All Vienna’s trams carry the red and white city colours. Well, almost all. A bright yellow tram circling the giant Ring boulevard offers a protest vote against the tyranny of uniformity. This is the “sightseeing tram”: the Vienna Ring Tram.
- Short 25-minute tram tour past many city sights
- Good if you’re short of time and good weather, otherwise consider walking the route
- See also:
NB: Private transport services have often reduced operations due to the lower number of international visitors at the moment. So check locally before planning a trip.
The Ring Tram tour
Vienna’s Ringstrassen boulevard marks the border of the old town and many of Vienna’s sights live alongside the route. Examples include the Naturhistorisches and Kunsthistorisches museums, the Parliament building, the Rathaus, and the Hofburg palace complex.
One option for taking in these sights is to jump on the dedicated Ring Tram for a sightseeing tour. This is not a hop-on, hop-off opportunity: the bright yellow tram starts and ends at the Schwedenplatz station (see map below).
On board, you enjoy a roughly 25 minute guided tour around the Ring, courtesy of headphones in your choice of various languages (including English).
So is it worth it?
If you’re pressed for time (or out of energy), this is a convenient way to get a swift look at many of the buildings 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 proved jolly 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 for longer or more comprehensive tours, consider the hop on, hop off sightseeing buses.
You can also travel part way around the Ring on normal trams (but will miss out on some sights unless you change lines midway), and can use these with standard public transport tickets and get on and off as you desire.
- The tram travels around 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.
Subway: U1 and U4 lines
Tram/bus: the 1 and 2 tram or the 2A bus
Address: Schwedenplatz, 1010 Vienna | Website