- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Vienna Guide (PDF)
Balancing expectations when moving to a new city can be daunting, and moving to Austria's capital is no exception. For those expats wondering about what life in the City of Music is really like, we've put together a list of pros and cons to consider before moving to Vienna.
Transport in Vienna
+ PRO: Easy travel to neighbouring European countries
Austria's position in the heart of Europe allows for convenient and inexpensive travel to other European countries. Vienna is also connected by rail to various European cities, making overland travel effortless.
+ PRO: Well-developed public transport system
Public transport in Vienna makes getting around Vienna relatively easy. The many public transport options in Vienna are extensive, timely, safe and comparatively inexpensive.
+ PRO: Vienna is bicycle friendly
Ample bike paths run throughout Vienna, ensuring that the whole city can be navigated by bicycle. These paths are maintained in winter, which means expats can cycle year round.
Accommodation in Vienna
- CON: Housing is expensive and challenging to find
As finding housing in Vienna is difficult, most people rely on estate agencies. This, along with the high initial costs involved in securing a lease, further increases the costs of setting up a home in Vienna.
Weather in Vienna
- CON: Long winters
Although Vienna is warmer than most regions in Austria, those used to more tropical climes will find that winters in Vienna can feel exceptionally long and grey.
Lifestyle in Vienna
+ PRO: Thriving arts scene
As well as being a haven for the performing arts, Vienna is home to an abundance of things to see and do. Expats living in Vienna will be spoilt for choice when it comes to cultural pursuits.
+ PRO: Fantastic food
As an international city, Vienna's restaurant scene is a collection of cuisines from around the world. Then there's also Viennese fare, which is famed for its apfelstrudel among other baked delights. Vienna also boasts a sophisticated wine culture.
- CON: Austrian culture can be challenging
Although Austrians enjoy meeting foreigners, making friends with locals can be difficult as Austrians tend to be quite guarded and tend to keep their personal lives private.
+ PRO: Active expat community
Despite any difficulty expats may face in integrating into the reserved Austrian culture, the city's large and diverse expat community organises many expat social groups and events, making it easy to befriend like-minded people.
- CON: Service can seem rude
Wait staff in Vienna are famed for their apathy. This is best understood as a cultural difference between serving cultures rather than as a personal affront.
Language gap in Vienna
+ PRO: English is readily spoken
Although not all Austrians speak English, many do. English is also a popular business language, leading more and more Austrians to speak it.
- CON: Austrian German is challenging
Learning Austrian German is difficult as the language is full of nuance and, despite Austria's small size, regional idiosyncrasies. Those already fluent in German should expect many vocabulary differences.
Healthcare in Vienna
+ PRO: Excellent healthcare
Austria has one of the best healthcare systems in Europe. Expats living and working in Vienna will be given access to Austria's high-quality public healthcare.
►The Cost of Living in Vienna page is a great overview of various everyday expenses expats will incur while living 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
If you’re thinking about taking out private health insurance, our trusted partner Cigna Global is very aware of all the difficulties that expats can face when it comes to healthcare in a new location, so they have created a range of international health insurance plans specifically designed for expats, which you can tailor exactly to the needs and ensure access to quality care for you and your family.
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