The metro system (or U-Bahn) in Vienna dates back to 1898. It now features 5 lines connecting 101 stations.We only used the metro a few times in Vienna (to travel to and from train stations and to go to Schönbrunn Palace), but each time we did, it worked out really well. It's a cheap, fast and convenient way of getting around. Tickets can be bought from multi-language machines using cash or credit cards at each station. There are different types of multi-day passes available it you plan on using the metro a lot. Single-ticket fare is 2 Euros - don't forget to validate your ticket!
I can only confirm from my various visits that public transport in Vienna is excellent as well as what concerns the Metro U-Bahn U-1, U-2, U-3 and U-4 (I have no experience of the U-6 and the S-Bahn) the trams and the busses. It's well organized, clean and apparently safe.
What I particularly appreciate is:
1° The info web site http://www.wienerlinien.at in German and English. Usually I consult the German pages because they seem more complete than the English but I might be wrong.
I buy the 24, 48 or 72 hours tickets depending on the length of my short stays. They are exactly valid from the time they are punched (Don't forget to punch them!). Prices are reasonable for 24 Hours: € 6.70, 48 Hours: € 11,70 and 72 Hours: € 14,50. These tickets are interesting if you do 3 - 4 trips/24 hour compared to the single ticket at 2,50 €.
After consulting and printing the website Route planner I know exactly what to do to get to my planned destination.
2° The indications found in the metro stations and on the metro, trams or busses.
For example I wanted to visit the Military Museum at Arsenal (outside the centre). Taking the U-3 metro to the Südtiroler Platz I had to take the bus 69 to Arsenal stop. At the metro station signs indicate the way to the exit for trams and busses and the platform where I had to take bus 69.
Inside the metro, bus or tram the stops are mentioned by voice or panels.
In Vienna you can't get lost.
I'm including all the forms of transportation I used in Vienna because most of my time in this city was spent on one form or the other.
First, I arrived early in the morning at the Westbahnhof train station, coming from Danmark.
My goal was to find the way to Bratislava, CzechoSlovakia. Unfortunately, I missed the train to Bratislava so thought to take the bus. In order to get to the bus station I had to take the U-Bahn (Untergrundbahn.)
Vienna’s Subway system was relatively new. The first line, running north/south was opened in 1978. So, since by the time I was there, not all U-Bahn lines were opened yet, I also had to take an above ground bus, this was nice because I was able to see some of the sites in the city.
Found out at the bus station that no one would speak with me in English--too shy--and somehow with made-up sign language, that the bus would leave too late for me to catch my flight from the airport in Bratislava. It was then that I began to feel defeated.
After the good ol' "You can do it!"pep-talk I gave myself, I went back to the Westbahnhof because I remembered that they had shuttles to the airport. I felt certain that, though I knew I couldn't take a flight to the airport in Bratislava, that I'd find my solution at the Vienna airport.
At the Budget car rental company in the airport, I tried to rent a car. I asked, "If I rent the car here, would I be allowed to drop it off at my destination?"
"Yes, of course!" the nice young man said.
"Oh wonderful! Then I'd like to rent a car and drop it off at the airport in Bratislava. Please."
He actually said, "No Way Jose!" Then went on to explain that CzechoSlovakia--at the time, still a closed country--didn't have a contract with them. Or something along those lines.
Truly bummed, I walked out of the airport thinking of a way that I could get someone to drive me a measly, forty miles.
There, in front of my eyes, was the answer. A long line of lovely Mercedes, with Taxi signs blinking on them! I negotiated the price for the ride to the border and help securing a CzechoSlovak taxi to the airport. This was expensive, but well worth the price! I made it to the plane on time.
In some of your older tourist-guides and also in some VT-tips you might still find infos about the trams #1 and #2 going around Ringstrasse all day and beeing the ideal and cheapest way to see all sights there : that is not possible anymore:
The trams #1 and #2 are
NOT going the FULL circle of the Ringstrasse anymore !
Now we have a seperate tourist-tram going the full circle around Ringstrasse with headphones at every of the 34 seats and explanations given in many languages.
The Ringtram starts at Schwedenplatz always
15 and 45 min after the full hour
Once around the Ringstrasse it takes about 25 min.
The price for this Ringtram is 9 euros for the full day
14 euros is an ordinary dayticket for ALL transportation in Vienna
including the Ringtram
hop on and off as often as you like,
the ticket is valid between 10.00am and 06.00pm
NO standing-places available !!!
6 euros is a single ride of Ringtram
(1 round = 30 min. max)
Badnerbahn looks in the first moment like an ordinary streetcar / tram, but in fact it is the easy way to get to Baden bei Wien, a small spa south of Vienna.
You will recognize its wagons by the blue color, some of the wagons are brand new some in the older style, like you can see on my pics. This tram starts opposite of the Opera and as long as it uses the ordinary tram-tracks of Vienna you can even use it, when you have a day-ticket etc. from the Viennese transport-system.
The wagons are a bit more comfortable and also less crowded but the schedule of that train is less often.
Nachtbusse / Night-buses are rather new for Vienna and their system is really great. Most of them will start or at least have a station at Schwedenplatz (close to the "Bermuda-triangle of Vienna's Nightlife) and you will mostly have 2 buses for each hour after 01.00a.m.
Tickets are available at small ticket-machines at Schwedenplatz, AND you may use them also without paying anything extra,when you still have a valid ticket for 24- , 72- hours, Vienna-Card or Week- Month- ect. ticket.
ONLY the single stripe of yesterday's ticket ofyour "8-Tageskarte" will not be valid there, BUT when you cancell on e of those stripes for the next day, it is valid rightaway and for the rest of the day untill "Betriebsschluss" , that is the end of the day of the ordinary trafic shortly after midnight...
This bus might make sense, when you want to combine a budget-flight from/to Bratislava and a connecting flight from/to Vienna Airport. The bus will first go to Bratislava Novy Most and arrive at Bratislava Airport 75 minutes later.
This bus is leaving the airport of Vienna
5 times each day, all of the year:
at 08.15 + 11.45a.m. and 04.45 + 06.45 + 08.45p.m.
the fare is 4,90 one way
and 9,80 euros for return
children 0-12 pay 50%
Attention: This cheap fare is calculated from AIRPORT of Vienna to Airport of Bratislava.
From Wien U3-ERDBERG to Bratislava AIRPORT it is 10 euros one way !!!
Airport of Vienna to Novy Most is just 3,60 Euro one way !
This is Schoenbrunnerstrasse by night . On the right the walls of the castle and the station of the Kaiser with a special baldachin-entrance, where the Kaiser could enter with his carriages, as there was ONLY ONE place, the Kaiser would go walking....
Even the streetlights were made in a special way, just for the emperor, in Art Nouveau-style just like the rest of the Kaiserpavillon - station as well !
The " Kaiserpavillion " was once built especially for the emperor Franz Joseph, so he could take the subway and have his very own station.
He used it ONLY ONCE !
Today it is a small museum, open only in the afternoon and most people will pass by without noticing.
On my pic :The subway station Hietzing with the platform for the ordinary people , and on the top the pavillion of the emperor, to be entered from outside only today !
Take tram Nr.1 or Nr.2 in order to go around the Ringstrasse, BUT they DONT do the FULL CIRCLE ANYMORE !.
Nr 1 is going in both directions around a large part of the Ringstrasse from the Opera to Schwedenplatz and finally to Hundertasserhaus and the Prater (BUT unfortunately not to a place of the giant area of the Prater that is close to the Giant-Ferris-Wheel/Riesenrad!!!).
You will pass by sights like the parliament ( on my picture), Opera, Hofburg & Heldenplatz, University, Rathaus, Volkspark Votivkirche, Boerse...
Tram Nr 2 is going now into both directions as well between Boerse - Votivkirche - Rathaus - Parliament - Heldenplatz - Opera - Scharzenbergplatz - Stadtpark...
It is certainly the best to have a dayticket, so you may as well go back a few stations.
In OLD brochures and guidebooks you will still find the info that #1 and #2 are going around all of the Ringstrasse, but that system was changed in spring 2009 !
There is a seperate tram for sightseeing now and it is NOT included in the ordinary daytickets, but 14 euros extra for the whole day !
It's very easy to get cheap from the airport to the city center. Besides the taxis (about 34 EUR) you can catch a train. Just be careful which one to take. There are S bahn train and CAT train. With the first one it will takes you 25min, with the second one - 16min. For the first one you'll pay 3.60 EUR, for the second one - 10 EUR!!! I didn't find it logical and of course I took the cheaper train. You only have to follow the signs "S". You can buy a thicket from the ticket machines at the train platform. There are trains twice per hour - one at 46 min, another at 18 min if I remember correctly. Before you reach the platform you'll see many signs, machines and advertisments for CAT but don't give up, it's easy to get orientated there :)
The service is fast and reliable - there are a number of ticket options and the automated ticket machines are able to deal with a number of languages apart from German.
The tickets seem fairly cheap; however this depends on where you are from and how much your own local metro service charges.
Getting around Vienna is very easy with its excellent, reliable public transportation system consisting of an underground subway/metro, trams, and buses. The underground subway/metro is an especially fast way to get around to different places in the city.
Vienna public transport is part of the Verkehrsverbund Ost-Region VOR (transport association for Austria's eastern regions). Verkehrsverbund Ost-Region is split into eight zones and includes parts of Lower Austria, the Burgenland and all of Vienna. The city of Vienna accounts for one full zone or core zone (Kernzone or "Zone 100"). A single ticket is valid for travelling one way in one zone. You may change to different lines in the course, but you may not interrupt your journey. Single tickets can be purchased at a price of EUR 1.80. If you buy a single ticket, you need to validate it before boarding.
If you are staying in Vienna for an extended period, I highly recommend purchasing an extended pass. Passes are available for 24 hours and 72 hours, or as weekly, monthly or annual passes.
After I arrived at my hotel (Hotel Pension Walzerstadt) on a Thursday morning, I asked the manager where I could purchase a public transportation pass. Fortunately for me, he reached into his pocket -- and gave me a valid weekly pass for free. This pass was all I needed for unlimited public transportation within Vienna (Zone 100) from Thursday until Sunday. On Sunday evening, I purchased a new weekly pass from a machine for 14 Euros -- that was valid through the following Sunday.
During my stay, I was very impressed with Vienna's public transportation system -- and used it often. Before traveling to Vienna, you may want to look at the map of the underground lines -- with special attention to the final destinations for the line nearest your hotel. For me, the U3 (orange) line was nearest my hotel -- and the final destinations of the U3 line are Simmering and Ottakring. Therefore, when I wanted to go to the 1st district from my hotel, I would look for U3 Simmering -- and, when I wanted to go back to my hotel from the 1st district, I would look for U3 Ottakring.
Public transportation is excellenti in Vienna: with a combination of underground, buses or trams it's possible to go everywhere fast... However one should keep in mind that tickets cannot be bought on trams and buses, but have to be bought beforehand. They are sold at Vienna Transport Authority´s ticket offices, ticket machines in underground stations and occasionally at tobacconists.
Each trip costs 1.50 euros, but there are several cards you can buy if you plan on using the transport system more than 3 times a day. Here's a quick overview:
- The 24-hour Vienna card (5 euros)
- The 72-hour Vienna card (12 euros)
- The 72-hour Vienna card with additional benefits (18,50 euros)
- The 8-DaysVienna card (24 euros) which can be used on non-consecutive days
I was really pleased when I was using public transportation in Vienna. I was 28 weeks pregnant and I like to walk but sometimes it was just so wonderful to jump into the tram or bus and rest a bit & watch the view.
Before the trip I printed a map from the web (address below) and with that map & a city map we manaed all the time. It can't be any easier!