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Europe Trains Guide Forum  |  General discussion  |  Train fares and tariffs  |  Ljubljana to Vienna (or Bratislava) - cheapest way
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Author Topic: Ljubljana to Vienna (or Bratislava) - cheapest way  (Read 20052 times)
AlexWB
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« on: June 07, 2010, 02:02:05 pm »

Hi everybody - just discovered this forum, its great  :)

OK, so I am traveling from Ljubljana to Bratislava (where I live) in mid-July. I know that the fare is just over 60 Euro if I buy on the day from Ljubljana (same fare if I buy in Bratislava, too), and that Slovenian rail offers a 29 Euro advanced fare; however I can't buy the 29 Euro ticket online, neither can I buy it at Bratislava station (I thought it was worth a try, even though I thought it wouldn't be possible).

My question - does anybody know if I can get this fare any cheaper? (its expensive for somebody used to Slovak trains!).

I see 3 options... but not sure about some things....

1. I arrive in Ljubljana 3 days before I travel back home - do you think there is a chance of getting hold of the 29 Euro ticket so close to the travel date?

2. Although I am traveling FROM Slovenia, do you think I could go to an Austrian station (in the next few days) and see if I can purchase the cheap ticket? I very much doubt this, but it would be worth the short journey if I could...

3. City Stars - I've seen that a City Star costs about 80 Euro for two people from Ljubljana to Vienna - much cheaper than a normal ticket. I know very little about these tickets - can I buy them on the day? Is the availability limited? Can I reserve seats whilst using this offer?

A lot of info I know - but any help would be appreciated. I'm too used to rolling up at the station and just buying the ticket on the day

Alex
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tUt
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« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2010, 02:14:10 pm »

In your case the easiest option is to go via Hungary and not through more expensive Austria. Purchase Ljubljana-Budapest ticket for direct "Citadella" train, it is only 29 euro one way or 39 euro return. Offer is unlimited, so you can purchase your ticket any time and not worry about purchase in advance. Budapest-Bratislava is easy and rather cheap - either use direct train or go to Esztergom, cross the bridge to Sturovo and use Slovak domestic train to Bratislava.
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AlexWB
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« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2010, 03:32:43 pm »

Hi

Thanks for your answer - its certainly an option as its so cheap. However, the total journey would be around 11 hours I guess; I'd rather pay 30 Euro more and save 3-4 hours going via Vienna.

I really appreciate your answer (I did say I wanted the 'cheapest' option!)... I'll have a think.

Any ideas about the City Star Ticker (I can't find any mention of validity on this site). Here is the information I have from Slovenian Rail...

http://www.slo-zeleznice.si/en/passengers/abroad/austria

Just says the price (about half way down the page)

Thanks again  :)
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AlexWB
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« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2010, 04:00:19 pm »

I found additional info (don't know how I missed it) from the Slovenian Rail website

http://www.slo-zeleznice.si/en/passengers/abroad/special-offers/city-star-international

Annoyingly, it doesn't tell me the availability (whether I can buy on the day)...

If I can, then I will save money: I'll buy a return ticket for 2 people, which will cost 84.00 Euro. I will tell them I'll return on Sunday (thats how City Star works I've read), but I just won't return from Bratislava. Two single tickets will cost me 170 Euro - so I'll save 80-odd Euro. This sounds too good to be true, so I'm wondering whether its plausible? Anybody have any experience of City Star?

Thanks

Alex
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tUt
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« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2010, 05:03:55 pm »

You didn't mention that there are two passengers going, then obviously CityStar option is good choice here.
This sounds too good to be true, so I'm wondering whether its plausible? Anybody have any experience of City Star?
Yes, why not? That is the biggest plus of the CityStar tickets - 50% discount for any additional passenger. And you don't need to tell anybody about any return day or anything like this - nobody cares - you aren't obliged to use return part of your ticket  ;)
And one more small advice - purchase not Ljubljana-Vienna, but Ljubljana-Marchegg/Kittsee, the fare should be similar as the one Ljubljana-Vienna (CityStar issued for specific range of km from the border point, for instance <100km, 100-400km and >400, since Vienna and Marchegg/Kittsee fall into the same range(>100<400km), then the fare should be the same). In such way you will even save some money on you Vienna-Bratislava trip. But if railways use range 100-300km on Austrian territory, then this trick won't work and the farthest point <300km before Slovakia will be Schönfeld-Lassee or Bruck/Leitha depending on the route from Vienna to Bratislava.

You can as well try to ask about CityStar SZ-ZSSK, Slovenian railways don't list the fare for it, but it might be worth asking. Slovak Railways list 76 euro as base tariff for such CityStar
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AlexWB
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« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2010, 07:55:43 pm »

Great information, thanks a lot! I would have never thought of getting a ticket to Kittsee... it might work out well. I tried to make my messages as clear as possible, but forgot all about mentioning I wouldn't be alone!

Why is the City Star (RETURN!) price for one person (without 50% discount) so much cheaper than a regular single fare (think its 50 Euro return compared to 63 Euro single). Is it because you travel on specific dates?

If this ticket is available to me (3 days before departure) then I'll be sure to buy it.
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tUt
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« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2010, 08:40:36 pm »

Why is the City Star (RETURN!) price for one person (without 50% discount) so much cheaper than a regular single fare (think its 50 Euro return compared to 63 Euro single). Is it because you travel on specific dates?
This indeed looked a little bit strange to us as well, but sometimes it can happen - there are many examples that one way ticket is more expensive than return.
But in this case our guesses are:
1) CityStar tariff table was agreed rather long time ago and hasn't changed since that time. While regular tariff raised, thus creating such situation.
2) Other possible explanation might be hidden within CityStar agreement between OEBB and SZ itself. For instance, OEBB additionally gives 25% off even for the base ticket fare issued as "CityStar", but on the contrary additional passengers receive only 20% off and not usual 50%. So, maybe, in case of CityStars SZ-OEBB we have similar situation, but Slovenians kept 50% off.   
CityStar is not fixed to any specific dates, it is simply valid for 1 month period and you can use it any time, the only rule for some Slovenian CityStars - return journey must take place after next Saturday following your way there. You travel there on Monday, then the first day you can travel back is next Sunday etc. But we doubt that these things with time frame of usage really play a role in CityStar tariff fare.

If this ticket is available to me (3 days before departure) then I'll be sure to buy it.
With some CityStars purchase in advance is obligatory (for instance ZSSK-SBB or ZSSK-DB need to be purchased at least three days in advance, OEBB as well requires 3 days in advance purchase for some CityStars), but in case of CityStars from Slovenia we can't find this rule, so probably there is no limitation on time of purchase.

p.s. Anyway, it will nice if you, after getting back, share here your experience with buying CityStar SZ-OEBB  ;)
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AlexWB
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« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2010, 09:32:22 pm »

I will share my experience to say thank you for your detailed help (especially if I DO manage to save some money!)

I will also be taking the train from Split to Ljubljana (hopefully using the night train to Zagreb, then change for the last 2 hours), so I'll post any information which I think may be useful.
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bororo
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« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2010, 01:02:00 am »

hey alex,
i just found this forum and would like to know when exactly are you planning to take a train from ljubljana to bratislava. i'd probably travel as well in same period, about 17th july..
if you can, let me know and i could join you,
thanks a lot

b.

by the way many thanks for the infomation!!
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AlexWB
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« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2010, 10:06:41 pm »

Hi Bororo - I have just returned and missed your message by one day! Shame. Hope you tried the City Star and hope you had a nice trip  :)

OK, as promised (and to thank tUt for the info) here is how my trip went...

From Ljubljana you can buy City Stars to Vienna up to 3 DAYS IN ADVANCE...

However, there is no time limit if you buy a Ljubljana - Bratislava City Star - the lady told me you can buy these on the day

I bought a City Star for 2 people (Ljubljana - Bratislava return) for 114 Euro - thats 57 Euro each....

A single ticket from Ljubljana to Vienna costs 63,20 Euro... I think a ticket from Vienna to Bratislava is 10 Euro (or thereabouts )... thats a total of 74,20 Euro... so we saved around 17 Euro each  :)

You can get City Stars for up to six people I think - imagine the saving if we were a group of 6...

By the way, the 12.13 train (change in Maribor) seems to be the quickest... you have to make a compulsory reservation for the Ljubljana - Maribor leg, but this is free, just in case anybody is wondering...
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tUt
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« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2010, 10:32:35 pm »

Alex, thanks for sharing.

From Ljubljana you can buy City Stars to Vienna up to 3 DAYS IN ADVANCE...
Unfortunately such 3 day rule exist for certain CityStars (for instance, in Slovakia it applies for ZSSK-DB and ZSSK-SBB connections), nothing we can do about it...
But was the fare for Ljubljana-Vienna as listed on website - 56 euro for 1 person, 84 for 2 etc.?
I bought a City Star for 2 people (Ljubljana - Bratislava return) for 114 Euro - thats 57 Euro each....
Means it's the same as ZSSK-SZ, where 76 euro is base tariff (76+76/2=114)
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AlexWB
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« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2010, 11:05:31 pm »

I didn't ask about the fare to Vienna, I just went for the Bratislava one as I figured it would only be slightly more... maybe I could have saved a few more Euros if I'd bought City Star to Vienna and then a separate ticket to Bratislava... not sure sorry.

What do you mean by your second point? That its possible to do the journey the other way for the same money using City Star tickets? Did I manage to save some money? I'm slightly confused...
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tUt
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« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2010, 08:46:39 pm »

...maybe I could have saved a few more Euros if I'd bought City Star to Vienna and then a separate ticket to Bratislava... not sure sorry.
Well, Euregio ticket Vienna-Bratislava cost 14 euro, but you anyway saved quite a lot with CityStar instead of regular fare ticket.
That its possible to do the journey the other way for the same money using City Star tickets?
Yes, exactly. You can buy same Citystar, but opposite direction from ZSSK. And now (after your info about fare for CityStars SZ-ZSSK), we can see that fares for SZ-ZSSK and ZSSK-SZ are the same - base tariff here 76 euro for one passenger, +50% for 2nd, 3rd etc. up to 5 passengers.
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