a VPN for safe browsing.  Why you need a VPN

When travelling you may use free public WiFi which is often insecure.  A VPN encrypts your connection so it's always secure, even on unsecured WiFi.  It also means you can select the geographic location of the IP address you browse with, to get around geoblocking which a surprising number of websites apply.  See VPNs & why you need one explainedExpressVPN is a best buy with a 4.7 out of 5 Trustpilot ranking which I use myself - I've signed up as an ExpressVPN affiliate, and if you go with expressvpn.com using this link you should see a special deal, 3 months free with an annual subscription.  I also get some commission to help support this site.

 

Anker Powerrbank

Carry an Anker powerbank

Tickets, reservations, hotel bookings and Interrail or Eurail passes are often now held on your mobile phone.  You daren't let it run out of power, and you can't always rely on the phone's internal battery or on being near a power outlet.  I always carry an Anker powerbank which can recharge my phone several times over.  Buy from Amazon.co.uk or Buy from Amazon.com.

Touring cities?  Use hill walking shoes!

One of the best things I've done is swap my normal shoes for hill-walking shoes, in my case from Scarpa.  They're intended for hiking across the Pennines not wandering around Florence, but the support and cushioning for hiking works equally well when you're on your feet all day exploring foreign cities.  My feet used to give out first and limit my day, now the rest of me gives up before they do!

 


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