For members


From rent to bills: How much money do I need to live in Vienna?

Vienna is known for having an affordable cost of living, but how much does it actually cost residents to live there? Here’s how much you need to earn to cover the basics in Vienna.

From rent to bills: How much money do I need to live in Vienna?
Vienna has a reputation for being an affordable place to live, but just how cheap is it? (Photo by Pixabay / Pexels)

Vienna is famous for its high standard of living and has often been named as the world’s most liveable city. 

A big part of this can be put down to the city’s social housing policy – a move described by the Financial Times as “radical”.

Around 60 percent of Vienna’s residents live in subsidised housing and the City of Vienna is Europe’s biggest public owner of social housing. But unlike other cities around the world, social housing in Vienna is typically of high quality and also available for middle class families and professionals. 

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And due to the high level of social housing, rents in the private sector in Vienna have not risen to levels seen in places like London and New York where city centres are now only affordable for wealthy people.

But even though Vienna might be considered as a “cheap” place to live for some, there is still a minimum amount that residents need to earn in order to live in the city and sustain a reasonable lifestyle.

Rent: €13.80 to €17.90 per square metre

A recent report by Immowelt shows the average cost of an apartment in Vienna’s city centre, or 1st District, is €17.90 per sqm. This means the average monthly price to rent a 60 sqm apartment is €1,074.

However, the city centre is the most expensive part of Vienna, so there are more affordable places to live. 

Cheaper districts include Leopoldstadt (€14.70 per sqm), Mariahilf (€15.30) and Favoriten (€14.50). The cheapest district is Rudolphsheim Fünfhaus with an average rental cost of €13.80 per sqm.

But data from Statista shows rent prices in Vienna have already gone up. In January 2023, the average cost per square metre in the city centre was €21.88. The cheapest district was Hernals at €14.43.

READ ALSO: The downsides of Vienna you should be aware of before moving there

Utilities: €150 to €200 per month

The cost of energy has been rising across Austria for months due to high inflation, so it’s hard to predict how much the average cost of utilities in Vienna will be.

Also, around 440,000 homes in Vienna are warmed by district heating – a huge pipeline heating system that is 50 percent powered by waste heat from power plants, industrial waste and biomass. The rest is generated by natural gas.

But this doesn’t mean Vienna’s residents have been shielded from the effects of inflation. 

In September 2022, Wien Energie – the city’s main energy provider – announced the price of district heating will go up by an average of €45 per month. As a result, the estimated average monthly bill (based on a 70 sqm home) was reported to be around €145 per month.

For those not on district heating, a two-person household can expect to pay around €150 per month for gas and electricity.

Also, from January 1st 2023, the cost of water supply, wastewater and waste disposal has gone up in Vienna.

The fee increase means a monthly adjustment of approximately €2.90 for an average multi-person household. For an average single household, the monthly fee adjustment is approximately €1.30. 

Calculated over the year, this results in an additional burden of approximately €35 or €15.60 – per household and year.

READ MORE: Reader question: When will I get my 2023 Klimabonus payment in Austria?

Transport: €30 per month

Vienna’s transport system is extensive with buses, trains (including underground lines) and trams. It is also very affordable.

In fact, public transport in Vienna can cost as little as €1 per day for people that purchase an annual ticket from Wiener Linien, the city’s public transport operator.

A single ticket for Wiener Linien transport (bus, tram, metro and local trains) costs €2.40.

Groceries: €200

The cost of groceries in Austria varies depending on where you shop.

For people on a budget, shopping at discounters such as Hofer (Austria’s Aldi), as well as at international supermarkets, is a good idea. 

At these cheaper supermarkets, it shouldn’t be too hard to cover monthly food shopping for a single-person household for around €200 per month. Although prices have been going up in all supermarkets due to inflation.

Childcare: €72 per month

Childcare in Austria is heavily subsidised by the government and even more so in the capital. This includes nurseries (for children up to the age of three) and kindergartens (from age three to six).

In Vienna, parents only need to pay €72.33 a month to cover meal costs, with low income families being exempt from that fee. Vienna also subsidises private kindergartens, paying up to €635.44 a month directly to the institution. 

This is in stark contrast to some other European countries, like the UK.

According to charity Coram in their Childcare Survey 2022, the average cost of full-time nursery in the UK is £1,166 (around €1,304 a month), which is even higher in some parts of London. 

FOR MEMBERS: EXPLAINED: Is it cheaper to buy or to rent property in Austria?

Total monthly budget for essentials: €1,500 for city centre

If you’re planning to live in the city centre (and you don’t have kids), then you should budget around €1,500 a month to pay for essentials.

Of course, this becomes cheaper if you choose to live in another district, are frugal with food shopping and conscious of how much energy you use.

This cost can also go up if you have a family and need to rent a bigger apartment, so keep these points in mind when negotiating a salary.

Leisure and social time

Life is about more than simply paying for the essentials – especially in a city like Vienna.

Here’s what you can expect to pay for going out and enjoying yourself in the city.

Domestic beer: €4.20

Glass of wine: €3-€5

Cappuccino: €3.57

Cinema ticket: €11

Gym membership: €30 per month

Meal for two at a mid-range restaurant: €50-€90

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For members


Five lesser-known tourist spots in Austria that you should visit

Whether you are exploring a new city or visiting a familiar one, seeking out sites off the beaten path can be a great way to add excitement to your travels. If you find yourself in Vienna this weekend, here are five hidden gems to explore.

Five lesser-known tourist spots in Austria that you should visit


Vienna’s Butterfly House occupies two levels of the Hofburg Palace. Just a short trip away from the city’s famous opera house, this greenhouse offers a different kind of music: the sound of 400 butterflies flying through their lush tropical environment while small waterfalls trickle in the background. Watching the butterflies can be relaxing on its own, but you can even get an even closer look by holding out an outstretched finger and allowing them to land on your hand. 

Lost Garden of Schloss Schönbrunn

The Irrgarten (Lost Garden) on the grounds of the glamorous Schönbrunn Palace is often overlooked in favour of the castle’s interior splendour. But this maze, which was rebuilt in 1999 according to the original design from 1686, can be a fun and challenging way to explore the park surrounding the former Habsburg palace.

Schloss Schönbrunn in Vienna.

Schloss Schönbrunn in Vienna. Look out for the ‘lost garden’ maze. Photo by Philipp Deus on Unsplash

Porgy and Bess Jazz Club:

Vienna is famous for its classical music, with the likes of Mozart and Beethoven once calling the city home. But that is not the only music on offer in the city: if you spend an evening at Porgy and Bess in the city centre,  you will be sure to catch some excellent jazz music. This weekend’s performers include two trios: Michael Wolff, Francois Moutin, and Jeff Bordeaux take the stage on Saturday while Sven Regener, Richard Pappik, and Ekki Busch will perform on Sunday. 

READ ALSO: Five beautiful hikes and destinations south of Vienna

Setagaya Park 

Tucked away in the north of the city centre in the Döbling district, this garden designed by Japanese landscape architect Ken Nakajima in 1992 brings elements of a traditional Japanese landscape to the city. Cherry and maple trees, densely planted gardens, and many streams, ponds, and fountains create a relaxing and beautiful atmosphere to spend the morning or afternoon. You can also grab a bite to eat at the teahouse in the park. With spring upon us, now is a particularly great time to visit as the weather warms up and the flowers begin to bloom. 


Finally, you can’t go wrong by exploring some of Vienna’s outdoor markets, which can fly under the radar given there is so much else to see. Pay a visit to the Brunnenmarkt in the Ottakring district. It is Vienna’s biggest street market, featuring 170 stalls that stretch 948 meters, where you can grab food and search for clothes, household items, toys, and more. The market is also considered the city’s most diverse: you can get fresh fruits and vegetables, munch on Austrian or Turkish street food, or enjoy a meal at the nearby Turkish, Vietnamese, and Mediterranean restaurants.