Right from the start, I must admit that since my family owns a ranch and I live in Quebec CIty, where horse-drawn carriages are pretty common, paying for a ride is rarely at the top of my list of things to do when I travel abroad and Vienna was no exception. However, the horse-drawn carriages gathering around Stephansdom are pretty cute and pretty hard to ignore so I did make some enquiries. A short tour of the old city (about 20 min.) costs a whopping 55 Euros- that's basically in the same range as paying for a gondola ride in Venice! That settled it for me since I'd much rather visit on foot and save my money to splurge on a good meal at the end of the day, but for those who can afford it, it might be a romantic thing to do.
rent a " Fiaker " in order to make a sightseeing tour of Vienna
Such a Fiaker-ride will be rather expensive, so you better ask for the price first.
Different " types " of carriages are offered:
The one on my pic is mainly for Marriages and rides in autumn and spring, when the weather is not always warm enough for one of the more common, totally open carriages.
One day they asked Nasrettin Hodja a Turkish denker and joker " What they do the old moon when the new moon appears?" he answered They it cut in pieces and make new stars"
Now I ask What they do to old horses of Vienna Spanish Riding School when they get older ?
Answer. They run to fiakers He he he
They are famous as Vienna's taxi transport and it is the best way of getting around Vienna. They usually located on several locations such as: Stephansdom Cathedral, Hofborg and Helden Platz and Schonbrunn Palace.
Be prepared to pay a lot because it is not cheap. You have short city tour ( 20 min) which is about 40-50 Eur, grand city tour (40 min) about 65-70 Eur. Enjoy in your tour.
'Fiaker' is the term used only in Vienna for a horse carriage with 2 holding fixtures for the horse. The name is also used to name the people driving these wagons. They are very thick throughout Vienna and the prices can be high, but it is a good way to sit down and see the 1. District. Negotiate the price before getting in though, as otherwise it can turn out to be more costly than expected.
Fiaker Rides are nice, show you the most important sights in the first district and fun cause most of the Fiaker Drivers can tell ya an anekdote or two. (Ok they always tell the same but well ... its fun)
There are 6 places where you can hop on a Fiaker, the most obviouse are on Heldenplatz and Stephansplatz.
The others are - Albertina, Petersplatz, Michaelerplatz, Burgtheater.
No matter what drivers tell ya there are fixed prices : about 20 Min. (just the inner City) € 40.--about 40 Min. (Inner City part of the Ringstrasse) 65.--
ca. 60 Min. (Innercity and all of the Ringstrasse) € 95.--
(You pay per Fiaker not per person). Normally up too 4 or 5 people can ride in a Fiaker depending in how it is built.
There are Fiaker during the whole year. In Winter you ll get a blanket and if it rains / snows the Carriage will be closed.
Fiaker will always have 2 horses, contrary to the carriages on Central Park in New York.
Some call Fiakers a tourist trap ... and well kinda it is ... but its the nicest one that exists in Vienna and you know how much you will pay in advance ... so i dont really count it to those.
Vienna has a large number of horse drawn carriages called Fiakers, at tourist locations around the capital. The name Fiaker refers to the cab and cabby. The cabbies are normally dress in checked trousers, velvet jacket and derby hat. The Fiakers were at one stage Vienna’s only taxi transport but today they are only used for tourists and ceremonial duties. They can be found at the Staatsoper, Hofburg Complex and outside Stephansdom Cathedral
The only true place where the famous Fiakers belong is Vienna. Traditionally this was a means of city transport in the 18th and 19th century. Okay, it was exclusively for the richre classes, but even now the are definately not cheap. However, seeing the town from these open horse pulled carriages is magnificent and truely belongs to this town (though many other touristic places now-a-days sadly copy this tradition). Fiakers can be found around the Sankt Stephansdom, the Hofburg and in some other places within the city centre.
Another way to visit the historical centre of Vienna is by horse carried coach, the co called Fiakers.
There are different tours 9of course with different prices :
- Short city tour - about 20 minutes - 40 euro
- Grand city tour - about 40 min - 65 euro
- 1 hour tour - 95 euro
Up to me, this is not cheap; it is expensive - especially when you are traveling alone . . .
Short Tour :
Augustinerstrasse - Tegethoffstrasse - Neuer Markt - Plankengasse - Dorotheerstraase - Stallburgstrasse - Habsburgerstrasse - Graben - Foesterstrasse - Petersplatz - Milch gasse - Steindlgasse - Seitzergasse - Bognergasse - Am Hof - Heldenplatz - Strauchgasse - Herrengasse - Michaelerplatz - Reitschulgasse - Josefsplatz - Augustinerstrasse
Augustinerstrasse - Operngasse - Opernring - Burgring - Dr Karl Renner Ring - Dr Karl LuegerRing - Molker Bastei - Freyung - Heidenshuss - Bognergasse - Am Hof - Heldenplatz - Strauchgasse - Herrengasse - Michaelerplatz - Reitschulgasse - Josefsplatz - Augustinerstrasse
If you prefer a more leisurely way of getting around Vienna, the best way would be in a horse-drawn cab known as a Fiaker. These were once Vienna’s taxi transport, but today they are mostly used for ceremonial purposes and as a tourist attraction. Fiaker ranks are at the Staatsoper, the Hofburg Complex, and beside the Stephansdom Cathedral.
Another way to get around Vienna is by a 'Fiacre' (Fiaker); An open carriage drawn by a pair of horses. Very expensive really.They can be found lined up at Stephansplatz, Albertinaplatz & Heldenplatz...for a hefty 37 Euros for a 15 to 20 minutes rideI think this is the lavish way to spend your money travelling around Vienna. Definitely you will get the comfort of Habsburg Dynasty on the fiaker.
A Faiker (the old word for coachman) is the Viennese term for the horses and traps that take tourists around the city. You can't miss them! We didn't take one, and were told they were really expensive, but I guess you only live once!
A point of discussion was the little ear hats the horses wear. Apparently the protect the horses ears from flies!
Not a convetional or cheap way to get around the city but definitely worth including in the transport section. You can also hire them for weddings and special occasions. Go to the Stephansplatz or Heldenplatz (Hofburg) to find the Fiakers.
There are usually two tours. One takes twenty minutes and the grand tour is over half an hour. Expect to pay around 65€ for the grand tour.
Check out the website www.fiaker.at
Why not use the traditional way of getting around, the Fiaker.
By the way:
The drivers are the only men in Vienne who are allowed to p*** on the road, but only behind one of the back wheels. This is because they shouldn't leave their horses alone....
The most attractive way getting around Vienna on a sunny day is to take a 'Fiaker'. Especially on a sunny day.
You have to have a big wallet to do this, it is expensive for just two persons. But ther are always people to share the Fiaker with. Nice solution now you pay half the price.