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Vienna Solo Travel Guide for First-Time Travellers to Vienna Austria

If you are travelling solo to Austria and wondering what to do alone in Vienna, then you have to follow my Vienna solo travel guide. I included everything you need to know before starting your solo trip to Vienna, plus all the best attractions, places to eat and so much more.

As the capital of Austria, Vienna is a world-class city with many UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The city is indeed very cultured and you can spend many days meandering through museums and palaces.

Moreover, Vienna is one of the safest cities in the world, which makes Austria one of the best solo destination for solo female travellers.

If you are planning a trip to Vienna as a first time visitor, keep reading. I’ll tell you everything you need to know so you can plan a solo trip to Vienna Austria.

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What you need to know before travelling solo to Vienna Austria

Before you take your Vienna solo trip, take a look at some of these useful travel tips for travelling in the Austrian capital city:

  • Euro (€) is Austria’s official currency.
  • The standard voltage is 230VPower sockets are of type F. Check here to determine if you need to bring a travel adapter.
  • Use the Google Maps app to navigate around Vienna.
  • You can get by with English in Vienna. Most Austrians speak German and a bit of English, especially around all the touristy places. You don’t need to speak German but it would be great to say danke (thank you in German) or another phrase or two. You will be immediately welcomed with warm smiles.
  • Austria is the 4th most peaceful country and Vienna is ranked 5th in the world for “personal safety”. But with visiting any big cities, please always practice your normal safety precautions. 

Austria entry requirements

Austria is part of the European Union (EU) and the Schengen area

Non-EU travellers can only stay in the Schengen region up to 90 days within a period of 180 days. And you will need a valid passport for at least 3 months after the date you intend to leave the EU country and it must issued within the last 10 years

Check if you need to apply for a Schengen visa from an Austrian consulate or embassy and apply for a visa before you leave your home country. 

How to get to Vienna Austria

Air

Vienna International Airport (VIE) is located 18km southeast of the city centre. 

The easiest and cheapest way to get to downtown Vienna is by taking the Railjets of Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB). Twice and hour, the train will take go directly from Vienna Airport to Wien Hbf (Vienna Central Station).

The 15-minute train ride costs €4.30. Tickets can be purchased online, via ÖBB ticket app, at the counter or at a kiosk.

Rail

These are four major rail stations in Vienna. Wien Mitte Station and Wien Nord are for commuter trains. Whereas Wien Westbahnhof and Suedbahnhof are international railway terminals.

Depending on where you are coming from, you could be arriving at either Wien Westbahnhof or Suedbahnhof.

How to get around Vienna as a solo traveller

As a solo traveller, you can easily get around the city on your own. Vienna is a very walkable city.

If you only have a few days in Vienna, get a Vienna Pass where you can experience the city most conveniently. With the pass, you get free entry to 60+ attractions and tour the city on a hop-on-hop-off bus. If you plan to visit many different sites in a short period, definitely get a pass as it will save you money.

And you could also get a bike and ride around the city. Or take the tram to save some time and energy. And for long distances, take the U-Bahn (underground) network. And Uber is an inexpensive way of getting around as well.

What to do alone in Vienna Austria

As one of the most cultured capital in Europe, there are a lot of things to do alone in Vienna. Depending on how fast you go through the museums and palaces, you may need between two or three days in Vienna

First, let’s orientate ourselves in Vienna.

Ringstrasse (Ring Road), is a 5.3km road circling the old town. This beautiful boulevard is lined by Austria’s most important buildings like Hofburg Imperial PalaceKunsthistorische Museum, The Natural History MuseumRathaus (City Hall), The Austrian Parliament BuildingThe Vienna State Opera House and is surrounded by many parks and monuments.

Visiting the attractions on the Ringstrasse should be high on your list!

I put together an interactive map and pinned all the top things to do in Vienna. You can find more information about each attraction by clicking on the individual pin. Here’s a quick legend:

  • Museums (blue)
  • Architecture in Vienna (purple)
  • Palaces and historical sites (orange)
  • Food (red)
  • Accommodation (yellow)

Museums in Vienna

Possibly the best things to do in Vienna is all within MuseumQuartier. Also known as MQ, it is one of the largest cultural sites which has over 60 cultural institutions showcasing art, architecture, music, theatre, dance, fashion and literature.

These are two of my favourite museums at MQ:

  • Leopold Museum – showcases Austrian artists such as Gustav Klimt, Koloman Moser, Richard Gerstl and Oskar Kokoschka. They also have the biggest collection of Egon Schiele‘s self-portraits and work in expressionism.
  • MUMOK (Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien) – focuses on 20th-century modern and contemporary art, pop art and Vienna Actionism.

Besides the MQ, there are other arts and cultural exhibits all around the city:

  • Kunsthistorisches Museum – is worth visiting if you like Dutch and Flemish paintings. I love the works by Pieter Bruegel and one of his most famous works, “The Tower of Babel” is displayed in this grand museum. The interior is pretty amazing too!
  • The Albertina Museum Wien – has over 65,000 drawings and prints as part of their permanent exhibit.
  • Museum of Applied Arts – Mak Vienna – an arts and crafts museum with a focus on design, applied arts, architecture and contemporary art. 
  • Secession Building – learn about the Vienna Secession and how it all began.
  • Mozarthaus Vienna – for music lovers, specifically Mozart, visit this building which was Mozart’s residence from 1784 to 1787. And today, it is a museum displaying pieces from Mozart’s home and installations of his music.
  • KunstHaus Wien Museum – this is the only museum where you will find Friedensreich Hundertwasser’s artwork, who also designed the famous building, Hundertwasser House.

Architecture in Vienna

If you are an architecture lover, like me, you would be amazed by all the different types of design in the city.

My favourites were the art nouveau and modernist architecture by Austrian architect, Otto Wagner. His work can be found in various places in the city, including Österreichische Postsparkasse (Austrian Postal Savings Bank)Majolikahaus (residential home on Linke Wienzeile no 40) and Otto Wagner Pavilion Karlsplatz.

Another architectural highlight is the Hundertwasser House. Friedensreich Hundertwasser designed this residential building, and people come here to see the colourful facade where plants grow out of windows and large trees grow inside the rooms. It is one of the most visited buildings in Vienna.

Palaces & Historical Sites

A trip to Vienna wouldn’t be the same without seeing a few important historical sites.

Spend an afternoon and tour the beautiful Schönbrunn Palace and Gardens. It was a summer residence for Habsburg emperors back in the day. The Baroque architecture is a stunning yellow and well-maintained while the garden is beautifully manicured.

Also, visit The Belvedere Palace, which is home to Austria’s most famous painting: Gustav Klimt’s “The Kiss” and Vienna’s largest medieval art collection. While you are there, enjoy a leisurely stroll in the palace and admire the 18th-century Baroque palaces and landscape.

While you walk through Kärntner Strasse, a pedestrian shopping street in the centre of the city, you will discover Stephansdom (St. Stephen’s Cathedral). The Gothic cathedral stands tall in the centre of the city. You can even get a closer look at the gorgeous tiled roof and a panoramic view of the city when you climb up 340+ steps.

And if you have time, visit Karlskirche and Hofburg Palace as they both represent Viennese historical and cultural importance.

Interested in tours around Vienna. Try one of these tours below:

Related Post –  Why you must visit Vienna in Winter

Solo day trips from Vienna

Bratislava, Slovakia

A day trip to Bratislava is easy-peasy because the capital city of Slovakia is very close to Vienna. Plus, the city has many historical sites concentrated in the centre of town where you can see them all on the same day. Some highlights include Bratislava Castle, Michael’s Gate, Blue Church and Old Town Hall.

While you are in Bratislava, try some of the traditional Slovak cuisines like bryndzové halušky (potato dumplings with sheep cheese and roasted bacon) and bryndzové pirohy (pierogis stuffed with sheep cheese).

The journey from Vienna to Bratislava is only an hour by train. Or you can join a full-day Bratislava tour that includes a bus transfer to Bratislava, a walking tour and a boat ride on the Danube back to Vienna.

Hallstatt, Austria

Hallstatt is one of the most dreamy destinations in Austria. This alpine village in the Salzkammergut region is known for its production of salt. But most people know of Hallstatt because this town has the most picturesque views of the Austrian Alps, Hallstätter See and surrounding villages.

You can visit this UNESCO town on your own by taking the train to Hallstatt. Or you can join an organized tour to Hallstatt from Vienna and see this dreamy alpine town. The tour includes a stop at Schloss Ort, then it goes directly to Hallstatt where you can wander around the town, and walk on the Skywalk platform.

Salzburg, Austria

Visit Austria’s fourth biggest city, Salzburg, for a day of historical sites and baroque architecture. Stroll through the Old Town and visit some famous sites including Salzburg Fortress, Domquartier Salzburg, and Salzburg Cathedral. And make sure to join a Sound of Music tour as the movie was filmed in Salzburg.

The train will take you from Vienna to Salzburg in 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Where to stay in Vienna as a solo traveller

Vienna attracts 12 million people each year, so there is no shortage of accommodations. It is just a matter of preference and cost. Here are some of my recommendations:

  • Jaz in the City Vienna ($$) – book the In-Tune room and stay at this newly built hotel.
    • Check prices & reviews: Agoda
  • Hotel Schani Salon ($$) – stay at this 4-star hotel and live within walking distance to many attractions in Vienna.
    • Check prices & reviews: Agoda
  • Zoku Vienna ($$$) – it’s a bit out of the central area but I loved my stay at Zoku Amsterdam which is why I am recommending this 4-star hotel.
    • Check prices & reviews: Agoda

What to eat in Vienna Austria

Typical Viennese Cuisine

When you think of Austrian food, you might think of the wiener schnitzel because that is what they are famous for. And it is delicious!

But there are so many other dishes to try. Austrian food is hearty and wholesome. Many of their culinary dishes have German origin and other neighbouring countries, especially Slavic culture.

For all the coffee lovers, you are in luck! The café culture dates back a few hundred years. It is a very social and relaxing activity for locals in which many people order typical Viennese coffee and a slice of Viennese cake as well. Because of the popularity of coffee culture, many old Viennese coffee houses are still around and even with the original and traditional decor.

You have to try some of the typical Viennese food:

  • Wiener Schnitzel – a premium cut of veal cutlet, breaded and fried in butter
  • Tafelspitz – traditional Viennese boiled beef soup with bone marrow, with a side of horseradish sauce and applesauce
  • Gulasch – originated from Hungary, stewed beef cooked in a thick gravy of paprika and garlic
  • White Asparagus – when white asparagus is in season, it is very delicious!
  • Käsespätzle – soft egg noodle
  • Austrian Sausages – different types can be purchased as street food
  • Leberkäse – a slice of mixed meat (beef, pork, bacon) in a dinner roll
  • Schnitzelsemmel – schnitzel in a dinner roll
  • Frittatensuppe – slices of pancake in a clear broth soup
  • Griessnockerlsuppe – vegetarian dumpling soup
  • Leberknödelsuppe – beef dumpling soup
  • Brezel – soft pretzel
  • Apfelstrudel – a classic Austrian dessert, apple strudel made with thin pastry, stuffed with apples, cinnamon, breadcrumbs and raisins
  • Kaiserschmarren – a Viennese delicacy where cut pancake is served in a pan with stewed plums and apple puree
  • Palatschinke – thin pancake with apricot jam
  • Sachertorte – the most famous Austrian cake which is a chocolate cake with thin layers of apricot jam
  • Mannerschnitten – Manner is the original Neapolitan wafers
  • Weiner Melange – a typical Viennese coffee which has 50% mocha and 50% heated milk
  • Austrian Beer – many to choose from including Stiegl and Ottakringer
  • Schnapps – alcoholic spirit including Zwetschgenschnapps (plum schnapps) and Marillenschnapps (apricot schnapps)
  • Austrian wine – Grüner Veltliner is a typical white wine Austrians drink 
  • Spritzer – white wine + soda water, a perfect summer drink

Where to eat in Vienna Austria

Some of the places below came highly recommended by locals. And I have to say; they were some of the best meals I’ve had. Super authentic and delicious! You don’t have to worry about eating as a solo traveller. It is very common in Vienna.

Restaurants and food market

  • Plachuttas Gasthaus zur Oper – Walfischgasse 5; you have to order the wiener schnitzel! An order has two pieces of veal schnitzel and a side of potatoes salad
  • Figlmüller Wollzeile – Wollzeile 5; their schnitzel is made with premium veal that is larger than their plate!
  • Plachutta Wollzeile – Wollzeile 38; if you are going to this restaurant, then you have to order the famous Tafelspitz! First, you drink the beef broth. Next, eat the bone marrow with toast. Then savour all the boiled beef with horseradish sauce. You won’t regret it!
  • Naschmarkt – Linke Wienzeile 48-52; Vienna’s largest food market. Restaurants and food vendors line the mile-long market. There’s even a flea market on Saturdays.

Cafes and bars

  • Bitzinger – Albertinaplatz 1; Vienna’s street food stand that serves the best bratwurst and leberkäse
  • Café Sperl – Gumpendorfer Str. 11; a Viennese coffeehouse with traditional interiors. Try a slice of the sachertorte and pair it with a melange
  • Café Mozart – Albertinaplatz 2; I couldn’t help but to go in for a fancy coffee treat. The traditional interior is as good as their coffee and dessert. 
  • Café Sacher – Philharmoniker Str. 4; you have to experience the opulent interior and delicious cake here. After all, they invented the sachertorte! 
  • Allergiker Café – Wiedner Hauptstraße 35; the lovely owner runs this little cafe. She makes all the cakes and coffee herself. And she hosts artist nights at her cafe where people come in and perform.
  • TOP cinema bar – Rahlgasse 1; order a spritzer and enjoy a leisure afternoon of sitting outside and people-watching.

Are you ready to travel solo to Vienna Austria?

Vienna is one of the safest cities for solo female travellers. I’ve been to the beautiful city twice and didn’t feel unsafe at all. Feeling safe is a top priority and you can be at ease when you are in Vienna Austria.

I hope you like some of my travel tips before heading off to the beautiful city. If there is anything else you would like to know, leave a comment below.

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About Author

Hi, my name is Queenie, and I've been a solo traveller for 18+ years and currently based in Hong Kong. Follow me on my adventures through Instagram and my blog!

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