Austria Destinations

Semmering – A day on the UNESCO railway trail

July 28, 2016
hiking Semmering Vienna

Summer is awesome, but can be a pain in the city. A great way to escape the muggy air is seeking higher elevations, which luckily aren’t far from Vienna. You don’t even need a car to reach one of the nicest trails in the Wiener Alpen, the so-called Viennese Alps and you even get to visit a UNESCO heritage. The popular Bahnwanderweg is best reached by train and the hiking trail takes you along fascinating railway structures, impressively showing how humans overcame rough, mountainous territory. As the whole track has been completed in 1854 you can imagine how rough the working conditions must’ve been without modern machines (building 14 tunnels and 16 arches!) Today the track serves as the main rail connection between Vienna and the south and the ride is very scenic. But to experience its whole beauty it’s advisable to do an easy one-day-trip from Vienna: Get off at station Semmering and follow the well marked path until one of the other stops along the train line (in my case I hiked 9 km to Breitenstein) – hop on the next train and get back to where you started!


Along the trail you’ll find lots of viewpoints overlooking the region’s most famous landmarks like the Semmeringbahn, the Rax and Schneeberg.

Semmering5 Semmering6 Semmering7

This famous lookout is called 20-Schilling-Blick as it was printed on the old 20-Schilling banknotes.

Semmering9 Semmering12 Semmering11

This trail certainly isn’t for train geeks only 😉

Semmering14Semmering13 Semmering10


The starting point is about 1 hour travel time by car from Vienna, but for the scenic route it’s advisable to take the train: The fastest trains take only 1 hour 12 minutes to Semmering and run on the historic tracks. From there you can hike as long as you want to the following stations: Breitenstein (9 km), Klamm (15 km), Payerbach (21 km) or Gloggnitz (23 m) and take a local train back to Semmering. Look up schedules and tickets here.

See also the following article for more great hiking near Vienna:

Beautiful Rax – hiking the alps near Vienna 

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  • Reply Paleica July 28, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    den wollte ich letztes jahr im herbst schon wandern, weil ich davon uuunbedingt ein foto machen möchte, am liebsten natürlich mit buntem herbstlaub 🙂 da hat es nicht geklappt, aber die nächste chance steht ja quasi vor der türe ^.^

    • Reply sileas August 8, 2016 at 9:33 am

      Ohja mit Herbstfarben stelle ich mir das unglaublich schön vor!

  • Reply Alok Singhal July 28, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    What a gorgeous day-out for you! The beauty around is simply superb!

    • Reply sileas August 8, 2016 at 9:35 am

      Thank you, yeah I’m glad I went out that day 🙂

  • Reply barryaday July 28, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    The Semmering area is really beautiful and you captured it very well.

    • Reply sileas August 8, 2016 at 9:57 am

      Thank you, until that day I didn’t know HOW beautiful it really was!

  • Reply PinaySkattebasse July 28, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    I DO love hiking. OMG! Those photos looks surreal. 🙂 Feels heartwarming when looking at it. Mother nature.

    • Reply sileas August 8, 2016 at 10:03 am

      It does right? Glad you enjoy hiking as well 😉

  • Reply The Tastemonials July 29, 2016 at 7:20 am

    Wenn ich diese Bilder sehe, bekomme ich sofort Lust, mich hier im Schwarzwald auf den Weg zu machen.. Aber ich bin wirklich eine schlechte Wanderin und muß mich dazu eigentlich immer überwinden. Danach freue ich mich dann über die Bilder und das Entschleunigen und sogar über den Muskelkater. Aaalso, der Schwarzwald ruft!! 😉 GLG Heike

    • Reply sileas August 8, 2016 at 10:05 am

      Überwinden muss ich mich auch fast immer, aber es hat sich auch immer gelohnt bisher 😉

  • Reply Julie July 29, 2016 at 7:21 am

    What a beautiful place…! You really brought it alive!

    • Reply sileas August 8, 2016 at 10:12 am

      Thanks so much Julie!!

  • Reply marion July 29, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    so schön! tolle idee-kommt gleich auf meine liste!

    • Reply sileas August 8, 2016 at 10:13 am

      Hehe, das freut mich 😉

  • Reply shootingvienna July 30, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    Looks like a great hike and a beautiful day!
    I think I have never heard of this trail but I definitely need to check it out if it is easily reachable per train 🙂

    • Reply sileas August 8, 2016 at 10:16 am

      I actually knew about this trail quite a while but never made it there, although it’s quite close… The journey via train is so relaxing too!

  • Reply SueT唐 梦 琇 July 31, 2016 at 4:51 am

    What a wonderful day out Julia, gorgeous scenery – really beautiful.

    • Reply sileas August 8, 2016 at 10:23 am

      Thank you Sue, I was so lucky with the weather too! Loved it!

  • Reply Beauty Follower August 1, 2016 at 8:17 am

    Wonderful scenery!

    • Reply sileas August 8, 2016 at 10:33 am

      It really was, thank you for stopping by!

  • Reply mintnoti August 1, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    The view is incredible from the look out, I love all the lush scenery! I would love to visit this spot someday and hike there. Have a wonderful week 🙂

    Eden | Mint Notion

    • Reply sileas August 8, 2016 at 10:37 am

      Thanks so much Eden, I’ve been admiring your fantastic hiking adventures!

  • Reply Mitzie Mee August 1, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    I didn’t use to be very much into hiking, but in recent years I’ve started to appreciate the beautiful views you get along the way. I’m even considering climbing Mt. Fuji next year:) Looks like a beautiful hike, but taking the train through those scenic surroundings also feels tempting:)

    • Reply sileas August 8, 2016 at 10:12 am

      Ohhh Mt. Fuji must be amazing! I rode the train there many times and loved it already. Finally I got to see its full beauty 🙂

  • Reply fromdreamtoplan August 2, 2016 at 5:35 am

    So beautiful! Thanks for sharing with us this amazing place! I love going hiking at the mountains so I’ll definitely keep in mind this! 🙂

    Lisa |

    • Reply sileas August 8, 2016 at 10:32 am

      Thanks Lisa, I’m so happy you liked it 😀

  • Reply Cavaforlunch August 2, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    It’s so beautiful! I’ve only been there during winter, but I think I might want to re-visit for the summer xx

    • Reply sileas August 8, 2016 at 10:41 am

      Oh really? Winters are awesome there too!

  • Reply Chiara Pannozzo (@wine_and_olives) August 3, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    I love hiking! And this looks like so much fun, not to mention the fact that the scenery is absolutely stunning! Hopefully I’ll get the chance to do this one day x

    • Reply sileas August 8, 2016 at 10:43 am

      With views like that (and good weather), hiking is actually very enjoyable 😉 Thanks Chiara!

  • Reply wazwu August 4, 2016 at 4:17 am

    Looks beautiful! I like that there’s the option of getting on the train after a hike. I’m not the most athletic, outdoorsy person, but living in Portland and hiking photos like this have started to inspire me to get into it more. 😉

    • Reply sileas August 8, 2016 at 10:45 am

      I guess you’re living in hiker’s paradise now 😉 The great sceneries are the best reward of such an hike!

  • Reply ourdestinationsblog August 4, 2016 at 7:32 am

    Müssen wir bei unserem nächsten Wien Aufenthalt unbedingt einplanen. Klasse Eindrücke!

    • Reply sileas August 8, 2016 at 10:46 am

      Vielen Dank! Ja, es ist eine ideale Tagestour von Wien aus!

      • Reply ourdestinationsblog August 9, 2016 at 5:41 am

        Hört sich super an! Vielen Dank für die tollen Eindrücke und den Bericht 🙂

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