Vienna consists of 23 boroughs (Bezirke) and numerous suburbs within the metropolitan area. You will typically encounter street signs indicating the number of the borough you are in. This gives you a rough idea of where you are in relation to borough 1, the city center: Numbers 2 through 9, the former city limits of 1850, are arranged counter-clockwise around the center, with number 2 starting in the east.
Typically, the Viennese will call their borough by either its proper name or its number. Anyone moving to the city is well advised to familiarize themselves with the names in order to make getting around town easier. Choosing one of the one-digit boroughs as your new home will most probably ensure short commutes to and from your workplace, as most businesses are located there.
Chances are you will first arrive in Vienna at either the airport, located in nearby Schwechat, or at the Westbahnhof. We have listed public transportation options to and from these locations in our article on life in Vienna.
As we have outlined before, Vienna has always been a popular choice for migrants both from Austria and abroad. Most popular reasons for relocating to Vienna are, of course, academics, work, and the overall quality of life.
For both historical as well as current reasons, there are residents of virtually any ethnicity and culture in Vienna. The percentage of immigrants living in a given borough ranges from 10 to 30%. The different cultural influences have helped shape everyday life in Vienna into a multicultural experience.
In contrast to some other cities of comparable size, immigrants moving to Vienna usually settle evenly across all districts. It is very rare that a district will gain a reputation as an immigrant neighborhood, or Ausländerviertel. Terms like these are most often used by right-wing populists for inflammatory public debates, but they are not necessarily rooted in reality.
Similarly, the difference between ‘rich’ and ‘poor’ parts of town is a lot less pronounced than in other cities of roughly the same size. Thus, there’s no need to shun certain districts when moving to Vienna; your choice should rather be based on factors such as the commute and general infrastructure.
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