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This week I'm arriving to Vienna for 2 days. For now there are several questions:

  • Does the 48-hours ticket include train from airport to city center?
  • If not, are there any ways not to buy separate ticket, but just "expand" 48-hours ticket?
  • If I want to exit S-Bahn train in Wien Zentralfriedhof station on the way from Vienna to airport, and then continue trip to airport, do I have to buy another ticket?
  • Is it better to buy tickets on the station, or online in advance?
  • 2
    Thanks for asking this question on the internet! I'm so sick of seeing tourists fined for not buying the 1,80 € ticket from the airport to Schwechat. – sgf Sep 9 at 7:22
  • I'd suggest to just buy a ÖBB train ticket, either online or directly at the airport. The ticket stations for ÖBB are on the way to the train exits, there are machines and also staffed counters. I would describe them as hard to overlook. One-way to Vienna Central Station is 4,20 Euros currently. Here you can buy tickets online: Tickets – pat3d3r Sep 9 at 10:14
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Does the 48-hours ticket include train from airport to city center?

No. The 48-hour ticket, excludes the zone the airport is in.

If not, are there any ways not to buy separate ticket, but just "expand" 48-hours ticket?

Theoretically yes. The 48-hours covers all of Zone 1, so you only need to buy a ticket from the airport to edge to zone 1. However, I have never figured out how to buy this ticket. Everything in the airport steers you aggressively towards the CAT (City Airport Express), which is much more expensive. Buying any other ticket is rather tricky.

If I want to exit S-Bahn train in Wien Zentralfriedhof station on the way from Vienna to airport, and then continue trip to airport, do I have to buy another ticket?

You can get you 48-hour ticket to get to Zentralfreidhof for free. However, you need a ticket that covers the airport zone as well, which the 48-hour ticket doesn't.

Is it better to buy tickets on the station, or online in advance?

I suggest downloading with Wien Mobile app so you can buy them on the fly. The CAT ticket is not valid for regular trains and vice versa. Having the app allows you adjust quickly.

Cheapest best option would be to buy a ticket from Schwechat to the edge of the core zone for Euro 5,- (if you figure out how to buy the ticket). Next would be the regular train ticket for Euro 8,- and then the CAT for Euro 11,-.

  • 4
    Note that for the way to the airport, it can be worth it to spend the extra money on the CAT, because you can already check your luggage at the CAT terminal in the city (if you fly with Lufthansa or Austrian, at least), up to 12 (or even 24, I forgot) hours before your flight. I did this once, I checked my luggage in the morning and then spent a nice day in the city without having to haul around or store my luggage. – Jörg W Mittag Sep 9 at 1:30
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    Buying another ticket isn't tricky at all. Just ignore all the CAT people and terminals, go to the "S-Bahn" train station. There are ticket machines there, multi-language and you can just enter your destination station and it'll show you the correct one-way ticket to buy. – Tom Sep 9 at 11:04
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Seems wild to me that I couldn't find this info in English from the official sources. Here's a shot:

VOR Fares

The regional transit authority, VOR, fares are valid on the vast majority of mass transit in the region:

  • All trains operated by ÖBB (S-Bahn, Regionalzug, railjet...)
  • Underground (U-Bahn) operated by Wiener Linien
  • Trams (Straßenbahn, "Bim") operated by Wiener Linien
  • City buses operated by Wiener Linien and subcontractors
  • Regional buses operated by VOR, Postbus, Badner Bahn and subcontractors
  • Badner Bahn interurban railway

You are allowed to take a long distance or regional train within the city or VOR area with a regular VOR fare.

VOR fares do not apply on private and tourist services:

  • City Airport Train CAT
  • Vienna Airport Lines buses
  • Air Liner buses
  • Hop-on, hop-off sightseeing buses and trams
  • Westbahn trains
  • RegioJet trains (not to be confused with ÖBB Regionalzug, Regionalexpress, railjet or cityjet - those are included)

Zones

VOR fares recently stopped employing a zone system in favor of point to point pricing.

The key exception is everything in the Vienna city limits - the former zone 100, now simply known as "Kernzone." This zone covers everything in the precise municipal boundary, and occasionally, the first stop outside. For guests and the non-geographically-inclined this is a bit tricky but you can consult this list of stations in each direction you Kernzone ticket is valid to.

The common time-based tickets (such as the 48-hour ticket) are valid for the Kernzone.

Airport

Vienna Airport is not in the city limits: this means you need to buy an additional ticket to cover the stretch between the airport and Vienna city limits.

If travelling by S-Bahn this is quite easy: you simply buy a ticket from the Airport (Flughafen Wien) to the suburb Schwechat for €1.80 which is the point from where your 48-hour ticket is valid. The same applies for the return: before boarding the train you'll take directly to the airport (in your case at Zentralfriedhof since that's still in the Kernzone) buy a point to point ticket from Schwechat to Flughafen Wien to cover the portion of your trip that's outside of the area your 48-hour ticket is valid.

If you want to take the railjet or other long distance train from the Airport to Wien Hbf or Meidling you can theoretically buy a ticket "to the city limits" (nach Stadtgrenze) but I'm not sure how on the machines.

There are ticketing machines in the arrivals hall after the exit from baggage claim, and more machines (normally no line) down on the train platform. Theoretically you can buy whichever tickets you need here, but it may be easier to buy the 48-hour ticket in advance on your phone and just do the point to point ticket here. There's no cost savings for advance booking. You are required to have a ticket before boarding the train.

  • amazing to have a Canadian explaining this better than I (as a local) ever could. Our fare structure is illogical sometimes. VOR tickets including ÖBB tariff can be cheaper than the ÖBB train ticket alone on some routes. On routes involving more than one out of bus, train, ubahn, sbahn it is always worth to check the VOR price instead of buying ÖBB ticket plus, for example, one u-bahn from Zonengrenze Wien. – dlatikay Sep 9 at 17:04
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    @dlatikay to be fair, I studied urban (transportation) planning at TU Wien. ;) – Carl Sep 9 at 17:08
  • And I left out anything about ÖBB fare structure since it's never cheaper unless you have railcard (Vorteilscard). – Carl Sep 9 at 17:09
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The 48-hour ticket for the "core zone Vienna" indeed does not include the airport (despite the "core zone" wording all other zones outside of Vienna have been abolished in favour of a distance-based fare system).

I would suggest that you download the ÖBB app (available in English), which allows you to specify that you already have a ticket for the core zone Vienna, and so effectively allows you to buy a ticket to/from the core zone border station.

Simply specify your origin and destination stations (e.g. Wien Zentralfriedhof and Vienna International Airport), then select "Who is going? 1 × adult / Change", "Add discount" and finally choose "Ticket Stadtverkehr Wien (Kernzone) exkl. Jahreskarte". Once you've done that, the app will automatically deduct the core zone part from the fare – there's no need to look up the core zone boundaries.

You can also use the ÖBB app to purchase a 48h core zone ticket instead of the Wien Mobil app. If you prefer to use a physical ticket machine at the airport (prices are the same), simply use one of the red ticket machines with "ÖBB" and "Tickets" signs on them – the gray/green ones are for the more expensive CAT (City Airport Train) that is not integrated into the other fare systems.

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