Vienna is a city of 2 distinctly different seasons; summer and winter.
To visit it only once would mean missing out on half the experience.
To experience it fully you must visit once in Summer; for the Mediterranean feeling of long hot nights and outdoor cafe life &
once in Winter, between the end of November and Christmas, if for nothing else than the magical Christmas Markets.
Vienna International Airport is well served with train connections into the centre of Vienna.
You have 2 choices. The more expensive but faster CAT (City Airport Train) which takes 16 minutes to Wien Mitte or you can take the local Schnellbahn which takes 24 minutes and costs a fraction of the price. The Schnellbahn doesn't have facilities especially for luggage storage but you can generally manage by placing it under the seats, whereas the CAT is designed for airport travellers.
You can check out the CAT Schedule and Fares on their website:
It's a little more complex to check out the Schnellbahn train times but there is a display on the departures screen next to the Ticket machines and also on the platforms, generally they go at 18 and 48 mins past the hour and a ticket (which needs validating*) costs €1.80 to Wien Mitte
If you want to try the Austrian Trains website for times their address is:
You will need to put in "Flughafen Wien Bahnhof " as your point of departure and then choose a destination such as "Wien Mitte", which is where the Schnellbahn joins the U-Bahn system.
There is a Post Bus that goes from the Airport to 2 central locations in Vienna and 2 outer locations. It costs €6 and goes every 30 minutes. For details check out:
The 72 Hour Vienna Card.
This allows you travel on all forms of public transport within Vienna over the 72 hours from the time of validation - see below - it currently costs €18.50 (March 2010). In addition it gives visitors discounts (of 1 or 2 Euros per card holder) at most of the favourite attractions within Vienna.
Vienna is a small enough city that if you like walking around you can see a lot without using the transport system. If, however, you prefer to hop-on and hop-off then consider this card. A single ticket (covering U-Bahn, bus and tram as long as they're all in 1 direction as part of the same journey) costs €1.80 - they don't do return tickets so you need to buy a ticket for each direction. So after 11 single trips the €18.50 will have paid for itself - and you get any little discounts.
All U-Bahn tickets need to be validated as do the Schnell bahn tickets from the Airport.
To validate your ticket you must punch the ticket in the little blue boxes located at the entry to U-Bahn (underground) platforms - generally at the top of the escalators - or on the platform itself in the case of the Airport Schnellbahn.
When you purchase your tickets at the machine there is an option to "Validate Now" which if taken means the ticket is validated for immediate use and you do not have to punch it in the blue boxes.
Vienna is divided into Bezirks (districts) the very centre being the 1st District (or Inner District).
Around the 1st district in a ring (like the white around a fried egg with the 1st District being the yolk) are the 2nd - 9th Districts.
When you are given an address in Vienna the post code will show you which district it is in, so for a 1st district address you will see '1010' then for the 2nd District it will be '1020' and so on. This is helpful to know when trying to find recommendations from this site on the map.