A great place to live
1. GREEN TRANSPORTATION THROUGHOUT THE CAPITAL
Five subway lines, 28 tram lines and 129 bus services, covering a total of 1,150 km – Vienna’s environmentally friendly, reliable public transport system brings passengers to even the farthest-flung corners of the city. And for an extremely low price: an annual ticket costs just 1 euro per day. The Wiener Linien public transportation network runs continuously: once the day shift is over, night buses during the week ensure that everyone gets home safely. On Fridays, Saturdays and the nights before public holidays the five subway lines drop off late-night partygoers more or less on their doorsteps!
2. FRESH FROM THE MOUNTAINS
The best drink in Vienna (apart from Viennese wine) comes directly from the taps: fresh mountain spring water. Two pipelines from the Lower Austrian-Styrian Alps supply the city with 400,000 m³ of fresh spring water every day – enough to fill 2.5 million bathtubs. The water can be tasted at any time at one of the thousand drinking fountains spread across the capital. Vienna is in fact the first city in the world to have its water supply protected by the constitution.
3. GREEN, GREENER, VIENNA
The green, green grass of home... with 990 parks and green spaces, 300,000 trees, and countless meadows, woods and fields, Vienna is one of the world’s greenest major cities. 53% of the municipal area is made up by green space. The many parks on the Ringstrasse, as well as the Prater park, provide opportunities to enjoy green space right in the heart of the city. A sizeable chunk of the Donau-Auen National Park falls within the city limits – the Lobau, which is one of Europe’s last unspoiled wetlands. And with part of the Vienna woods also on its outskirts, the capital has its own biosphere reserve, which is home to various endangered species.
4. WE LIKE TO MOVE IT
There are also a wide variety of sports activities on offer in Vienna. The Vienna woods are paradise for hikers and mountain bikers, with 11 clearly marked trails within the city limits. In the fresh air high up on the Kahlenberg there’s an aerial adventure park, and the adjacent 3D archery park is a real highlight – a must for sharp shooters! Vienna’s outdoor pools as well as the Danube and attached waters offer hours of fun splashing about. And anyone who can’t keep their feet still will be in their element running or inline skating along the Prater Hauptallee or on the Danube Island. Alternatively, they can head to Alte Donau (Old Danube) to show off their stand-up paddling skills.
5. CUCUMBER CAPITAL
For a city with close to two million inhabitants, Vienna has a flourishing agriculture sector: around a third of green space and 15% of the total area of the capital is given over to farming. 645 gardens, vineyards, fields, vegetable patches and orchards supply the city with a cornucopia of vegetables, fruit, cereals, and wine. Vienna grows more cucumbers than any other region of Austria – an impressive 28,700 tons every year – making it the cucumber capital.
6. MICHELIN-STAR CUISINE À LA VIENNE
Vienna is not the place to come to for a detox diet. Viennese Cuisine is in fact the only cuisine in the world to be named after a city. And it is easy to find Michelin-starred cuisine even at a reasonable price – Heinz Reitbauer’s Steirereck in the Stadtpark, Juan Amador’s restaurant Amador, and Konstantin Filippou’s restaurant all sport stars awarded by the world-renowned guide. For those looking for something a bit more down-to-earth, countless restaurants, pubs, traditional Viennese Beisl and other eateries await hungry guests, with a huge range of food available.
7. VIENNA’S HEROES IN ORANGE
An essential requirement for good quality of life is a clean city. The Municipal Department for Waste Management, Street Cleaning and Vehicle Fleet – MA 48 for short – enjoys cult status in Vienna. Nowhere else will you find cool workers making sure that trash ends up where it belongs: out of the city. In their orange overalls, they make 120,000 journeys in their garbage trucks every year, covering nine million kilometers in total – that’s a journey to the moon every 14 days.
8. VIENNA NEVER STOPS LEARNING
Vienna’s 20 various universities have around 200,000 students enrolled in courses, making the Austrian capital the biggest university town in the German-speaking world. Vienna can be proud of the quality of its universities; the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna (mdw) is the best music university in the world. And Vienna continues to grow as a center for higher education: in fall 2019 the respected Central European University (CEU) moved here. Michael Ignatieff, the President and Rector of CEU, is very taken with Vienna: “Vienna is an international location for universities, companies and international organizations. The establishment of the Vienna campus opens up fantastic new possibilities for the CEU’s faculty and students.”
9. THE WORLD IN VIENNA
Vienna is a popular location for international organizations (including the United Nations) and global businesses, not least thanks to its central location in the heart of Europe, good transport links and virtually unbeatable quality of life. This international aspect means the city is also a popular venue for congresses, conferences and company get-togethers, with 4,500 such events taking place in Vienna every year. The 2018 International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) rankings placed Vienna in second place, behind Paris. And Vienna is ranked fourth worldwide by the Union of International Associations (UIA). As well as three outstanding conference centers (the Austria Center Vienna, Hofburg Vienna, and Messe Wien Exhibition & Congress Center), Vienna scores highly for its many other historic and modern event venues.
10. ART, ART EVERYWHERE
100 museums, 250 galleries for contemporary art, over 15,000 concerts each year, 80 festivals, 10,000 seats in concert halls, three opera houses, 120 stages for music and theatre, 28 palaces, 163 city palaces: it is impossible to fit more culture into a city. Genuinely. The world’s largest collections of works by Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Bruegel in particular are unique attractions that are a must-see on any trip to Vienna.
Numerous international rankings confirm Vienna’s leading position as the most livable city.
- 2017: Third place in Monocle Magazine’s list of the world’s most livable cities
- 2018: Named Best International Destination 2017 by GayTravel.com, the biggest LGBT travel site
- 2019: First place in the Smart City Strategy Index compiled by global consultants Roland Berger
- 2019: Top spot in the Global Liveability Index produced by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) forecast and analysis team
Text: Angelika Lechner