When in Rome, do as the Romans do, states an ancient saying. When one is traveling, this should be the main motto, regardless of a destination. If you want to fully enjoy your experience and leave a good impression, being somehow aware of local rules is necessary: an excellent example of such rules is the Viennese U-Bahn etiquette, which locals are, apparently, very rigorous about. I’ve gathered a few essential tips about the Viennese subway behavior for you, in case if you want to avoid some heated comments in the local dialect.
1. Kein Essen, bitte!
Some of us might occasionally be guilty of Kebabs, Falafels or those take-away noodles, but let’s be real: no one likes this odd smell of food going through the whole carriage. Train your willpower and save your food for devouring it somewhere else.
2. The left side is for walking
Where I come from, no one cares about the golden escalator rule: stand on the right side, walk on the left one. Having lived in Europe for 2,5 years, now when I come home, I understand the passive aggressiveness of Viennese, when the left side is occupied. Please, just don’t.
3. Leave space for baby strollers
Viennese U-Bahn trains have secured plenty of space for buggies, so when you see one, you should make some room for it. Mums and dads will appreciate this, seriously. You’re free to stand there when no baby strollers are in your sight though.
4. U-Bahn is not a music venue
While this one is quite obvious and definitely universal, many still fail to follow it: please, keep the volume in your headphones loud enough for you to hear it, but quiet enough, so that other passengers don’t notice it. And definitely don’t use speakers for the purpose of enjoying the latest Justin Bieber’s hit – others might slightly dislike it.
5. NO to free rides
While it might be tempting to skip the ticket purchase and set your hopes on your luck, you should always travel with a valid ticket – it’s a no-brainer. After the feast comes the reckoning, as they say, so buying a ticket is the best way to say danke schön for the excellent Viennese transportation system.
Enjoy your rides!