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Austria Rail Pass - Would it be worth it? (Vienna, Salzburg & Hallstatt)

Hello,

Thank you for all of the helpful information on your website. I have a few questions regarding our trip to Austria next month (Jan 2022) and wondering if you can help.

We will be starting out in Switzerland and taking the train from Buchs SG to Salzburg. Spending 3 days in Salzburg to visit Salzburg and Hallstatt. Then from Salzburg traveling to Vienna for 5 days.

I have gone over your rout map that indicates the one way cost for each way. I have calculated $210 per person for the following:
Buchs SG to Salzburg (one way)
Salzburg to Hallstatt (round trip)
Salzburg to Vienna (one way)
Since the Austria Rail pass for 3 days is $166 - this would benefit us correct?

Is the journey from Buchs SG to Salzburg covered in the Austria Rail Pass?

Also, does the Austria Rail Pass cover any transportation within Vienna, Salzburg or Hallstatt or do we need to purchase a city pass within each region?

Thank you,

Mary

Posted by
3040 posts

The map with train prices you can find on this website is pretty useless to be honest as there is so much the price depends on. If you want to know how train travel in Europe works, your best friend is The Man in Seat 61, www.seat61.com

If you really want to know what a single ticket from e.g. Salzburg to Vienna costs, look up the prices at www.oebb.at and compare it to the price of a pass. Train tickets tend to cost more the closer you are to departure date, but for mid January you might be able to find some tickets from Salzburg to Vienna for €19.90.

Posted by
4638 posts

No, a Railpass is a huge ripoff. The map shows full fares that no one buys..

Salzburg to Vienna is 19.90 Euro
Salzburg to Hallstatt is 9.90 Euro
Buchs to Salzburg will be a similar price.

You can do the math. Buy your tickets only from OEBB’s or Westbahn’s website.

Posted by
7 posts

Thank you -

Do we need to purchase the tickets online from OEBB’s or Westbahn’s website before we arrive or can we do on the same day?

Salzburg and Vienna have their own city/region pass, right? The rail pass would not be for traveling within, correct?

Posted by
3040 posts

The price will go up, if you know when you will travel, buy now. If you are unsure, you can wait but pay a higher price.

Posted by
1463 posts

Do we need to purchase the tickets online from OEBB’s or Westbahn’s website before we arrive or can we do on the same day?

For OeBB trains the tickets have always to be purchased in advance, at least at the ticket counter just before departure.

Westbahn tickets can be bought from the conductor in the train.

Getting your tickets online in advance will give you a better price.

Posted by
1463 posts

Salzburg and Vienna have their own city/region pass, right? The rail pass would not be for traveling within, correct?

Yes, this is correct.

Regarding Vienna, there is a variety of public transport passes. It depends on how your stay falls within a calendar week or across a weekend to decide for the best selection. In most cases the calendar week pass (about €17) is the best choice, valid from Monday (12am) to the next Monday (9am). (In the US Sunday is considered the first day of the week, whereas in Europe it is Monday.)

Posted by
16883 posts

All of the train routes that you mention are fully covered by the Eurail Austria pass. In-city transport is not, except that you could use it on the S-Bahn (not U-Bahn, tram, or bus) on your train arrival day into Vienna. The pass currently has a small discount, making it $152 per person.

If you decide to buy separate tickets instead, the key one to buy ahead is the longest and most expensive, from Buchs to Salzburg. A full-fare ticket on that route now costs more than shown on our map. You’re probably won’t mind locking in the departure time on that one to get an advance discount, while you could keep your options open on shorter rides.

Posted by
4638 posts

But no one (!) pays full fare. Normal travelers buy their tickets ahead of time online. Keep in mind that this website sells and profits from Railpasses.

Posted by
1463 posts

@laura
I noticed already several times that you are peddling Eurail passes, which are, IMHO, a rip-off. They are targeted at gullible tourists who had been talked into thinking that buying train tickets in Europe is kind of rocket science.

The European rail passes made sense about 25 years ago when a specialist was needed for purchasing tickets for border-crossing trains. But nowadays just a few clicks are necessary.

I just looked up, incidentally, the price for a ticket from Buchs SG to Salzburg for an arbitrary date in January 2022, and the cheapest was €24.90 (Sparschiene bargain).