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The best places to live in Vienna
The areas and suburbs in Vienna are organised into 23 distinct districts (bezirke), each with their own unique character and assortment of pros and cons. Each of the districts has a name but are also universally known by their number. The first district is closest to the city centre, with the numbers increasing the further a district is from the centre.
Districts 1 to 9 make up the inner city of Vienna. These areas tend to be much more densely populated than districts that are further away from the city centre. The major advantage of city living in Vienna is that residents have easy access to Vienna’s cultural offerings and best amenities.
While there are no distinct expat areas of Vienna, generally speaking, young professionals tend to live closer to the city centre, while expats with families tend to live in districts further afield that lie in close proximity to good international schools.
Vienna has a sophisticated transportation network so getting around isn’t much of an issue. Choosing where to live will depend significantly on an expat's lifestyle preferences, priorities and budget. Below are some of the most popular areas among Vienna’s expat population.
City living in Vienna
District 1 – Innere Stadt
District 1, or the Innere Stadt, is the city’s most expensive area by far. It boasts a vast array of architectural delights including St Stephen’s Cathedral and the Hofburg Palace.
Developers here have created luxury apartment buildings while maintaining the historic facade of the buildings. Rental properties are hard to come by in District 1, so expect to pay a hefty price.
District 2 – Leapoldstadt
District 2, or Leopoldstadt, is significantly cheaper than District 1 and has more of a multicultural feel, having once been popular with various immigrant groups and students. Property tends to be small with a mix of old and new interiors. A prominent feature of this island district located between a major river and a canal is the Prater, a beautiful green park which was once a royal hunting ground.
Districts 3, 4 and 5 – Landstrasse, Wieden and Margareten
These urban districts are located south of District 1. Expats will find a greater choice of housing options in each of these areas. All of these are well located in terms of public transportation routes so getting around won’t be a problem at all. In District 3, expats will find a number of historic sites including the castle and gardens of Belvedere. District 4 is home to the Naschmarkt, Vienna's largest food market.
Districts 8 and 9 – Josefstadt and Alsergrund
These areas are popular with wealthy locals and expats alike who are looking to live centrally. Josefstadt has a bohemian feel and is located just a stone’s throw away from City Hall and Parliament in District 1. Both Josefstadt and Alsergrund are popular with students and academics because these areas are close to the University of Vienna.
Suburban life in Vienna
Districts 18 and 19 – Währing and Döbling
Further away from Vienna’s city centre, expats will find more options in terms of family-friendly housing. Districts 18 and 19 are home to some popular international schools and nurseries. Lots of new arrivals choose to base themselves here because of the strong expat community that surrounds these schools, as well as the availability of houses instead of apartments. There are also many beautiful parks in the area for a day out with the family.
Expats who choose to live in these suburbs might feel a little cut off from Viennese culture, however, and will benefit from having a car for getting about.
►Accommodation in Vienna is a useful guide for new expats in Austria
Image credits: Vienna city centre – Wikimedia Commons; Vienna outer districts – Wikimedia Commons
"The 19th district is probably the best and most sought-after suburban area for expats. The 13th district also presents a good option."
Read more about Mexican expat Michael's experiences in Vienna.
Are you an expat living in Vienna?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Vienna. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
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