Overseen by Wiener Linien, Vienna's public transportation system is fast, clean, safe, and easy to use. Vienna's subway system, called the U-Bahn, services the core of the inner city. Several apps are available to ease travel, offering timetables, ticket purchase, information about service disruptions, and more. Visit www.wieninfo.at and look under "Public Transport & Taxis" for a list and links.
Five subway lines, whose stations are prominently marked with blue "U" signs, crisscross the city. Track the main lines of the U-Bahn system by their color codes on subway maps: U1 is red; U2 purple, U3 orange, U4 green, and U6 brown. The last subway runs at about 12:30 am.
The main city-center subway stops in the 1st District are Stephansplatz, Karlsplatz, Herrengasse, Schottenring, and Schwedenplatz. Stephansplatz is the very heart of the city, at St. Stephen's cathedral. You can reach the amusement park of the Prater from Stephansplatz by taking the U1 to Praterstern. Near the southern edge of the Ringstrasse, the major Karlsplatz stop is right next to the Staatsoper, the pedestrian Kärntnerstrasse, and the Ringstrasse, with an easy connection to Belvedere Palace via the D Tram. You can also take the U4 from Karlsplatz to Schönbrunn Palace (Schönbrunn stop). Schottenring is on the Ringstrasse, offering quick tram connections. Schwedenplatz is a 10-minute walk to St. Stephen's through some of Vienna's oldest streets. Karlsplatz is serviced by the train lines U1, U2, and U4, while U3 goes to Herrengasse. There are handy U-Bahn stops along the rim of the city core, such as Stadtpark, MuseumsQuartier, Volkstheater, and Rathaus.
Streetcars (Strassenbahnen) run from about 5:15 am until about midnight. Where streetcars don't run, buses—Autobusse—do. Should you miss the last streetcar or bus, special night buses with an "N" designation operate at half-hour intervals over several key routes; the starting (and transfer) points are the Opera House and Schwedenplatz. These night-owl buses accept all normal tickets.
Tickets are valid for all public transportation—buses, trams, and the subway. Although there are ticket machines on trams and buses, there is a surcharge of €0.50. You'll need to punch your ticket before entering the boarding area at U-Bahn stops, but for buses and trams you punch it on board. If you're caught without a ticket you'll pay a hefty fine.
Buy single tickets for €2.20 from dispensers on the streetcar or bus, from ticket machines in subway stations, or online at shop.wienerlinien.at. At tobacco shops, newsstands, or U-Bahn offices you can buy a 24-hour ticket for €7.60, a three-day ticket for €16.50, or an eight-day ticket for €38.40. An inexpensive option is the €16.20 Wochenkarte (week card), valid from Monday to Sunday. Children under six travel free on public transit, and children under 15 travel free on Sunday and public holidays.
The Vienna Card, in addition to providing an array of deep discounts at sites, can be used on all public transportation. It costs €19.90 and is good for 72 hours.