Vienna International Airport is currently undergoing massive improvement work with the addition of a third runway and an extra terminal.
The airport already handles an enormous number of passengers, 18.7 million in 2007, and this is set to grow even further. As with all airports though, arriving passengers still have to negotiate their way into the city centre of Vienna. This is a brief guide.
There are three main options for getting from the airport to Vienna city centre if you are not being met by hotel services: the bus, the train or a taxi.
Schwechat Airport – Vienna by taxi
For those with large suitcases and deep pockets there is no doubt that the simplest way into town is by taxi. Visitors are warned, however, to ensure that they hire an official taxi and that the driver uses the meter. There have been instances of unlicensed drivers quoting very low prices to unsuspecting tourists and then adding extortionate extras on at the destination. There are booking desks in the arrival halls and the contact information of licensed companies is available as well.
Schwechat Airport – Vienna by train
After the taxi the next most useful way into town is the train. The City Airport Train (CAT) runs into Wien Mitte every half an hour during the day. This takes just 16 minutes, a quick journey time, and visitors can then link up to the metro system to finish their journey to disparate parts of the city. The S-bahn also links the airport to Wien Nord which can be useful. These trains run much more slowly that the CAT but are also much cheaper.
Schwechat Airport – Vienna by bus
The bus links from the airport to Vienna are the best value option but also take the longest. Depending on the level of traffic it usually takes about forty five minutes to the Sudbanhof and an hour to the Westbanhof. Vienna Airport Lines, one of the bus companies running services from the airport, also has services straight from the airport to Bratislava which run throughout the day. Services to Budapest and Hungarian destinations are less frequent.
The costs of taking the bus or trains are not that different so I would advise you to make the decision of how you make the journey from the airport into the city based on where in Vienna you want to go. The bus link to the Westbanhof will get you into the west of the city quicker than taking the train and then switching to the metro but the 16 minutes to Wien Mitte is a very good time to the south east of the city.
Visitors to Vienna are unlikely to encounter any problems getting from the airport to the city or, indeed, vice versa. The most important point to remember is if getting a taxi, make sure it is official and the driver used the meter.
Vienna Airport Hotels
- Eurohotel Vienna Airport, Fischamend
- Hotel NH Vienna Airport, Schwechat
- Hotel Raststation, Schwechat
Photo of Vienna Airport Train by Gregorius Mundus