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Getting from train station to hotel in Vienna?

We are 3 seniors travelling from Prague to Vienna by train. Arriving Sept. 17th, Sunday. Traveling light one suitcase and backpack each. Good physical shape. We are staying at the Austria Classic Hotel Wien Praterstrabe 72, 02 Leopoldstade. Could someone give us directions? Would a taxi be the best way to get to our hotel our should we use the bus or metro. If bus or metro what busses. Or would walking be doable? Thanks for your help.

Posted by
1490 posts

No need to take a cab, in my opinion.

Option 1 (going by metro U1) is the better one. From the exit of the metro (U-Bahn) as described it is about 250 yards to the hotel.

When you arrive at Wien Hauptbahnhof you descend from the elevated platform down to street level and proceed through the concourse to the main hall. At the left side just before reaching the main hall there are the red ticket vending machines.

There you buy your public transport tickets or passes, I prefer the latter. If you do not want to buy passes but tickets per single ride, then buy senior tickets (given that you are 62 or older). Senior tickets come as dual ride tickets, i.e. each ticket is good for two separate rides for one or for one ride for two people.

Then you descend from the middle of the main hall two levels further down, follow the red signs U1 to the metro station. The ride with the U1 metro is about 7 minutes.

Posted by
16802 posts

I am wondering if instead of the U-bahn, which must be paid for, take the S-Bahn. If you buy tickets from Prague to Wien Praterstern Bahnhof, rather than Wien Hbf, the transfer is included free. The S-Bahn goes from Track 2 at Hbf, which is underground, but there is an elevator. It will arrive at Praterstern Bahnhof one level above street level, so it is downstairs from the platform. I'm not familiar with the station details, but I'm thinking that it should have escalators.

The S-Bahn takes a few minutes longer as the route is not as direct as the U-1, but it does also eliminate one chore of stopping to buy transport tickets. From Praterstern, you should be about 200 yards (meters) from your hotel. After check in and freshen up, you can walk back to the station to buy transport tickets for the rest of your stay in Vienna.

Posted by
12891 posts

Hi,

When you see the word for "street" spelled "Straße," the "ß" is pronounced as "s-tset" Before the Schreibreform (Writing Reform of the German Language) that went into effect by 1996 (?), (if one followed all this news back then) , there were distinct rules in German grammar/spelling dictating when it was mandatory for the "s-tset" to be used, eg, in a word which ended with a vowel, as in Schloß, Fuß, weiß, daß, etc

Now the rules for its use are looser, all very technical stuff which makes no difference unless your job depends on it, whereby you had better know when to use the "s-tset" in spelling proper German in Amtssprache (official red tape language) under the Writing Reform.

You do see Strasse spelled just this too. In Berlin " Bahnhof Friedrichstrasse" is spelled like that at the station's bridge, ie no "ß"

Posted by
31471 posts

Susan,

I took a cab from the station to my hotel in Vienna. I often do that when arriving in a new and unfamiliar city, as it's the easiest and usually the quickest method. The following day I familiarized myself with the Metro system. The cab driver was from the Balkans and was quite entertaining so it was an interesting ride.

Posted by
1490 posts

I am wondering if instead of the U-bahn, which must be paid for, take the S-Bahn. If you buy tickets from Prague to Wien Praterstern Bahnhof, rather than Wien Hbf, the transfer is included free.

If you compare the price for the tickets, going to Wien Hauptbahnhof vs. to Wien Praterstern, you will notice that the latter are €2.20 more expensive. That is exactly the fare for a single ride using public transport in Vienna. (Public transport tickets in Vienna are valid for any means, including trains, not only tram, metro, busses, etc.)

There is another reason why I voted for option 1 to go to the hotel. Let alone that the Praterstern station is further away from the hotel, it is surrounded by a five-lane traffic circle, which to cross as pedestrians needs some attention.

Posted by
16802 posts

When I looked at OEBB, it gave the price with the added 2.20 EUR when I chose the connection using the U-Bahn, but not when picking the connection using the S-Bahn. Same price Prag Hbf to Wien Hbf and Prag Hbf to Wien Praterstern.

Posted by
1490 posts

I took a cab from the station to my hotel in Vienna. I often do that when arriving in a new and unfamiliar city, as it's the easiest and usually the quickest method.

In Vienna it depends where you go whether a taxi is quicker, especially in this case it is not.

There is no need to be afraid of the Viennese public transport system, particularly after having gotten such detailed instructions.

Posted by
1490 posts

When I looked at OEBB, it gave the price with the added 2.20 EUR when I chose the connection using the U-Bahn, but not when picking the connection using the S-Bahn. Same price Prag Hbf to Wien Hbf and Prag Hbf to Wien Praterstern.

I just checked it having excluded U-Bahn as transport means. What you say might be true for full fare tickets, but certainly not for the much cheaper Sparschiene tickets.

Posted by
1490 posts

I have to strike a blow for grammar, especially for the subtle differences between Austrian and German grammar. (It is somewhat comparable to American and British English, albeit not to that extent.)

"ß" is pronounced "ss", as Emily noted. The "s-tset" (sz) is only used when spelling a word letter by letter, and only in Germany. In Austria "scharfes s" (sharp s) is used instead.

... , there were distinct rules in German grammar ... Now the rules for its use are looser ...

The rules when to use "ß" or "ss" are as stringent as ever, but they have changed due to the spelling and grammar reform more than 10 years ago to make them more logical and better understandable. By the way, Austrian German and German German do not differ in that particular case, but Swiss German does.

You do see Strasse spelled just this too. In Berlin " Bahnhof Friedrichstrasse" is spelled like that at the station's bridge, ie no "ß"

Given that the writing is in all capital letters, this is a valid exception for practical reasons, because there is no letter for a capital "ß". Nevertheless, "Friedrichstraße" is the correct spelling. (There is a move now to introduce a capital "ß" into Unicode and different popular fonts.)

Karl Kraus, possibly Austria's most snarky writer, once remarked: What Austria and Germany divides is their common language.

Posted by
16802 posts

Karl Kraus, possibly Austria's most snarky writer, once remarked: What Austria and Germany divides is their common language.

Seems that G.B. Shaw said this regarding America and Britain in 1942, as best as anyone can determine, although Oscar Wilde said something similar in the "The Canterville Ghost" written in 1897. But this is the first time I've heard used referencing Germany and Austria. Since Kraus died in 1936, he definitely predates the Shaw quote. Perhaps Shaw picked it up from Kraus.

Posted by
4684 posts

I used Praterstern S-Bahn station a couple of years ago and there was no lift or escalator to/from the platforms - only stairs.

Posted by
31471 posts

wmt1,

"There is no need to be afraid of the Viennese public transport system, particularly after having gotten such detailed instructions."

In my case, it wasn't a matter of being "afraid" of the Viennese public transport system. When I arrived in Vienna, I was tired and not in the mood to haul my gear down to the Metro, then out of the Metro and then walking to my hotel. The Taxi provided door-to-door service. I can't remember the cost, but I wasn't concerned about it.

Posted by
16802 posts

Even Sparschiene tickets include the S-bahn transfer in Vienna at not extra cost if it is specified when purchasing the ticket. I'm not saying that Berlin is equal to Vienna, but it looks like a similar situation. DB Sparpreis tickets can be bought to arrive at the Hbf or any S-bahn station in Berlin at no extra cost when it is shown on the ticket. But if you go by U-bahn, you have to buy a ticket.

The OP's hotel is very close to the U-bahn and S-bahn stations, and the transfer is as easy as changing trains at an intermediate large station.

So there it is. Three ways to skin the cat and each has its own advocate. The OP has options.

Posted by
12891 posts

"...to make them more logical and more better understandable." One of basic motives for undertaking the Schreibreform was to make the German language easier for foreigners to learn. If you buy that, fine. That's your decision. I don't. I was/am against the Schreibreform with its basic rationale, spelling changes, when to use the "s-tset" and when not to, ie, with "daß" (prior to the reform) and "dass" after the reform.

Posted by
12891 posts

Karl Kraus was a social and political critic, (see his "Die letzten Tage der Menschheit."), had some pretty uncomplimentary things to say on the Germans, reminds me of E Kästner.

Posted by
16802 posts

Karl Kraus didn't seem to have anything good to say about anybody. That must have been his charm.

Posted by
4690 posts

Philip - you must have been here more than 10 years ago because in the 10 years I have lived here there has always been not just elevators buts escalators at Praterstern's s-bahn. In fact, I would note that every s-bahn and u-bahn station in Vienna has an elevator.

Posted by
50 posts

Thanks to everyone for the replies. Very helpful. Also will remember changing the b to ss. Will help me. :). Have a great day!

Posted by
3458 posts

Susan , enjoy the hotel , it is a winner , I stayed there for three weeks last year and am headed back for two more next month . Be sure to look at the display of memorabilia pertaining to the film composer Max Steiner ( " Gone with the Wind " , "Casablanca " ) who was born and lived his early life here . The display is located in and around the breakfast room .

Posted by
12891 posts

@ Steven on Max Steiner ...Bravo! If you want the address in Wien to his counterpart, (in more ways than one), Erich Wolfgang Korngold, that Wunderkind, I have that too. I tracked down that address in 2010 and again in 2011 to see the actual building where a memorial plaque is attached to the building written only in German. He lived there prior to the Anschluß, fled, and then returned after the war to live there again for a few more years.

Posted by
3458 posts

Fred , Yes , and thanks ! Korngold is also a favorite . His violin concerto is , for me , one of the great unsung works of twentieth century music . In Moscow now and back in Vienna mid October . My Best , Steve

Posted by
12891 posts

@ Steven....Korngold's address in Vienna is the following: Sternwartestraße 35, 1180 Wien. Where? Ecke Gymnasiumstraße und Sternwartestraße, the left hand side of the block. The house is not a museum but private property. One time I saw a guy coming out who saw me snapping away with my camera at the building and the plaque, so I asked if it was just that, ie Privateigentum.

The plaque has these words in caps, I wrote the text down verbatim, obviously, for such a historical site. "In diesem Haus lebte und arbeitete in den Jahren 1928-1938 und 1949-1951 der Komponist Erich Wolfgang Korngold." Very poignant.

How to get out there? It's located in one of the outlying Bezirke. (districts). It could be Bezirk 18 or 9 (not sure). I reached the address from Westbahnhof, where my hotel is. Get yourself to the U-Bahn station "Nußdorfer Straße," I took the U-6. Then I walked down Währinger Gurtel, (a main drag), if you run into Pulverturmgasse, you're going in the correct direction. When I saw that street, I was amazed at where I was since Pulverturmgasse was the location of the first hostel i stayed at on my first visit to Vienna in 1971.

When you see Sternwartestraße, walk ca 2-3 blocks until Gymnasiumstraße. Across the street is # 35. All in all pretty easy to locate. With smart phone even easier. I didn't have that. If need be, I just ask.

Posted by
12891 posts

One more thing, Steve...You'll see in walking down Währinger Gurtel or down the sidestreets these small restaurants, used to be called Gaststätten. The first thing you cannot help notice is that prices listed for the entrees , ie, Schnitzel, are substantially cheaper than what you would find in the Zentrum. I had an early lunch at one of them, all locals speaking that Wiener Dialekt, which is going to be incomprehensible to you (me too).

Be pleasantly surprised if they should speak English to you, otherwise give them your good Hochdeutsch and they will reply the same way. The chances are that you'll be the only tourist tracking down Korngold....bravo! All the times I 've been out there and in other outlying Bezirke, I didn't see any other tourists, not on the U-Bahn or the streets.

Posted by
1490 posts

Gymnasiumstraße. Across the street is # 35

Right in front of this house there is a bus stop serviced by bus lines 37A and 40A.
The choice depends from where you start. E.g. 40A runs directly from the center (Schottentor).
You may find this route planner useful: https://anachb.vor.at/bin/query.exe/en?L=vs_voranachb&
It is for Vienna and the greater Vienna area as well. It is also available as an app for smartphones.
Other than Google Maps it gives accurate and detailed information about public transport.

Posted by
1768 posts

Karl Kraus, possibly Austria's most snarky writer, once remarked: What Austria and Germany divides is their common language.

Despite that often quoted remark of Karl Krauss the difference between standard German and the so-called Austrian, as even Austrian linguists admit, is mainly limited to two areas, the language of administration and the language of the kitchen. The former is easily understandable by the separate political development since 1806, the latter by the migration of Eastern Europeans into Vienna since the end of the 18th century. In any other respect, from a linguistic perspective the syntactic and semantic differences are minimal, even if some Austrian patriots want to see that differently. Regarding the spoken language, the differences e.g. between Vienna and Tyrol are much greater than those between Tyrol and Southern Bavaria. Much of what is claimed as Austriacisms is actually common Bavarian ("Gemeinbairisch"). Do you know, for example, what is a "Bartwisch" (a hand- sweeper)? The word is used, e.g., in Upper Austria and also in Bavarian Passau but not in Innsbruck.
So, North Germans ("Prussians") may run into some difficulties when communicating with Austrians, Bavarians don't.

Posted by
3458 posts

Fred and Sla019 , always an educational pleasure and food for thought to read your posts . I am reminded of the scene in the ship's cabin between Jose Ferrer and Heinz Ruhmann over difference in language and the Jews of Germany in the ending of " Ship of Fools " .

Posted by
12891 posts

If one seriously wants to pursue the differences between Austrian German and Hochdeutsch, visit the bookstores, say at major train stations, Westbahnhof, Wien Hbf to look up books, dictionaries, phrase books on how to speak Austrian or Õsterreichische Redewendungen und Redensarten. I've noticed numerous vocab differences in Austrian train stations versus German train stations, ie, in their use of language.

On talking with North Germans or Prussians, what do the Austrians say, not entirely complimentary? Der redet wie ein Piefke.

@ Steven..Thanks On Heinz Rühmann, aside from the scene with J. Ferrer, see the blatant differences in his portrayal in "Der Hauptmann von Köpenick" (with the Berlin Dialekt) and "Der brave Soldat Schweik"

Posted by
12891 posts

@ Steven....As you know, Korngold was born in what was then Brünn (Brno) in Mähren (Moravia), the province capital. When you are in Vienna, if you decide on taking a day trip to Brno to see the Erich Wolfgang Korngold Haus/Museum, here is the address: Kosice Street 95., Brno.

After going to Slavkov (Schloß Austerlitz), I admittedly lazied out this time for another visit to Brno to track down this sight.

Posted by
3458 posts

Fred , as always , thanks for the heads up . Sorry for the delayed response , In Berlin now and loving every minute in this city . We are headed to Wannsee tomorrow to see the museum and memorial , went out to Potsdam yesterday .

Posted by
12891 posts

@ Steven...You're welcome. Be sure to go to Dussmann on Friedrichstraße, in the direction of Unter den Linden ca 3-4 mins from Bahnhof Friedrichstraße, a 5-6 story music and book store, tons and tons of CDs of all music genres, jazz, Schlager, rock & roll, classical, Marching music, DDR commie songs, R&B, choral, C&W, rap, etc, etc, including old Berliner Melodien und Gassenhauer, such as the 2 CD set "Das war noch Zeiten" of songs from the 1920s to wartime. .

Very .affordable and some are downright cheap, tons of DVDs too, ...also a very convenient place to duck in to use the WC

Dussmann is closed on Sunday.