How to plan a solo trip to Vienna, Austria: budget, safety tips, and more!

This guide to solo travel to Vienna was written by Kat Weiss Butler from Cleveland, Ohio. In this Vienna travel guide, Kat shares all her tips on how she navigated Austria on her own!

Hi Trisha! I stumbled upon your blog while I was looking for the cheapest travel destinations in Europe. I loved all your tips and I saw that you studied in Italy! But my question is about solo travel to Vienna. I saw that you’ve been and I want to pick your brain! How safe is it for an American like me, with very little experience on traveling alone? Is it safe? What are the do’s and don’ts? Anything that will help in my trip will be appreciated. Thank you so much!

Jane Burns, United States

Hello Jane!

Thanks for following my solo travel journeys! Yes, you are right – I did study in Italy and spent a lot of time in Vienna as well. I loved going to the operas in Vienna so if this is something you like, make sure to pack that little black dress and go to the Opera Houses!

I have not been to Vienna since I studied abroad in Milan so I invited a fellow solo female traveler to answer your question.

Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Kat runs the travel blog, World Wide Honeymoon. Kat caught the travel bug during her semester abroad in Grenoble, France at university, where she traveled all over Europe. Since then, she has traveled solo, traveled with her husband, as well as with family and friends. 

Read Kat’s solo travel to Vienna story and please feel free to leave a comment below if you have questions that aren’t answered in this post. Good luck!

Xx, Trisha

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💃🏽 Vienna solo travel experience

I ended up choosing to visit Vienna solo back in 2013 during my 5-week backpacking trip post-graduation. I wanted to explore the places that I didn’t get to see the first time I was in Europe during my study abroad. 

So I ended up making the circuit between Budapest, Vienna, and Prague before jetting off to Greece, then Germany, and finally the UK. 

I’ll be honest that while the city is gorgeous, I wasn’t completely impressed on my first visit. Perhaps it was the early summer rain clouding my vision or the fact that I was starting to get lonely during my travels, but Vienna didn’t quite dazzle me at first.

Yes, the people were friendly and helpful. Yes, the food was delicious. And yes, I absolutely love history so the chance to visit some palaces like Hofburg and Schonbrunn was amazing. 

But my second visit to Vienna for the Christmas markets completely turned things around! Seriously, this city is lovely year-round, but I was in a different place the second time around. I was older, more confident in myself, and the Christmas markets were perfect. 

Upon emerging from the metro I heard church bells and spotted St. Stephen’s Cathedral. There were enchanting markets in every corner that I turned. If you are a fan of holiday markets, then visiting Vienna solo during December is incredible. 

So if you want to be completely floored by this city, definitely visit during the Christmas market season. I really enjoyed wandering around to the Amhof Market, Viennese Dream Christmas Market, Christmas Village on Maria Theresien Square, and the Christmas Market at Schönbrunn Palace. 

However, with 20+ markets in the city, there are plenty of picturesque places to visit and enjoy Viennese holiday food like pretzels, gingerbread, potato pancakes, and mulled wine. 

Regardless of when you visit, though, you must make time to explore the cafe culture. It is such a big thing in Vienna.

Take it slow and indulge yourself with creamy hot chocolate or coffee, and some of the best pastries of your life! After all, the croissant was invented in Vienna, not France! 

I honestly didn’t have many preconceived notions prior to visiting Vienna the first time around. Back in 2013, way before my travel blogging days, I honestly did little research other than my flight and hostel. I landed in the city and pretty much wung it. 

I didn’t even google what the city looked like! 

However, after my first visit, I wasn’t terribly excited to go back. But I’m SO glad I gave it a second chance. This city really is magnificent if you give it the chance! 

And, of course, during my entire 5-week solo trip to Europe, I was constantly told not to do it. That it was too dangerous. That would be like the movie Taken. 

This affected me so much that I wasn’t even excited to embark on the trip while I was packing to go! But I’m SO glad I did it. I learned so much about myself, as one always does while journeying solo to places they’ve never been. 

Traveling solo, to Vienna and across Europe, taught me to be comfortable dining by myself. Maybe that sounds weird, but it is something not a lot of people are truly comfortable with.

And when I went, international cell phone plans were so expensive, making the option to peruse the internet on my phone kind of not feasible. 

I learned how to navigate through the city, and gained so much confidence in myself and how to find my way almost anywhere. 

🙋🏽 Is Vienna good for solo traveling?

Vienna is bursting with opulence from the many extravagant palaces to the flashy cafes. There are designer boutiques, beautiful cathedrals, and ample opportunities to listen to classical music. 

The home of Mozart, the Habsburgs, and even the birthplace of Marie Antoinette is certainly worth visiting! I highly recommend visiting during the holiday season for the most magical Christmas markets.

But if you’re open-minded, choose the right place to stay, and take the time to enjoy the opulence of the city, Vienna is truly a lovely place to travel by yourself!

You might also like:

✅ Is Vienna safe for solo female travelers?

Absolutely! I have visited Vienna twice in my life, once in the summertime (where I traveled solo) and once for the dazzling Christmas markets (with family), and I have to say, as a solo traveler it was a safe place to visit. 

I stayed in a hostel, took a free walking tour, and even wandered the city on my own and enjoyed it so much.

I even really enjoyed the fact that you could sit in a cafe with a good book and a delicious cup of hot chocolate and be completely unbothered for hours on end. 

The only weird experience I had while traveling solo to Vienna was from a man working at my hostel. We were chatting as he was tidying up my dorm while I was finishing my laundry and he asked what I was doing. 

I replied that I was exploring and perhaps sitting in a cafe to read for the day. He then offered to show me around and blatantly offered me sex.

It was truly uncomfortable and surprising, but upon a firm “no,” on my end I was left alone. 

Other than that, I also believe I chose the wrong hostel, as I had a harder time meeting friends when I visited. And trust me, the hostel makes all the difference (definitely read reviews before choosing!).

Usually between the walking tours and bar crawls you’re bound to make friends, but it was a bit more challenging, and I felt lonely at times.

However, I did enjoy walking the streets by myself, window shopping, and checking out the elaborate palaces! 


✈️ Planning your solo travel to Vienna

Best time to visit Vienna, Austria

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Embarking on solo travel to Vienna means walking in the footsteps of great composers like Mozart and Beethoven, as the city is known as the World’s Music Capital.

When planning your solo travel to Vienna, remember that it has 4 seasons and each season has their unique appeal! It is a year-round travel destination and you can pick your favorite season!

Here’s a guideline on the best time to travel to Vienna by season:

March to May is Spring in Vienna with mild weather and fewer tourists. This is the best time to see the gardens of Vienna burst into bloom!

June to August is summer in Vienna but take note that this is a high season and it can be expensive. At this time, Vienna travel buzzes with outdoor events, music festivals, and lively markets.

September to November is autumn in Vienna and is marked by stunning foliage and a rich cultural calendar. It’s the season for solo travelers who enjoy art and music, festivals, and exhibitions.

December to February is winter in Vienna. Although cold, winter transforms Vienna into a festive wonderland. The famous Christmas markets and New Year’s celebrations are a must-see!

If you plan to visit during the summer, don’t go in June or July to avoid higher prices. It’s better to do your solo travel to Vienna towards the end of the summer (August).

Flights to Vienna

The airport that serves Vienna, Austria is Vienna International Airport located in Schwechat, about 25 minutes drive to the city center. The following US cities have direct flights to Vienna via United Airlines:

  • Chicago (ORD): 8h 50m, from $808 USD
  • Los Angeles (LAX) via Austrian Airlines: 11h 25m, from $1,079 USD
  • New York (JFK) via United Airlines: 8h 16m, from $709 USD
  • Washington DC (IAD): 8h 40m, from $804 USD

If your city of departure is not on the list above, expect to fly to Vienna for 15+ hours with layovers. I know it’s A LOT but you can combine your solo travel to Vienna with other European destinations that have direct flights from the US.

European countries are small and they have an efficient train system from country A to country B. Hungary, Germany, and Italy are Vienna’s neighboring countries which you can add to your trip.

Canadian travelers can fly direct to Vienna from Toronto via Air Canada. The flight time is around 8 hours and 20 minutes with round-trip tickets starting at $1,204 USD.

Australian travelers can fly through New Delhi (India) from Sydney with a whopping 40-hour flight duration. Prices start at $886 USD.

How many days do you need in Vienna?

2-4 days in Vienna is a brief but enough time to fulfill your Vienna travel itinerary.

In 2-4 days, you can cover the essential highlights of Vienna, including major historical sites like Schönbrunn Palace, the Hofburg Palace, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and a selection of museums and galleries.

There will also be enough time to discover the famous coffeehouse culture and enjoy a taste of the local cuisine.

If you have more time, a week in Vienna allows for day trips to nearby attractions, such as the Wachau Valley, Bratislava, or even a venture into the Vienna Woods.

If you have the luxury of more time, extending your solo travel to Vienna beyond a week gives you the chance to truly immerse yourself in the city’s culture.

You can attend various musical performances, from opera to classical concerts, visit more off-the-beaten-path attractions, and even participate in local events or workshops.

Is 5 days in Vienna too long?

No, 5 days in Vienna is not considered too long but the most popular Vienna travel duration is 2 days. You’ll have ample time to visit major landmarks without feeling rushed.

This also includes the opportunity to explore inside these attractions, rather than just viewing them from the outside.

Traveling solo means you can tailor your itinerary to your interests and pace. With five days in Vienna, you can take your time and have slower-paced days.

What to pack for Vienna travel

solo travel to Vienna

For your solo travel to Vienna packing list, make sure to bring layered clothing. The weather in Vienna can be unpredictable. Pack layers such as t-shirts, long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, and a light jacket or blazer.

If you are traveling to Vienna during the winter (November to February), bring a heavy coat, scarf, gloves, and a warm hat.

Also, bring thermal underwear and socks for additional warmth. A Moisturizer and a lip balm are also a must because winters in Vienna can be harsh!

Bring chargers for your electronic devices and a European travel adapter. Vienna uses type C or F plug. For carrying essentials during day trips, bring a Small Daypack or Crossbody Bag.

During the summer, bring light clothing like shorts, skirts, and breathable fabrics. Pack a swimwear if you plan to visit any public pools or spas. An umbrella or a waterproof jacket are essentials, especially if traveling in spring or autumn.

Vienna involves a lot of walking, so comfortable shoes are a must. Consider stylish yet comfy walking shoes or boots. If you plan to attend the opera, a concert, or fine dining, include a formal outfit or smart casual wear.

🚌 Getting around Vienna

Solo travel to Vienna is easy with the city’s seamless and traveler-friendly transportation system.

The airport is well connected to the city center by train (CAT – City Airport Train), S-Bahn (local train), and bus, making your arrival and departure smooth and hassle-free.

The City Airport Train (CAT) is a non-stop train which will take you to the city center within 16 minutes. A one-way ticket costs 24 euros ($27 USD) and is valid for use for 6 months.

Wiener Linien: public transportation in Vienna

U-Bahn (Subway): The U-Bahn is ideal for solo travelers due to its speed and coverage across the city. The network is straightforward, with clear maps and signage in both German and English, making Vienna travel a breeze.

Trams and Buses: Trams in Vienna are not only functional but also a delightful way to see the city, especially the iconic Ring Tram. Buses fill in the gaps and are particularly useful for reaching destinations outside the city center.

The Vienna City Card offers unlimited public transport and discounts at many attractions. It’s a cost-effective option for solo travelers looking to maximize their Vienna travel experience.

Purchase a single ticket for a one-way journey or consider a 24, 48, or 72-hour pass for unlimited rides, which is economical for extensive exploring. There are also weekly passes, ideal for longer stays.

Here are the prices for the Vienna City Card:

  • 24-hour pass: 17 euros ($19 USD)
  • 48-hour pass: 25 euros ($27 USD)
  • 72-hour pass: 29 euros ($32 USD)

Vienna is a walkable city!

Vienna’s city center is compact and eminently walkable, making it perfect for solo explorers who prefer to take in the sights at a leisurely pace. Many of Vienna’s major attractions are within easy walking distance of each other.

You can also bike in Vienna

For those who enjoy cycling, Vienna is bike-friendly, with well-marked bike lanes and routes. The city’s bike-sharing program, City Bike Vienna, is convenient for short trips and can be a fun way to explore the city.

Uber and taxis in Vienna

Taxis are reliable and can be hailed on the street, which is especially convenient for late-night travel when public transportation services are reduced. Uber is also available in Vienna.

Renting a car and driving in Vienna

While driving in Vienna is possible, it’s generally not recommended for solo travelers due to the excellent public transport options, traffic, and parking challenges in the city center. Renting a car in Vienna is ideal if you are traveling with a group.

🔻 Find rental cars in Vienna, Austria 🔻

💵 Vienna travel costs (1 person)

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During your solo travel to Vienna, you can visit the oldest zoo in the world, the Tiergarten Schönbrunn, which dates back to 1752.

Solo travel to Vienna is always expensive because there is no one to share the expenses with. I met a lot of fellow travelers during the trip which allowed me to share taxi rides or even restaurant meals.

Here’s a rough idea of what I spent for my trip to Vienna:

Hostels (dorm bed)€20-€40 ($22-$44)
Budget Hotels (basic room)€50-€100 ($55-$110)
Fast Food, Street Food, Supermarkets€10-€20 ($11-$22)
Fast Food, Street Food, Supermarkets€10-€20 ($11-$22)
Casual Restaurants (Mid-range)€20-€40 ($22-$44)
Fine dining restaurants (high end)€40+ ($44+)
Public Transport (Single Ticket)€2.40 ($2.65)
24-Hour Travel Pass€17 ($19)
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff)€4 ($4.40), plus €1.42 ($1.57) per km
Schönbrunn Palace (Grand Tour)€18 ($20
Hofburg Imperial Palace (Sisi Museum)€15 ($16.50)
Belvedere Palace€16 ($17.60)
Kunsthistorisches Museum€16 ($17.60)
Vienna State Opera (Tour)€9 ($9.90)
Opera or Concert Ticket€30-€150 ($33-$165)
Coffee at a Traditional Coffee House€3-€5 ($3.30-$5.50)
Sim Card€10-€20 ($11-$22)

ATM withdrawals in Vienna: ATMs (known as Bankomat) are readily available throughout the city, including at the airport, train stations, and in most neighborhoods. They accept major international debit and credit cards.

Currency exchange: Currency exchange services are available at the Vienna International Airport, major train stations, banks, and dedicated currency exchange offices in the city. For better rates, do it in the city center, not in the airport.

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Solo travel to Vienna lets you experience the city’s unique tradition of ‘Kaffeehauskultur’, where coffee houses serve as public living rooms offering a cozy space for relaxation and intellectual exchange. | Photo: Cafe Central

Using credit cards in Vienna: Credit cards are widely accepted in Vienna, especially Visa and MasterCard. You’ll find them accepted in most hotels, restaurants, shops, and even for purchasing public transport tickets. However, cash is still preferred in Vienna.

Tipping: Tipping in Vienna is customary, but not obligatory. In restaurants, it’s standard to round up the bill to the nearest euro for smaller bills or add 5-10% for larger amounts, especially for good service.

🛏️ Accommodations for solo travelers

Vienna offers a range of options suitable for every preference and budget. Here, we’ll explore different types of accommodations and recommend the best neighborhoods to stay in during your Vienna travel.

Vienna hostels

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Hostels in Vienna look like this, for as low as $20 USD per night in a dorm. | Photo: Hostel Ruthensteiner Vienna

Hostels in Vienna are ideal for budget solo travelers and those looking to socialize. It features shared rooms or affordable private options, communal areas for socializing, and often organizes events or tours.

When choosing a hostel in Vienna, I recommend you stay in the areas of Neubau (7th district) for its vibrant arts scene and café culture. Leopoldstadt (2nd district) is also a great option!

Boutique Hotels in Vienna

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You can get a room at Austria Classic Hotel Wien for as low as $85 USD per night. It’s one of the best accommodations for solo travel to Vienna if hostels are not your jam.

Boutique hotels in Vienna are ideal for solo travelers who don’t want to share dorm rooms and want a personal lodging experience. Most boutique hotels in the city have Charming interiors, and attentive service, often centrally located.

Innere Stadt (1st district) has a lot of cute boutique hotels. This area is in the heart of Vienna and is close to major attractions. Another option is the Mariahilf (6th district) which is a trendy area with lots of shops and eateries.

Where to stay in Vienna: best neighborhoods

When considering where to stay for your solo travel to Vienna, think about what type of experience you want. Do you prefer being in the middle of all the action, or a quieter, more residential area?

Each district in Vienna has its own character and charm. Here are some recommended neighborhoods for Vienna travel:

  • Innere Stadt (1st district): The heart of Vienna, perfect for first-time visitors wanting to be within walking distance of major sites.
  • Neubau (7th district) and Mariahilf (6th district): Great for those who enjoy a hip, artsy vibe with plenty of cafes, boutiques, and galleries.
  • Leopoldstadt (2nd district) and Landstraße (3rd district): Offer a blend of city life and quieter, green spaces.
  • Hietzing (13th district) and Alsergrund (9th district): Ideal for a more laid-back, residential experience, still with plenty to see and do.

🧭 Things to do in Vienna

Must-Visit Attractions in Vienna

vienna travel guide
Vienna’s Ringstrasse, encircling the inner city, is a grand boulevard that you can explore on your solo travel to Vienna, featuring some of the city’s most significant buildings and a testament to its imperial past

Vienna, a city renowned for its imperial history and vibrant cultural scene, offers a plethora of iconic sights that are essential for any solo traveler’s itinerary.

Here’s a curated list of must-visit attractions in Vienna:

Schönbrunn Palace: As a UNESCO World Heritage site, this former imperial summer residence is a masterpiece of Baroque architecture. Wander through its lavish rooms and expansive gardens, a perfect solo adventure into history.

St. Stephen’s Cathedral: Located in the heart of Vienna, this Gothic cathedral is not only a religious landmark but also a symbol of Viennese culture. Climbing its tower offers a breathtaking view of the city, ideal for solo travelers.

The Hofburg: This imperial palace complex, housing the Sisi Museum, the Imperial Apartments, and the Silver Collection, provides insight into the life of the Habsburgs. It’s a window into Austria’s rich history, best explored at your own pace.

The Belvedere: Comprising two Baroque palaces, the Upper and Lower Belvedere, this historic building complex is home to an extensive collection of Austrian art, including Gustav Klimt’s “The Kiss”. It’s a must-visit for art-loving solo travelers.

Vienna State Opera: Even if you don’t attend a performance, the building itself is an architectural marvel. Guided tours are available, offering a glimpse behind the scenes of one of the world’s most famous opera houses.

The Prater and Giant Ferris Wheel: For a touch of whimsy and a fantastic view, a ride on the historic Giant Ferris Wheel in the Prater amusement park is a must. It’s a delightful experience, especially for solo visitors.

Off the Beaten Path Vienna Travel

solo travel to Vienna Austria
Vienna’s central cemetery, Wiener Zentralfriedhof, is one of the largest in the world by the number of interred and a unique stop on your solo travel to Vienna, hosting the graves of Beethoven, Schubert, and Brahms.

Vienna is not just about grand palaces and historic sites; it also has numerous hidden gems that offer a unique experience to solo travelers looking for something different:

Zentralfriedhof (Central Cemetery): As one of the largest cemeteries in the world, it’s not only a resting place for famous personalities like Beethoven and Brahms but also a tranquil spot for contemplation.

Hundertwasserhaus: This vibrantly colorful apartment house designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser is a feast for the eyes and a stark contrast to Vienna’s traditional architecture.

Spittelberg Quarter: Wander through the narrow, cobblestone streets of this charming neighborhood, filled with Biedermeier-era houses, quaint shops, and cozy cafes, away from the hustle and bustle.

Naschmarkt: Explore local and international delicacies at Vienna’s most famous market. It’s a great place to enjoy a leisurely stroll, sample some local food, and feel the pulse of the city.

Karmelitermarkt: Less known than the Naschmarkt but equally charming, this market in the 2nd district offers an authentic local experience, with a variety of fresh produce and eateries.

Heurigen (Wine Taverns): Visit one of Vienna’s traditional wine taverns located on the outskirts of the city, where you can enjoy local wine and food in a rustic setting, often with live music.

Museums and Art Galleries in Vienna

Vienna’s rich tapestry of art and history is prominently displayed in its multitude of museums and galleries. For solo travelers, these cultural havens offer the freedom to explore at your own pace, diving deep into the worlds of classical art, contemporary creations, and historical treasures.

The Kunsthistorisches Museum: Home to an impressive collection of works by artists like Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Velázquez, this museum is a paradise for art lovers. The building itself, an artwork in its own right, adds to the experience.

The Albertina: Housing one of the largest and most important print rooms in the world, the Albertina offers a mix of classical and modern art, including masterpieces by Dürer, Klimt, and Picasso.

The Belvedere: Showcasing a comprehensive collection of Austrian art, including the world’s largest collection of Gustav Klimt paintings, the Belvedere is not just a museum but a piece of Vienna’s historical landscape.

The Museum of Modern Art (MUMOK): For solo travelers interested in contemporary art, MUMOK is the place to go. Its collection includes works from the 20th and 21st centuries, offering a different perspective on the art world.

The Leopold Museum: Focusing on Austrian modernism, the Leopold Museum houses a significant collection of Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt. It’s a must-visit for those who want to understand Vienna’s modern artistic roots.

Music and Live Performances in Vienna

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Engage in a timeless Viennese tradition during your solo travel to Vienna by attending a ball – the city hosts over 450 balls each year, ranging from the opulent Opera Ball to more unconventional ones like the Coffeehouse Owners’ Ball.

Vienna is often called the “City of Music,” and for a good reason. Its musical legacy, embodied in its concert halls and opera houses, offers solo travelers an enriching cultural experience.

Vienna State Opera: One of the leading opera houses in the world, it’s a place where you can enjoy high-quality performances in a stunning architectural setting. Even if you’re not attending a show, guided tours are available.

Musikverein: Known for its acoustically perfect Golden Hall, the Musikverein hosts a variety of concerts, including performances by the Vienna Philharmonic. For classical music enthusiasts, this is a must-visit.

Theater an der Wien: This historic theater offers a range of operas, from classical to contemporary. It’s a great place to experience world-class opera in an intimate setting.

Jazz and Music Clubs: For those who prefer modern beats, Vienna has a vibrant jazz and contemporary music scene. Clubs like Porgy & Bess and Jazzland offer live music in a cozy atmosphere.

Street Performances: Don’t overlook the impromptu street performances that you can encounter in various parts of the city. They add a spontaneous and joyful element to your Vienna travel experience.

Experiencing Vienna’s cultural offerings solo allows you to fully immerse yourself in the moment, whether you’re marveling at a masterpiece in a quiet gallery or losing yourself in the music of a live performance.

What and where to eat in Vienna

The coffeehouse culture in Vienna

Vienna has a big coffeehouse culture that has even been recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage. It has deep historical roots and is a significant part of the city’s social fabric and daily life.

The coffeehouse tradition in Vienna dates back to the 17th century. According to popular lore, the concept was introduced by the Turks during the Siege of Vienna in 1683.

After the Turks were defeated, they left behind sacks of coffee beans, which were initially mistaken for camel feed. Georg Franz Kolschitzky, who had lived in the Ottoman Empire, recognized the beans and started the first coffeehouse.

Over the centuries, Viennese coffeehouses evolved into social and intellectual hubs. They were frequented by writers, artists, intellectuals, and politicians.

These establishments became known as “public living rooms,” where people could meet, discuss, and linger over newspapers in a relaxed atmosphere.

Today, the coffeehouse continues to be a staple of Viennese culture, though the context may have evolved. They remain places of social gathering, reflection, and enjoyment, cherished by locals and tourists alike.

Café Central: Famous for its grand interiors and historical significance, Café Central has been a meeting place for intellectuals and artists since 1876. Solo travelers will enjoy the palatial setting and the extensive menu of traditional Viennese coffee and pastries.

Café Sperl: Known for its traditional Viennese charm, Café Sperl is a quieter alternative, perfect for those who want to enjoy a leisurely coffee while reading or journaling.

Demel: A former imperial and royal confectionery bakery, Demel is renowned for its exquisite pastries and cakes. It’s a must-visit for solo travelers who appreciate the sweeter side of Viennese culture.

Café Hawelka: This cozy and bohemian coffeehouse is known for its authentic, unaltered Viennese atmosphere. It’s a great place to mingle with locals or enjoy a quiet moment alone.

Kleines Café: Set in a quaint square in the heart of the city, this tiny café is ideal for people-watching and enjoying a more laid-back coffee experience.

Must-try Austrian dishes in Vienna

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Solo travel to Vienna allows you to indulge in the famous Sachertorte, a unique chocolate cake, which is a culinary symbol of the city.

Vienna’s culinary scene offers an array of traditional dishes that solo travelers should not miss. Dining alone in Vienna is a delightful experience, with many eateries offering a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere for solo patrons.

Wiener Schnitzel: No visit to Vienna is complete without trying the classic Wiener Schnitzel. Head to places like Figlmüller or Schnitzelwirt to savor this iconic Viennese dish.

Apfelstrudel: For a sweet treat, try the traditional Apfelstrudel. Cafés like Café Landtmann or Café Mozart offer some of the best in town.

Viennese Sausages: For a quick and satisfying meal, sample the Viennese sausages at a Würstelstand (sausage stand). Bitzinger Würstelstand am Albertinaplatz is a popular choice.

Tafelspitz: For a more upscale dining experience, try Tafelspitz, a boiled beef dish, at places like Plachutta or Meissl & Schadn.

Heuriger: Visit a traditional Viennese wine tavern, known as a Heuriger, where you can enjoy local wines along with a buffet of Austrian specialties. Heuriger Wieninger and Heuriger Sirbu are great options.

🫱🏻‍🫲🏽 How to meet people in Vienna

If you are traveling solo to Vienna, staying in hostels will enable you to meet fellow travelers. Wombat’s City Hostel is one of the best party hostels in Vienna.

If you are not into the crazy scene, I don’t recommend you to stay in party hostels. The bars are loud and sometimes, they are right next to the rooms! You can still go meet people in these party hostels. They accept non-guests to drink and party in their bars.

Every Monday, there is a traveler meet-up at Gelis/Garten organized by expats and locals of Vienna. Everyone is free to join this gathering so come at 6:00 PM to meet fellow solo travelers!

Lastly, I organize and host group trips for solo travelers, not just in Vienna but all over Europe! Join me in my trips and let’s travel Vienna alone (together)!

✨ Vienna travel tips

The Vienna city tax

solo travel to vienna
If you’re fascinated by oddities, your solo travel to Vienna itinerary should include a visit to the Narrenturm, or ‘Fool’s Tower’, one of the world’s oldest buildings dedicated to housing the mentally ill, now a pathology museum.

The Vienna city tax, also known as the “tourist tax” or “accommodation tax,” is a local tax imposed on visitors staying in paid lodging in Vienna. The tax is set at 3.2% of the gross accommodation rate per night.

As a tourist, you will be required to pay this tax. It is usually not included in the advertised room rate and is added to your bill at the end of your stay.

The revenue generated from this tax is used by the city to maintain and improve local infrastructure and tourism-related services, ensuring a high-quality experience for visitors.

Austrians are not Germans

Austria and Germany are distinct countries with their own unique histories, cultures, and identities. Both are part of the DACH countries. Do not refer to them as Germans, but Austrians.

While the official language in both countries is German, there are differences in accents, dialects, and certain aspects of vocabulary. Austrian German has its own nuances and is influenced by the country’s history and cultural identity.

Austria has strict privacy laws when it comes to photography

solo travel to vienna
Vienna travel takes you back in time with its classic horse-drawn carriages, known as Fiakers, trotting around the city.

When it comes to taking photos of people, the law is more stringent. You should always ask for permission before photographing individuals, especially in a way that could be considered intrusive or disrespectful.

Austria’s privacy laws protect the ‘right to one’s own image’. This means that, even in public places, if someone objects to being photographed, you should respect their wishes.

This is particularly important when photographing children or people in private settings. Publishing or sharing photos where individuals are identifiable without their consent can be legally problematic.

In public spaces, you are usually free to take photos. This includes streets, parks, and most tourist attractions.

Vienna has free drinking water stations all over the city

Photo: Wien zu Fuß-App

Vienna is renowned for its exceptional quality of drinking water, and one of the city’s commendable features is its abundance of free drinking water stations.

There are over 1,000 public drinking fountains scattered throughout Vienna. These fountains, known locally as ‘Trinkwasser’, are a hallmark of the city.

If you are visiting Vienna during the summer, download the Cooles Wien app where you can locate drinking fountains, bath areas, water playgrounds, etc near you. This map is really good!

Austrians value their ‘Ruhezeit’ (quiet time)

Particularly on Sundays and public holidays, loud activities are frowned upon in Austria. This also applies to certain “quiet hours” (also known as Ruhezeit) during weekdays, usually in the evenings and during midday.

Typically, it runs from 10:00 PM to 7:00 AM, with an additional midday quiet time often observed around 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM or 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM.

In many residential areas, adherence to quiet time is not just a cultural norm but also a legal requirement, with potential fines for non-compliance.

A formal greeting is valued in Austria

A quick, firm handshake while making eye contact is the standard. When entering shops or restaurants, it’s polite to say “Grüß Gott” (good day) or simply “Hallo”.

Austrians generally maintain formal table manners

Wait to be shown to your seat in a restaurant, and wait until everyone has their food before starting to eat. Place your napkin on your lap, and keep your hands visible on the table (not in your lap).

Get travel insurance

For one month in Vienna, I only paid $40 USD for travel insurance Never travel to Europe without insurance as you don’t know what can happen.

Save on accommodations by volunteering

If you are traveling Vienna or Austria for 2 weeks or more, you can look for volunteering jobs. I’ve volunteered in many countries and have gained many different experiences because of this!

I use Worldpackers to find volunteer jobs in Austria. You can also use my discount code PSIMONMYWAY10 to get $10 USD off for your one-year membership!

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