Wien Hbf/Hauptbahnhof (Wien / Vienna)

This guide to using Vienna's central railway station explains what to look out for when arriving and departing from here by train.
Long distance trains to and from the Austrian capital used to depart from and arrive at multiple different stations.
Now they all use its relatively new main train station - Wien Hbf/Wien Hauptbahnhof.

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The clear direction signage on the platforms/tracks at Wien Hbf The clear direction signage on the platforms/tracks at Wien Hbf
The sets of departure screens on the bahnsteigen are particularly useful when changing trains The sets of departure screens on the bahnsteigen are particularly useful when changing trains
The sun sets over Wien Hbf The sun sets over Wien Hbf
The long bahnsteigen (platforms/tracks) two trains can be simultaneously scheduled to use different zones The long bahnsteigen (platforms/tracks) two trains can be simultaneously scheduled to use different zones
The view from the OBB 1st class lounge which is on the Sudtroller Platz concourse The view from the OBB 1st class lounge which is on the Sudtroller Platz concourse
It's no exaggeration that parts of Wien Hbf have the aura of a sci-fil movie set It's no exaggeration that parts of Wien Hbf have the aura of a sci-fil movie set

Long distance trains to and from the Austrian capital used to depart from and arrive at multiple different stations.
Now they all use its relatively new main train station; Wien Hbf/Wien Hauptbahnhof.

Good to know:

Seven things worth knowing aout Wien Hbf; the central railway station in Vienna:

(1) All of the platforms/tracks (bahnsteiges) used by the long distance trains have access by lifts (elevators); as well as by escalators and stairs.

(2) The main exit/entrance to the station is on Südtiroler Platz.
It also houses the ticket and reservation office and the OBB 1st class lounge.
The U-bahn (metro) station at Wien Hbf can sometimes be referred to as Südtiroler Platz.

(3) The station has a secondary entrance/exit on Karl Popper StraBe.
It is at the opposite end of the station to the Südtiroler Platz, but some of the tram stops at Wien Hbf are located by this Karl Popper StraBe entrance/exit.
For the western edge of the city centre, the easiest option is usually to take tram line D and this is one of the tram routes, which departs from here.

(4) The station is actually located some distance from the city centre. it's on the southern fringes of the central area.

(5) Wien Hbf is connected to the heart of the city, the area around St Stephens cathedral, by line U1 of the Vienna's metro/underground.
The station at Stephensplatz in the heart of the city is three stops north of Wien Hbf.

(6) The easiest means of accessing the eastern edge of the city centre is to use the
S-bahn (local trains).
They call at Wien Mitte, the main public transport hub in the east end of the city centre.

(7) New, smart, and reasonably priced hotels have opened in the vicinity of Wien Hbf.
So if you want convenient access to and from the station, and are happy to use public transport or taxis to travel to/from the city centre, then staying near Wien Hbf can be a wise choice.

The main concourse as seen from inside the entrance on Sudtroller Platz The main concourse as seen from inside the entrance on Sudtroller Platz
The Karl Popper StraBe, entrance hall The Karl Popper StraBe, entrance hall
Some of the tram routes use a stop outside the Karl Popper StraBe entrance Some of the tram routes use a stop outside the Karl Popper StraBe entrance
The main street entrance on Südtiroler Platz The main street entrance on Südtiroler Platz
The south entrance on Am Huaptbahnhof platz The south entrance on Am Huaptbahnhof platz
Looking along bahnsteig (platform) 2 which is used by S-Bahn trains to the city centre Looking along bahnsteig (platform) 2 which is used by S-Bahn trains to the city centre

Departing by train:

These five things are particularly worth knowing about taking a train from the main station in the Austrian capital, Wien Hbf (the main station in Vienna).

(1) Being at Wien Hbf at least 10 mins before your train departs is recommended - even if you don’t need to purchase a ticket.
It’s a large station and the exit from the U-Bahn (metro) is some distance from the platforms in the main station (bahnsteige 3 – 12).

So give yourself time to work out which platform/track/bahnsteige your train will be departing from.
If your train isn’t yet listed on the electronic indicators, you can find out where it will (should) be departing from on the yellow departure 'Abfahrt' sheets.

(2) The station is in effect divided into three parts:

  1. The main station building houses bahnsteige (platforms/tracks) 3 - 12.

All of the international day and night trains use this part of the station as do all of the Railjet express trains to other destinations in Austria.
The bahnsteige (platforms/tracks) in this part of the station are above street level and are linked to the main concourse on Sudtiroler Platz, buy a wide passage way, which runs under the railway.
Escalators and elevators link this passage way to the respective pairs of bahnsteige (platforms/tracks)

  1. Bahnsteige (platforms/tracks) 1 and 2 are below ground level and can be accessed via stairs and escalators and elevators, which are all located on the main concourse.

This part of the station is mainly used by the local 'S-Bahn' trains, including the trains to other stations at the eastern and northern ends of the city centre: Wien-Quartier-Belvedere; Wien-Rennweg and Wien-Mitte and Wien-Pratersen station.
These trains towards the city centre depart from bahnsteig (platform/track) 2.

  1. The third part of the station is the U-Bahn station on line U1 of the Vienna Metro.

(3) Several trains per hour leave from each bahnsteig (platform/track); so take care when boarding a train.
Check the numerous departure screens to confirm where the next train from each platform (track) will be heading to

(4) Most trains from Wien Hbf don't commence their journeys at Wien Hbf, so they tend to arrive in the station only 2-10 mins before departing.
But if you have a reserved seat you can use the information screens to show you where to wait for easy boarding into the coach in which your seat(s) will be located.

(5) The bahnsteige (platforms/tracks 3-12) are divided into zones, so on each bahnsteige you'll find an electronic display showing which carriage/coach of each train will be in a particular zone when the train is in the station.
So if you have a reservation, or will be travelling 1st class, you can use it to work out where to wait on the bahnsteige (platform/track) for easy boarding.

Zones A-C are at the ends of the bahnsteige (platforms/tracks) closest to the main Sudtiroler Platz concourse.

Using the entrance on Karl Popper StraBe:

The station has a secondary entrance on a street named Karl Popper StraBe, it is located at the opposite end of the bahnsteige (platforms/tracks) to the main entrance
Unlike the main entrance on Südtiroler Platz, the Karl Popper StraBe entrance only has ticket machines.

If you have arrived at the station by tram line D, this entrance has the most convenient access to the trains.
However, if you're at the Karl Popper StraBe entrance and:

  • would rather purchase a ticket from the main ticket office,
  • want to make a reservation,
  • purchase food/drink etc before boarding your train... then you will have a fairly long walk to access these facilities on the main Südtiroler Platz concourse.
The main passage way which crosses the station under the platforms used by the long-distance trains The main passage way which crosses the station under the platforms used by the long-distance trains
On Südtiroler Platz this is the access to the U-Bahn and tracks 1 and 2 On Südtiroler Platz this is the access to the U-Bahn and tracks 1 and 2
The main departure board at Wien Hbf - the passage to the trains is beneath it The main departure board at Wien Hbf - the passage to the trains is beneath it
The stairs and escalators link the main passage way to the platforms/tracks above The stairs and escalators link the main passage way to the platforms/tracks above

Arriving by train:

The bahnsteigen (platforms/tracks) at Wien Hbf, that the long distance trains arrive at, have two main exits located at either end of the platform.

(1) Head for the exit marked Südtiroler Platz if you want to;

The Südtiroler Platz exit also leads to the station's main concourse that houses the ticket and reservation office and the OBB 1st class lounge.

(2) Head for the exit marked Karl Popper StraBe if you want to access the city centre by tram line D.
Unlike the U-Bahn line 1, tram line D has direct access to the western edge of the city centre.
It has stops on the inner ring road at Oper, near the opera house and Burgring for the Musuem Quarter and Dr. Karl Renner Ring for the Austrian Parliament building.

The Line D tram stop at Wien Hbf is named ‘Hauptbahnfof Ost’

Accessing other areas of the city centre from Vienna central station:

Lines S1, S2 and S3 of the city’s commuter train (S-Bahn network) all provide a useful link from Wien Hbf to the eastern areas of the city centre.
Take any train from platform/bahnsteig 2 to Rennweg or Mitte stations.

However bahnsteig 2 is some distance from platforms/bahnsteigen 3 – 12 - which are used by the long distance trains.
It is in an underground part of the station - which is accessed via a passage way from the Südtiroler Platz concourse.
Follow the signs to ‘bahnsteige 1 – 2’.

For the Prater amusement park, location of the Wiener Riesenradm ferris wheel, take line U1 (direction Leopoldlau) six stops to 'Pratersen'.

For the Donau City business district take line U1 (direction Leopoldlau) nine stops to 'Kaisermuhlen VIC'.

The escalators and elevators down to Karl Popper StraBe are in zone E The escalators and elevators down to Karl Popper StraBe are in zone E
The escalators down the main exit on Sudtroller Platz The escalators down the main exit on Sudtroller Platz
The Karl Popper Strabe exits are at the eastern end of the platforms / bahnsteigen The Karl Popper Strabe exits are at the eastern end of the platforms / bahnsteigen
The elevators down to the main exits are on zone A, on the platforms, so they'll likely be beyond the escalators The elevators down to the main exits are on zone A, on the platforms, so they'll likely be beyond the escalators

Using Wein Meidling station:

If the start or end point of your journey is adjacent to a station on line U6 of the Vienna Metro, leave or join trains at Wien-Meidling station and NOT Wien Hbf.
All trains to Wien/Vienna from the south and west call first at Wien Meidling, BEFORE they arrive at Wien Hbf.
(So if you're heading for Wien Hbf, take care NOT to leave the train here).

However, if your final destination is on the western and southern edges of the city centre, your best option MAY be to leave the train at Wien-Meidling
It can be worth looking up your final destination in the city - and your onward connection options, before committing to heading for Wien Hbf.

Trains to and from Vienna Airport/Wien Flughafen

Three train services connect Wien/Vienna with its airport:

1: CAT (City Airport Trains) trains that shuttle every 30mins between the airport and Wien Mitte-LandsrtaBe station, which is served by U-Bahn Line U3.
Wien Mitte is on the eastern edge of the city centre.

The journey time between Wien Mitte-LandsrtaBe and the flughafen/airport by CAT train is only 16mins.

The part of the Wien Mitte station used by the CAT trains has check-in desks for many airlines.
You can only use these check-in desks if you take a CAT train to the airport.

2. S-Bahn commuter trains on line S7 also link Wien Mitte station and the airport/flughafen, they're just as frequent as the CAT trains, but are cheaper and slower - but only by 7 minutes!

Also unlike the CAT trains they also call at other stations on the eastern edge of Vienna city centre including Praterstern and Rennweg.

3. Wien Hbf is now linked to Vienna Airport/Flughafen by direct trains that generally operate every 30mins during the day.
Thats because many of the long distance trains to/from Wien have had their journeys extended to/from Wien Flughafen station.
So these trains are a good option if the start/end point of your journey is around Wien Hbf, but the CAT or S-Bahn trains are a better option for travelling between the flughafen/airport and Wien city centre.

Railjet express trains also link Vienna Airport direct with stations on the railway lines west towards Salzburg Innsbruck and Bregenz and south towards Graz.
Click the city names below for more info about taking these trains.

Bregenz       Graz      Innsbruck

Linz     Salzburg       St. Anton

Conveniently Located Hotels/Hostels

Vienna’s relatively new Central Station, Wien Hauptbahnhof, is located on the southern edge of the city centre, but the hotels that were being built as the station was under construction, have now opened their doors.

As a consequence quality modern rooms, at reasonable rates, and within an easy walk from Wien Hauptbahnhof station, are available – if you book ahead.

The distance from the city centre, seemingly keeps the room rates in the area low, so there’s usually little point in travelling on to another area of the city in search of a bargain.

Though if the cheapest possible accommodation price is a factor, it’s likely that you’ll need to factor in travelling on the metro (U-Bahn) and making the transfer between lines.

There’s a clutch of hostels in Wien/Vienna in the area around the Westbahnhof, which until recently had been one of the main stations in the city, but to reach the area from Wien Hbf you need to take line U1 to Stephans-Platz and connect there for a line U3 train.

Hotels within10min walk of Wien Hauptbahnhof

Luxury:
Prinz Eugen Hotel

Mid Range:
Hotel Schani

Zeitgeist Vienna

Azimut Hotel Vienna

Pakat Suites

Budget (particularly high quality budget accommodation):

Motel One Wien Hauptbahnhof (recommended)

Star Inn Premium Wien Hauptbahnhof

Austria Trend Beim Theresianum

Meininger Vienna Central Station hotel/hostel (as featured in this guide to Europe's best hostels with easy access to stations).

City Guides

Not only is Vienna/Wien easy to reach by train from all corners of Europe, the Austrian capital also inevitably offers a wealth of attractions to justify making the journey.

20 Ideas for Experiencing The City (Time Out)

The Most Amazing Experiences in Vienna (Telegraph Travel)

Recommendations From Locals (LikeALocal)

Hidden Vienna (Atlas Obscura)

3 Days In Vienna (Two Scots Abroad)

Insider Tips From A Local (y Travel)

25 Things To Do (Inspired By Maps)

Ideas For A 2 Day Itinerary (Finding The Universe)

Journeys

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