If you are a woman traveling solo, you are always looking for the next perfect destination. Perfect solo trips for women require some consideration. How save is your destination? What’s there to do for the solo traveler? Should you go by yourself, or join a trip organized by a tour company for solo travelers? What are some exciting solo vacation ideas?
Unless you are looking for a beach destination, Austria could be the answer to all your question. This landlocked country in central Europe is famous for its castles and palaces, and the beautiful mountains, the Alps, that are perfect for outdoor recreation, and, of course, cities like Vienna and Salzburg. A visit to Austria is always a good idea, and since it’s ranked as one of the safest countries in Europe and travel in this country is very safe for foreigners, it’s a great place for solo trips for women.
There are endless possibilities for things to do. Here are our highlights.
Vienna may be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Austria. And rightfully so! Austria’s capital has plenty to offer, be it culture, arts, music, or food. It’s a great destination for solo trips for women.
1. Schönbrunn Palace and Gardens
Schönbrunn Palace, built at the end of the 17th century, is one of Vienna’s main attractions. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the summer residence of the Habsburg monarchs. The Palace has 1441 rooms and is one of Europe’s most beautiful Baroque complexes, so if you are interested in architecture, don’t miss it!
Take the grand tour through the Palace and enjoy the beauty of the Habsburgs’ creation. Fun fact: if you can’t make it to Austria, you can still see the Palace on a virtual tour!
Even if you aren’t versed on the topic of European monarchy, you certainly heard of the Empress Elisabeth of Austria, or Sisi. Several movies have been made about the life of this Empress, known for her very liberal ideas, call for a republic structure for Austria, and her efforts for the poor. Wander through the Sisi museum at Schönbrunn Palace and learn about her life.
The Palace Gardens are vast, beautiful and also part of the UNESCO World Heritage site. There’s a desert house, a palm house, the Orangery Gardens and much more, even a zoo! The gardens open at 6.30 am, and you can visit them free of charge!
2. St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Stefansdom)
The impressive towers of St. Stephen’s Cathedral dominate Vienna’s skyline. The cathedral was established in 1147, but after a fire in 1258 burned down most of the building, today only the west façade remains of the late Romanesque edifice remains. The construction of the cathedral in its current Romanesque and Gothic form took 65 years, from 1368 to 1433.
Take a tour of the cathedral, offered in German and English. Visit the catacombs and learn everything about the Habsburgs’ unique burial rituals. You can climb both the South and the North tower and enjoy incredible views of Vienna. A perfect activity for the solo traveler!
3. Town Hall
The town hall (Rathaus) was constructed in the 1800’s to accommodate the offices of the mayor and showcases a beautiful Neo-Gothic style. Guided tours are available and offer visitors a look at the council chamber, two coat of arms halls, stone halls, festival hall, senate chamber, grand staircases, and the arcade courtyard.
4. The Spanish Riding School
You don’t need to be a horse lover to appreciate the world-famous Spanish Riding School in Vienna. Established in 1572, the school has been training white Lipizzaners for hundreds of years. The Ballet of the White Stallions, which takes place in the unique, baroque Winter Riding School at the Hofburg Palace, is something you should not miss on your trip to this perfect solo travel destination.
5. Café Sacher
One thing you can absolutely not miss when in Vienna is a visit to Café Sacher to eat Sacher Torte (cake). This most famous chocolate cake of all time, created in 1832 by pastry chef Franz Sacher, is an Austrian specialty and possible the yummiest treat you’ll ever eat. And what better place to try it than the café bearing his name? If you have chosen this as an activity on one of your solo trips for women, enjoy the fact that you don’t have to share that incredible cake!
If you haven’t had your fill of cities yet, head over to Salzburg. The birthplace of world-famous composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is stunningly beautiful and perfect for solo trips for women.
1. Fortress Hohensalzburg
Fortress Hohensalzburg, sitting atop the Festungsberg at an altitude of 506 meters, is a large, medieval fortress. Construction began in 1077, and the fortress was expanded over the following centuries. It is one of the biggest fully preserved castles in Europe, and offers spectacular views over the city of Salzburg.
The fortress is open to visitors year round. Note that it can’t be reached by foot. Wander to Festungsgasse and take the fortress funicular up. Visit the fortress museum, the marionette museum, and the museum of the Rainer Regiment. Last but not least enjoy the view from the viewing platform.
2. Old Town
Salzburg’s old town isn’t just a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but it’s one of the largest ones by area. The Medieval and Baroque architecture style buildings will take you back in time and make a beautiful backdrop for a stroll. Major attractions include the Fortress Hohensalzburg and the Capuchin Monastery. Restaurants and cafes offer Austrian specialties when you are ready to take a break from your day’s solo traveler activities.
3. Walk in Mozart’s footsteps
Mozart was born in Salzburg in 1756. Both his birthplace and later residence are now museums you can visit. You will meet the city’s most famous son everywhere – there are Mozart chocolates, Mozart ice cream, and Mozart rubber ducks. There are several Mozart experiences you can book, for example a Mozart dinner concert. Treat yourself on your solo adventure!
After you’ve enjoyed the city life, go explore the great outdoors. Austria’s incredible beauty will keep you busy for days, if not weeks!
1. Hike to the Krimml Waterfalls
Who doesn’t love a waterfall? The Krimml Waterfalls have a total height of 380 meters (1247 feet), which makes them the highest in Austria. They are located near the village of Krimml in the High Tauern National Park. It’s a tiered waterfall, which means it comes down in three stages. The area offers several hiking trails.
2. Explore the World of the Ice Giants
Did you know Austria is home to the world’s biggest ice cave? It is located near Werfen, a market town in the district of St. Johann im Pongau. While the whole cave system extends 42 kilometers into the Hochkogel Mountain, part of the Tennengebirge area of the Alps, only the first kilometer is open to the public. That kilometer, however, is very impressive.
Imposing ice formations will wow you when you enter this mysterious world of ice. Between May and October you can take a 75 minute guided tour, which provides historical and scientific information about the cave. To top off this experience, skip the hike up and take Austria’s steepest gondola lift to the entrance! What a thrill and a completely unique experience, which is perfect for solo trips for women who love the outdoors!
3. Visit Schlegeis Lake
This artificial lake & water reservoir is located in the Zillertal valley in Tyrol. It’s surrounded by beautiful rugged mountains and perfect for solo trips for women who love to hike or climb! The hike to the Olpererhütte is one of the most iconic ones in Tyrol.
4. Take the cable car to Kitzbüheler Horn
The Kitzbüheler Horn, located in Tyrol, is nearly 2000 meters high. Take the Horngipfelbahn up and marvel at the incredible views. Stroll along the Karstweg walking trail or take a hike over the Horn summit route to the St. Johann side. A hike to the Südberge mountains and the Bichlalm is also a great option.
Drive along the Grossglockner Road
The Grossglockner Road is one of the most incredible mountain passes in all of Europe. The Hohe Tauren, the highest mountain massif in the Austrian Alps, is one sight you should not miss on your solo trip! Enjoy the panoramic Alpine views along the way.
Jenny grew up in Germany. All she ever wanted out of life was to leave and have adventures. Jenny always traveled as much as the budget would allow, and when she met her husband traveling became a full-time thing. You can follow Jenny on her blog and Facebook.