My tips about Vienna transport get you around town, and to and from the airport easily while using the best fares. My city has one of the best public transport systems in Europe, and a good supply of taxis, limousine transfer and car rental firms. If you are planning to use transport for extended sightseeing, I’d love to share my metro sightseeing tour with you (clearly, you’ll need to get off most trains) and some tramway tour tips.
In some cities, the cost of airport transfer can equal the cost of cheap flights. That is not the case with Vienna. Its international airport is only 12 km from the city, and transport costs are very reasonable. You can travel to and from the airports of Schwechat or Bratislava by train, bus or taxi. The most convenient way is private airport transfer directly to your hotel. The most popular transportation is the City Airport Train (CAT).
Four of the five Vienna metro lines (U1, U2, U3, U4, U6) cut across the city centre or run alongside it. While I prefer tramway and bus for shorter ‘scenic’ routes, I like to take the U4 to Schönbrunn Palace or the U2 to Taborstrasse to visit Augarten with its park and porcelain museum.
Other Vienna Transport: Tram and Bus
The cheapest and a comfortable way to get around town is to use public transport. This includes trams, buses and the metro lines (underground and overground).
Vienna’s network of 28 tramways takes you along the Ringstrasse and to outer residential areas. I use it to access places like the Kunsthaus Wien and Hundertwasserhaus, the Belvedere Vienna, and the shops, cafés and galleries of the sixth, seventh and eighth district. You can also visit the Vienna wineries up in Grinzing and Nussdorf by taking line D.
Bus lines 1A and 3A are especially useful if you want to access the Inner City, but they do not operate on Sundays and public holidays and run only until between 7 and 8pm. Dozens of other buses go to the outer areas, including night buses.
Vienna Transport Map
This map shows all public Vienna transport lines. Zoom in and out by clicking on ‘Show full version’. You can also download the Vienna Transport Authority’s 2015 Inner City Transport Map for free here.
The most useful city travel passes for tourists are the 24 Hour Ticket (EUR 7,60), the 48 Hour Ticket (EUR 13,30), the 72 Hour Ticket (EUR 16,50), and the 8-Day Climate Ticket (EUR 38,40). The indicated prices are as at December 2014. Alternatively, you can buy the Vienna Card (see above), a useful discount tourist card which includes public transport.
If you buy a single ticket (EUR 2.20) you can use it to go from one location to any chosen destination within Vienna. You need to punch your ticket at one of the blue ticket cancelling machines. You can change between metro, bus or tramway but you must not interrupt your journey.
Children under 6 years of age travel free. Children under 15 years of age travel free on Sundays, public holidays and during Viennese school holidays (for 2012/2013: 31st March to 10th April; 26th to 29th May; 30th June to 1st September; 24th December to 6th Jan. 2013). Children aged between 6 and 15 can travel with half-price tickets.
All tickets can be bought at Vienna Transport Authority’s ticket offices at metro stations (see photo of ticket machine) and certain tramway stations, and (except for the Vienna Card) at tobacconists.
A note on fare dodging: It is easy to do in tramways but I wouldn’t advise it. Penalties can amount to EUR 100 if you get caught. (Usually, the Viennese charm towards tourists stops here.) If you don’t have the cash at hand, you will be sent a payment form and will have to pay within three days (especially tricky if you are away from home), otherwise the penalty doubles. Unless you have a travel pass for a certain time period, you need to stamp your tickets at one of these blue ticket stamping machines (photo).
There will be occasions when you’ll want an upgrade from public transport, and a good one. Quite a few of my readers have contacted me in the past about reliable and quality car transfer companies, for airport to hotel transfers, local winery hopping, a day out in Wachau Valley or a day transfer to nearby cities of Salzburg, Bratislava and Budapest. Blacklane, for example, picks you up in a Mercedes S- or E-Class from Schwechat airport and drops you at your city centre hotel from a very reasonable EUR 40, including up to an hour waiting time at the airport. Their business van can take up to a maximum of five guests. *)
Vienna Car Hire
Vienna Transport. If you want to hire a car to get around in and out of Vienna, see my tips and addresses in Car Rental Vienna.
Vienna City Bikes
Vienna’s City Bike scheme is extrememly popular and allows you to borrow a bike from more than 80 bike stations across the city. For further information, go to Self Guided Vienna Tours.
Open this taxi stand map by the Vienna City Council in a new window. You can zoom in and out by clicking on ‘Show full version’.
There are four main Vienna taxi operators which you can call if you need individual Vienna transport:
36100 (credit cards accepted)
40100 (credit cards accepted in airport taxis and on request)
60160 (credit card payment upon request)
31300 (credit cards payment upon request)
The area code for Vienna is (0)1. If you call from a foreign mobile phone, dial 0043 1 (prefix for most countries; from the US: 01143).
There is one single tariff for Vienna taxis which is regulated by the governor of the county of Vienna.
Day tariff (weekdays between 6am and 11pm)
basic tariff: EUR 3,80
up to 4km: EUR 1.42 per km
4 to 9 km: EUR 1.08 per km
from 9 km: EUR 1.05 per km
Time-based tariff for wider journeys: EUR 27.80 per hour
There are mark ups for ordering by radiocommunication (EUR 2,50), by taxi stand telephone (EUR 1,25) and for transporting more than 4 people (EUR 2).
Night tariff (weekdays between 11pm and 6am, and on Sundays and public holidays)
basic tariff: EUR 4,30
up to 4km: EUR 1.62 per km
4 to 9 km: EUR 1.28 per km
from 9 km: EUR 1.18 per km
Time-based tariff for wider journeys: EUR 27.80 per hour
Ordering a taxi by radiocommunication costs EUR 2,80, by taxi stand telephone EUR 1,40 and for transporting more than 4 people EUR 2,00.
There are more than 200 environmentally friendly taxis operating, as part of a green Vienna transport initiative. More than three quarters are run by local taxi companies 40100 and 31300 (= local phone number), including hybrid cars, natural gas driven cars, and a few cars complying with the Diesel Euro-6-norm. You can order an environmentally friendly, or ‘green’ taxi at no extra cost. Green Ride offers environmentally friendly airport transfer using Teslas.
Things To Check
Here are a few things to check with your taxi drivers before you embark on a journey. They are taken from the results of market research conducted among Vienna taxi drivers in the summer of 2011.
- Payment options: More than two thirds of Vienna taxis let you pay with a credit card.
- Language capabilities: Check whether your driver understands sufficient English to chauffeur you to your destination. More than half of them do.
- Air condition: If you call a taxi on a hot day, make sure they have air condition.
*) Note: This post is kindly sponsored by Blacklane.com. All opinions expressed are explicitly my own.
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