Public Transportation In Vienna

  • Post by Apoorva Shetty
  • Nov 05, 2019
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Public Transportation in Vienna - Tickets, Cards or Passes?

When visiting Vienna, the options for availing the sightseeing tickets and buying the public transport tickets can lead you to spend more money if you are not careful or have not done your homework. The sightseeing and transport tickets can be bought separately as and when needed or you can buy one of the official passes or city cards to have a combined option that serves all purpose.

Public Transportation in Vienna (operated by Wiener Linien) is robust and if you buy point to point tickets (or use any card/pass), you are at liberty to choose the tram, city train, subway, or catch the bus. Or for the matter, you can utilize all of them to complete the journey.

  • All Public transportations carry the same weight and do not require buying separate tickets. One ticket is valid for all transport options (bus+tram+train+subway) as long as it is time validity has not expired.
  • Most passes/cards are valid in the City zone which covers all touristy places. Airport falls outside the City Zone and require separate tickets.
  • The Westbahn rail service, and sightseeing services like the yellow Ring Tram fall outside the jurisdiction of passes/cards and require that you purchase separate tickets.
  • Night lines only operate between 0.30 am and 5 am.
  • On weekends and public holidays, the Vienna underground remains at the service of its passengers all night.
  • Children under 6 do not need a ticket and travel free.
  • Under 15s can travel free if it’s a Sunday, a public holiday or official school vacation period in Vienna (e.g. the summer holidays). This applies to all nationalities, not just locals.
  • Most of the various Wiener Linien network cards and passes are transferable; they’re valid for the bearer and not for any one particular person, unless they carry your name (usually only with tickets bought online).

Note: All Transport Cards/Passes and Tickets require Validation/Activation. Depending on the ticket or card or pass you hold, activation can be done in several ways. Read the below sections for more details. For point-to-point tickets, this is done by punching your card in one of the available machines in the public transport. Without a validated (punched) ticket, you are considered as travelling ticketless.


What are my options?

The trick lies in knowing what each of these offers, and can help you save money and ease out your trip. Just a bit of prior planning is required to choose the option that best suits your travel arrangements.

  • Single Tickets: These let you travel in one direction from a point to another using any means of public transport (bus+tram+train+subway). The caveat is that you should not pause in between your journey. However, there are also tickets issued for multiple time validity with unlimited travel option (24 hr / 48 hr / 72 hr).
    To be bought on spot (ticket machines in stations/tobacco shops/newspaper outlets etc)
  • Vienna City Card: Free unlimited usage of Public Transportation to and from any place during the validity of the card. Comes with additional perks like discounts on major museums, selected restaurants and shops. Can be bought for multiple time validity: (24 hr / 48 hr / 72 hr).
    To be bought online.
  • Vienna Pass: Extended version of the City Card which allows you free unlimited public transportation and free entry to the popular attractions with a time validity of the Pass (24 hr / 48 hr / 72 hr).
    To be bought online.
Benefits Single Ticket Estimate (Entrance / Transport) City Card (Public Transport) City Card (Public Transport + Airport Transfer) City Card (Public Transport + Hop-on-hop-off) City Card (Public Transport + Hop-on-hop-off + Airport Transfer) Vienna Pass Vienna Pass (with Travel Card)
Entry to Famous Attractions Full price individual ticket (spot ticket) Discounted Discounted Discounted Discounted Free Free
Public Transport Full price individual ticket Free Free Free Free - Free
Hop-on-hop-off Bus Full price individual ticket - - Free Free Free Free
Selected Restaurants and Shops - Discounted Discounted Discounted Discounted - -
Airport Transfer Full price ticket - Free - Free - -
Vienna Guide Book - - - - - Free Free
Wait time due to long queues Can go up-to an hour Can go up-to an hour Can go up-to an hour Can go up-to an hour Can go up-to an hour Skip-the-line Skip-the-line
Cost (24hr Card/Pass) Pay full price on spot € 17 € 34 € 43 € 60 € 79 € 87

The Vienna hop-on-hop-off Sightseeing Tour Bus is double-decker bus covering a total of 45 stops running on 4 routes with a collection of audio guides in 16 languages onboard.


What does the City Card offer?

It is a tourist city card that helps a visitor gain:
⭐ Discounts on Vienna’s main tourist attractions (~6% to 50%)
⭐ Free unlimited travel on the metro, tram and bus networks for 24, 48 or 72 hours (based on the validity of the card)
⭐ Discounts and offers at certain bars and restaurants.

Buy your Vienna city card at the cheapest rates

How much does it cost?

There are 4 types of Vienna City Card :

Type of Card 24 hr 48 hr 72 hr
Vienna City Card (Public Transport) € 17 € 25 € 29
Vienna City Card Transfer (Public Transport + Airport Transfer) € 34 € 42 € 46
Vienna City Card Tour (Public Transport + Hop-on-hop-off Bus) € 43 € 51 € 55
Vienna City Card Transfer + Tour (Public Transport + Hop-on-hop-off Bus + Airport Transfer) € 60 € 68 € 72

How much do I save?

Attractions Savings
SchönbrunnPalace (Sisi Ticket) € 3
Strudelshow € 1
Schönbrunn Panorama Train € 2
Imperial Carriage Museum Vienna € 1
Gasthaus Tirolergarten, Lunch € 2
Zoo € 3
Horse-drawn carriage € 15
Hat Museum Piaristenkeller, Dinner € 6
TimeTravel Adventure World € 5
Shopping in the city center € 10
Café Leopold, Lunch € 4,80
Kunsthalle Wien, Museum € 4
Leopold Museum Shop € 2
Addicted to Rock Burger & Bar, Dinner € 4
Musical € 15
Café Schwarzenberg € 1
Vienna Ring Tram € 3
Madame Tussauds € 7,20
Prater Package € 10
Windobona Indoor Skydiving € 4,90
Hard Rock Café € 7,95
Lounge Vienna International Airport € 3,50
Total savings € 115,35

It is recommended to buy and activate the card online prior to your Vienna trip. There are 2 ways to activate the card:

Activate When Buying (if you know the exact date and time of arrival)
Activate Later (if you have not yet decided on the dates)

Note: The activation procedure is online as well. So it is suggested to active before you land in Vienna to save you from the hassle of network and connectivity issues in a foreign land.


What does the Vienna Pass offer?

It is a tourist city pass similar to the city card that helps a visitor gain:
⭐ Free fast track entry to top 60+ Vienna’s main tourist attractions
⭐ Free unlimited travel on the metro, tram and bus networks for 24, 48 or 72 hours (*based on the add-on Travel Card)
⭐ Free hop on hop off access to Vienna Sightseeing Tour bus
⭐ Free pocket-sized Guide book (You don’t need that: save our app to use offline Vienna Guide 😉)

How much does it cost?

Type of Card 24 hr 48 hr 72 hr 6 days
Vienna Adult Pass € 79 € 99 € 129 € 159
Vienna Child Pass (6-18 yrs) € 39.5 € 49.5 € 64.5 € 79.5
Add on Travel Card + € 8 + € 14.10 + € 17.10 -

How much do I save?

Top 10 Attractions (Free) Normal Adult Entry Charges
Schönbrunn Palace Grand Tour € 26.50
Schönbrunn Zoo € 21.50
Hofburg Imperial Palace € 15.00
Belvedere € 22.00
Hundertwasser House € 12.00
Madame Tussauds € 23.00
Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour (72 hrs) € 49.00
Spanish Riding School Morning Exercise € 13.00
Vienna Giant Ferris Wheel € 12.00
Albertina € 17.90
Museum of Art History € 16.00
Danube Tower € 14.50
Dom Museum Wien € 8.00

The best way to buy the Vienna Pass is online. The Pass is automatically activated when its barcode is scanned at the first attraction visited or with the first use of a hop-on-hop-off bus.


Final Verdict: Card or Pass or Single Tickets?

  • Choose Single Ticket if you would not travel much and have come to Vienna to relax and unwind and would like to visit limited places. Also if you have an unplanned trip and go with the flow covering large distance by transport and smaller distances by foot.
  • Choose a City Card if you are travelling a lot on public transport and would like to get discounts on the attraction entry points and would like to dine and shop at a discounted rate. You would be able to utilize it to its maximum potential which is when you do a mix of visiting places, utilizing transport, shopping and dining out at the places included in the card. Note that the discounts provided are not applicable to privately organized guided tours.
  • Choose the Vienna Pass if you are travelling extensively and plan on covering a lot of attractions and are not looking for the benefits of the card in terms of shopping and dining out. Also, you get to travel on the hop-on-hop-off bus for free. Also, with the pass, you zoom through the frantically long lines at popular attractions saving valuable time.

The main downside to the Cards and Passes are that in case of opting for the guided group and private tours (organised by several companies in each tourist attraction - these are a fantastic way to delve into the interesting history and stories and also meet new people while on group tours), you would not be able to use your City Card or Vienna Pass to get any discounts on these.

Gute Reise! :)
  • europe
  • finance and planning
  • transport and travel

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