How do I get from the airport to my hotel?

Vienna International Airport is located just outside the city limits of Vienna, and a few miles southeast of the suburb of Schwechat. If you have not booked a private transfer with us you have a few options to get into the city center. Just past customs, there are various companies offering airport transportation. Here you can look for two monitors displaying all the next trains and the buses departing.

S-Bahn (commuter rail) runs from 5 am to midnight and is the cheapest and most convenient connection to the city center, a single fare is €4.20. The S-Bahn trains run on the S7 line to Vienna, take a train bound for Floridsdorf, which departs twice an hour and get off at Wien-Mitte station on the estern edge of the city center (25 minutes). From there the U-Bahn line U3 connects to Stephansplatz right in the heart of the city center, whereas line U4 provides service to Karlsplatz (Opera House) as well as the Donaukanal and Schönbrunn Palace. You need a Vienna Zone 100 ticket (€2.20 and including all connecting transit in Vienna; day/week/etc. passes are also valid) + one extra VOR (`Verkehrsverbund Ost-Region` -East Region Transport Association) `Außenzone` (outside zone) (€2.20) since the airport is legally outside of the city. (Not sure, but the `Außenzone` does not appear in the English menu of the ticket machine, so you have to buy a €2.20 zone 100 ticket instead and stamp it.) Tickets have to be purchased and stamped before boarding.

IC/Railjet trains runs direct trains between Vienna International Airport and Vienna Hauptbahnhof (Main Station) every half an hour. The trip costs the same as the S-Bahn (2 x €2.20 for two zones) and only takes 16-18 minutes. At Main Station, there is connection to the underground line U1 and to several tram and bus lines.

Vienna AirportLines Bus runs from 5:00 am to midnight direct between Vienna International Airport and assorted points in Vienna. Operated by Postbus. Tickets can be purchased with cash from the operator. All routes: One way €8, Round-trip €13.

City Airport Train (CAT), (underneath terminal) is non-stop to Wien-Mitte Station (Landstraße) in 16 minutes. Departs at :09 and :39 past every hour from 6:09 to11:39. The CAT is only useful if it is the next train departing (otherwise take the S-Bahn S7 line, it runs the same route). If you aren`t heading to Wien-Mitte area, definitely consider a more direct train or bus, it will be faster and cheaper.

Shuttle provided by hotel are also an option at some select Vienna hotels providing guests shuttle service to and from the airport, usually for a fee that`s cheaper than a taxi, sometimes you will share the shuttle with guests from your own or nearby hotels.

Taxi`s are located outside the airport at the taxi rank. The fare to the city center typically costs around €50 and up.

How do I get from the train station to my hotel?

The Vienna Central Train Station Hauptbahnhof (Wien Hauptbahnhof; located in the Favoriten district is the most modern and important national and international transportation hub in Austria. All of Austrian Federal Railways` (ÖBB) long-distance trains stop here and at the Wien-Meidling station a bit further south. Linking the west, south, north and east lines creates two opportunities to switch trains. Nearly every long-distance destination served by the ÖBB can be reached with a maximum of one change of trains. Railjets and Intercity Express (long-distance) trains coming from the west also go to the Central Train Station, meaning a change to one of the southern lines takes no time at all. State capitals Bregenz, Innsbruck, Salzburg, Klagenfurt, Linz and St. Pölten are connected directly to Vienna’s airport via the Main Station.

It only takes five minutes to go from Vienna Central Station to the city center (St. Stephen`s Square station) by underground, and a mere 12 minutes to reach Vienna International Center (Kaisermühlen-VIC). U1 trains come in at short intervals, averaging three to four minutes during the daytime on weekdays.

How do I get around the city using public transportation?

Vienna`s comprehensive and unified public transport network is one of the most efficient in Europe. Flat-fare tickets are valid for trains, trams, buses, the underground (U-Bahn) and the S-Bahn regional trains. Services are frequent and you rarely have to wait more than 10 minutes.

Transport maps are posted in all U-Bahn stations and at many bus and tram stops. Free maps are available in U-Bahn stations. The Karlsplatz, Stephansplatz and Westbahnhof information offices are open 6:30am to 6:30pm Monday to Friday and 8:30am to 4pm Saturday and Sunday. Those at Schottentor, Praterstern, Floridsdorf, Philadelphiabrücke and Erdberg are closed at weekends.

Tickets and passes for Wiener Linien services (U-Bahn, trams and buses) can be purchased at U-Bahn stations and on trams and buses, in a Tabakladen (Trafik; tobacco kiosk), as well as from a few staffed ticket offices. Single Ticket (Einzelfahrschein) €2.20; good for one journey, with line changes; costs €2.30 if purchased on trams and buses (correct change required). 24-/48-/72-hour Tickets (24-/48-/72-Stundenkarten) €7.60, €13.30 and €16.50 respectively. Eight-day Ticket (8-Tage-Klimakarte) €38.40; valid for eight days, not necessarily consecutive; validate the card as and when you need it.

Weekly Ticket (Wochenkarte) €16.20; valid Monday to Sunday only (ie tickets purchased on a Friday are still only valid to the Sunday). Senior Citizens Over 60s can buy a €2.80 ticket valid for two trips; enquire at transport information offices.

Bus and Streetcar: Vienna`s convenient and easy-to-use public transit, the Wiener Linien, is great for exploring the outer limits. Bus and streetcar (strassenbahnen) routes snake throughout the city. You can transfer between modes using the same ticket, which are available at every stop. Should you happen to miss the last streetcar or bus, you can hop on special night buses (marked with the letter `N`), which operate fairly frequently along designated routes.

U-Bahn and S-Bahn: The wiener Linien also operates a subway system (the U-Bahn), which services the city and a speedy light-rail system (the S-Bahn) that services the suburbs. Fares and transfers are the same for the U-Bahn and the S-Bahn as they are for the buses and streetcars, and you can use the same tickets on all forms of public transportation.

How do I call/hail a taxi?

Taxis are easy to find within the city center (taxi stands are marked by signs), but be warned that fares can quickly add up. Agree on a fare before getting into the cab, otherwise, you could be overcharged. It`s also a good idea to ask your concierge what the going rate is to and from various sites. Official taxis have TX on their number plates and a sign on their roofs, which is lit when the taxi is available. Pedicabs, horse-drawn coaches and the like are also available.

We do not recommend driving a car in Vienna. The city is a maze of congested one-way streets, parking is extremely limited - almost to the point of being nonexistent; and public transportation is too convenient to endure the hassle of driving. If you are renting a car we suggest you pick it up as you depart the city to avoid excessive rental/parking expenses. I will have a car in Vienna, where can I park? We do not recommend driving a car in Vienna. The city is a maze of congested one-way streets, parking is extremely limited - almost to the point of being nonexistent; and public transportation is too convenient to endure the hassle of driving. If you are renting a car we suggest you pick it up as you depart the city to avoid excessive rental/parking expenses.

If you must have a car while in the city then your hotel may offer a car park (for a fee), but your best bet is one of the public garages. Parking garages are scattered throughout the city and most of them charge between €3.60 and €6 per hour. Some convenient 24 hour garages within the 1st District include Garage Am Hof, Parkgarage Freyung and Tiefgarage Kärntnerstrasse.

When curbside parking is available at all, it`s within one of the city's `blue zones` and is usually restricted to 90 minutes or less from 8am to 6pm. If you find an available spot within a blue zone, you`ll need to display a kurzpark scheine (short-term parking voucher) on the dashboard of your car. They`re sold at branch offices of Vienna Public Transport Information Center and within tobacco/news shops. Be warned that honking car horns is forbidden everywhere in the city and towing of illegally parked cars is not an uncommon sight here.

Is Vienna a walking city?

The best ways to get around Vienna are on foot and by public transportation. Many historic attractions can be found within the compact Innere Stadt and are easy to reach with just a sturdy pair of walking shoes. But if you are interested in exploring some of the more remote districts, the city's subway, bus and streetcar routes will get you where you need to go.

Is Vienna a dangerous city? Are there certain areas I should avoid?

Austria is a very safe country in which to travel. There are no slums or districts that you need to avoid. Just use common sense and you should be fine. If anything, as with any major city, be careful of petty crime like pickpockets, who tend to target tourists.

Prostitution is legal, even on the street, and is common around the area of the Prater. Ironically, some of the areas are stones thrown from the UNODC Headquarters (the UN agency responsible for combating human trafficking) and are human trafficking hubs for all of Europe. Many of these prostitutes are not registered and a high number are known to be trafficked, so take care if seeking their services. It is safer for everyone involved to visit a brothel. Women dressed in a certain manner walking around these areas alone at night might feel uncomfortable being checked-out in a certain way but there is no real danger. (There is no male street-prostitution to speak of in Vienna.)

Do not walk on the bike lanes and cross them like you would cross any other road. Some bike lanes are hard to recognize and some cyclists bike rather fast. Walking on bike lines is not only considered impolite but it is illegal and you run the danger of getting hit.

Can I pay/tip in US dollars?

The currency of Austria is the Euro. US dollars are not accepted. Please be sure to have the correct currency on hand or be prepared to exchange your dollars for euros upon arrival. Currency exchange desks can be found at the airport and many locations throughout the city.

I don`t speak German. Will many people speak English?

German is the official language of Austria, but since English is taught in the high schools, it`s commonly spoken throughout the country, especially in tourist regions. Certain Austrian minorities speak Slavic languages, and Hungarian is commonly spoken in Burgenland. We suggest you get a good English-German dictionary and familiarize yourself with common phrases such as hello, goodbye, excuse me and numbers 1-10.

When and where can I see the Vienna Boys Choir?

A foundation charter issued by Maximilian I in 1498 called the first dozen boys to the imperial court as members of the newly formed court music band. Regarded as Austria`s `singing ambassadors,` the Vienna Boys` Choir is one of the oldest boys` choirs in the world. For nearly 500 years it has been an enduring symbol of Austria. A number of famous musicians have emerged from its ranks, including Joseph Haydn and Franz Schubert.

Every Sunday the Vienna Boys` Choir sings solemn mass in Vienna`s Hofburg chapel, continuing a tradition unbroken since 1498. They also present their latest repertoire during the `Friday Afternoons` at MuTh - their new concert hall in the Augarten.

When and where can I see an opera or attend a Viennese ball?

Music is at the heart of Vienna`s cultural life. Vienna is the home of four major symphony orchestras, including the world-acclaimed Vienna Symphony and the Vienna Philharmonic. Reservations and information for the Weiner Staatsoper (Vienna State Opera), Volksoper, Burgtheater (National Theater) and Akademietheater can be obtained by contacting Österreichische Bundestheater (Austrian Federal Theaters), the office that coordinates reservations and information for all four state theaters (tel. 01/5144-42959). The major season is September to June, with more limited presentations in summer.

The biggest complaint among music lovers in Vienna is about the lack of available tickets to many highly desirable musical performances since many tickets are issued to subscribers before the box office opens. For all four theaters, box-office sales are made only 1 month before each performance at the Bundestheaterkasse, Goethegasse 1 (tel. 01/51-44-40). Alternatively, you can consult a reputable ticket broker (surcharges will apply) such as Liener Brünn (tel. 01/533-09-61), which might make tickets available months in advance or as little as a few hours before the anticipated event. As a final resort, remember that the concierges of virtually every upscale hotel in Vienna have sophisticated tricks for acquiring hard-to-come-by tickets. (A gratuity of at least 10€ will work wonders and will be expected anyway for the effort this task will entail. You`ll pay a hefty surcharge as well).

Special Note: Many people dress well for concerts and theaters. For especially festive occasions such as opera premieres, receptions and balls, tails or dinner jackets and evening dresses still prevail. Younger people and visitors, however, no longer adhere to these customs. If you want to dress up, you can rent evening wear (as well as carnival costumes) from several places.

I want to visit Vienna during the Holidays. When are the Christmas Markets open?

From mid-November to Christmas, Vienna`s prettiest squares transform into magical Christmas markets (Christkindlmarkt). The aromas of candied fruits, Christmas baked goods and other delicacies like Christmas punch and roasted chestnuts wafting around creates an atmosphere of nostalgia and romance along with concerts, nativity displays, festively adorned trees and pony rides.

The Christmas Markets in Vienna are truly an age-old tradition; the forerunners of the present day events date back to the Middle Ages. Nowadays, over 20 official Advent Markets sell a vast array of seasonal gifts, handcrafted goods and mouth-watering treats from small wooden market stalls. Classics include the Christmas market in front of City Hall, the traditional Viennese Christmas market on Freyung (more popular with locals rather than tourists), and the markets at Spittelberg, Am Hof and in front of the church of St. Charles Borromeo (Karlskirche). There are also popular Christmas markets in front of the Schönbrunn Palace and the Belvedere Palace.

Where can I rent a bicycle in Vienna?

Vienna has more than 155 miles of marked bicycle paths within the city limits. You can take bicycles on specially marked U-Bahn cars for free, Monday through Friday from 9am to 3pm and 6:30pm to midnight, during which time you`ll pay half the full ticket price to transport a bike. On weekends in July and August, bicycles are carried free from 9am to midnight.

Rental stores are plentiful at the Prater park and along the banks of the Danube Canal, which is the favorite bike route for most Viennese. One of the best bike rental shops is Pedal Power, Ausstellungsstrasse 3 (tel. 01/729-7234), which is open March through October from 8am to 7pm. The Vienna Tourist Board can also supply a list of rental shops and more information about bike paths. Bike rentals begin at about €27 per day.

What should I do if I need medical assistance or need to go to the hospital?

Emergencies: Emergency phone numbers throughout the country (no area code needed) are as follows: tel. 133 for the police, 144 for accident service.

Hospital: The major hospital is Allgemeines Krankenhaus, Währinger Gürtel 18-20 (tel. 01/40400).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change at any time without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.