Planning a solo trip to Vienna? Here’s everything you need to know for your visit:
- Largest city (and capital) of Austria, with a population of 1.9 million.
- Vienna’s city centre has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
- Recognized as the world’s top destinations for congresses and conventions.
- Located on the Danube river, the city has a rich 2000 year long history.
- Nicknames: V, ViVi, the Imperial City
- Currency: Euro (EUR).
- Spoken languages: predominantly German (English common in tourist areas).
- Best time to visit: from April to October (mild continental climate).
- Arriving via airport: take the regular train (€4.20), because the CAT (City Airport Train) is only a few minutes faster and costs €11. Avoid the taxi stand (if you must, pre-book a taxi from inside the terminal which should cost between 30-40 Euros). Uber and Bolt are also options.
WHERE TO STAY
- Best Vienna hostel for solo travelers: Ruthensteiner. Cozy and welcoming atmosphere – a true “home away from home” experience. Very clean facilities and sleeping areas. Great common room for socializing. Good location, right next to a metro station and supermarket (walking distance to city centre, and 4 minutes from the Westbahnhoff train station). Book ahead to reserve your spot!
- Areas around the main tourist attractions (Mariahlfer Strasse, Innere Stadt, Rathaus, Karlsplatz) are expensive, but convenient.
- More affordable options can be found farther away from the city centre (close to metro stations).
- The city’s excellent transport system (Wiener Linien) includes trams, buses, and the subway. Single rides are €2.20, 24 hour passes cost €7.60, and 3-day passes are €16.50.
- Uber and Bolt are the most popular ride sharing services in Vienna (much better than a taxi).
- There are over 120 Citybike (bike rental) stations in Vienna. Register by credit card at a station or online. First hour of every trip is free.
- Trains: take the Westbahn (between Vienna and Salzburg), or OBB (across the whole country).
- Drinking age is 18, no official last call (some clubs are open all night).
- Casual / student bars in Vienna: Dick Macks Irish Pub, The Look Bar, Sparky’s unlimited Bar & Grill, Pickwick’s (hipster), Travel Shack Vienna (gets wild), Lukas Bar (cozy, hidden).
- Great beer: Délirium Café Vienna, Hawidere Bier und Burger, Känguruh Pub.
- Night clubs with a younger crowd: Babenberger Passage, Flex, U4 Vienna, The Loft, Prater Dome, and Club U.
- Techno / House clubs: Volksgarten Club, Pratersauna.
- Up and coming scene: under the subway station at the Gurtel Ring Road.
UNIQUE LANDMARKS TO VISIT
- Of the city’s many historical attractions, the Imperial landmarks stand out. Check out the museums at the Hofburg Imperial Palace, the Sissi Museum, the Treasury and the Spanish Riding School.
- The Ringstrasse features many of the most important buildings and sights in Vienna, including the Opera, Fine Arts Museum, Parliament, City Hall, and the Burgtheater.
- If you have time, take a day trip to the Schonbrunn Palace. With exceptional architecture and treasures, it is the site of one of the best zoos in Europe (Schonbrunn Zoo).
- For a magnificent view of the city, check out the (new) modern Danube Tower.
- Walk along the Ringstrasse to take in all the top tourist sites.
- A historical tour: walk from St. Stephan Cathedral towards the Hofburg Palace, through the Natural History and Fine Arts Museums, the MuseumsQuartier, towards Parliament Building and City Hall (Rathaus). End your tour at the Votivkirche.
- Walk along the Danube banks or the take a walk in the City Park.
- Tip: when you get tired of all the walking, relax on a boat tour of the Danube.
- Bring a light jacket (it can get chilly and windy in the evenings, even during springtime). Another good idea is to bring an umbrella, as it can start raining any time.
- One of the best experiences in Vienna is the world famous Christmas Fair. The entire city transforms – many small traditional shops appear in front of the City Hall and in Schonbrunn Palace. The fair takes place for several weeks before Christmas.
- Great restaurants in Vienna for foodies: Steman ($$ – Austrian), Sang Sang ($$ – Korean), Mama Liu & Sons ($$ – Chinese), Restaurant Mraz & Sohn ($$$$),
- Vegan restaurants: Velani ($$ – Austrian), Vevi Restaurant ($$ – Vietnamese), Hollerei ($$ – vegetarian with vegan options).
- Where to find good cheap eats: while you’re in town, try the world famous Austrian strudel or the wiener schnitzel – two of the best specialties in Vienna. For lunch on a budget, go to the deli counter of a supermarket – often, they have a sandwich service (you pick the ingredients).
- Do not carry any valuables on you. Take only the cash you need with you. Never take your wallet out in public to count money.
- Dangerous areas: Vienna is one of the safest cities in Europe. In any case, exercise caution. Avoid less crowded areas and subway stations at night.
Recommended trip duration: 3-4 days