How to get to Vienna
Along with Vienna’s excellent public transportation system the Viennese road network provides great infrastructure to travel around by car or bus.
Most favorite routes taken by bus are:
- Vienna to Prague
- Vienna to Bratislava
- Vienna to Budapest
- Vienna to Salzburg
Going by bus is almost as convenient as traveling by train and usually less expensive than using Europe’s major railway companies. We would recommend to do research about the best options, since prices can differ very much depending on the country, season and special offers.
The most important bus terminals are:
– the Vienna International Busterminal (short VIB) in Erdberg (U3 station,Erdberg) and
– the bus terminal, Südtiroler Platz (U1 station, Hauptbahnhof).
The Vienna train station network is very well developed and takes you pretty much anywhere you want to go. There are several main train stations in Vienna. Like most major cities, Vienna has several main-line stations used by all services and a selection of smaller regional stations used by the regional service.
Big Vienna train stations have three different services:
- the main rail service
- the regional rail service
- the city underground trains.
Size of the newly opened Hauptbahnhof (U1 station Hauptbahnhof), Vienna Central station, is 109 hectares!
It consists of 59 hectares, which gonna belong to residential area including:
- 8 hectares of park
- 5000 apartments
- 13000 residents
- schools etc.
The newly renovated Westbahnhof (U3 or U6 to station Westbahnhof) is a major Vienna train station and used to be Vienna’s central station. The station is located on Vienna’s most famous shopping mile, Mariahilferstrasse. Over 40,000 travelers use this modern station on a daily basis:
Following shorter distance routes are available there:
- All eastern European capitals and biggest cities: for example: Budapest, Bukarest, Belgrade
- to Germany: for example: Munich, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Berlin
- to Austria: for example: Salzburg, Innsbruck
Longer distance routes to Paris, Amsterdam, London Barcelona or Madrid are also available there.
Coming to Vienna means using public transport (buses, trans, trams etc.) a lot 🙂 If you decided to come to Vienna by train, you should now everything about ÖBB.
Österreichische Bundesbahnen or ÖBB is the national railway system of Austria that now manages
- 9,740 km of track
- 788 signalboxes
- 247 tunnels
- 6 207 bridges.
The Vienna International Airport is Vienna’s only airport and by far the biggest one in Austria. Approximately 21 million passengers landed and departured at the Vienna Airport last year.
- Vienna International Airport is rather small but, therefore, security checks are usually quick and painless.
- Baggage Delivery is very quick upon arrival and customs are also fairly quick and painless.
- There are several options for leaving the airport and getting to the city center or to your desired destination point:
- by busby the regional rail service (Schnellbahn or S-Bahn)
- by the CAT, the City Airport Trainby an Airport Taxiby rented car
The Vienna Airport Lines (Postbus) connect Vienna International Airport with important traffic junctions of Vienna. All three Vienna Airport Lines are connected with Viennese subway lines and the Western Railway Station and “Wien Meidling”. Buses to the city center (“Morzinplatz” / “Schwedenplatz”) run 24 hours a day. You will need only 20 minutes to get to the central part of the city. The following list gives an overview of the main regional bus connections: Bus services, bus routes and travel time:
- Vienna Morzinplatz / Schwedenplatz Vienna AirportLines – 20 min
- Vienna Donauzentrum (via VIC)Vienna Airport Lines – 40 min
- Wien Westbahnhof (via Meidling main station.)Vienna Airport Lines – 45 min
- Vienna Erdberg (VIB)Euro Lines – 15 min
- Enzersdorf / Fischa (via Fischamend)Postbus – 25 min
- Neusiedl a. See (via Bruck / Leitha)Postbus – 45 min
City Airport Train:
With City Airport Train (CAT) you need only 16 minutes to get to the city center (Wien Mitte / Landstrasse). Train runs every 30 min between 06.05 and 23:35. A single ticket costs about 11 euros.
It is the most cheapest way to reach the center. It will take 30 minutes to “Wien Mitte”. The ticket costs about 4.50 euros. Note that if you buy a ticket for the zone 100 in Vienna (daily, weekly or monthly ticket), you need another ticket to get to the airport, because this ticket is limited by zones. These zones are shown on screens in the terminals or on cards at stations. For more information see our step Public Transport.
Car Permission for Austria
Every car in Austria needs to be registered and permitted (“Begutachtungsplakette” or “Pickerl”) for Austrian streets. Motor vehicles must be validated for traffic and operational safety (so-called § 57a-assessment) frequently.
- Three years after the first registration of the car (new cars) you need to extend your permission for the first time.
- 2 years after the first examination. (Would be 5 years after your new car would have been issued the “Pickerl” for the very first time.)
- 1 year after the second examination (So, in total 6 years, if you have bought a new car).
- Every year, if you have bought a used car (which is older than 6 years and has been inspected 3 times and more). Every 2 years, if you are driving an oldtimer (cars older than 25 years).
Who is allowed to issue the car permission for Austrian streets (“Pickerl”)?
- Automobile clubs (for example, ARBÖ, ÖAMTC)
- Civil Engineers
- Enterprises such as car mechanics
- Engineering or technical offices
→ Costs for the examination can vary between € 35 (for automobile club members) and € 90.
→ The so-called “Zulassungsstellen” registers your car and hand out the Austrian license plates. Please ask the Zulassungsstelle of the district you are living in.
→ Visit help.gv to find out everything you need to know, if you plan to drive in Austria.
Austrian Speed Limits
- City area: 50 km/h (31 mi/h)
- Open road: 100 km/h (62 mi/h)
- Speedway/highway: 30 km/h (80 mi/h)
- City center areas: 30 km/h (19 mi/h)
Toll Stickers, Tolls and Clearing a Lane on the Highway
All vehicles are required to display a toll sticker (“Vignette”) when driving on motorways and expressways in Austria. Toll stickers are available at automobile clubs petrol stations and tobacconists, as well as at Austrian Motorway and Expressway Corporation [ASFINAG] toll plazas . They are mostly located next to Austrian highways.
The azure coloured stickers are available for:
For detailed information you may want to visit the ASFINAG webpage .
Heavy goods vehicles, buses or RVs:
→ Those vehicles must pay a mileage-based toll (HGV toll system).
→ “There is a graduation for the tariffs for mileage-based toll (vehicles exceeding 3.5 t) according to the EURO emission classes.” (Help.gv.at)
Clearing a Lane
“Since 1st January of 2012, drivers of vehicles are required to clear a lane for emergency vehicles (“Rettungsgasse”) between the existing lanes of a motorway (“Autobahn”) or a dual carriageway (“Autostraße”) as soon as traffic ceases to progress and congestion is imminent.” (Help.gv.at)
This helps emergency vehicles to get faster and without any problems to their destination.
“On carriageways with two lanes a lane for emergency vehicles must be cleared between the two existing lanes; on carriageways with more than two lanes it must be cleared between the far left lane and the lane next to it.” (Help.gv.at)
Emergency lanes (Pannenstreifen) can be used when bending to the right is necessary for clearing a lane for emergency vehicles.
BE AWARE: A lane for emergency vehicles must be cleared as soon as traffic jam is inevitable – no matter if emergency cars are approaching or not. The obligation to clear a lane for emergency vehicles applies always as soon as congestion is imminent.
As soon as the traffic starts moving smoothly and traffic standstill is no longer to be expected drivers of vehicles are not obligated to clear the way and form an emergency lane.
Be aware that fines are up to 726 Euro, if you do not follow this rule.
Further information can be found HERE.
Short Term Parking Zones
In most districts in Vienna you need to buy and fill out a parking ticket, if parking a four-wheeled vehicle.
There are short-term parking zones and certain times (mostly Monday to Friday between 10.00am and 10.00pm) for certain streets, parts of streets and for whole areas. Short-term parking zones are often marked by blue ground markings, but this is not obligatory.
However, there are 1 and 2 year valid parking cards (stickers) available for residents for an unlimited period of time in short-term parking zones.
Find the full, interactive map here: https://www.wien.gv.at/stadtplan/grafik.aspx?bookmark=dxHhRRaL50UMN31GvrEQRu5RpllVnwA-b&lang=de&bmadr=.
Driving and drinking
This topic is very quickly handled simply: DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE!
Regardless the fact that you are permitted to have up to 0,5 promille of alcohol in your blood when driving in Austria, you should not drink any alcohol before you plan to start the engine of your vehicle!