Public transport

Planes | Trains | Busses | In the City

 

airplane with a vapour trail behind it against a bright blue skyPlanes

Getting here and around

Airports with international flight connections are
Wien-Schwechat (Vienna International Airport), Graz, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt, Linz and Salzburg.

Between these airports you can catch domestic flights everyday. But they are incredibly expensive: you have to calculate at least about 200 € for one way!

Wien-Schwechat (Vienna International Airport, VIE) is Austria’s biggest airport, close to the capital Vienna. About 100 different airlines fly to and from the airport, “regular” and low-cost ones.

Mobility Assistance Service is available free of charge and around the clock.
Note! You have to make a reservation with your tour operator or airline at least 48 hours prior to the published departure time! You cannot book the service directly.
 
It takes about half an hour to go from the airport into the city of Vienna. You can choose to go by:

  • the commuter train S7 (cheapest)
  • the City Airport Train CAT (fastest)
  • busses operated by Vienna AirportLines (best connection to main railway stations)
  • taxi (easiest but most expensive)


If you are planning to go to Vienna, you might also consider to fly to Bratislava. The Slovak capital is only an hour’s ride from Vienna and there’s a good connection from there (also from the airport) to the city of Vienna.

If you are planning to go to the Western part of Austria, you might also consider to fly to Munich, Friedrichshafen (both in Germany) or Altenrhein (Switzerland).

 

train pulling into the station in the sunset lightTrains

Getting here

Trains are an easy and convenient option for travelling to Austria – provided that you have a bit of perseverance.
All major cities are connected to European railway lines and are quite easy to reach from almost anywhere in Europe. You can find a collection of links to railway timetables, railway network maps and railway companies for all European countries here: www.railfaneurope.net/links.html

Getting around

Trains are also THE option for getting around in Austria. The railway network within Austria is good, trains are pretty modern (at least the ones serving the mainlines) and mostly on time. 
For connections and timetables have a look at the site of the Austrian Federal Railways ÖBB: www.oebb.at/en
 

Discount cards and Special offers

VorteilsCard

With this discount card you get a discount on train tickets: 45% when bought at a counter at railway stations, 50% when bought at a ticket machine or via internet. You get also a discount with the Vienna AirportLines (bus from/to Vienna airport). It’s especially a good deal when you’re under 26: The VorteilsCard<26 then costs € 19.90 and is valid for a year. If you’re older you have to pay € 99.90 for a VorteilsCard Classic, it’s also valid for one year.
 

ÖBB Sommerticket

If you own a VorteilsCard<26 and want to travel a lot by train in Austria during summer, you should buy a ÖBB Sommerticket (summer ticket). With this ticket you can use all ÖBB trains for an unlimited number of travels. It’s valid during school holidays, Monday to Friday from 8am to 12pm and all day long on weekends. The summer ticket costs € 39 for under 20-year-olds, for people aged 20 to 26 the price is € 69.
 

SparSchiene

SparSchiene tickets are limited tickets valid for a specific train, a specific day of travel and in one direction. The trip must include at least one ÖBB long-distance train and the total distance must be more than 150 km. Tickets can be booked only online at a first come – first serve basis and start at € 9 within Austria or € 19 through Europe.
 
For more info and other seasonal special offers check www.oebb.at/en
 

Many national and international trains are equipped with barrier-free wagons to improve mobility for people with disabilities. All major train stations are equipped with special elevators for entering and exiting trains with a wheelchair.
To make sure that you have a smooth journey it’s probably best to call the ÖBB Mobility Service Centre for detailed information beforehand:
Dial +43 / 5 / 1717, wait for the recorded message, then dial 5 and 5 again.

 

red autobus in the cityBusses

Getting here

Eurolines offer their bus/coach service in 27 European countries, so you can probably catch a direct connection from your country to Austria, as well. Most busses go to Vienna, but there are also busses from and to Graz or Salzburg. For more details have a look at the Eurolines website: www.eurolines.com

Getting around

The bus network in Austria is quite extensive and especially in rural areas often the only possibility to go to the really small places by public transport. Busses usually are slower than trains and the connections may be not so frequent, but it’s mostly a bit cheaper than to go by train. The main provider is the ÖBB-Postbus and since it’s a subsidiary company of the Austrian Federal Railways all the VorteilsCard discount cards are valid for bus travel as well!
You can reach the customer service line at +43 / 1 / 71101

 

tram in GrazIn the City

Getting around by bus, tram or underground

In most large cities and towns there’re bus and/or tram services, in Vienna there's also a five-line underground and a suburban railway network. Operating hours generally are from about 5 am to about 12 pm. In major cities there are special night busses which provide transportation all night long. In Vienna the underground also operates round-the-clock during the nights before Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. Tickets are about € 2 for a single ride; day, seven-day and monthly tickets are also available. It’s possible to buy tickets directly on the bus/tram, but usually it’s wiser to buy them in advance at a ticket machine or at a tobacconist’s – they are a little cheaper then.

Websites of Municipal Transport Services:

 

yellow taxi sign on a taxiGetting around by taxi

Taxis are available in most cities and towns, in tourist regions even in smaller places. Fares are quite high, for example in Vienna during the night only the basic fee is € 4.30. So if your budget is tight, either try to share one or look for alternatives. But: The smaller the city, the cheaper taxi fares usually get!

By the way, taxi drivers in Austria are pretty reliable, using their meters (except for airport taxis which have a fixed price) and not making unnecessary detours. Illegal taxis are practically unheard of.

 

Photos: Dem Himmel so nah © Evgeni T. / aboutpixel.de; Zugeinfahrt © Andreas Morlok / aboutpixel.de; Postbus © Douglas Sprott / flickr.com, license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/deed.en; Cityrunner Graz © Andreas Garger / wikimedia commons; Taxi bitte © Rainer Sturm / pixelio.de
Updated: 15.10.2012