Vienna International Airport, or Flughafen Wien-Schwechat as it is called in German, is the largest airport in Austria, and the only one that serves the capital city of Vienna. The city and airport are conveniently sited near the border of three neighbouring countries making Vienna Airport important for more than Austria. No matter where you are headed to or coming from when travelling through, make sure you know everything you need to with this Vienna Airport guide!
The Austrian flag-carrier airline, and Star Alliance member, Austrian Airlines use Vienna Airport as its base, as one might expect from a capital city and the countries largest airport. But also the airport is a hub for Lufthansa’s low-cost carrier, Eurowings, and a focus city for other budget airlines such as Ryanair, Lauda, and Wizz Air. Although Bratislava has its own airport, Vienna Airport offers many more destinations with significantly more airlines and so can be considered as the primary airport for two European capital cities! It is approximately 18km from Vienna, and 50km away from Bratislava.
Vienna Airport At-a-glance
Official Website: https://www.viennaairport.com
Airport Code: VIE
Gate Checker: https://www.viennaairport.com/en/passengers/arrival__departure/departures
Terminal Checker: https://www.viennaairport.com/en/passengers/airport/airlines
Contact Number: +43-1-7007-0
Timezone: GMT+1 October-March, GMT+2 March-October
Lost Property Contact: https://www.viennaairport.com/en/found
Map: https://map.viennaairport.com/apps/index.html?rel=en – An interactive 2D map with a level selection at the left-hand side to view different floors
WiFi: Free WiFi is available throughout the airport.
Apps: Vienna Airport has a free app available on both Android and iOS.
Vienna Airport Facilities
Vienna Airport has all the essential airport facilities a passenger would expect to find, plus a couple of additions that those interested in aviation may enjoy too. Luggage storage and wrapping, ATM’s, currency conversion, free WiFi, tourist information, a Spar supermarket, children’s play areas for families, mobile device charging points, multi-faith rooms, a pharmacy, relaxation zones, duty-free, and food outlets are all there, with some restaurants providing a 24-hour service. Luggage trolleys are possible to use for a low coin deposit that is returned when passengers replace the cart.
As for non-standard conveniences that not every airport has, Vienna Airport hosts the VISITAIR Center which offers tours of the airport for passengers passing through during the day. The VISITAIR Center is open 8:30 am – 6 pm Monday to Saturday. Visitors can explore a replica plane cockpit and educate themselves on the inner workings of an airport with displays and sound stations. For an even more in-depth experience, a full tour including going out on the tarmac in a bus can be booked. For any passengers with less time but who would appreciate something a little different, the Besucherwelt panoramic terrace is an observation terrace that offers panoramic views of the runways and the planes taking off and landing. The observation deck is open from 8 am until 10 pm in summer, and until 8 pm in winter.
Sleeping isn’t possible in the airport itself aside from lounger chairs at the departure gates, but two hotel choices are within walking distance with others a short shuttle ride away. The NH Vienna Airport Conference Center is the closest choice and offers 499 rooms. It is conveniently close to the Arrivals, near car park 4. The other alternative is the Moxy Vienna hotel, part of Marriott’s stylish budget hotel chain. It is a five-minute walk away, but there is no shuttle. Other options are in the small town of Fischamend near to the airport and have a paid-for shuttle service allowing access. Opening Booking.com or Hotels.com and searching for Vienna airport will find you the best rates for these.
Shower facilities are not available in any free-to-access public areas for passengers. If looking to freshen up before or after any travelling, passengers will need to either use a hotel room or one of the airport lounges with shower facilities. Those not flying on business class tickets can pay for access at several lounges. The ‘Sky Lounge’ and ‘Jet Lounge’ have showers and allow entry at the door for around €30-€35.
Luggage storage is possible for as short as one day and as long as six months, if required. The fee is flat for each item at €4 per day per item. If looking to store oversized baggage, this doubles to €8 per item per day instead. A cheaper attractive alternative, in particular on a warm winters day, is the ‘wardrobe’ service where passengers can store a set of clothes (defined as 1x jacket/coat, 1x pair of shoes, 1x hat, 1x gloves, and 1x pair of gloves) for just €2 per day. Look for the ‘Baggage Service Centres’ before security in both Terminal 1 and Terminal 3. For more information, travellers can contact email@example.com.
Vienna Airport Terminal Layout
Although officially Vienna Airport has Terminals 1, 1A, 2, and 3, the design of the airport is such that passengers would only see one, with the smaller 1A slightly detached. The airport has Terminal 1 and 3 built ‘back-to-back’, making the airport one building in essence. Terminal 2 is under construction to modernise it with a scheduled opening of 2020. The three remaining terminals effectively are distinct areas where passengers will check-in before moving to one of five concourses connected to these terminals. This may appear confusing for travellers who haven’t consulted the airport map, in particular, if looking to connect on a layover.
Passengers departing from Vienna should note that many flyers complain that security is at the gate leading to sudden rushing and not being able to relax. If departing Vienna airport, be sure to finish any shopping or eating in the departure lounge with plenty of time to clear at-gate security.
Terminal 1 & 1A
Terminal 1 is used mainly by Oneworld and SkyTeam alliance member airlines. It is located on the right-hand side when arriving at Vienna Airport by road or rail. Terminal 1A is a much smaller building opposite Terminal 1 where many low-cost carriers have check-in facilities. Passengers will need to return to Terminal 1 to make their way to the departure gates. Concourses B, C, and D link to Terminal 1. Concourse B and C to the right when passing through security and handle Schengen flights. Concourse D is to the left where non-Schengen flights depart from.
Terminal 2 is currently closed and is undergoing refurbishment. The airport moved all check-in desks from the terminal to Terminal 1 instead. The renovation had been scheduled to complete at the end of 2020. However, this date may be delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Terminal 3 is the newest terminal at Vienna Airport having opened in 2012. T3 is home to Austrian Airlines and the Star Alliance airways primarily. The two concourses beyond security at Terminal 2, concourses F and G, are long and passengers departing from the farthest gates (30 or above) should ensure they allow plenty of time to make it from the plaza area to their boarding gate.
Vienna Airport Connections
Vienna Airport is 18km south-east of Vienna city centre and has good road and rail connections for onward travel or to get to the airport. Travellers can get between Vienna and the airport in as quick as 16 minutes when paying for the premium train service, or otherwise can expect a 25-35 minutes journey. It is only a 45-minute road journey to Bratislava, also.
Bus: There is a dedicated airport bus called Vienna Airport Lines which takes passengers to or from the airport and the city centre. It is €8 for a one-way ticket and €11 for a return. The bus journey is approximately 20 minutes to get to Morzinplatz/Schwedenplatz, and buses run 24 hours a day. Long-distance international buses also operate from Vienna Airport thanks to Flixbus, Nomago, and RegioJet, with destinations including cities in Croatia, Hungary, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, and Slovenia. Bus departure stands can easily be found when leaving the arrivals hall and exiting the airport doors.
Train: The City Airport Train (CAT) is the heavily advertised way to get into the city centre of Vienna, specifically to Wien-Mitte train station. It is a non-stop train that gets travellers between Vienna Airport and the city in 16 minutes with two departures per hour at 9minutes and 39 minutes past the hour. The trains have WiFi, but that may not be worth the additional cost of travel for many. It is €12 for a single ticket, and €21 for a return.
The S-Bahn S7 trains run on the same route, however, for a much lower fare of €4.20. The trains are not direct, however, so passengers can expect a 25-minute journey time instead. The trains which are headed to Floridsdorf will stop at Wien-Mitte where many onward connections can be made.
Car: The car rental facility is on level 0 of the multi-story car park of P4 and is accessible via an underground passageway from the arrivals hall. Many of the major car rental companies operate from here, including Alamo, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Sixt, and several more. Motorway A4 runs right by the airport allowing easy access to Hungary eastbound, and Vienna and then up towards the Czech Republic westbound.
Taxi: The taxi rank is outside the arrivals hall with all other road transport options. The taxis charge by the meter and passengers can expect to pay €35- €50 to get to the centre of Vienna if they don’t agree on a fixed cost. Pre-booking a taxi or arranging a journey with the taxi companies at their offices in the airport arrivals hall will usually be cheaper at around €20-€30, depending on the desired destination. Online booking is also possible with the Flughafentaxi and Airport Driver companies offering Internet pre-booking.
For any passengers flying through Vienna Airport on a ticket purchased from the airline directly, or with most travel agencies, the minimum connection time would be considered already and the transfer time will be enough to make it to your next flight. If a flight delay when arriving was to occur, the airline would need to provide alternative travel arrangements without the passenger incurring any costs.
However, any passenger performing a ‘self-transfer’ because they are travelling on two separate tickets would need to be aware of connection times when moving between terminals/concourses. Officially, the 25-minute connection time offered by Star Alliance airlines should be enough to get from one plane to another, even when self transferring. However, this does not account for picking up luggage or immigration if entering/leaving the Schengen area so 90 minutes would be recommended if the transfer is in the same terminal. If changing terminals and collecting baggage, 2 hours should be considered to allow for physically moving between the different terminals and concourses at Vienna Airport.
Vienna Airport Lounges
The impressive presence of Austrian Airlines in Terminal 3/Concourses F and G means that any business travellers flying with them or their Star Alliance partner airlines can expect to be well catered for. That doesn’t mean other travellers don’t have lounge options available to them, however. Jet lounge and Sky lounge allow ‘walk-in’ access at the counter for customers wishing to find some additional comfort at Vienna Airport. Note that no lounges are available landside (i.e. before security). This means passengers travelling from different terminals or those without a travel ticket will not be able to make use of any lounge facilities at the airport. The hotels in the area do have conference facilities, however, which may be suitable.
Terminal 1 Lounges
Jet Lounge (this lounge has shower facilities)
Located across from Gate B31 in the Schengen area
Located just past passport control at D gates in the non-Schengen area
Austrian Airlines Business Lounge (this lounge has shower facilities)
Located near Gate D29 in the non-Schengen area
Terminal 3 Lounges
Austrian Airlines HON Circle/Senator/Business Class Lounges
Located on level 2 in the F gates of the Schengen area
Located on level 2 in the F gates of the Schengen area
Austrian Airlines HON Circle/Senator/Business Class Lounges (these lounges have shower facilities)
Located on level 2 in the G gates of the non-Schengen area
Sky Lounge (this lounge has shower facilities)
Located on level 2 in the G gates of the non-Schengen area