In September I will be travelling from the United States to Graz, Austria for business. From my location, flights to Vienna are objectively better than flights to Graz: More plentiful and either cheaper or more direct. I also rather like travelling by rail as it will allow me to see at least some of the scenery during an otherwise busy trip.

My question: How much extra time, hassle, risk, etc are incurred by flying into Vienna and taking a train for the last link?

By this, I don't mean the two hours, thirty minutes of the rail trip itself.

Rather, I mean what is an optimal way to get from Vienna International Airport to the rail station (I believe Wien meidling to Graz hbf is the correct route) for a jet-lagged language-impaired American, what is a reasonable amount of time to budget for this leg of travel, what are typical Austrian policies for rail tickets if flights are delayed, is this plan for some reason unwise, etc. (My travels out of the United States run literally 100% for both losing my luggage and several hour late arrivals.)

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    Another consideration: the rail journey between Vienna and Graz is through some really spectacular countryside! Commented Jul 17, 2019 at 9:06
  • Why don't you overnight in Vienna? Treat yourself! Unless money is really tight, this is the obvious solution.
    – TonyK
    Commented Jul 17, 2019 at 15:20
  • @TonyK as the question suggests ("business trip") time may also be tight. It's definitely not necessary as the connection is not too long and operates once per hour, although I would recommend it if there is time.
    – JakeDot
    Commented Jul 17, 2019 at 15:45
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    Your question is already sufficiently answered. Definitely do take that train. The scenery is wonderful, I've used that train several times and always enjoyed it. Also, good to know: There is Wifi on that train and unless you're in a tunnel or deep valley, it's actually pretty good.
    – Tom
    Commented Jul 17, 2019 at 17:32
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    Well, it's up to you of course. But I reckon you have it backwards: it's better to leave yourself plenty of time at the beginning, when you don't know how things work (and you're jet-lagged on top of that). Arriving in an unknown country is the most stressful part of the journey.
    – TonyK
    Commented Jul 17, 2019 at 19:55

3 Answers 3


You don't need to go somewhere else (by cab or similar) from the airport to reach a train. It has a station called "Flughafen Wien Bahnhof", which is easily accessible from the terminal buildings without even going outside any buildings. You exit to baggage claim, and then the way to the station is marked by signage. In the station, there is three platforms, the trains you will want to take run from 1 and 2. Getting to the station takes about the same time as you'd need to walk to a cab, so no extra time here.

The connection is an extra 30 minutes compared to what you already listed. This is the best option there is, possibly excluding taking a cab directly to Graz. There's no extra hassle and no extra risk, well, almost. You run a risk of full trains depending on the date and time, but that can be alleviated by making a reservation with your booking.

Details: Trains always leave at XX:33. For even hours you have to change at Wien Hauptbahnhof, for odd hours there is a direct train, both are 3h total.

You have 10 minutes to change trains at Wien Hauptbahnhof, the connection train leaves on the same platform directly opposite, no need to change levels, no problem catching the connection normally.

There are flex tickets, called Normalpreis, and fixed connection tickets, called Sparschiene. Both can be bought in advance, flex tickets can also be bought at the station. Booking in advance usually doesn't give you a better price for flex tickets.

You will want to book a flex ticket, those are valid for two days, on the day you buy it for and for the next day as well.

Concerning the policies for rail tickets if your flight is delayed, you are out of luck if you booked a fixed time ticket, and you are late for the train. You would have to buy a new ticket, and lose all the money spent for the first one.

Depending on the arrival of your flight and how much time you have, you could also take a flex ticket to Vienna and then a fixed ticket in the evening or on the next day to Graz. This would reduce the total ticket price, and some sightseeing in Vienna is definitely something I'd recommend!

You can use tickets.oebb.at to book in advance for all kinds of tickets. They also have an app available from Play Store and App Store. Booking via the website allows you to reserve a specific seat, which is not possible in the Apps. You can print your online ticket or show it in the App, regardless of how you booked.

There is also the option of getting a ÖBB Vorteilscard for half price train tickets, it's valid for one year and costs € 66,- if you book it online. Depending on how much you travel, it might save you some money, or not.

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    I do not see how this answer could be more perfect. Thank you!
    – Novak
    Commented Jul 17, 2019 at 19:10
  • Well I could have mentioned more details on how to use the ÖBB apps and that you can always ask them questions directly at twitter.com/unsereOEBB - by the way when you know the date drop me an email or tweet, I've been wanting to go to Graz for dome time and September could be a good time.
    – JakeDot
    Commented Jul 17, 2019 at 19:44

It's certainly doable.

There is a train station right in the airport. Best connection runs once an hour: Railjet to Wien Central Station and than another Railjet to Graz. You have 10 minutes to change trains in Wien Hauptbahnhof (Central Station) (Platform 7 to Platform 8).

Do NOT take the City Airport Train (CAT) to "Wien Mitte". It's heavily advertised but the wrong station for your purpose in Vienna.

You can buy the ticket upfront but you probably want a flex ticket so you can choose any train that day.

Language shouldn't be a problem. Most people in Austria speak good to excellent English and are happy to use it.

If you have an extra day or time: Vienna is a great city to visit and hang out. You can do some sightseeing and take stress out of travel. Schloss Belvedere is only a 15 minute walk from the central station. Subway, Tram and Uber are all good ways to get around.

  • For planning: oebb.at/en From: Flughafen Wien Bahnhof To: Graz Hbf There appear to be a few direct trains each day and many others that require 1 (likely Wien Hbf) or more changes. Arriving from the US you're likely to arrive early morning or at least before noon. Train time is around 3-3.5 hours so you should be able to reach Graz in about 5-6 hours (total) after landing. Commented Jul 17, 2019 at 9:47
  • I edited the answer a bit, explaining ticket types, shop website, apps, and the two available connections!
    – JakeDot
    Commented Jul 17, 2019 at 9:58
  • @JakeDot That edit was too substantial to be approved. You are encouraged to post your own answer which improves on this answer.
    – RedBaron
    Commented Jul 17, 2019 at 12:30
  • Thanks for the review! I already had the feeling during my edits, but I didn't want to plagiate...
    – JakeDot
    Commented Jul 17, 2019 at 12:42
  • OT, but I will second the "Vienna is a great city to visit"! Got to spend one evening and one full day there last summer and it wasn't nearly enough. It's one of the few places my wife (who doesn't like to go places she's already been) wants to go back to.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jul 17, 2019 at 13:10

It is very much possible. As others have mentioned you can check/book tickets here: öbb tickets

There is a direct train from Vienna main train station to Graz every hour, starting from 05:58 in the morning till 20:58 in the evening.

If you start from the Airport you need to switch trains at the main station. There are direct trains from the airport to Graz (always at XX:33 for odd hours), and trains where you have to switch at the main train station. The whole trip will take you 3 hours in any case. The train station is located under the airport, just a few minutes walk.

Do not take the advertised CAT (City Airport train), it is faster but more expensive and will take you to "Wien Mitte" and not to the main train station.

You should buy your ticket in advance or at the ticket mashines, since it will be a little bit more expensive at the counter or in the train (if this is even possible).

Train tickets are usually valid for the whole day, so you can use a later one if your flight is delayed. Exception are the so called "Sparschiene" tickets. They are cheaper but only valid for the specified train/time.

If you plan to travel more than 2 times per train, you might want to consider buying the "ÖBB Vorteilscard", which will give you 50% off train travel within Austria. Current price is 66€ and valid for one year.

For completeness there is also the Flixbus, which offers a direct Bus connection between Vienna Airport and Graz city center. The travel time is ~2,5 hours and costs between 12,50€ and 23€, depending on the available seats.

Also if you want to use public transport in Graz (Tram & Bus, also including the funicular to the "Schlossberg") they have a new mobile app for buying tickets, which currently offers 10% discount.

Source: I am from Graz and travel to Vienna regularly.

  • Didn't know about the Flixbus connection, but I think a flex train ticket is still better, as iirc Flixbus doesn't have flex tickets do they? Thanks for mentioning the first and last train times and the app for Graz!
    – JakeDot
    Commented Jul 17, 2019 at 21:35
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    Yes the flex train ticket seems better for this situation. However the Bus is usually cheaper and a bit faster, and I think you can change your ticket up to 15min before departure for a fee (5€) - this still might be cheaper than the train. I enjoy traveling by train more (if it is not too full), but if time/money is constrained the Bus is an alternative. Source: global.flixbus.com/service/change-cancel-a-booking Commented Jul 18, 2019 at 7:44
  • Also the bus stops a lot closer to the city center than the train. But of course if this is an advantage depends on the final destination.
    – Josef
    Commented Jul 18, 2019 at 13:15

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