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 – the D tram line takes in four of the biggest
- Public transport continues throughout the Christmas period, but with longer intervals on Dec 24th, Dec 25th and Dec 26th
- See also: Look out for the special Manner and Ströck trams during Advent |Travel cards
Trains, buses and trams run normally until the school holidays officially begin (Thursday, December 24th, 2020) and then switch to a slightly reduced timetable until
Of course, the Viennese version of a reduced timetable is still mightily impressive.
It largely means slightly longer intervals during early weekday mornings – when kids would otherwise be travelling to school. On timetables, look for the “Ferien” (school holidays) entries for Montag – Freitag (Monday to Friday).
Those same timetables 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 subway, bus and tram lines commonly switch to 15 minute intervals after 6.30pm (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. However, three of these exceptions are the 1A, 2A, and 3A buses that traverse the old town. These usually cease operation from 2pm.
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 centre (see map above). 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