Bus, train, tram, u-bahn, s-bahn are very popular in Vienna. 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.
The U-Bahn is a quick, efficient and inexpensive way of getting around the city. There are five lines: U1 to U4 and U6 (there is currently no U5; construction starts in 2018). Stations have lifts as well as escalators. Platforms have timetable information and signs showing the exits and nearby facilities. The U-Bahn runs from 5am to midnight Monday to Thursday and continuously from Friday through to Sunday night.
U-Bahn and tram services get you close to most sights, especially in the centre and fringing Vorstadt areas (ie between the Ringstrasse and Gürtel).
Bus connections can be useful for outlying parts of town or for travellers with limited physical mobility.
Regular buses 13A runs north–south through the Vorstädte between Hauptbahnhof and Alser Strasse. 2A connects Schwarzenbergplatz, Stephansplatz, Schwedenplatz and Michaelerplatz. 3A connects Börsenplatz and Schottentor with Stephansplatz and Stubentor. Most lines run from 5am to midnight, with fewer (sometimes nonexistent) services on weekends.
Night buses Nightline routes cover much of the city and run every half-hour from 12.30am to 5am. Note that on early Saturday and Sunday mornings (ie after midnight Friday and Saturday) the U-Bahn runs all night. Schwedenplatz, Schottentor and Kärntner Ring/Oper are stopping points for many night bus services; look for buses and bus stops marked with an ‘N’. All transport tickets are valid for Nightline services. N25 runs around the Ringstrasse then via Schwedenplatz, Leopoldstadt to Kagraner Platz and beyond on weekdays.
There’s something romantic about travelling by tram, even though they’re slower than the U-Bahn. Vienna’s tram network is extensive, with 29 lines, and it’s the perfect way to view the city on the cheap. Trams are either numbered or lettered (eg 1, 2, D) and cover the city centre and some suburbs. Services run from 5.15am to 11.45pm.
Three main transport hubs are Hauptbahnhof, Meidling, Westbahnhof. There come transport from other cities and countries and travels around the city.
Vienna sits at the crossroads of Western and Eastern Europe, and has excellent air, road and rail connections to both regions, as well as services further afield. Children aged under six travel free on public transport; from ages six to 15 they generally pay half-price. Children 14 years and under travel free on the CAT service to/from Vienna International Airport.
Located 19km southwest of the city centre, Vienna International Airport (01-700 722 233; www.viennaairport.com; W) operates services worldwide. Facilities include restaurants and bars, banks and ATMs, money-exchange counters, supermarkets, a post office, carhire agencies and two left-luggage counters open 5.30am to 11pm (per 24 hours €4 to €8; maximum six-month storage). Bike boxes (€35) and baggage wrapping (per item €12) are available.
The City Airport Train (CAT; www.cityairporttrain.com; single/return €11/19) departs from Vienna International Airport every 30 minutes from 6.09am to 11.30pm, and from Wien-Mitte train station every 30 minutes from 5.36am to 11.06pm. Journey time is 15 minutes.
The S7 (www.oebb.at) suburban train (€4.40, 25 minutes) does the same journey to/from the airport. It runs from 4.48am to 12.18am from the airport to Wien-Mitte, and from 4.19am to 11.49pm from Wien-Mitte to the airport.
Vienna Airport Lines (01-700 732 300; www.postbus.at; h8am-7.30pm Mon-Sat) has three services connecting different parts of Vienna with the airport. The most central is the Vienna Airport Lines bus stop at Morzinplatz/Schwedenplatz (bus 1185; one way/return €8/13, 20 minutes), running via the Wien-Mitte train station.
Bratislava, Slovakia’s capital, is only 60km east of Vienna, and Airport Bratislava (02-3303 3353; www.bts.aero; Ivanská cesta), serving Bratislava, makes a feasible alternative to flying into Austria.
Slovaklines (www.slovaklines.sk) in conjunction with Eurolines (www.eurolines.com) runs buses between Airport Bratislava and Vienna International Airport and on to Südtiroler Platz at Vienna's Hauptbahnhof (one way/return €7.50/13, one hour, up to two per hour). Buses leave outside the Airport Bratislava arrival hall between 8.30am and 9.35pm daily, and from Südtiroler Platz at Vienna's Hauptbahnhof from 8.30am and 9.35pm daily. You can also take bus 61 to the centre of Bratislava and pick up a frequent train from Bratislava train station to Vienna.
The Danube is a traffic-free access route for arrivals and departures from Vienna. Eastern Europe is the main destination; Twin City Liner (01-904 88 80; www.twincityliner.com; 01, Schwedenplatz; one-way adult €20-35; j1, 2, XSchwedenplatz) connects Vienna with Bratislava in 1½ hours, while its sister company DDSG Blue Danube Schiffahrt (01-588 80; www.ddsg-blue-danube.at; 02, Handelskai 265, Reichsbrücke; one-way €99-109, return €125; h9am-5pm Mon-Fri, 10am-4pm Sat & Sun, closed Sat & Sun Nov-Feb) links Budapest with Vienna from mid-May to September, departing Vienna Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, departing Budapest Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. DDSG tickets may also be obtained or picked up at Twin City Liner.
Eurolines (0900 128 712; www.eurolines.at; 03, Erdbergstrasse 200; hoffice 8am-6pm; XErdberg) has basically tied up the bus routes connecting Austria with the rest of Europe. Its main terminal is at the U3 U-Bahn station Erdberg but some buses stop at the U6 and U1 U-Bahn and train station Praterstern, and at Südtiroler Platz by Vienna's Hauptbahnhof.
Austria’s train network is a dense web reaching the country’s far-flung corners. The system is fast, efficient, frequent and well used. Österreiche Bundesbahn (ÖBB; www.oebb.at) is the main operator, and has information offices at all of Vienna’s main train stations. Tickets can be purchased online, at ticket offices or train-station ticket machines. Long-distance train tickets can be purchased onboard but incur a €3 service charge. Tickets for local, regional and intercity trains must be purchased before boarding