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How to Reach Vienna

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Vienna Airport:

Vienna's international airport, Flughafen Wien, is located some 11 miles south-east of central Vienna, and has grown since opening to the public in 1954 to now fly more than 18 million passengers per year. Three major terminals capable of handling large jets such as the mammoth Airbus A380 are available, and scheduled destinations include short-haul destinations such as Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Rome-Fiumicino, London-Heathrow, Brussels and Amsterdam. Long haul trips to cities like Seoul, Taipei, Doha, Tokyo and New York are also available, while international carriers such as British Airways, Air France, Alitalia and Iberia are well represented here. The primary carrier at the airport is, of course, Austrian Airlines, who operate a network of more than 140 seasonal and scheduled destinations from the airport.

Bus from the Airport:

Vienna Airport Lines, operated by Austrian firm Postbus, run every half hour to and from the airport to a variety of destinations in central Vienna. Passengers can travel to Westbahnhof, Schwedenplatz and the International Centre. Thankfully, these buses run 24 hours a day, and the quickest journeys take around 20 minutes, though 45 minutes is closer to the norm.

Train from the Airport:

The Vienna S-Bahn S7 runs direct from the Airport, and departures are scheduled every thirty minutes. This train can be quite slow, however, as it stops at all stations from Floridsdorf to Rennweg, so expect journey times of up to half an hour. The faster, more expensive and more comfortable City Airport Train departs twice an hour and travels without stops from the airport to Wien Mitte station, with a journey time of only 16 minutes. As an added bonus, passengers travelling to the airport from central Vienna can check in up to 75 minutes prior to take off for selected international flights. This popular mode of travel carries well over a million passengers each year, and is recommended for those with heavy luggage.

Taxis from the Airport:

Newly arrived passengers will find taxis and limousines lined up outside exit K3, next to the arrivals lounge. If you do not feel like queuing up outdoors in order to catch a ride, five official mini-cab firms operate out of the airport, and 24 hour reservations can be made in advance. Just remember to look out for the driver holding up a sign bearing your name as you leave customs!

Bus to Vienna:

Vienna benefits from highway bus links to other European cities, with Eurolines, Postbus, Orangeways and Student Agency operating international routes. Destinations include Bratislava, Brno, Budapest, Gyor, Prague and Hegyeshalom in Hungary.

Train:

Vienna sits at the heart of a superb international train network that spans much of central Europe, following the major trade routes of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, as well as more recent connections to EU partners such as Germany. Travel on regional trains within Austria is also easy and reliable. Vienna currently houses some 7 major train stations, two of them terminating stops, while Wien Hauptbahnhof, intended to be one of the largest and most modern in the city, opens in 2012. Trains tend to be operated by OBB, the Austrian Federal Railway, and lines serve stations such as Linz, Salzburg, Innsbruck and Graz within Austria itself. International trains to Bratislava, Budapest, Prague, Nuremburg, Trieste, Breclav, Munich and Ljubljana also leave from Vienna. If you are travelling from further afield, overnight sleeper trains departing from Cologne are available. Passengers can book their own cabin complete with fold-out beds, toilets and showers, as well as complimentary continental breakfast and hot drinks, sleep in shared compartments, or just stick with the cheaper standard seats. This is truly a great way to travel, though the journey takes 13 hours, so bring a book.

Boat:

Though Vienna is linked to Germany and Rotterdam via the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal, one of the world's most important inland waterways, passenger traffic is minimal. Hydrofoil tourist boats travel upstream and generally depart from the Reichsbrücke. A fast commuter boat and catamaran, the Twin City Liner, operates five times a day between Vienna and nearby Bratislava, the Slovakian capital.

Car:

Austria is fortunate enough to enjoy superb, well maintained highways, referred to as Bundesstrassen, that are quick and, compared to many other nations, congestion-free. Four high speed national autobahns leave Vienna, and routes lead to the west, north, south and east, though the protected Wienerwald forest to the west of the city is largely free of roads. Partly as a legacy from the Austro-Hungarian empire, cities such as Trieste, Bratislava, Plzen, Prague and Budapest are fairly easy to reach, with European Routes such as E60 and E49 passing right through the city. The A23 is Vienna's busiest internal road, and crosses the city from east to west, making it popular with commuters or those needing to travel short distances. Vienna also has 12 different bridges crossing the Danube and the canal, making travel to the east particularly easy.

Travel by car once inside central Vienna is a different story, however; streets are busy and often narrow and parking space is at a premium. Only 30% of journeys made within the Vienna metro region utilise a private vehicle, perhaps a sign that, in this densely packed city, a car can be more of a burden than a help.
 

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