Vienna’s public transportation system provides multiple ways of getting to Schwechat Airport just outside the city, such as direct trains, the subway, and buses. When staying in Vienna, be sure to know how to get to and from the airport from the center of the city. Public transportation in Austria is efficient, clean, and reliable, but you should be aware of all of your options before you travel. Getting to the airport is fairly easy, if you know what is available to you.
The City Airport Train
The City Airport Train, or CAT, is a fast and direct way to get to the airport (the English acronym being for the benefit of international travelers). The train costs eight Euro for adults and five for children, one way. The CAT runs every half hour to and from Wien Mitte-Landstrasse, accessible via the U3 (orange U-Bahn line). The earliest CAT to the airport is 5:38 a.m., the latest 11:38 p.m.
Signs for the CAT are all over Schwechat and in U-Bahn (subway) stations. The CAT, indicated in lime green on maps, is recognizable both by the bright color and the bold, italic “CAT” printed in black.
Direct Bus Lines to Vienna Schwechat
Vienna Airport Bus Lines run from the main entrance of Vienna’s west train station (Westbahnhof) and south train station (Südbahnhof). From the Westbahnhof, the bus costs six Euro one-way. The price is slightly lower from the Südbahnhof, as the station is closer to the airport. Outside of both train stations, there are silver signs at the bus stops that say “Vienna Airport Lines”/”Wiener Linien.” The bus is one of your best options if you are staying near one of the stations and have a lot of suitcases, because you do not have to lug your baggage in and out of the U-Bahn, up and down stairs or escalators, and so on.
Public Transport Running Times
The downside of Vienna’s public transport is that some of the “early” running times are not all that early if you need to make an early flight: the CAT starts running just after 5:30 in the morning, and the first direct bus is at 5:00 a.m.
Luckily, there is a Regional S-Bahn that runs from Wien Mitte-Landstrasse at 4:30, 4: 55, and 5:25 direct to Schwechat. There are also various S-Bahn and bus combinations that will get you to the airport in the middle of the night if necessary (but if you have a lot of suitcases, transferring can get stressful). If you have a very early flight (7 a.m. or earlier), you have the option of a taxi, or a hotel right near the airport (both of which can get expensive, but an option nevertheless if you want peace of mind for making your flight in time).
For more details about connections to the airport from various points around Vienna (and the surrounding areas, such as Bratislava or Burgenland), see the ÖBB website. Simply select a departure time, type in your starting point, then “Vienna Schwechat” or “Vienna Airport” as your destination, and get timetables for the airport. Check out Vienna’s airport website for more information. IMPORTANT NOTE: The German word for “airport” is “Flughafen.” Before you set off on your trip and start using public transport to and from the airport, you may want to familiarize yourself with some train travel terms in German, as travel information is written and spoken only in German in some areas. This will help you to be sure you know where you’re going.
The CAT, the bus, the U-Bahn, and S-Bahn are all reasonable options for getting to the airport. Depending on where you’re staying in Vienna, you can select the means of transportation that is best for you. Having all of this information before your journey will save you some pre-flight stress.