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Reader question: How do I get from Vienna Airport to the city centre?

Aaron Burnett
Aaron Burnett - [email protected]
Reader question: How do I get from Vienna Airport to the city centre?
An Airbus A 320 airplane of British Airways prepares for take off at Vienna-Schwechat Airport, in Schwechat some 20km south east of Vienna. AFP PHOTO/ ALEXANDER KLEIN (Photo by ALEXANDER KLEIN / AFP)

After arriving in Austria’s capital, there’s plenty of options to get you into town, depending on how much time you have and what you’re willing to pay. Here’s the rundown of the options available and what they might mean for your watch and wallet.

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By taxi, private car, or chauffeur service

The simplest and most obvious options are also the fastest – but most expensive.

The drive from VIE to downtown Vienna will typically take around 20 minutes, not including time you might spend waiting in a taxi line of course.

There is no flat rate for a taxi from Vienna Airport, so expect the amount you’ll shell out to vary depending on how far you have to go, but a trip to the city centre will typically be around €35. Some bookable taxi services though, may offer a rate that’s cheaper than this, so it may be worth checking ahead.

In addition, a bookable service will allow you to skip the taxi stand line that sometimes forms during busy times. You may also be able to request an English-speaking driver.

If you use one of these services and need a van though – such as when you’re travelling with a large group of people – expect to pay more.

The transfer services at Vienna Airport offer a plethora of options if you look ahead, including the possibility to get a ride from VIE to Bratislava – if the Austrian capital’s connections are just more convenient than the smaller Bratislava Airport. A ride from Vienna Airport to Bratislava will take just over an hour – and typically somewhere around €90.

Bratislava

The Slovak capital of Bratislava is only about an hour trip from Vienna, and about a €90 taxi from VIE. Photo: Pixabay

If you’re looking to park your own car at VIE, there are several lots available, some with transfer buses to take you from their lot to the terminal. At €12 a day or so – depending on the company you use – this option may be the most convenient for shorter trips. But for at least €80 to park for a week, it might make less sense the longer your trip is.

READ ALSO: How to make the most of a quick trip from Vienna to Bratislava

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By train

If you’re willing to lug your bags around a bit and find the Vienna Airport train station near Terminal 3, the train services into Vienna’s city centre are affordable and rival even taxis for speed.

You’ll be looking for trains that head to Wien Mitte – or ‘Vienna Centre’ – and two main lines will take you there.

You can take the City Airport Train (CAT) for €14.90 one-way or €24.90 return. You can also get these tickets in combination with Vienna City Tickets for tourist visits.

Vienna Airport CAT train

The Vienna City Airport Train (CAT) will have you in central Vienna faster and cheaper than a taxi in many cases. Photo: https://pixabay.com/photos/vienna-railroad-city-airport-train-1499107/

The CAT typically runs every half an hour and will have you in the city centre in 16 minutes via its non-stop service.

You can also take the regular S7 train – which isn’t much slower. You can pay €3.90 and be in the city centre in just over 20 minutes using this train. It typically runs every 15 minutes.

The train is a cheap, fast way into central Vienna. The only real drawback here is that the trains won’t run through the night, so they might not help for flights that leave really early or get in very late. The S7 runs from 5:18 am to 0:18 am, while the CAT runs from 6:09 am to 11:39 pm, so they will still cover you for most flights.

READ ALSO: One day in Vienna: How to spend 24 hours in the Austrian capital

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By bus

Public transport options to Vienna Airport are limited to the S7 train. However, Vienna Airport Lines is a private company that runs a service from VIE to many major transport hubs in the city.

These include Schwedenplatz bus station in the city centre, as well as the main and west train stations – Hauptbahnhof and Westbahnhof.

The journey takes just over 20 minutes, includes multiple stops and costs around €8. You’ll need to buy a ticket online beforehand or from the driver as you board.

Compared to other options, it’s certainly cheaper than taking a taxi but may have less luggage space. It’s more expensive than the standard S7 train but cheaper than the CAT, and runs 24/7.

READ ALSO: Reader question: Is Vienna a safe city to visit?

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