Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without tinsel, gifts, a warming mug of punch, or the possible presence of a pink tram.
I might need to explain that.
- Old-timer tram in the pink colour of the Manner brand
- In normal years, offers free trips around Vienna’s iconic Ring during the Advent season
- Often appears at Easter, too
- See also: the Vienna Ring Tram | The Christmas tram
A pink treat
The Vienna tram system is a sea of red and white with spots of yellow and pink.
The red and white is the city’s regular tram fleet.
The yellow is the sightseeing tram that encircles the city centre.
The pink is the Manner tram:
(Photo © Manner/Noll)
Manner is a traditional Vienna-based company famous for its Manner Schnitten hazelnut wafers and other snacks (my family has a particular fondness for their Dragee biscuits). The head office is just down the road from me, and a flagship store occupies a prime location next to Stephansdom cathedral at the heart of the city.
Each (normal) year, at Easter and Christmas, festive fervour strikes the kind folk at the company and they provide free tram rides around the ring road (the Ring) that houses many of Vienna’s historical sights.
The rides take place 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.
The tram makes 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 the pink tram has onboard snacks, too.
In those years where the service operates, the route traditionally starts and finishes at Karlsplatz station and park complex just off the Ring. That stop is right next to an iconic piece of Jugendstil architecture: the Otto Wagner Pavilion (follow the link for directions).
If you catch the tram later in the day during an Advent season, 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 Gallerien, and seasonal markets like the ones on the Rathausplatz or Maria-Theresien-Platz.
Note the park next to the Wagner pavilion is home to the Karlsplatz Christmas market, which has its own inimitable flair thanks to a strong emphasis on unique arts and crafts.
P.S. If you’re tickled pink by old timer trams, then consider a journey across to the Transport Museum, which has large numbers of them on display.