Travelling from Munich to Prague, via Austria, is an affordable and simple rail holiday. Within about a week and a half, you can have stein in Munich, a Motzart Ball in Salzburg, a coffee in Vienna and a dirt cheap beer Prague. And with the longest train journey only about four hours, it’s a painless way to cross three countries off your list.
Munich to Salzburg
There are two ticket options for getting to Salzburg from Munich. The quickest is to go via Railjet or EuroCity train, getting you into Salzburg in about an hour and a half. Prices range from €19 to €36, depending on how far in advance you buy them.
But the easiest and most cost effective method is the Bayern Ticket. This costs just €23 for the first passenger and €5 for each additional passenger, and takes just 20 minutes longer than the fast trains. The Bayern Ticket enables a party of up to 5 adults to make unlimited travel within the Bavaria region for one day, so its also an option if you just plan on taking a day trip to Salzburg.
The Bayern ticket is valid on all regional trains in second class, which includes all trains designated with the following letters: RB, RE, IRE, ALX, BOB, M (Meridian), and its valid on U-Bahn and S-Bahn services as well.
The Bayern Ticket can be bought in advance online or on the day of travel. The ticket is only valid after 9am on weekdays, but any time on weekends. There’s no need to book a particular train or seat, just jump on. However, be aware that the train is usually waiting at the platform a while before departure and can get crowded – get there early if you want a seat, and remember to sit on the right side of the train for the best views of the alps.
Salzburg to Vienna
The train to Vienna is even easier. You don’t even need a ticket ahead of time, simply hop on any Westbahn service to ‘Wien Westbahnof’ and pay the conductor on board. Tickets cost €26.50 and the journey takes around two an a half hours. There’s a train every hour at 52 minutes past the hour.
Be aware that this train arrives into Wien Westbahnhof, Vienna’s main regional train station, as opposed to Wien Hauptbahnhof, where trains for Prague and other international destinations depart. So plan your accommodation accordingly, but its easy enough to use Vienna’s Metro system to transfer between the two.
Vienna to Prague
The modern Railjet services that run between Vienna and Prague take around four hours. You can buy tickets ahead of time from either Czech Railways or Austrian railways, but both offer ticketing for the same services. Prices vary between the two and with the Czech prices in Koruna, it’s worth comparing rates. You can reserve a seat for a small fee.
Trains leave at 10 past the hour, every two hours and as mentioned above, they depart from Wien Hauptbahnhoff, not Westbahnhoff.