Accommodation in Vienna

apartments in Vienna
Updated 2023-10-07 19:35

Like in any other big city, you will find various types of rental options in and surrounding the centre of Vienna. Since finding accommodation will be one of your priorities when relocating to Vienna, here is an insight into the local rental market.

Did you already know? The metropolis on the Danube is home to 1.9 million people with more than 180 different nationalities. The capital of Austria is the fifth-largest city in the EU. According to forecasts, the city will exceed the two-million inhabitant mark in 2027. Vienna was listed as the world's most liveable city for many years in a row.

Vienna's rental market

Most of the apartments in Vienna are within a communally owned house, which means that almost every flat has a different owner and is probably rented out privately or through a real estate agency.

You can choose between those beautiful flats in historical buildings with their wooden parquet floors and high ceilings, that will make your living room look even brighter and bigger than it already is, or modern apartments that have been built after the 50s.

The rental prices have increased over the last few years, just like in any other European city, but you can still find reasonable rents depending on the location and the district. The most expensive flats are within the first, the fourth, the sixth, the seventh, the eighth and the ninth district, which also counts as the most central ones.

Flat sharing in Vienna

One thing that is very common amongst younger people is sharing a flat. Not only is sharing a flat going to decrease the amount you will have to pay every single month, but it will also give you a chance to meet people when you are new to Vienna.

Flatmates should be chosen wisely, though, as you are going to be sharing a lot of time and privacy with them. Usually, you have to undergo a certain informal application process, where one of the possible future flatmates, maybe even all of them, are going to ask you about yourself, your job and so on, to find out if you could be a match.

If you prefer having your solitude over socializing, this might not be the right choice for you, and you will be better off finding a cozy place just for yourself.

Start your accommodation search on websites like WillhabenSchwarzes Brettder Standard, and even Facebook groups.

Role model Vienna

Almost half of the people in Vienna (about 40%) live in municipal and non-profit housing. There are about 220,000 Viennese municipal buildings throughout the city. Only 33% of apartments in Vienna are privately rented.

For about a hundred years, the City of Vienna has been providing affordable housing and preventing the territorial isolation of the financially weaker. The income limit for subsidized housing is not very low. Therefore, a big percentage of people are allowed to live in subsidized apartments.

At the same time, there is hardly any other European city with so little residential property. Therefore, buying a property in Vienna is relatively expensive.

Renting conditions in Vienna

Rental contracts for flats in Vienna will most likely be limited (befristeter Mietvertrag) to a period of 3 years, which means that you will get the chance to renew the contract or you have to move out, these are called fixed-term leases. In most cases, it is not a problem to renew the lease.

The other option is signing a lease without any limitation that will give you unlimited tenancy (unbefristeter Mietvertrag) unless there is a significant breach of contract from your side.

One thing that is very good to know if you think about subletting parts of your flat is that there is a huge difference for you as a tenant if you are living in one of these historic buildings that were built before July 1st, 1953 because the tenancy law (MRG) is fully applicable. This means that even though your tenancy agreement would not allow you to sublet to any other person, you can still do it if you are not making any profit nor exceeding the maximum capacity of people for that flat.

This is not the case if you live in a newer building that has been built after this date mentioned above because only parts of the MRG are applicable.

In Vienna, it is very common for apartments to be rented unfurnished. Sometimes even without a kitchen. Austrian tenants often prefer to refurnish the apartment themselves. If you find a furnished flat or house and you intend to rent it, this usually comes with a pretty high deposit. The amount usually depends on the rent price. 

Rent prices in Vienna

Renting prices in Vienna depend on what part of town you are staying in, but expect to pay at least 800 € per month for a single-bedroom flat if you want to live in the city centre. Sometimes, you get lucky and find a studio for around 450-500 €, but this is very hard. A 2-bedroom flat is going to cost you at least 1,000 € and most of the time electricity, gas and internet are not included in this price.

Get a better idea of the best places to live in our article about popular neighborhoods in Vienna.

Short stays in Vienna

If you are going to Vienna on vacation or would like to work remotely for a few weeks only, you can find out about housing options for shorter periods on the site. There, you can choose between 400 Viennese hotels and guest houses. If you are a citizen of a member state of the European Economic Area (the European Union and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland) you can stay in Austria for up to three months without registration.

Good to know:

During the summer months and February, shared rooms are also often rented at a lower rate because many students are out of town at that time.

Living in Vienna

When you have found an apartment or a shared apartment and move in, you must report this to the magistrate district office (“Magistratisches Bezirksamt”). Here is an official overview so you can find out which one is responsible for your district. This registration must be done within 3 days after moving into the accommodation in Austria. This regulation is called “Meldepflicht”.

Even if one moves within the city, the new residence must be registered afterwards.

The registration form “Meldezettel” is important for all kinds of bureaucratic procedures or contracts in Austria.

District offices in Vienna perform the following duties, among others:

  • Workplace permits;
  • Lost property service;
  • Cell phone signature “Handy-Signatur”;
  • Confirmations of residence;
  • Registration service;
  • Parking permit;
  • Passport service;
  • Proof of citizenship;
  • Elections, referendums, plebiscites.

Good to know:

To sign official documents or access important records, you can utilize the electronic 'mobile signature' through ID Austria. This innovative digital identification tool provides a secure means of confirming your online identity, granting access to digital services and electronic signatures. Currently undergoing pilot testing to ensure its efficiency, ID Austria is both free and already applicable across the EU. It represents a collaborative effort between the Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF) and the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI).

We would recommend that you take advantage of Vienna's diverse offer. As we explain in our other articles, there is a wealth of cultural and international events, concerts, plays, congresses and exhibitions. The many embassies in Vienna also organize cultural events for free.

The Vienna Libraries offer 1.4 million books, films, and music in many different languages. The large main library is just off the Stadthalle station (subway U6), and you can also choose from one of the many district libraries. Everyone living in Vienna can use the libraries for about 35 euros per year, or less if you are entitled to a reduction.

Overview of the Viennese Districts

Let's take a closer look at the structure of the city. In Vienna, the city districts are called “Bezirke”.

Good to know:

The middle two digits of the postcode of a Viennese address indicate the district.

1. Bezirk: Innere Stadt, 1010
2. Bezirk: Leopoldstadt, 1020
3. Bezirk: Landstraße, 1030
4. Bezirk: Wieden, 1040
5. Bezirk: Margareten, 1050
6. Bezirk: Mariahilf, 1060
7. Bezirk: Neubau, 1070
8. Bezirk: Josefstadt, 1080
9. Bezirk: Alsergrund, 1090
10. Bezirk: Favoriten, 1100
11. Bezirk: Simmering, 1110
12. Bezirk: Meidling, 1120
13. Bezirk: Hietzing, 1130
14. Bezirk: Penzing, 1140
15. Bezirk: Rudolfsheim-Fünfhaus, 1150
16. Bezirk: Ottakring, 1160
17. Bezirk: Hernals, 1170
18. Bezirk: Währing, 1180
19. Bezirk: Döbling, 1190
20. Bezirk: Brigittenau, 1200
21. Bezirk: Floridsdorf, 1210
22. Bezirk: Donaustadt, 1220
23. Bezirk: Liesing, 1230

Until 1850, there was only the inner city, which forms today's 1st district. To secure the city, this area of the inner city was surrounded by city walls. These served to fortify and protect the city. Outside the core area, there used to be small communities, hunting grounds and castles.

After the city walls were dismantled in 1864 and the prestigious Ringstrasse was built, the suburbs were gradually incorporated and became part of the city of Vienna. The Ringstrasse with many historic buildings and the tramway were built along the vacated area. Vienna's districts 1 to 9 are nowadays considered central city districts.

Around 1890, the districts 11 to 19 were formed and a little later the so-called “Linienwall” was removed, which was located where the “Gürtel” (which means belt in German) can be found today. The “Gürtel” was landscaped with green spaces and the city railway, today's underground line U6. Remnants of the line wall are only preserved in individual places. You can have a look at the arches of the city by visiting one of the many bars and restaurants there.

In total, there are 23 districts nowadays.

The 22nd is by far the largest and the 8th is the smallest district. The 5th district is the most densely populated, while the 13th district has the lowest population density. And, in the 9th district, you can visit the place where Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, lived and worked. While in other districts, you will also come across the residences of world-famous composers such as Beethoven and Mozart.

If you ask a Viennese in which district they live, they don't say its name but the number. For example: “We live in the eighth district”.

Electricity, gas and hot water in Vienna

The costs for electricity and gas in Vienna vary depending on where you live. They consist of the energy costs for the actual consumption, the grid costs and additional taxes and charges.

In Vienna, gas is only used in older buildings (“Altbau”) for heating and hot water. Gas stoves, on the other hand, are usually no longer found. The newer buildings mostly use environmentally friendly district heating (“Fernwärme”).

You can choose and register online from different tariffs when you move into an apartment or house. Find out in advance if the previous tenant or the landlord has disconnected the electricity. In this case, you will have to submit a few more details when registering.

Getting to Vienna

How to get there? There are several possibilities to travel to Vienna:

  • By plane: The Viennese airport is called “Flughafen Schwechat”. Vienna's central position in Europe offers connections to the whole world. There are various ways to get from the airport to the city that you can check out here. It usually takes between 25 to 40 minutes.
  • By train: The eco-friendly way to come to Vienna is to use the Austrian rail network. The main train station is called “Hauptbahnhof Wien”: Hauptbahnhof, 1100 Vienna. It is the largest night train hub in Europe. The night train service is called ÖBB Nightjet. You can travel to Vienna by rail directly from 15 different European countries. When moving to Vienna, it may be worthwhile to travel by train.
  • By bus: You can choose between Eurolines, Flixbus for long-distance travel and Postbus from the surrounding provinces to get to Vienna. At the moment, there are three main bus terminals in Vienna: 1) the VIB - Vienna International Busterminal, 2) the one next to the Stadion Center (metro U2) and 3) the bus terminal Südtiroler Platz at Wien Hauptbahnhof train station. The new main station is planned near the stadium and will therefore be more central and easier to reach.
  • By car: You will need to buy a so-called “vignette” to use Vienna's city motorways. On this page from the state company Asfinag, you can find out everything about the tolls in Austria.
We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.