Caution – left-side traffic!

“Tschuldigung?” – that means “Scuse me?” – and it’s something you don’t hear typical Viennese people say all that often. After all, they are supposedly not great ones for being polite. But there is one situation that comes up pretty well every day, where a fervent and slightly exasperated “Tschuldigen’s” pops out. Where? On the escalator, of course.

And as any local knows, the one rule that really matters in Vienna, is “stand on the right, walk on the left.” And woe betide anyone who settles into a comfortable position on the left. Their mistake will be pointed out in no time in the best Vienna style. The length of the escalator makes no difference: the same rule applies for the longest (Zippererstraße station on the U3 line) or the shortest (Schottentor on the U2).

For any daredevils out there we have a bold suggestion: try standing still on the left side of the escalator some time, and you’ll soon get to know the real Vienna.

“Walk on the right, stand on the left.”

To make sure you understand what the nice ladies and gentlemen are saying to you, here is a neat little glossary. Also, vü Spaß! - have fun! And don’t forget to take cover.


Heast du Koffa, bist ang’wachsen? Excuse me? Could I please pass by?*      

Heast Wappla, lös di auf! Excuse me? Could I please pass by?*                                       

Schasaugater, schau, dass’d weiter kummst. Excuse me? Could I please pass by?*      

Heast du Gfrast, schleich di! Excuse me? Could I please pass by?*      

Drah‘ di Deppater! Excuse me? Could I please pass by?*   

*Editor’s own interpretation.

Vienna's longest escalator

U3 subway station Zippererstraße

Simmeringer Hauptsraße 42-44

1100 Wien


Vienna's shortest escalator

U2 subway station Schottentor


1010 Vienna


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