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).
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).
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.
**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.
**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.