Vienna Public Transit: A (Rather Wordy) Photo Essay

Vienna Public Transit: A (Rather Wordy) Photo Essay

This will shock and amaze all who know me and my tendency to take terrible pictures/break cameras but I didn’t do too badly this time, so I thought I’d post a few photo essays rather than try to write up all my experiences more formally.

We’ll see. I suspect there will be more words than pictures, in spite of my best intentions.


Vienna's Karlplatz Station, designed by Otto Wagner (did I mention I love public transportation)

Karlplatz Station, designed by Otto Wagner. Originally part of an older transport system, this was restored and now serves as an entry to the U-Bahn station of the same name (picture from Wikimedia Commons)

I love public transportation, and Vienna has a wonderful system of buses, trams, and subways that I used extensively; the weekly pass is well worth purchasing. The system has only one major flaw: It’s not air-conditioned. This is not a problem most of the time — and, yeah, I know, it’s an American obsession that Europeans don’t share — but I visited during a serious heat wave.  Austrians may be generally fastidious in their personal hygiene, but by the end of my visit everyone was a bit ripe. The underground, being underground, was naturally cooled and may have even had some air blowing through it, but the trams and buses were had the shake-and-bake effect down.

U-Bahn Dogs

I’m pretty sure dogs are permitted on all the forms of public transportation in Vienna, but I only noticed them — and signs alluding to them — on the U-Bahn.

Vienna underground 2

I know pictures are supposed to speak for themselves, but this requires a bit of explanation. Dogs are allowed to ride on trains if they are leashed (Leine) and muzzled (Beißkorb). Sorry icon designer, but I didn’t recognize the muzzle symbol and thought it meant “no barking,” which would have been difficult to enforce, but who knows?

As for the arrow pointing to the dog, that’s an LED display that usually announces the next stop, I realized after the fact. At first I wondered why the dog icon needed to be pointed at; it’s pretty easy to spot.

Dog on the underground

Dog riding the Vienna U-Bahn

Well, okay, so not everybody observes the rules in Austria. Maybe this couple thought the bandana could serve as a muzzle in a pinch.

Note the brass handles above the dog’s butt, by the way. Doors on Viennese subways don’t automatically open; you have to have someone on the inside or outside either push a button, in the case of the newer cars, or, in this case, pull the handles sharply to the right or the left. Although the instructions are pretty clear, even in German, the amount of pressure required on the handle may be initially confusing to some (ahem). You can depend — I think — on someone coming to your aid after giving you the “dumbkopf” look.

Public Art

According to Vienna tourist information,

The subway lines U1, U2 and U3 are Vienna’s “art lines”. For over 20 years, works of art have been placed in many stations to make the stops more attractive. 1.5 million people visit the subway stations every day and are able to enjoy the art.

International artists such as Ken Lum, Nam June Paik and Anton Lehmden as well as Austrian masters like Gottfried Kumpf have provided works – ranging from modern installations to wall murals and sculptures.

Naturally, I didn’t notice any of the aesthetically pleasing ones, only the following.

In the Vienna Underground

I think it is in the Karlsplatz station, where I frequently transferred from the U-2 to the U-3 line, but I can’t be sure. Nor do I know who the artist is. All information welcome.

4 Responses to Vienna Public Transit: A (Rather Wordy) Photo Essay

  1. Anna Redsand says:

    Like the limit you set of starting with the transit system. Always looking at how other writers do it. Have also enjoyed the periodic FB entries en route. Glad you’re safely back and had such a positive experience. Eager to hear about some things I haven’t experienced. Freud and Frank Museums for one (two). Did you make it to the Jüdisches Museum?
    Anna Redsand recently posted..Plurality on EasterMy Profile

    • Edie Jarolim says:

      It was desperation, Anna! I was completely blocked and wanted to write something and thought this might be self-contained. It’s not my favorite post, but at least it got me putting words (and pictures) on the page.

      I will be writing about the Freud Museum soon; it turns out that reports of a Frankl Museum were highly exaggerated — that will happen in 2015. But I plan to write about my visit to the Frankl Institute. I did make it to the Judishches Museum — I’ll be posting about that too… eventually…

  2. Anna Redsand says:

    I find that desperation is often so very useful!
    Anna Redsand recently posted..Plurality on EasterMy Profile

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