Vienna is the capital of Austria and is the seventh largest city by population in the European Union. Vienna is the cultural, economic and political hub of Austria.
If you are reading this, we assume that you are thinking of or have received an offer of employment in Vienna. This guide is intended to give you a run-down of all you need to know about relocating to Vienna.
Before relocating to Vienna, there are a number of things that you may want to take into consideration before you make the move.
2. Bank Account
3. Tax Number
4. Salary and Taxation Guide for the area
5. Cost of Living
7. Other – Overview of the city, healthcare, transport, weather and useful websites.
Finding accommodation in Vienna is competitive, so be prepared and start searching as soon as possible. Make sure to keep in mind where you are working and try to find a house/apartment near suitable transportation links. The following links are a good place to begin your search for accommodation:
In Vienna, 60 percent of the population lives in social housing and rents are set so that resident pay no more than 30 percent of their income. Unlike other cities, Vienna has no housing shortages and no years-long waiting lists for subsidised housing. Vienna is well known for its long history in producing affordable social housing, it is this focus on building efficient houses for its residents that is the standard other cities around the world strive for in what is called ‘The Vienna Model’.
As of 2018 please see the rental prices of an apartment in Vienna.
Average cost of 1 Bed apartment in Vienna city centre – €780
Average cost of 3 Bed apartment in Vienna city centre – €1,608
Rooms for rent around Vienna can vary – €350-850
It is likely that upon looking for accommodation to rent you will be asked for the following documents, so be sure to have them available when you begin your search to avoid any delays. When you are looking for accommodation, it is recommended that you have the following:
· Copies of Photo ID, Permits and Visas
· A bank statement
· Proof of employment – Usually your contract
· A letter of reference from your previous landlord
Fees, Keys and Deposits
A deposit is usually required to rent an apartment in Austria. The deposit you make on an apartment in Austria is usually 2 months’ rent, any more than this should raise red flags. This is a refundable deposit based on the condition of the premises upon vacating. Once the deposit has been paid, you should arrange a suitable time and place with your landlord to pick up the keys.
Make sure you are clear which (if any) utilities are included in the property. The landlord should be able to give you a good indication of how much you should expect to pay in utilities.
Opening a bank account upon arrival is one of the most important things you should do. Most employers will only transfer money into an Austrian bank account, so it is essential you set one up as soon as possible. Without an Austrian bank account you will also not be able to get property or pay for utilities.
Most popular banks in Austria:
· Erste Group Bank
· RZB Group Bank
· UniCredit Bank Austria
· BAWAG P.S.K.
Salaries and wages have to be paid 14 times per year by law. The 13th salary is usually paid at the end of June, while the 14th is paid at the end of November. For employees, the 13th and 14 salaries are taxed at a very low rate (6%). Agreements of representatives of both employers and employees regulate conditions of all working contracts including minimum wage. Salaries and wages are normally higher than the minimum amounts.
For more information on monthly take home pay as well as money received on the 13th and 14th instalments, see the following link:
You will need to provide your new employer with your Austrian Tax number. Without it you will pay a more tax than you have to, and will not be able to get the government benefits you may be entitled to. Once you have received your Tax number you do not need to re-apply on a yearly basis, this is assigned to you for life.
To apply for your tax number go to your local tax office, they will ask you to fill out a number of forms, and will send your tax number to your address within two weeks.
Cost of Living
Please see below for the cost of living in Vienna, as of June 2018.
Citizens of the EU:
As citizens of the EU with the right to freedom of movement, you have unrestricted access to the Austrian labour market. You do not need a visa or a residence permit either to enter or work in Austria.
Citizens of all other states:
A visa for working and living in Austria is necessary for all other countries. Citizens of non-EU countries can apply for one of three work visas before they move to Austria:
· A restricted work permit (Beschäftigungsbewilligung) for one year.
· A restricted permit (Arbeitserlaubnis) for two years.
· An unrestricted work permit (Befreiungsschein) for five years.
There are a number of steps involved before you can apply for an unrestricted work permit in Austria. First you will have to apply for a one year work permit. This can then be renewed at the end of the first year, note there are restrictions on changing work sectors during this time. Then at the end of the second year, you can apply for a two year work permit, note there are still some restrictions on changing sectors, but this is less strict on a two year permit. Only after you have been working in Austria for 5 years can you apply for an unrestricted work permit. This allows you to work for a further 5 years in Austria, this time without restriction on changing jobs or sectors.
For further information:
Greenspace and Culture –
Vienna has been voted the world’s most livable city for the 9th year in a row, in no small part thanks to its continuing effort with regard to the environment, but also its thriving cultural scene. More than half of Vienna’s metropolitan area is made up of green spaces. 280 imperial parks and gardens augment the cityscape and in spring, 400 species of rose bloom in the Volksgarten alone. The nearby recreation areas of Prater, Vienna woods, and Lobau invite visitors to go on walks, day trips, hikes and bicycle tours. Vienna has a total of 2,000 parks.
Vienna is also known for its cultural scene with many things to do and places to see, it would be difficult to run out of things to do in Vienna. From the famous coffeehouses on the streets (a nice Viennese coffee and a piece of cake are highly recommended) to the famous, old historical streets and buildings (a walk around the Ringstrasse takes you through some of the most historic buildings in Vienna). Taking in the museums, music, as well as the parks and gardens makes the city an ideal place for exploring.
Overview of Vienna –
· Vienna is the capital of Austria, with a population of about 1.8 million.
· Schönbrunn Palace is one of the most visited architectural monuments in Austria. It consists of 1,441 rooms.
· Vienna is the only capital in the world with major wine production within the limits of the city. Every year in Vienna over 600 wine farmers produce 2.5 million litres of wine.
· St. Stephen’s Cathedral, is known as the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vienna. It is over 700 years old.
· The people of Vienna are known for their love of dogs. In Vienna, dogs are welcome in public places, public transportation, and even boutiques and restaurants!
· Tiergarten Schönbrunn is the oldest zoo in the world. It is located in the famous Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna.
Austria has a two-tier health care system, in which almost all individuals receive publicly funded care, although they have the option to purchase supplementary private health insurance. Some individuals choose to completely pay for their care privately.
All insured persons are issued with an e-card, which must be presented when visiting a doctor (however, some doctors only treat privately insured patients). This e-card may also be used as a valid form of ID.
The transport links throughout Vienna are very good. The public transportation throughout the city is noted for being cheap, frequent, fast, clean, efficient, relatively safe and rarely overcrowded. There are four main forms of transport; the U-Bahn, the S-Bahn, the tram and the bus. Tickets can be purchased for all public trains, subways, trams and bus.
Public transport in Vienna works on an honesty system, meaning there are no ticket barriers or formal ticket checks. This does not mean that public transport is free. You must buy a ticket. There are random checks on public transport and those caught without a ticket will be hit with a fine, as well as the cost of a ticket. Standard tickets can be purchased in the main stations, ticket machines in stations, or from newsagents.
These are your main options:
· Single ticket – lets you travel from any point A to any point B within Vienna.
· 24/48/72-hour network card – The relevant time period begins when you validate your ticket. Within that time, you can go where you like, as often as you like, within city limits.
· 8 Day network card – This ticket has 8 stripes and you stamp each one as you need. Once stamped, it entitles you to travel anywhere in the city until 1am the following day. If you stamp two stripes on the same day, then two people can travel using the ticket. Three stripes for three people etc. (Note: The 8 Day card is not necessarily intended for 8 consecutive days travel. You stamp a stripe if and when you need one).
· Weekly network pass – Entitles you to city-wide travel from Monday 9am to the following Monday 9am
· Monthly network pass – Entitles you to city-wide travel during the relevant calendar month, plus the first two days of the next month.
Finally we would like to leave you with some links to some websites you might find helpful. You can click on the links below which we hope provide you with even more useful information.