Saturday, September 18, 2021

How To Travel To Austria

EuropeAustriaHow To Travel To Austria

By plane

There are 6 airports in Austria with regular flights. The main international airport is Vienna Airport (IATA: VIE), which is linked to most of the major airports in the world. Some other international airports are Graz, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt, Linz and Salzburg, which have domestic flights and connections to several European countries. Those airports are particularly popular with low-cost airlines like Ryanair. When traveling to the western states, we suggest using the nearby Munich Airport. Although Bratislava has fewer connections than Munich or Vienna, it is just 70 km from Vienna and there is a regular bus connection.

Some of the most frequent airports visiting Vorarlberg are Altenrhein (Austrian), Friedrichshafen (Ryanair) and Zurich (Switzerland).

If you are going to Austria for ski, you should choose the airport considering the cost and duration of the whole trip (plane + transfer), not necessarily Vienna and most probably not in Austria.

In contrary to many other countries, skiing in Austria shouldn’t mean flying to the national capital first. Vienna herself is a four-hour drive away from the closest medium-sized complex and with public transport it is longer.

By bus

The bus is not necessarily the cheapest way to travel, however, large discounts are being introduced for long distance travel (to Warsaw for 1 €). Travelling by bus may also be the cheapest option if you want to travel at short notice or if you have a significant amount of luggage. For those coming from the East, travelling by bus is especially interesting as there are plenty of buses to Vienna and they tend to be faster in comparison to trains.

In addition, most of the companies that operate intercity buses in Germany also operate to the main Austrian cities.

Eurolines Austria is the biggest Austrian bus operator and tour operator, while many services are actually not included in their timetables.

Hellö a subcompany of ÖBB, operates several international routes to/from Austria.

By car

Austria as well as all of its neighboring countries are part of Schengen, which means that theoretically they have no border checks. In order to use the autobahns or highways, a vignette or tax sticker is required to be purchased and attached to the car windshield. It costs 80,60 € for a year, 24,20 € for a period of 8 weeks or approximately 8,30 € for a period of 10 days and can be purchased at most gas stations before the border and at the border. For some larger tunnels an additional fee of approximately 4 to 10 € is charged.

During some Saturdays in July and August, congestion is expected on the freeways between Germany, Austria and Italy as millions of German tourists travel south at the start of the summer school vacations. A delay of approximately 2 hrs. is not uncommon. The A10 highway connecting Salzburg and Villach is especially notorious. You should be well advised to avoid these Saturdays.

From Germany

  • Motorway A8 from Munich to Salzburg.
  • Motorway A93 from Rosenheim via Kufstein to Innsbruck, Tyrol.
  • E43 (A96) from Leutkirch via Wangen to Bregenz, Vorarlberg.
  • E56 from Regensburg via Passau to Linz, Upper Austria.

From Italy

  • Motorway A23 to Villach, Carinthia.
  • E54 via Brenner to Innsbruck, Tyrol.

From Slovenia

  • E652 to Villach, Carinthia.
  • E57 via Spielfeld to Graz, Styria.

By train

Austria has numerous daily connections to and from all its neighbors. All of its neighboring countries ( also including Liechtenstein) are served by trains to and from Austria at a minimum of hourly intervals. Many (Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany, Slovakia, Switzerland) have even more frequent connections. ÖBB operates high-speed ICE and RailJet trains from cities such as Zurich, Munich, Frankfurt, Passau, Prague and Budapest in co-operation with local railroads like Deutsche Bahn or Česke Dráhy. Eurocity trains are the second-fastest trains available, as well as trains connecting Austria’s biggest cities called Intercity. Local trains called EURegio and basic regional trains are also available from the 8 neighbors of Austria.

Vienna is the major railroad junction, although day and night trains from most of the Central European countries go to many stations in Austria. In general, day trains are a lot faster compared to night trains. You can purchase tickets at some locations in Austria through the ÖBB website. Make sure you always compare the rates of the railroads in the departure or transit countries, as there might be price differences even for the very same train. ÖBB offers discounted SparSchiene train tickets to and from countries such as Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Serbia and Switzerland for an all-inclusive price (e.g. 29 € for a single seat, 39 € for a couchette or 59 € for a bed). Only a limited number of tickets are offered at this price. In high season advance booking is required. There are additional offers available for all Central European countries, however, many of them are not bookable online.

Information for trainspotters
In Austria, most railroads are electrically operated. Most of the electric trains receive their electricity from a single-phase alternating current network. This network utilizes its own power lines, which are run at 110 kV. In contrast to normal power lines, they use a number of conductors that is not divisible by 3 – the majority of power lines for the single-phase alternating current network of the railroad power grid have 4 conductors. Many interesting mountain railroads of all kinds and trains from all over Central Europe are available.

From Slovakia

  • South of the Austrian-Czech-Slovak trilateral border, between Hohenau an der March (Austria) and Moravský Svätý Ján (Slovakia), there is a pontoon bridge accessible only to pedestrians and cyclists. The path leads through a flat landscape, is very quiet and can be easily covered by bicycle. Its length is about 6 kilometers, of which the 4 kilometers on the Slovak side are a completely straight, unchanging landscape, which can feel a little boring.
  • The Bratislava Municipal Transport Company (DPB) operates a cross-border bus line No. 901 between Hainburg on the Danube (Austria) and Bratislava (Slovakia), with a stop also in the Austrian town of Wolfsthal. In Bratislava the final stop is Nový most.
  • There is a pontoon ferry accessible for cars and pedestrians between Angern an der March (Austria) and Záhorská Ves (Slovakia). It is open from 5 p.m. to 22 p.m.