Metros in Austria: U-Bahn (Vienna Metro)

The city of Vienna is the capital of Austria. This city was part of an old empire, giving the city historical importance. This fact made Vienna to be protected by UNESCO. Vienna has a population of over 1.6 million people, which makes this city the most populated in Austria. Vienna is the most important city in Austria regarding politics and economics. The city is divided into 23 districts. Temperatures during the year can be as high as 26º C, or as low as -2º C.

The city's airport is called Flughafen Wien-Schwechat (Vienna International Airport.) The city has the following means of public transportation: buses, trams, commuter rail, rail and the metro. The city's transportation network is all within one zone. In other words, there is no need to pay an extra fare to travel to other zones as long as you stay within Vienna. Rail services are comprised of the S-Bahn, the RegionalExpress, and the Regionalbahn. 

The metro, also called U-Bahn, belongs to the Wiener Linien company, which also owns other trains, as well as buses. The metro is ridden by over 1.2 million people per day, which makes the U-Bahn one of the most ridden metros in the world. It is one of the most modern metros in Europe.

History

Between the years 1840 and 1960, there were plans to build the metro in Vienna, but the idea got constantly rejected. The first train service in Vienna was the Stadtbahn, which was inaugurated in 1898. The Stadtbahn was ineffective for transporting a lot of people. Consequently, the idea of constructing an underground train was proposed in 1910. These plans were interrupted because of World War 1. The government of Vienna took interest in building the metro once more between 1912 and 1914. The government decided to abandon the idea of building the U-Bahn during the late 1920s due to the poor economical state of the country. The metro was planned to be constructed again in 1937, but it was interrupted because of World War 2. The government in Vienna finally decided to build the metro on January 23rd, 1968.

The U-Bahn began to be built on November 3rd, 1969. The first station to be built was Karlsplatz. Lines U1, U2, and U4 were the first lines to open to the public. The metro was tested on May 8th, 1976. The metro was officially inaugurated on February 25th, 1978. Line U6 opened to the public in 1989. Later, line U3 was inaugurated in 1991, with the opening of the stations between Erdberg and Volkstheater.

Lines and stations

The metro has five lines: U1, U2, U3, U4, and U6. These lines have a total of 104 stations. Almost all paths are underground, except for the U6 that is partly circulating by surface. We might use the underground (U-Bahn), tram, railway (S-Bahn) and bus with the same ticket as it is an integrated fare system, which makes it very easy and quick moving around the city. The stations for each line are the following:

U1 (red line): One of the longest in the network. Line U1 connects the east with the center-south of the city. It has a station next to the Cathedral, and another near the Prater. It has the following 19 stations: Reumannplatz, Südtiroler Platz-Hauptbahnhof, Keplerplatz, Karlplatz, Taubstummengasse, Nestroyplatz, Stephansplatz, Donauinsel, Vorgartenstrasse, Praterstern, Schwedenplatz, Grossfeldsiedlung, Kagraner Platz, Rennbahnweg, Alte Donau, Kaisermühlen/Vienna International Centre, Kagran, Aderklaaer Strasser, Leopoldau

U2 (purple line): It is the shortest line and goes from the east side to downtown. It has the following 20 stations: Seestadt, Hausfeldstrasse, Aspern Nord, Donauspital, Aspernstrasse, Stadlau, Hardeggasse, Donaumarina, Donaustadtbrücke, Krieau, Stadion, Praterstern, Messe-Prater, Schottenring, Taborstrasse, Rathaus, Schottentor, Museumsquartier, Volkstheater, Karlsplatz

U3 (yellow line): This line goes from the South-East to the western side of the city. It has the following 21 stations: Ottakring, Hütteldorfer Strasse, Kendlerstrasse, Schweglerstrasse, Johnstrasse, Zieglergasse, Westbahnhof, Volkstheater, Neubaugasse, Stephansplatz, Herrengasse, Landstrasse, Stubentor, Kardinal-Nagl-Platz, Rochusgasse, Erdberg, Schlachthausgasse, Zippererstrasse, Gasometer, Enkplatz, Simmering

U4 (green line): This line is used by most visitors to the city because it covers all the downtown and the major monuments of the city, including the Schönbrunn Palace. It has the following 20 stations: Hütteldorf, Unter St. Veit, Ober St. Veit, Hietzing, Braunschweiggasse, Meidling Hauptstrasse, Schönbrunn, Margaretengürtel, Längenfeldgasse, Kettenbrückengasse, Pilgramgasse, Stadtpark, Karlsplatz, Landstrasse, Schottering, Schwedenplatz, Friedensbrücke, Rossauer Lände, Spittelau, Heiligenstadt

U6 (brown line): It goes through the city from north to south in the west side. It doesn't go through the downtown, so it is not very useful for tourists. It has the following 24 stations: Siebenhirten, Erlaaer Strasse, Perfektastrasse, Tscherttegasse, Am Schöpfwerk, Niederhofstrasse, Bahnhof Meidling, Gumpendorfer Strasse, Längenfeldgasse, Burggasse-Stadthalle, Westbahnhof, Josefstädter Strasse, Thaliastrasse, Michelbeuern, Alser Strasse, Nussdorfer Strasse, Währinger Strasse-Volksoper, Jägerstrasse, Spittelau, Handelskai, Dresdner Strasse, Neue Donau, Alterlaa, Floridsdorf

Connections

U-Bahn makes connections to other means of transportation that are also owned by Wiener Linien. This includes trams (like the S-Bahn, which is a suburban rail), buses (1 to 99), Nightline and Collective Taxi. It also makes connections to the Badner Bahn tram to the metropolitan area. This tram belongs to the Wiener Lokalbahnen company.

Connection to airport

The Flughafen Wien-Schwechat (Vienna International Airport) is the city's airport. The metro does not go directly to the airport. Instead, you need to make a connection with the trains of the S-Bahn. From the airport, take an S-Bahn train in line S7 towards Floridsdorf (costs less than €5) and arrive to Wien-Mitte station. From here, you can take the metro in line U3. If you wish to go to the center of the city, take a U3 train in the metro from Wien-Mitte station to Stephansplatz station.

Schedule, timetables, and calendar

The frequency depends on the moment of day but there are trains available every 5 minutes on average. Frequency varies from 2-4 minutes in rush hour to 7-8 minutes afterm 20:30. On Friday and Saturday nights and the eve of public holidays there are trains every 15 minutes. The metro is open every day, including holidays. The opening and closing times from Monday to Friday for each line are the following: 

  • U1: Opens in the Reumannplatz station at 5:05 am, and closes at Leopoldau station at 12:35 am.
  • U2: Opens at Seestadt station at 5:01 am, and closes at the Karlsplatz station at 12:58 am.
  • U3: Opens at Ottakring station at 4:54 am, and closes at Simmering at 12:21 am.
  • U4: Opens at Hütteldorf at 4:52 am, and closes at Heiligenstadt at 12:45 am.
  • U6: Opens at Siebenhirten at 5:08 am, and closes at Floridsdorf at 12:48 am.

The opening and closing times for the metro during Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays are the following:

  • U1: Opens at Reumannplatz at 12:35 am, and closes at Leopoldau at the same hour of the following day.
  • U2: Opens at Seestadt at 5:01 am, and closes at Karlsplatz at 12:58 am.
  • U3: Opens at Ottakring at 12:34 am, and closes at Simmering at 12:48 am of the following day.
  • U4: Opens at Hütteldorf at 12:19 am, and closes at Heiligenstadt at 12:45 am of the following day.
  • U6: Opens at Siebenhirten at 12:17 am, and closes at Floridsdorf at 12:30 am of the following day.

Prices, tickets, and cards

Tickets and cards are available to pay the metro's fare.

A) Tickets: They are divided into the following categories: Single Tickets, Time Tickets, Tickets for School Students, and Tickets for Students.

    A.1) Single Tickets: They are divided into the following categories: Single Ride Vienna and Single Ride Vienna-Discounted.
  • A.1.1) Single Ride Vienna (€2.20): Offers a one-way trip in all means of transportation from Wiener Linien.
  • A.1.2) Single Ride Vienna-Discounted (€1.10): Offers a one-way trip to children between six and 15 years of age, dogs, people in the army, people with the social passport of Vienna, and also allows you to bring your bicycle to suburban trains and regional trains belonging to the ÖBB service in the city of Vienna.
    A.2) Time Tickets: They are divided in the following categories: 90 Minutes Vienna, 24 Hours Vienna Ticket, 48 Hours Vienna Ticket, 72 Hours Vienna Ticket, Day Ticket, Vienna Monthly Ticket, and Vienna Weekly Ticket.
  • A.2.1) 90 Minutes Vienna (€2.80): Offers rides for up to 90 minutes.
  • A.2.2) 24 Hours Vienna Ticket (€7.60): Offers rides for up to 24 hours from the printed date on the ticket.
  • A.2.3) 48 Hours Vienna Ticket (€13.30): Offers rides for up to 48 hours from the printed date on the ticket.
  • A.2.4) 72 Hours Vienna Ticket (€16.50): Offers rides for up to 72 hours from the printed date on the ticket.
  • A.2.5) Day Ticket (€5.50): Offers rides until 1:00 am of the following day.
  • A.2.6) Vienna Monthly Ticket (€48.20): Offers rides from 12:00 am from the first day of the month until 12:00 am of the second day of the following month.
  • A.2.7) Vienna Monthly Ticket (€16.20): Offers rides from Monday at 12:00 am until the following Monday at 9:00 am.
    A.3) Tickets for School Students: They are divided into the following categories: Youth Ticket 2016/17 and TOP Youth Ticket 2016/17.
  • A.3.1) Youth Ticket 2016/17 (€19.60): For students in elementary school, secondary school, or in a vocational school. This ticket works in Vienna, Burgenland, and Lower Austria. Offers rides to students from their homes to their schools. Gives unlimited rides on weekdays until the user turns 25 years old. 
  • A.3.2) TOP Youth Ticket 2016/17 (€60): Similar to Youth Ticket 2016/17, but offers you rides to anywhere in Vienna besides school. Lasts until the user turns 24 years old.
    A.4) Tickets for Students: They are divided into the following categories: Vienna Semester Ticket, Holiday Monthly Ticket for Students in Vienna, and Vienna Semester Ticket for People with Principal Residence in Vienna.
  • A.4.1) Vienna Semester Ticket (€150): This ticket is divided into two categories: Summer Semester (from February 1st until June 30th,) and Winter Semester (from September 1st until January 31st.) You need to be enrolled in college to buy this ticket, and you need the Wiener Linien Entitlement Card. Valid until the user turns 26 years old.
  • A.4.2) Holiday Monthly Ticket for Students in Vienna (€29.50): Offers rides during the holidays in July and August. You need to be enrolled in college. Valid until the user is 26 years old.
  • A.4.3) Vienna Semester Ticket for People with Principal Residence in Vienna (€75): Offers rides for the summer semester and the winter semester. You require to be have your home address in Vienna, to be enrolled in college, and a Wiener Linien Entitlement Card. Valid until the user turns 26 years old.

B) Cards: They are divided into Vienna Visitor and Yearly Travel Card.

    B.1) Vienna Visitor: They are divided in the following categories: EASY City Pass Vienna (24 hours,) EASY City Pass Vienna (48 hours,) EASY City Pass Vienna (72 hours,) EASY City Pass Vienna (One Week,) The Vienna (24 hours) Official City Card, The Vienna (48 hours) Official City Card, The Vienna (72 hours) Official City Card, QUEER City Pass Vienna (24 hours,) QUEER City Pass Vienna (48 hours,) QUEER City Pass Vienna (72 hours,) and QUEER City Pass Vienna (One Week.) 
  • B.1.1) EASY City Pass Vienna (24 hours) (€14.90): Offers rides in Vienna for 24 hours, and you can bring a child for free, as long as they are below 15 years old. 
  • B.1.2) EASY City Pass Vienna (48 hours) (€17.90): Similar to the previous card, but lasts 48 hours.
  • B.1.3) EASY City Pass Vienna (72 hours) (€20.90): Similar to the previous card, but lasts 72 hours.
  • B.1.4) EASY City Pass Vienna (One Week) (€26.90): Similar to the previous card, but lasts between Monday 12:00 am until 9:00 am of the following Monday.
  • B.1.5) The Vienna Card (24 hours) Official City Card (€13.90): Offers rides for 24 hours. Children below 15 years of age can travel for free with an adult. Offers discounts in over 200 places, including museums and restaurants.
  • B.1.6) The Vienna Card (48 hours) Official City Card (€21.90): Similar to the previous card, but offers rides for 48 hours.
  • B.1.7) The Vienna Card (72 hours) Official City Card (€24.90): Similar to the previous card, but offers rides for 72 hours.
  • B.1.8) QUEER City Pass Vienna (24 hours) (€14.90): Offers rides to people of the LGBT community and gives them discounts to some museums, restaurants, and other attractions. Lasts for 24 hours.
  • B.1.9) QUEER City Pass Vienna (48 hours) (€18.90): Similar to the previous card, but lasts for 48 hours. 
  • B.1.10) QUEER City Pass Vienna (72 hours) (€21.90): Similar to the previous card, but lasts for 72 hours.
  • B.1.11) QUEER City Pass Vienna (One Week) (€26.90): Similar to the previous card, but lasts from Monday 12:00 am until 9:00 am of the following Monday.
    B.2) Yearly Travel Card: They are divided into the following categories: Subscription Scheme with Direct Debiting, and Subscription Scheme with Payment in Advance.
  • B.2.1) Subscription Scheme with Direct Debiting: They are divided into the following categories: Vienna Annual Ticket Subscription (€375 if paid in 12 installments or €365 if paid in one installment,) Vienna Senior Annual Ticket Subscription (€229 if paid in 12 installments, or €224 if paid in one installment,) and Vienna Annual Ticket - Other Payer (€375).
  • B.2.2) Subscription Scheme with Payment in Advance: They are divided into the following categories: Vienna Annual Ticket (€365 per year,) and Vienna Senior Annual Ticket (€224 per year)
  •  

Tips

You can ask the metro driver to check where your ticket was stamped before you boarded the metro. This way, you can return to the previous station in case you get lost.

There is a special ticket called 8-Day Ticket, which offers you 8 rides. Be careful when using this ticket, because if you first stamp the 8th slot of the ticket, the ticket will not work anymore. In other words, be sure to stamp the first slot of the ticket when you use it for the first time.

If you plan to stay in Vienna for only a week, buy the EASY City Pass Vienna (One Week,) or the Vienna Weekly Ticket to save money. If you want to visit a lot of touristic attractions, use either the Vienna Card or the EASY City Pass Vienna to save money.

Rules

The following behaviors are prohibited inside the metro:

  • 1. Consuming alcohol.
  • 2. Selling goods.
  • 3. Begging.
  • 4. Using emergency facilities when there are not any emergencies.
  • 5. Entering with dogs without a leash nor a muzzle (guide dogs and police dogs are the exception.)
  • 6. Smoking.
  • 7. Music and loud noises.
  • 8. Littering
  • 9. Damaging the metro.
  • 10. Riding bicycles, skateboards, and other vehicles inside the metro.

Dogs do not require a leash nor a muzzle if they are inside a cage. You do not have to pay to bring your dog as long as it is inside a cage. Dogs need a leash and a muzzle to enter the metro and in the station’s elevators.

You can bring bicycles for free in the metro. When you board the metro while bringing your bicycle, you need to stay where a blue bike picture indicates you to stay. You also need to enter the metro via a door with the blue bike picture if you bring a bicycle. The times when bicycles are allowed are: Monday to Friday: 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, and from 6:30 pm until the station closes. Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays: You can bring your bicycle anytime.

Make sure to not to obstruct escape routes nor guidance systems for the visually impaired. Put your thrash on waste containers. Be respectful to other passengers.

Fun facts

  • 1) All trains have air conditioning.
  • 2) Some stations have works of art. For instance, the Volkstheater station has art done by Anton Lehmden.
  • 3) While excavations were being made to build the metro, archaeologists went to the excavation site and unearthed artifacts. Some of these artifacts are displayed in the stations of Stephansplatz, Stubentor, Schwedenplatz, and Rochusgasse.
  • 4) The metro's wagons are similar to those of the metros of Munich, Nuremberg, and Berlin.
  • 5) You can go to the beach using the metro if you go to Donauinsel station.
  • 6) If you travel on the metro in line U4 from Landstrasse to Friedensbruecke, you can get a panoramic view of the Danube Canal.

Future expansions

A new line, U5, will be made in 2023. The trains in this line will be fully automatic.

Five new stations will be inaugurated on September 2017 in line U1. These stations will be in Oberlaa, Alaudagasse, Neulaa, Altes Landgut, and Troststrasse.

Line U2 will have five new stations in 2023 in Rathaus, Pilgramgasse, Neubaugasse, Reinprechtsdorfer Strasse, and Matzleinsdorfer Platz. A sixth station is planned, which will be built in An Den Alten Schanzen, but has no date of construction.

Nearby attractions

The Stephansplatz station is the closest metro station to the center of the city. To go from the Stephansplatz station to the nearest touristic attractions using the metro, follow these instructions:

  • 1) Belvedere Palace: The trip lasts 15 minutes. From the Stephansplatz station, take a U-Bahn train in the U1 line towards Reumannplatz for two minutes. Get off at Karlsplatz. Walk four minutes to Kärntner Ring/Oper. Take a line D Strassenbahn train towards Alfred-Adler-Strasse for six minutes. Get off at Schloss Belvedere. Walk three minutes to Prinz Eugenstrasse 27, A-1037.
  • 2) Austrian Parliament Building: The trip lasts 10 minutes. From the Stephansplatz station, take a U3 train in the metro towards Ottakring for three minutes. Get off at Volkstheater. Walk 7 minutes to Dr.-Karl-Renner-Ring 3, 1017.
  • 3) Spanish Riding School: The trip lasts 10 minutes. From the Stephansplatz, take a U3 train in the metro towards Ottakring for two minutes. Get off at Herrengasse. Walk 8 minutes to Michaelerplatz 1, 1010.
  • 4) Karlskirchen: The trip lasts 8 minutes. From the Stephansplatz station, take a U1 train the metro towards Reumannplatz for two minutes. Get off at Karlsplatz. Walk six minutes to Karlsplatz 1, 1040.
  • 5) Vienna City Hall: The trip lasts 14 minutes. From the Stephansplatz station, take a U3 train in the metro towards Ottakring for three minutes. Get off at Volkstheater. Walk four minutes to the platform with a U2 train from the metro going to Seestadt, and board this train for two minutes. Get off at Rathaus. Finally, walk five minutes to Friedrich-Schmidt-Platz 1, 1010.

Vienna U-Bahn map

  • Also Known As: U-Bahn
  • Passengers/Day 1400000
  • Fares: 1.70
  • 24h operation: Fri, Sat night: U-Bahn planned from 3 Sep 2010
  • Air Conditioning: Yes
  • Walk between platforms: Yes
  • Driverless trains: No
  • Screen Doors Platforms: No
  • Operator: Wiener Linien
  • 2 €
  • Vienna Metro Official Website

Metro map of Vienna

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