Getting around Vienna – Sbahn

ubahn and sbahn map of Vienna

I was talking about getting around Vienna in one of previous posts so I will touch only S bahn here.

What is the s bahn? You could translate it as city train, since it connects few of the stations in the city. The travel time is therefore way faster.

And since I needed to come from Bahnhof Meidling to Hauptbanhof (main train station) S1 was just a perfect for that.

But you know what makes me cringe every time I do that? I never know which station is the right one for main train station. For some reason the station is called Südtiroler Platz. I’m not even sure if there is always Hauptbanhof added to the map, but there you go.

Now you know. Südtiroler Platz station it is.


A building at Naschmarkt
View when you come with an U-bahn

It took me some time to go to Vienna again … family, work … etc.. anyway. Back to Vienna and I’ve decided to go to a Naschmarkt.

Been there often, but the idea was to research it for a blog post. So here we go.

Naschmarkt is recommended by (I guess) everybody. It’s really interesting place to visit being the place where you can get all five senses occupied. Some will suffer more than others 🙂

Anyway – if you want to avoid crowd you need to go there early in the morning, but that way you’ll miss (at least) half of fun. You really need to go there during the day or even better Saturday morning. That way you’ll have full blown experience of Naschmarkt will all the crowd included 🙂

Obviously you can also have something to eat there, so you can basically be here the whole day, if you want 🙂

Schönbrunn. What it’s good for? Absolutely everything.

Schönbrunn palace

You can read about Schönbrunn basically everywhere. Just put the word Schönbrunn in your favourite search engine and voilà.

So let’s not waste time on things that can be easily found, but rather talk about some other relevant and useful information.

Here are some pointers:

  • it opens at 6.30 in the morning (so if you are an early morning runner, there is a park nearby open 24/7)
  • there are a lot of runners running around it
  • the circle around Schönbrunn flat is around 1k long (give or take few meters)
  • there are drinking fountains available
  • the toilets are open when the park is open and you will have to have 50 cents to use the toilet (urinal is free)
  • visiting Zoo is a day event (although you can leave whenever you want :D)

Visiting Prater

statues in Prater

One of the “must see” attractions in Vienna is Prater.

There are many attractions in Prater

Not fan of the rollercoaster? No problem, there are other attractions in Prater.

Not fan of the haunted house? No problem, there are other attractions in Prater.

Not fan of the amusement parks? No probl… well, you know where I’m going with it.

Basically – Prater is a spot to visit for everyone and since the entrance is free. What’s not to like. Except if you go there with kids who know how to make you open the wallet. Don’t bring cash, in that case 🙂

Few important infos

  1. getting to Prater means taking the U-bahn to Praterstern. Since U-bahn is my favorit way of transport in Vienna, I’ll stop here. For other means of (public) transport just pay attention to the word Prater.
  2. The entrance to Prater is opened 24 hours/day so I would use it even for running around it, but I’m usually living far away.
  3. Entrance is free, but you have to pay for attractions.
  4. It’s good that you get a map at the entrance, since the info about location of different attractions is sporadic and rare after that.
  5. You can eat, drink and use toilet in Prater (obviously) and (obviously, again) you have to pay for all of that.
  6. Need some more info? Comment below and I’ll look for it.

There are two attractions that are prominent, but I never visited them.

Must do and see attractions

One is Viennese wheel, built in 1897 and is one of the well known attractions in Vienna. There is a newer version of the wheel where you sit in the open and I preferred this option.

But I guess there is a flair to be on the Viennese wheel.

The other is Liliputbahn. Basically a small train driving around Prater and nearby main street. The trip is 4km long and it takes 20 minutes.

What we did

The kids wanted to play with bumper cars so that was the thing we did.

bumper cars in Prater
Bumper cars in Prater

The other one is mini golf, which might not be a really prominent attraction, but I promised kids we’ll play mini golf some day, so what better than play in Prater.

mini golf station in Parter
Mini golf

The stations where a bit used, but it was still fun. Somewhat stressful for kids, since there were some crazy obstacles.

Free books and Vienna

Bookcase at Josef-Matthias-Hauer Platz

There are some cities around the world having a “free public library” with different solutions to store books.

The basic premise is that you can take any book you like and it is polite to put in some other book instead, but you are not obliged to do it.

So you can get a free book. And I was wondering if something like that is going on in Vienna. Well, it is.

The project is called “offener Bücherschrank” which can be roughly translated as “open bookcabinet”. To help you find them the good people behind the idea set up the web page.

There. Some free books for you all over Vienna – well, free in a sense that you don’t need to pay for them in money, but as stated before – put in any other book.

Getting around Vienna

This post is mostly about public transport in Vienna, how to get a ticket and what kind of tickets are available.

What you can use?

Obviously – you can get around with a car, bicycle (there are many cycling routes in Vienna, but I still don’t have enough courage to try them – but soon, soon).

New ways of transport

You can also rent an electric scooter (in German but there is a comparison list) or get on a trip on a Seagway).

Public transport

But public transport in Vienna is really good. OK, it’s true that I come from a country where we only have a city bus so I’m always excited when there are many means of transport 🙂

Anyway – there is a subway (called U-Bahn), buses (called … uhm … bus), trams (called Straßenbahn – street train) and also few “speed trains”: local trains in Vienna and you can see their routes on subway maps (called Schnellbahn).

You can also use “regular” trains but only on the stations inside Vienna. Which means – if you have a valid ticket for public transport in Vienna you can buy a train ticket just to the border of the city (money saving tip :)).

What I like

My preferred mean of transport is always U-Bahn: easy, there is a map on every station and wagon and they are fast. But you don’t see much 🙂 and with a app on your phone to help you pick the right bus, you can use a bus. I guess we will use that next time I go to Vienna since I’m bringing kids with me.

How to buy a ticket

You can use an app (you can pay with credit card and even by using Paypal) or buy it on many machines on U-Bahn stations (my preferred way). I will concentrate on buying a ticket just for public transport since you also have a possibility for a combined card called Vienna city card with many other discount options (just check the link if it suits you).

unvalidated one direction ticket

When buying a one ride ticket (meaning one direction) pay attention if it is validated right away (using it now) or you will validate it later (and you can have it in your wallet for later usage).

The validator
Stop and validate your card

You also have a possibility to buy a weekly ticket, but the week doesn’t start from the day you bought the ticket but ALWAYS from Monday to next Monday 9am. So pay attention to this detail.

Weekly ticket
pay attention to dates (12.8.2019 – 18.8.2019)

Public transport and kids

Public transport for a kid who is not attending school yet is free on public transport in Vienna. That makes sense, right?

But what is more interesting is that during school holidays in Vienna, on Sundays and public holidays (2nd and 15th November included) children up to 15 years of age don’t need to pay for a ticket.

And if you wonder – it’s valid for all kids. They don’t need to be from Vienna or even Austria.

One of the Wienerwald wanderwegs

Let’s first talk about Wienerwald (eng. Vienna woods). It’s a forest that covers more or less half of lower Austria ) and it’s one of the favourite areas for locals to relax and wander around.

Anyway – I wanted to go for a longer walk somewhere in Vienna (didn’t even know about this route) and local friend decided on this route so what could I do. I just played along 🙂 The plan was to take hiking boots, but since the bag was already full and running shoes were in the bag I’ve decided to use them (and it was ok).

The start was from Klausen-Leopoldsdorf and if you go there from Vienna you need to somehow come to Baden. We went with a train.

In Baden we catched the bus 459 (but you can discuss with the drivers if there is a better one) and stepped of in the village Klausen-Leopoldsdorf.

We had to ask how to get to start so no help here. Sorry.

Basically you need to go to the highest hill (893 m) of the Wienerwald named Schöpfl. There is also a watching tower there, so obviously you need to climb it and enjoy the view.

The weather is sort of clear when we were up, so the view was really nice. No pics though. Had a shit of the mobile, so there 🙁

On our way back we passed or should I say visited (since we turned around then) Leopold Figl observatory which is situated at the Mitterschöpfl.

Then it is just a straight to the Klausen-Leopoldsdorf again, on the bus and of we go to Baden.

Oh, BTW – Baden is a nice small spa town, so you might even enjoy your time there if you are wandering around Austria.

And take care not to go to Baden Baden at least not if you want to come to Klausen-Leopoldsdorf 🙂

I forgot one important thing – the route is marked with a red signs on trees.

What is Oida?

It happened that I was in a van of a friend from Vienna and when stopping at the traffic light I saw a sticker on the street light with the text: “Oida Wien, oida Beč” (Beč is Croatian for Vienna), so I asked him what does Oida mean and his answer was that it’s sort of a multiple meaning word and can mean a lot of things.

When coming to apartment I started to research the word on the internet and found a hilarious video by Ewa Placzynska (Austrian actor that currently lives in Canada and I really hope she’ll make it work).

So basically you don’t even need to learn German 😀

Viennese in one word

Why this blog?

Vienna City

The whole story started some time ago with me wanting to go to Germany for few weeks to visit some relatives. They invited me, but when I sent them the question (via regular mail – you know: envelope, post stamp and stuff. I’m not that old, but email is young :)) their reply came via my grandmother. At that time she said they were surprised why I want to do it so I sort of bailed out of it …

After few years I started to wonder if the reply wasn’t changed with my grandmothers emotions, but the damage was done.

I was still interested in going/working abroad, but couldn’t wrap my head around it, so my idea to work abroad was on hold. Then January 2015 came and I got a message that there will be a startup weekend in Vienna and since I had a friend there that offered me to be in his flat I took the opportunity.

Went to the event and met some interesting people there and we started working together. Unfortunately the project didn’t workout and we had to stop it. We started working on our own projects, but still kept in touch.

I continued to visit Vienna with ideas to work there/cooperate … etc. etc. but nothing …

Started to work on different hardware projects involving microcontrollers (basically one chip computers that can run embedded or small devices). Had some ideas for devices, but nothing came out of it.

And when I almost gave up on hardware I got a message from a friend that I met at the startup weekend if I still work on hardware (and she is from Vienna). Yes, was my answer 🙂

Anyway – we started working together and I am again visiting Vienna quite often.

Some personal things happened in between and I’m now even more inclined to visit Vienna often. And then I have also met some great people there which made me realise I feel more at home in Vienna (can’t say for Austria) then I feel here (at my – current – home).

Started to work on my German again, but that’ll be a long ride. Still… I visit Vienna often and have some insights on how to get around, stuff to do … etc., etc…

So this blog will be basically on the topic – me going around Vienna and surroundings.