The Slovenian capital of Ljubljana is 240 miles (384 km) from the Austrian capital of Vienna. With major international highways and train routes linking the two, traveling between the two cities is fairly easy.
The fastest way to make the journey is by car, either rental or private transfer. The journey takes just under four hours and passes through the scenic cities of Maribor in Slovenia and Graz in Austria.
If you prefer public transportation, you have two options. The private bus company, Flixbus, operates a direct route that takes five hours. You can also opt to go by rail, but only one direct train leaves Ljubljana in the afternoon, and it takes about six hours to reach Vienna.
By Rental Car or Private Transfer
Duration: 4 hours, more with stops
The fastest and most convenient way to get to Vienna from Ljubljana is by car, either by taking a rental or a private transfer. You’ll start on E57 and pass the Slovenian city of Maribor about an hour and a half into your trip. Maribor sits on the Drava River and is a great place to stop and grab a coffee or some lunch.
After you pass Maribor, you'll continue on E59 for the rest of your trip. Despite both Slovenia and Austria being a part of the Schengen Zone, the border occasionally requires stops. It’s best to have your papers ready just in case.
Once you reach Austria, you’ll soon reach the city of Graz, which sits on a river and has a lovely old town if you need to stretch your legs.
If you want to see more of Austria’s mountainous region without adding much extra time to your trip, you can leave Graz via the A9/S35 highways to the north. This takes you to the town of Bruck an der Mur, where you’ll connect to the S6 highway.
On this stretch of the road, you’ll pass by mountain peaks and even a few small ski resorts. The picturesque town of Semmering is worth a stop, and you can take a ride in a gondola. From Semmering, you’ll merge back onto the E59 and follow the road to Vienna.
Duration: 5 hours
The bus is a bit slower than driving, but Flixbus offers a few departures from Ljubljana each day. You'll have complimentary wifi and plenty of space for your luggage, as well as the option to make seat reservations ahead of time. The routes are direct and arrive in Vienna’s Erdberg station.
Duration: 6 hours
The train is the slowest option, but it takes a scenic route. There’s only one direct train to Vienna each day, and it leaves Ljubljana at 3:45 pm. The route follows the Sava River Valley to the east of Ljubljana before turning north through Maribor.
Once you cross into Austria, the train takes the scenic mountain route via Bruck an der Mur. Grab a seat on the right side of the train for the best views.