Vienna is not only a beautiful city to visit but has also been named the best city for quality of life for the tenth year in a row. Vienna also scored exceptionally highly in the 2019 Quality of Living Index as it is safe for children & seniors, has a lot of green spaces, low crime rate, and cheap, efficient public transport. The districts (areas) in Vienna are organized into 23 specific districts. Each of them has its unique character, which comes with its benefits and disadvantages. Each of the districts has a unique number but also carries its name. The closest district to the city center is the 1st, and then each district moves farther outside the center as the numbers increase.
Districts 1 to 9 make up the inner city of Vienna. These areas tend to be much more densely populated than districts that are farther away from the city center. The significant advantage of living in Vienna is that residents have easy access to Vienna's cultural offerings and best amenities.
While there are no distinct expat areas of Vienna, generally speaking, young professionals tend to live closer to the city center. In contrast, expats with families tend to live in districts, further afield that give their kids access to international schools.
Vienna has an amazing transportation network, so getting around is rather easy. Choosing where one should live will depend significantly on an expat's lifestyle preferences, priorities and budget. Below are some of the most popular areas amongst Vienna's expat population:
1st District – Innere Stadt
1st district, or the Innere Stadt, is the city's most expensive area by far. It includes a big selection of architectural delights, including St Stephen's Cathedral, Hofburg Palace and the famous art gallery Albertina. Developers here have created luxury apartment buildings while maintaining the historic façade of the traditional Viennese architecture. Rental properties are harder to come by in District 1, so if you want to live in the heart of Vienna and truly experience the traditional Viennese lifestyle, expect to look for a while.
2nd District – Leapoldstadt
District 2, or Leopoldstadt, is cheaper than District 1 and has more of a multicultural feel. Once, this was popular with various immigrant groups and students giving it a price tag that is a little more obtainable. Properties in this area are a mix of old and new interiors. The unique attraction for this district is located between the grand river Danube and the canal - a magnificent green park which was once a royal hunting ground and now homes the charming and traditional amusement park "Prater."
3rd, 4th and 5th Districts – Landstrasse, Wieden and Margareten
These urban districts can be found just south of the first district. Expats will find an ideal choice of housing options in each of these areas. These areas are also well located when it comes to public transportation routes, so getting around, like in most of Vienna, is rather easy. In the third district, expats will even find several historic sites, including Belvedere's magnificent palace and gardens. The 4th district is the home to the Naschmarkt, Vienna's most extensive and vibrant market with food from all corners of the world.
8th and 9th Districts – Josefstadt and Alsergrund
These districts are popular with wealthier locals and expats who want to live centrally but still live close enough to be able to enjoy the beautiful green outskirts of Vienna. Josefstadt, the 8th district, has a bohemian flair and is located just around the corner from City Hall and Parliament in the 1st district. Both Josefstadt (8th) and Alsergrund (9th) are also popular with students because these areas are close to the main University of Vienna and various others.
18th and 19th Districts – Währing and Döbling
A bit further away from Vienna's center, expats will find more options if looking for family-friendly housing. The 18th and 19th districts are home to some popular international schools and nurseries. It is popular for new arrivals to settle themselves there because of the strong international community that surrounds these schools. It is also easier to find houses instead of apartments to give bigger families with kids more freedom. There are also many big and magnificent parks in the area for an outing for the whole family.