Although the very centre of the Innere Stadt is compact enough to be covered on foot, the public transport runs so well that it seems a shame not to utilise it. The U-bahn is the city’s expanding metro which is pristine and full of original stations designed by Otto Wagner. The trams are silent, smooth and an ideal way to see the glorious buildings around Vienna – even the buses arrive when the timetable says they will.
Vienna Public Transport Travel Guide
Tickets available for you to buy include a single ticket (Fahrschein) that can be bought from stations or newsagents and cost €1,50. Make sure you punch the ticket in the blue machine when you board the bus or tram or when you arrive at the U-bahn station. If you buy your ticket onboard the tram/bus from the machine by the driver, then it will cost €2.
A Travelpass (Netzkarte) is another useful ticket that allows you unlimited travel on Vienna’s public transport for 24 hours. Again, remember to punch the ticket at the start of your journey.
Using the public transport is also a good way to orientate yourself when you first arrive. Hop on tram number 1 or 2 for a tour of the Ringstrasse while bus 2a winds its way through the narrow streets of the Inner Stadt and through the picturesque courtyards of Hofsburg itself.
There are five lines to choose from (U1-4 & U6), each of them is colour-coded and not all of them run underground. Find the correct platform and look for the final destination on the trains so you know which direction to travel.
Vienna boasts one of the most extensive trams systems in the world, with over 30 routes criss-crossing the cobbled streets. The trams begun to run in 1897 and they still retain their resplendent white and red livery. They are highly efficient and run from stops every five to ten minutes -make sure you check the tram’s final destination on the tram stop before you board.
Wind their way through the narrow backstreets of the Inner Stadt (where there are few U-bahn stations) to the outer suburbs beyond. Again, they are very punctual. Useful routes include Buses 1a (Mon-Sat, daily), 2a and 3a. If you want to get back to your accommodation in the early hours then catch the Nightline which runs every half and hour from 12.30am – 4am.
4. S-Bahn and Regional Bahn Trains
Very popular with Viennese commuters, the cheap trains are a good way to reach the airport and for daytrips to the beautiful areas surrounding the city. They run every 15-30mins to a rigidly-enforced timetable.
As with other European cities, taxi’s can be found in abundance. The minimum charge is €2 and you have to go to a rank or call 31 300, 40 100 or 60 160 as you cannot flag them down.
Are more of a hindrance than a help in this city. Parking can be tricky and you need to know the parking restrictions in the blue zones (also called short-term parking zones). The maximum length of stay can vary from district to district, with district one being 1 ½ hours, Mon-Fri 9am-7pm and districts 2-9 two hours Mon-Fri 9am-8pm. There is free parking at weekends and if there is no parking meter in sight then you need to buy a parking voucher from a newsagents or post office.
If you want a break from pounding the city streets the head to the Danube where you can take a boat from mid April – mid October to Reichbruche and Schuedenplatz further up the river. The main company is DDSG and tickets cost €10,80 one way or €14,50 return. There is also a hydrofoil service that runs to Bratislava and Budapest. Information about these services can be obtained from the Travel Information Offices at U-bahn stations Stephansplatz, Karlsplatz and Westbahnhof, Mon-Fri 6.30am-8.30pm, Sat, Sun, 8.30am-4pm.
There are also offices at Floridsdorf, Praterstern, Philadelphiabruche, Landstrasse and Volkstheatre, Mon-Fri 6.30am-7.30pm. Fancy a day trip to Bratislava – the return boat trip, 90 minute guided walk, lunch and free time costs around €54-60 for adults.