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Salzburg to Prague/ first time in Europe

We will be traveling Salzburg to Prague, will use Westbahn from Salzburg to Linz, we can buy tickets on train or I believe at the station. When traveling from Linz to Prague I have checked several sites ie RailEurope, czechtransport, OBB, they all have a train that leaves at 11.35am, which is the train we would like to use. Can anyone tell me is this the same train or are there different trains leaving at the same time. Are the trains and correct platform easy to find? If we have booked first class seats do they come with a seat reservation and if so are the carriage numbers clearly marked on the ticket. If we have a seat reservation what is to stop people without a seat reservation from sitting in our seat, or or course, if we do not what is to stop us from sitting in another travelers seat I am worried that when we get to the station we will have problems identifying the train we need to get onto. Any help or advice to put this first time train traveler at ease would be greatly appreciated.

Posted by
8889 posts

All the sites you are looking at are showing the same train, there are not two trains at the same time.
ÖBB is the Austrian national rail company. Their site shows all trains in Austria, including the minority that are run by other operators. RailEurope is a ticket reseller, it does not run any trains.
You can buy your ticket at the station on the day, but it is usually cheaper to buy it in advance via the national website (ÖBB). You cannot buy tickets on the train, if you the on the train without a ticket, you will get a large fine.
When you book online, enter "Salzburg" to "Praha" (Czech for Prague) This will then show you the best connections and sell you one ticket for both trains. That is unless you want to get off and stay overnight in Linz. According to the ÖBB website, the 11:35 from Linz to Prague ("Praha hlavní nádraží" station, abbreviated Praha hl.n.) arrives 16:30 and tickets start from €48.00

When you buy a ticket online (first class or second class), you will get a reserved seat and the coach number and seat number will be shown on the ticket. The platform number may be shown on the ticket, but when you get to the station you can easily see this on the departure board. Even if the platform number is on the ticket, it is best to check it on the station departure board as sometimes it can change at short notice. In most stations the platform numbers are well signposted. Coach numbers are marked on the outside of the coaches and the seats are numbered.
If you book in advance and reserve a seat, that seat will be marked "reserved Linz-Praha". If anybody is sitting in your seat you ask them to move. If you do not have a reservation then you need to find a seat which is NOT marked "reserved".

Posted by
3175 posts

You will see a "1" on the outside of the train car (it might be on an electronic sign or might be painted on the car) to designate 1st class, and 2nd class cars sport a "2," to make them easier to distinguish. We've had people in our reserved seats before, either accidentally or deliberately, but just like at a theater or sporting event, if you have a reservation indicated on your ticket, it's your seat. If a seat poacher gives you any trouble (they shouldn't, but just in case), the conductor on the train will help you sort it out.

Posted by
8 posts

oops sorry not sure if I was clear. There is a train you can book from Salzburg to Prague with a change in Linz, the change time is approx 7 or 8 minutes, I was concerned that if we booked this and the train from Salzburg was running late we might miss the next train. This is why we were looking at catching a train from Salzburg to Linz and then another from Linz to Prague. It is Linz to Prague that leaves at 11.35am this is a copy from the RailEurope site.

11:35LINZ HBF 16:31 PRAHA HLAVNI NADR 4h 56mDirect Train Eurocites

We are looking at traveling to Linz using Westbahn and allowing plenty of time to get to the train that leaves at 11.35 from Linz.
If we were to book a train from Salzburg to Prage and missed the change would we then have to purchase tickets for the next train which is later in the day. Thanks for your assistance Diane

Posted by
4637 posts

The best website for train schedule in Europe is Deutsche Bahn. According to DB your train leaves Salzburg at 10:12 and arrives to Linz at 11:27. It goes all the way to Vienna. You will arrive to platform 7AC and your train to Prague is leaving at 11:35 from platform 4AB, arriving to Prague Main Train Station (Hlavni nadrazi) at 16:30. 8 minutes is enough time in Linz to make transfer. Very rarely platforms are changed but everything is well marked. In a very unlikely case when your train from Salzburg is delayed long time and train to Prague leaves without you, you are allowed to use your ticket for the next train to Prague. If you buy your ticket at the station without seat reservation (it's really not necessary, unless you are more people and you want to sit together) you can use any train going to Prague that day. Your seat reservation is only valid for the specific train. You can also buy ticket on the train from the conductor for some small fee. I did it several times when I did not have enough time to buy it at the station. You have to approach the conductor first not to be considered passenger without a ticket because in that case you would really pay a hefty fine. And then of course you can also buy your ticket from several websites. The cheapest ticket I found is on the czech website: http://www.cd.cz . It cost 821 Kc which is 29.73 Eu or US$ 37. You can buy it between 1 or 2 days ahead up to two months ahead. So if you know for sure which train you will go if I were you I would buy it 2 months ahead because sometimes the cheap tickets sell out early.

Posted by
4073 posts

Just to clarify - you CAN buy Westbahn tickets on the train; it is actually encouraged and part of their marketing strategy. Westbahn is a private rail company, however, and should not be confused with Oebb. Tickets for Oebb trains CANNOT be purchased from the conductor. You will definitely change trains in Linz as you would be changing rail companies. Even if you were on Oebb all the way, you would need to change trains in Linz.

You do not need to buy first class seats. Totally unnecessary for this route and a waste of money.

Personally, I would only buy a seat reservation if it was a heavy travel time - such as a Friday afternoon. If you are going on a Tuesday morning, for example, probably not necessary. If a seat has been reserved, it will be indicated above the seat and if someone is sitting there, you just ask them to move. If you don't have a seat reservation, just sit anywhere that is not reserved.

Posted by
8 posts

Hi thanks for your assistance, I checked the Deusch Bahn site after your response but it wont allow me to buy online tickets for the Salzburg to Prague journey, because we are international (Australia). My preference is to have the tickets before we leave Australia. The RailEurope people have previously told me that if I miss the train at Linz I would have to buy another ticket, thus the reason for my panic with the short time to change trains. We will be traveling on a Monday is this considered heavy travel time ... Diane

Posted by
4637 posts

You cannot buy your ticket from Salzburg to Prague through Deutsche Bahn website. They only sell tickets for trains which originate or end or go through Germany. However you can buy it through Austrian or cheaper through Czech Rail website. Or if you want really expensive tickets then RailEurope will be good.

Posted by
8 posts

Thanks your help really appreciated feeling much better about how we will do this. Czech rail looking good

Posted by
23358 posts

I think you are getting closer on this one.

As you have seen, best place to check schedules for anywhere in Europe is DB, the Deutsche Bahn. They can only actually sell the tickets if the train originates, terminates, or runs through Germany.

If, as in your case, it doesn't, buy the ticket from the railway providing the service. In most cases that will be the national company or the private company on that route.

Run away from relying on the overpriced and and incomplete middleman like RailEurope.

I'm sure you will have a fun time...

Posted by
16761 posts

A seat reservation is not necessary on any of these trains, and therefore costs a extra few euros if you want one. (If one chose a route including a bus from Munich to Prague, then that bus ticket does come with a seat assignment built in.) This is clear when you view extra details of for your DB schedule results.

Regardless of seat reservation, booking an advance-discount ticket will lock you into a specific train departure and the ticket won't be transferable to a later departure if you miss the connection. Full-fare tickets have fewer exchange restrictions. Try to be ready with your bags at the exit of the train, even before it stops at Linz, so that you give yourself the full connection time (and don't get stuck at the end of a slow line).

Posted by
4637 posts

To make it crystal clear: if you have an advanced ticket and miss your train in Salzburg, too bad. Your ticket was valid only for that train. But if you miss your train from Linz to Prague because of your connecting train from Salzburg was delayed, obviously not your fault but the railroads then you can use your ticket on the next train to Prague. Ask the conductor if you need any confirmation of that delay. But as I said it's very unlikely in Austria. It never happened to me.

Posted by
8 posts

Thanks everyone you have all been so helpful, At this stage we will probably still choose the Westbahn train to ensure we get to Linz in plenty of time to make the Linz to Prage train. I know for those of you are comfortable with train travel you would be able to do the change over at Linz with comfort. I am not a great traveler and panic if I think I am going to be late so just for my comfort and the sanity of my husband I would prefer to have a longer wait than the rush to get to the train. Deutsch Bahn is great for checking the schedules and will be useful for all our travels. This is not just our first time in Europe it is our first time traveling by train, anywhere, including Australia. Again thanks you have really assisted me in making my plans and sanity has returned to my household ... Diane

Posted by
8 posts

A little more help please - I had decided to book the Linz - Prague trip through the Czech railways, this is where the fun began. It would appear that we can book tickets 60 days before the trip, but it would also appear that the only tickets that can be booked as an eticket (my preference) are the 2nd class tickets. First class tickets have to be sent at an additional cost by mail or courier. I had been looking just to check the timing for purchase and of course the price.

The prices below are for 2 adults.
Through Czech Transport the cost of tickets is 72 Euro 2nd class 104 Euro first class, I had ticked the box for a seat reservation not sure if an extra amount is added on for this later during the booking process.

RailEurope Australian site (I know everyone says they are really expensive) 2nd class $50 approx 34 Euro and 1st class $86 approx 58 Euro

OBB 2nd class 96 Euro and 1st class 152 Euro
Ceske drahy eticket shop 2nd class 1076 czk approx 39 Euro, as this is the eticket shop there is no option for 1st class, it also says in one of the boxes ticket with possible reservation, does this mean we would get a seat number or just a speciic time to catch the train

Based on this information the RailEurope tickets are the cheapest. Is there any reason that I should not book through RailEurope?

A further question if we are travelling 2nd class will we have problems getting a seat, I have seen stories where people have had to sit on the floor because they could not get a seat, I really do not have any desire to sit on the floor for 5 hours.

Any help advice will be greatly appreciated

Posted by
4637 posts

I found ticket on the czech site ticket for 538 Kc = US$ 23.90, on RailEurope US$ 21 for 2nd class and 39 for 1st class. That's the cheapest I found. Price is for one ticket on January 14th. You have to put down your date which I don't know. On the czech site you can book only 2 months ahead. First class is not needed. Unless you travel Friday or Sunday afternoon or before holidays seat reservation is not needed. If you cannot get seat reservation on line and absolutely want it, buy it in Linz. You will have enough time to do that. Unlike in Australia or USA trains in Europe are frequent and never sold out (with very few exceptions).

Posted by
8 posts

We are traveling on Thursday 4 June, those tickets are not yet available. When checking the prices above I was using 4 February to compare prices. The prices I have put in above are for 2 adult tickets which are the same prices you have found, you are just showing single tickets. The RailEurope for USD$21 converts to AUD$25. We have purchased our Eurostar ticket through RailEurope at a good price, so was a little confused when I kept reading that RailEurope were very expensive. I had also read reviews where people were stating they had to sit on the floor as no seats were available, this was the only reason for wanting reserved seats, although, I did read a review where someone had reserved seats and other passengers were sitting in them and refused to move. I guess there are always horror stories and people generally write reviews when something has gone wrong. It appears with some train trips you can get them cheaper if you book them early this does not appear to be the case for this trip, thanks for your help

Posted by
1 posts

Dear friends,

I suppose you do not have to be so worried, trains form Salzburg go through very lovely countryside, no one doesn't have to sit on the floor because trains are not much used by local people for comuting.
People drive the cars, so trains are never full only on Sundays many students do back to Universities by train towards the Capitol City of Czech republic Praha which is Prague name in Czech.
If time and intrested in History or Architecture or both pls contact me -experienced and licenced language assistance Radana raduja@seznam.cz - You should avoid Saturdays at the Prague castle but other days are OK. I could possibly be of ay help after arrival.Please previous notice my mail.
Do not jump into first cab but better to use 24 czech crowns travel tickets for underground.Not very complicated just 3 lines only. At main railroad station is only C line ...red line
Every ticket hs to be validated before entering underground.
Tciket is easy to get form slot machine or newspaper kiosk only, better to byu one day Pass for 110 czk valid for 24 hours.
Good luck on your tour ...Radana raduja@seznam.cz

Good luck
Radana
Prague