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Train reservation - OEBB versus Westbahn

Saratoga, California
Level Contributor
60 posts
132 reviews
Train reservation - OEBB versus Westbahn

Please clarify about the train tickets on https://westbahn.at/en. It seems is OK to buy tickets on the train and not in advance since you cannot buy for a particular day or time on the web. We want to leave from Vienna to Salzburg on Friday May 4th morning and return the next day afternoon/evening. It is reasonable to expect to have seats at any time?

The OEBB trains are more expensive and you need to make reservation for a particular train/hour. Are there any better? More chances for a seat?????

PS For particular OEBB times on Friday you can get some cheaper tickets, but not on Saturday.

Is this a special weekend and we should made advance reservations? How long in advance?

Vienna, Austria
Destination Expert
for Vienna, Austria, Innsbruck
Level Contributor
27,209 posts
29 reviews
1. Re: Train reservation - OEBB versus Westbahn

There will be seats available. If you want to be reassured, just arrive at the station a little earlier. Trains of Westbahn as well as of ÖBB are usually ready for boarding 15-30 minutes prior to departure. Vienna's West Station has recently been refurbished in a shopping venue with numerous food stands and other services.

It is not true that ÖBB trains require a seat reservation! You are way too nervous about seat availability. Millions of travelers take the train(s) between Vienna and Salzburg every year and arrive - without a seat reservation! ÖBB's discounted fares are tied to a certain service tough (in exchange for the lower price).

Edited: 06 April 2012, 18:50
Eugene, Oregon
Level Contributor
682 posts
29 reviews
2. Re: Train reservation - OEBB versus Westbahn

No problem getting tickets when aboard the Westbahn. We did Vienna to Salzburg after Christmas and had no issues at all. Mikey is giving you great advice, you will have no problem with Westbahn or OBB as far as seating. No worries.

Edited: 06 April 2012, 21:07
Vienna, Austria
Level Contributor
455 posts
1 review
3. Re: Train reservation - OEBB versus Westbahn

Recently some Westbahn-trains were overcrowded with many people standing during weekends (sat/sun). This was due to a 9-EUR-flat fare for any trip on saturdays or sundays.

Now they have a 14-EUR-weekend fare, don't know how this changed the situation.

Vienna, Austria
Destination Expert
for Vienna
Level Contributor
1,869 posts
194 reviews
4. Re: Train reservation - OEBB versus Westbahn

Yes, I experienced the crowded Westbahn train due to the incredibly cheap € 9,- offer on a Saturday morning going from Wien Westbahnhof to Salzburg. As we arrived at the station 15 minutes before the train left, it was no problem for us to get seats. The return trip from Salzburg at Sunday noon was already much better.

€ 14,- is still very cheap and I think olgalee should definitely take advantage of that Westbahn offer (only valid on Sat and Sun) for her return trip!

The single trip on Friday (standard fare) on Westbahn is € 24,- per person, not expensive either. Westbahn is very flexible as you can buy the tickets on board without surcharge.

As for ÖBB, if you book a certain train in advance you can get tickets for May 4th starting from € 19,-.

Saratoga, California
Level Contributor
60 posts
132 reviews
5. Re: Train reservation - OEBB versus Westbahn

Thank you all for your good advice.

Fort Lauderdale...
Level Contributor
42 posts
36 reviews
6. Re: Train reservation - OEBB versus Westbahn

May I ask how far in advance you must purchase to get a 19 euro ticket instead of the higher cost?

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
816 posts
1 review
7. Re: Train reservation - OEBB versus Westbahn

oebb.at/en/…index.jsp

Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
4 posts
10 reviews
8. Re: Train reservation - OEBB versus Westbahn

In end-March 2012, I used the Westbahn for travelling from Wien Westbanhof to Salzburg. On the way back from Salzburg to Vienna, I stopped by Hallstatt (took bus from salzburg to hallstatt), then took an OBB from Hallstatt to Attnang-Puchheim. Then transferred from AP to Westbanhof via Westbahn. Because it was about 50% cheaper compared to travelling all the way from Hallstatt to Vienna via OBB.

I found the westbahn trains to be clean, wifi fast, train staff friendly with their bright uniforms. If travelling via the Vienna/Salzburg line, it is usually cheaper unless you get special OBB tickets. But for the overseas traveller, I think it's simpler (and overall less stressful) to opt for the Westbahn line! :)

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
10 posts
121 reviews
9. Re: Train reservation - OEBB versus Westbahn

General Information Post - as I type this I am on the Westbahn train service traveling at 200 Km/hr heading to Salzburg. Purchased the tickets online. Chose the Westbahn Club carriage plus paid extra to reserve my seat. It seems seat reservations only work if you know which train you are going to catch. This guaranteed me a seat AND the seat next to me is also reserved. The Club seats are on the second level to the train carriage, so the view across the country side is a little better. Waiter service is included & good can be paid by cash (euros) or credit card. It is an excellent way to see the Austrian countryside, especially this time of year as it is snow covered.

Mannheim, Germany
Destination Expert
for Zurich, Mannheim
Level Contributor
14,887 posts
5 reviews
10. Re: Train reservation - OEBB versus Westbahn

> It seems seat reservations only work if you know which train you are going to catch.

Well d'uh.. if you want to reserve something you need to know what you reserve, right? Hopefully you did not expected a seat in all trains of the day to be reserved for you?