14 essential questions everybody faces when moving in Vienna

The English speaking magazine. Making the most out of Vienna and life.

14 essential questions everybody faces when moving to Vienna (+ bizarre experiences to expect)

1. 23 districts to choose from – how do I choose?

How do you know which district to move to when you have 23 districts to choose from? Especially with living costs on the rise, money is a relevant issue, which is why we researched some money facts for you.

The currently (2023) cheapest district to live in is the 17th with an average of 14.43€ per square meter, and the most expensive area in Vienna to live in is the 1st district with an average of 21.88€.

© Statista 2023


2. You know if you see  ’20 € per hour’ on the side of removal vans: – it’s all lies!

© Vienna Würstelstand | Juls

Even though the side of removal company’s vans say 20€ per hour, what they really mean to say is: 20€ plus all of the extra charges in the fine print, which is written in a language we made up, on a piece of paper inside the back of our van, which is locked in a vault.

3. To live with a charmer (the Altbau) or the practical, nerdy Neubau building?

© Vienna Würstelstand

One of the main topics of where you live in Vienna is if your apartment is Altbau (an apartment built before 1918), or Neubau (buildings built after 1918) – and for a good reason. There are big differences between living in a Altbau and Neubau.

Altbaus are considered more charismatic and charming with their beautiful stucco and statue facades, beautiful wooden floors, and high ceilings, but they’ll leave you cold on some nights with their shitty heating. They usually also have cellars that will give you nightmares.

Neubaus will keep you warm at night and have a functioning cellar, but simply look like a laying hen factory… So choose wisely.


4. For a limited time only – how do I feel about the befristet/unbefristet contract?

There’s some real estate agents and apartment owners in Vienna that live by the mantra – nothing lasts forever – so some of the rental contracts are limited to a certain amount of time. These contracts are called ‘befristeter Vertrag.’

Then there’s the ‘unbefristeter Vertrag’ (unlimited contracts) which means you can live in the apartment until the day you die and somebody finds your pale dead face being licked by your dog, Hansi, 3 days after you’ve kicked the bucket while watering your herb garden in nothing but your underwear. Limited time contracts tend to mean cheaper rent though, which is a bonus.


5. Dare to (flat) share, or live alone?

© Vienna Würstelstand | Tina

Students, young professionals and beyond choose to live together for the sake of sharing costs and that bottle of wine on a Friday night.  A good way of finding your roomies is by hitting up a good Facebook search in groups like these where people post about the flats they have to share.


6. Is the rent price warm or cold? Yes, we’re talking about the rent, not the water.

In Vienna, people talk about the rent price like the weather – a rent price is either warm, or cold. This odd insider terminology may have something to do with whether the price includes heating and other utilities (Warmmiete), or the price is the bare basic rental of the space, without any of that included (Kaltmiete).

Be sure to ask, otherwise a great price may turn out to be a letdown later on.


7. What kind of lifestyle do I want in Vienna?

Is it green spaces to run around freely and frolic with your pet dog Hansi, or is it the hedonistic pleasures of bars and cafés you want on your doorstep, with your favourite brunch place around the corner? Do you want to be able to ride your bike to work, or live so close to it that you can sneak home for a midday nap at lunchtime?

The noise factor:

© Lärminfo.at | Website

Noise also has a huge influence on our lives. (check out “Lärminfo.at” to see whether the apartment you’re about to rent is in a noisy area of Vienna – the coloured parts mean noisy)

Tip: If you want calm in your kingdom, be sure to live on the Hof (inner courtyard) side of the apartment building. Otherwise, if you live for the pulse and noise of the city, take an apartment facing the street.


8. Face south for the sun?

© Vienna Würstelstand | Juls

One very key thing to consider when deciding where you’ll plant yourself in Vienna is how much of the day your flat will get sun. Be the strange one at the flat inspection pulling out your compass – if it’s facing somewhat south, you’re good to grow…we mean, you’ll get plenty of sun.


9. How well connected is the apartment?

© Google Maps | Application

While most places in Vienna are well-connected, there are pockets of the city that prove to be a difficult launch pad to enjoy and get around the city when it comes to their location on the public transport grid.

We have a tiny trick for you here. Look for Vienna on the Google Maps App on your phone and type in “öffentliche Verkehrsmittel” or public transportation in the search field. It’ll show you the “Wiener Linien” public transportation system. You have to look for ÖBB (another train operator) separately.  Then you look for your apartment on the map and voilà now you know whether your apartment is situated well or not.


10. What will your district say about you? Start speaking in numbered districts!

People in Vienna talk about their districts in numbers and each district has a reputation – the 1st belongs to the rich and the tourists, while the 6th and 7th are hipster heaven where the city goes to feel cosmopolitan. Get to know the districts and start speaking in numbers. And in case you don’t already know, there are 23 of them.


11. Does the apartment building have an elevator? (you’ll thank yourself later)

© Unsplah | Arisa Chattasa

Just imagine yourself or another sucker of a dedicated friend making their way up 3 flights of stairs to get to your new apartment. Now imagine doing that about 50+ more times with furniture, and then again when you decide to get a new bed. Then imagine doing that every day. Or when you’re drunk. Or after you fall down the stairs when you’re drunk and you have to make your way up on them crutches. Not. Fun – no elevator means no way!


12. Should we risk it and use the U-Bahn, or tram to move some furniture?

© Vienna Würstelstand | Juls

Don’t have any friends or family in the city to suck up to, so you can use their car and have a few pieces of odd furniture to move in? Move your dining set on the U-Bahn, or tram – the drivers love it.


13. How to recruit your entire friends circle in the city to help you move, or use their car? Use ye’ old Leberkässemmel and beer, or house party trick.

© Vienna Würstelstand | Juls

Trick your friends into helping you move by inviting them over for a house party and then surprise them when you hand them a box to carry to the car on arrival, or be up front with them, and pay them for their troubles in Leberkässemmeln and cans of beer.

14. Do you prefer violin, or piano?

© Unsplash | Denise Jans

Face it, no matter where you live in Vienna, one of your neighbours will at some point be a musician, an ambitious one, practicing all the time. In the city of classical music, it’s hard to avoid this: having a musician as a neighbour.

Sure, at first they annoyingly stick to practicing the same 4 tunes 100 times in a row, but If you both stick around long enough you will finally wake up to having your own symphony concert playing next door. Which brings us to the original question: violin, or piano?


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