Commuting between Vienna and Bratislava by train 🚆
The capitals of Austria and Slovakia are extremely close geographically and often in history been part of the same nation or empire. Today a quick commuter train service connects the two cities. People often choose to live one side and work the other to take advantage of the lower cost of living. So similar to Shenzhen-Hong Kong and Johor Bahru-Singapore, although with both European countries part of the Schengen migration zone there are no delays with border checks at all!
The main service operates hourly between Vienna Central Station (Wien Hauptbahnhof) and Bratislava Central Station (Bratislava hlavná stanica).
This is a genuine, single class commuter service operated by ÖBB/OEBB (Austrian Federal Railways). Ticketing is a little unusual. There are regular commuter and student ticket for weekly/monthly passes otherwise one pays €16 from Vienna, which includes local transport in Bratislava on the first day and a return train ticket within 4 days. It is clearly aimed at short stays in Bratislava and was ideal for me. From what I could tell there were no one-way only tickets.
The train line goes nearly straight the entire distance. Going by the map, I assume what is the older train line now is used for rapid transport within Vienna instead. The commute stops several times at Austrian villages to the east of the capital before crossing the border. Most of the time however it is agriculture and the many wind turbines. The nondescript border is over the end of the Morava River before it exits into the Danube.
I had planned to spend a few days in Bratislava before returning to Vienna for the third time in a week. That was about the most solid forward planning I had made in months!