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REVEALED: Where to find free wifi in Austria

Accessing free wifi in Austria is usually not a problem – depending on where you are. Here’s a guide to the best places to find free wifi, according to readers of The Local.

REVEALED: Where to find free wifi in Austria
Vienna is home to hundreds of free wifi hotspots for residents and tourists. (Photo by NOHK / Pexels)

Whether you’re just visiting Austria or simply want to save on data, access to free wifi is a high priority for many people.

For travellers and digital nomads, it means avoiding high roaming charges, and for residents in Austria it can help to reduce mobile phone costs.

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But where are the best places to find free wifi? 

We ran a survey to ask readers of The Local this very question, and this is what they had to say.

Easy access to free wifi – most of the time

The majority of respondents (52 percent) said free wifi is easy to find in Austria. But it’s a different story in regional areas where 28 percent said it was difficult. 

When it comes to the best places to access free wifi in Austria, stations and airports were the most common response, with 40 percent saying this is where they usually use free wifi.

This was followed by cafes and bars (24 percent), on the train (16 percent) and city wifi in parks and squares (eight percent). The remaining 12 percent was “other” locations.

It’s also worth noting that most of the readers that took part in the survey are based in Vienna, so the results are very Vienna-focused.

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Insider tips: Top places for free wifi in Austria

In Vienna, Starbucks and McDonald’s were two of the most popular places where readers can find free wifi.

Tom, a resident in Vienna, specifically named the McDonald’s on Mariahilferstrasse as the best place to find internet for free. While Phillip, another local in Vienna, said Cafe Blueorange is a good spot for digital nomads.

Meanwhile, Vesi in Vienna recommended Spar and Billa as free wifi hotspots and the library for digital nomads, but he was less impressed with wifi in the city’s public spaces.

Vesi said: “It varies and it’s [down to] luck if there will be wifi.”

Ardee, also in Vienna, said: “I move around a lot and I’m often at the train stations. Up until now, I have never had a problem with the Internet.”

Outside of the capital, Michelle in Tyrol said Cubo Sky Lounge in St Johann is a good place to access free wifi and McDonalds is the place to go for digital nomads.

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Free wifi in Vienna

According to the City of Vienna, there are around 400 free wifi hotspots in the city, with 40 in the 1st District alone.

Visitors and residents in Vienna can find free wifi at City Hall Square, Stephansplatz, the MuseumsQuartier, Naschmarkt, in the Prater and on Danube Island.

Additionally, free wifi can be found at the tourist information office on Albertinaplatz, at the wienXtra-jugendinfo office on Babenbergerstrasse and at food outlets that have a Free Wave hotspot.

You can find all locations for free public wifi in Vienna at this interactive map from the City of Vienna.

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

Vienna is popular with international residents in Austria, but where is the best place to live in the city? And where should foreigners avoid? Here are the results from our latest survey.

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

Vienna is home to the majority of foreigners living in Austria, so we thought they must have some opinions on the best and worst districts to live. 

To find out, we asked readers of The Local to tell us about their favourite and least favourite places in Austria’s capital city.

Here’s what they had to say.

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The best districts in Vienna

Unsurprisingly, the central 1st to 9th districts in Vienna came out on top as the best places to live as an international resident.

Lejla from Bosnia said: “We live in 8th and it’s central, but not too central. It’s vivid and lively, and I feel history everywhere.”

Similarly, Ella said: “Districts 1 to 9 have close proximity to amenities and there is no need to have a car, but they are lacking greener areas and parks.”

Leopoldstadt (2nd district) was named several times by respondents as their favourite district, alongside Alsergrund (9th district), Innere Stadt (1st) and Favoriten (10th).

The latter – Favoriten – is one of Vienna’s most populated districts, according to Stadt Wien. It is also popular with foreigners with more than half of the district’s residents born outside of Austria.

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Favoriten resident Vivian, from the USA, said: “It’s affordable, there is a real sense of community, it is very diverse and neighbours are welcoming.”

Meanwhile, Andrew DiGiovanni from the US said his favourite district is Alsergrund for the “green spaces and the canal”, as well as “wide, airy streets – some of which are getting facelifts”. 

Andrew added: “[Alsergrund is] close enough to the centre to have some of its old character. Surrounded by three U-Bahn lines, with key trams running through the centre. The 9th will be the hot spot when the U5 comes in.”

Mariahilf (6th district) was also recommended as a good place to live for single people or couples without children, most notably for the close proximity to the Naschmarkt – one of Vienna’s biggest markets and home to many food stalls and restaurants.

Melissa from California, who voted for Mariahilf, said: “[The district is] easy to reach by U4 and fresh food and goods are easy to come by at the Naschmarkt.”

READ ALSO: IN FIGURES: Everything you need to know about who lives in Vienna

What makes a district good?

We didn’t just want readers of The Local to tell us their favourite place to live in Vienna – we also wanted to know why they feel that way.

In a multiple choice question, good access to transport came out on top with almost 87 percent of respondents citing this as the main reason they liked a particular district.

This was followed by amenities (shops, cafes, libraries etc.) at almost 67 percent and community at 60 percent.

Cost, including affordable housing, and access to international schools were the least important reasons for a district to be a good place to live, with respondents voting for them at 43 percent and 30 percent respectively.

FOR MEMBERS: IN NUMBERS: The Vienna districts where most foreigners live

People walk in front of the Hofburg palace during a sunset on a sunny day in Vienna, Austria on November 6, 2020. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)

The worst districts in Vienna

Despite several respondents saying Favoriten is one of the best places to live in Vienna, 33 percent named it as the worst.

Paul, from Romania, said Favoriten has “a lot of garbage, old buildings and loud people”.

Ella, who declined to reveal where she is from, said she “did not feel good walking around there”.

But Favoriten wasn’t the only district that was labelled as an undesirable place for foreigners to live, with several respondents citing Ottakring (16th) as the worst district in Vienna.

Referring to Ottakring, Vivian from the US said: “It’s uppity, lonely, there are very limited amenities and the connections aren’t great.”

However, Paul Young from London said Rudolfsheim-Fünfhaus – another district heavily populated with international residents – is the worst place to live in the city.

Paul said: “It’s relatively densely built and away from the Gürtel [outer ring road] with little infrastructure.”

Whereas one respondent from Bulgaria voted for Innere Stadt (1st district) as the worst place to live because it is “loud and grey”.

READ ALSO: UPDATED From lighting to ice skating: How Vienna plans to save energy

What makes a district bad?

While easy access to transport was the main reason for readers of The Local to like a district, community was the most common reason (56 percent) for international residents to dislike a place.

This was followed by limited amenities at 52 percent and selection of schools and childcare facilities at 39 percent.

Just 35 percent said poor access to transport was the reason why a district was a bad place to live and almost 22 percent named cost as a deciding factor.

This section of the survey allowed for multiple choice answers.