For members


Ten destinations by direct night train from Austria

Want to explore Austria’s neighbouring countries? Then consider travelling by night train to some of Europe’s most exciting destinations.

Ten destinations by direct night train from Austria
Travellers no longer need to show a 3G proof to enter Austria. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)

The return of the night train in Europe has been a welcome development for many people that like to travel but are concerned about the impact of flying on the environment.

Plus, with Austria’s convenient Central European location, there are currently around 30 night train routes in every direction out of the country and from several different Austrian cities. 

As Covid-19 travel restrictions across the continent start to relax and we edge closer to spring, here are ten European cities that can be reached by night train from Austria.

The timetables and ticket prices mentioned in this article were correct at the time of writing but could change. All ticket prices are for a one-way journey.


The Nightjet overnight service by ÖBB (Austria’s national railway system) has a direct route from Vienna to Berlin in Germany. The service takes around 12 hours departing from Vienna Central Station (Hauptbahnhof) at 10.10pm, arriving in Berlin at around 10am the next morning.

The train travels north east out of Vienna to the border with Slovakia and the Czech Republic, before transiting through Poland and into Germany.

Ticket prices range from €90 for a Sitzwagen (a seated carriage) to €140 for a Schlafwagen (sleeping carriage).


From Vienna, travellers can reach Paris Gare de l’Est train station in 14 hours with the Nightjet. The service runs on Monday, Thursday and Saturday at 7.40pm and ticket prices range from €110 to €195.

This route travels west out of Vienna and stops at Wien Meidling, St. Pölten, Linz and Salzburg before crossing into Germany.


The Nightjet runs daily from Vienna to Rome with stops at Wien Meidling, Wiener Neustadt, Bruck, Leoban, Knittelfeld, Friesach, Klagenfurt and Villach. The train leaves Vienna at 7.23pm and arrives in Rome at 9.10am.

Ticket prices start at €40 for a seat and go up to €130 for a sleeping carriage.

ÖBB also runs a Nightjet service from Munich to Rome that picks up passengers in Salzburg at 10.02pm and arrives in Rome at 9.10am. Ticket prices for this route range from €70 to €150.

A woman walks her dog past the Colosseum in Rome on May 8, 2020.

Rome can be reached by night train from Vienna and Salzburg. Photo by: Alberto Pizzoli / AFP.


The ÖBB Nightjet service to Zurich in Switzerland operates daily, leaving Vienna at 9.27pm and arriving in Zurich at 8.20am the next morning. Ticket prices range from €45 to €140.

This service stops at several other train stations in Austria, including Wien Meidling, St. Pölten, Amstetten, Linz, Wels, Attnang-Puchheim, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Landeck-Zams, Bludenz and Feldkirch.

Alternatively, Magyar Államvasutak (MÁV) – Hungary’s national rail operator – runs an overnight service between Vienna and Zurich, which leaves Vienna at 11.27pm and arrives in Zurich at 8.20am. There are no sleeping carriages on this route and ticket prices start at €50.

Similarly, a Nightjet service runs daily from Graz Central Station to Zurich. The train leaves Graz at 10.26pm and arrives in Zurich at 9.20am. This route includes the option to load a car or motorbike on the train between Graz and Feldkirch from €39.90.


Overnight train services operate between Vienna and Brussels Midi (the main train station in Brussels) on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. The train leaves Vienna at 8.13pm and arrives in Brussels at 9.54am, stopping at Brussels Nord seven minutes earlier.

Before leaving Austria, the service stops at Wien Meidling, St. Pölten, Linz and Wels. The train then travels through Germany before reaching Brussels.

Ticket prices start at €70 and go up to €160.

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The Nightjet train service from Salzburg Central Station to Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital city, is operated by HŽ Putničkim prijevozom, Croatia’s national rail operator. The final destination is Zagreb in Croatia.

Trains between Salzburg and Ljubljana run daily, setting off from Munich, and the service stops at Schwarzach-St.Veit and Villach before crossing into Slovenia. It leaves Salzburg at 1.40am and arrives at Ljubljana at 6.20am. 

Ticket prices start at €19.90 for a seated carriage. There are no reclining or sleeper carriages on this route.

Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana is just five hours from Salzburg by night train. Photo by: Blaž Gostinčar / Pexels.


From Kufstein in Tyrol, travellers can take the Nightjet service to Amsterdam in the Netherlands. The train leaves Innsbruck at 8.44pm and stops in Kufstein at 9.35pm before crossing into Germany. It arrives in Amsterdam at 9.59am.

Additionally, a daily Nightjet service leaves Vienna at 8.13pm and arrives in Amsterdam at 9.59am. This route stops at Wien Meidling, St. Pölten, Linz and Wels.

Ticket prices range from €100 to €170.


From June 3rd to September 23, a Nightjet service connecting Vienna and Split in Croatia will operate on Tuesday and Friday, including vehicle transportation. Travellers in Austria can also board the train at Wien Meidling, Wiener Neustadt, Bruck/Mur and Graz.

The route is operated by Slovenske železnice (Slovenian Railways) and offers both seating and sleeper carriages. Ticket prices range from €40 to €120.


Overnight trains between Vienna and Hamburg run daily. The service departs Vienna at 8.13pm and arrives at Hamburg Central Station at 8.50am. The route stops at Wien Meidling, St. Pölten, Linz and Wels before crossing into Germany.

This service offers seating, reclining and sleeper carriages with ticket prices ranging from €80 to €180.


A daily Nightjet service runs between Vienna and Krakow in Poland, leaving Vienna Central Station at 10.10pm and arriving in Krakow at 5.46am. Vienna is the only stop in Austria for this route.

The service is operated by Polskie Koleje Państwowe (Polish State Railways). Ticket prices start at €49 and go up to €84.

Essential German words for train travel

Hauptbahnhof – main train station

Zug – train

Sitzwagen – seated carriage

Schlafwagen – sleeping carriage 

Liegewagen – reclining (chair) carriage

Einzelfahrschein – one-way ticket

Rückfahrschein – return ticket

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For members


EXPLAINED: How to get the essential Handy-Signatur and ID Austria

Whether you want to check your social security payments or file your taxes for the year, you'll likely need a Handy-Signatur and ID Austria.

EXPLAINED: How to get the essential Handy-Signatur and ID Austria

The Handy-Signatur and the ID Austria are “digital ID cards” for people in Austria, used to sign in to almost all official government websites, including for tax assessments at FinanzOnline or logging into your public health insurance site.

They also enable you to sign documents or invoices legally using your smartphone. Furthermore, from the summer of 2022, people with a Handy-Signatur can easily switch to the ID Austria which will be used in the future to carry digital forms of Austrian identity cards. 

How does the Handy-Signatur work?

Once you have it set up, it’s very simple to use. Whenever you need to log in to an official or sign a document online, you will be prompted with the possibility of signing in with your Handy-Signatur login.

A typical log in page for a public site in Austria (screenshot)

You can click on it and choose “login myself”. It will then ask you for your username or mobile phone number and your signature password. You can have those saved on your browser if you wish. After filling it in and submitting the login request, the site will send a signature request to your Handy-Signatur app on your smartphone. 

You can click on the app and either choose “show documents” to check where the signature request came from or go ahead and click on “sign”. Your phone will use your digital or face recognition system to sign in, and you’ll immediately get access to the site you wanted in the first place.

READ ALSO: Ten essential apps to download for living in Vienna

A detailed description makes it seem more complicated than it actually is, but it’s a simple and secure way of logging into some of the most critical sites in Austria.

How do I get the Handy-Signatur? 

There are several different ways to get your Handy-Signatur, but they will all require some back and forth with signatures and documents because, at first, you will need to confirm your identity.

One common way to activate the mobile signature is via the FinanzOnline website. This is what you need to do:

  • First, log in to FinanzOnline with your access data.
  • After logging in, scroll down and click the “Activate mobile signature” (Handy-Signatur aktivieren) button.
  • The form for entering your mobile number is displayed in a new window. First, select the area code of your mobile number and then enter your mobile number WITHOUT the area code.
  • Confirm the option “YES, I have read the above information and would like to unlock my mobile signature now.” (JA, ich habe die oben stehende Information gelesen und möchte meine Handy-Signatur jetzt freischalten.)
  • Click on “Next”. (Weiter)
  • The “Temporary identification” (Temporäre Identifikation)page then appears. Click the “Send” (Senden) button here.
  • In the next few days, you will receive a letter with the activation/revocation PIN and instructions on completing the activation. It includes entering your mobile number and the activation PIN HERE.

This method can be done in the comfort of your house, but it takes a few days and can be overwhelming if you don’t know any German. However, you can also activate your mobile signature at one of the many registration points in Austria.

READ ALSO: The smartphone apps that make living in Austria easier

Generally, you need a pre-registration to visit the offices (but check beforehand). You must also take an official picture ID, such as your passport and your phone. It takes about ten minutes to have it all set up. You can check all the registration sites HERE.


You actually don’t need a smartphone to activate your Handy-Signatur, only a phone that can receive SMS. Usually, you will need an Austrian or German SIM card (though some exceptions are possible if necessary and are typically made when registering in Austrian embassies and consulates).

What about the ID Austria?

Eventually, all Handy-Signatur will be replaced by a broader digital service called “ID Austria”, currently in a pilot phase. The plan is to use only ID Austria to sign in eventually but also as a way to secure digital ID cards, such as driver’s licences that will be valid throughout the EU.

Once you have a Handy-Signatur, swapping for a basic version of ID Austria is quickly done via the Digitales Amt smartphone application. You’ll need to sign in using your Handy-Signature, “skip” the full version (which requires you to have Austrian citizenship) and sign in with your Handy-Signature password. 

READ ALSO: How to exchange your foreign driving licence for an Austrian one

ID Austria can be used the same way as the Handy-Signatur app (you can use either or to sign into websites once you upgrade to the Digitales Amt app. 

The advantages of the Digitales Amt app are that it contains plenty of information on residence status, pregnancy and birth, official documents (such as a digital driver’s licence valid only in Austria) and election functions – many online services, however, are only available to Austrian citizens. 

Useful links:

ID Austria