Discover Vienna

Updated 2023-07-07 20:29

Vienna is not just a historical "must-see" when traveling across Europe, but also got voted "most livable city" for the 10th time in a row. The most recent Mercer Studies included expatriates from all over the world to share their impressions and opinions. Even the well-known British paper "The Economist" put Vienna on top of the list in 2018 - which was a first for a European city. 

Vienna has become pretty famous for being a "Congress City" over the last few years, and many international organizations and global corporations have chosen Vienna to be their headquarters. For example, the UNO, OPEC, and IAEO have settled here, only to name a few!

Today, the city is one of the most visited ones in the world. It captivates its visitors not only for business reasons but mostly for its looks and history, which dates back to ancient times. The formerly imperial empire of the Austrian monarchs still holds the incomparable beauty that makes it the atmospheric place it is.

So, if you are one of the lucky people that decided to make Vienna the home of their hearts, get prepared for a few things, probably nobody told you before.

Touchdown in Vienna

Right when you touch down at the Vienna International Airport, which is located in Schwechat, about 20 kilometers outside the city, you have various options for transportation that bring you to the center. The most frequently used one amongst visitors is the so-called CAT (City Airport Train). It will allow you to get directly into the very centrally located district of "Wien Landstraße" within 15 minutes.

Another option is taking a regular train to "Wien Hauptbahnhof," the central train station, that connects you quickly with several lines of public transport in Vienna. Otherwise, you can also take the train “S-Bahn” (“Schnellbahn”) number S7, that brings you to central stations in Vienna. Taking the train is also the cheapest way to get into the city as it will only cost you about 5 € and you can continue using the public transport until your final destination!

There is one more option: Special buses run from the airport to important hubs in the city. Especially if you have your quarters or your apartment near the Danube, the UNO and the Austria Center or near the western train station Westbahnhof, the fastest and cheapest way is to take the airport bus. It usually runs once or twice an hour. Currently, you pay 10 euros in one direction, 16 if you also buy a return ticket.

The most comfortable but, at the same time, the most expensive transportation is taking a cab, and usually, the rate per car is going to be between 35 and 45 €, depending on location in the city. Expect your cab driver to greet you with his incomparable Viennese charm! Meaning: Don't take it personally or get upset when he is coming off as a bit cynical and grumpy. That is perfectly normal, and you will learn to love it! The same will happen to you as you are exploring the traditional Viennese coffee culture when the waiter won't even look at you while you ́are talking to him. But don't worry, as said above, this is normal!

One good thing that you will love about the city is that it is big enough to not always bump into familiar faces, while at the same time, it is small enough to get around quickly. The public transportation system connects you with every part of the city. That being said, the right location is always an important thing to consider when moving to a new town. In Vienna, though, it is very easily manageable on these matters as you will get from one side to the other within 35-45 minutes by subway.

The climate in Vienna

Depending on what season you will arrive in Vienna, prepare for all weather occasions. The summers are usually quite hot, while winters tend to be very cold, even more so due to the constant breeze that you will find in the city, except for July and August, when you would wish for that cold fresh air.

Over the last few years, the weather has changed quite a bit and has become very unpredictable. From very long summers, starting in April and lasting until October, to degrees almost below zero in May, everything is possible.

The cost of living in Vienna

The monthly costs of living in Vienna are dependent on your lifestyle. You can expect to pay around 1000€ or more for a 2-bedroom apartment (that depends heavily on the type of apartment and the district, so it pays to be open-minded when choosing a district) and probably will spend another 500 € on food, going out and some extras like a gym membership. Wherever you live, you can find supermarkets and stores just around the corner.

You will find more on topics like costs of living, the best neighborhoods in the following articles: Popular neighborhoods in ViennaBuying property in ViennaStudent life in Vienna, etc.

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.