How to Get to Prague from Vienna

One of the advantages of Vienna's geographical position in the old continent is its proximity to other extremely interesting destinations to visit. Among them, few can compare with Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic.

Joaquín Montaño

Joaquín Montaño

9 min read

How to Get to Prague from Vienna

Vienna at sunset | ©Xuan Hoa Le

To see all that the city of Vienna and its surroundings has to offer you will need about 4 days. If your trip is going to last longer you can consider a longer excursion and take the opportunity to visit some other city that you find interesting. My advice is to choose Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic.

Prague is only about 300 kilometers from Vienna, so it is even possible to go and come back on the same day if you organize the way to get there well. The Czech capital has a number of attractions quite different from those of the Austrian city, so your visit will be doubly interesting. So that you can plan your getaway well, here I explain the transportation options available to you.

1. The best way to get there: an organized tour

Visiting Prague| ©Ana Rey
Visiting Prague| ©Ana Rey

One of the aspects that should be taken into account when deciding how to go from Vienna to Prague is comfort, as well as thinking about the hours you are going to have in the Czech capital if the plan is to return to the Austrian city. With both aspects in mind, there is no doubt that the most advantageous option is the organized excursion from Vienna to Prague.

To visit Prague from Vienna you can book a day trip on a modern bus. Departing early in the morning, you will have plenty of time to explore many of the attractions of the beautiful capital of the Czech Republic, including its beautiful historic center, St. Vitus Cathedral, the famous Charles Bridge and the castle district.

The whole tour is usually done on foot and accompanied by a guide who will explain the history of each of the monuments you pass. This way, you make sure you get the most out of the day before heading back to Vienna.

All in all, there is no doubt that this is one of the best excursions from Vienna that can be done from Vienna and, in this way, make your trip an even more unforgettable experience.

Practical information on excursions

  • Price: from 131 €.
  • Total duration: about 14 hours.
  • Why I like this option: because it is the most comfortable option as you do not have to worry about transportation, schedules or having to look for each monument in Prague, with the consequent loss of time that entails. In addition, the presence of a guide who explains what you are seeing is a very important factor to take into account.
  • Recommended if: you have several days in the Austrian capital and want to take advantage of them to visit other nearby cities just as interesting.

Book a tour to Prague from Vienna

2. Train from Vienna to Prague, the best option to go on your own

Train in Vienna| ©Paul Korecky
Train in Vienna| ©Paul Korecky

If you prefer to go on your own from Vienna to Prague you will not find a better option than the train (although it will cost you more than the bus). The train connections between the two cities are very good and you will have no problem going and coming back in the same day if that is your wish.

There are two types of trains that make the journey: those of the Regiojet company (cheaper but with less frequency) and those of ÖBB Railjet (more expensive but with more departures).

The journey usually takes just over 4 hours and the most common price ranges between almost 20 € if you are lucky and find a good offer from Regiojet and the more frequent almost 40 € from ÖBB Railjet. Keep in mind that this price is per way, so you must add the cost of the return with the corresponding discount of this type of tickets.

Between both companies you will find departures almost every hour. If your plan is to go and return in the day, find out the schedule of the first train leaving Vienna (around 6:39 am) and the last one returning from Prague (usually around 18:30 pm). Make sure you are booking a direct train, as there are also some trains with transfers that take a bit longer.

Trains depart from Vienna Central Station (it will appear on signs with its German name, Wien Hauptbahnhof, or with the acronym Wien hbf or hbf). The inner workings of the terminal are very simple and you will only have to follow the indications that appear on the different information panels.

In Prague you will arrive at the central station, called Praha hl.n From there you can reach the city center on foot in less than 20 minutes, although you can also take a streetcar.

The best way to be sure of the schedules and prices is to consult the country's train page or the Regiojet page. There you can also buy your ticket directly. Another possibility is to buy them at the station itself, but often some of the cheapest offers are not sold at the ticket office.

Practical information on excursions

  • Price: from 15 € each way, but usually you will pay about 70 € round trip.
  • Total duration: the journey takes just over 4 hours.
  • Why I like this option: the train is one of the most comfortable means of transport and, in addition, you don't have to worry about traffic slowing down the trip. In this case, the departure frequency is also very convenient.
  • Recommended if: you are one of those who enjoy traveling by train and seeing the scenery almost as much as you do at the destination itself.

3. Bus from Vienna to Prague, the cheapest option

FlixBus bus| ©Cali
FlixBus bus| ©Cali

The bus is gaining ground in recent years as a means of travel in Europe. One of the reasons for this is the emergence of companies that offer a great service in international transport. In the case of the route between Vienna and Prague, the bus is undoubtedly the most economical option.

Although there are several companies that make this route, I recommend that you try to find tickets in one of the two most important ones: Regiojet or FlixBus.

The trip takes about 4 hours 30 minutes (depending on the traffic in and out of the two cities). The frequency is quite high, as you will find buses leaving approximately every 2 hours, from 3:20 am to 11:30 pm.

Although I really recommend that if you go by bus you consider spending a night in Prague, you can also plan a round trip on the same day if you leave very early and hurry until the last hour.

As for prices, the cheapest ticket is about 17 € each way, both from Vienna Erdberg station and from the central train station. Arrival in Prague is at ÚAN Florenc or Prague hl. n. depending on the company you are traveling with.

A very important aspect is that these buses are really comfortable and have on-board entertainment and free WiFi.

Practical information for going by bus

  • Price: from about 17€ each way
  • Total duration: it takes approximately 4 hours and 30 minutes to travel the route.
  • Why I like this option: it is definitely the cheapest option to visit Prague from Vienna, not to mention that the buses are really comfortable.
  • Recommended if: you are on a tight budget but don't want to miss the chance to get close to Prague.

Book a tour to Prague from Vienna

4. Own or rental car, a choice with advantages and disadvantages

Traveling by Car| ©tobi
Traveling by Car| ©tobi

The proximity between both capitals makes going by car an option to consider if you are touring this part of Europe with your vehicle. It is also possible to rent a car to make the trip. However, in my opinion, the high frequency of buses and trains, in addition to organized tours, makes this possibility not as interesting as in other places.

The main advantage of the car is, of course, the freedom of schedules it offers. The trip usually takes no less than 3 hours and 45 minutes, although you run the risk of being delayed when you enter an unfamiliar city like Prague and have to look for a parking lot not far from the center.

On the other hand, car rental in Austria is not particularly cheap. With some luck you will be able to find prices for a day from 50 €, to which must be added the mandatory transport vignette to travel on their roads and amounting to 10 €.

It is quite possible that you will also have to pay extra for crossing the border. Although not all companies charge for this concept, it is important that you inform of your intention when you rent the car.

Some of the companies where you can rent a car are the following:

  • Greenmotion: has interesting offers starting at 50 €, although only with pick-up and drop-off at the airport.
  • Surprice Car Rental: from about 74 € per day, also at the airport.
  • Sixt: up to 135 € per day, although it allows you to pick up the car in the center of Vienna.

Practical information for driving

  • Price: from 50 € + gasoline + road vignette + border crossing fee.

  • Total duration: about 3 hours and 45 minutes.

  • Why I like this option: for the freedom it offers to travel at the time you want and to be able to stop somewhere if it catches your attention.

  • Recommended if: you want to take the journey between Vienna and Prague in a more relaxed way and with the possibility of making short stops at interesting places.

5. The plane: fast but not very convenient

Flight from Vienna| ©Riik@mctr
Flight from Vienna| ©Riik@mctr

The last option to go from Vienna to Prague is by plane, specifically with Austrian Airlines. Although the flight only takes about 50 minutes, I really do not think it is worth it, both for price and for the existence of much better alternatives.

Despite the short duration of the trip, then you have to add the transfer to and from the airport and the time in advance with which you have to arrive before boarding. In the end, it will be more or less the same as if you go by train or bus.

On the other hand, it will be difficult to find tickets for less than 95 € each way, so in the end (counting the cost of going to the airports) it is easy that you will have to pay more than 200 € if you want to go and return.

Practical information to go by plane

  • Price: from 95 € each way.
  • Total duration: the flight only takes about 50 minutes.
  • Why I like this option: it really is a very fast way to get to Prague from Vienna, but the disadvantages really outweigh the advantages.
  • Recommended if: in my opinion, it can be a valid alternative if you are going to spend several days in Prague.

Summary of the different options to go from Lisbon to Sintra

  • Excursions
  • From 131 € + entrance fees
  • Advantages: guided tour, transport included and visit to several sites
  • Disadvantages: few hours in the city
  • Train
  • Offers at 15 € each way (40 € normal ticket) + tickets
  • Advantages: comfort and reach the center of the city
  • Disadvantages: the trip is long if you want to return on the same day
  • Bus
  • Around 17 € per way
  • Advantages: very comfortable vehicles
  • Disadvantages: takes a little longer than the train
  • Car
  • Fuel + vignette (rental car from 50 € per day)
  • Advantages: flexibility to stop anywhere
  • Disadvantages: in the end it is usually more expensive than other options.
  • Airplane
  • From about 95 € each way
  • Advantages: the short flight time
  • Disadvantages: the price and having to go to the airport

A short summary about Prague

Charles Bridge| ©Karel Macalik
Charles Bridge| ©Karel Macalik

Once you have arrived in Prague you will want to make the most of your time. If you go with a guided tour you will go directly to the most interesting places and if you do it on your own you will have to find out where they are first.
No matter which option you have chosen, it is always a good idea to have some idea of what to see in Prague before you arrive. Here is a brief summary of the most interesting sights, although there really are many other places worth visiting:

  • Charles Bridge: without a doubt, the formidable CharlesBridge is one of the symbols of the city.
    is one of the symbols of the city. It connects the historical center with the interesting district of Malá Strana.
  • Prague Castle
    and St. Vitus Cathedral: one of the essential visits of Prague.
  • Golden Alley: within the castle district is this small street full of charm.
  • Astronomical Clock: another of the emblems of the city. Undoubtedly, this clock is a true work of art.
  • Jewish Quarter: inside the Jewish Quarter you can visit 6 synagogues and the very interesting Jewish Cemetery.
  • Old Town Square: the whole square is spectacular, starting with the Church of Our Lady of Týnand continuing with the town hall.
    and continuing by the town hall. It is also the best place to discover the streets of the city center.

Book a tour to Prague from Vienna