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Best Places to Live in Austria

News & Blog

For such a small country, there is a real variety of incredible cities and towns across Austria, drawing thousands of people for long term stays every year. The nine different states in Austria cover a range of landscapes and atmospheres, making it difficult to choose where to settle when moving from the UK to Austria. Food, language, and work opportunities differ wherever you go, so it’s important to do plenty of research before rushing into a big international move.

There are several factors to consider when it comes to choosing a new home town: are there good job opportunities? Are there good schools for your children? Does it have the facilities you need? Is there green space to enjoy? All of this can make it a difficult decision. To help inspire you, we’ve put together a list of 5 of the best places to live in Austria.

Narrow street in Graz, a city in Austria


The capital of Austria is a common favourite of the millions of tourists that travel there each year. With access to an excellent public transport network as well as great healthcare and leisure facilities, it’s no wonder that Vienna has placed highly in terms of quality of living for years. There are people from all over the world and from different cultures living in Vienna, making it exciting and interesting, not to mention welcoming to newcomers from all walks of life.

When it comes to lifestyle, Vienna is also difficult to match, with countless cultural events taking place for you to enjoy. The city is steeped in history and art, visible from just wandering through stunning streets, and has been an important city for centuries upon centuries. Museums, art galleries, incredible architecture and stunning gardens make it a beautiful place to live, with plenty to get up to during your spare time. What’s more, Vienna is a very safe city for its residents, so you’ll not need to worry about the safety of your family when moving to Vienna.

If you are still searching for work in Austria, you’ll also be pleased to know that international companies and CEOs often choose to place their head offices in Vienna. This even extends to the UN, with the headquarters based in the Kaisermühlen district of the city. Vienna is an excellent place for expats, with a wide range of properties and neighbourhoods to choose from to suit any requirements.

View over Vienna with a ferris wheel


If you’re searching for a slightly smaller urban area in which to settle down, Innsbruck is definitely a great choice. It is said that despite its smaller size, Innsbruck has everything that larger Austrian cities have, simply minus the pollution and the noise. And as a University town, there is said to be more excitement than in other cities of the same size, with more buzzing nightlife to be enjoyed by students or young professionals in Austria.

Nestled beneath mountains, Innsbruck is perhaps most famous for being a centre for winter sports, including skiing and snowboarding, as well as hiking trails and wildlife. So if you’re searching for a spot where you can get into nature easily, Innsbruck is ideal.

While you are still getting to grips with the German language, there are plenty of jobs in the tourist sector in Innsbruck, meaning you can earn money while searching for a more senior role if you wish. However, there is a wide range of sectors that thrive in Innsbruck, including engineering and IT. You should also be aware that, due to its popularity with international visitors, Innsbruck tends to be more pricey than other Austrian cities, so you should prepare for this before falling in love with this stunning city.

Colourful buildings of Innsbruck below the snow-capped mountains in Austria


As a UNESCO World Heritage site, Salzburg is full of stunning baroque architecture and incredible cathedrals. Salzburg is known for music and art, particularly famous as the birthplace of Mozart and the setting of ‘The Sound of Music’. As a result, musicians and artists have flocked here over the centuries – could you join them?

Salzburg is also a very green city, in a number of ways. The 150,000 strong population enjoy plenty of green space in the city, as well as a public transport network largely powered by renewable electricity. The presence of 3 large universities means there are plenty of students, both in parks and in trams, driving prices down and creating a very affordable but stunning place to live.

Whether open-air music festivals or concerts, there is no shortage of things to take part in when living in Salzburg, providing optimum places to meet new people and make friends. For students and young professionals, Salzburg is one of the best places to live in Austria.


As the third-largest city in the country, Linz is another of the most picturesque places to live in Austria. Its riverside setting adds charm to an otherwise very comfortable place to live, particularly if you have some German language skills already. Despite its large size on paper, residents find that Linz is a very walkable city, with the excellent public transport network creating little need for a personal vehicle.

Expats living in Linz find plenty to do, whether it’s culture or nightlife that you’re after. The old town holds a huge variety of shops, cafes, and bars, not to mention museums, festivals, and concerts if you’re looking for something more educational. River cruises and the stunning outside spaces also mean that nature lovers won’t be disappointed!

Finally, if you’re moving to Austria with your family, Linz has an abundance of great quality schools and universities. These organisations can also make for great employers for new residents in Austria.

View of the Schlossberg in Graz


With a population of around 440,000 people, Graz is the second-largest city in Austria. While a large city, the international atmosphere and throngs of tourists are rarely seen in Graz, leaving a more authentic European vibe. The cultural highlights in the form of relics, museums, and churches make it a great place to learn about the history of Austria.

With several great universities around the city, Graz is particularly popular among students, making Graz yet another lively place to live in Austria. Cultural events are held year-round for residents and visitors to enjoy. The UNESCO-listed Old Town is a charming place to stroll through, dotted with cafes and museums, with stunning Baroque architecture. Traffic and noise are low, so Graz is a very popular place to live.

If you are searching for Austrian work opportunities, Graz is a top location for startups, particularly in the IT sector. For an exciting and progressive place to work, a Graz-based startup could be the foothold you need as an expat in Austria. And despite being behind Vienna in size, you’ll find that living in Graz is considerably cheaper than the multicultural capital.

While there are so many cities to choose from, don’t discount small towns and rural areas of Austria. Despite being less well-connected by public transport and fewer English speakers, you can find some stunning towns in Austria, perfect places for new families in Austria. For more help with your international move, get a quote with GMS today to see how we could help you.

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