Vienna is a modern capital with highly efficient public services. Public transport is no exception – fast, reliable and easy to use.
Vienna’s public transport network includes five underground lines plus an extensive network of trams and buses. You will never be stranded, not even at night: the night buses run every day until five in the morning and at the weekend the underground is open 24 hours a day!
Unfortunately, this excellent service is not among the cheapest in Europe, so consider buying a tourist pass or a season ticket. The information below on tickets, passes and transport will help you choose the best solution for you.
In Vienna you can also find hop on hop off tourist buses, a solution that combines some of the advantages of public transport with the convenience of private transport.
Usually operated by private companies, they are affordably priced, much cheaper than a taxi, but are easier to use than buses, trams and metro because they follow a set route with stops at major tourist attractions. You don’t have to wonder which bus or metro to take to get to the Imperial Palace: the tourist bus takes you right there!
Another advantage of choosing the hop on hop off bus is the freedom to hop on and off as many times as you like during the validity of your ticket; in addition, during your tour of the city, the audio guide will give you lots of historical information and interesting facts about the city. All for the price of a single ticket!
Do you prefer to take public transport? The first thing to bear in mind is that as far as public transport is concerned, the city of Vienna is part of the ‘Verkehrsverbund Ost-Region’ (VOR), an acronym that unites the eastern regions of Austria and constitutes its ‘core zone’, formerly known as Zone 100.
This is good news for tourists because it results in a single fare within the city; only if you leave the city area do you have to pay a surcharge.
VOR tickets for the city of Vienna are not valid on buses to the airport (which is located outside Vienna’s city limits), the private Westbahn trains and the City Airport Train CAT.
With the Vienna Card you can travel on all public transport in the core zone.
A single ticket for public transport in Vienna costs €2.20 (with a small surcharge if purchased directly on the bus or tram) and can be used for a single journey on all public transport in the core zone. Discounted tickets are available for children and seniors.
There is only one type of ticket for all public transport; it is possible to change lines or means of transport during the journey as long as you only travel in one direction, i.e. you cannot return to your starting point.
The ticket for the bus, tram or underground can be purchased at underground stations, ticket machines and some tobacconists displaying the WL (Wiener Linien) logo. It must be validated on the bus, tram or underground machine before entering the metro.
If you plan to use public transport more than once a day, it is not advisable to buy individual tickets: it is better to choose one of the solutions specially designed for tourists or those staying in the city for a limited period.
The Vienna City Card is the official tourist card of the city of Vienna and is the most convenient and cheapest solution for those who want to make the most of their holiday in the Austrian capital.
Available for 1, 2 or 3 days, the card allows unlimited use of public transport during the chosen period of validity, free or discounted admission to over 200 attractions, and promotions in numerous shops, bars and restaurants.
There are many advantages to buying the Vienna City Card. It is certainly the cheapest card for those who want to visit many attractions and use public transport frequently; in addition, a child up to the age of 15 can travel with you free of charge.
Thanks to the Vienna City Card you only buy one season ticket and don’t think about it any more!
In addition to the Vienna Card, which is recommended for those who want to visit museums and attractions for a fee, there are other types of season tickets to suit the needs of tourists.
Allows unlimited use of public transport from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the day it is validated. Cannot be used on Sundays or public holidays.
Allows unlimited use of public transport for 24, 48 or 72 hours from the time it is validated.
Allows unlimited use of public transport for one calendar week, valid from midnight on Monday until 9 a.m. the following Monday. It is a transferable ticket, i.e. it can be used by another person.
This is a carnet comprising 8 tickets to be validated separately. Once a ticket (strip) has been validated, it is valid until 1 a.m. the following day. It can be used by several people at the same time: just validate one ticket for each person travelling and of course you must travel together.
Which season ticket is best?
There is no single answer to this question: which ticket or season ticket to buy depends on the type of holiday you want to take, how many of you there are and what age you are, how much you intend to use public transport.
We give you some advice in principle, but do your own maths to choose the most suitable season ticket for you:
- If you are a group of people who like walking and plan to occasionally use public transport to get from one area to another, choose the carnet of 8.
- If you do not plan to go out or stay in your hotel area after 8 p.m., choose the Vienna Shopping Ticket.
- If you are staying in the city for a few days, choose the24-, 48- or 72-hour pass.
- If you are staying in Vienna for a whole week (Monday to Sunday) choose the weekly pass.
Vienna’s metro is extremely efficient, with very long service hours, from 5 a.m. until half past midnight, and very short waiting times: only two minutes at peak times!
At the weekend, the metro runs 24 hours a day: you can go out and enjoy yourself without the anxiety of figuring out which bus to take back to your hotel!
Vienna has an extensive bus network with 103 daytime lines, 24 nighttime lines, 450 vehicles and more than 4000 stops: it’s almost guaranteed that wherever you go you won’t need to search long to find the bus you need.
Vienna’s buses also go right into the city centre: the city buses are designed precisely to traverse the narrow alleys of the 1st district.
Night buses run from half past midnight until five in the morning.
The tram is a popular means of transport for tourists because it is a bit of a cross between a bus and an underground railway: faster than a bus, but less than an underground railway, it allows you to admire the scenery while travelling instead of going through dark underground tunnels.
There are 29 tram lines in Vienna, with the first ones in operation as early as 1865. In total, Vienna’s current tram network is more than 170 km long.
There are other ways to explore the fascinating Austrian capital, suitable for those who want more comfort or for those who want to take advantage of some physical activity.
With more than 1,300 km of cycle paths and routes, Vienna is a paradise for bicycle lovers.
If you want to use this inexpensive and environmentally friendly means of getting around the city, you can rent a bike from a shop offering this service (your hotel will be able to tell you which one is closest to you) or use Citybike Wien, the public bike rental service.
There are 121 bike rental stations throughout the city, some of which are strategically located near famous sights or underground stations.
If you are in a hurry or want to travel comfortably, a taxi is always the best option, but of course at a higher price than public transport.
You can hail a taxi on the street, pick it up at one of the many taxi ranks scattered around the city or book it by phone or app.
The Vienna Ring Tram is a tourist tram that makes a circular route along the Ringstrasse, allowing tourists to admire the sights of the historic city centre from the comfort of their seats. The price of the ticket, which can be purchased on board, includes an audio guide.
Rides depart every 30 minutes from Schwedenplatz, from 10 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased directly on the tram. VOR tickets and subscriptions are not valid.