Bike & Viennabike, Vienna
At several places, you see these City Bike stands (C B sign).
In fact it is a great system; you can pick up a bike at one bike stand, drive to the other part of the city, and leave it at another bike stand.
After you have done your sightseeing, you go back to the bike stand pick another bike and continue your journey.
At their website you can see where the bike stands are located, and you also can see the number of available bikes.
To use such a bike you need a City Bike Tourist Card, which you can get from :
- Royal Tours, Herrengasse 1-3, 1010 Vienna (open : daily 9:00-11:30 a.m. and 1:00-6:00 p.m.)
- Pedal Power, Ausstellungsstrasse 3, 1020 Wien (open : daily 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.)
- or in your hotel
What does it cost:
Fee for the card : 2 euro (per day)
1st hour : free
2nd hour : 1 euro
3rd hour : 2 euro
4th - 120th hour : 4 euro
A Useful tip:
As the first hour is free, and after a waiting period (time for a beer), you can take another bike and it is again free for the first hour. Like this you can drive 1 hour for free, rest for 15 minutes, drive 1 hour for free, rest 15 minutes, drive 1 hour for free, . . . .
Loosing your City Bike Card will cost you 10 euro
Loosing your City Bike will cost you . . . . . 600 euro
The first stand of yellow bikes I saw made me thinkthat this was a similar system to Copenhagen where you can ride bikes free around the city. Well it's not quite so uncomplicated as that but worth considering nonetheless. The deal is: you must purchase a Tourist Card which costs EUR 2 per day; this can be purchased by visa or mastercard or by contacting Royal Tours travel agency at Herrengasse 1-3 . At the terminal select one of the available bikes on the screen; enter your password and confirm your entry by pushing 'NEXT. The number of a bikebox will then appear on the screen and you make a note of it and at the box in question, push the green illuminated button to release your bike. Bikes can be returned to any of the 50 stations around the city.
Sounds unbelievably complicated ? it certainly seems complicated to me but would be worth pursuing if cycling is your favourite way to get about. The slogan 'City Bikes for Free' is definitely misleading as you have to pay a daily fee to register, but after that, if you're clever you can cycle for free. This would involve changing bikes every hour, as the first hour is always free. Complicated ? Well personally, I couldn't even begin to get my head around it but if you're interested all details are available from citybikewien.at
THIS is a funny way to explore Vienna !
All you have to do is
REGISTER with an Austrian Bancomat-card (ATM-card), registry is just 2 Euros.
the 1st hour is free
2 hours = 2 Euros
3 hours is 4 Euros
4 hours is 8 Euros
every extra hour is 4 Euro afterwards.
Get your bike at one of the many bike-stations ( most of them are close to tourist-attractions in the city-centre ) and give it back at ANY station, so you need NOT go back, where you started.
When your bike is stolen - you have to pay 600 Euros.
The link below is just in German, BUT the way I understand it, it will not work with a foreign ATM-card !!
Last year a similar company started with bikes that you could rent for a DEPOSIT of 1 Euro and get back the money...
...BUT 99% of the customers did not return the bike and lost that 1 Euro that way.
;-)) I could have told them in advance !!
As I didn't see the city by bike I am not sure about costs and timings etc, but it seems that it is very easy to pick up a bike at various locations around the city and leave it at another. If I was staying longer and the weather was good it is certainly a method of transportation I would consider taking.
I think it most be great to experience a sightseeing tour around the historical part of Vienna in such a bike-taxi or why not cal it the modern version of the rickshaw.
I have no idea what it costs.
But going with such a bike-taxi has some advantages :
- You do not have to cycle yourself, no painful feet from the ling walking
- If it starts to rain, you are covered, so you will stay dry.
So this might be a tip for my next Vienna city trip.
But of course there are also the City Bike Tours.
Pedal Power is one of the bike companies which deliver several services:
- First they rent bikes, they even deliver the bike (and collect it afterwards) at your hotel.
- They also organise guided tours
Prices can be found on their website (see below)
The forward thinking councillors of Vienna introduced this great new scheme recently. Around the city are small bike stands where you can obtain a bike by inserting a 2 Euro coin. When (if) you return the bike to any stand you get your money back. Apparently about 800 bikes were stolen in the first week of the scheme! Isn't it typical that a great scheme like this gets abused?
To use this service you need a city bike card ,that you can get at your hotel
You are charged 1 euro for every use of the city bikes and as following:
the first hour is free,the second hour - 1 euro,third hour 2 euros per hour,4th till 120 hour - 4 euros per hour. To end up the renting period ,you need to return the city bike to any of the city bike stations indicated on the map of Vienna city bike.
By loss of the bike you will be charged 600 euros.
Vienna also waits to be discovered by bicycle! There are 53 bikestations all around Vienna. One of them is at the Opera house for example and can't be overseen. Below a picture of a bikestation close to the IBIS Hotel in Schoenbrunnerstrasse. Find details of the rental conditions at the webpage of Citybike.
There seems to be some confusion about the citybikes. I'm a local and I have used them for years. Here is how it really works:
First, you have to register.
There are three ways of doing that. First and most complicated and probably useless for tourists, is by mail. You've got to print out the form they have on their site and sent it to them. They will send you your citybike card with which you can pck up a bike at every terminal within 3 weeks.
Second is with an austrian debit (maestro) card. Alas, also useless for most tourists but very convenient for locals. Registering can be done at every citybike terminal and doesn't take longer than five minutes. Your debit card will function as your cinty bike card and can be used right away.
Third way, and this is the one most interesting for visitors, is with visa/mastercard and is done via internet. Go to their site, follow the directions and voila, your visa card now works at all citybike terminals.
Well, it's free, mostly. You have to pay a one time registration fee of one euro but after that, there are no mandatory payments. It works like this:
For the first hour, the bike is free. This means, you pick up any bike you want at any of the citybike terminals and as long as you put it back at any other (or the same) terminal within an hour, you pay nothing. You then have to wait at least 15 minutes before picking up another one or it will count against the first hour. The bikes are not supposed to be used for leisure trips but as transportation, to ge from point A to point B, and back again. One hour is more than enough for that.
If you keep your bike for more than an hour, you'll have to pay. It will get successively more expensive, the longer you keep it. 1 euro for the second hour, 2 euros for the third and after that, 4 euros for each hour.
Also, keep in mind, that the bikes are your responsibility as long as you have them. If one gets lost, stolen or damaged you'll have to replace it. It'll cost 600 euros, so take care. As long as you use them as they are intended to be used, which means as transport, and leave them out of your sight only after you've checked them into a terminal again, nothing will happen. Don't worry.
So, how does picking up a bike work?
There are lots of terminals in the city. The bikes will be lockd there and a computer screen will be close by. You'll have to check into your account by inserting your card (either your citybike card, debit card or visa, depending how you registered) and typing in your password. Don't worry, you won't be charged any money, this is just for identification. Then you'll be able to choose one of the bikes. Make sure you check them out a little first and select the one that seems best to you. There are newer and older bikes available. The newer ones have gears and are a little more comfortable. After you've chosen you're bike you press the button on top of the lock to release it. When you're done you need to find a terminal again (and there needs to be at least one slot free). Insert the bike into the slot. Make sure that the button on top of the lock flashes green, that means that everything's ok and you can leave the bike.
The bikes are pretty basic. They have hard rubber tires, are pretty heavy and not very comfortable. Some have 3 gears (the newer ones) but most have none. They've got a back pedal brake for the back tire and a handbrake for the front. Anyway, they are perfectly servicable and generally well maintained. It's a free service, so don't expect some high-tech comfort cruisers.
One tip, there's a free app for android and iPhone that shows you all the city bike terminals in the city, where the closest ones are and how many bikes and free slots are available. If you plan to use the citybikes, check it out, it'll make your life much easier.
Also, there is some kind of tourist offer available. I don't know much about that but for this you actually have to pay by day (I think it's 2 euros) but the advantage is that you can keep your bike all day. Actually, I don't think it's worth it. These bikes are good for going from point A to point B in the city but I wouldn't want to sit on those saddles for more than an hour. Better to pay some more and rent a proper bike for that.
Vienna is covered by an extensive network of bike paths. Check out the first website below for special bike routes, transportation of your bike in the public transport, laws regarding cyclists, mountain bike routes and other useful biking information.
Don't have a bike with you?
In the Prater Park (U1)there is a chance to rent bikes, scooters, tandems, rickshaws? amongst others. Costs range from 2 Euro per hour up to 29 per day depending on what you take. See the website below.
On the Danube Island there is also a possibility to rent out bikes, tandems, family bikes (4 wheels) and electric scooters. There are literally kilometers of bicycle paths, in fact it is only around a 30km ride to Slovakia and the other way is a great ride out along the Danube past Nussdorf. The company is located at the U1 Donauinsel stop (not the island side) just at the top where the permanent covered snack restaurants are. You need to leave a passport as deposit. Rates are hourly for electric scooters and daily or half daily for bikes and rollerblades.
If you fancy a day trip out then talk to the Austrian rail staff at Sud or West bahnhof, there are many summer offers and trips to places such as Greifenstein.
There is also a city bike scheme in Vienna (see www.citybikewien.at) but you need to have an Austrian debit card to rent one out.
Ofcourse, as always it depends on where you come from. But one very good way on getting to Vienna is by train.
Inside Vienna you want to walk as much as possible since it's a beautiful place and you don't want to miss anything. Or rent a bike for a day!
I rented a Vienna bike yesterday from the city bike and was totally dissapointed . the bikes are extremely uncomfortable, have no gears, hard solid rubber tyres and i would not reccomend these bike to any travllers visiting Vienna. My Hostel reccomended these bikes who told me they were free. in the end i paid about €16 for 8,5 hours. they also chnarge yout credite card a sign up fee. i eneded up renting a bike the next day from a bike shop around the corner from the hostel. they gave me a brand new bike with 27 gears, basket, lock and a detailed map for only €12!!!! the name of the company is Vienna Explorer
Vienna is a city which the cycling routes are well established in the city area and bicycle rental is very convenient. More information is at the webpage below.
When my wife and I were in Vienna, we saw many cyclists using the many routes especially in the central Vienna area. If you like cycling, then you will have a good time exploring the city :-)
the bicyleriding net is very waste in vienna, you can even go to other lower austrian towns along the danube. in every bookstore you can get good maps of all the routes.
...and you will take care for the air and the old trees in vienna ;-)
this picture is taken from an australian website, they took is an example of a perfect bicyclelane!
A bicycle is an ideal way to explore Vienna. A free bike service known as Vienna Bike is currently in operation and guided tours by bike are also available.