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Getting around

Public transport

Vienna has one of Europe’s best integrated public transport networks. Flat-fare tickets are valid for trains, trams, buses, the underground (U-Bahn) and the S-Bahn regional trains. Services are frequent, and you will rarely have to wait more than five or 10 minutes.

Public transport kicks off around 5am or 6am. Buses and trams finish between 11pm and midnight, and S-Bahn and U-Bahn ser­vices between 12.30am and 1am. Twenty-one Nightline bus routes crisscross the city from 12.30am to 5am. Schwedenplatz, Schottentor and the Oper are starting points for many services; look for buses and bus stops marked with an ‘N’. All tickets are valid for Nightline services.

Transport maps are posted in all U-Bahn stations and at many bus and tram stops. Free maps and information pamphlets are available from Wiener Linien (7909 100; www.wienerlinien.at; information line 6am-10pm Mon-Fri, 8.30am-4.30pm Sat & Sun), located in nine U-Bahn stations. The Karlsplatz, Stephansplatz and Westbahnhof information offices are open from 6.30am to 6.30pm Monday to Friday and 8.30am to 4pm Saturday and Sunday. Those at Erdberg, Floridsdorf, Landstrasse, Philadelphiabrücke, Praterstern and Schottentor are closed on weekends.

Tickets & passes

Tickets and passes can be purchased at U-Bahn stations – from automatic machines (with English instructions and change) and occasionally-staffed ticket offices – and in Tabaks. Once bought, tickets need to be validated before starting your journey (except for weekly and monthly tickets); look for small blue boxes at the entrance to U-Bahn stations and on buses and trams. Just pop the end of the ticket in the slot and wait for the ‘ding’. It’s an honour system and ticket inspection is infrequent, but if you’re caught without a ticket you’ll be fined €60, no exceptions.

Tickets and passes are as follows:

8-Tage-Karte (Eight-day Ticket; €27.20) Valid for eight days, but not necessarily eight consecutive days; punch the card as and when you need it.

24-Stunden Wien-Karte (24hr Ticket; €5.70) Unlimited travel for 24 hours from time of validation.

Die Wien-Karte (The Vienna Card)

Fahrschein (Single Ticket; €1.70) Good for one journey, with line changes; costs €2.20 if purchased on trams and buses (correct change required).

Monatskarte (Monthly Ticket; €49.50) Valid from the 1st of the month to the last day of the month and transferable.

Streifenkarte (Strip Ticket; €6.80) Four single tickets on one strip.

Wiener Einkaufskarte (Vienna Shopping Card; €4.60) For use between 8am and 8pm Monday to Saturday; only good for one day after validation.

Wochenkarte (Weekly Ticket; €14) Valid Monday to 9am Monday.

Children aged six to 15 travel for half-price, or free on Sunday, public holidays and during Vienna school holidays (photo ID necessary); younger children always travel free. Senior citi­zens (women over 60, men over 65) can buy a €2 ticket that is valid for two trips; ­inquire at transport information offices.

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Car & motorcycle

Due to a system of one-way streets and expensive parking, you’re better off using the excellent public transport system. If you do plan to drive in the city, take special care of the trams; they always have priority and vehicles must wait behind trams when they stop to pick up or set down passengers.

Districts one to nine and 20 are pay zones and display Kurzparkzone (short-stay parking zones) where a Parkschein (parking voucher) is required. These come in ­colour-coded 30‑/60-/90-minute lots (€0.60/1.20/1.80) and can be purchased from most Tabaks (tobacconist shops), banks, train stations and Wiener Linien ticket offices. A free 10-minute voucher is also available. To validate a voucher, just cross out the appropriate time, date and year and display it on your dashboard.

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With a cycle track network of over 700km, Vienna is great for a bike ride on a warm day. Bikes can be rented from Pedal Power (729 7234; 02, Ausstellungsstrasse 3; 1hr/half-/full-day rental €5/17/27; 8am-6pm Mar-Apr & Oct, 8am-7pm May-Sep; bring a passport or credit card) or from Vienna City Bike (0810-50 05 00; www.citybikewien.at; 1st hr free, 2nd/3rd/4th hr €1/2/4), which has blue and yellow bike racks across the city. International MasterCard or Visa credit cards can be used, but unfortunately only an Austrian bank Maestro card; buying a city bike card is easiest. This is available from some hotels and pensions, or from Royal Tours (710 4606; www.royaltours.at; 01, Herrengasse 1-3; 8-11.30am & 1-6pm) for €2 per day. But make sure you don’t lose the bike, or €600 will be deducted from your card.

Bicycles can be carried on carriages marked with a bike symbol on the S-Bahn and U-Bahn (9am to 3pm and after 6.30pm Monday to Friday, after 9am Saturday, and all day Sunday) for half the adult fare. It’s not possible to take bikes on trams and buses.

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