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
- Typically 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 throughout the year.
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, 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.
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.
2021 dates, timetable and station
The route normally starts and finishes at Karlsplatz, the large 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).
I’ve not seen times for Christmas 2021 yet, assuming the tradition continues this year. Reservations are usually not possible, so be prepared to get there early to be sure of a seat.
If you catch the tram later in the day during the 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 timers, then consider a journey across to the Transport Museum, which has large numbers of them on display.