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Updated: 24 September 2023
What’s not to love about Vienna? I’ve always been intrigued by Austria’s elegance, such as ornate and glorious cafes, and top-notch opera performances. A trip to the country’s capital, Vienna, is high on most European bucket lists.
I’m also proof that solo travel in Vienna is marvelous, everyone. As you know, Vienna is the capital of Austria, and definitely one of the many beautiful places that you should add to your Central Europe travel itinerary.
When I first visited this Baroque Beauty, Vienna’s wide streets, artistic cafes, and grand opera house inspired me to embrace my “classy side.” I was smitten, no doubt.
So what did I do in Vienna? What any sane existentially confused twentysomething does. I spent a total of five days exploring Vienna without a concrete plan.
Believe me, this slow pace was much needed after weeks of living in hostels and having my entire wardrobe come out out of a single backpack.
Not to mention, I loved that Vienna seemed more “real” to me than other popular cities. I went in July, so, of course, tourists mingled with the locals, but even Vienna’s “touristy areas” didn’t feel tacky and fake to me. It was a breath of fresh air.
Your Guide for Travelling Alone in Vienna
As you all know, I love chatting about solo travel on this blog. My mission is for even the quietest person to break free and go anywhere in this astonishing place that we call “our world.”
Personally, I think Europe is a wonderful first continent to go traveling solo. And for all you ladies reading this, check out my 25 tips for solo travel in Europe to help you plan the adventure of your dreams.
Since Vienna embodies a lot of Europe’s most positive qualities, such as great public transportation, adorable cafes, and abundant art museums, I obviously had to write about this city as your next perfect European escape.
I’d even say Vienna is a great option for new solo travelers, even people who’ve never left their home country.
Reasons Solo Travel in Vienna is a Great Choice
So, why is solo travel in Vienna such a great choice?
Vienna Has Lots of Attractions
First and foremost, there are so many things to do alone in Vienna, you guys. Museums, cafes, operas, and amusement parks all lend themselves well to solo travel. You can enjoy them with new friends from your hostel or entirely on your own.
Not to mention, in my experience, Austrians were fairly reserved. You’re not going to feel like you stick out like a sore thumb as a lone traveler in Vienna. It’s simple to disappear into the crowd.
Vienna is Safe for Solo Travel
Furthermore, Vienna has fewer scams than other popular tourist cities in Europe such as Rome and Paris. You won’t have to “be on your guard” nearly as much, which is wonderful, since you’re the only person watching your valuables. For example, I didn’t notice any pickpockets or shady characters lurking near Vienna’s biggest attractions.
Vienna Can Work for Budget Travels
I’m honest, though. Vienna isn’t all perfect.
The only major drawback to visiting Vienna as a solo traveler is the, uh, expense. Vienna isn’t a cheap city, especially compared to nearby Budapest and Prague (although prices are increasing in those two cities, too). Travelers on a strict budget need to stay mindful in Vienna.
Luckily, Vienna does have some pretty great hostels (more on them later), as well as markets to purchase reasonably priced food. Not to mention, wandering Vienna’s gorgeous streets without paying big admission prices is still an enjoyable way to spend your vacation.
9 Reasons to Solo Travel in Vienna
Not quite sold on Vienna yet? Still thinking you’re better off sticking to even bigger cities or that Austria might be too boring for your tastes?
Don’t worry! I’ll convince you to pack your bags, book an airline ticket, and visit Vienna within the month, haha.
As always, do your research ahead of time, before leaving for Vienna.
I personally recommend bringing a city guide book to help you plan your adventures. Lonely Planet’s Guide to Vienna is a wonderful addition to this guide.
Vienna is Absolutely Gorgeous
Vienna’s one of the most beautiful cities that I’ve ever visited in my life. I regret not taking more pictures on my trip, alas.
Particularly, what makes Vienna so unique is the city’s endless and abundant examples of Baroque architecture. As a style, Baroque is very ornate with plentiful curves and oval shapes that make the buildings appear wavy from a distance.
One way to get accustomed with Vienna’s buildings and learn a bit of history is to take a walking tour. I always advocate for walking tours, because not only do you learn a lot about a new city, but these tours offer a great chance to bond with other travelers.
Vienna has Amazing Palaces inside the City
Are you a huge fan of European palaces? Then you’re in luck!
In Vienna, you don’t have to travel outside the city to see incredible palaces that are, in my opinion, on par with Versailles. Vienna is home to some of Europe’s greatest palaces.
Unsurprisingly, my favorite palace of all is Schönbrunn Palace which was the primary summer residence of the Habsburg rulers. Regardless of your opinion on the Habsburgs (or royals in general), Schönbrunn’s guided audio tour breathes life into history. It’s one of the better audio tours that I’ve done in Europe, for sure, and you won’t feel out of place going all by yourself.
If you’re limited on time, then book a skip-the-line combo tour of the palace and Vienna’s historical city to see everything in three and a half hours.
Even if you’re not the type who likes audioguides, I’d still recommend going to Schönbrunn Palace on a sunny day to enjoy the splendid gardens. Go get lost in the maze, even!
Cafes are Meant for Solo Travelers
Vienna is home to tons of cafes. Tons and tons and tons of cafes.
Like nearby Budapest, it’s simple to slip inside these cafes, settle in with a coffee and cake, and do some good old-fashioned people watching.
It was way too easy to tempt this solo traveler with a slice of Scahertortre.
Vienna has its share of historically rich cafes, but wander the streets and find some hidden treats, too.
For example, one of the cutest cafes in all of Vienna is Cafe NEKO. Why did I love this place so much? Because Cafe NEKO is a self-proclaimed cat cafe. Yup, you’re allowed to cuddle and play with the resident cats as you enjoy your fine coffee and cake. This is a total dream scenario for solo travelers in Vienna, especially for people who might start to feel a tad homesick.
All in all, you don’t want to skip over the cafes on when seeing Vienna alone. A personal tip would be to go to Vienna in the summer and sip your coffee outside! Outstanding people watching.
Biking into the Countryside is Fabulous
Vienna is surprisingly bike friendly for such a big city. Designated bike lanes make it easy for cycles to zip throughout the city.
By seeing Vienna on two wheels rather than two legs, you’re able to venture out into the nearby Austrian countryside. Vienna is located on the Danube River, which makes for especially scenic biking. It’s easy enough to rent a bike on your own.
However, if you’re nervous about exploring Vienna alone, then you can always sign up for a Vienna City Bike tour where you can zoom around the city and make new travel pals at the same time.
Lastly, beautiful and lush countryside surrounds Vienna. So, if you have a few days to spare in Vienna, you can even plan a biking trip to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Wachau and enjoy Austria’s best wines! And yes, you can also do a guided bike tour of Wachau that includes wine tastings, too.
Don’t worry, rookies. Even beginners will find that riding a bike is one of the best things to do alone in Vienna.
Find Old School Entertainment at Prater Park
Amusement parts promise smiles. And you’ll feel that same childlike joy when you go to visit Prater Park.
Prater is easy to visit using Vienna’s public transportation system. Once at the park, you can go on rides like bumper cars and small roller coasters, and also try your luck at the park’s many games.
Without a doubt, Prater’s most famous attraction is Wiener Riesenrad. It was constructed in the late 1800s, and considered the tallest ferris wheel for many decades after its creation.
Despite the high price, riding Wiener Riesenrad is a fun way to see Vienna from the sky. Keep in mind that Prater Park is crowded in summer. As a single traveler, it might be wise to purchase your tickets for Wiener Riesenrad ahead of time.
Go Get Lost in an Art Museum
Vienna has an unlimited supply of art museums. I love surrounding myself with incredible art especially when I’m alone and can take my time absorbing the pieces that interest me the most.
Not gonna lie … it’s easy for me to stare at an intriguing painting for a good give minutes.
As for Vienna, my favorite art museum was the Belvedere. The park and its two Baroque palaces are classified as a World Heritage Site. So it’s worth enjoying a morning stroll around green space near the museum even if you’re not a fan of art.
However, I highly recommend going inside. You’ll see Gustav Klimt’s masterpiece, “The Kiss,” among some of his other works.
I highly recommend buying tickets to the Belvedere in advance to skip the line. Like all popular museums, the summer month bring in the tourist crowds. So consider the time of year for your solo trip to Vienna.
Lonely? Watch Films at an Open-Air Cinema
Even if you’re the most confident person, sometimes you feel lonely traveling alone through an unfamiliar city. Those emotions are natural and normal. I’ve been there more times than I can count on both hands.
If you’re alone in Vienna in the summer, then I recommend going to an Open-Air Cinema and catching a film with all the city’s residents surrounding you.
Vienna has plenty of options for outdoor movies. Do your research ahead of time, and find a film that you’ll truly enjoy! All tastes are represented here.
Experience High Quality of Life
Is it safe to travel alone in Vienna? Absolutely!
Not only is Vienna a super secure place, but did you know the Austrian capital is known for its high quality of life?
According to the World Economic Forum, Vienna has the highest quality of life out of any major city. It’s impressive, and makes me kinda sorta jealous of the residents.
Like I said earlier in this guide, Vienna is a wonderful place to just … be. You don’t need to have a specific agenda to sip a fancy cup of coffee and relax under trees near splendid palaces.
Solo travel in Vienna is even better due to the high quality of life.
Vienna is a Wonderful Base for Other Cities.
Last but not least, the final reason to try solo travel in Vienna is that connections to other cities are frequent and easy.
Wanna check out Budapest? Hop on a train and go soak in the outdoor spa baths.
Want to do a weekend in Salzburg? You’ve plenty of train options to see the land of “The Sound of Music,” my friend.
Since it’s a capital city, Vienna connections to the majority of cities in Austria, as well as plenty of other destinations in Central Europe. Take advantage of it.
And, as a solo traveler, don’t worry about transportation in this region. Trains are clean and reliable. Just make sure to validate your ticket ahead of time. You don’t want to pay a fine, do you?
Like I said above, Lonely Planet makes great guidebooks. A Lonely Planet Guide to Austria is a wonderful tool for planning your itinerary in this charming country.
Solo Travel in Vienna: Practical Tips
Vienna Solo Travel Packing List
- Comfortable Walking Shoes: Vienna has lots of cobblestone streets (spoiler alert). Wear comfortable shoes so you won’t have many issues riding a bike or walking through the city. Now is not the time for super high heels.
- Lonely Planet Guide Vienna: Lonely Planet makes my absolute favorite guidebooks! If you don’t have much space in your bag, then invest in a tiny pocket guide to Vienna that is still packed with plenty of information about the best things to see and do in Vienna.
- Small Day Pack: For city visits, I personally love to have a lightweight and comfortable backpack. Tumi makes my favorite products. They are pricier but they last FOREVER. For example, this Tumi backpack is the perfect size and weight for any solo trip to Vienna.
- Sony Mirrorless Camera: Smartphone cameras take great pictures, but if you want to improve your photography skills, then I personally suggest investing in a Sony Mirrorless Camera for your trip to Vienna. It is light enough to carry around the city, while still taking high-quality photographs.
- Travel Insurance: Vienna is remarkably safe, but you still want to protect yourself as a solo traveler, and that means buying travel insurance. I use World Nomads for my trips and have had zero issues so far!
Where Should I Stay in Vienna?
Solo travel in Vienna might feel daunting, because you have to research accommodation all on your own.
Luckily for you, Vienna has tons of great options for cheap and nice places to rest your head at night.
For solo travelers, Wombats Hostel in Naschmarkt is a wonderful option. Wombats is a great chain as in the hostels are affordable, clean, and sociable. Not to mention, Naschmarkt is Vienna’s most popular market where you can purchase fresh breads, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, and so much more. You can’t beat the central location.
Happy travels! I promise you’ll love solo travel in Vienna. Just don’t blame me if you don’t want to come back to your home country.
Hostels in Vienna
- Hostel Ruthensteiner: Since opening its doors in 1968, this is one of the most iconic hostels in all of Vienna. The scenic garden and terrace are added bonuses! See prices on Booking.com
- Vienna Boutique Hostel: Are you seeking a more “high end” hostel on your solo trip to Vienna? Then check out this boutique hostel that has all the comforts of home. See prices on Booking.com
- Wombats City Hostel Vienna Naschmarkt: Wombats has many wonderful chain hostels around Europe, and this location is absolutely perfect! See prices on Expedia.com and Booking.com
Did I convince you to solo travel in Vienna? Haha, I bet I did. As for those of you who’ve been to Vienna, what advice would you give solo travelers coming to this city? What did you love most about your visit to Vienna? Share in the comments!