To Vienna on your own: how to get to the center and what to see in the pompous capital of Austria
Vienna is famous for its coffee culture and rich cultural and intellectual heritage, and an increasing number of travelers seek to organize their Austrian weekend.
Travellizy Team will tell you how to get to Vienna quickly and comfortably, as well as about the main sights that you should see with your own eyes.
How to get from the airport to the center of Vienna
Vienna International Airport, or Vienna-Schwechat (VIE), is 18 km from the city, so getting to the center by public transport is quite simple. The fastest way is the City Airport Train (CAT).
CAT trains take passengers to the very center of Vienna (Wien Mitte station) in just 16 minutes. From the airport to the city, trains run daily from 6.09 to 23.39, and in the opposite direction - from 5.37 to 23.07 at a 30-minute interval. A one-way ticket costs € 12, and if you buy a round-trip ticket, the cost will be € 21 (it is free of charge for children under 14).
City Airport Train (CAT) also offers a check-in service for some flights of the Star Alliance airlines (for example, the Austrian Airlines Group and Lufthansa). In order to do this, you need to show a ticket for the CAT train and flight reservations at the Wien Mitte city station, then you drop off your baggage and get a boarding pass.
This helps to save time at the airport, so you don't need to check in and drop off your baggage at the counter anymore, but you can immediately go for a security check. This service can be used daily from 5.00 to 21.00, but no earlier than 24 hours and no later than 1 hour and 15 minutes before departure.
24-hour option - Vienna Airport Lines buses (Postbus)
Postbuses run between the airport and the city on three different routes - VAL 1/2/3, but VAL 2 line is available to the Morzinplatz / Schwedenplatz stop 24 hours a day, the journey time is about 20 minutes. VAL 1 connects the airport with the Wien Westbahnhof and Wien Hauptbahnhof train stations at a 30-minute interval from 06:00 until 00:30, and the first bus to the airport leaves at 04:00. Line VAL 3 delivers passengers to the Donauzentrum shopping center every hour from 06:00 to 21:00, stopping at 4 more stops along the way. An adult ticket costs € 8 one way and € 13 for a round-trip ticket, for children (from 6 to 14 years old), a one-way ticket will cost € 4 and a round-trip ticket is € 8. There is also an affiliate program with Austrian Airlines, so if you fly with this airline, the cost of the trip will be € 7, or € 12 in both directions.
The most budget way is the city railway train (ÖBB). High-speed railway (S-Bahn) is the most economical option to get from the airport to Vienna. The journey to the main train station, called Wien Hauptbahnhof (Railjet line), lasts only 15 minutes, and the center can be reached in 25 minutes - you need to go to the station Wien Mitte (line Schnellbahn S7). Trains from the airport run daily from 6:33 until 23:03 at a 30-minute interval. An adult ticket costs € 4.20, a child ticket (6-14 years old) is € 2.10, children under 6 years old may use it free of charge.
What to see in Vienna
You can start the first acquaintance with the Austrian capital with a walk on the famous Vienna ring tram. The Yellow Bim, as locals call it, runs past major attractions and you can admire the Vienna Opera, Hofburg, Parliament, Town Hall Square, the Burgtheater and other prominent places. The Vienna ring tram is the only tram that allows you to make a circle on the Ringstrasse without transplants, and the ring road around the city center is part of Austria’s world heritage.
The tram starts its route from Schwedenplatz station (platform C) at 10:00 and runs until 17:30 with a 30-minute interval. In just 25 minutes, you will receive an express tour of the center of Vienna and a brief historical overview with an audio guide in 8 languages (English, Russian, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Japanese and Hungarian). An adult ticket costs € 10, for children - € 5.
Walking through the city center, make sure you see the Catholic Cathedral of St. Stephen, which is the symbol of Vienna. Entrance to the cathedral is free, but there are additional paid services, such as a tour with an audio guide (in 23 languages), visits to the catacombs and towers.
Each ticket costs about € 6 for an adult and € 2.50 for a child, so if you plan to visit all available parts of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, we recommend purchasing an all-inclusive adult ticket for € 14.90 and a children's ticket for € 3.90.
Schönbrunn Palace, one of the most beautiful palace and park ensembles of Europe, is located in Vienna. It is also known as the former Habsburg summer residence. The ticket price depends on the number of rooms you decide to visit: “Imperial tour” for € 16 includes 22 rooms, and “Grand Tour” for € 20 allows you to visit all 40 rooms.
Schönbrunn Zoo in Vienna
Visit the Schönbrunn Zoo - the oldest in the world and one of the best zoos in Europe. There are more than 700 species of animals from around the world, and the most popular among the visitors are the big pandas. Admission to the Schönbrunn Zoo is € 20 for an adult, € 10 for children and adolescents (6 to 19 years old), as well as for people with disabilities (if you have supporting documents), for children under 6 years old, it is free of charge.
The territory of the zoo occupies 17 hectares and can be driven around on a special train that runs from 10:00 to 18:00 every 45 minutes (adult ticket - € 2, children ticket - € 1). In order to explore the grounds of the Schönbrunn Palace Park, you can use this train, which passes a panoramic road in 50 minutes and makes 9 stops (including the palace and the zoo) along the way. The cost of an adult ticket is € 8, € 4 is for children (under 14), with a special stamp on the ticket, you can take breaks during the trip.
Belvedere Palace Complex in Vienna
The Belvedere Palace Complex is another landmark of Vienna that is worth a visit. The stunning Baroque ensemble is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and includes the Upper and Lower Belvedere, as well as a huge garden.
Today, the Belvedere holds the largest collection of Austrian art and the world's largest collection of paintings by Gustav Klimt. Art lovers come from all over the world to see with their own eyes the most famous Austrian painting by Klimt - “The Kiss”, which is the highlight of the permanent collection in the Upper Belvedere.
The cost and types of tickets to Belvedere:
- Klimt Ticket (includes Upper and Lower Belvedere): adult - € 22 (€ 19.50 with the Vienna City Card), 19-26 and after 65 years - € 19, up to 18 years old - free
- Upper Belvedere: adult - € 16 (€ 14.50 with the Vienna City Card), 19-26 and after 65 years - € 13.50, under 18 - free
- Lower Belvedere: adult - € 14 (€ 12 with the Vienna City Card), 19-26 and after 65 years - € 11, up to 18 years old - free
- Belvedere 21: adult - € 8 (€ 6 with the Vienna City Card), 19-26 years old - € 6, up to 18 years old - free
- Belvedere ticket (includes Upper and Lower Belvedere, Belvedere 21): adult - € 25, 19-26 and after 65 years - € 21, up to 18 years old - free
Vienna City Card Discount Card
The Vienna City Card is the official discount card of the city, which provides discounts on attractions and allows you to save up to 50% on entrance tickets. The Vienna City Card offers 4 types of cards for 24/48/72 hours, each of which includes free use of public transport.
Cost and types of Vienna City Card:
- Vienna City Card (including public transport) for 24 hours - € 17, for 48 hours - € 25, for 72 hours - € 29
- Vienna City Card Tour (including public transport and 24h Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus) for 24 hours - € 43, for 48 hours - € 51, for 72 hours - € 55
- Vienna City Card Transfer (including public transport, transfer from / to the airport) for 24 hours - € 34, for 48 hours - € 42, for 72 hours - € 46
- Vienna City Card Transfer + Tour (including public transport, airport transfer, 24h Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus) for 24 hours - € 60, for 48 hours - € 68, for 72 hours - € 72.
Public transport in Vienna
Traveling by public transport in Vienna is quite expensive: a one-time ticket will cost € 2.40, so if you haven’t purchased a Vienna City Card yet, we recommend that you find a proper ticket. For those who start exploring the city in the morning, a one-day subscription is available for € 5.80 (valid only for a certain day until 1:00 am the next day), a 24-hour pass costs € 8 and is valid 24 hours from the moment of composting, a 48-hour pass will cost € 14.10 and a 72-hour pass - € 17.10.
For those who come to Vienna for a week or longer, a travel card is suitable for 7 days for € 17.10 (valid from 00:00 Monday to 9 am the following Monday) or an 8-day Climate Ticket for € 40.80 (valid per composting day, you can use it any 8 days, not necessarily in a row, that is, it works like 8 day trips)
In 2019, Vienna won the first place in the world ranking of the best cities to live in. Now, it has become even more interesting to look at the Austrian standard of living, as well as visit famous museums and walk through luxurious palaces. And Travellizy will take care of favorable rates for you!