HomeLifestyleWhat should you consider when moving to Vienna as an Expat

    What should you consider when moving to Vienna as an Expat

    Over 50,000 expats moved to Vienna in 2021. Relocation is always a big step. There are many things that you need to know about moving to Vienna so you can get started there as quickly and painlessly as possible.

    Although Vienna is a large city, it has a small-town feel that makes it easy to navigate and explore. Whether you’re relocating because of your career or personal reasons, Vienna offers a great quality of life for expats. It has a well-developed infrastructure and a high-standard healthcare system with affordable insurance options.

    This guide features everything you need to know about relocating to Vienna as an expat. From the bureaucratic processes to go through to how the language barrier affects expats — read on to discover it all.



    Bureaucracy is a fact of life in Vienna. If your stay is temporary, or if you are a citizen of an EU member state, there are only two things that need to be taken care of:

    • registering with the authorities (Einwohnermeldeamt);
    • applying for health insurance coverage through Krankenkasse Austria.

    If your stay lasts longer than three months, other things also need attention before relocation. It includes:

    • applying for residency permits, depending on whether one already has permanent residence status in another country;
    • obtaining registration certificates;
    • getting an International Driving Permit (IDP) if driving abroad is necessary.

    The process of purchasing an apartment in Vienna is outlined in the Foreign Nationals’ Property Acquisition Act. Non-EU residents can purchase property in Austria, but they must obtain prior approval from their local authorities. This process can take from several weeks to months and requires extensive paperwork and fees paid at the state and municipal levels.


    accommodation-of-viennaAbout 75% of Vienna’s homes are rented. Rental prices are higher in Vienna than in other Austrian cities. However, if you’re willing to search hard enough, you will find some affordable options. To find your perfect place and ensure a smooth transition into your new home, follow some tips:

    • search online for available properties using real estate websites like Immowelt or Immonet if you want to buy property for sale in Vienna;
    • compare and contrast different districts and neighbourhoods based on their characteristics, such as ease of public transportation access and proximity to shopping centres;
    • try not to look at listings but also visit each area before deciding what exactly would suit you best.

    There are two main types of accommodations most people consider — apartments or houses. An apartment is cheaper than renting a house because it doesn’t come with land attached. You’ll have less space but lower maintenance costs. However, some people prefer living in houses since they provide more privacy.

    Renting an apartment in Vienna can be a challenge. To avoid any scams, landlords often require proof of income, such as pay stubs or tax returns, before approving applications, so make sure these documents are ready beforehand.


    language-learning-for-viennaViennese German has some unique vocabulary differences from other dialects of German, mainly due to the influence of other languages spoken in the city such as Czech, Hungarian, and English. If possible, try taking an introductory class before moving, so interacting with locals won’t be that difficult.

    Learning the local dialect can be rewarding. It opens new doors for understanding local culture and humour that wouldn’t be accessible otherwise. It also will help you make friends more easily and integrate into your new community quickly (rather than relying on English alone).

    The differences between standard German and Viennese dialects aren’t huge. The latter has its vocabulary and pronunciation rules; for example, “ich” means “I” when speaking standard but becomes “eech” when speaking Viennese. However, these changes are fairly minor compared with those found in other languages like English, Spanish, or French.

    Learning only standard German can work, as people will understand what you mean most of the time. Check out some of these great resources for learning German:

    • It’s an online platform that has a German course that targets vocabulary, grammar, and communication skills.
    • Nicos Weg. Free German course provided by Deutsche Welle.
    • It’s a perfect platform for building up vocabulary.

    Standard German is used in school and by most employers, newspapers, and TV shows.



    Vienna is a wonderful city with a rich history, culture, and traditions. Vienna is often called “The City of Music.” You can explore the best of this culture by:

    • attending concerts and operas;
    • going to museums;
    • enjoying your free time in one of Vienna’s parks.

    The city’s historical buildings date back hundreds of years, such as Schloss Schonbrunn, which has over 1,440 rooms. It boasts modern architecture, including futuristic buildings like Donau City Tower or Museumsquartier complex, which houses several museums. The city also offers galleries — Haus der Musik Museum or Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien — with their impressive collections of artworks spanning over 500 years.

    Vienna has been influenced by its location at the crossroads between East and West, which means that there are many different cultures represented in the city. The result is an interesting mix of different customs and traditions — from politeness to punctuality. Although Austrians may seem serious at first, they are quite funny and amicable people who will be glad to help you out or give directions.

    Final Remark

    Moving to Vienna is a big change, but it doesn’t need to be stressful. By knowing what to expect, you can make the relocation process easier. The most important (and complicated) part is arranging all the required documents without missing anything. Consider turning to an estate agency that will take the process under its control. Thus, you can focus on searching for your ideal home in Vienna and not stress over the bureaucracy part.

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    Manuela Willbold
    Manuela WillboldOnline Media & PR Strategist
    Blogger and Educator by Passion | Senior Online Media & PR Strategist at ClickDo Ltd. | Contributor to many Education, Business & Lifestyle Blogs in the United Kingdom & Germany | Summer Course Student at the London School of Journalism and Course Instructor at the SeekaHost University.
    Manuela Willbold
    Manuela Willbold
    Blogger and Educator by Passion | Senior Online Media & PR Strategist at ClickDo Ltd. | Contributor to many Education, Business & Lifestyle Blogs in the United Kingdom & Germany | Summer Course Student at the London School of Journalism and Course Instructor at the SeekaHost University.

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