Cost of living in Austria

Hi everybody,

It would be very interesting to start a topic about the cost of living in Austria. It could help a lot those who like to move to Austria.

Don't forget to mention where you are living

Let's compare the:

> accommodation prices (how much does it cost to rent or to rent an accommodation in Austria?)

> public transportation fares (tube, bus etc ...)

> food prices(per month, how much does it cost you?)

> health prices (for those who need medical insurance)

> eduction prices (if you need to pay)

> energy prices (oil, electricity)

> common bills (Internet, television, telephone, mobile phone)

> prices of a good menu in a traditional restaurant

> prices of a beer and or a coffee in a regular pub

> price of the cinema

Did I forget something or is this list complete enough?

Thanks in advance for your participation!


I'm happy to share my experience living in Vienna:

Accommodation prices
If you are an EU-citizen you can buy property. In Vienna an 80m2 flat will be around € 100,000.- in the city. Rents vary according to location and standard between € 8.- to 12.- per m2.

Public transportation fares (tube, bus etc ...)
In Vienna you have a well run public transportation system with five subway lines and an elaborate bus and tram network. You pay around € 2.- for a ticket that takes you wherever you want to (as long as you do not change direction). The fares for monthly tickets are approx. € 40.-

Food prices(per month, how much does it cost you?)
prices of a good menu in a traditional restaurant
Austria is quite expensive (but cheap compared to London). Groceries at a supermarket vary (approx. € 1.- for a Liter of milk). Eating out can be expensive as well if you want to have a nice evening. In some good restaurants you can spend € 20.- per person for food and beverage. In other places you can count on spending over € 50.-.
A good indication for price levels is the pricing of McDonald's: a hamburger costs € 1.-, a meal is at € 5.25

Health prices (for those who need medical insurance)
If you are regularly employed (non-freelance) in an Austrian company you are usually insured (medical, pension and unemployment insurance). This gets you good to very good treatment at nearly all hospitals and at most doctors. The healthcare system in Austria is apparently top level, but I haven't used it very much or very often.

Education prices (if you need to pay)
Regular school education at a state-run school (and most schools are state-run) is for free for legal residents in Austria. There are a bunch of private schools that range from anything from € 100.- per month (church run schools) to nearly € 1,000.- a month (International schools).
The level of the state-run schools varies greatly from district to district - a good rule of thumb: if the residential district is a "posh" area, then the schools are good as well (eg. 19th and 13th district).
State universities charge approx. € 500.- per semester. That doesn't buy you anything other than the right to enroll - you still have to fight for a place in the auditorium and in the courses. Private and semi-private unis can charge anything from € 500.- to € 2,500.- per semester. There are uni-like colleges called "Fachhochschulen" that have a far stricter schedule and a more practical orientation.

Energy prices (oil, electricity)
A liter of gas was at € 1.- when I left. I guess it is higher now. The prices increased rapidly while I was there.

Common bills (Internet, television, telephone, mobile phone)
The good news: phone and internet costs are quite low. You can get package deals with free minutes for anything from € 20.- per month (that includes webaccess via 3G-broadband) to € 40.- which buys you the mobile fees and an at-home broadband connection.
The bad news is: a "state-tax" on TV's (it is not called that). They charge you approx 20.- per quarter (depending on whether youn have a TV and a radio etc.)

Prices of a beer and or a coffee in a regular pub
Beer: approx. € 3.50 to 4.-
Espresso: € 1.60 to 2.60 (except at Starbucks where the rob you!!)
Latte: approx. € 3.50
(These prices are from memory. I am sure the levels are correct but don't nail me on the details!)

Price of the cinema
On a regular day you pay approx. € 9.- to 10.- for a ticket. Fortunately there are a lot of special offers (e.g. all showings on Mondays) where you pay approx € 6.- to 8.-. If you are a university-student you get a discount as well (but not on days with special offers).

Hope this helps you. Austria is a strange but nice country.


Thank you for your informative post, 2337diggs. Lots of people would thank you.
I have been in Vienna and I must agree with the prices. Moreover, I must say that I was nicely impressed by the public transportation. It is very clean, fast and takes you wherever you want. And the price is not high!

Dear 2337diggs
could you please post latest living cost in Austria??
your post was for 2008...
thanks alot

I was just  suprices that you get flat of 80 m2 for 100.000!! I have really never seen anything of this m2 for so little money. I have only 50 m2 more than you've mentioned and I paid 3 x as much as you said. And a rent of a 80 m2 was in my case 1300 Euro cold. And I wasn't leaving in any of "posh" parts of time. But great if you were so lucky. As far as I know, city is more expensive than that.

I saw this to and thid do not help really. So yes I have look on some other websites which have datas from this or last year. My faourite was this:
[Moderated: No free advert]

I hope it helps you, because I do not want to write here every stuff down.

Thank u for all 4ur replies


I would like to add that income tax are very high in Austria, way higher than France for example

Hello All,

Shopping for apparel was not on the list, but I will add it anyway.

I find that the clothing and footwear are pretty expensive, but this is coming from someone who was born in raised in NYC. Of course, one could find cheap clothes, especially when returning to the States armed with Euros.

However, still pricey for this International School teacher. A pair of running sneakers cost me 90 Euros and they were on sale.

Affordable apartments are also a challenge to find, especially if you are picky. I lucked out. My Austrian boyfriend did all the leg work, god bless 'im -- we pay less than 400 euros a month for a 50 sq. meter apartment with a small medium sized balcony in Schalmoos.

I've never paid more than 20 Euros on myself when eating in restaurants, but it is important to note that I am not a heavy drinker and I am female. The food is delicious enough here to warrant a heftier bill. However, it also helps that Austria appears not to be a huge tip country.

I'll add more when I think of it, but I'll end it on this note. I was able to pay off my College Debt only AFTER I moved to Austria, even through the income taxes are so high. I find the standard of living here manageable.

Hope this helps.




am interested but how do contribute because i am in Ghana.

@bright22- The topic of this discussion is "Cost of Living in Austria".


I totally agree with Chrissy: clothes, shoes, sport equipment, etc are expensive in Austria but compared to Switzerland, restaurants, hotels, accomodation, etc are more affordable here.
Income tax are very high but my wife and I still manage our budget better than in the U.S. Some companies offer you a company car and that is a big saving. In general, people have a good standard of living here (large home and big German car are the standard in Austria)


Small correction: A monthly ticket for the public transport (Vienna) costs 49,50, if you buy a card for the whole year you can still have the money withdrawn from your account on a monthly basis and it will then only cost 45,80.

Week Ticket (Mon-Fri) 14,50 Euro
Single Ticket: 1,80 or if you buy it in the bus/tram 2,20 Euro
Day card is about 5 Euro

I'll do the full list later, I'm at work now :)

Thanks mimie!;)


Can any one please elaborate on the cost of renting? I'm considering applying for my masters degree in Graz and if I am successful I want to be ready for costs of renting.

For instance I was slightly shocked that deposits tend to be 3 months advance ( as opposed to one month in britain, generally). Also I noticed a thing called ' precaution' that was equally as high as three months.

Surely a new tenant is expected to pay 3 months at very most? What I see varys wildly.

Also there is a thing called ' BK' betriebskosten. Can some one elaborate this for me?

My friend who I hope to go with doesnt really understand it and seems to be washing over the details of what renting could really cost.

Hi, I can't say anything about rent i Graz as it differs between the cities, and it more expensive in Vienna (wehe I live)

Kaution = depostion, that is sometimes upto 3 months rent, it is seen as a safty deposit for the landlord, if you don't pay rent or ruin the appartment. Always important to have a proper lease, as a tenant you are very well-protected in Austria. Sometimes there is Ablöse, that is something else (the deposit you get back when you move out). Ablöse is if there is anything in the appartment like a fridge or furniture, that you "take over". You can get Ablöse from the person moving in after you, if the things are still worth it and if the new tenant agrees. Ablöse is always something you agree upon.

Betriebskosten are the costs for water, disponsal of garbage etc, which you pay in order to keep the house in order. The bigger the appartement the bigger the BK, the better the finances and the state of the house, the lower the BK. The BK can change if the rates go up or so, but a change is only possible once a year (the landlord should inform you upon this) The BK are always included in rent (it should say "inklusive Betriebskosten") Then you still need to pay the electric bill and heating, that is not included, if it is not mentioned (in my case, heating is included but that is not always the case). It normally says Rent: XXX Euro kalt, inkl. BK. Meaning for that price you get a "cold" appartment and need to pay heating separatly. (hope this isn't too confusing)

If you come as an student I reccommend starting with a WG, where you share a flat with other people. You can rent a room in a appartment, share kitchen and bath with the others which also means that you share costs like BK, Internet etc.

Hope it helps and good luck!

thanks mimie, thats great.

I saw a thing that said ' provision' meaning, I think, commission, it was HUGE, am I right that this is for renting agencies and should be avoided?

For ablose, do you mean, if I leave a piece of furniture I could possibly ' sell' it to the new tenant? I was unsure.

Yes, provision is the pay the broker gets and it is 2 months rent (used to be 3), so yes, it is huge. That is why I recccomend a WG at first or renting from a privat person (very common in Austria). WG (wohngemeinschaft, a shared flat) is also good because you automatically get to know people.

Ablöse ist exactly that, you "sell" the things to the next person. That is why ads often say "Keine Ablöse", pointing out that there are no further costs (again, this is mostly the privat ones).