Austrian Train

Eurail Adventure: Vienna to Ljubljana

Derek Austria, Slovenia 28 Comments

Austrian Train
The second leg of my train trip around Europe involved a somewhat shorter, and no less comfortable, international journey than the first leg. Starting off at Vienna’s Meidling station, I found myself on a Maribor-bound train sitting in a near-empty compartment, something that came as quite a relief.

The day before, when I had visited the ticket office at the train station to reserve my space, I was informed that, with my Eurail Pass, all I needed to do was show up. Apparently, I did not need to book an actual seat ahead of time.

While this information did come straight from the ticket office itself, I was still a little weary as I had been required to book a seat for my earlier train trip from Lucerne to Vienna. Well, of course the ticket office was correct and I had dozens of empty seats to choose from. And when the ticket collector came around, all he did was stamp my Eurail Pass, allowing me to sit back and relax.

Unfortunately, however, I was able to relax so much that, maybe thirty minutes after leaving the station, I fell into a deep sleep, only to wake up some two hours later. And when I did awake, the train was already in Slovenia and about to arrive in the town of Maribor, where I would be required to change trains.

Sleeping on a Train

Changing trains seemed like it would be quite easy, right up until I glanced at the official clock at the Maribor train station. Our train from Vienna was arriving six minutes late, and while that may not seem like much, I only had five minutes to catch my second train. But alas, the Slovenian train system is quite organized and, knowing that our train was about to arrive, they kindly waited for us transferring passengers, of which there were maybe twenty.

The second and final stage, from Maribor to the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana, took a mere one hour and forty-five minutes. The train car I ended up sitting in was naturally as empty as all the previous ones and as comfortable as well, despite the fact that, from the outside, the Slovenian train appeared somewhat shabbier than the Austrian trains.

Slovenian Scenery

And while the Slovenian scenery also differed greatly from that of it’s neighbor to the north, I was unable to really pinpoint the differences through my exhaustion-induced haziness. But by simply glancing at the architecture, and even the people that I observed in the streets and gardens of the towns we passed, I definitely sensed that I was now in Southeastern Europe, a part of the world I had never been to before.


While this is my own adventure and my posts are always my own words based upon my own personal experiences, I must make a note that Eurail.com has provided my Eurail Pass as part of their Blogger Project for 2011.

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Comments 28

  1. Pingback: Wandering Earl wanders into Slovenia - PIRAN CAFÉ

  2. Elizabeth

    I took the train from Slovenia to Croatia this summer and I was never able to figure out the seating system. There seemed to be several very distinct classes (some cars were individual seats with AC while others were compartments without any AC) but no one cared where we sat. I didn’t buy a first class ticket and I never figured out if I was in the wrong place!

    But it was a great experience. Hope you enjoy Ljubljana – its a wonderful city.

    1. Earl

      Hey Elizabeth – Looks like I lucked out then as my train from Ljubljana to Zagreb was only four cars and they were all normal second-class seating. So that was easy! And I did enjoy Ljubljana, one of my favorite cities in Europe I’d have to say…

  3. Amanda

    I’m really enjoying following along on your Eurail journey, Earl. I’ve decided that I’d like to travel for maybe a month around Europe next summer, so I’m definitely taking some notes here!

    1. Earl

      Hey Amanda – I’d say that’s a good decision! And the trick will be choosing which countries to visit with so many wonderful places. At the moment, I can highly recommend Slovenia (and I’ll be writing a few posts about this country soon) as it has to be one of the most beautiful, friendliest and just overall enjoyable countries I’ve ever had the fortune of visiting.

  4. Pingback: Wandering Earl wanders into Slovenia – piran café

  5. Bob R

    Welcome to Slovenia, enjoy. 🙂 FYI some of the Maribor-LJ trains are of the newer sleeker design, but too often they’re not. And yes, they’re >>always<< quite good with waiting for late trains from both directions: Vienna southbound and Ljubljana and Zagreb northbound.

    1. Earl

      Thanks Bob! And I’m actually off to Zagreb tomorrow morning. But at least I’m confident that there won’t be any issues with the train!

    1. Earl

      Hey Siddhartha – It definitely does cost a little bit of money to use the trains but it does make things remarkably easy. And you can of course use night trains to save money on accommodation as well!

    1. Earl

      Hey Gloriana – The weather was beautiful (around 22 – 25 degrees every day) until three days ago. Now it has been about 5 degrees during the day here in Ljubljana and it even snowed a good amount a couple of days ago. This is way too cold for me but apparently it should warm up again this week 🙂

  6. charmine

    Too bad you slept through all that beautiful scenery just outside the train window! Isn’t there a direct train from Vienna- Slovenia? or did you want to visit Maribor first? Earl,Do check the d-bahn website when in doubt to see if you need reservations- after selecting a pair of stations ,look for the R next to the results.Even I wasn’t sure at first and missed trains on account of this.In Florence I had to stand in a very,very long queue to reserve my seat.

      1. Earl

        Hey Charmine – There is apparently one per day but it basically takes the same amount of time as the ‘layover’ in Maribor is only a few minutes. And the timing of the direct train wasn’t as convenient as it arrived late at night.

    1. Earl

      Thanks for that advice Charmine! I went again today in Ljubljana to reserve a seat to Zagreb and was told again that I never have to make reservations with my Pass. I think I’ll keep on checking just in case 🙂

  7. Steve C

    Earl, now you’re getting into an area that’s high on my list to visit. My first backpack trip to Europe along time ago included a bus trip from Athens to to Frankfurt and the part through ‘Yugoslavia’ was like stepping back in time. I’m looking forward to reading your posts on this area.
    As a side, I was first going to ask you to include a phonetic spelling of ‘Ljubljana’ so I could pronounce it while reading your post. But, all I had to do was Google it then click on the Wikipedia site. Along with all the information you’d ever want to know about the City, there’s a place to click on to “listen” to it’s pronunciation! Another reason to travel with a laptop.
    With all that, it’s only a supplement to the first hand stories that you’ll be providing to make my vicarious travels complete. Good Show!

    1. Earl

      Hey Steve – Ha! I probably should have checked Google for the correct pronunciation before I arrived as well! I botched it quite a few times before finally getting it right. The key just seems to cut out the ‘l’s and pronounce the ‘j’ as ‘y’!

  8. Miranda

    Slovenia! 🙂 It’s such a crossroads. Funny, I arrived from another direction after a week in the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary… and my first feeling was, “wow, I’m back in the alps!” because of the architecture and such, it reminded me of Austria. But then people were speaking a Balkan language, the music and much of the food was Balkan… and trying to get to the seashore we ended up in Italy and were reminded that Venice is just a stone’s throw away! Weird. 🙂

    1. Earl

      Hey Miranda – It is a crossroads…Western Europe meets Eastern Europe, Northern Europe meets Southern Europe, the Balkan influence….all wrapped into one tiny country. And I didn’t realize until the other day either that Italy wrapped all the way around to the coast off of Slovenia. I went for a day trip yesterday and was only ten minutes from the Italian border and the city of Trieste. Weird indeed!

    1. Earl

      Hey Rebekka – Eurail.com has a program where they invite a few travel bloggers to visit Europe on their behalf in order to help promote the benefits of a Eurail Pass and I happened to be one of the bloggers that they contacted.

  9. Deborah Bekele

    Hi. I think you blog is really cool. Well done and organised. I heard about you through my friend Matija, in Slovenia. Keep up the posts can’t wait to read more about your adventures. – Deborah

    1. Earl

      Hey Deborah! Thank you so much for leaving a comment and that’s great that Matija sent you over to my blog. I hope you continue to enjoy the posts 🙂

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