Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without tinsel, gifts, a warming mug of punch, or the reassuring presence of a pink tram.
I might need to explain that.
- Old-timer tram in the pink colour of the Manner brand
- Offers free trips around Vienna’s iconic Ring during the Advent season
- See also: the Vienna Ring Tram
What’s the pink tram all about?
The Vienna tram system is a sea of red and white with spots of yellow and pink.
The yellow is the sightseeing tram that encircles the city centre throughout the year.
The pink is the Manner tram:
Manner is a very traditional Vienna-based company famous for its Manner Schnitten hazelnut wafers and other snacks (my family has a fondness for their Dragee biscuits). The head office is just down the road from me, and there’s even a flagship store next to Stephansdom cathedral at the heart of the city.
Each year, at Easter and Christmas, the kind folk at the company are struck by festive fervour and provide free tram rides around the ring road (the Ring) that houses many of Vienna’s historical sights. They do so in an old-timer tram decked out with Manner branding and the colour that dominates their packaging, delivery lorries and even the walls of the buildings at their HQ: pink.
It’s quite a sight, bringing a dash of colour, smiles, and the occasional surprised look, to the holiday season. Given the company’s main business, you’ll be pleased to hear that the pink tram has onboard snacks, too.
2019 dates and timetable
The current timetable won’t appear until later in the year, but you can get an idea from the 2018 times and days:
- Friday, 16 Nov (5 pm, 5.45 pm, 6.30 pm)
- Thursday, 12 Dec (4 pm, 4.45 pm, 5.30 pm, 6.15 pm)
- Each Saturday and Sunday in December up to and including the 23rd (2.20 pm, 3.10 pm, 4 pm, 4.50 pm, 5.40 pm)
Since there are always relatively few scheduled trips, I imagine you may have to get there early to be sure of a seat.
If you catch the later trams, you’ll get more out of the Christmas lights around the Ring, with special displays on buildings like the Imperial Hotel, shopfronts like the Ringstraßen Galerie, and seasonal markets like the ones on the Rathausplatz or Maria-Theresien-Platz.
How to get to the pink tram
The route starts and finishes at Karlsplatz, the large station and park complex just off the Ring. The stop is next to an iconic piece of Jugendstil architecture: the Otto Wagner Pavilion (follow the link for directions).
Note the park next to the pavilion is home to the Karlsplatz Christmas market, which has its own inimitable flair thanks to its strong emphasis on unique arts and crafts.