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Best Ways to Get Around in Vienna

Explore the transportation options of vienna

Dec 29, 2017 | Travel guide

public transportation vienna

Vienna is a lovely and very tourist-friendly city. It is impossible to get lost and finding your way around the city is pretty easy. Regardless if you just wish to wander around the streets or see the best museums in Vienna, you can choose from so many transportation options. You can use any credible taxi company, rent a limousine or even a minivan, if you look to travel with style, or simply use their well-organized network of public transportation. Here are few ideas that may help you plan your agenda once you arrive at the Vienna airport.

Public Transportation

Moving around the Inner City's historic area or even through the Vienna Woods is easy with the Vienna Transport (or Wiener Verkehrsbetriebe). This is actually a wide transportation network made of U-Bahn (subway), streetcars and buses, all being safe, clean, and simple to use. To maximize the use of public transportation, just get a map at the Vienna Public Transport Information Center, where the public transportation lines are also showed, thus making your transportation even easier. Offices of the Vienna Public Transport Information Center and be found at the Opernpassage (an underground passageway near the Wiener Staatsoper), Karlsplatz, Stephansplatz (near Vienna's cathedral), Westbahnhof and Praterstern, open Monday to Friday 6:30am to 6:30pm. The fee for all types of public transportation is uniformed and the ticket costs less when buying it before hopping on board. Just make sure to always validate your ticket when you enter the vehicle. Additionally, getting the Vienna Card is a good idea if you plan on using the public transportation within the city limits, since you’ll save a lot of money. It’s flexible and functional with unlimited travel.

U-Bahn (or Subway)

Catching the U-Bahn is a fast way to get around the city or get to the suburbs. There are five lines labeled: U1, U2, U3, U4, and U6 (there is no U5). Karlsplatz, is the most important underground station for visitors in the heart of the Inner City, where U4, U2, and U1 converge. The U2 goes through part of the Ring, the U4 goes to Schönbrunn, and the U1 stops in Stephansplatz. The U3 also stops in Stephansplatz and connects with the Westbahnhof. You can use the underground daily from 6am until midnight.

Tram (Streetcar or strassenbahn)

Getting on board the red-and-white trams is a practical way to get across the city, but also to enjoy the view. All tram stops are marked, with each line bearing a number or a letter. Lines 1 and 2 will bring you to all the major sights on the Ringstrasse. Line D goes to the outer Ring and to the Südbahnhof, while line 18 goes between the Westbahnhof and the Südbahnhof. Same as the subway, the trams run daily from 6am to midnight.


The busses operate in all directions, operating during the whole day and at night (with reduced schedule). The night buses leave every 10-30 minutes from Schwedenplatz, spreading out across the city and usually you won’t need to change lines more than once. On the buses, you can also buy a ticket from the driver.

Taxi companies

You can easily find taxis in the city center, waiting at marked places. However, if you are in the position, always aim to call a taxi by phone since this way you can avoid scam 100%. Even though Vienna is a very safe city, tourist rip-offs are always possible, so be careful. The city taxis are clearly marked and they do not negotiate the fare. If you wish to use taxis in Vienna, do note that the ride fares can add up and drain your budget fast. There’s one basic (starting) fare and then a fare for each kilometer. If you have luggage, there’s a fee for this as well and for trips on Sunday and during the holidays, there is an additional surcharge.


Vienna is a very bicycle-friendly city, with over 250km (155 miles) of marked bicycle paths within the city limits. During the summer, Viennese park their cars at home and ride bikes. You can bring your bicycle in specially marked U-Bahn cars for free, but from Monday to Friday, from 9am to 3pm and 6:30pm to midnight, you'll pay half the ticket price to transport a bike. During the weekends in July and August, all bicycles can be carried for free from 9am to midnight. You can find many bike-rental stores abound at the Prater and along the banks of the Danube Canal, being the favorite bike routes for most Viennese.

Car rentals

If you think of renting a car, do so only if you consider making excursions outside Vienna's city limits. Just don't try to drive around the city, because parking is a real problem especially in Vienna's 1st District and near the city's major monuments, where the parking availability is extremely limited or even nonexistent. And yes, the parking procedure can be difficult and it’s not so cheap. On top of that, Vienna has a flow through one-way streets and you may lose a lot of time in the car. Try to book your car rental in advance, since you may have an issue if you simply show up at any car-rental place and they do not have available vehicles. For this, you’d need to bring a passport and an international driver’s license with you. There may be some minimum age restrictions as well, but this varies.

Regardless if you are traveling for pleasure or on business, always read on the most recommended tourist and business travel tips when in Vienna. Having a handful of information can help you save a lot of time, money and effort from the moment you catch your Vienna airport to city transport, until the moment you fly back home.

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