Cold winter days really invite you to linger in warm thermal water. Southern Burgenland has a number of thermal baths that can be reached by long-distance bus from Vienna and Wiener Neustadt. Unlike most other long-distance buses, Dr. Richard operated line G1 included in the Austrian climate ticket.
The towns of Bad Tatzmanndorf and Stegersbach in southern Burgenland and Bad Loipersdorf in eastern Styria are particularly well-known for their thermal baths. The three pools focus on different target groups. While Bad Tatzmannsdorf is aimed more at adults who want to spend quiet days in warm water, Stegersbach has a lot to offer for children and young people. In Bad Loipersdorf they try a mix of everything.
All three thermal baths have in common that they are simply not accessible by rail. Most of the guests therefore arrive in their own car, as it is – apart from commuters – hardly known that there is a long-distance bus line from Vienna and Wiener Neustadt that can be used to reach the three baths. In contrast to the Flixbus routes within Austria, this is included in the climate ticket, which is why the G1 bus, also known colloquially as the "Südburgenländer Express", is a very attractive alternative to your own car.
Long-distance bus is the fastest connection from southern Burgenland to Vienna
The one from Dr. Richard operated long-distance bus route is mainly used by commuters who live in southern Burgenland and work in Vienna. Due to the lack of rail connections, it is the only alternative to the car. Demand is very high, which is why the company serves the route with stick buses and uses several vehicles at peak times. Reservations do not have to be made. If you do not have a climate ticket, you can buy the ticket directly from the bus driver.
Those who do not come from southern Burgenland or have friends or relatives there usually do not know the G1 bus line. This connects, among other things, Jennersdorf, Güssing, Oberwart and Pinkafeld with Wiener Neustadt and Vienna. The vehicles run several times a day, but sometimes have different routes. The posted timetable is a bit confusing, but the ÖBB Scotty app, for example, can help.
In Vienna, the G1 buses depart from Westbahnhof (Felberstrasse), Karlsplatz, Rathausplatz, Matzleinsdorfer Platz and Triesterstrasse, among other places. Some courses also have the opportunity to start at IZ NÖ Süd and in Wiener Neustadt (Puchbergerstrasse, near the A2 exit). At the last-named stop, advance notice by telephone is required up to one hour before departure, as this is only served when required.
Bad Tatzmannsdorf and Stegersbach thermal baths can be reached from Vienna
Initially, the long-distance buses will run via the southern autobahn, which is exited at Schäffern. The first spa town that is passed through is Bad Tatzmannsdorf. The bus stop, which is near the bath, is called "Bad Tatzmannsdorf (Kirche)". From there you can walk to the thermal baths. The distance is less than 500 meters and since the village is not particularly large, it is difficult to overlook the large thermal baths.
Stegersbach is located in the "perceived middle" between the district capitals of Oberwart and Güssing. The G1 bus stop is on the main square. Since the thermal baths are around 2,3 kilometers or around half an hour's walk away, this bathing establishment is only very poorly accessible by public transport. Those who don't want to traipse will probably have to order a taxi or drive their own car.
Steirische Therme is also served by Postbus from Vienna
In Bad Loipersdorf you don't have this problem, because the bus stop is right in front of the thermal baths. Since this bathing establishment is much further away from Vienna and Wiener Neustadt than Bad Tatzmannsdorf and Stegersbach, the journey time is also the longest. Some courses run from Vienna to the thermal baths without changing trains, while others require a change in Güssing. But this is uncomplicated, since the trips are coordinated. Opposite Stegersbach or Bad Tatzmannsdorf there are fewer daily connections to the Bad Loipersdorf thermal baths.
There is also an alternative, because the competitor Postbus offers a connection to the baths in Bad Waltersdorf, Bad Blumau and Bad Loipersdorf from Vienna Central Station. The marketing name is "Thermenlandbus". However, the climate ticket is not valid on this bus. The fare for adults is 18 euros each way. Tickets can be bought online and directly from the bus driver. Information is provided on the Postbus homepage, among other things.
G1 bus extremely heavily used
dr Richard and the Südburg subsidiary usually use double-decker buses on the G1 long-distance bus line due to high demand. At peak times, you often drive with several vehicles, otherwise not all passengers could ride. In contrast to those also by Dr. Richard served Flixbus lines Graz-Vienna and Graz-Vienna Airport, the G1 bus is included in the climate ticket. You don't need a reservation either, which would be an advantage due to the sometimes enormously high demand.
The buses used are mainly from the manufacturer Setra, which belongs to the German Daimler group. The equipment corresponds to the usual level of long-distance double-decker vehicles. On the lower deck there are two groups of four people, which allow you to work on your laptop, for example. Furthermore, the buses are barrier-free and equipped so that wheelchair users can also travel. All seats have sockets, reading lights and the option to plug in headphones to listen to different radio stations. WiFi is available and free of charge. The vehicles are also equipped with a toilet. This can be used while driving if necessary.
The stick buses that Aviation.Direct used in the course of on-site research for this article made a new and clean impression. The interior looked high-quality and well-kept. The bus drivers were friendly and helpful. Since the G1 buses have neither stop displays nor automatic announcements inside, the stops are announced by the drivers. If you want to get out, you have to press the button that is located directly above your head by the reading lamp.
It is not without reason that the drivers ask for the destination when boarding, because those who do not know their way around at all get a friendly exit service, because the drivers explicitly point out in their announcements to passengers who ask for it that “their” stop is now announced it's your turn. Especially with older people it was shown that the staff of Dr. Richard also helps with the luggage, which is stowed in the large trunk. Backpacks, laptop bags and so on can be taken on board without any problems. However, since many weekly commuters and spa guests use the G1 line, large suitcases are not uncommon, but rather the norm.
Little things could be optimized
There is certainly room for improvement with regard to the routing, because at the Westbahnhof departure point you first have a real tour of Vienna to the other stops. This takes a lot of time and could be optimized if the inner city were not used. However, then the uprising of the Burgenland commuters is fixed, because they are the main customers and travel to work and back home with the G1. You don't want to arrive or leave somewhere far away.
In Stegersbach it would make sense if at least one required stop was set up at the thermal baths with prior telephone notification. The loss of time is minimal, but there are worlds between the idea or proposal and its implementation. Key word: bureaucratic licensing of long-distance bus lines in Austria. This can sometimes last for several years.