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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)
Readers of The Local voted for the best and worst districts in Vienna in our latest survey. (Photo by tookapic / Pixabay)

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.

READ MORE: Property buying rules for international residents in Vienna

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.

READ ALSO: Vienna Christmas Markets: Here are the dates and locations for 2022

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.

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VIENNA

Everything that’s new in Vienna in December

From new energy bonuses being sent out to important trials and major events, here are the important changes, dates and events happening in Vienna in December.

Everything that's new in Vienna in December

Vienna will send €200 bonuses to help cushion rising energy costs

The City of Vienna announced more government assistance to cushion rising costs for residents.

Viennese households will receive €200 in a new “energy bonus’, as The Local reported. The administration said the bonus would benefit about two-thirds of all city homes.

Single households with a gross annual income of a maximum €40,000 or multi-person households with an income of up to €100,000 gross per year are entitled to receive the payment. 

In December, every household in the capital should receive an information letter with a password they will need to use for an online application for the bonus. Once applied for, the money should arrive within a few days”.

READ MORE: Vienna Energy Bonus: How to get a €200 payout

Influenza vaccination appointments

The City of Vienna has made available 64,000 influenza vaccination appointments for December in the city’s vaccination centres and those of the ÖGK. 

The City is investing a total of €9.9 million to be able to offer the flu vaccination campaign in Vienna free of charge again this year.  The campaign will run until the end of the year unless an extension becomes necessary due to high demand.

The influenza vaccination campaign focuses on people aged over 65. This avoids multiple exposures to Covid-19 and the “real flu”. Chronically ill people, children and health or care workers are also among the priority target groups. However, influenza vaccination is also recommended to all other people.

READ ALSO: Reader question: How to get a flu vaccination in Austria?

Vienna starts inquiry committee over Wien Energie

Starting on December 2nd at the Vienna City Hall, the City Council’s investigative commission on the Wien Energie case will meet every two weeks.

On the initiative of the centre-right Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) and the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ), it will investigate the events surrounding the dramatic financial needs of Wien Energie that became known in the summer. The commission can summon people to testify and request documents.

They will focus on two issues.

The first concerns the extent to which Mayor Michael Ludwig and City Finance Councillor Peter Hanke have exercised their ownership rights regarding Wien Energie, which is wholly owned by the city via Wiener Stadtwerke. Specifically, the commission wants to know whether the two SPÖ politicians reacted in time and appropriately to the price increases in the electricity markets in the summer.

The second matter revolves around Ludwig’s emergency powers as head of the city, with which he granted Wien Energie loans totalling €1.4 billion. It is to be clarified whether this procedure was legally compliant and whether Ludwig should have informed committees such as the City Senate earlier.

READ ALSO: Why did Wien Energie ask for €6 billion from the Austrian government?

Terror trial continues

On November 2nd, 2020, a jihadist terrorist shot dead four people and injured more than 20 in the centre of Vienna before police forces killed him.

Now, the country is going through a complex trial involving six men who allegedly helped the shooter prepare for the attack started. The process first started in October, as The Local reported, but a final verdict is not expected until at least February.

In December, tricky trial stages are scheduled, including questioning people suspected of having sold weapons to the terrorist.

READ ALSO: Austria starts trial over Vienna jihadist shooting

Armed police officers stand guard by the area where the terrorist attack took place in Vienna, Austria on November, 2020. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)

This Human World Festival

The This Human World Festival is celebrating its 15th anniversary and it focuses on the theme of human rights. In four Viennese cinemas (Schikaneder, Topkino, Gartenbaukino, Stadtkino) and two other venues (Brunnenpassage, Brotfabrik) you can watch films that deal with human rights, current conflicts and crises from December 1st to 11th. 

About 90 feature films, documentaries and short films await you – some of them will celebrate their Austrian premiere at the festival. 

The aim of the film festival is to draw attention to political and social grievances in a sensitive, stirring and occasionally humorous way.

You can read more about the event HERE.

Harry Potter: The Exhibition

“Harry Potter: The Exhibition” is touring worldwide and the major exhibition about the wizard’s universe will get its first European location in Vienna on December 16th, 2022. The show will be housed in the METAStadt in the 22nd district (Dr.-Otto-Neurath-Gasse 3).

The ticket sale has already started on the official site of the exhibition and via oeticket. Tickets are available from € 24.90 for children (up to 12 years) and € 29.90 for adults (from 13 years).

Weihnachtsmärkte

Last year, many markets around the country were cancelled after a snap lockdown in November, although some events still went ahead with strict rules in place.

But this year, the Christmas markets are back in full swing without restrictions, so make sure you visit one (or two) to really get into the Christmas spirit. Austria’s most famous markets are in Vienna, like the Christkindmarkt in front of the Town Hall that runs from November 19th to December 26th.

The Viennese markets are drawing in thousands of tourists to the Austrian capital. Don’t miss out on all the Glüwein (even if it is more expensive this year), geröstete Kastanien and Weihnachtskugeln you can get. 

FOR MEMBERS: IN PICTURES: A guide to the main Christmas markets in Austria

Public holidays

Besides Christmas (December 25th) and Stephan’s Day (December 26th), December 8th, when Catholics celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Mariä Empfängnis), is also a public holiday in Austria.

Of course, there are also several celebratory dates in December. For example, every Sunday until Christmas is an Advent Sunday, and Austrian families commemorate it in many ways, including lighting up candles.

On December 4th, there is Barbaratag, while on December 5th, Krampus pays his visit to Austrian villages and cities. On the next day, December 6th, it’s time for St Nikolaus to bring chocolate and tangerines to children who were nice during the year.

Christmas Eve, Day, and St Stephen’s Day (December 24th, 25th and 26th) are important dates for Austrian traditions.

It’s also worth noting that Austrians celebrate Christmas on the evening of December 24th, usually with a family meal.

READ ALSO: Austrian Christmas traditions: The festive dates you need to know

New Year celebrations

Expect lots of fireworks on New Year’s Eve (Silvester) in Austria – and especially in Vienna.

In the capital, the bells ring out at St. Stephan’s Cathedral to welcome in the New Year, which is also broadcast on national television. This is followed by fireworks and some even take part in a communal waltz on Rathausplatz in front of the Town Hall.

But if you really want to celebrate New Year like an Austrian, then give a marzipan pig to your nearest and dearest. The little pigs represent a good luck charm and are handed out every year on New Year’s Eve.

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