Vienna, Austria is such a beautiful city – the architecture, the people and the food. I travelled solo through Europe and stopped in Vienna for a few days, and ended up loving it. Don’t hesitate if you are on your own, Vienna is the perfect city for solo travellers!
Arriving and Departing Vienna
I arrived in Vienna from Prague via the train headed to Graz (many trains from Prague that stop in Vienna will have an end destination of Graz, so the train may be labelled as such).
It’s about a 4 hour train ride and will cost around 20 euro, one way. I didn’t book ahead of time, but this may depend on the time of year you are travelling. During high season (typically the summer months), I recommend buying a ticket ahead of time at the train station, or you can book online using with Seat61.com or Rome2Rio.
The main train station in Vienna is Vienna Hauptbahnhof.
Public Transportation in Vienna
I am not one for expensive taxis and much prefer to take public transportation when I travel. Vienna was no exception. The Vienna U-Bahn is clean, easy to navigate and an excellent option for getting around the city without breaking the bank.
Budget travellers rejoice!
The Vienna subway system operates 5:00 AM to 1:00 AM during the week. On holidays and weekends, it runs 24 hours.
** Note that this information is accurate as of my visit, but be sure to check the U-Bahn website for fare and/or schedule changes.
I stayed at Wombats Hostel (more on that below) and it is super easy to get from the train station to my hostel and only cost about 2.5 euro, one way.
Where to stay in Vienna
I chose Wombats City Hostel as my home base while backpacking through Vienna.
*** Note that there are TWO Wombats locations in Vienna – The Lounge, and Naschmarkt – so make sure you know which one you are booking.
I chose Naschmarkt because I liked the location better, even though it was a bit more expensive. The subway is right there, so it is super easy to get around the city, but also to get to the main train station when arriving and departing.
I also like that there is a big open market right across the street, which means I had access to a huge variety of cheap, locally made food.
It’s a win win, in my opinion.
Also, not all of the beds are bunk beds (at least in the all female dorm I was in). I was in a very spacious and clean room with three other women and it was really comfortable.
Breakfast is available for 5 euro and is worth every penny. The kitchen staff are on top of everything and there’s plenty of seating in a really cool, open lounge area. They have all kinds of breads, bagels, cereals, cheese, lunch meats, hard boiled eggs, a variety of spreads, and a great coffee maker that made everything.
Laundry machines are in the basement and there’s a great little bar area with a pool table to hang out in the evenings.
Things to do in Vienna
If you love horses like I do, then you’ll have your eye on the Spanish Riding School and I highly recommend going to watch the morning exercises, or signing up for a tour.
I couldn’t make it for the morning exercises, so I did a tour. They take you into the arena and tell you a bit about their horses and then you go into the stables and tack room. Note that photos are not allowed in the stables.
I also spent an afternoon wandering through Kaiserliche Schatzkammer Wien – the Imperial Treasury at the Hofburg Palace.
I am not a museum person whatsoever (I have the attention span of a three year old), but THIS was a really cool place held even MY attention!
It’s very well laid out, has free coat check, and very friendly staff who are most helpful. Signage is in both German and English and everything is well labeled.
And finally, I watched a ballet in the infamous Wiener Staatsoper (Vienna Opera House)…
…for THREE EURO.
Yes, you read that right.
I went to the box office before the performance and stood in a very boring line for hours (truth be told, after twenty minutes, I parked it on the floor without a care in the world).
*** Note that you can ONLY buy these tickets the DAY OF, and only 80 minutes before the show starts and there’s only a handful of them available. Hence why there’s a line up hours in advance. See more details on these tickets here.
It was the first ballet I had ever seen, so to see my FIRST ballet in this infamous opera house was awesome!
Where to Eat in Vienna
I am not one for fancy restaurants and dropping huge amounts of money in pretentious places with snooty staff.
At all. I’m all about convenience and budget.
I’m a budget traveller, what did you expect?
I ate breakfast every morning at the hostel, because where else was I going to get basically a buffet for 5 euro?
One day, I come across a random pop up outdoor market on my walk from the hostel to downtown and had a wonderful stew in a bread bowl for only a couple euro.
I picked up little things here and there whenever I passed through the Naschmarkt market. I also carried fruit and small snack with me to nibble on throughout the day. There is a small supermarket next to the hostel as well.
My European trip continued and from Vienna, I hopped on a train to Budapest. More on that later…
Have you been to Vienna? I want to go back. What should I NOT miss my second time around?