“OK, I buy the ticket”

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Platform on the U4 line (green line)
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Older tram on Taborstrasse
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You have to open the door when the train stops if you want to get off. Some of the newer trains have buttons, but the older cars have these levers you have to pull. Sharply.

Vienna public transportation is intuitive and easy to navigate. The system includes Ubahn (subway), Sbahn (trains), Straßenbahn (trams) and buses. The signage in stations and on streets is all very clear. Unfortunately the public transportation information is not loaded into Google Maps, but there’s a local app that works pretty well. I usually just use a street map and the Ubahn grid to figure it out that way (old fashioned, I know).

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Exit of the U1 on Taborstrasse and the tram on the street
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Wiener Linien kiosk
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Kiosk message.

Buying tickets is rather fun. When you buy a ticket, you can select English as the language, which is great. However, some of the translations are a little funny. For example, once you’ve selected your ticket, you click the “OK, I buy the ticket” button. This makes me giggle every time, and I am obligated to repeat it aloud at least once. You also have to validate your ticket before riding. I got a monthly pass for the two months I was here (goes by the calendar month, so each pass starts on the first day of the month).

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One of the U2 platforms (purple line)
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Platform in a U4 station (green line)

A few other observations:

**There are five lines in the Ubahn: U1, U2, U3, U4 and U6. Where the heck is U5, Vienna?

**Like many other cities, the Ubahn lines are color coded. But Vienna even color codes the platforms, which is a nice touch.

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Each of the stations has art. This is the whimsical painting at the Praterstern U1 (red) platform
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More urban chic in a central station
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Karlsplatz station

 

**The stations in city centre are urban chic. As you get further out of the first couple districts, the lines are elevated, and the stations are beautiful old buildings from the 19th century and early 20th century.

**Ticketing works on the honor system. I’ve only encountered one inspector on a train in 2 months with no problem. But I hear the fines for not having a ticket are steep (€150): a costly mistake when a single ticket costs €2.20.

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Ticket validator. When you put your ticket in the yellow slot, the machine stamps the date
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Signage is very good – lots of pictures. This one even has a picture for the Riesenrad, the ferris wheel in Prater
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One of the U2 platforms (purple line)
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View from an elevated U4 train outside city centre

**Standing on the left side of the escalator is a big no-no here (as in many other cities, London & DC for example). However, people will actually tap you on the leg or arm to move you out of the way in Vienna.

**Dogs are everywhere here. They are welcome on public transportation but only if you buy them a ticket (€1.10/ride, same price as a child). Most grocery stores have hooks outside the door so you can tie your dog up while you shop.

Title quote: Text on the purchase button in the English version of the Wiener Linien kiosk.

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One of the elevated tracks of the U6 line.
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A group of preschoolers on a field trip – it’s very common to see large groups of children getting on and off the trains.
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Praterstern U1 platform (red line)
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Urban chic in one of the central stations
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Staircase up to the U4 platform (green line) in a station outside city center

 

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