Vienna Hauptbahnhof celebrates opening

Vienna Hauptbahnhof - the city’s newly developed main train station in the Favoriten district - is celebrating its opening on October 10th and 11th with a host of free events.

Vienna Hauptbahnhof celebrates opening
The new station has a distinctive diamond-shaped roof. Photo: apa/hans punz

After five years of construction, at a cost of around €1 billion, Wien Hauptbahnhof replaces the old Südbahnhof terminus and links four major railway lines converging on Vienna from the north, east, west and south.

It features a new shopping centre with around 90 shops, a food market, cafes and restaurants.

The new station will offer significantly improved connections, mainly to international destinations. The main access will be at Südtiroler Platz, so that the station has better connections to the U-Bahn system, and will also be accessible by S-Bahn, tram and bus lines.

From December 14th night trains to Berlin, Bucharest, Düsseldorf, Florence, Hamburg, Hanover, Cologne, Krakow, Milan, Munich, Rome, Venice, Verona and Zurich will depart from the station. A new daily high-speed train service via Graz to Prague will depart every two hours.

The celebrations kick off at 10am on Friday with excerpts from the hit musical Mama Mia!, and will feature performances by stars from the ski and snowboarding world championships and an evening concert by Belgian singer-writer Milow. On Saturday funk and soul act Andie Gabauer and the Hot Pants Road Club will perform at 7.30pm.

Details of the full programme can be found on the station's website

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‘Bad-tempered locals’: Vienna ranked the world’s ‘unfriendliest city’

Foreigners in Vienna say the city offers excellent health and transport benefits but has an exceptionally unfriendly population.

'Bad-tempered locals': Vienna ranked the world's 'unfriendliest city'

The Spanish port city of Valencia is the most popular city among international employees this year, followed by Dubai and Mexico City, according to the “Expat City Ranking 2022” by Internations, a network for people who live and work abroad.

The ranking is based on the annual Expat Insider study, in which almost 12,000 employees worldwide participated this year. The report offers insights into the quality of life, settling in, working, personal finances and the “Expat Basics” index, which covers digital infrastructure, administrative matters, housing and language.

Vienna ranks 27th out of 50 cities in this year’s ranking. Although it scores very well in terms of quality of life, many expats find it difficult to settle in and make friends in the Austrian capital.

READ ALSO: REVEALED: The best and worst districts to live in Vienna (as voted for by you)

Vienna ranks last in the Ease of Settling In Index and also in the Local Friendliness Subcategory. 

Nearly half the respondents in the city (46 percent) say that people are unfriendly towards foreign residents (vs 18 percent globally), and 43 percent rate the general friendliness of the population negatively (vs 17 percent globally). 

An Australian immigrant told Internations they were unhappy with the seemingly “bad tempered locals”, while a survey respondent from the UK said they struggled to get along with the “conservative Austrians” in Vienna.

Unsurprisingly, more than half of the expats in Vienna (54 percent) find it challenging to make friends with the locals (vs 37 percent globally). Moreover, around one-third (32 percent) are unhappy with their social life (vs 26 percent globally), and 27 percent do not have a personal support system in Vienna (vs 24 percent globally). 

“I really dislike the grumpiness and the unfriendliness,” said an immigrant from Sweden.

READ ALSO: The downsides of Vienna you should be aware of before moving there

In the Quality of Life Index, Vienna snagged first place last year, but it reached only seventh place this year. In terms of administrative matters such as getting a visa for residence, Vienna is only 38th, and the federal capital also scores poorly for cashless payment options (42nd).

Where does Vienna shine?

The Austrian city ranked particularly well in categories including Travel and Transit (first place) and Health and Well-being (second place). International employees rated the availability, cost and quality of medical care as particularly good.

“I like how much you can do here and how easy it is to get around by public transport,” said an expat from the US. 

In addition, Vienna is not particularly expensive and ranks ninth worldwide in the personal finance index. 

READ ALSO: Five unwritten rules that explain how Austria works

Vienna ranks 26th out of 50 cities in the Working Abroad Index. Sixty-eight percent of expats rate their job as secure, and two-thirds rate their work-life balance positively – compared to 59 percent and 62 percent globally. However, 23 percent of respondents are dissatisfied with their career opportunities, and a third feel that the corporate culture in Vienna lacks creativity and unconventional thinking.

In the “Expat Basics” index, international employees consider housing in Vienna particularly affordable (9th). In addition, eight out of ten find it easy to open a local bank account (vs 64 percent worldwide).