Vienna tries its best to do right by its citizens. For examples, rents are regulated by the government and so no one pays above 20-25% of their salary on rent. In addition, new homes are often rented to lower-income families to help them make their way. The result is a city where the cost of living is not cheap, but is very reasonable.
Despite having 23 districts, the superb public transport system in Vienna makes living in one end of the city, whilst working in the the other, quite feasible. Once you have an idea of where you want to live, you can either go through a real estate agent, relocation services or try to find somewhere on your own.
Estate agents work on commission, so obviously their intent is to get you to sign (and pay for) a contract, rather than necessarily finding the right place for you. It’s also you that foots the bill for their commision, usually worth several months rent.
Relocation services are slightly different, and work more towards helping you find the ideal apartment. If you don’t speak German and can’t take days off to go looking at apartments, you should consider engaging one to help you - if you’re looking for cheap Vienna accommodation, they’ll probably have a better idea of where to look than you.
On your own you can check local newspapers for private apartments, or look online. You can find rooms in Vienna at Housing Anywhere, or a variety of other resources.
Whichever route you choose, you’ll need to act fast. Contact the agency/landlord immediately once you’ve decided to register interest. Cheap apartments do not hang around for long in Vienna, and waiting even a few hours could see it swept up by someone else. Try to arrange a meeting at their earliest convenience and, if you don’t get a response, keep pushing!
The general rule of thumb is that an unfurnished apartment will cost you about 10 euros per square meter per month. A deposit will make up 3 months rent (for most places), but if you are renting from a commercial body (like a bank) then they may demand 4-6 month’s rent as a deposit.
Rental prices can be anywhere from €350 to over €700 a month, depending on where you live in the city. If you add the deposit and possibly estate agent fees, you will need to invest a substantial amount on first moving here. For that reason, it’s best to try and secure an apartment before you make the move.
Private housing is very popular for students in Vienna, as these are shared apartments with lowered overall costs - if you’ve read the guide so far, you’ll realise that living in Vienna isn’t too cheap! This type of cheap accommodation is called Wohngemeinschaft (WG) and is a great option when looking to avoid agency fees and needless complications.
Since you’ll generally be moving in with local Austrians, this is a superb chance to submerge yourself in the local culture and practice the language!
Regularly check our platform to find a room, as more can become available every day!
For many international students in Vienna, finding accommodation in the city is a big challenge. Apartments disappear in an instant, and the high rent cost means that affordable options can be hard to find. However, we’ve been there before and are here to make sure that you have an easier time of it than we have done over the years.
Without further ado, here are a few common sense-oriented tips to help you find your way.
You might think that looking 2, 3 or 4 months before moving is excessive, but it may be the only way to stay ahead of the curve. Apartments in Vienna - especially cheap accommodation - do not hang around for long. Give yourself a fighting chance at finding an affordable, well-located apartment by getting online as soon as (or perhaps before) your application to the universityis accepted.
You want to get instant updates about the most recent housing posts, right? Well, do some research and find Facebook groups with other students who are in your position! We manage one ourselves, where apartments and rooms are posted regularly, and this should give you a great starting place: Housing, Rooms and WG Shares in Vienna.
99.9% of students moving to Vienna will have a similar budget to your own - they’ll also want to save as much money as they can without renting an absolute dive. Larger apartments usually mean smaller individual payments, especially for utility bills and internet. On another note, it’s really good fun living with like-minded, cultural individuals.
Or maybe four or five miles. There’s no rule saying you have to live in the city centre. If you can find a nice apartment a few miles away and don’t mind cycling or using public transport to get into town, then do it! In a foreign city, having a comfortable homely apartment is really important, so just do what you feel most comfortable with.
Balancing price, location and quality makes a nasty Venn diagram - it’s just so difficult to find somewhere with everything. You may need to compromise, but if you start looking early, there’s no need to pounce on the very first available property. Take your time, be diligent and you’ll probably be rewarded with a suitable apartment.