If you’ve ever braved the Christmas train schedule in, for example, the UK, you may worry about travel around Vienna during the Christmas market season.
- The Christmas markets are all easily accessible on foot or using buses, subways and trams – tram line “D” takes in four of the biggest
- Public transport continues throughout the Christmas period, but with extended intervals on Dec 24th, Dec 25th and Dec 26th
Trains, buses and trams run normally until the school holidays officially begin (December 24th, 2018) and then switch to a slightly reduced timetable until they end (Sunday, January 6th, 2019).
Of course, the Viennese version of a reduced timetable is still mightily impressive.
It just means there are slightly longer intervals during early weekday mornings – when kids would otherwise be travelling to and from school. On timetables, look for the “Ferien” (school holidays) entries for Monday to Friday.
Those same timetables will also have entries for Samstag (Saturdays), and Sonntag/Feiertage (Sundays and Public Holidays), when intervals also increase. That last one is the one to watch over Christmas, given that the 25th and 26th are both public holidays.
Again, intervals might be longer, but still better than many other cities’ normal timetables.
December 24th is an exception to the rule. Although not formally a public holiday, the subways and many bus and tram lines commonly switch to 15 minute intervals after 6.30 pm (this is because Austrian families typically celebrate Christmas in the early evening of the 24th). Only a very, very few lines have a reduced service during the day, though.
Getting to the Christmas markets
You can find travel advice for each market on their individual pages. But here some general tips:
- Many markets are close together and easily reached on foot if you’re in the center (see map below). For example, the Freyung market is just 200m from the Am Hof market.
- All are well served by public transport. A good tip is tram line D, which takes you past four biggies: the Rathaus, Maria-Theresien-Platz, Karlsplatz and Belvedere markets.