Subscribe to SmallPlanet

We Need Your Help

Five stars on Amazon! Don't miss Talesmag's first book of essays, on cross-cultural food experiences from Mexico to Mongolia (plus recipes!)
Submit a Real Post Report

Vienna



What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

Housing varies considerably in style and price, depending on the district in which one resides. Even with our requirements of a garage and personal green space (for our dog and to be able to barbecue), we were able to find housing that exceeds our requirements (in that we have both a personal garden and easy access to a large park with dog zone) in an enviable post code. From our house the commute is 20 minutes on public transportation to the center of Vienna. - Nov 13, 2017
European-style apartments mean tall, narrow bathtubs with the faucet in the middle of the tub with a long-hose for your shower. Only modern apartments will have "normal stand-up showers." The Euro windows are cool. Can open two ways to open them. But remember if you're in town, you are surrounded by (beautiful) buildings which make the roads sounds like freeways.

1,000 square foot apartments feel small. They get hot starting in May. Then your A/C will likely leak. If it's an older building, expect peeling paint, leaky faucets, squeaky floors, and hallways of marble/tile from which you'll hear your neighbor go in-and-out all day/night as they walk their dogs. - Jun 7, 2016


Mostly in the 1st, 9th, 18th, and 19th districts with a few people scattered elsewhere. There is a combination of owned/leased housing and it mostly seems to be apartments/townhomes. Several new complexes are under construction which will house both USG employees and the general public. Commutes can be a 1 minute walk if you live next to the Embassy or over an hour if you live in the 19th and have to commute to the US Mission to the UN Organization. There are pros/cons to all locations and nothing is perfecct. I've heard people complain about their housing but everything I've seen appears very nice. - Mar 24, 2015
Families tend to get houses, although there are also apartments. Housing is usually very nice indeed. Not huge, but in lovely, park-like areas. If you have an apartment in the center, you may not have much space, but you will have access to all that the city has to offer. Typical commute from outer districts to the embassy or UN varies, but I'd guess 30 minutes on average. Trams come every 2 minutes. - Jul 18, 2014
There's a wide variety of housing available - from downtown apartments to single family units at the edge of town. Commute times are minimal. - Mar 19, 2014
Housing is spread out - smaller apartments in the 1st district and bigger units in the 9th, 18th, and 19th districts. Note that some housing is on the smaller side so if you're bringing a lot of things, make sure to inquire about storage space. Commute time varies but generally no more than 30 minutes to the Embassy depending on your proximity to public transport. - Aug 23, 2013
Housing is spread all over the city, in part because there are three US missions here. It is mostly pretty good, although our first apartment had some serious problems. Fortunately, we were granted a move by the housing board. Viennese families are small, and housing is also on the small (but expensive) side. The embassy definitely seems to have some trouble accommodating large families. We love our downtown apartment because of the location, but it's a good thing we aren't packrats! If you have a chance to put some items in storage before coming here, do so. And expect a trip to Ikea, because there are few, if any closets (none in our current apartment). Housing out in the 19th district, near the American school, is larger, but not nearly as convenient.

Housing in Vienna is not designed with hot weather in mind. Many houses and apartments become uncomfortably (even miserably) hot during summer months. You will be told that the heat lasts "just a couple of weeks." Maybe in 1982 it did, but now these stretches are considerably longer. Be very cautious about accepting any housing assignment that does not include some form or air conditioning! - May 12, 2013
Apartments in the 1st district all the way out to the 19th. Even in the suburbs (19th district) there are many apartments and just a few single-family dwellings. - Jan 16, 2013
singles, couples, and young families mostly live downtown. Families with school aged children live in the outskirts of they city near the International School. Commute time can be 5-45 minutes, depending on which embassy you're working at. We liked our beautiful apartment in the old city (Sigmund Freud once had an office in our building) - Aug 6, 2011
Varies widely depending on preference. City living is convenient and safe, still relatively quiet. Other districts may offer convenience to schools, but be wary of taverns (heurigers) up in the hill areas. They can be loud, and late. - Aug 5, 2011
Townhouses for US diplomats. Many US diplomats live in compound areas known as "the American ghetto." - Aug 15, 2009
Singles and couples without children generally live downtown; commute time 10-30 mins depending on the mission you are assigned to. Families live in the 18th or 19th district. There are apartments/townhouses available outside of the dreary compound. - Aug 5, 2009
Small, old refurbished military quarters for most. I was in a TDY apt (1BR) but it was spacious and nice, with high ceilings, right downtown. I loved it. - Jul 23, 2009
Housing is small and a lot of personnel live on the U.S. compunds which are old Army quarters. - May 21, 2008
Generally apartments and generally pretty nice. I think Americans have a ton of space compared to everyone else. There are some single family homes, or villas that have been converted into apartments. The Embassy has two compounds which have their advantages -- AFN is provided, appliances are American-sized, there are playgrounds, but the aesthetics leave something to be desired. Singles and couples without children are generally housed in the first district, families in the 18th and 19th. The 18th is actually pretty close in to the Embassy and the city center. The 19th stretches all the way up to the Vienna Woods, so you can be pretty close to everything or quite far away. - Apr 4, 2008
There's a mix of housing compounds, single homes, and downtown apartments at very convenient distance from work/downtown. - Jan 11, 2008