Vienna/Salzburg/Hallsett - Trains and/or Busses

Hi all, I'm heading to Austria next month. I will start out in Vienna then head to Salzburg for four days, returning to Vienna for a couple of days before flying out.

I also hope to tack on day trips to Hallstatt (from Salzburg) and Bratislava (from Vienna).

I'm struggling with identifying the most timely, cost effective way to travel between the locations. Trains to/from V->S, but think busses may be better for the other day-trip excursions.

Open to comments/suggestions from others that have traveled the region.

Thanks!

Jody

Posted by Emily
Vienna, Austria
891 posts

For planning travel in Austria, use www.oebb.at for schedules and fares.

From Vienna to Salzburg, you can take the train with OeBB for 19 Euro booked in advance or from Westbahn from 19.50 Euro purchased on the train or from a Tabak Trafik shop.

Salzburg to Hallstatt - there are several different ways to travel. No advantage to booking ahead as it is done on regional trains and a bus. Shortest ways are train to Bad Ischl and then a bus or a train to Attnang Puchheim and then another train to Hallstatt. This journey will take about 2.5 hours each way.

Vienna to Bratislava - I would stay in Vienna another day. Bratislava just doesn't compare. But if you are set on it, the bus is best as it stops under the UFO bridge just adjacent to downtown (unlike the train which is a ways from the center and requires that you take a streetcar). Blaguss and Eurolines lines are the bus companies.

Posted by Laura
Rick Steves' Europe
6115 posts

I'm not sure of the benefit of the Salzburg-Hallstatt route with two connections by train and bus. It also takes 2.25 - 2.5 hours all by train with one connection at Attnang-Puchheim.

You can save the Bratislava or no Bratislava decision until the end of your trip, when you've seen as much of Vienna as you can. On the last morning of my last visit to Vienna, I set out thinking it would be the day of my (second) trip to Bratislava, but then ended up going a completely different direction in the city, and was happy with it.

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
12441 posts

Attnang-Puchheim is on the main line from Vienna to Salzburg, so why not make Hallstatt an overnight stop on the way from Vienna to Salzburg?

Posted by Fred
San Francisco
3560 posts

Hi,

I agree with staying an extra day in Vienna. From Salzburg I suggest Bad Ischl as an alternative to Hallstatt. See the Kaiservilla in Bad Ischl.

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
12441 posts

" Shortest ways are train to Bad Ischl and then a bus or a train to Attnang Puchheim and then another train to Hallstatt. "

???????? Bad Ischl is on the regional rail line from Attnang-Puchheim to Hallstatt. If you were in Bad Ischl, why would you take a train to Attnang-Puchheim, then another train through Bad Ischl to Hallstatt?

BTW, it is maybe a little faster to take a bus from Salzburg Hbf to Bad Ischl, and you get to see some of the Salzkammergut (St. Gilgen) in the process. Or if you want to spend a little more time, you can take the bus from Salzburg to Mondsee and see the SOM wedding Basilica, then take other buses to Bad Ischl via St. Gilgen.

I only passed through Bad Ischl, so maybe I missed something. However, IMO, Hallstatt is one of the great scenic wonders of the world. It would be a shame to stop less than a half hour away. The only reason I would stay in Bad Ischl would be to use it as a base to go to Hallstatt.

Posted by Emily
Vienna, Austria
891 posts

Lee and Laura are reading my directions incorrectly. I am giving two options as follows:

Shortest ways are 1)train to Bad Ischl and then a bus or 2) a train to Attnang Puchheim and then another train to Hallstatt.

Hopes that helps to clarify. Of course you wouldn't go to Bad Ischl then AP and then Hallstatt - that would be stupid.

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
12441 posts

No, you expressed your directions inexactly. If you meant, " Shortest ways are train to Bad Ischl and then by bus to Hallstatt, or a train to Attnang Puchheim and then another train to Hallstatt", you should have said it that way. Commas were invented for a reason.

But to get to Bad Ischl by train you have to go through Attnang-Puchheim, so that part is kind of irrelevant. From Bad Ischl it is possible to go by train to the Hallstatt Bahnhof, across the lake from Hallstatt, but it is not possible to go from Bad Ischl to Hallstatt by bus. The bus goes to Lahn and from there it is a ½km walk into Hallstatt.

(Note, in 2009 I stayed in a farmhouse in Lahn, so I used the bus from Bad Ischl to avoid the walk from Hallstatt to Lahn with luggage. I thought there might be a boat from the dock in Hallstatt to Lahn, but I couldn't find a schedule to confirm it.)