Vienna is regularly ranked as one of the best cities in the world to live in. Unique cuisine, vivid cultural scene and architectural wonders make it a great spot for a short stay. Those who live there, praise the safety, cleanness, good commute and very low rents – especially compared to other European capitals. Making living in Vienna affordable is one of the priorities of the city’s administration. Thanks to that policy, accommodation in Vienna is plentiful and relatively cheap. The city owns over 220,000 flats, and one in four citizens lives in city-owned buildings. On the other hand, the starting cost of moving to the Austrian capital is massive. The landlords can ask for a deposit equaling from 3, up to 6-months (in case of fully-furnished, designer apartments) rent. The market is also dominated by real estate brokers, and finding an apartment without them is an arduous task. Agents can charge a one- or two-month commission fee for their services. This means you have to save a lot of money before even thinking of moving to Vienna for a long-term stay.
Where to live in Vienna?
Whether you are just going to Vienna to enjoy the sights or moving for a job, the first step is finding an apartment. For a city this big, Vienna does not have many skyscrapers and the residential cityscape is dominated by 4- or 5-storey buildings. For business and short-term stay, a natural choice would be the 1st district, the Innere Stadt. It’s the heart of Vienna Old Town, with most of the city’s landmarks. For the more “hip” vibe, we would recommend districts to the West and South of the city center. 4th, 6th and 7th (Wieden, Mariahilf and Neubau) are filled with modern art galleries, chic coffee shops and indie stores. If you move to Vienna with your family, you might prefer the quieter and greener outer districts like Döbling (19th) or Hietzing (13th). Even though they are quite far from the city center, you can still get there in about 30 minutes. When looking for a flat, you should avoid any location close to the Gürtel – a huge, multi-lane beltway surrounding the inner districts. It’s always loud and the traffic is heavy there.
Renting an apartment in Vienna – where to start?
Once you decide on the neighborhoods and districts you want to live in, you should decide whether you want to look on your own or contact a real estate broker. While it’s possible to find an apartment in Vienna without an agent, it might prove difficult if you don’t speak German and/or don’t have unlimited free time. Agents can charge a one- or two-month commission fee for their services. Traditional rental contracts have a legal minimum duration of three years. Normally, after a year, the tenants gain the right to give a three-month notice and cancel the contract. You can also try to include an “expat clause” that gives you the possibility to end the lease with a shorter notice period.
Looking for an apartment in Vienna
In Vienna, most people carry out their real estate searches online. The most popular ads websites are: immodirekt.at, bazar.at and immobilien.net. If you don’t speak German, you can try websites specifically aimed at expats, e.g. housinganywhere.com or justlanded.com. There are some words you should pay close attention to while looking for an apartment online. If you don’t want to pay a fee to the agent, look for privat (private), provisionsfrei (without commission) and keine makler (no broker) ads. Landlords often require a proof of employment/income, and sometimes may ask for references (from your employer or previous landlords). Just like in Germany and Switzerland, most Austrian apartments come unfurnished (Unmöbliert), usually just with the kitchen appliances, so you should include a trip to Ikea or a flea market into your budget.
An alternative – renting a serviced apartment
If you lack the time to look for an apartment, or don’t have the money necessary to rent and furnish an apartment, a temporary living solution is an ideal option. Whether you are moving from abroad, staying in Vienna only for a limited time or searching for a temporary home, Serviced Apartments can represent a quick and easy accommodation, tailored to your needs. Serviced Apartments give you all the comforts of a home away from home. They are fully furnished and include a fully equipped kitchen as well as services like cleaning. All ancillary costs (water, heating, electricity, TV and internet access etc.) are included in the rent price and washing facilities as well as a private letterbox are provided.
VISIONAPARTMENTS offers 21 apartments in the heart of Vienna’s center, a few minutes’ walk from both the Old City’s landmarks and the business hub of Leopoldstadt. A studio apartment starts at 1,890 EUR per month. If you rent a Serviced Apartment you don’t have to worry about anything – all furniture and equipment comes with it. You can book your apartment today and move in tomorrow. The company only needs a few contact details to prepare the contract and you will have to pay a small deposit, usually the amount of a monthly rent. The minimum rent period is 2 days, and you can leave the temporary home whenever you like – without cleaning it or searching for a new tenant. This solution is particularly suitable for expats, people relocating from abroad or for a comfortable stay while searching for a long-term home.