The Train Ride from Prague to Salzburg

Old Feb 21st, 2012, 08:30 AM
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The Train Ride from Prague to Salzburg

We are planning a vacation and will be traveling from Prague to Salzburg by train in early July. This will be our first train trip in Europe and we can use all the help we can get! We were looking at Rail Europe and want to know if we can get on and off the train at our leisure during the 6 and a half hour journey if we buy a 2nd class ticket. What can we expect, will the ride will be absolutely beautiful as it goes through the mountains? After spending a few days in Salzburg we will take another train ride to Vienna. We will be so grateful for any information, suggestions or tips. We don't want to take night trains because we want to miss scenery during either journey. Thank you so much in advance.
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Old Feb 21st, 2012, 08:39 AM
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Use this site to view train times rather than Rail Europe which has a limited schedule. For the best price I would buy the tickets in Prague as Rail Europe has a significant mark up.

The German site also tells you the number of intermediary stops and how long you have to transfer to your connecting train. I noticed that one of the trains has a very short connection time which I would not take in case your train is late getting to the station.

Some routes do part of the trip by bus which is very comfortable.

I do not think you can get off the train and get back on with the same ticket. Also, unless you want to overnight somewhere you might not be able to finish the journey in one day.

Bring food and beverages on board and have a little picnic. Train food is expensive and dull. The shortest trip is only 6.5 hours and the time will go fast.

I took the train/bus from Frankfurt to Prague and did not notice any exceptional scenery.

http://www.bahn.de/i/view/USA/en/index.shtml
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Old Feb 21st, 2012, 08:43 AM
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I forgot to mention that for the Salzburg to Vienna trip buy a Bayern pass which is approximately E30 for up to 5 people.

Also the water on trains is non-potable.
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Old Feb 21st, 2012, 08:55 AM
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I don't understand what you want to do as that trip would have connections, I'm sure (at least one, maybe more), and there is never that much time during a connection. Of course you can do whatever you want during the connection time, but it's usually only a few minutes or maybe an hour. Generally, you can get on whatever train you want of the same type if it doesn't require reservations, I believe, but I don't understand your objective. If the train trip already takes 6.5 hours, you would have to be sure a similar train with the same destination would be coming along the same route for you to board within a reasonable time, so you'd have to really be sure of schedules a lot and there would have to be frequent trains like you want in order to get there in a reasonable time.

What exactly do you want to do? Go sightsee for a couple hours during your trip in some place along the way? Because you will have all your baggage, of course. Maybe if you were more specific as exactly what this plan would be someone could respond, as to where you would plan to get off and for how long.

If you mean can you get off and stay somewhere overnight, what would be the point of buying the ticket for the entire trip in the first place? You would jsut buy the two tickets for the trips you really want.

I've taken a train from Salzburg to somewhere, don't recall, and the scenery was pleasant but nothing breathtaking. It's not like you see great scenery along the train route, the train isn't on top of amountain or anything.
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Old Feb 21st, 2012, 09:46 AM
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the Bavaria Pass will not work in Austria from Salzburg to Vienna as that is not the German state of Bavaria - Bavarian pass only valid in Bavaria, Germany though it will get you to Salzburg Hbf from the German border as that is considered to be a Germany DB station for ticketing purposes. But not to Vienna for sure.

If you buy a full-fare ticket in Prague then you should be able to jump on and off the train anywhere you wish and board a later train. That said with a 6.5 hour ride you may not want to linger long - you porbably do have to change trains in Linz, Austria so you may want to put your luggage in a station locker and putz around that pleasant city to break your journey and stretch your legs.

And for a 6.5 hour journey I would pay extra and go first class - my decades of train riding in that area has shown me that first class is much more relaxed - significantly larger seats as there are far fewer seats per same size train car - and IME usually lots of empty seats as opposed to 2nd class - I nearly always can put my luggage on an adjoining empty seat in first class.

And yes just buy that ticket in Prague - some folks I talk to have had problems with communicating with station personnel in Prague so have all your info written down to just hand to the clerk so there is no misunderstanding - train numbers (get from www.bahn.de - for all train involved like the one from Linz to Salzburg), number of passengers, class of travel, time train departs and your destination, etc.
Check out these good sites for lots more info on those trains - http://www.budgeteuropetravel.com/id33.html; www.seat61.com and www.ricksteves.com. And there is a Eastern European railpass that is valid in both the Czech Republic, Austria as well as Hungary, Poland and Slovakia in case say from Vienna you want to go to Budaapest or just the one hour day trip by rail each way to Bratislava, capital of Slovakia as I recently did from Vienna. Also check the Austrian Railways web site www.oebb.at I think for possible online advance discounts for Salzburg to Vienna.
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Old Feb 21st, 2012, 10:00 AM
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>

You can buy the Bavaria Pass in Salzburg but it may not be valid unless you're traveling to Bavaria. I'm not sure about this but it's worth asking about. You can use the Bavaria Pass from Salzburg to Bavaria.
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Old Feb 21st, 2012, 12:01 PM
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Thank you all so much for the tips and suggestions. We didn't know what to expect with the stops/connections. We thought we might see a small town and want to hop off to stretch our legs or eat at a restaurant if that was possible - then hop onto another train going to the same destination. Thank you so much for the websites they will be invaluable. We can't wait for our trip and find that the planning can be so very exciting too. We were hoping for beautiful scenery as we make the 6 and a half hour journey. When we look at a relief map, it seems that we are in the mountains during the trip from Prague to Salzburg. Again, thank you.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2012, 02:12 AM
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The Bavaria Pass will NOT be valid from Salzburg to Vienna. It is valid from Bavaria to Salzburg (i.e. via Freilassing). The Austrian version of this ticket is called the Einfach Raus ticket, valid on regional trains, 2nd class.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2012, 04:20 AM
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and regional trains may take all day rather than a few hours on the crack Railjet trains.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2012, 07:53 AM
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Regional trains Salzburg to Vienna take 6 h 01 mins and involve two changes of train

RailJet and other express trains take about 2 h 45 minutes and cost, full fare about 52 euros 2nd class.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2012, 08:22 AM
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Trains stop only very briefly at small towns, so by the time you got a look at a small town, decided it looked worth stopping, and collected your belongings, the train would have moved on...

We really enjoy taking a picnic, including a bottle of wine, on the train and watching the scenery go by while we eat.

~Liz
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