Austria is one of the safest and most beautiful countries to visit in Europe and is a perfect location for those traveling alone. The capital, Vienna, has been named “city with the highest quality of life” eight times in a row and the striking countryside is a hotspot for hikers and alpine explorers.
What to Do and See
There are countless benefits to traveling alone: nothing is there to hold you back, you are free to stick to your own schedule and, often it makes meeting others “on the road” a bit easier.
It is well worth venturing around both the urban and rural parts of Austria. The cities of Vienna, Salzburg, and Innsbruck rank among the must-visit destinations, and the smaller towns, such as Hallstatt, in the lesser-known countryside, are well worth exploring for dramatic rocky landscapes that make for some wonderful wanderings.
The Johanneweg pilgrimage trail in the area of Mühlviertler Alm takes you across 80 kilometers of some of the country’s beautiful meadows, farmlands, and mountains, offering a good chance to absorb some of Austria’s finest natural beauty.
For art and history lovers, the Museum’s Quarter, in Vienna, conveniently packs in a world of culture into 60,000 meters squared—with a courtyard perfectly designed for some solo daytime lounging.
Where to Eat
Austrian coffee houses, with their cozy corners and unique atmospheres, act as perfect escapes for a little alone time between sightseeing. In Vienna, where they are considered beloved institutions, you’ll often see people winding down behind a newspaper with a coffee and a slice of cake. Among the most authentic are Cafe Sperl and Dommayer.
Food fanatics who are eager to learn more about the art of Austrian cooking should consider taking a course with Bianca Gusenbauer, who will take you around Vienna’s best farmer’s markets, allowing you to choose your ingredients and then create some national cuisine afterwards—a great chance to meet some fellow adventurers, and sample delicious local meals made with the expertise of a local.
Where to Stay
If your budget allows, Boutique hotels are aplenty in Austria (here are some of the most luxurious in Vienna and Salzburg) or, if you’re keen to encounter fellow wanderers, hostels offering meetups and various activities are a better option—here are a few of the best.
Getting from A to B is generally a stress-free experience in Austria. Traveling from bus and train around the country is relatively low cost, and there are excellent connections between the cities, as well as easy routes to neighboring countries such as Hungary, Bratislava, and Italy. Check this website for details on routes and ticket prices.
Although English is widely spoken, it is always a good idea to pick up a few local words and phrases to help you engage with the culture of a country—it is important to remember that Austrian German is a little different than the language spoken in Germany—this website has details of a few key phrases to learn before you go.