Last June I experienced for three weeks how’s like to live in Vienna. And I loved it.
Franz and I went in Vienna to attend WordCamp Europe 2016, but opted to move there a couple of weeks before the event, just to feel the daily vibes and explore the city. Turned out we fell in love with the city, and we’d love to live in Vienna.
What Vienna looks like
Vienna is definitely not a minimalistic city. The architecture is magnificent and rich, as well as complicated. You will never have enough eyes in Vienna to see all the amazing stuff that surround you.
The ancient, gothic style is mixed with modern buildings. Train stations are modern and functional, and the infrastructure is super efficient.
We went to Schönbrunn, and I’m not ashamed to say that a little piece of my heart remained there, trapped among its gardens and labyrinths. We climbed the hill facing the palace and arrived at Gloriette, where we ruled the gardens and enjoyed a magnificent panorama. Simply wonderful.
Viennese are from all over the world. We met many Austrian people as well as ex-pats. In fact, it looks like nearly 50% of the people living in Vienna come from abroad.
That also explains why Viennese people speak a very good English and have no trouble in switching to German to English within a blink of an eye.
It’s not so difficult, therefore, to live in Vienna without knowing any German and have no problem at all by any means. They do appreciate if you can try to speak German, though!
Schnitzel! Yeah, we did eat a shameful amount of the most traditional and popular Viennese dish. We tried the veal and the pork schnitzels, and eventually we decided that the veal schnitzel is superior.
We didn’t feel guilty about that – we ate them in the name of the scientific method, somebody had to make a stand and decide what the best schnitzel was.
We also tried the Hungarian cuisine when we were in Vienna, and I set my next trip to be in Hungary just because of the amazing food I tasted. Goulash for the win!
Supermarkets food, goodies and products are slightly more expensive than in the UK. The quality of the food is better than in London though, especially as far as the meat is concerned. We didn’t find, however, much variety in terms of wholemeal products, and most of them were very expensive.
We also missed a lot the basmati rice, sweet potato and some other food we often have in London. Since they are not popular in Austria (as far as we saw) they’re not easy to find, nor cheap to buy.
Despite the UK “summer”, we enjoyed a real summer, with hot temperatures and dry weather. Only once did it rain, and the day we left the city, Vienna farewelled us with a torrential storm. Was it a signal, like that we needed to stay in the city and live in Vienna for good, instead?
We enjoyed our three weeks in Austria, we truly had a wonderful time there. We explored the city, and thought about the option of relocating in there. As far as my experience concerns, I’d suggest anyone to live in Vienna for a while, as it’s such a welcoming and nice city.
Probably, the only real problem is the language barrier, if looking at that in a long-time perspective. Although we had no problems in communicating with people, I reckon that if someone moves there to actually live in Vienna for an undetermined amount of time, a decent level of German is required, at least to avoid being cutting out from the day-by-day national and city events.
If you are wondering if Franz and I are moving out of the UK to live in Vienna… well, the answer is no, we are not. With that said, maybe one day… ;)
More pics of Vienna are in my Instagram account and on Snapchat (stefmattana)