Getting around Austria and mobile data service

Lots of people pinged me last week about how to get to Salzburg via the train. There are plenty of flights flying into Salzburg Airport (SZG) if you are flying within Europe. But if you are flying from North America or Asia, the fare required to add a leg to Salzburg is often pretty stiff. So why pay a “penalty” when you can fly to another airport like Munich or Vienna rest and relax a bit before continuing on the train?


Getting a SIM card is easy. If you live in EU, you know we have already enjoyed over a year of “roam like home” service. It’s great, no more extra fees. If you are coming from North America or Asia, you have a few choices. A1, the incumbent telecom carrier, T-Mobile and 3.

At the time of the writing this post, 3 (DRE/THREE) had a 6B data promo that included 1,000 mins and 500 SMS for 50 euros. There are booths at Vienna International Airport where you can pick up SIM cards right across from the information desk. SIM cards all provide UMTS/HSDPA or LTE services. (If you aren’t a techie, all those acronyms refer to the type of mobile network connections that are available.).

If your run out of data from posting on FB or Instagram, don’t worry you can go to any tobacco shop to get a top-up card.

From Vienna International Airport (VIE)

Getting to Salzburg from Vienna is ridiculously easy. The trains to the rest of Austria are right underneath the airport! As you exit the baggage claim area, there are ramps to either the left or right of the exit that leads to the train station below. You can take the CAT to downtown Vienna or jump on the OBB (Österreichische Bundesbahnen), which connects you with the rest of Austria.

The ride to Salzburg will take three hours or less, it depends on whether you can hop on the express. It is a fantastic ride through the countryside. First class train seats are spectacular. Reserved economy class tickets are excellent as well. After riding the OBB in Austria, my bum hurts thinking about having to take British Rail.


From Munich (MUC)

Munich is the closest major airport Salzburg or Hallstatt. There are no direct trains into Austria. You have to take the S-Bahn to Munich Main Station first. Slightly more complicated but manageable. From Munich, it is an hour and a half train ride to Salzburg

As a strategic consultant, I manage chaos for a living. So travel is easy for me. Heh. I travel to understand people and culture more deeply than a newspaper or tv show could ever tell me. I break bread to build bridges across political and social boundaries. Travel inspires me, teaches me and humbles me such that I appreciate my part of the world more deeply.