The Art Nouveau Stadtbahn stations have
been consistently planned by the renowned architect Otto Wagner and date back
as far as 1898 when the city rail system was inaugurated [wiennet.at]. Most stations have been beautifully renovated and integrated into the metro system.
Photo [bigfoto.com]: Karlsplatz station pavilion built in 1898.
Some of Vienna's elegant modern metro stations are decorated with works of art.
Photo [hs-st-paul.ksn.at]: Volkstheater station with mosaic friezes by Anton Lehmden.
Try the following tour, recommended by residents or metro enthusiasts:
To see nicely renovated Art Nouveau stations by Otto Wagner dating back to 1895, make a circular tour of lines U4 and S45 (changing at Heiligenstadt and Hüttelsdorf) and ride U6 between Längenfeldgasse and Spittelau. The entrance buildings of the stations are especially noteworthy. In the ticket hall of Stephansplatz underground station, watch out for a window in the wall through which an ancient chapel is visible that had been excavated during metro construction. Ride tram line D for a sightseeing tour of the city.
Wiener Straßenbahnmuseum. Tram museum with little reference to the subway. Since 1972. Location: Historic maintenance station. Address: Straßenbahnremise Erdberg, Wien 3, entrance at Ludwig-Koeßler-Platz (near Stadionbrücke). At Schlachthausgasse metro station. Hours (check before visiting): May through September on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays 9:00 - 16:00. Reference: wiener-tramwaymuseum.org (official website).
Otto Wagner Pavilion. A permanent exhibition documenting the life and work of Vienna's most influential architect Otto Wagner. The exhibition includes the Stadtbahn project from 1898 that is today part of the metro network. Wagner was engaged not only in the Art Nouveau station designs but in the whole artistic vision of the urban railway, from the largest viaduct to the slimmest handrail. The exhibition also includes "non-metro" works of the architect, like the famous Postsparkasse building. Since 2005. Location: A former entrance building of Karlsplatz urban rail station. Address: Karlsplatz, A-1040 Wien. At Karlsplatz metro station. Hours (check before visiting): April to October 9:00 to 18:00 except Mondays. Closed 1 May. Admission: 2 EUR, Sundays free. Reference: wienmuseum.at (official website).
The capital of Austria began metro construction in 1969, an opportunity already being eagerly awaited by historians. Archaeologists have been involved from the very beginning of the construction work and could sometimes even helpfully warn the engineers about obstacles in the soil. The efficient cooperation resulted in lots of important archaeological findings while unexpected delays could be minimized. A subset of the artifacts is now displayed in a few stations .
Exhibits in stations:
Rochusgasse: Exhibits showing finds from the Roman age.
Schwedenplatz: Coats of arms that decorated the city wall in the Renaissance era.
Stephansplatz: The Virgil chapel, dating back to 1250, was excavated under the Stephansdom cathedral during metro construction. It can be seen through windows from the station's concourse level.
Danube river: Donauinsel station is near a beach. There's an artificial beach near Schwedenplatz and Schottenring stations. The same beach can be seen through windows in the tunnel from line U4, which runs parallel to it.
There are views of the Danube Canal on line U4 between Friedensbruecke and Landstrasse, the Danube on line U6 between Handelskai and Floridsdorf, the Danube on line U1 between Kaisermuehlen and Kagran, the cityscape towards the south on line U6 between Gumpendorfer Straße and Längenfeldgasse.
Views of the UN headquarters near Kaisermühlen station.
Abandoned or operationally split circle - Lines U2/U4 - 10 stations - operation as a pan-shaped loop for only 2 weeks in 1981. Abandoned or operationally split circle - Lines U4/U6 - 18 stations - operation as a pan-shaped loop 1925-1978.
The train operator says "Zug fährt ab" ("Train going to depart") before the doors close. After the voice warning, the door closes simultaneously with a short but loud "boop". A few seconds after the U-bahn train departs the station, there is a high and low pitch bell, and then the name of the next station announced in a "robotic" sounding male voice with a bit of a Viennese accent. Any connections to busses, trams or other trains are announced. For example: "[ding dong] [station name]. Umsteigen zu den Linien [lines]".
Line U1 train entering and leaving Aderklaaer Strasse station. Video by speedtram.