No idea why I put those two topics together, but discover how best to get around Vienna and whether you’ll be needing sunscreen or snow shoes while you do.
- See also: Introduction to Vienna (includes an overview of the city’s layout from a visitor perspective)
Most tourists (and locals) rely on the fantastic municipal transport system for travelling from A to B n Vienna, so let us begin there…
Most visitors end up shaking their heads in disbelief at the efficiency and at how little you have to pay for that efficiency. Learn how the tickets work and how to understand the signs at a tram stop.
The system is very wheelchair-friendly, too, with lifts at every (I think) subway station, many step-free trams, etc.
Vienna International Airport lies just beyond the city limits, so is not covered automatically by standard city network cards, for example.
Of course, being an airport, it’s (obviously) still hooked up conveniently to road, rail, and bus systems.
For the record, trains from central stations get you there or back in as little as 16 minutes. And a car journey to/from the centre can take 20-25 minutes in good traffic. (Though traffic through the city centre can rarely be described as good.)
For city-wide sightseeing routes, you might try one of the popular hop on, hop off sightseeing bus services.
If you’re pushed for time, the Vienna Ring tram offers a quick way to see the main sights around the city centre ring road.
Using your feet
Vienna has many places of interest for tourists, but five main sightseeing areas stand out, which you’ll find here.
The small size of the historical centre makes it easy enough to walk around, but with Viennese driving habits you might need some tips on how to cross the road safely. Oh, and Vienna has some rather funky pedestrian lights.
Using your bicycle
Vienna has come on leaps and bounds in recent years in terms of making the city more cyclist friendly.
This overview page has details of the hundreds of miles of cycle paths and lanes in the city, and introduces you to the network of unmanned bike hire stations (where the first hour of rental is free).
Using your car
For helpful hints on local driving habits and regulations, check the driving in Vienna page.
Learn, for example, where to park, how to pay the motorway toll, what the mysterious Rettungsgasse is, and why trams are not necessarily your friend on the road (they’re bigger than you and they have precedence).
Vienna enjoys a relatively pleasant climate where the summers are warm and dry, the winters crisp and cold (though I can’t help but feel they’re getting warmer).
The climate even means Vienna has its own flourishing wine-growing industry. But don’t let that fool you into thinking the chillier seasons are Mediterranean.
Get an overview of the monthly weather to help plan which clothes to bring for a trip and decide on the best time to visit Vienna. If you come in deep midwinter, pack emergency flares, thick socks and a portable heater (just kidding).
Oh, and if you’re visiting at the end of December, you probably want the answer to this question: does it snow at Christmas? (Spoiler: probably not.)