To check train times & fares in Austria, see www.thetrainline.com (easiest) or www.oebb.at.

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This page explains how to travel by train from Salzburg to cities across Europe, and how to buy tickets the cheapest way.  Train information is current for 2021.

bullet pointBefore you buy your tickets...

Take a moment to read these tips for buying European train tickets.  It answers all the usual questions, "Must I book in advance or can I just buy at the station?", "Can I stop off?", "Are there Senior fares?" and that old favourite, "Should I buy an $800 railpass or just buy a €35 point-to-point ticket online?".  Click here to understand how far ahead you can buy train tickets.

bullet pointEuropean train travel FAQ...

An introduction to European train travel

 

Senior fares (over 60)

 

Guide to Eurail passes (overseas visitors)

Important tips for buying European train tickets

Youth fares (under 26)

 

Guide to Interrail passes (for Europeans)

How to check European train times

Child fares & child age limits

 

Couchettes & sleepers on night trains

Do I need to book in advance?

Luggage on European trains

 

Train seat numbering plans

How far ahead can I book?

Luggage storage at stations

 

Wheelchairs & special needs

Can I stop off on the way?

Taking a bike by train

 

Real-time service updates

Should I travel 1st or 2nd class?

Taking a car by train

 

Hotels & accommodation

How long to allow for connections?

Taking dogs & pets by train

 

Changing stations in Paris by metro or taxi

How early to arrive at the station?

Maps of the European rail network

 

What to do when things go wrong...


Salzburg to Vienna from €19.90...
Salzburg to Hallstatt from €9.90...
Salzburg to Innsbruck, Graz & other Austrian destinations from €9.90...
A railjet train about to leave Vienna

A railjet at Vienna.  Railjets are Austria's premier train.

  Premium class seats on the Munich-Vienna RailJet train   Railjet restaurant car

Railjet first class, with black leather seats...

 

Business class...

 

The restaurant...

Railjet train at Vienna Hbf   Railjet train standard class

A railjet arrived at the impressive modern Vienna Hbf spot on time.  More photos & information about railjet trains

 

Economy class on railjet, in open saloons with large windows.  Some seats around tables, most unidirectional.

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Salzburg to London...

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Salzburg to Paris from €39.90...

Option 1, Salzburg to Paris in a single day via Germany - the fastest & cheapest option...

TGV Duplex from Paris Gare de l'Est to Stuttgart & Munich

TGV Duplex at Paris Est. These impressive 200 mph double-deck trains link Munich & Stuttgart with Paris...

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.  360Ί photo.

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

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

 

A TGV Duplex.  The red near the door indicates 1st class, pale green indicates 2nd class.

Option 2, Salzburg to Paris in a single day via Switzerland - the scenic Arlberg route!

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

A railjet at Zurich HB...

  Premium class seats on the Munich-Vienna RailJet train   Railjet restaurant car

Railjet first class, with black leather seats...

 

Business class...

 

Bistro-restaurant car...

Railjet train at Vienna Hbf   Railjet train standard class

Railjet is Austrian Railways premier train...  More photos & information about railjet trains

 

Economy class on railjet, in open saloons with large windows.  Some seats around tables, most unidirectional.

The mountains of Austria...

Taking the train through the Arlberg pass...   Lunch is served at your seat in first & business classes

In the Arlberg pass itself, the railway hugs the valley side, past fir forests and meadows...

 

In Railjet first & business class, the stewardess takes your order & serves lunch at your seat...

The lakes between Zurich and the Austrian border

The Railjet clips a corner of Liechtenstein, passing non-stop through the little station of Schaan-Vaduz.  Once in Switzerland, the Railjet runs alongside the Zόrichsee, then along the Walensee...

Option 3, Salzburg to Paris with overnight stop in Munich - same as option 1, but an overnight stop breaks up the trip nicely...

Option 4, Salzburg to Paris with overnight stop in Zurich - same scenic route as option 2, but an overnight stop breaks up the trip nicely...

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Salzburg to Lyon, Avignon, Marseille, Cannes, Nice, Monte Carlo...

Option 1, Salzburg to Lyon, Aix, Avignon, Marseille in a day...

Frankfurt to Marseille TGV

The TGV Duplex from Frankfurt & Karlsruhe to Lyon, Avignon & Marseille, at Frankfurt (Main) Hbf...

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

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

 

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

First class on board a TGV Duplex   A TGV Duplex at Frankfurt

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

 

The TGV to Marseille, boarding at Frankfurt am Main Hbf.  You enter on the lower deck, with 9 stairs up to top deck.

Option 2, Salzburg to Monte Carlo, Nice, Cannes, Marseille using the Salzburg-Milan sleeper - the time-effective option...

1 or 2 bed sleeper on Nightjet train   en suite shower & toilet in deluxe sleeper   Comfortline sleeping-car as now used on Nightjet trains

2-berth regular sleeper with washstand.  Larger photo.

 

The toilet & shower in a deluxe sleeper...

 

Step 1, Salzburg to Milan by Nightjet sleeper train..More information about Nightjets.

    4-berth couchette on Nightjet train

Austrian couchette car or liegewagen.  Couchettes are the economical option, flat bunks with rug & pillow.

 

6-berth couchettes, the cheapest option...

 

4-berth couchettes, ideal for families.  Larger photo.

Thello train from  Nice to Milan, at Milan Centrale

Step 2, Milan to Nice by Thello train, seen here at Milan Centrale.  More photos & information about Thello trains...

   
2nd class seats on the Thello train from Nice to Milan   1st class seats on Thello train from Nice to Milan

2nd class seats on the Thello train.  Very comfortable, seat arranged 2+2 across the car width.

 

1st class seats on Thello.  More space per person than 2nd, with seats arranged 2+1 across the car width..

Coastal scenery from the Thello train from Nice to Italy

Views from the train, along the Ligurian coast between Milan and Nice.  Photos courtesy of Lucas Martin.

Option 3, Salzburg to Monte Carlo or Nice with an overnight stop in Milan...

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Salzburg to Brussels & Bruges from €39.90...

Option 1, using the time-effective Nightjet sleeper train to Brussels on Tuesdays, Thursdays & Sundays - the time-effective option...

Option 2, Nightjet sleeper train to Cologne, on days when it doesn't operate direct to Brussels...

1 or 2 bed sleeper on Nightjet train   en suite shower & toilet in deluxe sleeper   Comfortline sleeping-car as now used on Nightjet trains

2-berth regular sleeper with washstand.  Larger photo.

 

The toilet & shower in a deluxe sleeper...

 

Wels to Cologne by Nightjet sleeper train - this is a Comfortline sleeping-car.  More information about Nightjets.

    4-berth couchette on Nightjet train

Austrian couchette car or liegewagen.  Couchettes are the economical option, flat bunks with rug & pillow.

 

6-berth couchettes, the cheapest option...

 

4-berth couchettes, ideal for families.  Larger photo.

High-speed ICE3 train at Brussels Midi   ICE2 train, 2nd class

Cologne to Brussels by ICE3...

 

ICE3 2nd class seats.  Larger photo.

ICE3 train, 1st class   Lunch & beer on an ICE3 train

ICE3 1st class, with leather seats.  Larger photo.

 

ICE3 bistro.  See this month's menu.

Option 3, by day trains in a single chill-out day...

Rhine Valley by train

The classic scenic route along the Rhine Valley - see the Rhine Valley page for more photos, video & tips.

Option 4, by day trains with an overnight stop in Cologne, also from €39.90...

High-speed ICE3 train at Brussels Midi   ICE2 train, 2nd class

An ICE3 at Brussels Midi platform 5...

 

ICE3 2nd class seats.  Larger photo.

ICE3 train, 1st class   Lunch & beer on an ICE3 train

ICE3 1st class, with leather seats.  Larger photo.

 

ICE3 bistro.  See this month's menu.

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Salzburg to Amsterdam from €37.90...

Option 1, using the Austria-Amsterdam Nightjet sleeper train - the most time-effective option...

1 or 2 bed sleeper on Nightjet train   en suite shower & toilet in deluxe sleeper   Comfortline sleeping-car as now used on Nightjet trains

2-berth regular sleeper with washstand.  Larger photo.

 

The toilet & shower in a deluxe sleeper...

 

Wels to Amsterdam by Austrian Nightjet train.  This is a Comfortline sleeping-car.  More information about Nightjets.

    4-berth couchette on Nightjet train

Austrian couchette car or liegewagen.  Couchettes are the economical option, flat bunks with rug & pillow.

 

6-berth couchettes, the cheapest option...

 

4-berth couchettes, ideal for families.  Larger photo.

Option 2, by daytime trains in a single day - the leisurely daytime option...

High-speed ICE3 train at Amsterdam   ICE2 train, 2nd class

An ICE3 at Amsterdam Centraal platform 2...

 

ICE3 2nd class seats.  Larger photo.

ICE3 train, 1st class   Lunch & beer on an ICE3 train

ICE3 1st class, with leather seats.  Larger photo.

 

ICE3 bistro.  See this month's menu.

Option 3, by daytime trains with overnight stop in Cologne - breaks up the journey nicely... 

Rhine Valley by train

The classic scenic route along the Rhine Valley - see the Rhine Valley page for more photos, video & tips.

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Salzburg to Luxembourg from €36.90...

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Salzburg to Zurich, Basel, Geneva & Switzerland from €29...
A railjet train about to leave Zurich Hbf for Innsbruck, Salzburg & Vienna

A railjet at Zurich HB...

  Premium class seats on the Munich-Vienna RailJet train   Railjet restaurant car

Railjet first class, with black leather seats...

 

Business class...

 

The restaurant...

Railjet train at Vienna Hbf   Railjet train standard class

Railjet is Austrian Railways premier train...  More photos & information about railjet trains

 

Economy class on railjet, in open saloons with large windows.  Some seats around tables, most unidirectional.

The mountains of Austria...

Taking the train through the Arlberg pass...   Lunch is served at your seat in first & business classes

In the Arlberg pass itself, the railway hugs the valley side, past fir forests and meadows...

 

In Railjet first & business class, the stewardess takes your order & serves lunch at your seat...

The lakes between Zurich and the Austrian border

The Railjet clips a corner of Liechtenstein, passing non-stop through the little station of Schaan-Vaduz.  Once in Switzerland, the Railjet runs alongside the Zόrichsee, then along the Walensee...

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Salzburg to Venice...

Option 1, Salzburg to Venice by Nightjet sleeper train...

The Nightjet train from Vienna to Venice, arrived at Venice Santa Lucia

The Nightjet sleeper train from Linz & Vienna, arrived at Venice Santa Lucia.  More nightjet information, photos & video.

Nightjet deluxe sleeper, 2-bed   Nightjet deluxe sleeper toilet & shower   4-berth couchette compartment from Cologne to Vienna

2-berth deluxe sleeper.  More info about Nightjet trains.

 

...en suite toilet & shower.

 

4-berth couchettes...

Option 2, Salzburg to Venice by daytime trains from €29.90...

Scenery in the Austrian Alps between Munich & Ljubljana

Through the Austrian Alps...  Clinging to the mountainside high in the Austrian Alps, the train snakes along between snow-capped mountains, absolutely wonderful.  This is the Tauern route from Salzburg to Villach, where you pick up the railjet to Venice...

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Salzburg to Venice, Milan, Florence, Rome, Naples & Italy from €29...

Option 1, Salzburg to Milan, Florence, Rome by direct Nightjet sleeper train - the most time-effective option...

1 or 2 bed sleeper on Nightjet train   en suite shower & toilet in deluxe sleeper   Comfortline sleeping-car as now used on Nightjet trains

2-berth regular sleeper with washstand.  Larger photo.

 

The toilet & shower in a deluxe sleeper...

 

A Comfortline sleeping-car, as now used on the Austrian Nightjet trains from Salzburg & Vienna to Italy.  More information about Nightjets.

    4-berth couchette on Nightjet train

Austrian couchette car or liegewagen.  Couchettes are the economical option, flat bunks with rug & pillow.

 

6-berth couchettes, the cheapest option...

 

4-berth couchettes, ideal for families.  Larger photo.

Option 2, Salzburg to Milan, Florence, Rome, Naples by daytime trains - the scenic option via the Brenner Pass...

After running south through the Brenner Pass from Innsbruck, this EuroCity train has arrived at Verona.  You don't need to book a table in the restaurant car, just go along and sit down.  Dining on the move as the scenery glides by is one of the pleasures of travelling on trains like this.  More photos & information about these EuroCity trains.

Austrian second class seats   Austrian second class seats   Austrian first class seats

Second class seats, mostly in 6-seat compartments with side-corridor like this, but some cars are open-plan saloons...

 

First class leather seats.  On a few trains you'll find 6-seat compartments too....

Mountains on the Brenner route...

Scenery (and vineyards!) on the Brenner route   Scenery on the Brenner route

Vineyards, mountains and castles south of Brenner as the train heads for Trento & Verona...

Hilltop fortresses seen from the Brenner Pass train

Watch out for hilltop fortresses...  See the Brenner Pass scenery video here.

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Salzburg to Sicily

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Salzburg to Barcelona & Spain from €79.80...

Option 1, by daytime trains with overnight stop in Geneva - the most scenic route, and avoids having to cross Paris...

Option 2, by daytime trains with overnight stop in Paris - fastest route & usually slightly cheaper, if you don't mind changing stations in Paris...

Option 3, by comfortable daytime trains with overnight stop in Munich - same as option 2, but with the overnight stop in Munich rather than Paris...

Mt Canigou in the Pyrenees

Mt Canigou & the Pyrenees...  One of the highest peaks in the mighty Pyrenees, the 2,784m (9,137 feet) high Mt Canigou dominates the skyline on the right of the train all the way from Perpignan to Girona, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CanigouMore photos of what to see on the Paris-Barcelona train journey.

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Salzburg to San Sebastian...

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Salzburg to Lisbon, Porto, Faro & Portugal...
To Morocco by train...   En route to Morocco by train: gran classe 2-bed sleeper (day mode)   en route to Morocco by train: Gran Classes 2-bed sleeper (night mode)   Paris to Madrid & Barcelona by trainhotel: Gran Classe sleepers have a private shower and toilet

The Sud Express, about to leave Irun on the Franco-Spanish frontier, bound for Lisbon...  Courtesy of Ron BakerSee panorama photo...

 

Gran Clase sleeper, in evening mode with the seats folded out...

 

....return from the bar to find the beds made up...

 

Gran Clase private toilet & shower...

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Salzburg to Andorra...
Intercite de nuit overnight train   Intercite de nuit couchette

The intercitι de nuit overnight train from Paris to Latour de Carol has 1st class 4-berth & 2nd class 6-berth couchettes, each with lightweight sleeping-bag & mineral water...

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Salzburg to Berlin, Frankfurt, Cologne & Germany from €27.90...

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Salzburg to Munich from €18.90...

Option 1, by express train in 1h28...

Option 2, by slower Bayerische Regiobahn regional train in 1h46...

The morning RailJet from Munich has arrived in Budapest.   Economy class seats on the Munich-Vienna RailJet train

Railjets are ΦBB's (Austrian Railways) premier trains...  More photos, video & information about railjets.

 

Economy class on railjet, in open saloons with picture windows.  Some seats around tables, most unidirectional.

  Premium class seats on the Munich-Vienna RailJet train   Railjet restaurant car

Railjet first class, with black leather seats...

 

Business class...

 

Bistro-restaurant car...

Pleasant Bavarian scenery between Salzburg & Munich...

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Salzburg to Rothenburg ob der Tauber from €25.90...

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Salzburg to Copenhagen, Stockholm, Gothenburg & Scandinavia...

Option 1, by daytime trains:  Salzburg to Copenhagen in a day from €39.90!  Salzburg to Stockholm or Gothenburg from €39.90!

Option 2, by daytime trains with an overnight stop in Hamburg...

A Danish IC3 train at Copenhagen station...   1st class seats on a Danish IC3 train

A Danish IC3 train at Copenhagen station.  IC3s now work all the Hamburg-Copenhagen trains.

2nd class seats on a Danish IC3 train   IC3 train to Copenhagen at Hamburg

2nd class seats on an IC3 train...

 

Boarding a train to Copenhagen in Hamburg.

125 mph tilting 'SJ2000' from Copenhagen to Stockholm, at Copenhagen station SJ2000 2nd class seats

A Copenhagen-Stockholm X2000 train boarding at Copenhagen main station...

 

2nd class seats on an X2000 train from Copenhagen to Stockholm.

SJ2000 train   SJ2000 buffet car seating area   SJ2000 self-service buffet car.

X2000 bistro car...

 

X2000 bistro car seating area...

 

Bistro self-service...

Winter scenery fro a Copenhagen-Stockholm train

Winter scenery from a train between Copenhagen & Stockholm. Courtesy of Radoslav Sharapanov

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Salzburg to Oslo & Norway...

Option 1, via Hamburg & Copenhagen - by train all the way...

Option 2, Salzburg to Oslo via the Kiel-Oslo Color Line cruise ferry - the most comfortable way to Oslo...

Germany to Oslo Color Line ferry at Kiel

This photo is taken from the exit of Kiel station, so you can see how close the ferry is.  It's a 5-6 minute walk across the harbour, with a street lift up to a connecting walkway which takes you to the ferry terminal. If you have reserved one of what Color Line call their "5 star suites", check in at the desk rather than the machines and you'll be directed to a special lounge to wait with free tea, coffee, juice, snacks & WiFi.  You'll also have priority boarding of the ship.  Photos courtesy of Andrew Leo.

Boarding the ferry in Kiel

Boarding the Color Line ferry to Oslo in Kiel...

Kiel to Oslo ferry, Color Class suite   Kiel to Oslo ferry, restaurant

A 5 Star Suite on the ferry...

 

More cruise liner than ferry!  The restaurant.

View from Color Line ferry to Oslo

Wake up to this....

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Salzburg to Helsinki & Finland...

Option 1, using a Finnlines ferry from Germany to Helsinki - the easiest option...

  • Day 1, travel from Salzburg to Hamburg, leaving Salzburg at 10:00, change at Munich Hbf, arriving Hamburg Hbf 18:18 (times may vary).

    Fares start at €23.90 in 2nd class or €33.90 in 1st class.

    Book this train at the German Railways website www.bahn.de and print your own ticket or show it on your laptop or smartphone.

  • Book onward trains within Finland at the Finnish Railways website www.vr.fi.

Finnlines Star class ferry to Helsinki   Cabin on the Finnlines ferry to Helsinki

One of Finnlines 3 star class ferries to Helsinki.  Courtesy of Finnlines.

 

Cabin on the ferry...

Option 2, by train to Stockholm, then ferry to Helsinki...

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Salzburg to Prague from €19:  Click here for details...
  • It's easy to travel from Salzburg to Prague by comfortable air-conditioned train from just €19 in 2nd class or €39 in 1st class, city centre to city centre in 5h45 with one easy change in Linz, see the Salzburg to Prague page for full details...

  • You can buy tickets at either www.thetrainline.com or Czech Railways www.cd.cz, I recommend checking prices on both.  You print your own ticket or can show it on your smartphone.

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Salzburg to Cesky Krumlov from €17...
  • Several times a day, a fast Austrian railjet train with restaurant car & free WiFi runs from Salzburg to Linz in about 1h10 and connects with a comfortable air-conditioned Czech express from Linz to Ceske Budejovice taking 2h16.

    A little branch line train run by private operator GWTR then runs from Ceske Budejovice to Cesky Krumlov every hour or two taking around 44 minutes.

  • See the timetable from Salzburg to Ceske Budejovice here.

    Then look up connecting train times from Ceske Budejovice to Cesky Krumlov at jizdnirady.idnes.cz/vlaky/spojeni.  Allow at least 10 minutes between trains in Ceske Budejovice, although you might well make even a 3-minute connection if your train is on time.

    Incidentally, Ceske Budejovice might sound more familiar by its former Germanic name, Budweis. That's right, where the name of the beer comes from! The town is worth a look around in its own right. Why not take an earlier train and have a wander into the old town?

  • How much does it cost?

    Salzburg to Ceske Budejovice costs as little as €15 if bought a little in advance from either www.thetrainline.com or Czech Railways www.cd.cz.  You print your own ticket.

    Ceske Budejovice to Cesky Krumlov by local train costs 40 CZK, around €1.55.

  • To buy tickets...

    Step 1, book from Salzburg to Ceske Budejovice at www.cd.cz and print your own ticket or show it on your smartphone.

    Step 2, buy a ticket for the Ceske Budejovice to Cesky Krumlov local train on the day, either from the distinctive green & orange GWTR ticket office at Ceske Budejovice station or from the ticket machines on board the GWTR local train which accept cash or contactless Visa/MasterCard.

  • You'll find  more information about Cesky Krumlov, the GWTR local train, taxis between station and old town, and how to travel from Cesky Krumlov on to Prague, on the Cesky Krumlov page.

A train from Linz to Prague

Take a smart Austrian railjet from Salzburg to Linz to connect with a Czech express train like this from Linz to Ceske Budejovice & Prague.  These trains usually have a refreshment trolley for part of the journey, but why not take a picnic and maybe some wine or beer?  Change in Ceske Budejovice for the little branch line train to Cesky Krumlov.

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Salzburg to Bratislava & Slovakia from €29.90...
  • You can travel from Salzburg to Bratislava in 3h36 from just €29.90 pre-booked at either www.thetrainline.com (easiest, in €, £ or $, overseas credit cards no problem, small booking fee) or the Austrian Railways website www.oebb.at (in €, more fiddly, same fares).

  • A direct ΦBB railjet train leaves Salzburg every day at 18:08, direct to Bratislava Hlavna arriving 21:51.

    If these timings suit you this is clearly the easiest option.  Fares start at €29 in 2nd class, €44 in 1st class or €59 in business class, buy at www.thetrainline.com or www.oebb.at and print your own ticket.  Fares vary like air fares, book ahead for the cheapest prices.

  • If the direct train doesn't suit you, simply take any of the hourly Austrian railjet trains from Salzburg to Vienna Hbf in around 2h25, then the hourly regional express train from Vienna Hbf to Bratislava Hlavna (the main station, closest to the city centre) taking 1h07.  The cheap Sparschiene fares are only valid on the specific departure you book.

  • Tip:  When using www.oebb.at, I recommend selecting the specific destination station Bratislava hl.st. as you will then see journeys with 1 change at Vienna Hbf and arrival at Bratislava's main Hlavna station which is closer to the city centre.  if you select the generic city name BRATISLAVA as your destination you may only see journeys with arrival at Bratislava Petrzalka station, which is not the main or best-located station in Bratislava.

  • You can break the journey up in Vienna if you like.  In fact, without any pre-booking you can hop on any hourly Westbahn train from Salzburg to Vienna Hbf paying €29 or so to the conductor on board (see www.westbahn.at), then buy an unlimited-availability €11.20 local ticket at the station for the next hourly regional express train from Vienna Hbf to Bratislava Hlavna.  This way, no pre-booking is necessary and you have complete freedom.

  • You might also consider taking a train from Salzburg to Vienna, then a river trip along the Danube to Bratislava.  Vienna-Bratislava fast ferries and hydrofoils runs at least once a day in winter, up to 5 times a day in summer, 80 minutes.  At least two companies operate, see www.twincityliner.com or www.lod.sk.

  • For Poprad-Tatry & Kosice, change in Bratislava.  You can travel from Salzburg to Poprad or Kosice in a single day if you leave Salzburg on the 07:12 or 09:12 departures, by railjet train to Vienna Hbf, then regional express train to Bratislava Hlavna, then Slovakian express train to Poprad & Kosice.  Look up times and buy tickets at www.thetrainline.com or www.oebb.at.

The train from Vienna to Bratislava...   Inside the hourly train from Vienna to Bratislava...

The hourly regional express train from Vienna Hbf to Bratislava Hlavna

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Salzburg to Budapest from €39.90...

Option 1, by direct railjet train - the fastest & most frequent option...

  • Smart Austrian railjet trains link Salzburg with Budapest Keleti every two hours with fares from €39.90 in 2nd class, €54 in 1st class or €69 in business class, city centre to city centre with power sockets, free WiFi and a restaurant car for meals - although food orders are taken and served at your seat in 1st & business class.  Fares are dynamic, increasing as departure date approaches.

  • Departures from Salzburg at 07:08, 09:08, 11:08, 13:08, 15:08, 16:08, journey time 5h11.

  • Buy Salzburg-Budapest tickets online at www.thetrainline.com (easiest to use, in €, £ or $, overseas credit cards no problem, small booking fee) or the Austrian Railways website www.oebb.at (in €, more fiddly, same fares).  You print your own ticket.

Railjet train at Vienna Hbf   Railjet train standard class

A railjet at the impressive modern Vienna Hbf.  More photos & information about railjet trains

 

Economy class on railjet, in open saloons with large windows.  Some seats around tables, most unidirectional.

  Premium class seats on the Munich-Vienna RailJet train   Railjet restaurant car

Railjet first class, with black leather seats...

 

Business class...

 

The restaurant...

Between Vienna & Budapest it's largely flat, with more wind turbines than you can shake a stick at - allegedly over 200.  This photo pretty much sums up the Vienna-Budapest section!

A Railjet train at Budapest

The railjet has landed...  A railjet has arrived spot on time in Budapest's historic Keleti station, built 1881-1884.

Option 2, by competing Westbahn train to Vienna and Regiojet train to Budapest - cheapest option, with easy online booking...

  • Private open-access operator Westbahn run regular trains from Salzburg to Vienna.  Open-access operator Regiojet then runs two trains per day from Vienna Meidling to Budapest Deli station.  These two operators have teamed up to offer cheap through tickets from Salzburg to Budapest with low fares that stay low even at short notice.  In fact, even on the day of travel.

    Departures from Salzburg main station are at 05:12 & 13:12.

    Salzburg-Vienna takes 2h46, you have an hour and a half for coffee in Vienna, then Vienna-Budapest takes 2h32.

    See photos of Westbahn's comfortable double-deck trains hereSee photos & a description of the 4 classes on RegioJet trains here.  I highly recommend Business class, with complimentary sparkling wine, Illy coffee and bottled water, or Relax class with complimentary Illy coffee and bottled water.  Regiojet offers excellent at-seat service.

  • Regiojet offers special through fares in partnership with Westbahn from €34.90.

  • Buy an e-ticket online at www.regiojet.com.

A RegioJet train to Prague at Vienna Hbf

A RegioJet train in its distinctive yellow & grey colours, see interior photos of RegioJet trains here

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Salzburg to Sighisoara, Brasov & Bucharest from €58...

Option 1, by railjet to Vienna and Dacia Express sleeper train to Sighisoara, Brasov & Bucharest...

  • Step 1, travel from Salzburg to Vienna by railjet train, leaving Salzburg at 15:08 and arriving Vienna Hbf at 17:30.

    By all means take an earlier train for some time in the Austrian capital, just don't risk any tight connections in Vienna.  The railjets have a restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.

    Fares start at €19.90 in 2nd class, €29.90 in 1st class, or €44.90 in business class (premium 1st).

    Book this at www.thetrainline.com or www.oebb.at.  You print your own ticket.

  • Step 2, travel from Vienna to Romania on the Dacia Express, leaving Vienna Hbf at 19:42 every day arriving Sighisoara 10:34, Brasov 13:35 & Bucharest Gara de Nord at 16:04.

    It has a modern air-conditioned Romanian sleeping-car with 1, 2 & 3 berth compartments with washbasin, plus several deluxe compartments with en suite shower & toilet.  It has a Romanian couchette car with 4 & 6 berth compartments, and 2nd class seats.

    A Hungarian restaurant car operates between Vienna and Budapest, treat yourself to dinner.  A bar-bistro is then attached in the morning between Arad & Bucharest, serving drinks, snacks and breakfast.  There's wonderful almost Alpine scenery through the Carpathian mountains between Brasov and Bucharest, a real treat...

    Fares start at €49 with a couchette in a 6-berth compartment, €69 with a bed in a 3-berth sleeper, €89 with a bed in a 2-berth sleeper or €149 with a bed in a single-berth sleeper, all to yourself.

    Book this train at the Austrian Railways website www.oebb.at.  In the search results, look for the direct train marked D with no changes.  You collect tickets from an ΦBB ticket machine in Vienna.

Dacia Express at Vienna   Romanian couchette car from Vienna to Bucharest

The Dacia Express couchette car boarding at Vienna Hbf.  Always book a couchette, not just a seat.  Couchettes convert from bunks at night to seats by day.

4 or 6-berth couchettes.  Larger photo.

Sleeper on the Dacia Express   Dacia Express at Sighisoara

A 1, 2 or 3-bed sleeper with washbasin.  Larger photo.

 

The Dacia Express arrived at Sighisoara.  Sleepers convert from beds to private sitting rooms for day use.  Courtesy of Philip Dyer-Perry.

Couchette car on the Ister EuroNight train from Budapest to Bucharest  

Enjoy breakfast in the bar-bistro eastbound, or an evening beer westbound, as a bar-bistro is attached in Romania to both the Ister & Dacia ExpressBar-bistro photos courtesy of Philip Dyer-Perry.

Option 2, by railjet to Budapest & sleeper train Ister to Brasov & Bucharest...

  • Step 1, travel from Salzburg to Budapest by smart Austrian railjet train, leaving Salzburg at 11:08 and arriving Budapest Keleti at 16:19.

    The railjets have a restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.

    Fares start at €29 in 2nd class, €39 in 1st class or €54 in business class.

    Buy a ticket at either www.thetrainline.com (easiest) or www.oebb.at.  You print your own ticket.

  • Step 2, take the sleeper train Ister, leaving Budapest Keleti at 19:10 and arriving Brasov at 09:54 & Bucharest Gara de Nord at 12:33 next day.

    This comfortable train has 4 & 6 berth couchettes and an air-conditioned Romanian sleeping-car with 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments with washbasin, a Romanian couchette car with 4 & 6 berth compartments, and 2nd class seats.  There's no restaurant car so take a picnic and bottle of wine, although a cafe-bar is usually attached in Romania in the morning.

    Fares start at €39 with a couchette, €59 with a bed in a 3-bed sleeper or €89 with a bed in a 2-bed sleeper.

    Book this train at the Hungarian Railways website www.mavcsoport.hu, see my advice on using it.  Booking opens 60 days ahead.  You show your ticket in the MAV app on your smartphone.

Option 3, by daytime trains with overnight stop in Budapest...

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Salzburg to Ljubljana, Zagreb, Split & Dubrovnik from €29...

Option 1, all year round...

  • Comfortable air-conditioned EuroCity trains link Salzburg with Lesce-Bled on Lake Bled, Ljubljana & Zagreb every day:

    Leave Salzburg at 10:12, make one easy cross-platform change at Villach, to Lesce-Bled, Ljubljana & Zagreb.

    Leave Salzburg at 14:12 by direct EuroCity train Mimara to Lesce-Bled, Ljubljana & Zagreb.

    Leave Salzburg at 16:12 change in Villach, to Lesce-Bled & Ljubljana.

    Journey time from Salzburg to Lesce-Bled is around 3h40, Salzburg to Ljubljana 4h20, Salzburg to Zagreb 6h40.

    This is a really lovely scenic journey through the mountains across Austria and along the beautiful River Sava between Ljubljana and Zagreb. Have your camera ready!

  • Fares start at €29 in 2nd class or €39 in 1st class.

  • Buy tickets at www.thetrainline.com (easiest to use, overseas cards no problem, you print your own ticket) or Austrian Railways' own site www.oebb.at (a little more fiddly, you print your own ticket).  Look for a cheap sparschiene fare and print your own ticket.  Avoid any departure marked BUS as this isn't a train.

  • Tip:  I've seen a cheap €29 Sparschiene fare available from Salzburg to Zagreb but only standard price €50+ available on the same date and train from Salzburg to Ljubljana.  And nothing stops you buying a €29 Salzburg-Zagreb ticket and getting off in Ljubljana, that's perfectly legitimate!

  • Important:  Engineering work affecting the Munich-Salzburg-Ljubljana-Zagreb route until at least 10 July 2021...  Major engineering work has closed the Karawanks Tunnel between Austria & Slovenia until at least 10 July 2021, and normal train service is suspended.  To find alternatives, run a Salzburg-Ljubljana or Salzburg-Zagreb enquiry at the German Railways site www.bahn.de or www.thetrainline.com.  You'll find Salzburg-Ljubljana services with 1 change at Villach onto a rail replacement bus.  You'll find Salzburg-Zagreb journeys by train via the alternative Maribor route with 1 or 2 changes.

  • Onwards to Split & Dubrovnik...  There are daytime trains and a sleeper between Zagreb and Split, from where buses run to Dubrovnik, for details see the Trains from Zagreb page.

Scenery in the Austrian Alps between Munich & Ljubljana

Through the Austrian Alps...  Clinging to the mountainside high in the Austrian Alps, the train snakes along between snow-capped mountains between Salzburg & Villach, wonderful...

  2nd class seats on the Munich-Zagreb train

...and along the Sava river in Slovenia.  Now across the border in Slovenia, the EuroCity train runs along the pretty River Sava all the way to Ljubljana and Zagreb...

 

Comfortable seats:  The 2nd class seats in the Slovenian cars are arranged 2+1 abreast, the same as 1st class!

Scenery between Ljubljana & Zagreb

More lovely scenery along the Sava between Ljubljana & Zagreb...

The EuroCity train 'Sava' from Munich to Ljubljana & Zagreb  

The EuroCity train Sava, arrived at Zagreb.

 

More scenery along the Sava between Ljubljana & Zagreb.

Option 2, to Split & Dubrovnik using the Budapest-Split sleeper train Adria, runs in summer June-September...

  • Step 2, travel from Budapest to Split by direct sleeper train called the Adria.  This runs from mid-June to early September, leaving Budapest Keleti around 18:53 every evening arriving Split around 08:56 next morning.  It has a comfortable Hungarian sleeping-car with 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments and a couchette car with 4 & 6 bunk compartments.

    The fare is around €79 with couchette or from €92 with a bed in a cosy 2-bed sleeper.

    Check to see if it is bookable online at the Hungarian Railways website www.mavcsoport.hu (see my advice on using it).  If not, you will need to book at the station or by phone with a ticketing agency in your home country.

  • For Dubrovnik, take a bus from Split.  There are buses every hour or even every half hour, run by several companies.  Journey time between 3h45 and 4h35, fare around €13-€17.  Buy a ticket at the bus station in Split.

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Salzburg to Belgrade, Sofia & Montenegro...

Salzburg to Belgrade by day trains with overnight stop in Zagreb - a scenic route...

  • Day 1, travel from Salzburg to Zagreb on either the 10:12 or 14:12 departures from €29, as explained above.  A lovely scenic ride!

  • Stay overnight in Zagreb.  The Esplanade Hotel, Palace Hotel or Central Hotel are all near the station with good reviews.

  • Day 2, take the daily train from Zagreb to Belgrade, leaving Zagreb at 13:04 and arriving Novi Beograd at 20:17 & Belgrade Centar at 20:25.  Fare around €29 bought at the station.  It cannot be booked online, but there are always places available.

if you're going to Sofia...

If you're going to Montenegro...

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Salzburg to Warsaw & Krakow from €39...

Option 1, Salzburg to Warsaw or Krakow in a day - The daytime option...

  • Step 1, travel from Salzburg to Vienna by smart modern railjet train, leaving Salzburg at 10:12 arriving Vienna Hbf at 13:05.

    The railjet has a restaurant car, power sockets at all seats & free WiFi.  You can take the 11:08 from Salzburg arriving Vienna Hbf 13:30 if you like, but personally, I'd take the earlier train to be on the safe side.

    Tip:  If you have a 1st class ticket for the onward train, you can use the ΦBB 1st class lounge at Vienna Hbf between trains, with free WiFi and complimentary tea & coffee.

  • Step 2, travel from Vienna to Warsaw on the afternoon EuroCity train leaving Vienna Hbf at 14:10 arriving Warsaw Centralna at 21:17.

    This comfortable EuroCity train has air-conditioned carriages and a restaurant car.  Change in Katowice for Krakow, arriving 21:04.

  • How much does it cost?

    Salzburg to Krakow starts at €29.90.

    Salzburg to Warsaw starts at €39.90.

  • How to buy tickets...

    Buy a ticket at the Austrian Railways website www.oebb.at, but (and this is important) click the cogwheel icon at the top of the search results page and then click Comfortable connection time.  If you don't, you may end up with a risky 5-minute connection.  You print your own ticket.

Option 2, by sleeper train - The time-effective option...

  • Step 1, travel from Salzburg to Vienna Hbf by smart modern railjet train, they leave every hour or better.  I'd allow at least an hour between trains in Vienna when catching a sleeper train.  Fares start at €19.90.  Book this at www.thetrainline.com or www.oebb.at.

  • Step 2, travel from Vienna to Poland by sleeper train Chopin, leaving Vienna Hbf at 22:10 and arriving Krakow 05:41 & Warsaw Centralna 08:33.

    The EuroNight sleeper train Chopin has a comfortable air-conditioned Polish sleeping-car with 1 2 & 3 bed compartments with washbasin plus two deluxe compartments with en suite toilet & shower, see the photos below.  It also has economical couchettes in 4 & 6-bunk compartments and 2nd class seats.

  • How much does it cost?

    Salzburg to Krakow starts at €29.90 plus €26 supplement for a bed in a 3-bed sleeper or €39 for a bed in a 2-bed sleeper. 

    Salzburg to Warsaw starts at €39.90 plus €26 supplement for a bed in a 3-bed sleeper or €39 for a bed in a 2-bed sleeper.

  • How to buy tickets...

    Buy a ticket at the Austrian Railways website www.oebb.at, but (and this is important) click the cogwheel icon at the top of the search results page and then click Comfortable connection time.  If you don't do this, you may end up with a risky 5-minute connection.  You print your own ticket.

Modern Polish sleeping-car

Modern Polish sleeping-car of the type used Budapest-Warsaw.  Photo courtesy of WieselFahrer...

Modern Polish sleeper in day mode   Modern Polish sleeper in day mode   A deluxe sleeper on the Amsterdam to Warsaw train   Deluxe sleepers have a private shower & toilet

Standard sleeper in evening/morning mode with seats folded out.

 

Standard sleeper set up as a 3-berth.  It can also be sold as a single or double.

 

Deluxe sleeper, set up as a 2-berth, showing TV & wardrobe.

 

Deluxe sleeper:  En suite shower & toilet...

Option 3, Salzburg to Krakow with an overnight stop in Prague...

Option 4, Salzburg to Krakow with overnight stop in Vienna..

  • Day 1, travel from Salzburg to Vienna on any train you like, taking 2h25, they leave hourly through the day.

    Fares start at €19.90.  Book at the Austrian Railways website www.oebb.at and print your own ticket.

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Salzburg to Kiev, Lviv & Ukraine...
  • Step 1, travel from Salzburg to Vienna using any train you like.  I'd allow an hour or two between trains in Vienna, so take a train around 12:22 to arrive in Vienna around 14:52, but by all means take an earlier train and see something of Vienna.  Book at www.oebb.at and print your own ticket.

  • Step 2, travel from Vienna to Lviv or Kiev by direct Ukrainian sleeping-car, leaving Vienna Hbf at 16:42 every day and arriving next day (day 3) at Lviv at 10:14 & Kiev at 17:21.  This train has a Ukrainian sleeping-car with comfortable 1, 2 & 3 berth compartments with washbasin, see the photos below.  At Chop on the other side of the border the through sleeping-car is jacked up to have its wheelsets changed from European standard gauge (4'8½") to Russian gauge used in Ukraine (5').

    Book the train from Vienna to Lviv or Kiev online at the Austrian Railways website www.oebb.at.

    This will only book one-way or round trip starting in Vienna because tickets need to be collected from an ΦBB station in Austria.  They cannot be collected in Ukraine.  Booking this way you pay no fee or mark-up, just the official fare.  The sleeper has become popular, it can sell out.

    If you have any problems or want a one-way ticket starting in Ukraine, you can also book the Vienna-Kiev train via reliable agency www.polrail.com, with tickets posted or couriered to you for a small fee.  Polrail are based in Poland so charge in zlotys, but as they have access to Ukrainian ticketing system they are good for booking this train.

    Booked through oebb.at:

    Vienna to Kiev costs €80.50 in a 3-berth sleeper, €90.50 in a 2-berth sleeper or €152.90 in a single sleeper.

    Vienna to Lviv costs €62.10 in a 3-berth sleeper, €70.10 in a 2-berth sleeper or €119.30 in a single sleeper.

    Booked through Polrail:

    Vienna to Kiev costs around €138 in a 3-berth sleeper €149 in a 2-berth sleeper, or €241 in a single-berth sleeper.

    Vienna to Lviv costs around €120 in a 3-berth sleeper €129 in a 2-berth sleeper, or €207 in a single-berth sleeper.

    Booked at the station in Ukraine, Kiev to Vienna costs around €80, Lviv to Vienna around €60, in both cases with a bed in a 3-bed sleeper.

The Vienna-Kiev sleeping-car at Kiev Pass

Boarding the Vienna to Kiev sleeping-car at Vienna Hbf.  Photo courtesy of Helmut Uttenthaler.

Sleeper to Kiev about to leave Vienna   Ukrainian sleeper corridor   1, 2 or 3 bed Ukrainian sleeper compartment

The Vienna-Kiev sleeper about to leave Vienna Hbf... Courtesy of Helmut Uttenthaler.

 

The sleeper corridor.  Courtesy Helmut Uttenthaler.

 

1, 2 or 3 bed sleeper compartment.

The Vienna-Kiev sleeping-car at Kiev Pass

The Vienna-Kiev sleeping-car at Kiev Pass.  Photos courtesy of Helmut Uttenthaler.

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Salzburg to Moscow, St Petersburg & Russia...

Option 1, via Kiev, avoiding Belarus...

  • Step 1, travel from Salzburg to Vienna and take the sleeper to Kiev as shown above.

  • Step 2, take one of the various Kiev to Moscow sleeper trains, for example train 6 leaves at 19:36 arriving Moscow Kievskaya station at 10:09 the next morning (= day 3 from Salzburg).

    The fare is around €92 with a bed in 4-berth kupι or €180 with a bed in a 2-berth spalny vagon.

    You can ask www.polrail.com to book this for you too, or you can book tickets from Kiev to Moscow at the Ukrainian Railways site booking.uz.gov.ua/en/ booking from Kyiv to Moskva Kievskaya.  You collect tickets at the station in Kiev.  Feedback appreciated!

Option 2, via Warsaw.  This goes via Belarus, remember you'll need a Belarus transit visa.

A modern Russian sleeping-car of the sort used on the Polonez   A 2-berth or 4-berth compartment in daytime mode

These modern sleeping-cars run from Warsaw to Moscow...

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Salzburg to Athens, Corfu & Greece...

Option 1, Salzburg to Athens by train & ferry via Italy - the leisurely option with an Adriatic cruise thrown in...

  • The best and most comfortable option is to pick up a ferry in Bari.  The whole scenic and relaxing journey from Salzburg to Athens will take around 2 nights & 3 days, depending how the connections work out on your particular date.

  • Day 1, travel from Salzburg to Rome Termini in a single day as shown above.

  • Stay overnight in Rome...

  • Day 2, take a morning train from Rome Termini to Bari Centrale from €29.90, there's a Frecciargento train around 08:05.

  • Day 2, sail across the Adriatic from Bari to Corfu, Igoumenitsa or Patras in Greece aboard a luxurious cruise ferry booked at www.superfast.com.  She normally sails daily except Sundays at 19:30 arriving 13:00 next day (day 3).  There are bars, restaurants, sun decks, lounges and en suite cabins.  It's a lovely crossing, see the photos below.

  • Day 3, Patras is a few hours from Athens by bus/train combo.  There's a bus/train timetable from Patras to Athens on www.trainose.gr but it's pretty hard to find.  The Bari to Athens part of this journey is covered in more detail on the London to Greece page, just disregard the London to Bari part of the journey!

A 2 or 4 berth cabin on the Italy-Greece ferry  

2 or 4-berth cabin with private toilet & shower.

 

Relaxing on deck...

The ferry from Bari to Greece at sea

At sea, passing Cephalonia & Ithaca.  This is what travel to Greece should be like!

Option 2, Salzburg to Athens overland by train via Munich & Belgrade - a rail adventure across the Balkans...

  • You can also travel overland by train from Salzburg to Athens via Belgrade & Thessaloniki.  It'll take 3 nights, with the romance and adventure of an epic train ride through the Balkans.

  • Travel from Salzburg to Belgrade as shown above.

  • In Belgrade you pick up the train to Thessaloniki for Athens explained in detail on the Trains from Belgrade page.

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Salzburg to Istanbul & Turkey...

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bullet pointHotels in Salzburg

Suggested hotels in Salzburg...

For a stay of a few days I'd choose a hotel in the old town near all the sights.  For a brief one or two night stay, especially if you were leaving on an early train, I'd go for a hotel near the station, so you can walk across the road and leave your bags, there's no time wasted in taxis and it's an easy stroll across the road to the station when it's time to leave.  Salzburg isn't huge, so it'll still be an easy walk to the old town and all the sights.

Hotels near the station...

Hotels in or near the old town...

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

www.booking.com is my favourite hotel booking site and I generally prefer booking my hotels all in one place here.  You can usually book with free cancellation - this allows you to confirm your accommodation at no risk before train booking opens.  It also means you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary, and alter your plans as they evolve - a feature I use all the time when putting a trip together.  I never book hotels non-refundably.  I have also come to trust their review scores - you won't be disappointed with anything over 8.0.

Tip:  It can pay to compare prices across multiple hotel sites:  HotelsCombined.com is a price comparison site which compares hotel prices on Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, Accor, Agoda and many others.  Though if there's not much in it, I prefer keeping all my bookings together in one place at www.booking.com.

Other hotel sites worth trying...

www.tripadvisor.com is the place to find independent travellers' reviews of all the main hotels.

Backpacker hostels: www.hostelworld.com...

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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