Have you ever just sat on one of Vienna’s old trams and rode it from the beginning until the end? It may sound like crazy talk, but it can be one of the best ways to take in the city, and discover new neighbourhoods beyond your own. Sometimes we throw our arms up in the air and yell, ‘WEEEE!’ as if it’s a ride. Anyway, there’s some kind of romance in this city’s old trams that are affectionately known by the locals as a ‘Bim’.
We’ve selected 4 of our favourite and (what we think) are the most beautiful tram routes to take in Vienna:
Start: Schottentor, 1090
Finish: Grinzing, 1190
As so many do, this tram starts its journey at Schottentor. To be sure you’re on the edge of your seat throughout the trip (as this tram route deserves) grab yourself one of the magnificent coffees served up at Jonas Reindl, or Kaffeeküche in/ close to the station. Once you’ve done that, jump on and you’ll be on your way to some of the most beautiful areas in Vienna. The tram exits town through Währinger straße. Along the way you’ll catch a bunch of Vienna’s best urban scenes before you head out through parts of the 19th district, and end up at the end station where vineyards and Heurigen (wine taverns) await you. Along the way, the route will start getting more and more green and the population changes from young to old. Simultaneously, your relaxation level may change as you breath your first breath of the village-like calm of the outer districts. And once again, this tram route ends in wine! What better end destination can you ask for?!
Start: Alfred-Adler-Strasse, 1100
Finish: Nussdorf, Beethovengang, 1190
Starting off in Vienna’s 10th district and working its way out to Vienna’s 19th district, you’ll witness so many contrasts and different faces on this tram, that you’ll wonder if you ever knew this city at all. The D tram also passes through some of the most beautiful and cultural sights of Vienna. Before hitting the ring, the D tram passes by Belvedere palace and the grand sight of Schwarzenbergplatz, before hitting the ring with the first impressive sight on your right being the Opera. And then on you’ll slide…Burgtheater, the Parliament, the gothic steeples of the city hall. Moving on, you will pass through the underrated district known as the 9th (you’ll probably be tempted to jump off at some of the funky looking new places popping up out here). After this point, you might as well say farewell to the city, as you slip into the more affluent area of the 19th district – although, we do say affluent, but meanwhile one of the largest social housing buildings in the world is the first imposing buildings you’ll see out here – the Karl Marx-hof (it just goes on forever this red behemoth!). Soon enough though, you’ll be losing yourself in the village-like and green atmosphere of the 19th district. If you’re down for a beautiful hilly walk, there is a walking trail that begins from the last station of the D tram.
Start: Prater Hauptallee
Finish: Stefan Fadinger Platz
Before the yellow ‘ring tram’ started encircling the boulevard surrounding the city center, the tram number 1 and 2 were the tourist trams. And while since those days, the Nr. 1 tram still flies by some of the most beautiful parts of the city, boasting sights of the most beautiful buildings of the ‘Ring’ boulevard. Starting (or ending – depends which way you look at it, really) deep in the beautiful Prater park (by the boulevard cutting through the park known as the Hauptallee), the 1 emerges from the green in the 3rd district where the show from your window will include the unique building, the Hundertwasserhaus, which is famous for the trees sprouting from it’s windows like hair from an old man’s nostrils and the colourful mosaics that bring its facade to life. Then there’s the Urania observatory building towering over the Donaukanal, which is the waterway you follow until you reach Schottenring. Here you’ll swing around and settle onto the ring boulevard where your eyes will dart from side to side as you pass many beautiful and imposing buildings, such as the Börse, the Main University campus, Burgtheater, Rathaus, Parlament, and the twin museums – the Kunsthistorisches and Naturhistorisches Museum. At the Opera building, the tram turns right, then passes Karlsplatz and the WTF-architecture of the Technisches University (and you even get a glimpse of the Stephansdom when you look out the back window), before you disappear into the 4th and 5th districts. From here, the scene changes dramatically in an interesting kind of way as you travel deeper into the neighbourhoods, until you reach the last stop at Stefan-Fadinger-Platz in the 10th district.
Start: Dr. Karl Renner Ring
The 49 tram begins snaking its way through the cobblestoned parts of the 7th district from Dr.-Karl-Renner-Ring. Before you even get on the tram, look left and right at the grand buildings that line the sweeping ‘Ring’ boulevard – the view from here is already worth soaking in. Once your past the Volkstheater and Museumsquartier, the 49 takes you straight into Bobostan aka the 7th district, and past some really cool cafés and shops. After leaving hipster heaven behind, the tram crosses the Gürtel to stop at Urban-Loritz-Platz where the unique Hauptbücherei (main city library) is located. From here it continues its way to the outer districts of Vienna, past the Rudolfsheimer Pfarrkirche (that’s the huge church that you also notice when looking out from the Gloriette at Schönbrunn), to reach its final destination in Hütteldorf.