Having ranked 25th out of 227 cities in the Mercer Cost of Living Survey for 2023, Vienna is an expensive destination for expats. It's essential that expats moving to the city for work ensure that their salary is high enough to comfortably cover the cost of living in Vienna.

The good news is that Vienna is still cheaper than several European destinations, including Zurich, Copenhagen and London. In addition, Vienna caters for all budgets and generally has a wide selection of choices for those looking to save some money, as well as those after a more luxurious Viennese lifestyle.


Cost of accommodation in Vienna

Accommodation is one of the biggest costs that expats moving to Vienna will face. Rental costs vary depending on the area of the city and the size and condition of the property. Living in the city centre is costlier than staying in the outlying suburbs.

It can be challenging to find a suitable property in Vienna, and most expats enlist the help of a real estate agent. Expats should be aware that additional fees, which are equivalent to two or three months' rent, can be charged by the agent. Tenants are expected to pay a security deposit, which is usually the equivalent of one to three months' rent.


Cost of transport in Vienna

The second-largest expense for people living in Vienna is that of car ownership. While purchasing a vehicle in Vienna is not always expensive, the cost of maintaining a car and paying for parking can become quite pricey over time.

That said, this is one expense expats can easily avoid. The public transport network in Vienna is excellent, and most of the city's residents get around using buses and trains. Cycling is also a popular, healthy and free alternative in Vienna.


Cost of groceries in Vienna

Vienna is home to an abundance of grocery chains, such as Billa, Spar and Hoffer. At these stores, expats can find a good choice of groceries at reasonable prices.

Those looking to indulge can head to Spar Gourmet or Merkur, both of which sell a variety of luxury items. Expats who are looking to save money should visit Penny Markt, which has many budget grocery options. Shopping at local markets is also a great way to save money on local seasonal produce.


Cost of entertainment and eating out in Vienna

Expats moving to Vienna will find many exquisite restaurants with diverse pricing, representing a variety of dining options. Ethnic restaurants are not overly abundant, however, and the good ones tend to be on the pricey side.

There are plenty of options for experiencing the lifestyle in Vienna, ranging from exploring the city's world-famous markets to attending an opera show at the Wiener Staatsoper (Vienna State Opera). Expats looking to enjoy these activities regularly should ensure they budget well, as they are all fairly pricey.

Budget-conscious expats will be delighted to discover that there are many free or low-cost activities across Vienna. Some museums, such as the MuseumsQuartier and Wien Museum MUSA, offer free entrance to their smaller exhibitions. There are also a fair few parks and picturesque woods, and a river that offer an excellent base for a range of free outdoor activities. 


Cost of healthcare in Vienna

Austria offers everyone living, working or visiting the country free basic healthcare. The national health insurance is funded by tax contributions and ensures that expats will have access to quality healthcare in Vienna. Most citizens opt not to take out a private healthcare policy, but some expats may have this sponsored by their employers, and it is fantastic for new arrivals seeking quicker and more comprehensive access to healthcare services. 


Cost of education in Vienna

Expat residents in Vienna can send their children to Austrian public schools for free. That said, the curriculum is taught in German, and if a child isn't already familiar with the language, it can be a difficult adjustment.

On the other hand, Vienna has many international schools that cater for expat children. These can be quite steep but typically offer a wider range of extracurricular activities and high teaching standards. Tuition fees vary depending on the school and generally increase for higher grade levels. 


Cost of living chart for Vienna

Prices may vary depending on the product and service provider. The list below is based on average prices in Vienna for July 2023.

Accommodation (monthly rent)

One-bedroom apartment in city centre

EUR 870

One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

EUR 660

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

EUR 1,500

Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

EUR 1,100

Food and drink

Milk (1 litre)

EUR 1.38

Cheese (1kg)

EUR 12.08

Dozen eggs

EUR 3.94

Loaf of white bread 

EUR 2.19

Rice (1kg)

EUR 2.04

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

EUR 6

Transportation

City centre bus/train fare

EUR 2.40

Taxi rate per km

EUR 1.60

Petrol/gasoline per litre

EUR 1.68

Eating out

Big Mac Meal

EUR 9

Coca-Cola (330 ml)   

EUR 2.44

Cappuccino

EUR 3.45

Bottle of domestic beer

EUR 4.25

Three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant

EUR 60

Utilities

Internet (uncapped ADSL per month)

EUR 31

Mobile phone monthly plan with calls and data

EUR 22.15

Utilities (average per month for a standard household)

EUR 242

Hourly rate for domestic help

EUR 15

Expat Health Insurance

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