Austrian Airlines announces seven new destinations for summer 2023

The summer schedule for Austrian Airlines now has almost 120 destinations and more than 1,200 weekly flights - some of them with discount prices. Here are the new routes.

Austrian Airlines announces seven new destinations for summer 2023
Austrian Airlines planes sit on the tarmac. Photo: SAMUEL KUBANI / AFP

Austrian Airlines, the Austrian subsidiary of Lufthansa, has announced new routes and destinations for summer 2023, saying they follow a successful summer and a “well-booked” winter.

In the 2023 summer flight schedule, the flagship carrier will fly to seven new destinations in addition to its established destinations and a significantly expanded European programme, the company said in a press release.

READ ALSO: Reader question: Is travelling to Austria this winter worth it?

The destinations Porto (Portugal), Marseille (France), Billund (Denmark) and Tivat (Montenegro) are entirely new in the schedule. The four destinations are each operated up to three times per week, departing from Vienna. 

Previously offered on a seasonal basis, Palermo (Italy) has also been added to the summer flight schedule. In addition, the route to Vilnius (Lithuania), which was already part of the Austrian Airlines route network before the Covid-19 pandemic, will be offered again, the company said. 

The famous Italian city on the northern coast of Sicily and the capital of Lithuania will also be operated three times a week.

Furthermore, flights to Tromsø (Norway) will take off once a week between June and August.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: What the EU’s new EES system means for travel to Austria

Early repayment and discounted flights

Austrian Airlines said that, due to good liquidity development and a credit line offered by Lufthansa, it could pay early – and in full – a government-back loan granted in 2020.

The airline also said that its sound financial position allows it to offer discounted flights as part of a “thank you campaign”. 

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: What happens if you overstay your 90-day limit in Austria?

“Without the support of Austria, we would not have been able to fly through these difficult times. So now it is time to say thank you. That’s why we are offering tickets with up to 25 percent off for a total of 30 destinations, including destinations of the new summer flight schedule,” said Austrian Airlines CCO Michael Trestl.

The campaign is valid for all new bookings on the Economy Light fare until November 20 and for a travel period from November 7 to June 30, 2023. All info can be found on the Austrian Airlines website.

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Where are Austria’s best train stations?

Austria boasts an extensive network of train tracks, but how good are its main stations?

Where are Austria's best train stations?

Austria is well-known for its rail transport system, with over 6,000 kilometres of tracks unifying the country. The federal government also prides itself on offering connections abroad and incentives to rail travel – including the Klimaticket, a subscription that provides unlimited journeys throughout Austria for € 3 a day.

But train travel is more than just the tracks – the quality of the stations is just as important to determine how comfortable, safe and effective train travel can be in a country. 

So, how good are Austria’s train stations?

READ ALSO: The spectacular Austrian train routes you can take with the Klimaticket

Vienna Hauptbahnhof

Austria’s largest train station, the Vienna Hauptbahnhof (Vienna Central Station), is also the country’s best – and the second best in Europe, according to a ranking of Europe’s largest railway stations made by Consumer Choice Center. According to the ranking, it stands just behind Switzerland’s central station in Zurich. 

The survey looked into several factors, ranging from ticket office operating hours and waiting times to the number of in-station services, accessibility options, transport connections, free Wi-Fi, railway coverage, and ride-sharing”.

The station earned points for its modern look and its many connections. From there, you can catch the metro, fast trains, ÖBB long-distance trains, and many buses and trams. There are also car rental options and many cabs waiting for you at the entrance. 

It also boasts a 4.4-star rating on Google Maps, with over 3,300 reviews.

One person said: “A modern railway station with connections to all around Austria and nearby countries. All the instructions are well given from the digital screens. It is very easy to find and navigate to the correct platform. Plenty of ticket machines are also available. Toilet facilities and some shops are also available. Trains were very punctual as per my experience. Staff personnel also very nice”.

READ ALSO: The new train routes connecting Austria to parts of Europe in 2024

Vienna Meidling

Another of Vienna’s train stations, the Vienna Meidling, also ranked high in the Consumer Choice Center ranking. Though it has fewer shops and stores when compared to the central station, it has some options and several snack and drinks vending machines. The station also offers connections through long-distance trains, fast trains, the metro and several bus and tram lines.

It’s a smaller station but “always well kept and clean”, said one reviewer on social media. The station is also very well located in Vienna, with many other shops and public transport offers easily accessible.

Salzburg main station – © ÖBB/Konrad Kaiser

No other Austrian rail stations made it into Europe’s top 50 but the country does boast two other stations we think are worthy of a mention.

Salzburg Hauptbahnhof

The central station in Salzburg is also one of the largest in Austria and a major transport hub in western Austria, also serving as a border station to Germany. It has a more historical look and was designed in 1860 – though recent renovations took place in 2014. It has several food and shopping offers, including a supermarket which stays open on Sundays. 

Salzburg Hauptbahnhof provides easy access to the city’s prominent attractions, like Hohensalzburg Fortress, Mirabell Palace, and Mozart’s Birthplace. Additionally, it serves as a convenient starting point for exploring the nearby countryside.

The station has a 4.3-star rating on Google Maps, with users praising it as a “beautiful combination of classic and modern architecture. Friendly and helpful staff”.

READ ALSO: Five European cities you can reach from Austria in less than five hours by train

Graz Hauptbahnhof

Graz Central Station, handling approximately 30,000 daily passengers, is a vital railway hub in Austria. This modern transport centre links regional and long-distance travel within Styria and extends connections beyond the province’s borders. Various transportation options are available for reaching this station, including trams, buses and fast trains. 

This station has a shopping mall with many retail stores and restaurants. The supermarket – which is also open on weekends – is highlighted by travellers, who also praised it for being  “clean and well-maintained”. 

Graz main station – (© ÖBB/Robert Deopito)

The decoration was also noted as one person said: “Very nice train station with an amazing paint job in the main hall. Ceilings or walls are colourful painted red and white. Plenty of little places to eat, and even a Spar supermarket or two.”

READ ALSO: The ten best destinations by direct night train from Austria

Europe’s best and worst stations

If you’re curious about the lowest-ranked entries in the Index, it might not be a shock that all five of the “worst” ones are located in Germany: three in Berlin, one in Munich, and another in Bremen.

The top five are Zurich Hbf, Vienna Hbf, Berlin Hbf, Bern, and Utrecht Centraal.

We’d like to hear from you: what are your favourite (or least favourite) Austrian train stations and why? Leave a comment below or send an email to [email protected].