There are two train operators of the Vienna to Prague route; České dráhy (Czech Railways) and Regiojet. Prices are similar and our choice was made solely on departure/arrival times.
We were staying at the Hilton Vienna Plaza, just a few minutes walk from Schottentor station on the UBahn U2 line. We took the U2 to Karlsplatz and changed to the U1, then U1 to Südtiroler Platz-Hauptbahnhof. Journey about 15 minutes. It’s about ten minutes walk (undercover) to the main piazza of Vienna Main Station (Wien Hauptbahnhof). The station is large, modern and has plenty of food and shopping outlets. It was easy to find our Regiojet train.
Both companies offer second class, first class and business class – unlike airline classes, business class is the highest category. Looking at the seat map, the RegioJet business class is in four-seat compartments and unlike České dráhy there wasn’t a ridiculous charge for choosing a seat. So we booked those.
Total price per person, one-way, departing Wednesday early afternoon, was 30 EUR (800 Kč) and that includes one free Bohemia Sekt, bottle of water, a cookie and tea or coffee. Good value for a four-hour journey. We paid 26 EUR (700 Kč) for the Prague – Vienna journey on České dráhy.
We were lucky enough not to have anyone share our compartment. I would imagine that removing your face mask wouldn’t be frowned upon, although currently illegal. It is legal to remove your mask while drinking and eating.
Our compartment, the seats and the tray tables, didn’t look like they’d undergone any recent cleaning – they weren’t messy, but in these Covid times, I would have expected more.
There is table service and we were brought all the included drinks and cookies – there is a also a menu.
The menu had sushi set for EUR 3.60, which I viewed with suspicion – could train sushi be any good?
Alas, or maybe luckily, we didn’t get to try the sushi as it was sold out. We ordered a chicken Caesar salad for EUR 4.80. The picture in the menu looked good.
The package looked promising.
The reality, very disappointing – just a few cubes of processed chicken.
A small bottle of French red wine was EUR 2.60 and that was okay.
All of the closest toilets were out of order and I had to walk to the next carriage.
It was a comfortable journey, improved because we had the compartment to ourselves. The included drinks make the cost slightly less than České dráhy. However, the food offering on České dráhy was much better and the happy hour drinks good value.
My recommendation would be to base your choice solely on your preferred departure time.
Both RegioJet and České dráhy trains arrive at Prague’s main station (Praha hlavní nádraží), which has plenty of food and shopping outlets. There is also a metro stop, with ticket machines – Prague’s transport is just like Vienna, you stamp your ticket on the first journey and can then travel until the expiry of your ticket.