Every city has its own advantages and disadvantages, and Vienna public transport is certainly one of the advantages which Austrian capital can boast with. The public transport system in Vienna is cheap, clean, well organized, very rarely preoccupied with a multitude of passengers, and most importantly – exceptionally efficient. Public transport tickets cover the use of all means of transport of the city transport system: city bus, train, tram, and metro. With such a well organized public transport, you can get to know Vienna very well.
How does the Vienna public transport work?
The four main modes of public transport in Vienna managed by the City Transport Agency, as we already mentioned, are the U-Bahn (subway train), Schnellbahn or S-Bahn (local train), Straßenbahn (tram) and Bus. The public transport system functions on the bases of trust. There is no ticket control at stations when it comes to trams, trains, and buses, and without any delay, every passenger can very quickly and easily board the chosen transport. This still doesn’t mean that the use of public transport in Vienna is free of charge and that the passengers are not obliged to pay for transport tickets. In fact, this system allows for unhindered boarding of passengers without making unnecessary crowds and longer stays at stations, which provides a high level of efficiency, organization, and accuracy when it comes to arriving to the desired destination. You will certainly not be the first to think that in such a case there is no need to buy a ticket. If we disregard the ethical and moral concerns, you may still find it a problem if you use Vienna public transport without owning a ticket, since ticket controls on public transport in Vienna are quite common and the chances of noticing controllers are almost minimal given that they do not wear uniforms or some concrete features. Ticket controllers are often found inside a vehicle when it comes to tram, train or bus transportation, whereas when it comes to the subway, it is more common for controllers to be located at the station before entering the stop, and very rarely in the vehicle itself during the drive. If the control agent approaches you, he/she will show you his / her ID card and ask for your driving ticket for inspection. Since Vienna public transport is extremely affordable for almost everyone’s wallet, it would not be worth to be caught without a public transport ticket since it would cost you € 103.4 (Fine for not owning a ticket + driving ticket).
Since most public transport modes are under the auspices of the city’s traffic agency – Wiener Linien, it doesn’t matter what type of transportation you use. If you purchase an individual ticket from point A to point B, you can use any type of transport or change your means of transport, taking the bus to the subway or grabbing a tram, which applies to all types of transport tickets, whether individual single ride tickets or annual pass. However, there are several shuttle services that you cannot use and require a special ticket. These are mainly private lines or buses that transport to the airport, Westbahn railways and tram city sightseeing lines that pertain to a tourist service.
If you are traveling with children under the age of six, you do not need a ticket for them, while for children under the age of fifteen there are special discounts for individual tickets, as well as free transportation on Sundays, public holidays and during school holidays in Vienna. Of course, these benefits, besides the locals, apply to all visitors to Vienna, regardless of nationality.
To check a ticket, insert it face-up into a yellow or orange slot on the slot machine located in the tram, train or bus, or if you are traveling by subway, at the entrance to the subway station (U-Bahn). Considering that when you checking a ticket, it will be marked with a stamp in the form of a code containing your driving information, and if you are not sure where you are going or you simply want to return from where you came, show the driver your ticket and he will tell you by the code at which station you entered the vehicle. This may not help you with the monthly, student and annual tickets because they are not readable when you enter the vehicle.
Types of public transport tickets
A single ticket allows you to travel from point A to point B in the Vienna city area. The only limitation is that you can only move one way to your desired destination without long interruptions due to the time limit of the ticket. While traveling to your desired destination, you can change means of transportation and go from trams to buses, trolleys or trains, but you must maintain the same direction of travel. The price of a single ticket is €2.4.
One-day, two-day and three-day tickets (24/48/72 Stunden Wien) give you the opportunity to use the Vienna public transport network without any restriction on changing transport modes and directions, of course, within the city area. The validity period of the ticket starts with the first reading of the ticket and lasts for the next 24, 48 or 72 hours from the moment of the first reading.
The eight-day ticket (8-Tage-Karte) has 8 transport stamps, each of which will be used for one day in which you use city traffic. It’s important to use stamps starting from the first to the eighth. When you read one stamp, you can use it until the end of the current day, that is, to 1 am on the following day. Make sure that when reading the ticket on the validator, you do not mistakenly read a stamp that has not yet come in line, if you read any stamp, it is considered that all previous stamps have already been read. If you mistakenly load the eighth stamp, it will mean that all the previous tickets are already in circulation and are valid by the end of the day, so be careful about the order of use of the stamps. Essentially, the eight-day ticket can be used by one person in any 8 days, which do not have to be consecutive, or by 2 people in 4 days, 8 people in one day, etc.
The weekly ticket (Wochenkarte) allows you to use public transport between Monday until the following Monday at 9 am, no matter what day of the week it is purchased or used. The price of the weekly ticket is €16.2.
The monthly ticket is valid for the period of the current calendar month, including the first two days of the next month. Monthly tickets do not require a reading when entering a public transport vehicle since they have the printed name of the month for which they are valid. The price of a monthly ticket is €51.
A student ticket for Vienna public transport may only be in the possession of a full-time student who provides proof of study when purchasing a ticket. The student ticket is valid for one student semester, which is 4 months according to the conditions of study in Vienna since the year of study consists of 3 semesters. The price of a student’s ticket for one semester is €79.
The annual ticket has all the benefits as the aforementioned tickets, therefore, unlimited use of the public transport network in the urban area for one year. The price of this ticket is €365.
The Vienna Pass is a pass intended for tourists visiting Vienna. This pass allows the use of the sightseeing buses and free entrance to more than 60 tourist attractions, including museums, palaces, gardens, and other cultural and artistic content. This pass may also include using public transportation as an option which is additionally paid. Price for a one-day ticket is €70, two-day – €95, three-day – €125 and six-day €155. Anyone who owns this card can bring with them one child up to 6 years old (free of charge), while for children from 6 to 18 years the ticket costs half the price.
The Vienna Card is a ticket that allows unlimited use of the city transport network during its validity. In addition, it offers more than 210 different discounts when it comes to tourist attractions, theaters, concerts, museums, galleries, bars, and restaurants. This ticket is also sold in the one-day, two-day and three-day variants. Those who own this ticket may be accompanied by one child up to the age of 15 who can enjoy the benefits of this pass for free.
Where to buy a ticket?
You can buy tram and train tickets in the vehicle itself, on the vending machine most commonly located near the middle door, while there are vending machines located on the train station itself but not on the tram station. You can also buy tickets at the subway station (U-Bahn), as well as at newsstands which sell newspapers and cigarettes. Ticket vending machines sell all types of tickets, except student and annual passes, which are bought at the Vienna Public Transport Agency, while tram and train vending machines only sell single tickets, provided you have coins from 10 cents, while the slot machine accepts 5 €, 10 €, and 20 € banknotes as well as bank cards when entering the subway. Cashless payment on vending machines in trams and trains will soon be possible and the purchase of tickets will be much easier.
Additional information on Vienna public transport
It’s important to know that the ticket you own can be used by another person as well, which can be very convenient, since the owner is considered to be the one who owns it, except for student, yearly and tickets bought online that read the user’s first and last name of persons who own them and cannot be used by another person.
Although the public transportation network covers every corner of the city, do not forget that the airport – city center transport, in any direction, is not included in the fare for public transport as it does not fall within the area of the city area, so you will need to pay extra if you need transportation on this route.
If you are planning to visit some of the city’s attractions, whether you are an art lover or some other form of cultural and historical content, we recommend buying a ticket for the city transportation network, which includes free entry to some of the desired attractions or a ticket that gives you many discounts for tourist attractions.
For additional information regarding details and changes about the public transportation systems, ticket prices, online shopping options, timetables, points of sale and maps of transport lines, please visit the official website of the Vienna City Transport Agency – wienerlinien.at.