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Train From Prague to Vienna

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This post explains how to reach Prague from Vienna and vice versa using the train, which is one of the quickest ways to reach the city with ease.

 

 


OVERVIEW

If you’re looking for an affordable and easy way to travel from Prague to Vienna, taking the train is certainly one of the best options available.

While there are some other forms of transportation which can cost less, trains are one of the quickest ways to reach your destination for a relatively low price.

That said, we will provide a contrast between trains and other services such as buses/coaches, planes, private cars and more in our comparisons section.

 

PRAGUE TO VIENNA BY TRAIN

 

Tickets range in price depending upon class and time of purchase.

You’ll also find that ticket prices might be more expensive at certain train stations, which will make it important to consider which station you choose to travel from.

While some overnight trains can take up to 11 hours to complete the journey between Prague and Vienna, most daily train services offer travel times of about 4-5 hours.

This post will include all the important details to consider when deciding how to enjoy a day trip to Vienna, making it easier to plan out your travel between these two cities.


TICKETS

The price of this service depends on when you decide to travel and how far in advance you purchase your ticket. 

Last-minute fares can be a bit more expensive, but if you buy a ticket at least a week or two ahead of time, you can usually get a very good deal.

Ticket prices can vary wildly depending on which station you choose to depart from. We recommend reading our section on Prague train stations to help you pick the right one.

There are two different types of train tickets: either standard or first class. 


Standard Tickets

Standard tickets, otherwise known as economy class, will grant you access to one seat.

Meals or snacks can be purchased separately, but you’ll have to get up to get them.

Economy class seats are partially adjustable for comfort, and there are foldable tables you can use for a laptop or other belongings.

Additionally, there are family areas with board games and other fun pastime activities.

There is one electric outlet for every 2 seats and plenty of space for luggage if you decide to spend more than a day or two in Vienna.

Here are the typical standard ticket prices you can expect to pay:

  • Last Minute Tickets: €35 - €45
  • Advance Purchase Tickets: €14 - €20
  • Seat Reservations are available for €3.50 - €4
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

First Class Tickets

If you’re looking for a bit more room to stretch out, first class is definitely the place to do it. Unlike with standard tickets, food and drinks can be delivered right to your seat.

In addition to providing all of the amenities you can expect in economy class, you’ll also enjoy leather seats and electrical outlets for every seat.

You can expect to pay the following prices for first-class tickets:

  • Last Minute Tickets: €55 - €85
  • Advance Purchase Tickets: €25 - €30
  • Seat Reservations are available for €3.50 - €4
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

If you want an even better experience, you can also upgrade a First Class ticket to Business Class for around €15.

Business Class guarantees seat reservation and the seating is much more comfortable with more space to move around. Ticket holders will also receive one free drink of their choice.

Tickets from Vienna to Prague can cost a bit more sometimes, but they usually aren’t more than €5-€10 extra.

Whatever the case might be, we recommend buying return tickets to save money on fares.

Return tickets are often the same price or slightly higher than one-way tickets, so you don’t have to worry about the cost increasing.

 


HOW LONG IS THE TRIP?

Depending on which train you take and when you leave, the amount of time it takes to reach Vienna from Prague will range from 4-7 hours on average.

This is comparable to most other methods of traveling between the two cities, and it’s actually one of the quickest options available.

Interestingly enough, the most affordable trains are also usually the fastest, as you can usually get a standard ticket on a 4-hour train to Vienna for between €14 - €18.

The earliest trains (from 4 am - 7 am) are pretty much all 4-hour services, but the later you get into the day, the more 5 and 6-hour options you’ll find.

The later trains (from 19:30 pm - 1 am) can take anywhere from 7 - 11 hours because these are essentially overnight services.

 


PRAGUE TRAIN STATIONS

There are three big train stations in Prague that you can use to travel between this city and Vienna. 

While you can catch a train from any of these locations, there is unquestionably one station which will be more affordable and offer more services than the others.


Hlavní nádraží

This is the main railway station in Prague, and it provides connections with international rail services as well as frequent trains to Vienna.

 

Hlavní nádraží

 

In addition to offering dozens of trips to Vienna each day, this train station also typically offers some of the best prices in the city.


Nádraží Holešovice

Located in the Holešovice neighbourhood, this station is only 3 stops away from Hlavní nádraží and they also offer international connections.

 

Nádraží Holešovice

 

The only problem with this station is that they offer fewer trains to Vienna than other locations and ticket prices tend to be on the higher end, even when purchased well in advance.


Masarykovo nádraží

This is the oldest railway station in the city, and it only offers service to Vienna via transfers to other trains.

As a result, travel times can be a bit longer and ticket prices are typically much more expensive.

 

Masarykovo nádraží

 


Recommendation

In most cases, it will be more affordable to use Hlavní nádraží for a train to Vienna.

Even if you have to spend a bit of money on a taxi or rideshare service to reach this station, chances are you’ll save much more money than it would cost to purchase a ticket for what could be €60-€100 or more.

It’s also worth noting that Hlavní nádraží is located pretty much in the centre of Prague, so most travelers won’t have trouble using this train station.

If you’re traveling from Vienna to Prague, we suggest using the Vienna Central Train Station, as you’ll find the lowest prices and most frequent service from this location.


TRAIN vs OTHER TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS

While taking the train is one of the best ways to reach Vienna from Prague, there are a few other options you may want to consider. 

This section will provide comparisons between taking the train and using a bus/coach, plane, private car, and other services to get to Vienna.

Taking the Bus

This is probably the second most popular way to travel between these two cities, and you can expect a bus or coach ride to take 4 ½ - 5 hours on average.

Although ticket prices can be a bit more affordable at €13-€15 on the cheap end, some travelers may not want to sacrifice even 30-60 minutes in Vienna when they could get there faster on a train.

Hiring a Private Car

If you’re looking for another way to reach Vienna from Prague in about 4 hours, you could hire a private car.

That being said, this type of service tends to cost about €80 or more per person.

Travelers who want to avoid other passengers may find this type of service preferable, but it should be noted that you could get either a first-class or business class ticket on a train for less than a private car.

Taking a Plane

This is definitely the quickest way to get from Prague to Vienna, as the flight takes about 1 hour total between the two cities. 

That said, when you factor in the process of getting through airport security, boarding the plane, and getting out of the airport on the other end, the total travel time can take up to 3-4 hours.

It can cost €80 for a one-way ticket to Vienna, and you can expect to pay about as much to get back to Prague.

Although it might be faster, some travelers will prefer to save a lot of money by using the train instead.

Go on a Private Tour

If you’re interested in taking a guided tour of Vienna, there are private tour services you may want to consider which include transportation to and from the city.

These private tours range from €80 - €100 on average, so they’re definitely more expensive than most other options, but you’ll also get a professionally guided tour in addition to the ride from Prague to Vienna.

Of course, if you’d rather explore Vienna on your own, a train ticket will be much more affordable. Some Prague tourist passes provide discounts on day trips to Vienna.

Rent a Car

This is probably one of the most obvious options, and prices actually begin at a very low €5 per day.

That said, you’ll have to factor in the cost of petrol on top of the rental costs, and they also typically require a rather large deposit that you can get back when the vehicle is returned.

Aside from the deposit, you may also find that your license to drive isn’t valid in the Czech Republic, so depending on where you are traveling from, this might not even legally be an option.

Ultimately, taking the train is usually going to be more affordable and you won’t have to drive or pay for petrol to reach your destination.

 


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About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo, Washington.org, and more.
Updated: September 27th, 2021
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