Zurich to Salzburg via Rail

Any tips on train travel from Zurich airport to Salzburg? We'll be doing this in May. Will rent a car after 3 days in S'burg.

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
5444 posts

What time does your plane arrive? Are you planning to take the train to Salzburg right away? The train Michael mentions goes twice a day, at 10:20 am and 14:20 in the afternoon. At other times there are different options, some with more changes (up to 3 or 4) and all taking longer than 6 hours. You can buy discount tickets in advance on SBB for that particular train, bringing the price from 109 CHF down to 50 CHF. But these are reserved seats so you want to be sure you will make the train. Zurich airport is very easy to navigate, but you might want to allow for late arrival of your plane.

Posted by Michael Schneider
New Paltz, NY
6841 posts

Including the night train, there are five direct trains to Salzburg from Zuirch HB station daily.

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
5444 posts

The night train is not a direct train; from what I see there is a change at Innsbruck in the middle of the night. And it gets in to Salzburg at 3:26 am. Of the other 4 direct trains, the earliest (8:40) may not be realistic for passengers arriving in the morning after flying from the US. And they may not wish to wait around for the latest, the 16:40. That is why I asked what time their plane gets in.

Posted by Jack
Pinole, CA, USA
5 posts

Thanks, folks. You all did just what I'd hoped! We arrive at Zurich at 11:00 the night before we plan to leave. I did book – prepaying – with SBB, for that low rate (100 francs for two). Leaving on the 10:20 the next day.

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
11284 posts

If you are going via Innsbruck (the default unless you specify Munich as a stopover), you go by Railjet across Germany from Kufstein to Salzburg via Rosenheim (not as scenic as the all Austrian route via Bischofhofen. I mention this because, if someone is using a rail pass (and I know you're not), according to RailEurope it must include Germany (I'm not sure this is really true. The non-stop train from Kufstein to Salzburg is run by Austrian Rail. I don't think the woman at RailEurope understood the question. She barely spoke English. I need to contact Austrian Rail.)