Vienna is building a new MAIN-trainstation
and they thought it would be a clever idea,
to destroy the old ones first !
And now we dont have the SÜD-Bahnhof anymore but only a small part of it in a distance of several hundred meters from the former SÜD-Bahnhof and getting there takes an extra 10-15 minutes jumping from one side of the road, where you are leaving the bus or tram to the other side that has the only sidewalk taking you to OST-Bahnhof, that actually looks much more like an ugly supermarket that a trainstation.
So the logical way does not have a pavewalk, but you might run with your suitcases betrween the cartrafic, or you change to the other side first and change then back again to the side where you had left the bus or tram and where the station is, but in quite some distance without a trottoir !
Once that you are there, you have only 3 automatic ticket-machines and some overhead screens with the departuretimes and number of tracks where to find the trains.
All of this hassle and stress certainly needs
some extra 15-20 minutes that you should calculate
when your train is leaving from OST-Bahnhof !
this applies for SOME trains to Budapest, Bratislava etc.
Parking a car in several districts in the centre of Vienna ( mostly inside the Gürtel and a few more )you have to pay for the parking during the day from Mondays till Saturdays between 09.00am and 10.00pm.
There will be NO EXTRA signs for the parking-zone except white lines with spaces and at the entrance to the district the word " ZONE " is printed on the street...
And you have to buy parking-tickets in a newspaper-shop and put it behind the windscreen..
And if you use e.g. 2 parking-tickets of 1/2 hour for 1 hour parking - please make sure you fill out the same arrival-time on both tickets !
This sound un-logical to you ? don't worry : WIEN IST ANDERS ! (means: 'Vienna is different!') - and that is exactly what it means ! - read carefully the backside of the parking-tickets - it is explained there clearly in best GERMAN! - Anyway, folks how about Parking-tickets in your hometown ?Would they make any notes in German in Chicago, Oslo, Rome or Nepal ????(:-)))
Walking to our usual restaurant in the Rotenturmstrasse (near Stephansplatz) we saw fire at the second level of a shop. Three lorries from the fire brigade, firemen inside and outside on the ladder and apparently nobody living inside this commercial building. I suppose that the shop was obliged to sell later the clothes with a strong rebate because they must smell the smoke
I read in a guide book before I went that despite Vienna having loads of cycle paths they're not great cyclists! WRONG!
Cyclists are everywhere and they're fast! They do stick to their side of the path on the pavements (they are clearly marked (pedestrians on the left) so watch out for the signs and don't stray on their side: they come thick and fast! If you do stray over you'll get about ten seconds warning with a bell and after that you're toast! Nobody shouts though, the Viannese are very polite, they just think "bloody tourists!", they'll ring the bell until you get the message. So watch ou when walking around and crossing the cycle path.
Vienna's public transport system operates based on trust. That's why you don't see any barriers or ticket controllers selling tickets on the buses, trams and underground trains. After you buy the ticket from the vending machines, you must validate the ticket (on blue stamping machines) before boarding the underground trains or validate in the buses or trams.
The ticket for one journey is Euro 1.80 which can be used on all the public transport within the Zone 1. One journey is defined as an uninterrupted journey using trains, buses or trams, or the duration of 60 minutes, whichever is shorter.
However tempting it is to just cheat the system and ride for free, be warned that if you get caught by the ticket controllers, you will be fined on the spot, no matter what excuses you give. They don't care if you are a tourist or a local resident. Even if you claim that you do not have the cash to pay for the fine, they'll ask for your credit card!
Update: In the past, the ticket controllers would come into the transport and those with no tickets would quickly leave as soon as the vehicle stops. However nowadays, they would be waiting by the exits of the train stations; i.e. as soon as you get out of the train and step on the platform, they will be waiting there to ask for your validated tickets. So, if you don't want to pay Euro 100 fine, just take a few minutes to buy a ticket.
I rented a car from Europcar in Vienna. Because I was in a hurry I didn't do the inspection as recommended. I regretfully trusted the people at the rental office who told me it was new and should be good. By the time I got back to the hotel I noticed a paint chip about 1cm in diameter, hardly noticeable. Although i'm sure it couldn't have happened since I picked it up, I accept responsibility because I didn't check it. Also the GPS cable broke before we even left Vienna. When I returned the car, the person who checked it in assured me I wouldn't have to pay for the GPS.
When I returned home I received a Euro 747 (over $1000 CAN) bill for the 3 day rental including the GPS and the tiny paint chip. I doubt the chip has been repaired and I wonder how many more people will pay for the same mistake:(((
Customer service were also rude when i communicated my displeasure.
So this is a warning. Always take the time to inspect a rental car before taking it even it you are told it is new.
The Gürtel is a major road that runs outside of and parallel to the Ringstrasse. It is possible to find inexpensive accommodations (apartments, hotels) along and outside of the Gürtel -- but my advice is to stay inside of the Gürtel for a couple of reasons. First, caution is needed when crossing the Gürtel because it is a very busy road with many fast-moving cars. Second, the Gürtel area near the Westbahnhof is a seedy red-light district.
When I first started looking for a place to stay in Vienna, I didn't know anything about the Gürtel -- and I almost rented a spacious apartment for a week in Fünfhaus (Vienna's 15th district) which lies outside of the Gürtel. The size of the apartment seemed too good to be true for the low quoted price -- which prompted me to do further investigation about the area on the internet. As it turned out, I am extremely glad that I decided to stay at a pension hotel in Neubau (7th district) inside of the Gürtel instead.
In email correspondence with the landlord about the apartment, I specifically told her that I wanted to stay in a clean and safe neighborhood -- and she assured me that the area surrounding the apartment was nice. Fortunately for me, I didn't trust her. My doubts of her veracity were confirmed during my stay in Vienna. Out of curiosity, I ventured out one evening to the location of the apartment at which I almost stayed -- and I was solicited by 3 street-walking prostitutes before I reached my destination. While I didn't feel like my safety was threatened, I would describe the area as seedy and unpleasant.
In a nutshell, the difference between Neubau (inside the Gürtel) and Fünfhaus (outside the Gürtel) is like day and night. Unless you absolutely need to save the extra money, I recommend not staying in Fünfhaus. With this tip, I have included the link to a website with an unflattering description of the Fünfhaus district.
Vienna is the English name of the city. The German name for the city is Wien. Remember that the letter 'w' in the German language sounds like 'v' in English. Nothing screams 'ignorant tourist' louder and faster than to pronounce Wien like one would in English.
With this tip, I have included the link to a website with some introductory information about the pronunciation of consonants in the German language.
Bezirk (plural Bezirke) means 'district' in German. The city of Vienna consists of 23 districts (Bezirke). With this tip, I have included the link to a website that provides a map with the district divisions -- and a brief description of each district (Bezirk).
When I was in Vienna for many years ago I and my friend arrived and we should only stay one night in Viena and then continue to the States. So, we decided to go out that night. We stayed at a hotel at the airport, so we took the bus from there to the city. During the trip we drank many beers and probably we were very happy too. Actually, I dont rememebr everything! But dont do what we did. We made the busdriver very crazy. We left our cans, our beer cans in the bus. Maybe not the best way to do it. But we did it anyway. He screamed to us: Die dosen! Die dosen! So, I guess this bus driver doesnt want to see me or my friend, but I was the only one who understood German.