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Accommodation in Vienna

Moving to Vienna is a big step — and a wise one, too. As Austria’s capital offers various cultural and economic incentives for expats, moving there has long been a popular choice. In this article, we’ll provide you with important facts on neighborhoods, visas, housing, and more.
Old buildings like this one are a common sight in Vienna.

Finding the Right Place for the Right Budget

As is the case for most booming cities in Europe, moving to Vienna often comes at a high price. Paying more than 22 EUR per m² for apartments in a popular residential area near the city center is not uncommon, so  you might want to consider moving to one of the less prestigious, but equally attractive, boroughs outside the center.

Colorful and vibrant districts such as Ottakring, popular with working-class residents and home to people of various ethnicities, offer a great glimpse into the cultural diversity of everyday life in Vienna. If you like to escape the hustle and bustle of a large city, you might want to consider moving to the suburbs — most are less than 40 minutes away from the city center.

Searching for Accommodation: How and Where

Housing can be found in the local newspapers, such as Der Standard or Der Kurier. They often provide extra pages for real estate listings on the weekend. As moving to Vienna has become more popular in the past few years, internet portals such as Immodirekt are an equally important source.

In any case, make sure you budget for additional costs such as the security deposit and the commission for the real estate agent, although some houses and apartments are offered without commission, directly from the owner. If you plan to do short- to midterm business in Vienna, there are housing agencies that offer a variety of different apartments that are fully furnished. You only pay the rent and the deposit, so no unexpected commission. They often have a central location to ensure a short commute to wherever you need to go and are ready to move-in at any time.

Tips for Tenants

Tenants’ rights are important in Austria. There are several associations you can consult should any problems arise, or if a legal matter needs to be clarified. The Arbritration Board for Legal Housing Matters, or the Wiener Schlichtungsstelle, should be your first contact point for any questions concerning your rights as a tenant. Another useful institution is the Austrian Tenants’ Association. For a comprehensive list of locations, please see the pages of the HELP website of the Austrian Government.

Buying Real Estate as an Expat

If you intend to stay in Vienna for a longer period of time (e.g. ten years or more), you might want to consider buying a house or apartment. Real estate in the prestigious districts has accumulated in value for many years, and this trend could continue for years to come. Renting your place to other expats might be a nice source of additional income after your stay in the city. Please keep in mind that the usual commission of a realtor is 3% of the purchase price plus legal VAT.

Purchasing real estate involves quite a bit of red tape for foreigners. For a small fee, the Vienna City Administration offers an overview of the different steps involved and documents required.


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