Traditional coffee houses are what Vienna is most famous for and, incidentally, they are havens for those wanting some quiet time away from the crowds. Take your pick from the many hundreds, from classic Viennese joints to trendy third-wave cafés, and settle down for an afternoon with a book, a cup of espresso and a slice of cake.
Café Pruckl is a great choice for solo visitors. It’s spacious enough for visitors to feel inconspicuous, while maintaining a cosy atmosphere, with shabby-chic sofas, soft pastel colours and traditionally clad waiters with the quintessential Viennese dry wit. There are plenty of hidden corners where you can settle down and engage in some people watching, and you’re likely to see some interesting characters pass by.
Alternatively, Cafe Kafka and Cafe Sperl are both fantastic choices for lone wolves, or if you prefer a more modern coffee shop, try POC, Balthazar, or Cafe Phil – you can even buy a book to read at the latter.
Time alone in the great outdoors can be refreshing and mind-clearing. Vienna is fantastic for both walking and cycling, and there are countless routes that you can explore, with some beautiful countryside spots. Take a tram out to Nussdorf and wander among the vineyards, or hire a bike for the day and explore the city sites. The areas surrounding Vienna Woods are also magical, and perfect for a day of contemplation.
Attending a concert by yourself is a great chance to truly absorb the music without any interruptions. Classical music can be exceptionally atmospheric, especially when you are in your own company and can immerse yourself in the sound. Treat yourself to a ticket to a concert at the opera house, or at one of Vienna’s many smaller music venues. If you’re on a budget, cheap standing tickets to the Wiener Stadtoper can be purchased for as little as €3–4 euros if you turn up 20 minutes before a performance.
Vienna’s music isn’t purely archaic: there are many fantastic modern venues on the city’s Gürtel, where you can catch pop, rock and indie music.
There are many perks to attending an art gallery by yourself. You can spend as long as you like in the exhibition, without any pressure to either stay or move on, and it gives you a chance to fully absorb the work without any disturbances from companions.
You’ll find many of the best and most famous galleries in the Museum’s Quarter, a cultural hub with a range of installations and galleries, including the MUMOK and the Leopold. Consider treating yourself to a Vienna City Card, which will give you access to a number of cultural spots for a discounted price.