For members


23 essential articles to help you navigate life in Austria

Whether you've just moved to Austria or are still in the planning stages, here are some of The Local's most popular and useful articles for navigating life in the Alpine Republic.

23 essential articles to help you navigate life in Austria
Moving to another country can be stressful, but The Local's got you covered. (Photo by Sandro Gonzalez on Unsplash)

Buying or renting in Austria

The property market in Austria has been booming in recent years due to high demand and eye-watering prices.

Want to know the outlook for this year? Here’s a guide about the Austrian property market for 2022.

Like the sound of living in the Alps? The Local’s report on property in the beautiful but expensive Tyrol region might make you think twice before setting your sights on a humble home in the mountains (unless you have a very healthy bank balance).

Then there’s renting, which is affordable and accessible in Austria – especially in the capital, Vienna, with its rent control system. Find out more about how it works here.

To help you get started with a rental property search, here’s a guide to the essential documents needed to rent a home in Austria.

Dealing with bureaucracy

Ask any international resident about bureaucracy and they will no doubt groan in response, such is the extent of bureaucracy in Austria.

One of the most important bureaucratic tasks to be aware of is the Meldebestätigung, otherwise known as the MeldezettelEssentially, it’s a compulsory address registration and everyone that lives in Austria has to do it.

Read The Local’s guide to the Meldebestätigung to find out everything you need to know about the key document.

Planning to stay in Austria on a long-term basis? Here’s how to apply for a residency permit.

Working in Austria

One of the most popular reasons for moving to Austria is to work, so here’s an article detailing six official websites you need to know if you’re planning to work in the country.

Want to boost your chances of finding a job in Austria? Then here’s an overview of the most in-demand occupations right now.

Applying for the Blue Card in 2022? Here’s a breakdown of the salary requirements for Austria.

Thinking of just temporarily working in Austria to get to know the culture? Then perhaps the au-pair program could be an option.

And for any Brits wanting to work in Austria, we have a useful guide about how you can live and work in Austria post-Brexit.

Being self-employed in Austria

It can be lonely working as a freelancer in a new country. To help you get out of the house, here’s our guide to the best co-working spaces in Austria for freelancers and entrepreneurs.

Want to know what it’s like being self-employed in Vienna? The Local’s Emma Midgley shares her experience in this article.

Wondering if you can move to Austria on a temporary basis as a digital nomad? Here’s what you need to know.

Want to save money on your self-employed tax bill in Austria? The Local has a guide about what to include on your tax return.

Healthcare and social insurance

Austria is known for having a high standard of healthcare and modern facilities. It’s not cheap though and is paid for with social security payments. Here’s everything you need to know about the Austrian healthcare system.

Social security payments also differ for self-employed people depending on how long someone has been working for themselves. To help you make sense of it all, read our guide about whether it’s better to pay the minimum or full contributions.

Visiting the doctor in another country can be a culture shock. Save yourself some confusion (and/or embarrassment) with an article on six things to know about visiting a doctor in Austria.


Retiring to Austria to spend time in fresh alpine air is a dream for many people, but who is actually eligible to retire to the Alpine Republic? Here’s an article with everything you need to know.

There are plenty of Brits that own a second home in Austria but Brexit has made it harder for non-residents (including retirees) to spend long periods in the country without becoming a resident. Here’s an explainer about the 90-day rule and how third country citizens can comply with it.

Everyday life in Austria

Living in Austria raises the probability of dating an Austrian. For any single readers out there, here’s what to expect if you venture into the Austrian dating scene.

Finally, we hope you won’t find yourself in an emergency during your time in Austria, but if you do, you will need to know who to call and what to say. Thankfully, we have an article for that too.

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Eight habits that show you’ve embraced life in Austria

Living anywhere as an international resident will have an impact on your life, but if you recognise any of these habits then you have truly embraced the Austrian lifestyle.

Eight habits that show you’ve embraced life in Austria

Life in Austria can be similar to many other European countries, but there are some aspects that are distinctly Austrian.

Here are eight habits that show you’ve integrated into the Austrian way of life.

FOR MEMBERS: 23 essential articles to help you navigate life in Austria

Indulging in coffee and cake

Coffee and cake is almost as integral to the food culture in Austria as the Wiener Schnitzel.

So say goodbye to the diet, ignore any thoughts of guilt and get stuck into a slice of Sachertorte, Punschkrapfen or Linzer Torte

Preferably with a delicious coffee on the side.

READ MORE: Caffeine, war and Freud: A history of Vienna’s iconic coffee houses

Participating in winter sports

Austria, especially the west of the country, is a winter sports enthusiasts dream.

The Alps offer an almost endless choice in ski resorts, gondolas and mountain huts, with winter sports options ranging from skiing and snowboarding to snowshoeing and Langlaufen (cross-country skiing).

Needless to say, if you live in the Alps, winter sports quickly become a central part of the lifestyle during the cold months. After all, it’s healthy, fun and even a bit dangerous (if that’s your thing).

It’s also a great way to explore the landscape of Austria and get a deeper understanding of the central role of winter sports in Austrian culture.

Downing tools for lunch

Lunch in some other countries (especially places like the UK) is often a sad sandwich while sitting at a desk. 

In Austria however, lunch is an important part of the day and many people sit down at midday with their colleagues or families to enjoy a proper cooked meal.

This is a prime example of the healthy work-life balance that residents in Austria enjoy, and is a much-better habit to embrace than working through a lunch break.

Wearing house shoes

In most Austrian households, people do not wear outdoor shoes inside. Instead, they opt for house shoes, otherwise known as slippers in English or Schlapfen in some Austrian dialects.

Also, many Austrian homes do not have carpet on the floor, which means walking around with bare feet or just socks in the winter can get cold – fast.

So if you’ve invested in a pair of house shoes or, even better, you have a backup supply for guests, then you have fully embraced life in Austria. 

READ ALSO: ‘I’ll probably return to the UK’: Moving to Austria as a Brit post-Brexit

Being punctual

Typically, Austrians are punctual people and don’t appreciate lateness.

For this reason, many international residents make an extra effort to be on time (or early), and it’s not uncommon to become stressed if you know you will be five minutes late.

As frustrating as this can be, it’s actually incredibly polite to be early for a meeting and not a bad habit to pick up.

sparkling water

(Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash)

Drinking sparkling water

People like to drink sparkling mineral water in Austria.

In fact, sparkling water is so popular that if you order a Mineralwasser (mineral water) in a cafe or restaurant, the sparkling variety is often served unless stilles Wasser (still water) is specified.

Want to be more Austrian? Then simply switch from still to sparkling water.

Stripping off

Countries in Central Europe are much more comfortable with nudity than other nations, and it’s no different in Austria.

The main place to expect an encounter with naked people in Austria is at the sauna. There are even some saunas that have a naked-only admission policy and won’t let people in if they are wearing swimming gear.

People also like to get naked at lakes – especially at the more remote or quieter locations – or at least go topless (for the women). 

The reality is, no one bats an eyelid. So put your prudish instincts aside and don’t be afraid to strip off.

READ ALSO: What are the rules on working overtime in Austria?

Taking sick leave

Employees in Austria are entitled to six weeks of paid sick leave (the number of weeks increases the longer the worker has been employed in the same company).

This means workers are more likely to take sick leave if they are unwell, rather than dragging themselves into the workplace and infecting their colleagues.

The downside though is that Austria has strict rules when it comes to taking sick leave with explicit orders to stay at home. Workers can even expect to be monitored by private detectives to make sure they really are resting at home, as reported by The Local.

For international residents in Austria, this can be hard to tolerate. But the upside is that you’re not expected to show your face in the office when sick, simply to comply with a culture of presenteeism.

And that’s a habit worth embracing.