Viennese citizens enjoy, for the 10th time in a row, the pleasure of having confirmed what they can already experience first-hand: Vienna has again been named the most livable city in the world by the international consulting firm Mercer.
Globalization has made mobility easier and faster. Professionals, students, full-time travelers are increasingly more on the move, building up the ranks of expats who make major cities around the world more multicultural and diverse everyday.
Many countries are encouraging this trend by opening up their borders and making tourism and immigration easier. Austria is among them thanks to the several types of visas and travel authorizations available to foreigners, some of which can be applied for online.
There are plenty of reasons why one should decide to move to Vienna for work, explore the Austrian capital for their holidays or complete their studies here. This article will explore a few.
Why Is Vienna the Best City in the World?
Many factors are taken into consideration for the purpose of the Mercer’s international comparative study. Before diving into more detail, here is a list of aspects that can make or break a city’s ranking position:
- Medical care
- Political and economical climate
- Culture and leisure
- Transportation network
- Power and water supply
- Availability and quality of consumer goods
- Environmental conditions such as air quality and water quality
How Safe Is Vienna?
Austria is an extremely safe country (ranking 3rd in the world for safety) and that is reflected in its capital Vienna. Of course, this is an extremely important factor in judging a city’s quality of life.
Foreigners and locals alike report feeling very safe in Vienna. Fights and other anti-social behavior are very rare and street crime rates are low. Both men and women report feeling that it’s safe to walk around Vienna at night alone.
Vienna Is Very Affordable Compared to Other European Cities
For being the capital city and a major European center, Vienna is surprisingly affordable, especially when one considers the local wages.
How Much is Transport in Vienna?
Public transport fares are very competitive in Vienna. At the time of writing, an annual transport pass costs €396, considerably less than in other major European capitals. Special discounts make it ideal for international students moving to Vienna on a budget.
Moreover, public transport in Vienna and Austria in general is efficient and comfortable, making it an enjoyable and modern experience.
Renting an Apartment in Vienna
Renting is never cheap, and it’s hard to find good deals when you’re new in town. However, some cities make it easier than others.
In the Austrian capital, you can find a one-bedroom apartment for around €800. In cities like London, that amount will only allow you to rent a room in a shared apartment.
Are Food and Drinks Expensive in Vienna?
Like anywhere in the world, buying groceries and cooking your own food is much cheaper than eating out in Vienna. However, office workers who can’t cook everyday will only have to spend an average of €6 for lunch. If a pub beer will set you back €3.5, buying it at the store will only cost you €1.
Things to Do in Vienna Never End
Vienna offers a wide range of cultural and leisure activities for its residents and tourists. Many international travelers are attracted by the stunning Imperial palaces and the grand theaters that made the city a hotspot of European culture for centuries. But there’s much more to this city.
Is Vienna a City of Arts?
Culture is certainly and inseparably linked with classical music. Whether you’re a Mozart fan or prefer Mahler, there will be a concert or opera of your liking in town. World-class ensembles like the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Vienna State Opera, and the Vienna Symphonic are based here.
But Vienna was also the home of artists the like of Klimt and Schiele and you’ll be able to admire their works at the many museums in town. This is not to mention the numerous contemporary art exhibitions and galleries where you’ll get to know the art of the next big names.
The Food Scene in Vienna
If you’re after socializing and enjoy a cozy environment, Vienna is very proud of its café culture. Here you’ll find charming coffee shops at every corner, offering top-quality hot beverages and sweets.
Foodies will be glad to learn that Vienna hosts multiple Michelin-starred restaurants as well as traditional low-budget but delicious traditional establishments. Moreover, Austrians love to go for a quick bite at the many picturesque markets scattered around town. The most famous and unmissable one is Naschmarkt.
Are there Many Green Spaces in Vienna?
Yes. In fact, Vienna is one of the greenest European capitals. Locals really enjoy spending time outdoors. Follow their lead for a picnic or a sunbathing session at your local park.
If you’re looking for history, Volksgarten and Augarten are great options while the Prater hosts a ferris wheel that has become a true symbol of Vienna. Don’t miss out on the many concerts and music festivals taking place outside.
Is English Widely Spoken in Austria?
The official language of Austria is German. Although there’s no such thing as ‘Austrian’, locals in Vienna speak a Viennese dialect that is unintelligible even for native German speakers. However, Austrian are all able to switch to standard German without issue.
Most people in Vienna are well educated and they do speak English. In fact, they may even be happy to take advantage of the opportunity to practice the foreign language should a tourist address them in English.
Also, Vienna is home to many international companies and that means that it’s not unheard of expats living in the city for years without having to progress over the most basic level of German. The same can be said about students enrolled in fully-English degrees.
Yet, this would make socializing with Austrians quite difficult. You will soon find that just like anywhere else in the world, speaking the local language will open you many doors both on a professional and personal level. Learning German is definitely worth the time and effort.