Transport around Vienna
Vienna is a city where getting around is the least of your worries. From a state-of-the-art public transport system to horse-drawn carriages, visitors have many options. Forget renting a car - this town has you covered!
Vienna has been voted the most liveable city in the world more than once, and there’s no doubt that its public transportation system plays a key role in helping the city earn this distinction time and time again. It is clean, affordable, and highly efficient. With five underground lines, 28 tramlines and 90 bus routes operating daily, making use of this network is by far the easiest and cheapest way to get around.
First, a vocabulary lesson
Vienna’s underground is called the ‘U-Bahn’. This is good to know because the stations are marked around town by signposts bearing a white ‘U’ on a blue background. A street tram is called a ‘Strassenbahn,’ and a bus ‘Autobus’. Tickets are called ‘Fahrkarten’.
The system operates daily from 05:00 to midnight, though a network of night buses still runs along main lines when the underground, trams, and buses stop. On Fridays, Saturdays, and nights before public holidays, the underground runs around the clock!
In terms of cost, different ticket options exist to meet the varying needs of the city’s travellers. Tourists in town for a 3-day trip might want to check out the Vienna Card, a 72-hour public transport ticket good on all lines that also
includes more than 200 discounts to the city’s main attractions and popular restaurants and cafes. See https://www.wienkarte.at/
Other options vary from single rides (2€) to a weekly ticket (15€) and far more in between. To explore your options and routes and find the one that suits you best, check out the public transport system’s website at http://www.wienerlinien.at
. Tickets can be purchased at underground stations, online, at tobacco shops, or individually (20 cents extra) from machines at the front of street trams or buses.
Remember to check your ticket to see if it needs to be validated! You don’t want to get into any trouble by getting caught without a validated ticket. Validation machines can be found on trams and buses and at various points in underground stations. Children up to six always
travel free and children up to 15 can travel free on school holidays, Sundays, and public holidays.
Travelling with your smartphone? Download Qando: http://www.qando.at
, a detailed app for Vienna’s’ public transportation system with timetables, real-time information, and transport maps galore.
Other options - on foot
Now, Vienna isn’t known for great weather, but in the event that you are here with fair conditions, there is actually nothing more lovely than getting around town by foot, especially in the cobblestone-laden inner districts. Take in the beautiful scenery, stunning architecture, and note how the districts change from one to the other. If you get too tired, an underground stop, bus, or tram won’t be too far away!
A popular way to get around town, especially in warmer months, is by making use of the city’s bike system. Most places downtown can be reached within a half hour and the city has an efficient network of bike lanes with an especially nice one along the Danube canal. There’s no need to rent a bike from a shop, as Vienna, like many other European capitals, has adopted its own short-term shared bike system. Called CityBike and with various stations around town, it offers riders the chance to borrow a bike (register with your credit card for one euro) from one station and return it at another. The first hour is free, the second 1€, the third €2 and so on. Tip: If you return your bike within the hour, wait 15 minutes and take it out again. Another free hour is yours for the taking! For stations and more information, see http://www.citybikewien.at
If public transport, walking, and biking aren’t your thing, taxis are of course at the ready. Most can be hailed on the street, found in front of hotels, or waiting in line at various taxi stands. They are metered and run on standard fares. Getting around the inner districts will typically cost between 7€ and 10€ - just round up to tip. Most drivers speak English and will even point out some tourist sights to you along your drive.
Venice has its gondolas and Vienna its horse-drawn carriages. Known as ‘fiaker,’ the city just wouldn’t be the same without them. Most operate in the first district and can be found at main squares like Stephansplatz, Michaelerplatz, or Heldenplatz. While offering a romantic and memorable experience, they are not cheap! A short tour (approx. 20 min through the city centre) costs 55€.
Have fun! Viel Spass!