Day trains between Austria and Switzerland: Railjet Xpress
High-speed Railjet Xpress trains connect Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck and several other Austrian towns to Zurich, Budapest, Munich and Prague. To reach Switzerland, we recommend the route via Innsbruck. This is more scenic than the one through Munich.
Railjet Xpress trains offer 2nd (economy) class, 1st class and business class seats. Wifi, a restaurant, quiet zones and a children’s cinema are on board. Power outlets are available near all seats. Travelers in 1st and business class can have dishes served at their seat.
Vienna to Zurich by RailJet Xpress takes just under 8 hours.
Night trains between Austria and Switzerland: Nightjet
There is a night train as well: the ÖBB Nightjet. Nightjet trains run daily between Vienna or Graz (Austria) and Zurich (Switzerland). You can choose beween sleeping cars, couchette cars and seating cars.
A single journey Zurich-Vienna by Nightjet takes about 11 hours.
How to get the cheapest tickets
- You can book up to 6 to 4 months before traveling. The options vary. Booking early may save money in some cases. Find prices here.
- Be sure to check the promotions section.
- If you have a Swiss rail pass, you only need to book a ticket to the Swiss border (that's Buchs SG for the route via Innsbruck). For example: with a Swiss Travel Pass, there's no need for a ticket for the full route from Vienna via Buchs to Zurich, because the leg from Buchs SG to Zurich is covered by the pass. Just book to Buchs SG.
- An alternative to booking a ticket to the Swiss border station, is to book a ticket for the "passholder fare". That's a ticket for the entire route for people who own a rail pass for Switzerland or Austria. The ticket is cheaper than a regular ticket because the leg covered by the rail pass is free. An advantage of this fare is that it includes a seat reservation for the entire route, not just to the border. Passholder fares are not always available, nor needed (because reservations are not required within Switzerland). If they're unavailable, you simply book to/from the border.
- If you have a rail pass that covers both Austria and Switzerland, you don't need a ticket at all. You just need a seat reservation. This is not required for most RailjetExpress trains, but we do recommend it.
Find ticket prices and points of sale.
Is something not clear yet? Just post your questions to the Swiss rail forum and get a quick answer.