The 5 Best Places To Live In Austria
Are you looking for a peaceful and beautiful European country with a high quality of life? If so, why not consider all of the best places to live in Austria?
While it may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of living in Europe, Austria is undoubtedly one of the most underrated. With stunning Alpine scenery, rich historical culture, incredible cleanliness, and mouth-watering food, what’s not to love?
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If that’s not enough to convince you, did you know that the capital city of Vienna is often ranked as the city with the highest quality of life? Still, if you’re not a fan of big cities, that’s no problem as there are many towns and smaller cities that are equally pleasant for living and working in Austria.
Here are the five best places to live in Austria.
Let’s start with the capital city and the most liveable place in the world. Vienna ranks high in all areas, including income, job prospects, quality and access to healthcare, education, safety, friendliness of locals, and housing availability and conditions.
However, one of the most remarkable things about Vienna is its excellent public transport. With 24-hour service, including on weekends, the capital is easily one of the best Austrian cities for getting a round.
There’s no need to buy a car if you decide to move here. Instead, you can purchase an annual card for 365 EUR and pay 1 EUR per day to use all forms of public transport all over the city.
Most expats who come to Vienna to work or study find that they settle into local life very quickly. This is mainly due to a large number of English speakers.
Out of the almost 2 million residents, about 340,000 of them speak English better than German.
You’ll never get bored living in Vienna. You’ll find tons to do no matter what you are into, from museums and historical landmarks to trendy bars and hip eateries.
There are also many events to look forward to when living in Vienna, including the European Street Food Festival and the annual Christmas markets.
As a thriving cosmopolitan, there are plenty of job opportunities for expats in Vienna.
You’ll find the most positions in hospitality, the media, healthcare, and construction. However, most companies will favor expats who speak German.
If you’re wondering how much it costs to live in Austria’s capital city, you’re looking at around 1,600 EUR per person, including rent. A one-bedroom apartment costs on average 859 EUR.
Salzburg may be the best place for you if you like breathtaking landscapes and historic buildings in a city full of culture. The city is the fourth largest in Austria, with around 152,000 residents.
Salzburg sits on the border of Germany and is known as Austria’s arts and cultural hub as it is the birthplace of Mozart. The city also hosts around 4000 cultural events yearly, including the world-class Salzburg Festival.
Salzburg’s old city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, full of beautiful Baroque churches and cliff-top castles. Therefore, Salzburg is one of the best Austrian cities for anyone who loves the arts or historical culture.
Another pro of living in Salzburg is its easy, convenient, and eco-friendly public transport system, consisting of electrically powered trolleys and buses. Still, as the city is not too large, many people choose to get around via bicycle.
Salzburg is an excellent alternative to Vienna as it is considerably smaller and slightly cheaper, but with just as much going on.
The average cost of living (including rent) for one person is 1,432 EUR. A one-bedroom apartment costs on average 606 EUR.
Graz is the second-largest city in Austria but much less well known to international visitors than Vienna. As a result, you won’t find as many tourists here.
Still, there is a high international student population thanks to its six top-quality universities.
Graz is one of the best places to live in Austria as it’s considerably warmer than other cities. This is because it is located in the south, making winters milder than the rest of the country and pleasantly warm summers.
Graz boasts a fab bus and tram system, and there is plenty to do and see. Like Salzburg, Graz’s old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site full of gorgeous old buildings, cute cafes, restaurants, and stores.
Graz is also one of the best Austrian cities for food enthusiasts. As the city is surrounded by farmland, you’ll get the freshest produce when eating out in the restaurants here.
Most residents speak English, but the schools also teach Italian and Slovenian. Hence, the city is popular with expats from these countries.
In terms of job opportunities, this is the place to come if you work in IT. Graz is an It hub with plenty of startups and large, established companies in this sector.
The cost of living is pretty much on par with Salzburg but cheaper than the capital city. The average monthly cost, including rent, is 1,411 EUR for one person.
The beautiful riverside city of Linz is located close to the borders of the Czech Republic and Germany. The city has an efficient transport system, and regular trains run to other major cities, like Vienna, Salzburg, and Graz.
Linz is one of the best places to live in Austria for entertainment and leisure.
The Old Town, in particular, is full of bars, restaurants, and cafes. The Old Quarter regularly has a festival or event going on, too.
Linz is pretty popular with tourists, and some expat communities make it a reasonably international city. However, you’ll most likely need to speak German to find a job here, unless you’re a software developer, which is probably the most in-demand job in Linz.
Linz isn’t the cheapest city to live in and just slightly lower than Vienna, with an average living cost for one person being 1,522 EUR per month. This includes rent for a one-bedroom apartment.
Still, the riverside location makes Linz one of the most picturesque cities. Living here, you’ll be surrounded by the beautiful Upper Austria countryside and enjoy a backdrop of green, rolling hills.
One for the mountain lovers! If you live for winter sports and mountainous scenery, Innsbruck is one of the best cities in Austria for you.
The alpine city is known as the winter sports capital of Austria and has held the winter Olympics 3 times.
As a result, Innsbruck is a popular winter tourist destination, but it’s also a liveable city all year round. You can always do skiing and snowboarding, hiking, mountain biking, and paragliding.
You’ll find some lovely restaurants and bars in the city center and the mountains when you’re not enjoying outdoor activities.
And, of course, Innsbruck also has nightclubs, open-air concerts, and festivals. For a dose of culture, there are a few castles and palaces too.
Compared to other cities, Innsbruck has a reasonably young vibe, thanks to the high international student population. However, there is no large expat community as people tend to live and work here seasonally at ski resorts or other hospitality venues.
If you want to base yourself here long-term, engineering and IT jobs are the best options for finding work.
However, note that the cost of living is higher here than in other cities due to the rising costs in the tourist season. The average monthly living cost for one person is 1615 EUR.
Final Thoughts On The Best Places To Live In Austria
These five best cities in Austria offer expats a fulfilling and comfortable life, but which one you choose is down to personal preference. Austria is the 14th-richest country in the world, so the jobs are pretty well paid, especially if you possess an in-demand skill.
Moreover, with the beautiful alpine scenery of snow-capped peaks and lush green hills, you’ll live in one of the most picturesque countries.
Undecided on which place to move to? Read one of the following guides: