All Vienna’s trams are decked out in red and white – the city’s colours. Well, almost all. A bright yellow tram circling the Ring boulevard offers a protest vote against the tyranny of uniformity. This is the “sightseeing tram” – the Vienna Ring Tram.
- Short tram tour past many city sights
- Good if you’re short of time and good weather, otherwise consider walking the route
- Adult ticket* is €12 at the time of writing (or one free journey with the Vienna Pass)
- See also: Sightseeing buses
The Ring Tram tour
On board, you enjoy a roughly 25 minute guided tour around the Ring, courtesy of headphones in your choice of various languages (including English). This is not a hop-on, hop-off opportunity: it starts and ends at the Schwedenplatz station (see map below).
So is it worth it?
If you’re pressed for time (or out of energy), then this is a convenient way to get a swift look at many of the things you’re supposed to have seen in Vienna, with a brief guide so you know what you’re looking at.
You also get to go on a lovely quaint yellow tram (yay!) and the conductor was very friendly and accommodating when we did our trip.
If you have the time and energy, you might prefer seeing the Ring on foot for a true appreciation of the majesty of Habsburg Vienna. And the hop on, hop off sightseeing buses offer more comprehensive tours.
You can also travel part way around the Ring on normal trams (but will miss out on some sights unless you change lines midway), so can use these with standard tickets and get on and off as you desire.
Quick travel tips
- The tram travels the Ring on the right, so the right side of the tram as you face forward has less chance of having a view blocked by an inconvenient bus. But note that the top sights are on both sides of the Ring, so picking your side isn’t critical.
- Switch the language to the German channel on your headphones, then again to the local Vienna dialect for an interesting insight into the linguistic differences (assuming they still have that option).
- In the winter months and nearer Christmas, take the latest tram you can and enjoy the lights – some of the hotels along the Ring put up delightful displays and you’ll pass the Rathausplatz, for example, in all its seasonal splendour.
How to get to the Ring tram
Schwedenplatz is just a short walk from the very centre of Vienna and itself a transport hub.
Incidentally, the adjoining stretch of water is not the famous Danube per se (a common misunderstanding) but an arm of the river known as the Danube canal.
Subway: U1 and U4 lines
Tram/bus: the 1 and 2 tram or the 2A bus
Address: Schwedenplatz, 1010 Vienna | Website