But the beauty is in the walking -- we are betrayed by destinations
Graz is a beautiful city, but also one of the ports to southern Europe.
In the following I will give you a few tips to get there, and in the end a few notes how to travel further.
The two major entrances to Austria are Linz via Passau and Salzburg via Rosenheim/Munich. When you are coming from Hamburg/Copenhagen it's, in reality, the only sensible options.
The first alternative is straightforward in both directions;
The departure time in Hamburg 20.34 makes it easy to cath from Sweden via Copenhagen (more of that below). You will arrive in Linz at 06.48 and that is early enough to give you a lot of possibilities to choose good connections
(EN491 arrives in Vienna 08.56).
In the opposite direction it's just as versatile - the departure from Linz is 21.58 - and that means that you may eat a good dinner in Graz before going away
(EN490's departure from Vienna is 20.00).
(There are also an ICE trains 90/91 going this way, but there are no connections Hamburg - Copenhagen., more below)
That leaves us with the EuroNight EN490.
You need to be in Hamburg to 20.34, and you will get there with perfect timing with
If you don't like the ferry-crossing Rödby - Puttgarden you can always travel via Flensburg. It is easy to find a good match, but it might be necesarry to tweak DB's sight a bit to get the best connections - more of that in the "Booking"-section.
However - perfect timing in spring, summer, or fall, is not the same thing as timing in winter...
If you haven't already booked your connections with some extra switching time, keep an eye at the wheather and the trains (via DB's site) the day before.
IF it seems to be a problem, and you know that there are later trains going in your direction, do as follows:
(at least if it's hollidays or you suspect that the trains are overcrowded for other reasons):
How does it work?
Well, if DB mess things up, you may always go with the next train in the right direction. That's fine - but if the train is full and you already have ten hours travelling in your legs, it's quite nice not having to stand up for another ten...
Now you're in Linz!
And from now on everything is straightforward and easy - REX (Regional Express) to Selzthal (The beautiful Pyrnbahn) , and then some IC or EC train to Graz via Leoben - arrival in Graz 12.23.
The second alternative; Hamburg - Munich - Salzburg - Graz.
Let me first summarize the different possiblities:
Of course - there are a lot other ways to do this - this is just what I have tried a few times.
When you ask DB's booking site for a route from Copenhagen to Munich you' become a suggestion (first alternative above) to travel with CNL473 to Fulda and then ICE 781 to Munich.
In Munich you board the Eurocity EC217 running from Saarbrücken to Graz via München, and you will arrive in Graz at 16.23. That means - Copenhagen to Graz with only three different trains, comfortable but booring after a few times?
The second possibility above is a slight variation of the first;
You travel with the same CNL, CNL473, but you go off the train almost one and a half hour later - in Frankfurt 07.15. After roughly an hour you board the EC113 to Klagenfurt.
Both this routes involves traveling, first along the Salzach, and then Ennstalbahn. It's a very beautiful route - read more about it in the "Routes - Austria" section.
Also the third variation involves a CNL train - but this time a domestic train running between Hamburg and Munich, CNL1287. From Munich to Graz it's the same route as in the second alternative above. The only diffference is roughly four hours.
The Copenhagen - Hamburg part is the same as for the first alternative above, i.e. ICE32 with departure from Copenhagen 15.44.
The fourth possibility is a bit different from the others. First, it doesn't involve any night trains, second it may be a bit tricky to book as you sometimes have to "fool" the booking system a little bit.
This is a comfortable and nice route if you travel first class - you have to book your tickets in time to get a reasonable price (90 days).
You also have to know that this route is not "daily" . You may always travel this route but it varies somewhat - e.g. you might have to switch tran in Würzburg or Cologne. It's a bit difficult to know for shure, as you must play around with stopovers and transfer times.
The question is always;
Have I made something wrong in my search, or is the route different this particular day?
Return to Sweden
Ok, that was the outward journey - now to your way home (or the opposite of course)
So far I have been quite detailed, but from now on I'll make more of a summary.
A simplified way to describe the way home is:
"The same as the outward journey, but in the opposite direction, plus two-three options".
This is true, but as you will see in the "booking section" it might be necesarry to adjust the routes in order to get the cheapest tickets.
Ok, here's the options:
As before, the principle is that you need to be in Hamburg early enough to catch a train, that in turn, makes it possible to catch a good train to Sweden in Copenhagen.
There are also an ICE train 90/91 Vienna- Linz - Hamburg, but there are no connections Hamburg - Copenhagen. You arrive i Hamburg at 22.00 and that is too late for something "convenient". In the other direction it looks good with arrival in Vienna 17.00, but ICE91 leaves Hamburg at 08.00 - also "not possible" to reach).
I have tried another solution to this problem a couple of times, and that is to go in the opposite direction from Hamburg - long enough to catch a good train (perhaps "the first train") going north again. I travelled with an Intercitytrain IC2021 (22.50) Hamburg - Frankfurt, spent a day in Frankfurt and then direction Copenhagen again. Fun for a nerd, but perhaps nothing for the weak-hearted?
Museibahnen, smalspår etc