One of Vienna’s hop on, hop off buses is a good option if you don’t want to get to grips with the (albeit excellent) public transport system, or if you want a guided sightseeing tour you can leave or join as you like.
- Two main options are:
- Both take you around the main sites with multilingual audio guides
- Both include various extras (e.g. free onboard WiFi)
- Routes, timetables, and offers change, so check locally
- See also: Sightseeing tips
You might be tired of hearing it, but the unusual times we live in may impact sightseeing bus services and timetables, so do check locally to see if services are actually running (at all or with reduced schedules or modified routes).
Vienna Sightseeing Bus
Unmistakably yellow and green, the Vienna Sightseeing Bus takes three different routes inside the city (at the time of writing):
- Red: this encircles the old town, taking you to, from and past key sites like the Hofburg, natural and art history museums, opera house etc.
This should be your first-choice route, as it gives you a broad flavor of the best of Vienna. The different stops offer easy walking access to top sights, including those in the pedestrianised center.
- Yellow: this covers a small part of the Ring boulevard, including the opera house, but also takes you out to the main tourist attractions away from the very center: Schönbrunn and Belvedere.
A good second choice – no trip to Vienna is probably complete without seeing the Habsburg summer palace at Schönbrunn, for example
- Blue: this one covers the architectural joy that is Hundertwasserhaus as well as the Prater park and entertainment area, for example (home to the Riesenrad)
A ticket includes, for example, on-board WIFI and an audioguide. You choose between 24, 48, and 72 hour tickets that cover all routes.
If you buy a Vienna Pass (see my review), this includes unlimited use of all the Vienna Sightseeing bus routes for the duration of the pass. A Flexi PASS also includes one 24hr ticket to this service as an option.
For current details and offers, check the official website.
The Big Bus Tour
The distinctive red buses of the Big Bus Tour follow two routes (at the time of writing):
- Red: this takes you around the Ring boulevard, but also, for example, out to the Belvedere palaces. and the Danube area
This is a great option if you’re stuck for time, since you see many landmark sights fairly quickly.
- Blue: this is the noble route, bordering the Hofburg, then bringing you out to Schönbrunn and Belvedere (but also Hundertwasserhaus).
Basic 24-hour tickets cover the red and blue routes. The 48 hour and 72 hour options add an increasing number of bonuses, such as a walking tour or short river cruise.
The Vienna City Card may include the option to purchase a one-off 24 hour pass for the Big Bus Tour as a digital add-on. And the Go City activity pass may include the one-day classic tour as an option to choose.
For all the current details and offers, check the official website.