Three Popular Ways of Getting From Prague to Vienna
As nice as Prague is, people may well include it in a larger “triangle” tour including Vienna and/or Budapest so here are three options for you to get from Prague to Vienna. It can be considered as a Day Trip but it’s a long day.
Staying in Vienna
I spent a total of 3 years working in Vienna and south-west of the centre was always my favourite area so whenever family came to visit we’d stay at MotelOne, a pleasant 3 star in the centre of town just off the ring road and less than 100 metres from the State Opera. You are right in the middle of the Museums area and a 2 minute walk from the Karlsplatz metro station. From the hotel you walk along Operngasse and then Margaretenstrasse with loads of independent businesses bars and restaurants or take Mariahilferstrasse if you want to go shopping. Check out MotelOne (State Opera) in Vienna.
Tours and Activities in Vienna
You’ll find a selection of great tours, activities and adventures at GetYourGuide Vienna.
Expect a journey of between 2.5 and 3 hours to get from central Prague to Vienna and you have a choice of two routes. NOTE that either route uses the Czech D1 Motorway and you’ll need to buy a Motorway Sticker. This and other tips are on the Driving in Czech page.
If time is of the essence then take the D1 Motorway to Brno (junction 192) and then the highway in the direction of “Wien”. It doesn’t feel so quick when you turn off the motorway but since the new roads were opened on the Austria side it’s quicker by about 30 minutes. You cross the open border at Mikulov. Just watch out for speed checks on the dual carriageway approaching Vienna. NOTE: You’ll need to stop for an Austrian Motorway sticker as this route uses part of the A23 (I use the first petrol station as you leave Mikulov).
If you have time and want a more scenic route (3 hours) to get from Prague to Vienna then take the D1 Motorway to Jihlava (junction 112) and take the signs for Wien/Znojmo). There’s a ring road around Jihlava now so you can bypass that if you want but be careful to watch your speed for the whole route as there are frequent police speed checks. You will be travelling south through the Vysocina wine growing area of Czech so the many small towns and villages may call you to stop and have a quick look around. Eventually you pass through the last major town called Znojmo (look out for street side stalls selling fruit/veg/wine) and cross the border. Immediately after crossing the Czech border you’ll find a large duty free area where you might stop for a break and even a meal on an airplane. Note that the Austrian open border is 1.5Km further on. Using this route it is possible to avoid the Austrian motorway sticker but any use of the A23 means you’ll need one.
Not an automatic first choice for many people but believe me it works out to be very cost effective, relaxing and quick. There are different coach providers that will offer the Prague to Vienna trip but I prefer Student Agency. They use the new long distance “RegioJet” coaches which are the highest standard you can get on a bus route and include leather seats, on-screen film (English/Czech Audio), wifi (domestic trip), hot and cold drinks, papers etc and a stewardess if you need further help. Simply click on the Student Agency Bus Timetable link, select the “Prague to Vienna” section for times, prices and availability to be displayed. You can pay by card in advance or go to the Student Agency booths at the Florenc Bus Terminal (UAN Florenc).
Your choice here will be whether to travel by day or by night but if you can try and aim for the Westbahnhof station in Vienna. During the day there is a regular Euro City train service from the Prague Main Train Station which takes four and a half hours. If you choose to travel from Prague to Vienna at night then that’s closer to seven hours and you arrive in Vienna really early so can be tricky if you have luggage etc. Can be a bit tricky to book sleeper berths online so you may find it easier to make your onward train reservation and then sort out the berth details when you get here depending on what arrangements you need (Rail pass holders may need to pay a small charge etc). Either way, consider the EUrail “select pass” if you think you’ll be spending time on trains in this part of Europe as the 2-country or 3-country passes might be worth it for you.