City horse-drawn carriages, known as “Fiakers” in Austria, are an integral part of the cityscape of Vienna and Salzburg. If you want to be transported back to the time of Mozart or Empress Elisabeth “Sisi”, you can take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the city.

You can take in the sights at your leisure. A ride in a horse-drawn carriage does more than just slow you down. It is also environmentally friendly and definitely a lot of fun.

The hackney carriage in historic Vienna

Horse-drawn carriages for hire have long existed in European cities. But it was not until the late 17th century that they were referred to as “Fiakers”. The term goes back to a French street name where horse-drawn carriages could be hired.

While the term was soon replaced by “Droschke”, the term “Fiaker” has survived in Austria to this day. It refers to both the two-horse carriage and the coachman himself.

It was these coachmen who became the epitome of the Viennese: Sometimes a little grumpy, always a joke on their lips and naturally very secretive when it came to their passengers’ secrets.

The hackney carriages today

In the late 19th century, up to 1000 hackney carriages were registered in Vienna. Today there are around 200 horse-drawn carriages in Vienna and around a dozen in Salzburg. Every coach must be registered and the coachmen must pass a test. The prices for the trips are set by the city.

It is also stipulated that half of the coachmen in Vienna drive on even days and the other half on odd days. So there is enough space for everyone. This regulation also benefits the horses, who have every other day off as a result. By the way: From 35° Celsius, the horses are not allowed to heat up. The locations of the hackney carriages are fixed and the horses can also be supplied with sufficient water here.

An unforgettable experience

In addition to the fixed routes through the old town or to Schönbrunn, there are also special offers with horse-drawn carriages. We have taken a look at what you should not miss under any circumstances.

For some time now, families and horse lovers have been able to experience horses up close. The package “Secrets of the Fiaker – Where Vienna’s Fiaker horses live” offers an insight into the life of the coachmen and the horses.

You will learn interesting and unknown facts about the life of horse-drawn carriages, history and animal welfare. You can also visit the horses’ stables and watch the coachmen at work in the morning. The tour ends with a ride on a horse-drawn carriage into the city center.

Enjoyable and stylish through Vienna

For some romance for two, as an unforgettable experience with friends or family or as a hearty pleasure ride through Vienna, the “Riding Dinner” is a great offer. The package is available for Vienna and Salzburg.

While you sit comfortably in the carriage and discover the city, you can enjoy delicacies and specialties from Austrian cuisine.

The food and drinks come from well-known restaurants and are served professionally. A specially designed table in the Fiaker ensures comfortable and undisturbed enjoyment.