• Austria's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Vienna's brand fails to make the grade

Paul Gillingwater · 9 May 2014, 18:57

Published: 09 May 2014 18:57 GMT+02:00

According to The Guardian this week, Saffron Brand Consultants just released their latest barometer of brand opinion, to grade the world's top cities based on a variety of criteria - from "transport and weather to crime and social buzz."  To the surprise of many expats living in Vienna (and a few locals), our adopted city didn't even make the top 25.

Berlin (Vienna's slightly cooler German cousin) checks in at number 25, with its safe streets and excellent infrastructure. From the report, it's not ranked higher because it's slightly sleepy, lacking the buzz of a Chicago (13th) or Dubai (10th.)

Heading south, we find Barcelona in position six. Granted, it's a beautiful city with amazing architecture, cuisine and friendly people - but does it really deserve to be above Rio de Janeiro, Las Vegas and San Francisco?

Posting in a local expat message board on Facebook, The Local Austria elicited a storm of opinion, mostly in Vienna's defence, and expressing outrage that it didn't do better than Seoul (5th), Paris (4th) or even London (3rd place) with its terrible weather and ramshackle infrastructure.

While New York and L.A. clearly deserve the top two places, many other cities don't appear to belong in the list at - Mecca being particularly galling in 21st place, since most of us wouldn't even be allowed to visit (unless you're Muslim).  

Fortunately, this is offset by a smidgeon of Schadenfreude at the fact that neither Rome nor Venice made the list at all (although the cocaine capital of Europe, Milan, sneaked in at number 24). 

According to British expat Simon Brooks, "This kind of report goes some way to redressing the balance against people who seem to conflate 'most liveable' with 'best city'. Vienna is certainly a very comfortable place to live but that certainly does not make it a great world city."

Simon Heathcote-Parker feels that Vienna is roughly 50 years behind the times, adding: "Don't get me wrong, I love it and it is one of the reasons I chose to move here but it certainly lacks opportunity and is far too bureaucratic. Everything takes simply ages here."

Story continues below…

Steve Read added a thoughtful essay, saying: "There are certain things that cannot be argued - it is old, the buildings are old, the institutions are centuries old - history is the past that we use to build the future on - you cannot ignore or change the past."

Read went on to add that "Vienna is Vienna! I happen to love it... it is the cultural centre of Europe - it has everything London has but on a smaller scale and [within] a narrower area - that means you can walk to ten theatres within 20 minutes instead of two days in London."

Finally, Chris Wells noted that the "only problem with Vienna is a lack of good sandwiches. So I have to make my own. No problem really but I must go to four shops for the ingredients."

Paul Gillingwater (paul.gillingwater@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Young Austrian millionaire dies after falling from window
Monaco, where the incident happened. Photo: Tobi 87/Wikimedia

The mysterious death of a 43-year-old Austrian millionaire is being investigated by authorities after he fell from a window of his luxury home in Monaco.

Weekend promises both hailstones and sunshine
Strandbad Alte Donau. Photo: Stadt Wien

Depending on where you are in Austria this weekend, expect either thunderstorms or 31 degree sunshine.

Austria's 'free sex' brothel owner arrested in tax dispute
Herman Pascha/Youtube

An Austrian brothel owner who made worldwide headlines in 2015 when he offered free sex to punters as a protest against paying tax has once again run into trouble with the taxman.

Austria's super rich are becoming 'poorer'
One of Austria's richest people Ferdinand Piëch. Stuart Mentiply/Wikimedia.

Austria’s richest people are not quite as rich as they used to be - although the country’s wealthiest family are still worth €35 billion.

Captain America inspiration behind Vienna Hyperloop
HTT

Anyone who still holds on to their childhood dream of being a superhero will be delighted by the name of the state-of-the-art technology behind a transport system planned for Vienna.

Brexit
Deadline for overseas Brexit voters looms
Jeff Djevdet/Creative Commons

British people living in Austria who are eligible to vote in the EU referendum have until Tuesday June 7th to apply for a proxy vote.

Gay doctor in Austria fired for arranging illegal surrogacy
AKH. Photo: Medical University of Vienna

A gay doctor who wanted a child with his partner was fired by a hospital in Austria after persuading a fellow doctor to carry their baby, despite surrogacy being illegal in the country.

Facebook on shaky ground after activist's latest victory
Manfred Werner/Wikimedia

Austrian data privacy activist achieves another legal victory in his bid to stop Facebook transferring European citizens’ data to the US.

Turkey deal 'on track' as Austria preps for migrants
The Brenner Pass. Photo: Angela Giuffrida/The Local Italy

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday brushed off concerns about a landmark EU-Turkey deal designed to stem the flow of migrants to Europe after critical comments by her Turkish counterpart.

Austrian firm fires CEO after €50-million cyber scam
Facebook/FACC

Austrian aircraft parts maker FACC said Wednesday that it has fired its chief executive of 17 years after cyber criminals stole some €50 million in a so-called "fake president" scam.

Politics
Austria's choice for a new president
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Politics
Profile on Norbert Hofer, Freedom Party Presidential Candidate
Politics
Austrian politics explained. TL;DR: worry not.
Features
Refugees need practical help
Lifestyle
All you need to know about Austrian Faschingskrapfen
Lifestyle
Why looking good on the ski slopes has never been easier
Lifestyle
Live in Austria? You might develop some of these weird habits
National
How 'Silent Night' rules the carol world
Lifestyle
How a chance meeting on the slopes led to a new business
Lifestyle
What it means to be human
Technology
How a town became a green icon
Lifestyle
Why Austria has the world's best ski resort
Lifestyle
Let them eat cake!
Lifestyle
Top tips for partying like an Austrian
Culture
Five places to learn how to cook Viennese cuisine
Lifestyle
How living in Austria will improve your lifestyle
Lifestyle
Backstage at the World Beard and Moustache Championship
Gallery
Up to 60,000 people welcomed refugees in Vienna
Culture
Can you spot an Austrian?
Lifestyle
Our pick of Vienna's best vegetarian restaurants
Analysis & Opinion
Italy's South Tyrol: where an identity crisis lingers
National
Lost on the way to sanctuary
2,456
jobs available