Vienna! All by my lonesome!
June 4, 2018 7:43 PM   Subscribe

I'm going to be in Vienna by myself in early July. What's a great bed and breakfast to stay at, and some fun stuff to visit/see?

So in a recent question, I posted that I'm going to Prague with friends in late June, but wanted to continue on somewhere else by myself. The winner is Vienna, hooray! Now I have to figure that all out. I've never really traveled anywhere alone and am....somewhat nervous.

First things first, I need a place to stay in Vienna. I generally like bed and breakfasts, so please suggest somewhere good! I could spend up to $150 a night. I would love a place that has a little sense of community, which is why I prefer cozy b&bs with communal breakfasts to a cold sterile hotel. I'm coming in by train so... I guess somewhere relatively easy to reach from the main train station?

I'll be there July 2-5 so... any fun stuff going on during those days? I'll peruse past questions for restaurant/museum/etc recommendations, but I'd love some more recent and timely suggestions. I love live music, art, festivals of any kind, adventurous physical stuff, anything bizarre and off the beaten path. Not really looking for swanky restaurants or super expensive stuff, although I will take your spa recommendations :) Most of all, stuff where I will feel safe as a woman traveling alone in a foreign city. I live in NYC so I'm used to getting around with mass transit etc and I've been all over Europe, albeit always with friends or a tour group. I want to feel safe at all times, but still have fun and see some cool stuff.

And yes I will plan a meetup as we get closer!
posted by silverstatue to Travel & Transportation around Vienna, Austria (15 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I just got back from Vienna - it's a wonderful city! Some things we enjoyed: watching the Vienna State Opera outside the Opera house (free!) - they set up chairs and a huge screen outside. Good option if you don't want to commit to a whole opera (you might need to check the schedule). We went down to the Donaukanal, walked around and had a beer. Felt very untouristy and there is lots of street art along the banks of the river. Vienna is actually a great city for street art, if you're into that. I had the opportunity to see two pieces by an artist I have admired for years (ROA). I can give you more specific directions if that interests you. I'd also highly highly recommend going to a Heuriger while you are there. Great food, wine and beautiful locations. There are a bunch right outside of town. I never felt unsafe in Vienna at all. Have fun!
posted by GoldenEel at 7:58 PM on June 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

Here's my recent question about restaurants in Vienna -- lots of good info there. We stayed at Hotel Opera Suites, just across the street from the Opera House. It's not a B&B, but it was quite nice & quiet, for being right on the main tourist mall. I'd stay there again.
posted by spacewrench at 8:55 PM on June 4, 2018

I visited Vienna as a solo woman just a few years ago. There was nowhere in the central city that I felt physically unsafe, but there is a somewhat rougher Eastern European element around and I did feel at some increased risk for pickpocketing than in, say, London, so you may want to keep that in mind.

I found my trip to the Wiener Zentralfriedhof (accessible by light rail) pleasant, but The Third Man is one of my favorite movies and there are some key scenes filmed there, so I may be biased. (P.S. Watch The Third Man before you go; it is an amazing glimpse of postwar Vienna.)
posted by praemunire at 10:50 PM on June 4, 2018

Oooooh! I live there!
What do you like eating?
posted by Omnomnom at 11:53 PM on June 4, 2018

The Music Film Festival will be going on at the Rathaus. Plus there’s MQ Sommer in the MuseumsQuartier courtyard. Both are extremely safe, with free entertainment and cheap food and drinks.
posted by chrisulonic at 2:54 AM on June 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

Go to the Hunderwasser house, which is lovely, and the technical museum, which has some gorgeous huge machines, and a fab interactive bit (incl. a simulation of what it takes to negotiate hazards in a wheelchair, which really opened my eyes).
posted by runincircles at 6:47 AM on June 5, 2018

I would question the 'rougher East European element' concept. Hard. Yes there are pickpockets in the city.
posted by runincircles at 6:49 AM on June 5, 2018

Response by poster: Omnomnom I like eating everything! But especially desserts :)
posted by silverstatue at 6:49 AM on June 5, 2018

When I was last in Vienna we stayed in the B&B of the monastery Benediktushaus in Schottenstift. Really central, easy to get to from the train station (how we arrived), communal breakfast, staying in an actual medieval monastery. The only downsides were some church bells, and the fact that due to the thick medieval walls, you can only get wifi by sitting in the corridor (there are chairs, and being in a more communal area might be positive for you?).
posted by Vortisaur at 11:38 AM on June 5, 2018

Street Art Tours, some of them in English - you could ask!

Experience what life is like without eyesight - a fascinating experience by Dialogue in the Dark (includes breakfast / dinner)
posted by Omnomnom at 12:32 PM on June 5, 2018

posted by Omnomnom at 12:40 PM on June 5, 2018

Beach feeling at the Danube Canal, in the middle of town. Sand, deck chairs, cold drinks. (While you’re there: Take a walk along the Canal and enjoy the legal street art.)
Tel Aviv Beach Bar
Strandbar Hermann
posted by Omnomnom at 1:02 PM on June 5, 2018

Best answer: I couchsurfed in Vienna for a few days in June of 2015 and loved it there. Fair warning, my recs may be too touristy for your taste. I didn't happen to see the quirky side of Vienna though Pride was going on when I was there which was super fun (it was very soon after the US marriage equality ruling happened so there was a very positive vibe).

A friend took me to the famous Figlmüller for schnitzel and of course later we got the Sacher-Torte. I also love traveling off the beaten path but sometimes the well-paved path is delicious. I am also a fan of wandering through cathedrals and St. Stephen's is a nice, gothic cathedral close to the Opera house. Schönbrunn Palace is lovely. You can certainly wander the grounds if you're not interested in the castle tour, but there is still a small entrance fee for that. There is plenty to see, including a fun hedgemaze which is technically aimed at children but my then 34-year-old self still felt joy! I will say, if you have any interest in going to see a concert - book your ticket ASAP if there are any available. However, as noted before, you can see the opera for free on the streets outside as they broadcast it on a screen.
posted by acidnova at 1:06 PM on June 5, 2018

Are you opposed to staying at a hostel? I went solo to Vienna and stayed at Hostel Ruthensteiner, my first hostel trip and loved it. The community was great filled with fellow travelers and they always have something going on to meet other travelers. If you are opposed to staying in bunk beds you can also get a studio for yourself in the hostel. Location wise its super convenient to the main train station and close to the metro stations.

As for what to do. find a walking tour to get your bearings around the city(usually free). Take the Ring tram (1 or 2) which takes you around the outer ring of vienna and also a good way of getting your bearings in the city. I loved the museums area(museum quartier) in vienna , great place to hang out. Danube canal is great place to bike. A lot of great cafes in the city to enjoy cake and coffee. (Cafe demel and cafe hawelka are two i went to).
Here are all the viennese coffee types

If you have a chance go to the staatsoper which is the opera house. It is well renowned and if you want to go cheap there are standing tickets for not much money.

Here is also a 3 day itinerary i loosely followed
posted by radsqd at 2:27 PM on June 5, 2018

There is a wonderful, small, affordable, family-owned historic hotel called Hotel Schwalbe in the Ottakring area to the west of the city center. When we were last there two years ago there was an adorable fat little dog named Oscar who spent his day waddling between the lobby and the street outside. Breakfast was utterly charming and the proprietor speaks English well and was very attentive.

Funky stuff I wouldn't miss:
The Hundertwasser house
The Mumok
The Hapsburg furniture museum (whole rooms of armoires/hatstands/lamps/cribs/toilets, etc. from 17th to 20th century!)

There are SO many amazing murals, collected on this map--seek some out!
posted by SinAesthetic at 2:32 PM on June 5, 2018

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