One of the hardest things I find about going to a new place is figuring out how to get around, especially in foreign cities. Generally, the ticket machines have an English option, but not always and sometimes the tickets ask what specific part of the city you’re going to be traveling, for example, the inner or outer areas of the city, which isn’t always an obvious answer to foreign travelers who don’t know the area well. So far I have dealt with both of these struggles, but they were pretty easy to resolve using the expertise of a local or the internet. Another difference from transportation in the US is that tickets are often not checked in a lot of places in Europe. It is definitely tempting to take the chance thinking you won’t be checked, but I have watched someone get caught and slapped with a €150 fine, which makes it a lot less tempting and something I’d strongly advise against.
Although its October 10th, it’s only my first week of classes here in Vienna. I’ve had about a month to figure out all I can about getting around Vienna. Luckily, Vienna has really great public transportation. I can get to pretty much any part of the city in 30 minutes or less and I’m never more than 10 minutes from a metro station, tram stop, or bus stop. Using multiple forms of transportation is definitely different than Pitt, but the transportation is a lot more intuitive and expansive than Pittsburgh’s bus system.
My daily commute to university is about 30 minutes total, including walking to the metro station and from the metro to class. I generally use this time to listen to music or practice my language learning app on my phone. Although 30 minutes sounds like a pretty long time to be traveling, the time flies on a train and doesn’t feel tedious to do every day in the slightest bit.
My greatest advice for people who come to Vienna is to download google maps. Google maps can be really useful for how to get from place to place because it will tell you exactly when and where to transfer. I would also make sure you have an idea of what train line you need to get to your house. If your phone dies and you can’t look at the Google Maps routes and can’t call an uber, it’s really important to know what line you need to get to. Vienna has really easy to read metro maps throughout the stations and as long as you know what line you need to get to you can easily follow their maps. It’s also important to pay attention to metro schedules. Different city’s metros stop running at different times. For example, in Vienna the metros run until midnight on weekdays and 24 hours on weeknights, but, on the other hand, in Munich, the metros only run until 2am on the weekends. Its super important to know where you need to go and how you’re going to get there when you move to a new city.