DESTINATIONS vienna car-travel-97


Car Travel

Vienna is 300 km (187 miles) east of Salzburg, 200 km (125 miles) north of Graz. Main routes leading into the city are the A1 Westautobahn from Germany, Salzburg, and Linz and the A2 Südautobahn from Graz and points south. Rental cars can be arranged at the airport or in town. Buchbinder is a local firm with particularly favorable rates.

On highways from points south or west or from Vienna's airport, "Zentrum" signs clearly mark the route to the center of Vienna. From there, however, finding your way to your hotel is a challenge, because traffic planners have installed a devious scheme limiting through traffic in the city core. Traffic congestion within Vienna is not as bad as in some places, but driving to in-town destinations generally takes longer than does public transportation.


The entire 1st through 9th districts, and most of the rest of the city, are limited-parking zones and require a Parkschein, a paid-parking chit that can be purchased at tobacconists (AustriaTabak), gas stations and, oddly, from cigarette machines. They must be filled out and displayed on the dash during the day, and the procedure is maddening and laborious. At this writing, a Parkscheine costs €1 for 30 minutes, €2 for one hour, €3 for 90 minutes, and €4 for two hours. These are required from 8 am until 10 pm in districts 1 to 9, and a maximum parking time of two hours is permitted, at which point the procedure must be repeated in full. You can park for 15 minutes free of charge, but you must get a violet "gratis" sticker to put in your windshield. You can also park free in the 1st District from noon on Saturday until Monday at 8 am.


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