Is Austria a good place to live? This is a question that many expats or foreigners planning to move to Austria and call it their new home country.
Austria is a landlocked country in Central Europe, with the capital city of Vienna and a total population of about 9 million people. It is known for its rich culture, beautiful scenery, and high quality of life.
But there are also reasons why expats should never move to this country. Some of them are the following:
- High cost of living
- Austrian dishes
- High taxes
- Short store hours
- Language barrier
- Conservative culture
- Hard time finding friends
- Lengthy health insurance process
- Long winter
In this blog post, we will explore 10 of them, from language barriers to healthcare costs.
Still can’t decide? Read on or check this article: 20 Pros and Cons of Moving to Austria
1. The High Cost of Living
One of the reasons why expats in Austria might regret their decision is the high cost of living in this country.
According to housinganywhere.com, the average monthly living cost for one person in Austria is roughly €1,584, but it varies depending on location, lifestyle, and type of housing. For comparison, the overall cost of living in Austria is 1.65 times more expensive than the world’s average.
For students, monthly living expenses in Germany, including accommodation, food, transportation, health insurance, and entertainment, can total around €1,200. This surpasses averages in other European countries.
Expect Conversion Fees
If you are moving from USA to Austria, you might also have to deal with the exchange rate and currency conversion fees, which can add up to your expenses. The US dollar is weaker than the euro, so you might have to pay more for the same goods and services in Austria. For example, as of April 2023, one US dollar is equivalent to 0.84 euro.
Moreover, you might have to adjust your lifestyle and spending habits to fit the Austrian standards. Paying more for utilities, groceries, clothing, and necessities is common. Entertainment expenses, like dining out or traveling, may also rise. Saving or sending remittances could pose challenges.
Reviews from Expats Moving From USA to Austria
Expats in Austria have mixed opinions about the cost of living in the country. Some expats find the cost of living in Austria to be high, especially in big cities like Vienna and Innsbruck. These cities are among the most expensive in Europe, with high prices for rent, transportation, food, and entertainment.
A single person living in Vienna can expect to spend around €1,600 per month on average, while a family of four can spend around €3,600.
Other expats, however, find the cost of living in Austria to be reasonable, especially in smaller cities like Graz and Klagenfurt. These cities offer a lower cost of living, but still have a high quality of life, with good infrastructure, health care, education, and culture.
Do you want to know more about the cost of living in Austria compared to other countries in Europe? Check this article about Germany vs Austria: Cost of Living
2. Adding Austrian Dishes to Your Diet
Another reason why expats in Austria might not enjoy living in this country is the Austrian food. Austria has a distinct cuisine that reflects its history, geography, and culture. Some of the popular dishes are the following:
- Wiener Schnitzel (breaded veal cutlet)
- Tafelspitz (boiled beef with horseradish sauce)
- Apfelstrudel (apple pastry)
- Sachertorte (chocolate cake with apricot jam)
These dishes are rich, hearty, and delicious and can be found in many restaurants and cafes in the capital city of Vienna and other regions. However, not all expats might appreciate Austrian food, especially if they have different dietary preferences or restrictions.
It can be hard for vegetarians or gluten-free folks to find a good meal in Austria, as the country’s cuisine is based on meat, all kinds of noodles (Käsespätzle), and potatoes. If these are not your favorites (neither are they mine), you might want to think twice before moving to Austria.
Bread, coffee, and cakes are very popular and can be found everywhere, but they can also be high in calories, carbs, and sugar.
Furthermore, you might miss your home country’s food and culture, especially if you are moving from USA to Austria. You might have to pay more to get access to international or ethnic food, such as Mexican, Chinese, Indian, or Thai.
What Expats From Austria Say About Its Food?
Here are some reviews regarding dishes in Austria, according to expats in Austria:
- I had the Wiener Schnitzel at a traditional restaurant in Vienna, and it was amazing. The veal was tender and juicy, the breading was crispy and light, and the lemon added a nice touch of acidity. The potato salad was also very tasty, with a creamy dressing and fresh herbs. It was a very satisfying and filling meal, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who loves meat and potatoes.
- I think the food in Austria is okay, but not very exciting. It’s mostly the same dishes over and over again, with slight variations. I don’t mind eating Austrian food once in a while, but I prefer to try different cuisines from other countries. Luckily, there are many restaurants and supermarkets that offer international food options in Austria. The food in Austria is not a big factor for me when it comes to living here.
3. Expect High Taxes
One of the reasons you should never move to Austria is the high taxes. Expats in Austria have to pay income tax on their worldwide income, not just the income they earn in Austria. This means that if you are moving from USA to Austria, you will have to report and pay taxes on your income from both countries unless there is a tax treaty that prevents double taxation.
Austria also has excise taxes on certain products, such as petroleum and tobacco, which can increase the cost of living. PWC says that the standard VAT rate in Austria is 20%, which is higher than in some other European countries. For example, Germany has a VAT rate of 19%, and Switzerland has a VAT rate of 7.7%.
Although taxes in Austria are progressive, and the average tax burden is lower than in some neighboring countries, the tax-to-GDP ratio in Austria is higher than the OECD average. This means that the Austrian government collects more tax revenue relative to the size of its economy than most other developed countries.
Austria does not have a wealth/worth tax, inheritance tax, estate tax, or gift tax, which can be seen as a benefit for some expats. However, these taxes are also not common in other European countries, so Austria does not have a significant advantage in this regard.
Is Australia A Good Place To Live: Different Taxes in Austria
For expats in Austria or individuals considering moving from the USA to Austria, understanding the country’s tax system is crucial. Here are the taxes in Austria and their rates:
Austria has a progressive income tax system, with rates ranging from 0% to 55% based on different income brackets. Expatriates and individuals moving from the USA to Austria should be aware of these rates, which are subject to change annually. For instance, n26.com says that the income threshold for tax-free earnings will increase to €11,693, and the 20% income tax rate will apply to yearly incomes up to €19,234.
Social insurance contributions
Expats and individuals moving to Austria will be required to contribute to social insurance. Based on a report by taxesforexpats.com, the rates include health insurance (7.65%), pension insurance (22.8%), unemployment insurance (3%), and accident insurance (0.4% to 1.3%).
Value-added tax (VAT)
Understanding the VAT system is essential for newcomers. N26.com also said that Austria’s standard VAT rate is 20%, with certain goods and services taxed at reduced rates of 10% or 13%. Some transactions, such as exports, are exempted from Austrian VAT.
Migration.gv.at says that expats employed by corporations in Austria should be aware of the 25% corporate tax rate. This rate applies to public and private limited companies, cooperative purchasing societies, and mutual insurance companies.
Individuals engaging in financial transactions, including expats and those moving from the USA to Austria, should note the stamp duty rates ranging from 0.8% to 1.5% on mortgages, loans, and other specified transactions. These figures are based on a report by taxesforexpats.com
Austria imposes various taxes, including real estate tax, excise taxes on products like petroleum and tobacco, and withholding tax on specific types of income.
Expats need to be aware of these taxes and their rates to navigate the Austrian tax system effectively.
What Do Expats in Austria Say About Its Taxes?
Here are some reviews about the taxes in Austria from expats who live or work there:
- I moved to Austria from the US two years ago and I have to say that the taxes here are quite high. I pay income tax on both my US and Austrian income, which can be a hassle. I also have to pay social insurance contributions, which are deducted from my salary. On the bright side, I get to enjoy the benefits of the Austrian social security system, such as health care, pension, and unemployment insurance. I think it’s a fair trade-off for the quality of life here.
- I love living in Austria, but I don’t like the taxes here. They are too high and they take away a big chunk of my income. I pay income tax, capital gains tax, and excise taxes on some products. The VAT rate is also high, which makes everything more expensive. I don’t feel like I get enough value for my money. The public services are good, but not exceptional. The tax system is also not very fair, as some people can avoid or evade taxes more easily than others. I think the taxes in Austria need to be reformed and reduced.
Many expats are planning to work in Austria but are not sure how. If you’re one of them, check this article: Can You Work in Austria with a German EU Blue Card?
4. Short Store Hours
One aspect that might deter expats in Austria, especially those moving from the USA to Austria or the US to Austria, is the relatively short store hours. This can pose challenges for individuals accustomed to longer shopping hours.
Vast majority of Austrian shops typically operate for a total of 66 hours per week, with legal shopping hours from 6 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Supermarkets in Austria typically open around 8 a.m. and close at 8 p.m., sometimes even as early as 7 p.m.
Business Hours in Vienna:
- Monday to Saturday: Most shops follow a regular schedule.
- Sunday: Generally considered a day off for businesses.
- Open at 7:00 a.m. from Monday to Saturday.
- Closing time is usually by 8:30 p.m.
- Open at 9:00 a.m. from Monday to Saturday.
- On Sundays, only supermarkets in specific locations are open.
Locations include train stations, the airport, and the 1st district.
This schedule provides a general overview of business hours, with supermarkets having slightly extended hours compared to normal shops. On Sundays, limited shopping options are available in specific areas.
This limited timeframe for shopping may pose a challenge for expats, especially those accustomed to longer operating hours in their home countries. It’s essential for individuals considering a move to Austria, particularly in Western Austria, to factor in these shorter store hours when adapting to the local lifestyle.
Note: Statistics on store hours are based on the information available, and actual operating hours may vary.
Expats’ Opinion on Short Store Hours in Austria
Here are some expats opinions or reviews regarding the short store hours in Austria:
- I find the short store hours in Austria very inconvenient and frustrating. I work long hours and sometimes I need to buy groceries or other essentials after work. But most of the stores close at 6 pm or 7 pm, and on Sundays they are closed all day. I have to plan ahead and do my shopping on Saturdays, which can be very crowded and stressful. I miss the convenience of having 24/7 stores in the US.
- I don’t mind the short store hours in Austria. I think it’s good for the workers and the environment. It gives them more time to rest and spend with their families. It also reduces the energy consumption and waste of the stores. I think it’s a more sustainable and humane way of doing business. I have adapted to the store hours and I do my shopping during the week or on Saturday mornings. I enjoy having a quiet and relaxing Sunday.
Are you planning to work in Austria? This blog post will help you: What Jobs Are In-Demand in Austria in 2023?
5. Not All Speak German and English
Another reason you should never move to Austria is the difficulty of communicating with the locals. Although howwidelyspoken said that around 73% of the population in Austria can converse or speak English to some level, this does not mean that everyone speaks English fluently or willingly.
Many locals, especially those in remote areas or older generations, may not speak English at all or prefer to speak German. If you are moving from USA to Austria, you may encounter language barriers and cultural misunderstandings or regional quirks when dealing with the locals.
Learning Austrian German is not easy either. Even if you’re already speaking German, you may find it hard to understand the native language of Austria. Austrian German is full of nuance and regional quirks despite Austria’s small size.
There are many vocabulary differences and dialects that vary from state to state, or even from village to village.
For example, the word for potato is “Kartoffel” in standard German, but “Erdapfel” in Austria. The dialects in western Austria, such as Vorarlberg and Tyrol, are influenced by the Alemannic language and are very different from the dialects in lower Austria or Vienna.
If you want to integrate into Austrian society and culture, you will have to learn not only speak German but also Austrian German and its dialects. This can be a challenging and time-consuming task for expats in Austria who speak English.
You may also face difficulties in making friends and building trust with the locals or ethnic groups, who may be reserved and distant at first. Communicating with the locals in Austria is not as easy as it may seem.
Is Australia A Good Place To Live: Dialects and Languages in Austria
Here is a list of the dialects and languages in Austria:
Vast Majority of People Speak German
This is the official language and the most widely spoken language in Austria. It is a standard variety of German called Austrian German, which differs from the German spoken in Germany and Switzerland in vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar.
This is the main dialect group spoken in Austria, except for Vorarlberg. It is a West Germanic language that is closely related to German, but has many distinctive features and regional variations. It is not a written language, but it is used in literature, music, and media.
This is the main dialect group spoken in Vorarlberg, the westernmost state of Austria. It is also a West Germanic language, but it is more similar to Swiss German than to German or Austro-Bavarian. It is very difficult to understand for most Germans and Austrians outside of Vorarlberg.
Austria has several minority languages that are spoken by ethnic groups and immigrants. Some of these languages have official status in certain regions, such as Burgenland Croatian, Hungarian, Slovene, Czech, Slovak, and Romani. Other minority languages include Turkish, Serbian, Romanian, Bosnian, Italian, and Polish.
English is the most common foreign language in Austria, spoken by around 73% of the population to some level. English is taught in schools and widely used in business, tourism, and media. Many Austrians can communicate in English, especially in urban areas and among younger generations.
If you are an expat in Austria or planning to move from the US to Austria, you may wonder how easy or difficult it is to learn Austrian German. The answer is that it depends on your level of German and your willingness to adapt to the local culture and dialects.
Expats Reviews Regarding Communicating in Austria
Here are some reviews regarding expats communicating in Austria:
- I have been living in Austria for three years and I love it here. The people are friendly and helpful, and I have made some good friends. I speak German fluently, so I have no problem communicating with the locals. I also enjoy learning the different dialects and expressions in different regions. I think speaking the local language is the key to integrating into the Austrian society and culture.
- I moved to Austria from the UK six months ago and I find it hard to communicate with the locals. Most of them speak English, but they are not very keen to use it. They seem to prefer speaking German among themselves, and sometimes I feel left out or ignored. I am trying to learn German, but it is not easy. The Austrian German is different from the standard German, and there are many dialects that I don’t understand. I wish the locals were more open and welcoming to expats.
To communicate properly, you need to have a reliable mobile network. Are you having a hard time finding the SIM card for you? Check this article: Best Prepaid SIM Cards in Austria
6. Almost Total Population Has The Conservative Culture
One of the reasons you may not want to move to Austria is its conservative culture. Austria has a conservative culture that is influenced by its Catholic tradition and strong family ties. The country is known for its opulent architecture, food, feasts, celebrations, and ceremonies, which are all concerned with the Catholic legacy of the country.
Austria is also known for its political and cultural conservatism, reflected in the country’s political parties and public life. The Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) is described as Christian democratic, conservative, and liberal-conservative, and it is a catch-all party of the center-right.
The Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) is a far-right political party that has gained ground in recent years with harsh, restrictive positions on immigration and asylum.
How Can It Affect Expats and Foreign Born Immigrants?
Moving from the US to Austria? Adjusting to conservative culture may pose challenges in friendships, expressing opinions, and conforming to local customs. Prejudice and discrimination may be encountered, especially with different ethnic, religious, or cultural backgrounds.
Moving to Austria is rewarding but challenging. Adapting to its conservative culture may conflict with personal values. Navigating political and social issues adds complexity to your expatriate experience. Austria’s beauty coexists with its conservatism.
Opinions of Expats Regarding The Conservative Culture in Austria
- Having relocated from the US to Austria, the conservative culture was a noticeable shift. Austria’s population is deeply influenced by Catholic traditions, reflected in their rich cultural scene. While the architecture and traditions are charming, the conservative values can be challenging for expats. In Austria, compared to my home country, social interactions and friendships are often rooted in strong family ties and traditional values. Adapting to Austrian culture requires an understanding of these nuances, making it essential for expats to navigate the cultural landscape thoughtfully.
- My experience moving from the US to Austria has been both enriching and challenging due to the conservative culture. Austria’s population holds tight to its traditions, affecting the cultural scene significantly. Coming from a more liberal background, integrating into Austrian culture required patience and an open mind. The contrast between Austria and my home country became evident in social interactions and the general outlook on life. For expats considering the move, understanding and respecting Austrian cultural nuances is crucial to building meaningful connections and fully embracing life in this beautiful country.
Do you want to settle down easily in Austria? Check this article: Best Cities To Live and Work in Austria: Relocation Guide
7. Finding Friends Isn’t Easy
Another reason you may not want to move to Austria is that finding friends isn’t easy. Austria is an alpine country with amazing architecture, especially in the city center of Vienna, Salzburg, and Graz. You may think that hanging out in places with free wi-fi during warm summers might be the perfect time to make friends, but there’s not much to talk about.
Is Australia A Good Place To Live: Austria Isn’t The Best Place to Make Friends
A survey conducted by InterNations in 2022 found that 41% of foreigners in Austrian population said that the local population is unfriendly towards foreign residents, and 28% do not feel welcome. The survey also ranked Austria as the worst country in the world for making friends.
The language barrier, cultural distinctions, and Austrians’ reserved nature contribute to challenges. Strangers may find it hard to integrate, encountering a preference for privacy and limited sharing of opinions.
Living in Austria as an expat or planning a move from the US might feel isolating. Shared interests can be elusive, and encountering prejudice due to diverse backgrounds is possible.
Activities In Austria That Can Help In Finding Friends
Language Exchange Meetups
Expats in Austria, especially those moving from the USA, can join language exchange events. These gatherings not only help improve language skills but also provide opportunities to meet like-minded individuals.
Cultural Festivals and Events
Attending local cultural festivals and events is a great way for expats, especially those moving from the US to Austria, to immerse themselves in the community. It offers a chance to connect with locals who share an interest in cultural exchange.
Outdoor Group Activities
Participating in outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, or cycling groups provides an excellent platform for expats to meet people with similar interests. Austria’s stunning landscapes offer a backdrop for forging new friendships.
Expat Networking Groups
Expats in Austria can benefit from joining specific networking groups designed for newcomers. These groups often organize social events, making it easier for those moving from the US to Austria to connect with people in similar situations. Other cities in Austria are made for a digital nomad. You can get free wi-fi to help you find people speak English nearby.
Engaging in volunteer work not only allows average age expats living in Austria to give back to the community but also provides a chance to meet locals and other expats who share a passion for making a positive impact.
Cooking or Culinary Classes
Taking cooking classes or joining culinary events can be a fun way for expats to bond over shared interests, especially for those moving from the USA to Upper Austria. It’s an opportunity to learn about Austrian cuisine while making new friends.
Sports Clubs and Fitness Classes
Engage in sports or fitness classes to maintain an active lifestyle as a US expat in Austria. It’s a pathway to connections and friendships with like-minded individuals passionate about health and wellness.
Attend Expat Meetup Groups
Expatriate-specific meetup groups create a supportive environment for those embarking on their journey in Austria. US expats in Austria connect in welcoming gatherings—sharing experiences, offering advice, and building connections with those who understand the challenges of adapting. The camaraderie within these groups often eases the transition and helps newcomers feel more at home.
Book Clubs or Discussion Groups
Join book clubs or discussion groups in Austria for intellectual connections. Conversations about literature offer cultural exchange, enriching expat experiences.
Art and Music Classes
Exploring art or music classes presents expats, especially those transitioning from the US to Austria, with an opportunity to unleash their creative talents and connect with individuals who share similar artistic interests. Explore painting, music, or other creative pursuits—nurturing artistry and fostering friendships in a vibrant social setting.
Expats’ Opinion Regarding Finding Friends in Austria
Here are some expats’ opinions regarding finding friends in Austria:
- I have been living in Austria for three years now, and I still feel like an outsider. The Austrians are very polite and helpful, but they are also very distant and cold. They do not seem interested in getting to know me or inviting me to their social events. They have their own friends and family, and they do not need anyone else. I have tried to join some clubs and activities, but I always feel like I do not belong. I miss having a close circle of friends who I can share my life with. I think finding friends in Austria is very hard, and I am not sure if I will ever succeed.
- I moved to Austria from the US six months ago, and I love it here. I think finding friends in Austria is not as difficult as some people say. You just have to be proactive and open-minded. I have met some wonderful people through online platforms, language courses, and volunteer work. They are very friendly and welcoming, and they have introduced me to their culture and traditions. They are also curious and respectful of my background and perspectives. I have learned a lot from them, and I have also taught them some things. I think finding friends in Austria is possible, and I am very happy with my social life here.
8. Costly and Lenghty Health Insurance Process
One of the reasons you should never move to Austria is the costly and lengthy health insurance process. Expats in Austria need to have private health insurance in place before they can access the public healthcare system, which covers virtually all their health care needs.
However, private health insurance is not cheap, and it can take a long time to get approved and registered.
In Austria, private health insurance is often cheaper than a public one. Students can take out coverage with Care Concept for a very reasonable price (51 EUR per month). It’s one of the best insurance for international students and expats in Austria.
You can also find suitable health insurance coverage on Austria’s biggest comparison website Durchblicker. Durchblicker is just a convenient tool with no additional or hidden costs. Signing for the policy is possible right on their website. Read over 1,400 positive reviews on Trustpilot, where Durchblicker receives a 4,8 rate.
Furthermore, on Durchblicker, you can also find there a bank account, various insurances, and even the internet provider for the new apartment.
Requirements to Get Health Insurance in Austria
If you are an expat in Austria, you will need to meet certain requirements to get health insurance in the country. Here are some of the main ones:
You will need to have a valid residence permit or visa that allows you to stay in Austria for more than six months. Plus, you will also need to register your address with the local authorities within three days of arriving in the country.
Proof of Income
You will need to have proof of income, such as a salary slip, a contract, or a pension statement. Pay a monthly contribution to the health insurance fund, which is based on your income and the state you live in. N26.com says that the average contribution rate is about 7.65% of your gross income.
Proof of Employment
You will need to have proof of employment, such as a work permit, a letter from your employer, or a confirmation of self-employment. Plus, you need to join the health insurance fund that corresponds to your profession or sector. There are 21 different health insurance funds in Austria, each with its own rules and benefits.
These are some of the requirements to get health insurance in Austria. They can vary depending on your nationality, your status, and your location. Therefore, you should do your research and compare the options before moving to Austria.
You should also consult with an expert or a local agent who can help you with the process and the paperwork. Health insurance is essential for living in Austria, but it can also be costly and complicated.
Reviews Regarding The Health Insurance in Austria
- I moved to Austria from the US six months ago and I had to get private health insurance before I could apply for my residence permit. It was quite expensive and complicated to find a suitable plan that met the requirements. I also had to pay a lot of fees and taxes to join the public health insurance system, which is mandatory for everyone who lives and works in Austria. I think health insurance in Austria is too costly and bureaucratic, and I wish I had more options and flexibility.
- I am a student from Germany and I came to Austria for a semester exchange program. I have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) that allows me to access the same health care services as the Austrian population. I have used it a few times when I needed to see a doctor or get a prescription, and it was very easy and convenient. I did not have to pay anything upfront or file any claims. Most people speak English in the health care facilities, so I did not have any communication problems. I think health insurance in Austria is very accessible and efficient for EU/EFTA nationals.
Are you having a hard time picking the right health insurance provider? Check this article: Health Insurance in Austria for Foreigners: Best Providers
9. Increasing Rent Prices Near The Capital City
For expats considering a move from the USA to Austria, understanding the dynamics of rent prices is crucial. According to Statista, the average residential property rent in Austria was around €8.29 per square meter in 2021.
Compared to a German state and several European countries like Switzerland, France, and Denmark, Austria generally boasts lower rent costs, making it an attractive destination for those seeking affordability.
However, recent reports indicate a concerning trend of rising rent prices in Austria. According to thelocal.at, benchmark rates are projected to increase by 8.6%, posing potential challenges for expats in Austria.
This is particularly pertinent for those moving from the US to Austria, where regional quirks and variations may impact living costs. Expats, especially in areas like Lake Constance or larger cities such as Vienna, should be mindful of these changes.
Digital nomads and remote workers must navigate coworking space availability, digital infrastructure, and associated costs for essential amenities.
To make a well-informed decision, understand the rental landscape, consider state variations, and factor in living costs near scenic areas. Austria’s high quality of life attracts expats, but rising rent prices require careful planning for sustainable and comfortable living.
Is Australia A Good Place To Live: Rent Prices in Austria
According to Numbeo, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center of Austria is €827.81 per month, while the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment outside the city center is €673.52 per month.
The average rent for a three-bedroom apartment in the city center is €1,480.30 per month. Meanwhile the average rent for a three-bedroom apartment outside the city center is €1,174.91 per month.
Reviews Regarding The Increasing Rent Prices in Austria
Here are some reviews from expats who have experience with the rent prices in Austria.
- I have been living in Austria for three years as a digital nomad, and I love the country and its culture. However, I have to admit that the rent prices are quite high, especially in Vienna, where I currently reside. I pay around EUR 1,000 per month for a small studio apartment in a decent area, which is almost half of my income. I have heard that the rent prices have increased by 12.3% in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the previous year. This is quite alarming and makes me wonder if I can afford to stay here in the long term.
- I came to Austria from India for a job opportunity and I was shocked by the rent prices here. I had to pay EUR 1,500 per month for a one-bedroom apartment in Vienna, which is more than half of my salary. The apartment was old and poorly maintained, and the landlord was very rude and unresponsive. I also had to pay a lot of fees and taxes to the real estate agent, who did not help me much with the paperwork and the contract. I think living in Austria is very expensive and stressful, and I regret moving here.
Are you planning to buy a house in Austria? Read this article: How Much Does A House Cost in Austria in 2023?
10. Long Winter
One of the reasons you should never move to Austria is the long winter. Living in Austria can be challenging for expats who are not used to cold and snowy weather. The Alpine regions of Austria experience severe winters, while the rest of the country experiences a mixed climate due to continental and oceanic influences.
Winter Can Make You Sad
The winter weather can also make it difficult to get around, especially in rural areas, and it can lead to seasonal affective disorder (SAD) for some people. Austria shares a lengthy winter with neighboring countries like Switzerland and Germany. Cold and snowy conditions prevail in the region. However, the winter weather in Austria can be more severe in the Alpine regions, which can affect transportation and daily life.
For example, based ona report by climatestotravel.com, the average temperature in January in Vienna, one of the largest cities in Austria, is 0.3°C, while in Innsbruck, a city in the Alps, it is -2.8°C. The altitude also plays a role, as the higher the sea level, the colder and snowier it gets. Some parts of Austria are over 3000 meters above sea level.
If you are a digital nomad or someone who likes to travel frequently, living in Austria might not be the best option for you. The long winters can limit your mobility and make you feel isolated.
Missing the warmth and sunshine of countries like Italy or Spain is common in Austria. The experience varies—Austria’s beauty and cold may suit some, but careful consideration is essential before relocating.
Expats’ Thoughts Regarding The Long Winter in Austria
- The long winter in Austria is unbearable. It is cold and snowy for months. I have to wear layers of clothes and boots every day. I can’t enjoy the outdoor activities that I love. The winter weather also affects the public transport and the roads. Sometimes, the trains are delayed or cancelled. Sometimes, the roads are blocked by snow or ice. I feel trapped and frustrated.
- The long winter in Austria is not for me. I am a digital nomad, and I like to travel frequently. But the winter weather in Austria limits my mobility and options. I can’t easily go to other countries, especially in the Alpine regions. I also don’t like the dark and gloomy days. I need more light and color in my life. I don’t think I can stay here for long.
Are you considering Germany instead of Austria? Read our comparison: Living in Germany vs Austria Guide: A Honest Comparison
Is Austria a Good Place to Live?
The answer to whether Austria is a good place to live depends on the individual. Some people might find the long winters, unusual dishes, increasing rent prices, and the language barrier too challenging or unpleasant.
Others might enjoy the beauty, culture, history, and quality of life that Austria offers. Many expats in Austria have chosen to call this country their home despite the difficulties. They have adapted to the local customs, learned the language, made friends, and found opportunities.
Moving from USA to Austria or any other country is a big decision that requires careful consideration and research. You should weigh the pros and cons of living in Austria and decide what is best for you.
If you want to learn more about living in Austria for foreigners, please click the links in the article to learn more. Doing this will also help us keep this blog afloat and provide you with more useful information.