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How to get from the Vienna airport to the city center?

Everything you need to know about transfer options from Vienna Airport to city centre or your hotel

Jan 7, 2018 | Travel guide

vienna airport taxis

Vienna International Airport is located about 16 km east of Vienna in Schwechat. From there, if you’re not planning to stay at some of the best hotels near Vienna Airport, the city center can be reached quickly through numerous options of airport transfers. As you can imagine, you can easily reach the heart of Vienna by train, airport bus, a taxi service or airport shuttle. Below, we have composed a list of transportation options, but before we continue, here are three useful tips to get you going:

  • Most of the transport routes use the standard “plane” symbol for an airport on signs and information.
  • The German word for airport is “Flughafen”.
  • The airport is outside the Vienna travel zone.

Get to Vienna by train

If you consider using the train to transport yourself to the center of Vienna, do note that these are your two main choices: the express CAT (City Airport Train) or the slower S7 Schnellbahn (city train).

1. The CAT

This is a dedicated train link between Vienna and the airport. The train leaves from Wien Mitte and gets you to the airport (and vice versa) in 16 minutes, with no stops on the way (hence, express). Wien Mitte is a fairly central and large station, reachable by various public transport lines, such as: the subway (line U3 and U4), the tram (lines O and 1), the train (lines S1, S2, S3, S4, S7 and more) and the bus (line 74A). Have in mind that if you use this line to get to Vienna from the airport, you’ll need the fore-mentioned lines to reach your destination afterwards.

Basically, the CAT is fast, modern and comfortable way of transportation, with plenty of space. This train is, however, more expensive than the S7 train, and it only leaves from (and arrives at) Wien Mitte, meaning that you need additional transportation (and time) to get to/from this station. The trains start operating early in the morning and depart every 30 mins until late evening. You can always check the website for up-to-date timetables, prices, online tickets etc.

2. S7 Line

The S7 is the city train, which stops at many points throughout Vienna and goes out to the airport and beyond and back again. Getting from Vienna to and from the airport means going through two travel zones, so you’ll need to buy and validate an extra single journey ticket for one zone, if you already have a travel card or similar for Vienna itself. The S7 is a bit slower than the CAT with many stops on the way. Hence, it will take you around 23 minutes to get to/from the airport if you board/arrive at Wien Mitte. These trains are older and less user-friendly, there is less space for luggage and steps to climb to get in. But they are much cheaper and you can hop-on or hop-off from any of these Viennese stations: Floridsdorf, Handelskai, Traisengasse, Praterstern, Wien Mitte, Rennweg, St. Marx, Geiselbergstraße, Zentralfriedhof and Kaiserebersdorf. In all, this train is more easily reachable when compared to the CAT.

Reaching Vienna by bus

Similarly as with the trains, many bus services go to the airport. There are few main Vienna airport lines choices you can take. They operate via three services with pickup/drop off points throughout the city:

  • VAL1: Westbahnhof to VIE via Volkstheater, Rathaus and Schottentor, leaving/arriving every 30 mins
  • VAL2: Morzinplatz/Schwedenplatz to VIE direct, leaving/arriving every 30 minutes
  • VAL3: Donauzentrum to VIE via: Kagraner Brücke, Hotel NH Danube City, VIC/Kaisermühlen, Krieau, Stadion, Donaumarina, leaving/arriving once an hour

Usually, the journey times can take around 17 to 45 minutes, and detailed information can be seen at the VAL website. However, these busses may be the most uncomfortable of all. They are the slowest option, since they depend on the city traffic at the time of traveling and stops in between. So if your flight is scheduled during the day, in times of high traffic, opt for any other transportation option.

Air-liner busses and airport shuttles

These buses are a better bus transportation option, since they go directly to the airport from the Vienna International Busterminal (Erdbergstraße 200 A, 1030 Wien, next to the Erdberg station on the U3 subway line) and vice versa. They take 15 minutes and leave every hour from 5.05 am to 10.05 pm. They have their routes calculated well in advance, so even though traffic is possible, no stops are done in between and you can rely on their punctuality.

The same goes for many other companies that offer airport shuttle services. They are all easy to pre-book and locate at the airport and offer comfortable and punctual transportation to the city center.

Reaching Vienna by taxi service

There is a number of pre-booking taxi transfers to and from the airport, which typically cost between €28 and €45. If you are sure to use this type of transportation, make sure to tip the driver, since this is a great part of the Viennese culture. This method of transportation is the fastest and most comfortable one, guaranteed to take you to the entrance of your hotel. If you don’t have a taxi company pre-booked, just ask for assistance at any of the information points at the airport and they will call a reliable taxi company or you can use a taxi from the taxi rank in front of the airport. Airport taxis cost approximately €40-50 to a city centre hotel. Whatever you do, try to avoid getting a cab off the street, since you may get ripped off. It is a good idea to use a taxi transportation option in case you are four people and you know that you’ll need few city transfers to get to your hotel. If you want to be sure about the price, it is best to pre-book your airport transfer.

Vienna is known to be highly organized and easy to navigate, with a well distributed public transportation network and additional transportation options to use to get from and to the airport, like airport busses, taxi services and airport shuttles. So take the top tourist tips when visiting Vienna and let the adventure begin.

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