A definitive guide to find accommodation, as told by locals
Last updated: January 2018
How to rent a place in Vienna
Finding a place to live in Vienna can be challenging if you try to do it from abroad. As a foreigner and non-German speaker, the information about available and affordable rooms is limited. It is usual to find big buildings built for students and young workers. They usually have furnished rooms with a shared kitchen, dining room and living room.
Housing Anywhere has been putting extra efforts to ease the process of renting a room. Now it is easier to find a room even if you don't speak German or have never been in Vienna.
Hi everyone, my name is Kathi and on this page I will give you some insights into Vienna. I was not only born and raised in Vienna but also spent most of my life in this city. However, due to my studies in international management and my interest in experiencing different cultures, I chose to live in France, Belgium, Denmark and The Netherlands. Starting from deciding on where to live, how to get around the city to where to hang out and where locals spend their time - going abroad is one of the most exciting experiences and one can sometimes feel a bit overwhelmed. This guide will help you to get an impression of the city and give you tips how to become a real “Viennese”.
Living in Vienna and its neighbourhoods
Moving to the city
The city with the highest quality of life in the world
Welcome to the city with the highest quality of life in the world! A fact that we are very proud of and we do our best to keep the standard. When moving to Vienna you might perceive Austrians as reserved and sometimes a bit direct – that’s what we call the “Viennese charm”. Speaking bits and pieces of German will help you to find your way around the city. In Vienna, you can really experience every season – in January the city can be a winter wonderland covered in snow and in July you can have tropical temperatures and refresh yourself in one of the numerous public baths. We have a lot of public holidays in Austria, on which mostly every shop is closed so that everyone can benefit from them. What is important to know when moving to Austria is that supermarkets are closed on Sundays.
Administrative steps when moving to Vienna
For EU and EEA citizens moving to Vienna is no big deal – neither a visa nor residence or work permit are need to enter the country. However, if you plan to stay in Austria for longer than 3 months you need to apply for a residence permit at the Vienna District Offices (Magistratisches Bezirksamt). Citizens from other countries need a visa, the Austrian Embassy or Consulate can give you more detailed information about the type of visa, the cost and processing time of application and the required documents to apply. What applies to everyone who moves to Vienna is the mandatory registration, which needs to be done within three days before or after moving, at the Vienna District offices.
You can reach nearly every corner in the city with the “Öffis”
When arriving at the airport Wien Schwechat, the train S 7 will take you in about 30 minutes to the city center. You can also fly to Bratislava as it is only 1 hour away from Vienna and take a shuttle bus for approximately 10 Euro.
In Vienna, we are very proud of our public transportation system. It is not only very reliable and fast but also affordable in comparison to other major European cities. On the weekends and the nights before public holidays the metro runs the whole night and during the week night buses will take you home. Besides public transportation, we have city bikes that can be rented at numerous stations in the city.
Places to see & things to do
Some first impressions about the 1000 activities you can do in Vienna
Vienna is not only known for its magnificent buildings on the “Ring Straße” but also for Princess Sisi and Schloss Schönbrunn. Most of the attractions are in the city center and can be best discovered by walking. After strolling around the city, you can either have a Schnitzel in a traditional restaurant or go to Naschmarkt, the famous market, where you can not only find stands but also trendy restaurants. If you have a sweet tooth and want to dive into Viennese tradition you should have a coffee in a “Alt-Wiener Kaffeehaus”. At night you can enjoy the vibrant nightlife in numerous bars in the 7th or 8th district. The nightlife in Vienna is diverse and the locals are very open to showing you around. If you feel a little bit lost at first, you can hang around a place called Travel Shack. This pub located close to the Westbahnhof is frequently visited by students . It could be a good starting point to have a drink and find out which are the best places to go. Vienna also offers a lot of activities depending on the season. In winter you can ice skate in front of the town hall and in summer you can refresh yourself by jumping into the “Alte Donau” at the Donauinsel.
1st district: Inner
The heart of the city where all monuments are
The Innere Stadt is the first district of Vienna and is known as the historical centre of the city. It covers the State Opera House, Stephansplatz, the Hofburg Palace, the City Hall, the Parliament, among other jewels. Much of the iconic historical and cultural landmarks of the city lie on a street called “Ringstaße Road”. This made it possible to visit them in the same afternoon stroll. The University of Vienna is also located in this district and adds a youthful environment to it. Since all of the historic sights can be found here, it’s one of the most touristic areas in Vienna where rents are rather high.
10th district: Favoriten
A multicultural district where rents are affordable
Favoriten is the 10th district of Vienna and recognized as the most populated one. In this district, it is possible to find accommodations for a fare rate, making it more attractive to students. Historically, it has been mainly composed by workers and immigrants. To get to the city centre, it is necessary to use the public transport and takes about 30 minutes. Nowadays, it also hosts the new Central Station of Vienna, changing the general atmosphere and making it more attractive for young professionals and students.
13th district: Hietzing
A green and residential area with historic landmarks
This neighbourhood brings a lot of tourism because many of its buildings survived the bombing of World Wars, making them centuries old. The main attraction is the Schönbrunn Palace, consisting of large parks, water features and even a zoo – it has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hietzing used to be an agricultural settlement separate from Vienna. So now that it’s joined the outskirts of the city it remains a spacious, cultural and green place to live – perfect for BBQs in the summer months.
21st district: Floridsdorf
Well connected to the city center
Floridsdorf is the most northern District in Vienna, and is number 21 of 23. This residential area also has a variation of cheap traditional terraced houses and contemporary apartments. It is also home to some manufacturing warehouses. It is the host of Vienna’s biggest lake and located on the East bank of the River Danube. It makes an aesthetically pleasing area to go jogging and other outdoor activities in summer. However, the perks of this neighbourhood is that it is also a short tram ride to the city centre for those who enjoy the more urban feel.
22nd district: Donaustadt
The place to be for nature lovers
District number 21 is similar to Floridsdorf but a little larger. It is also on the outskirts of the city and contains a small island off the River Danube called Gänsehäufel. This Island has many attractive gardens and lots of quiet spots and greenery, so also a popular destination in summer (beware of the nudists!). In terms of housing, most apartments are affordable and have an outdoor area or roof terraces. There are also excellent transport links to the city and an area called Kagran is close by where there are bars, restaurants and nightclubs for the party animals.
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