Best Scenic Train Rides In Austria You’ll Never Forget

I’ve compiled a large list of the best scenic train rides in Austria for you to check out in this post and the truth is that it’s going to be tough to choose which of them to start with, and that’s because they’re all going to take you through some of the stunning areas in the country. Either way though I’ll also provide you with details on each one so you can better select the right option for you and whoever you’re traveling with!

Here are the best scenic train rides in Austria:

  1. Semmering Railway
  2. Salzburg to Innsbruck railroad
  3. Arlberg Scenic Train Ride
  4. Brenner Line
  5. Arlberg Railway
  6. The Pinzgauer Lokalbahn
  7. The Montafon Railway
  8. The Mariazell Railway

Semmering Railway:

The Semmering Railway is a scenic 2-3 hour train ride across the Semmering mountain pass revealing breathtaking alpine views. The first part of the trip is a bit fast and in some rider’s opinions OK, but it’s when you start to get into the mountains that the experience becomes amazing. This route is famous for its historical engineering feats, including numerous tunnels, viaducts, and bridges, offering spectacular sights of mountains, valleys, and villages.

Ticket prices: Tickets can start from around $11 if booked early, with 17 daily services. The trip runs from Vienna to the city of Graz.

Salzburg to Innsbruck railroad:

The train journey from Salzburg to Innsbruck (via Bischofshofen) is a scenic trip that typically lasts around 2 hours. On the ride, passengers are treated to stunning alpine landscapes that include ancient covered bridges, emerald rivers, hilltop monasteries, restored castles, and picturesque towns like Zell am See.

Ticket prices: €35 to €50 per person

Arlberg Scenic Train Ride:

The Arlberg Scenic Train Ride travels between Innsbruck to Bludenz and on this ride you can expect a journey filled with breathtaking views of the Austrian Alps, including dramatic mountain vistas, lush valleys, and picturesque villages. The duration of the trip is approximately 2-3 hours, depending on the specific train service you choose.

Ticket prices: Around €30 per person

Brenner Line:

The Brenner Line connects Innsbruck, Austria to Verona, Italy and offers amazing views of the Alps, including the Brenner Pass. The journey takes about 4 hours and showcases a lot of diverse landscapes, from mountain peaks to Italian vineyards. There’s actually a few scenic train rides in California that look a bit like this too in the states (in unrelated topics).

Ticket prices: $20+ USD usually

Arlberg Railway:

The Arlberg Railway runs between Innsbruck and Bludenz in Austria. It’s one of the most celebrated train rides in Austria for a number of reasons, one of which is its engineering marvels and stunning Alpine scenery, including the breathtaking Arlberg Pass. The journey’s duration is approximately 2-3 hours.

Ticket prices: $20-$60+ USD

Pinzgauer Lokalbahn:

The Pinzgauer Lokalbahn is a narrow-gauge railway that offers a scenic journey through the Salzburg region. This train runs from Zell am See to Krimml. This picturesque ride showcases the beautiful landscapes of the Pinzgau region, including Alpine meadows, mountains, and the Hohe Tauern National Park. The duration of the trip varies but it’s usually around several hours.

Ticket prices: €15+ per person

Montafon Railway:

The Montafon Railway is one of the shortest scenic train rides in Austria (it’s only about 10+ kilometers long) but it’s also an equally amazing trip worth taking. This train ride connects Schruns and St. Anton im Montafon in Vorarlberg, Austria and traverses the Montafon Valley which contains stunning Alpine landscapes. Besides awesome mountain views on this short trip, you will also pass beautiful little towns and rivers.

Ticket prices: €15+ per person (they also have a bike rack for an additional €6 per bike)

Mariazell Railway:

The Mariazell Railway is another narrow-gauge line which runs from St. Polten to Mariazell in Austria and is also well renowned for its scenic beauty. On this trip, you’ll be offered views of the Lower Austrian Alps, lush valleys, and a couple of beautiful villages. The journey takes around 2-3 hours and provides a unique experience through the spectacular landscapes, one of the most impressive being the Ötscher-Tormäuer Nature Park.

Ticket prices: €10+ per person

Best times to go:

best scenic train rides in austria

There are 2 specific seasons worth going on any of these train rides in Austria and they are spring and autumn.

  • During spring you will see some of the most emerald green mountains and valleys in the area and it’s usually around May that this starts to happen. Point being, spring is when you will catch the most green colors in the area.
  • Autumn however is either going to be equally beautiful or an even better time to hop on board these rides simply because you will have everything that spring has (except warm weather) but an array of amazing colors mixed in with all the sights.

Keep in mind that these train rides are extremely popular for both seasons so if you plan on going, I’d seriously recommend planning you trip (and making reservations) months earlier.

How to choose ride to go on:

The ideal way to select which option above is best for you is simply by making other plans around whichever town/area you plan to visit in Austria and making the closest train/s ride there part of the experience. You can even do a point A-B trip where one of the scenic train rides takes you to the next portion of the trip before continuing. You don’t have to select “the perfect one” because frankly, they’ll all awesome so any choice you make will be an excellent one!


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