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Vienna mass transit tickets (Weekly vs. 72-hours passes)

We will visit Vienna with a group of 11 students, arriving on a Thursday evening, and departing on Monday evening. Our accomodation is quite a bit outside the city center, so we are planning to use the mass transit system a lot. We will also use it to get to and from the airport on Thursday and Monday.

We are now deciding on our mass transit ticket options, as we are students and want to get the most out of our budget :-). We found out that Wiener Linien offers weekly passes, valid from Monday 12:00 until next Monday 09:00. In that case, we only have to buy separate tickets to get to the airport (which is in another ticket zone as well) on Monday.
The other option is to buy separate tickets on Thursday and Monday, and the 72-hrs tickets for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

What surprises us is that the 72hrs tickets are slightly more expensive than the weekly passes, whereas we expected them to be cheaper, as the weekly passes are valid for more hours. Are there any extra restrictions for the weekly passes that make it less attractive than the 72hrs tickets that you know of? (Otherwise, I think the weekly passes are our best option)
Thank you.

Posted by
4684 posts

The weekly passes starting on Monday are aimed at local residents, while the three-day passes are aimed at tourists. They want to make as much money off tourists as possible.

Posted by
1520 posts

we are students and want to get the most out of our budget

Then do NOT use the CAT (City Airport Train), it is a rip-off.

To get to the airport by train you have two choices:
RailJet trains from Vienna main station (Hauptbahnhof) or Meidling station, or
S7 trains from Vienna center station (Wien Mitte), Praterstern, Floridsdorf stations.

The fare is the same for both routes and independent from where in Vienna you depart.

Posted by
3485 posts

The weekly passes are available for anyone who wishes to purchase them . I usually stay in Vienna for two to three weeks at a time , and always use them . The passes , as I recall , are weekly passes ( Monday through Sunday , not seven day passes as in Munich - valid for seven days upon validation . ) , they function in the same way as a Paris Navigo Decouverte Pass . The pass for a current week is only on sale through Wednesday or Thursday . From that time forward , the weekly pass is on sale for the coming week , and in that scenario, the multi day passes function to get you to the following Monday . . Since you arrive on Thursday and depart Monday , you need , as you realize , single tickets for your arrival and departure days , and a 72 hour pass ( which starts upon validation ) for Friday , Saturday , and Sunday .

Posted by
23 posts

Thanks a lot for your replies. We are indeed planning to take the S7 to Wien Mitte-Landstraße, where we will change for the U-bahn. We will definitely avoid the CAT :-).

Also thank you Steven for pointing out that the weekly passes are only on sale in the first couple of days of the week. I saw that they also sell them online, so we will try to buy them at home in advance. If this fails, we will go for the 72 hour passes.

Posted by
4698 posts

The S7 stops at other stations with Ubahn links. Are you sure that Mitte is the best one for you?

Posted by
1520 posts

that the weekly passes are only on sale in the first couple of days of the week.

I don't think so. You can get them from ticket vending machines at train or metro stations anytime, as well as from tobacco shops or ticket counters. No need to buy them in advance.

Posted by
3485 posts

I think you misinterpreted my comments , you can buy them from various sources , but past Wednesday or perhaps Thursday , the ones on sale will be for the following , not current , week

Posted by
1520 posts

Maybe if you do not say anything (or type it into the vending machine) it is assumed that you want passes for the next week already.

Posted by
23 posts

The S7 stops at other stations with Ubahn links. Are you sure that Mitte is the best one for you?

We have to change for the U3 to Schweglerstraße. It appears that Wien Mitte-Landstraße is the most optimal place to change :-).

(...) you can buy them from various sources , but past Wednesday or perhaps Thursday , the ones on sale will be for the following , not current , week

Yes, we really need to have the passes for the current week. As wmt1 pointed out, there might be a way to select the week on the vending machines. I just assumed that there would not be such a choice. I will contact Wiener Linien to make this sure. Thanks again!

Posted by
5697 posts

We were in Vienna earlier this year and tried to buy weekly passes for the current week on a Friday -- no sale! Had to buy 72-hour passes. Note to self: arrange arrival in Vienna or Paris to maximize weekly transit passes.

Posted by
341 posts

Both of these passes are a relative deal! Really - compared to transit prices in the US these passes are cut rate. And you will be blown away by how good Vienna's public transit system is. Personally I think it's the world's best, best I've ever experienced any way and I've been here and there. I joke to my wife that public transit in Vienna consists of wishing to be somewhere and magical appearing there 20 minute later no matter where you started.

Have fun - it's a great city. If you are there in the summer it's a fabulous town for students. Take some time to hit up the huge swim complex on the Danube island if the weather is nice - many big pools, wave pool, water slide, river front swimming, acres and acres of lawn for games and relaxing. Cheap gate fee. Transit pass gets you there quite easily. Bring a picnic!

Posted by
23 posts

We were just about to buy the weekly passes online, when we found out that the airport apparently is just outside Vienna's core (100) zone. It turns out that Wiener Linien tickets are only valid within the core zone. Hence we have to buy separate (2 zone) tickets anyway to get to our accomodation on Thursday night, and will just buy those 72 hour passes from the vending machines on Friday morning.

Take some time to hit up the huge swim complex on the Danube island if the weather is nice

Thanks for this suggestion! We will arrive this Thursday; on Sunday it will be 79 Fahrenheit. Probably too cold for a swim, but we might still explore the Danube island! I have been to Vienna once before when I was a teenager, and found the city's ambiance one of the best in Europe!

Posted by
4698 posts

The huge swim complex referred to above is not on the Danube Island, or Donauinsel as it is called in German.

The poster is referring to the Gaensehaeufel, which is actually in the Alte Donau, or Old Danube. Here is the link, although I think it is way to cold for this:

http://www.gaensehaeufel.at/

If you do choose to swim, there are more interesting options for certain, such as the Krapfenwaldbad which has an amazing view over Vienna:

https://www.wien.gv.at/freizeit/baeder/uebersicht/sommerbaeder/krapfenwaldlbad.html

You can buy a pass plus a ticket for one zone to top up and that will get you from the airport into town.

Posted by
1520 posts

You can buy a pass plus a ticket for one zone to top up and that will get you from the airport into town.

That is in principle correct, but the zone system outside Vienna had been abandoned about one year ago. All fares for trips are charged by mere distance now. So things are a bit more complicated now, and the software designers for the vending machines should be crucified for their implementation of this.

You must now enter start and end point of your journey (i.e airport and somewhere in Vienna), find and press the button for "I have already a ticket for Vienna zone 100", and - not kidding - select from a list the point of crossing the border of Vienna zone 100 (to allow the correct fare calculation by distance). Not even locals could explain to me what the correct selection is. As far as I know now "Kledering" is right for RailJets to Vienna main train station, but may work for S7 trains as well (no guarantee).

Another pitfall introduced with that change of the fare system is the limited validity of such a ticket, i.e. one hour from printing, unless you type in date and time of the intended travel in case you want to buy the ticket in advance for your return to the airport.

The standard fare from the airport to somewhere in Vienna is €3.90, or €1.70 with a pass for Vienna.

Posted by
1520 posts

The other option is to buy separate tickets on Thursday and Monday, and the 72-hrs tickets for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

You buy 72-hrs tickets on your arrival Thursday evening. The validity time frame starts when you punch the ticket at your first ride. So it will be good until Sunday evening. Then you do the same with 24-hrs tickets which will then be good until Monday evening when you depart.

Posted by
23 posts

We returned yesterday and did not have any problems with the tickets :-). We went for the weekly passes (e-tickets bought in advance from home), a seperate group ticket from the airport to Schwechat bought from the vending machine (indeed €1.70), and one more separate ticket bought for the remaining Monday.

We did visit the Donauinsel, but not the swimming complex. Instead, we went for the beautiful Krapfenwaldbad. Danke sehr for the suggestion, Emily!

Thanks a lot for all your replies, we had a great stay in Vienna.

Posted by
4698 posts

Glad you had a great visit! Thanks for the feedback!