Living in Vienna?
From Bus to Bike
It’s not very difficult to lead a comfortable life in Vienna without owning or using a car. The Wiener Linien offer good public transportation services, making every part of the city accessible with comparative ease and speed. Subways, for example, run every two minutes during rush hour, and all night during the weekend.
Getting around by bike is a one of the best and most convenient ways to commute in Vienna. Around the old city there’s a sightseeing bicycle path called the Ringstraße that is used both by tourists and locals. If you don’t own a bike, you can easily rent one with CityBike Wien that has over 121 bike stations across the city. This requires a one-time registration, and as soon as it’s done you’re ready to peddle!
Gürtel, Gas and the Autobahn
If you can’t get by without a car, brace yourself for long commutes due to the busy and often congested main roads. The famous Ringstraße and Gürtel roads have a particular reputation as hotspots for baustellen — construction sites — check this site for current and planned disruptions before you set off.
Gas prices in Austria are similar to other European countries, but they might seem quite steep to some expats, especially those from the United States. Public transportation is a great alternative as annual tickets for the Wiener Linien can be bought online for just 365 EUR.
When using the Autobahn (highway), keep in mind that the country has imposed a toll on these high-speed roads. In order to use them, you will have to purchase a toll sticker (Vignette). These stickers are valid for ten days, two months, or one year. However, the slower, narrower Landstraßen, remain free of charge.
To and from Vienna: A Wide Network
Over 181 locations worldwide offer nonstop flights to Vienna Airport, located on the outskirts of the city. From there, you have a wide range of options to get into the city. A special express train — the CAT — connects the airport with the city center. Buses and the S-Bahn, which both take a little longer, provide more stops in the suburbs en route. Since the opening of the new central station at the end of 2015, the airport is also connected to the Austrian railway system. Of course, you can also hail one of the many cabs!
Lots of large European cities are connected to Vienna by high-speed railway services. Until 2015, the two most important hubs were the Bahnhof Wien Meidling, as well as the Westbahnhof, which is located at one end of Vienna’s busiest shopping street, the Mariahilferstraße. Since the opening of the new central station in the 10th borough, both are becoming less important; Wien Hauptbahnhof was completely finished in 2015, and now connects the four major railway lines into Vienna.
On a Budget or Not: Vienna Has it All
The cost of living in Vienna is a little higher than the European average, but still quite affordable. Decent-sized meals in restaurants or Heurige (traditional wine bars) start from 10 EUR, and non-alcoholic beverages are usually priced around 3 EUR.
A wide range of supermarkets offer quality products in every price category. If you’re on a tight budget or a connoisseur of fresh produce, a trip to one of the many Turkish or Asian businesses might be worth your while. These family-run shops offer fresh fruit, vegetables, and bread — often higher quality than the big supermarket chains — at lower prices.
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