Vienna - Getting there & away, getting around
Vienna - Getting there & away
Vienna's Flughafen Wien Schwechat, 19km (12mi) east of the city centre, handles over 12 million passengers a year, the majority flying to/from London (two hours). The state-owned Austrian Airlines and Lauda Air, another home-grown airline, are the country's main carriers, with flights to the USA, Asia and Australia, and within Europe. The departure tax is factored into the price of the air ticket. The cheapest way to get to the airport is by S-bahn on line S7 (it takes about 35 mins). You can also take an airport bus from the City Air Terminal at the Hotel Hilton or Westbahnhof (20mins). You can take a taxi, but only if you have cash to splash.
Vienna is Central Europe's main rail hub, so connections to other major European destinations are good. London-Vienna via Eurostar to Paris takes around 14 hours. Vienna has several train stations: check whether you're arriving at Westbahnhof, Südbahnhof or Franz Josefs Bahnhof.
Bus connections across Western and Eastern Europe are plentiful, but they're generally slower, cheaper and less comfortable than trains. Within Austria, buses can often be the best way of getting to more out-of-the-way places.
There are numerous road entry points from Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy and Switzerland. All major border crossings are open 24 hours and there are no controls between Germany and Italy thanks to the EU Schengen Agreement.
For something different, you can travel to Vienna from Amsterdam by riverboat, or from Budapest or Bratislava by hydrofoil.
Getting around Vienna
Driving in Vienna is pretty hairy, especially if you haven't experienced a city with trams before, and parking is prohibitively expensive.
Cyclists can circle the city on the Ringstrasse bike path, or follow 700km (434mi) of bicycle tracks, including those along the banks of the Danube.
Getting around on foot is really easy, as most 'must sees' are in the inner city (the Innere Stadt), and some main streets are pedestrianised.
While not cheap, taxis are safe, easily available and fares are metered.
If money means nothing you can hire a horse-drawn carriage (fiacre) from Stephansplatz, Albertinaplatz and Heldenplatz at the Hofburg.