ÖBB Nightjet in the station with travelers in the foreground

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Eco-Friendly Travel to Vienna

The ultramodern Hauptbahnhof – one of the city’s biggest infrastructure projects of recent decades – turned fully operational in 2015, allowing Vienna to reclaim its role as a major international mobility fulcrum in the heart of Europe. It is now possible to travel to Vienna by rail directly from 15 different European countries.

Climate-Friendly by Day – and Night

There are 19 direct connections to Vienna from Germany’s largest cities. Switzerland is also very well served: the Railjet, Austrian Federal Railways’ (ÖBB) convenient high-speed service, runs between Zurich and Vienna several times a day. Westbound destinations are also serviced by private operator WESTbahn, which shuttles passengers directly between Munich and Vienna's Westbahnhof station. And  Vienna City Cardholders can look forward to discounts, too.

In recent years, ÖBB's night train services have been systematically upgraded to provide an environmentally friendly alternative for passengers looking to travel between major European cities. Vienna is now the largest night train hub in the EU, with ÖBB currently offering eleven Nightjet connections directly to Vienna, meaning that passengers can board in Bregenz, Hamburg, Rome, Brussels, Amsterdam, Zurich, Basel, Venice, Milan, Berlin and Paris and wake up in Vienna. A new generation of innovative Nightjet rolling stock is set to be launched in 2023 to coincide with ÖBB's upcoming centenary. There are also outbound Euronight connections directly from Vienna to destinations including Warsaw, Munich, Zurich and Split.

1873: All Railroads Lead to Vienna

The foundations for sustainable travel to and from the city were laid around the time of the World's Fair in 1873. Back then, travelers could get from Vienna to cities far and wide: in the Balkans down south, as far west as Paris, all the way east to Constantinople as it was then called, and up north to Berlin. Expansion of the railroad network, which picked up pace during the peak years of the monarchy, connected Vienna with the world. Like rays on a star, six railway lines issued from the imperial and royal capital.

The 1850s and 1860s saw the construction of Vienna’s Westbahnhof and Nordbahnhof followed by the addition of a further four monumental stations in quick succession around 1870: Nordwestbahnhof, Franz-Josefs-Bahnhof and Staatsbahnhof were all completed in time for the Vienna World’s Fair, with Südbahnhof following a year after, in 1874.

The flagship of the monarchy was Wien Nordbahnhof, which took pride of place on the edge of the Prater park, close to the site of the World's Fair. The station, modeled on a medieval castle, was one of the most impressive – and modern – buildings of its day. Sadly, not a single one of these striking Gründerzeit-era stations is still around to be admired. Today, guests arrive at modern stations, the most prominent of which were newly built or renovated in the 2010s. The only reminder of the original Südbahnhof is the Lion of Saint Mark, an imposing sandstone sculpture dating from 1873, which can be seen in the entrance hall of the main station.

Perfect Public Transportation Network

The World's Fair also provided the impetus for the expansion of public transportation in the capital. Vienna's first horse-drawn tramway entered into service in 1840. Together with horse-drawn omnibuses and horse-drawn carriages, it helped spirit passengers around the city. By 1873, a basic tramway network had been established, and there was even a separate line running from the first district out to the World’s Fair site.

Today, Vienna has a first-class and affordable public transportation network – which is being improved and expanded all the time. The goal of its operator – Wiener Linien – is to ensure fast, reliable and environmentally friendly travel for all within the city limits. Holders of the  Vienna City Card – the official visitor card – not only enjoy free unlimited travel on the public transportation system, but can also benefit from numerous discounts and concessions at sights, cafés, bars and restaurants and much more besides.

Text: Helga Gerbl

Vienna Main Station (Wien Hauptbahnhof)

Am Hauptbahnhof
1100 Vienna
  • Accessibility

    • Main entrance
      • no steps
        on Karl-Popper-Straße and on Sonnwendgasse across the south forecourt
    • Car parks Main entrance
      • Parking spaces for people with disabilities
    • Further information
      • Wheelchair accessible restroom available.
    • Special offers for people with disabilities

      Inductive hearing systems are available.
 Request assistance on the platform for wheelchair users: Tel. +43 (0)5 1717 menu item 5, email: mobilitaetsservice@pv.oebb.at

Vienna Westbahnhof Station

Europaplatz 2
1150 Vienna
  • Accessibility

    • Main entrance
      • no steps
    • Further information
      • Wheelchair accessible restroom available.
    • Special offers for people with disabilities

      Request for assistance on the platform for wheelchair users: tel. +43 (0)5 1717 menu item 5, e-mail: mobilitaetsservice@pv.oebb.at. Designated car boarding and alighting points for wheelchair users at the entrance on Europaplatz. Guidance system for the blind available throughout the station.

    • Comments

      The main entrance from Europaplatz into the newly designed train station hall and all platforms are wheelchair-accessible. Direct wheelchair access from the subway lines (U3 and U6) into the train station hall is also possible. Within BahnhofCity Wien West, elevators enable barrier-free access to all levels.
      All platforms are wheelchair accessible.

Wien-Meidling Station

Eichenstraße 25
1120 Vienna
  • Accessibility

    • Main entrance
      • no steps
    • Car parks Main entrance
      • 3 Parking spaces for people with disabilities
        At entrance on Eichenstrasse
    • Further information
      • Wheelchair accessible restroom available.
    • Special offers for people with disabilities

      Request for assistance on the platform for wheelchair users: tel. +43 (0)5 17 17 menu item 5, e-mail: mobilitaetsservice@pv.oebb.at. 
 Guidance system for the visually impaired available throughout the station.

    • Comments

      All platforms are wheelchair accessible.
      Elevators at both ends of the platform.

Station Franz-Josefs-Bahnhof

Julius-Tandler-Platz 3
1090 Vienna
  • Accessibility

    • Main entrance
      • no steps
        via Julius-Tandler-Platz
    • Side entrance

      • via Julius-Tandler-Platz
    • Car parks Main entrance
      • Parking spaces for people with disabilities
    • Further information
      • Wheelchair accessible restroom available.
    • Special offers for people with disabilities

      Request for assistance on the platform for wheelchair users: tel. +43 (0)5 1717 menu item 5, e-mail: mobilitaetsservice@pv.oebb.at.

    • Comments

      All platforms are bay platforms and wheelchair accessible. Platform 5 is an edge platform - direct access to this platform is only possible via Nordbergstrasse.

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