For members


Where in Austria do all the British residents live?

Latest official figures from Statistik Austria show that 11,529 British people live in Austria. But where are they based?

Where in Austria do all the British residents live?
Where do the Brits live in Austria? Photo: Damien MEYER / AFP

Despite Brexit becoming a reality at the start of this year, there is still a strong community of British people living in Europe – including Austria.

So, what draws people to live in this small alpine country in Central Europe? And which part of Austria have they chosen to make home?

The capital takes the top spot

According to figures from Statistik Austria, Vienna is the most popular location with 4,447 British people living in the city.

As the capital of Austria with a multicultural population and a growing English-speaking community, it’s no surprise that so many British people live there.

READ MORE: How do foreigners feel about living in Austria?

Simon Kelly, a corporate English trainer from London, has been living in Vienna for 24 years after moving to the city for love and to experience living in another European city.

He said: “There are many utilitarian ‘best things’ about Vienna, like the subsidised housing, the public transport, the health and education system, the relative safety compared to other major cities in Europe and the fact that everything seems to work.”

In comparison to his UK life, Simon also said that Vienna is a more affordable place to live – something that has earned Vienna the title of best place to live for many years.

He said: “Vienna has always seemed more affordable than say London, in every respect, and accessing a doctor or dentist here is still easy. 

“One good example might be from a friend who visited last year and observed that nobody really looks poor. 

“It’s a massive generalisation of course but perhaps that best sums it up – nothing really looks that shabby.”

Where else do British people live?

After Vienna, Tyrol is the second most popular location for British people in Austria with 1,682 British residents, many of whom are drawn to the mountains and the outdoor lifestyle.

Salzburgerland is another popular province (1,172 British people) for similar reasons, and is the new home of British freelance writer and English teacher Mairi Bunce.

Mairi relocated with her family from Vienna to Bad Ischgl in the Salzkammergut earlier this year where she is enjoying the fresh air, having more space and living in a similar landscape to her native Scotland.

She said: “My favourite thing is watching the weather change on the mountains. 

“I’m not built to cope with the weeks of 35-degree weather and cloudless skies of summer in Vienna. 

A man with Union Jack shoes sits in Vienna. Photo: ALEXANDER KLEIN / AFP

“I love waking up in a cloud and watching the sky lift as the morning goes on. It’s much more like Scotland and it makes me feel completely at home.”

Elsewhere in Austria, Lower Austria has 1,295 British residents, Styria has 977 and Upper Austria has 827.

The provinces least populated by Brits are Carinthia with 642 British residents, Vorarlberg with 342 and Burgenland with just 145.

Why do British people live in Austria?

Austria might be a land-locked country but it has modern cities, a rich history and easy access to nature – something that many people from the UK are drawn to. 

Mairi, from Scotland, said: “Most of the Brits I know in Austria came here for love or moved for a short time for work and then never got around to leaving – I’m one of the latter. 

“I think people come here for lots of different reasons – it’s a small country, so there’s usually an interesting story about what drew someone to the place. 

“But most people seem to stay for the lifestyle, benefits, and the way it’s so easy to move between the beautiful scenery and the very liveable cities.”

FOR MEMBERS: Nine mistakes everyone makes when they first move to Austria

Mairi said the affordable cost of living is another reason why she has made Austria her home.

She said: “I couldn’t afford the lifestyle I have here in the UK, largely because the cost of childcare and transport here is so affordable.  

“I live in a big Altbau apartment with wooden floors, a balcony and chandeliers. It’s incredible, and I love that I don’t have the pressure to ‘get on the housing ladder’ like I would in the UK because renting in Austria is so secure.”

For Simon in Vienna, Austria represents a safe and stable place with a distinct European flair.

He said: “It may not have the intensity and passion of some other European countries but it somehow manages to combine the best elements of a more Mediterranean mindset with the efficiency and functionality of some of our more northern European neighbours.”

How does Austria compare to other countries in Europe?

According to data from the United Nations, there are 1.3 million British people living in the European Union.

Spain is the most popular country with 302,000 people, followed by Ireland at 293,000 and France at 177,000.

In Germany, there are 99,000 British people that call Deutschland home, and in Italy there are 66,000 Brits.

IN NUMBERS: How many people become Austrian each year – and where do they come from?

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Donauinselfest: What you need to know about Austria’s biggest open air festival

Austria has the largest free open-air festival in Europe, and the Donauinselfest is taking place this weekend. Here is what you need to know.

Donauinselfest: What you need to know about Austria's biggest open air festival

The Austrian Donauinselfest is known as the largest free open-air music festival in Europe, and it happens yearly on Vienna’s Danube island. The festival attracts around three million visitors over its three days of events and is starting on Friday in the Austrian capital.

The festival has been taking place yearly since 1983 on the 21.1-kilometre river island. This year, it has 14 different areas and 11 stages, according to the official website. Visitors can expect more than 600 hours of program.

READ ALSO: The best festivals and events to enjoy in Austria this summer

Here is what you need to know to enjoy the programme fully.

When and where is the festival?

The festival has an extensive range of events starting on Friday, June 24th, and lasting until Sunday, June 26th. It takes place on the island between the new Danube and the Danube rivers, known as the Donauinsel.

READ ALSO: 7 things to know about driving in Austria this summer

It is easily accessible via the U1 (Donauinsel station) and U6 (Handelskai station) metro and there are no parking spaces available near the festival site.

Admission to the event is free.

The festival is back after the pandemic

After two years of reduced capacity and many Covid-19 restrictions, the Donauinselfest is back to (almost) normal. There is no limit to the number of visitors, no requirement to show proof of vaccination or recovery from the disease, and no mask mandate.

However, the authorities have asked that people take “personal responsibility” as coronavirus infection numbers have been rising.

READ ALSO: Five of the best things to do in Vienna this summer

The organisers have requested people to get tested before visiting the vast festival, reported.

People gather on the shores of the Danube river, in Vienna during a hot sunny day and Danube Day on June 29, 2012. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER KLEIN

“We ask everyone who would like to visit the Donauinselfest this year to take a PCR or rapid test in advance and thus protect themselves and others. People with symptoms are not allowed to enter the festival grounds.”, said organiser Matthias Friedrich.

Though masks are not mandatory, they are recommended on-site if it is too full of people and no social distancing is possible. Besides, there is a masks requirement to all Donauinselfest workers in indoor areas.

Watch out for what you cannot bring

There is an extensive list of things that are not allowed on the festival site. For example, visitors are not allowed to take large bags and backpacks (“A3 format”, according to the website). However, a gym bag is not considered a backpack.

Animals, including dogs, are prohibited – except for guide dogs and service dogs.

You are also not allowed to bring umbrellas, alcoholic beverages, cans, glass bottles, or drones. The list of prohibited items includes “propaganda material”, spray bottles, whistles, large or bulky objects, bicycles and skateboards, stools and chairs, food and more.

Check out the complete list here.

Danube festival

Vienna’s “Danube-island” Festival will return this weekend. (Photo by DIETER NAGL / AFP)

READ ALSO: Forecast: Austria set for high temperatures and storms throughout weekend and beyond

You can – and should – bring plenty of water and sunscreen, as temperatures are expected to be around the 30Cs over the next few days.

What kind of music is there?

The festival has several stages and a broad programme selection. The bands are usually more regional, with a significant presence of Austrian, German, and Italian bands.

You can find all sorts of music, from pop to rock, rap, and techno. There are even tribute bands like Break Free, which will play Queen’s best signs on the rock stage.

The program includes other activities as well, such as poetry slam, art stages, sport areas, and even events for families and children.

You can check the official program here.