Getting Around in Vienna
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Getting around in Vienna is straightforward. The city centre is within half-hour access from the outskirts of Vienna via the capital’s extensive, varied and efficient public transport system. With an abundance of cycling paths, Vienna is an extremely bicycle-friendly city with many expats embracing the romance of cycling culture. Conversely, and as parking in Vienna is both expensive and difficult to find, most expats don't own cars.
Because many commuters use public transport, the city centre is not as congested by traffic as other European capitals. Within the city itself, getting around on foot is best.
Public transport in Vienna
The Weiner Linien public transport service operates a number of tram, bus and subway lines. Vienna’s public transport is part of the Verkehrsverbund Ost-Region (VOR), which operates in Austria's eastern regions.
A single ticket is valid for travelling one way anywhere within Vienna, and commuters can change from one line to another on a single ticket. Tickets can be purchased online, at ticket offices or at vending machines in subway stations. For those who plan on using public transport regularly, there are a number of weekly, monthly and yearly ticketing options available, which can save money in the long run.
There are roughly 500 tram cars running on 28 tram lines throughout the city. These are probably the slowest way of travelling, although they are a fun way to get around Vienna in short hops or for sightseeing.
While the Viennese use trams on a day out, most people opt to use buses and the U-Bahn for regular commuting because they cover a more extensive area and are more efficient modes of transportation.
Vienna’s bus network is extensive and most parts of the city are served adequately by the bus network. However, travelling by bus can sometimes be slow during rush hour.
Vienna’s commuters make use of the bus lines but tourists tend to stick to a combination of subway, tram and foot to get around. There are night buses which operate between 1am and 4am when other transport options aren’t available.
The U-Bahn is Vienna’s subway system. It has an extensive network of lines throughout the city and is the most popular and quickest way to get around the city.
Trains run regularly and arrive at 15-minute intervals, depending on the line being used and the time of day. It is important to note that U-Bahn services run less frequently at weekends and in the evenings.
Taxis in Vienna
Official taxis have TX on their number plates and a sign on their roofs, which is lit when the taxi is available. A taxi from the airport to the city centre in Vienna will take about 20 minutes.
Taxis can be found at designated taxi ranks throughout the city. If expats are travelling to or from the outlying suburbs, they should consider booking a taxi ahead of time.
Although not as popular as they are in other European cities, ride-sharing apps such as Uber and Taxify operate in Vienna. These services generally cost the same as taxis, but some expats prefer the control that these apps give them over their route.
Driving in Vienna
The city centre of Vienna (within the “central ring” road) is a maze of tiny, one-way (Einbahn) streets and is best avoided by drivers. Parking can be expensive in the city centre. Districts 1 to 9, 15 and 20 charge for short-term, pre-paid parking. Tickets can be bought at tobacconists or petrol stations and must be left on the dashboard of the car. There are a number of park and ride stations where one can leave their car.
It is very easy to get around the city centre by foot or on public transport, and most visitors to the city find that a car is more trouble than it is worth. However, expats moving to Vienna may wish to get a car for short trips to the rest of Austria; note that Austria’s roads are not free and toll stickers should be purchased before a trip.
Vienna on foot
The city centre in Vienna is compact and picturesque, with narrow, cobblestone streets. Most people find that a combination of the U-Bahn and walking is the easiest way to get around the city.
Cycling in Vienna
There are bike paths across Vienna and over 120 bicycle renting stations. Bicycles can be hired at and returned to any station in the city. Users do need a credit card or a City Bike Tourist Card if they wish to utilise this service.