Lifestyle in Vienna
Some expats might feel that Viennese lifestyle is not driven by any external pressure. There is a common joke among Viennese expats that says:
If the world is about to end, just move to Austria and you'll have an extra twenty years.
The Viennese work to live, as opposed to living to work, a concept that many North Americans and people from other cultures struggle with when wondering how anything in Vienna gets done. Be assured, though, things do get done. Sometimes, it might just take longer.
The ideal means of dealing with this cultural difference is to accept it. Begin taking steps to enjoy the slower pace or to find a good therapist to deal with the rage. After all, Vienna was home to Sigmund Freud.
Lifestyle in Vienna
Viennese culture prioritises family connection and individual wellness. As such, Vienna is full of health and wellness facilities that can be enjoyed by the entire family.
Saunas and pools are in abundance. An example is the Oberlaa Therme, a complex which houses ten pools, complete with water slides, and one pool that is completely in the dark except for coloured mood lights.
For more active expats there are hikes and gentler walks within and just outside Vienna.
Café culture and eating out in Vienna
The Viennese love to drink coffee and they also love to smoke. In fact, it wasn’t until July 2010 that a law was passed that required cafés and restaurants to have a non-smoking area. It is normal for people to sit in cafés enjoying coffee and eating cake for hours on end.
Expats looking to eat out in Vienna will find it difficult to choose between the many international dishes and restaurants on offer. From classic Viennese fare to teppanyaki or modern vegan cuisine, expats in Vienna have access to a variety of global flavours.
Arts and culture in Vienna
Vienna is a lovely city to stroll through. The Museum’s Quartier is home to the Albertina Museum, the Leopold Museum (which is a great introduction to some of Austria’s well-known artists), the Natural History Museum, and the ZOOM Children’s Museum, among others.
Also known as the City of Music, Vienna is bursting with high-class performance venues where a wide variety of musical talent can be found. The Wiener Staatsoper is an exquisite opera house that dates back to the nineteenth century. Standing tickets cost very little so that even students can enjoy a night at the opera. In the summer, a big screen is assembled outside the opera house, where performances can be watched from the street for free.
Vienna is also steeped in classical music history and anyone wanting to hear the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra can find them at the Wiener Musikverein, the most famous concert hall in Vienna. Theatre also has a large place in Vienna’s entertainment scene - the Burgtheatre offers a fantastic variety of plays as well as the odd music performance.
Vienna also has a flourishing alternative music scene which can be found in venues such as the Ostklub on Schwarzenbergplatz, where young up-and-coming musicians get a chance to showcase their talents.
Shopping in Vienna
Expats who enjoy shopping will be pleased to find that there are several main shopping streets. The Ring is alive with expensive high-end shops and restaurants. Mariahillfrastrasse is another shopping street with large stores such as Zara, Esprit, and department stores like Peek and Cloppenberg.
Vienna is known for its food markets, most noticeably the Naschmarkt and Brunnenmarkt. The Naschmarkt is located next to the Kettenbrückengasse stop on the U4 line and is filled with unusual and tasty foods from every corner of the world. The markets, which are open on Saturdays, are popular and usually crowded with people. A flea market is also set up on a Saturday, and those wanting to catch a bargain should go as early as possible. The Brunnenmarkt is located near the U3 station, Ottakring, and is said to be the longest street market in Europe, offering a wide selection of goods, such as fruit and vegetables, textiles and fish, amongst others.
Travelling from Vienna
Vienna’s central location in Europe allows for quick and generally inexpensive European travel. It is not unusual to get a flight to Paris or Rome for less than EUR 150. With such close proximity to Italy (it is a five-hour drive to the beach town of Bibione) it is easy to get away to the sea for a short vacation. In summer, the Viennese often become water bound for destinations such as Croatia, Italy and France.
With ski lodges within Austria being so easily accessible from Vienna, it's also easy to enjoy skiing, Austria's favourite past-time.