Through Vienna in a horse-drawn carriage
The term "fiaker" originates from the French and refers to the hackney carriage stand in the Parisian Rue de Saint Fiacre. In 1720, the carriages - which had previously been referred to as "Janschky" coaches in Vienna - were renamed "fiakers" (and numbered).
Then the carriage trade really began to boom: more than 1,000 fiakers were on the road in Vienna between 1860 and 1900. The carriage drivers were often characters that were known throughout the city and also sometimes performed as singers. They were appreciated for their discretion, especially when one or the other fine gentleman was amusing himself in the fiaker with his paramour. Probably most famous among them was Josef Bratfisch, the royal coachman of Crown Prince Rudolf, who brought the prince's lover Mary Vetsera to Mayerling in 1889, where both lives found a tragic end.
City center and Central Cemetery
Today it is hard to imagine the cityscape without the Viennese fiakers. You can find horse-drawn carriage stands in different areas of the city: Stephansplatz, Michaelerplatz, Albertinaplatz, Petersplatz and Burgtheater/Volksgarten. The short tour (approx. 20 min. through the centre of the Old City) costs € 55; the long tour (approx. 40 min. through the Ringstrasse and the Old City) € 80. You can also book individual sightseeing tours directly through the fiaker companies (List of fiaker companies).
Horse-drawn carriage rides are also possible at the Central Cemetery: the carriage rank at gate 2 is occupied from Thursday to Sunday, from 10.00 am to about 5.00 pm. The tour includes numerous memorial graves of prominent Viennese personalities (Mozart, Schubert, Beethoven, Hans Moser, Falco, Adolf Loos and many others), and also brings visitors closer to the cemetery's natural attractions. The short tour (30 min.) costs €50.00, the long one (60 min.) €80.00 per carriage (for 4 people). Tours are operated from the beginning of April to the end of September. Reservations on tel. +43 (0)699-181 540 22
Exclusive horse-drawn carriage experiences
During the tour "Secrets of the horse-drawn carriages", visitors are first taken on a guided tour of the stables on the outskirts of Vienna. On the premises of Fiaker Paul, you will learn interesting facts about horses and coachmen. Afterwards, a horse-drawn carriage takes visitors directly to the city center. The tour starts daily at 9.30 am from the meeting point at Rappachgasse 34a/corner of Wachthausgasse in the 11th district. This extraordinary tour costs €25. Bookings can be made by email at email@example.com or by phone on tel. +43 660 70 60 502.
Riding Dinner also offers exclusive culinary horse-drawn carriage rides for one to four people through the city center. Food and drinks are procured from traditional Viennese restaurants and coffee houses such as Zum Schwarzen Kameel, Augustinerkeller and Café Landtmann. Information, prices and booking: www.ridingdinner.com