Every year from 2009 to 2019, Mercer’s Quality of Living survey has named Vienna as the best place to live in the entire world. And is it any wonder why? From the affordable housing to the low crime rates to the abundance of green spaces, here are 10 reasons why being settled in the Austrian capital is just wonderful.
Having a comfortable yet affordable roof over your head is always a number-one priority. Viennese apartments tick that box very frequently. Many flaunt polished parquet flooring, decorative ceilings, spacious rooms and gorgeous facades. Plus, the rent’s actually affordable for most (a rarity if you’re used to living in a big European city).
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Contracts can be arranged to protect tenants from being charged extortionate rates, with restrictions depending on the size and condition of the apartment. Although prices have been steadily increasing in recent years, they still remain low in comparison to many nearby cities.
The social housing system also has a solid reputation, with 60 percent of the city’s population residing in subsidised apartments. 220,000 people are in homes provided by the council. Some of the most remarkable social housing structures were designed by Harry Glück, an Austrian architect who had a vision of creating homes for the poor, with features favoured by the wealthy.
Transport and infrastructure
In the hustle and bustle of the city, a functioning public transport system is essential to an enjoyable, productive life. After all, travelling to and from work is already painful enough, without adding in delays and tightly-packed cabins filled with knackered commuters. The U-Bahn in Vienna is easy to navigate and reliable, and there are 24-hour services at weekends. Annual tickets can be purchased for just one euro per day. Cyclists are also well looked-after, with clear pathways and many cycle routes winding around the city. Exploring on foot is also a great option in the summertime.
Environment and pollution
The climate crisis is a massive global issue, with cities around the world doing their bit to crank down on pollution. Vienna has an excellent reputation for being clean and green. Its air quality has been measured as good, and the quality and accessibility of drinking water has been rated as very high. Meanwhile, noise and light pollution are both considered low.
Vienna’s education system is widely considered excellent and its universities rank among the best in the world. The Montessori method (a progressive form of education that encourages individual thought and creativity) is common in kindergartens and early schooling. The city also has specialist schools geared towards children that don’t perform well with conventional forms of teaching. The Rudolf Steiner School, for example, takes a more experimental approach to learning by nurturing the individual’s strengths.
Anyone covered by Austrian insurance can reap the benefits of the country’s impressive healthcare system. Skill and competency of staff in hospitals and clinics are considered very high; speed in completing examinations and reports is also high.
Counselling is ingrained in the Austrian way of life. Vienna was once the home of the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, who shaped therapy and its popularity forever.
Austria is the 14th-richest country in the world due to its well-developed social market economy. By maintaining close ties with other EU members, the World Bank has stated that Austria has one of the highest GDPs (gross domestic product) per head, indicating a high standard of living for citizens.
Another contributing factor to Austria’s blossoming economy is that it has more than 18,500 organic farms. This stat has earned it the nickname of Europe’s Delishop.
In 2019, Vienna was ranked the sixth-best city in the world for personal safety. According to the world’s largest user-contributed data website, Numbeo, worries felt by residents over theft, muggings and assaults are low to very low. The overall level of crime across the city was also ranked as low. Safety walking home late at night is high and walking in the daytime is very high. As with any large city, there are always areas considered dodgy (like Favoriten), but Vienna is an incredibly secure place overall.
Life in Vienna is drenched in culture and the arts. It has a strong heritage for producing exceptional classical music and theatre. The city is associated with some monumental characters: Beethoven, Klimt and Mozart, to name but a few.
Another key feature contributing to the city’s wellbeing is the coffee culture. Viennese coffee houses are institutions, loved by locals and tourists alike for providing a space to discuss the day’s events in a relaxed and quaint environment. Frequented by intellectuals, artists and philosophers during the 19th century, they have developed a reputation for being cultural hubs where great minds gather.
Where is Vienna located? It’s situated right in the middle of the European mainland, and this definitely has its benefits. Italy, Slovenia, Hungary and Germany are easily accessible by car or train. In addition, although Austria is a landlocked country, the Mediterranean Sea can be easily reached by a relatively short car journey; if you want to stay closer to home, the River Danube will quench your desire to swim.
Proximity to the countryside
Vienna is one of the greenest cities in Europe, and that’s not just with regard to its carbon footprint: the city is hugged on all sides by lush hills and rural landscapes. It has a lot of parks to explore, and there are a plethora of hiking routes in and around the city. If you’re craving country air, it’s very easy to take escape the urban backdrop, since some fantastic vineyards are just a short train ride away.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.