When we were certain about moving to Vienna, we started looking for apartments online. First, we looked at the map of Vienna, district-wise. Then we read about each and every district on the internet and got a general idea of what people think about districts. Then, we started searching for properties via different websites. The thing about this whole moving to another city/country/continent is that the more you deep dive into things (and as early as possible), the more information and material will start appearing. Let’s look at everything you will need to find perfect apartments in Vienna for rent, which we have learned through our experience.
Which Viennese District should I live in?
It should be the first question to come to your mind for sure. Vienna has 23 districts in the city. The center is the 1st district and then there are inner districts that surround the center. There are outer districts that are not in direct contact with the center. So out of all the districts that have apartments in Vienna for rent, which one is perfect for you?
1st district, which is also known as Innere Stadt, is always swarmed with tourists coming from everywhere. This is probably the liveliest district in Vienna. If you don’t mind the crowd, the tourists trying to take selfies everywhere, the noise, and of course, staying in a building that has a lot of Airbnb, then the first district is for you.
The advantage of staying in the center is that everything is open till late and you get to see life around you at odd hours as well. For someone, this can be an advantage but for someone who doesn’t like everything mentioned in the above paragraph, this can be a nightmare as well. The rent in the center is obviously higher than in any other district in Vienna but contrary to popular belief, it is not skyrocketing. It can be affordable to live in the center if you find the right apartment.
2nd and 3rd districts
2nd district is called Leopoldstadt. A part of the district is connected to the center, another huge part is facing the Danube river (so Riverview apartments) and it has Prater – the biggest amusement park in Austria. It is also a tourist hotspot but there are many quieter areas too. Rents are obviously lower than in the 1st district.
3rd district is known as Landstraße and this one is also connected to the center. It is known as one of the family-friendly districts with many parks and apartments filled with families. It also contains Belvedere Palace. You should choose this district if you have kids and if you would like to stay connected to the center. Also, the connectivity to and from Landstraße station is amazing.
4th to 9th districts
These districts are smaller districts surrounding the center and they all make up the inner area of Vienna. These districts are vibrant and energetic as they have a healthy mix of locals and tourists. Many popular museums, attractions, transport options, and universities are located within these districts.
Wieden (4), Margareten (5), Mariahilf (6), Neubau (7), Josefstadt (8), and Alsergrund (9) can be the perfect choice to live in if you want great coffee shops, restaurants, clubs, some life around you and yet moments of peace. They are a bit cheaper than living in the Innere Stadt yet so close to it. If you are an extrovert, don’t look further.
10th district, also known as Favoriten, has a special mention here because we found our cute little home here. The most important thing in the 10th district is the central train station of Vienna called “Wien Hauptbahnhof or Wien HBF”. This is a really important station because trains to different parts of Austria and other European countries start and end here. There is a direct train connection to the airport.
There is a bus station here which also has domestic and international bus routes. And of course, there is a metro station right beneath the train station from where the center (Stephansplatz) is just 2 stops away. So this was about the ease of transportation but there is much more than transportation needs when you are finding the perfect house.
The 10th district is connected to the 4th and the 5th districts in the north. So if you find something around that area and Wien HBF, it is an amazing area. If you go further south, then you will find more residential and family-friendly areas although they are pretty far from the center.
11th to 20th districts
If you are wondering why I have clubbed 10 districts under 1 point, then worry not. Here’s the reason: When we finalized moving to Vienna, we wanted to stay as close to the center, the transportation options, and the supermarkets. When you look at the map of Vienna, the 11th to 20th districts are away from the center. Some of them are not even connected to the inner districts, so these options were out of our search radius.
Upon researching (online and offline), we found that these are ultra-residential areas of Vienna. Simmering (11), Meidling (12), Penzing (14), Hernals (17), Währing (18), and Briggittenau (20) are the districts where you will find local Viennese people. These locals want to live with their families away from the noise and crowded areas of the center. There are bigger houses, cheaper rents, and much more family-friendly activities to do. They are normally quiet at all times, and too quiet at night.
The special mention in these 10 districts is Hietzing (13) which contains the Schönnbrunn Palace and has a little bit more touristy appeal to it. We also liked the area when we visited it. Ottakring (16) is known to have people from Turkish and Yugoslavian backgrounds. Rudolfsheim-Fünfhaus (15) is a good district as well because it is also connected to the Mariahilf district. Döbling (19) is where rich people live in their fancy houses. There are also vineyards here.
21st to 23rd districts
These are newly developed districts (relatively). They have been developed by keeping the increasing population of Vienna in mind. You will find everything you need in terms of housing, proximity to transport options, restaurants, supermarkets, and peace in these districts. The only drawback of living in these districts is that it is far from the center, the train stations, the airport, etc.
Where To Find Apartments In Vienna For Rent?
From our experience, there are multiple places from where you can find the perfect apartment for yourself. Here are some of our favorite resources to find apartments in Vienna for rent:
Willhaben.at is a classifieds website for Austria. You can find many things that are put on sale by others including furniture, toys, cars, cameras, etc. But it has much more in terms of real estate. You will find a very detailed section for real estate items on Willhaben. You can buy, rent, and lease residential, commercial, and industrial properties on Willhaben. There are detailed search options that will help you narrow down your search.
ImmobilienScout24.at is another website that is great for searching for properties in Austria. You will find many properties, that are posted on Willhaben, also getting posted here because these two are literally the biggest platforms. Since this is a pure real estate portal, you will find many more fine-tunable options here. You can also search for properties in Germany and Italy through their portals.
Another great source to find an apartment is Facebook groups. There are so many different groups on Facebook that are specifically focused on this topic. You can see people posting listings where you can see the photos, read all the information, comment on it, and get in touch with the poster if interested. This is also the best way to find properties that are commission-free because there are mostly no agents involved.
Real Estate Agents
This is also another way to find properties in different districts. You can visit different real estate agencies’ websites and see their offerings. However, please keep in mind that they are going to charge you 2 to 3 months’ worth of your rent as their commission. So even if they get you an apartment that’s cheaper than other sources, you might have to pay a hefty commission to them even before moving in.
Types of Rentals In Vienna
There are many listings of apartments in Vienna for rent. You need to search your way through all those listings. If you know German then this section is not completely necessary for you. Actually, if you know German, you pretty much don’t need many articles at all. But if you are like us whose German isn’t great, then here are some terms that you need to keep in mind while searching for the perfect apartment.
An apartment is called “Wohnung” in German. It means you are looking for a studio apartment or multiple rooms in a single house. These apartments are generally in a building, so it is not independent property. Most of us usually search for an apartment or “Wohnung”. So select that option when you begin your search to get the best possible apartments.
Shared Apartment (WG)
Another category of an apartment is called Wohngemeinschaft or WG. These apartments are bigger than normal apartments but here, many tenants share the same house. Usually, the bedroom and toilets are for each tenant separately and some areas like the Living area, kitchen, etc. are shared. It is a good option for people who are single as this can save you money and get you started with some friendships as well. The downside might be that the other tenants that you share this apartment with, are not friendly or unhygienic.
A Sublet apartment can be normally found in Facebook Groups. These apartments are already rented by a tenant from the landlord but they might have to stay out of the city/country for a long period of time. They sublet the apartment to someone else for a short-term (2-6 months) so that they don’t have to keep paying the rent to the landlord even if they aren’t living there. This is a good option in case you are looking to stay in the city for a shorter duration and you don’t want to do a long-term contract with any landlord.
Dormitories / Student Dorm
For students (and non-students), there are many companies that offer dormitories. In these facilities, there are small private rooms (15 – 20 sqm) for each person. There are shared facilities like the common area, kitchen, play area, etc. These dorms are perfect for students or someone who doesn’t want a big space of their own and also doesn’t want to pay separate bills for electricity, heating, water, garbage, etc. From what we have observed, if 2 people pool in the money they pay for these dormitories, they can have a nice 2 rooms apartment and still save some money.
This is pretty self-explanatory. You might find someone who is looking out to rent their extra room without getting into contractual obligations. These listings are also found mostly in Facebook Groups. There are many apartments in Vienna for rent, do not get stuck with a weird landlord just because it looks cheaper.
Rental costs and what do they mean?
For this section, I am going to assume that we are calculating costs for an apartment because most of us are looking for an apartment. If you are a paying guest or choosing the dormitory option, then you don’t have to worry about this particular section.
Most apartments in Vienna for rent will come with the total rent and then you will have to separately for electricity, heating, water, garbage collection, etc. If you are lucky, you will also be able to find an “all-inclusive” apartment but these are rare. Especially now when the cost of electricity and heating is through the roof. Let’s take a look at some of the important terms that you need to keep in mind.
Even before paying your first rent, you will be needing to pay the security deposit. Usually, the landlords ask for a security deposit that’s worth 3 months of the rent. So if your rent is €900, your security deposit should be €2,700. Not all landlords are the same though. Some may ask for a higher security deposit. We have had landlords asking us to deposit anywhere from 5 to 8 months’ worth of security deposit (which is absurd). You can and should negotiate about it if it is more than 3 months.
Normally, they ask about a higher deposit if you can’t produce enough proof of your financial condition.
If you got your apartment via a real estate agent, you will also have to pay a commission to that person. Normally, the commission is worth 2-3 months’ rent + taxes. It can significantly rise your overall rental costs as you are paying so much money to someone before even moving in. Please look around and find properties that are commission-free because that is going to save you a lot of money in Vienna.
You need to clearly ask your landlord about your main rent and what all does it include. Sometimes, the rent includes everything like maintenance, electricity, heating, garbage collection, water, etc. Mostly, it only includes your rent and maintenance. Rarely, it just includes your rent. You might have to pay for even the maintenance separately. So once you are clear about the main rent you have to pay the landlord every month and what it includes, you need to just keep paying the same amount.
Betreibskosten is basically the building maintenance. Most of the time, your final rent is calculated by adding your rent and betriebskosten. Betriebskosten includes things like electricity and heating in the common area, repairing costs of something broken in the common area, etc. You have to pay this every month as prescribed in your contract.
Energy, Heating, and Water Bills (Utilities)
There are many bills waiting for you even after you pay off your rent. For most of the apartments in Vienna, costs of energy, heating, water, etc. are not included in the main rent. The landlord will arrange for a contract between you and the companies providing these utilities so that you can directly pay the companies every month as per your usage. There are companies which provide more than one of these services together so if you choose that, you might get some discount as well. There are many websites online which compare different utility providers to choose among the best!
One of the most important things you need to have while moving into your new apartment is home insurance. There are various companies that provide home insurance at an affordable cost. You need to call up a few companies and get their quotations. We insured our apartment for €50,000 and paid a yearly premium of just €100. It is useful in cases like robbery, damage due to natural disasters, fire, etc. Small things like getting a new key made are also expensive in Vienna but many times, these costs are also included in your insurance. So compare properly and get one for your home.
If you are lucky, you will find an apartment that includes WiFi already and you don’t have to pay for it separately. In almost all cases, you will not be that lucky. There are a few service providers who provide WiFi to houses. You need to carefully look at the contracts and deals before finalizing one. It gets cheaper if you commit to a long-term contract (2 years or more). We are paying €30 per month for 200 MBPS speed.
Furnishing Your Apartment
Let’s say out of all the apartments for rent in Vienna, you found your perfect home. But most apartments in Vienna are offered without any sort of furniture. You will most likely get a good kitchen with all the fittings (Gas stove, baking oven, fridge, dishwasher, etc). In some cases a washing machine too. But when it comes to the rest of the furniture that you need to live comfortably, you will have to spend. Not just spend, but most likely build it yourself because labor is expensive in Vienna. Here are some of the places from where you can start your furniture hunting.
World’s favorite furniture store Ikea is obviously present in Vienna as well. There is one store inside the city and a couple of them outside the city. You can spare a day and go to one of these stores, find out what you like, and get it delivered together (so that the delivery fee is less) to your house. You will have to build everything yourself as these items of furniture are never pre-assembled. Ikea is definitely one of the pocket-friendly options you have when it comes to any sort of furniture. 90% of the furniture in our house including the wardrobes, the bed, a foldable sofa, a dining table set, and much more is from Ikea.
XXXLutz is an Austrian furniture company that sells almost all the items that you get at Ikea. Their designs are much more on the luxurious side and hence, they are pretty expensive as well. You can visit XXXLutz and get some really nice design inspiration. If it suits your pocket, you can obviously get the same furniture delivered.
Why not? Amazon also has literally everything available on the website. Sure, it takes some time for everything to reach Vienna as Amazon is not present in Austria but sends everything from Germany. But that should not stop you from ordering great furniture items from Amazon. They also have installment options on some of the expensive furniture pieces. You can also send it back if you don’t like any of the furniture without any questions. Honestly, some of our furniture like the coat hanger is from Amazon solely because we couldn’t find an affordable version in either Ikea or XXXLutz.
Willhaben (2nd hand furniture)
If you are not sure about buying brand new furniture and spend a lot in the beginning, Vienna is famous for its used furniture as well. Willhaben (yes, the same website for property search) is one of the biggest websites for posting. You will find almost every item listed on the website. There are also listings where they offer the furniture for free but you have to take it from their house to your house at your own cost. Most of the time, you can check the quality and decide if you want to go ahead with the deal.
Facebook Groups (2nd hand furniture)
Joining local Facebook Groups is also helpful as lots of locals are constantly posting about things they don’t want anymore or want to sell. You can easily find these items listed in these specific groups. Just contact them and get the item. Just make sure that you are not paying them before seeing or collecting the furniture, there are also scammers out there to take your money and disappear.
The most affordable and time-consuming option is doing it yourself. You can literally bring everything that you need to build your own furniture from various stores like OBI and start building it. This requires lots of skills, patience, and of course, time. If you are like our neighbor, you will definitely make everything by yourself and then casually eat Pasta on one of the handmade balcony chairs.
We hope this guide helps you find the perfect home out of many apartments in Vienna for rent that is available in the city.
There are several things you should know about Vienna. Read about Things We Learned About Vienna As Expats.
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