If you want to know how to take the train from Venice to Salzburg, be sure to book the SCENIC route! This is what I did last year on my Europe rail trip, and it was such a beautiful view as the train goes through the Brenner Pass, passing the Alps at the Italy-Austria border.
Also, a hat tip to The Man in Seat Sixty-One because I’m pretty sure he’s the one who helped me learn about this route trick!
How to Book the Scenic Route (Brenner Pass via Innsbruck)
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do book the scenic route:
Step 1: Go to the OBB website (official Austrian railway)
Step 2: Type in “Venezia Santa Lucia” as your departure and “Salzburg HBF” as your destination.
Step 3: Click “Via” and type “Innsbruck”
Step 4: Click “Done” and then click to continue on to see your ticket options
Step 5: Try to get a train with ONLY an Innsbruck connection to reduce travel time.
This is the exact train time and route I purchased:
- Departing Santa Lucia Station at 13:50 (1:50pm)
- Arriving at Salzburg Hbf at 21:04 (9:04pm)
Step 6: Click “Add to basket.”
Step 7: Enter personal information and payment details.
After you click “Add to Basket,” you’ll fill out traveler details and payment info.
Step 8: Be sure to get your ticket!
After you submit payment, you should receive an email from OBB with your a PDF of your receipt. The email will be in German. Please note that this email is NOT your ticket!
To get your ticket for your journey, you must
- Get it printed at the station
- Access it via the OBB mobile app on your smartphone.
I used option 2. Just be aware that if your phone malfunctions or you don’t have access to Internet/data and can’t load it, you’ll be in trouble.
What It’s Like to Ride the Train From Venice to Salzburg
The seats are organized into compartments with 6 seats each with a door. You walk through the hall and find an available compartment/seat:
Be SURE to check the little labels on each compartment door. If it says “Reservierung,” do NOT sit there. It is reserved for someone else.
The compartments are pretty cozy with arm rests. There are luggage racks above the seats.
There are outlets for you to charge your electronics (but if you’re from the U.S., don’t forget an adapter!).
You can also pull out a little desk/table next to your seat.
There’s also a dining cart. Here’s a view of the menu items:
Now, for the Venice to Salzburg train, it’s the ONLY train we took where they did have authorities check our documents. Shortly after the train ride began, Italian police opened our compartment doors and checked our passports and train tickets. Later, we stopped at the Italy-Austria border and Austrian police came onboard and checked our passports and train tickets. So make sure to have both of these documents handy during your train ride.
Oh, and of course, be sure to enjoy the view outside your train window!
When you get to Innsbruck Station, you’ll have about 20 (?) minutes to get out and peruse the shops inside the train station before you have to catch your train to Salzburg.
This isn’t much time, so hurry! There are a LOT of meat shops:
But I recommend going to the supermarket deli and getting a sandwich. I had the BEST salami sandwich of my life there.
When you arrive in Salzburg Hbf Station, there is a Spar grocery store inside. This is a great place to drop in and buy some snacks for your time in Salzburg.
So there you have it! That’s how to take the train from Venice to Salzburg. I hope that was helpful, as I know booking foreign trains can be really stressful. Enjoy your trip!
Things to Do in Salzburg
When you arrive, here are some things to do in Salzburg:
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Read next: My 2-Week Eastern Europe Train Itinerary
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