Hallstatt Salzkammergut, Austria
Hiking the Voralberg, Austria
Travelers enjoying a meal at a lakeside restaurant
City view of Salzburg, Austria
Ride the Rails in Austria
Austria might be better known for the Sound of Music, not its train technology. But that’s almost unfair. Like its neighbor, Switzerland, Austria has one of the most comprehensive and efficient railway networks in the world.
Though Austria’s “need for speed” isn’t as impressive as it is in other countries, (credit some lofty geography for that), trains perform decisively better than any car on an alpine road. Moreover, long distance trains, like InterCity and Railjet, are well connected to frequent local and regional services, and can take you virtually anywhere in the country.
Austrian trains are very roomy, with just four compartments in first class (many rail companies routinely put six seats here), and six in second (instead of eight). Rich leather and woods blend harmoniously with window views of Austria’s incredible natural landscapes. And there’s a surprising variety indeed, ranging from dense forests to endless vineyards to those soaring alpine peaks. But, perhaps what’s most indelible is Austria’s eco-friendly imperative when it comes to tourism. Old villages have been lovingly conserved, no huge resorts have been built, and no eyesore highways constructed. Trains have been instrumental in this policy, offering an easy, clean, and convenient way to roam the country. So, when in Austria, be kind to the environment and to yourself. Ride the rails.
For more information on Austria contact the Austria Tourist Board.