Living In Austria: 10 Pros And Cons

Austria is known for being the best country to live in Europe due to its great healthcare as well as its wonderful ancient architecture. In this article we will discuss a little bit further about why you should and shouldn’t retire in Austria.

Here are the Pros and Cons of retiring to Austria:


  • Friendly & Warm People
  • Great Public Transportation
  • Beautiful Landscape
  • Great Weather
  • Very Safe And Secure
  • High Quality of Life
  • Fantastic Food Scene
  • Central European Location


  • Language Barrier
  • Shut Down Sunday

So now that you know the pros and cons of moving and retiring in Austria let’s dig in a little deeper.

Introduction To Austria

Austria is known for its castles, palaces, and buildings. Festung Hohensalzburg, Burg Hohenwerfen, Castle Liechtenstein, and Schloß Artstetten are among Austria’s most notable castles.  So for those of you that love a good castle tour this is definitely something you could do.

Austria has festivals all year long from the traditional Oktoberfest to the Salzburg Summer Festival. This nation has a rich cultural past and birthplace of illustrious composers such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven to name a few. 

The Alps which offer some of the best snow skiing in the world also draw people from across the world. Keep in mind that Austria has plenty to offer its visitors regardless of the season. Austria is a fantastic location all year round with exciting ski vacations and beautiful Christmas markets in the winter and pleasant summer strolls along the gorgeous shores of lakes in the summer.

What are the Pros of Living in Austria

Friendly & Warm People

Austrians are known for their friendliness and retirees are greeted with open arms. Despite this, Austrians are more private in their personal life. Making friends with locals can be tough unless you connect with them on a daily basis at work or at a recreational activity.  Learning a little German is a great way as their national language to let them know you are serious in connecting with them.

Austrians are appreciative of their culture and they prefer locally grown and manufactured goods to imported goods. They hold a lot of pride for their country and culture, you should take this into account when talking about either issue.  If you mention what you like about the people, country and culture you are more likely to be welcomed into their lives.

Great Public Transportation

Public transportation is a common mode of transportation in Austria. Trains, trams, and buses will take you anyplace you want to go. driving is almost unnecessary in Austria. Austria’s transportation system is safe, comprehensive, and dependable. 

It is also reasonably priced so you won’t have to spend a lot of money to travel around. In Austria, public transportation is the second most popular mode of transportation after driving. In fact 34% of people used public transportation to travel to and from work in 2020.

The capital of Vienna boasts the best transportation system in the country which already has a very high standard. Buses, trams, trains, and a metro are among the options for getting around. Wiener Linien is the city’s primary transportation provider with approximately 4.65 billion passengers carried in 2018. 

Trains and buses run frequently across Austria.  Austrian highways are a joy to travel through If you prefer to travel by car. However Trains are the primary mode of transportation in the country between regional centers. 

These are operated by two companies: BB and Westbahn. Postbus provides bus service to smaller towns and rural areas whereas Eurolines is the preferred bus company for international travel.  Don’t forget all over Europe Flix bus is another great cheap option.

Here are available public transportation in Austria:

Beautiful Landscape

Austria has everything from breathtaking scenery you can see throughout the country. Its natural diversity in Austria is as startling as it is attractive. Highlands, lakes, gardens, streams, waterfalls, forests, and other natural wonders are there for you to enjoy.

The Alps are renowned for many spectacular natural scenery including lakes, mountains and glaciers. Many international retirees to Austria might benefit from how close the Alps are and how clean the air is both in the cities but also in the astounding countryside.

Here are some things you have to visit in Austria:

Great Weather

Austria has a beautiful summer where you can enjoy the sun and see the outside adventures there are around the country.  There are heaps of UNESCO sites, lakes and parks that have picnic spaces for you to enjoy. The temperature is on average 60°F to 79°F (15°C to 26°C) in the summer which is great for sleeping at night and spending your days outside.

In the winter you can enjoy a lovely European winter with its many ski resorts and internal heating and fireplaces. There are numerous ski resorts with heaps of amenities where you can enjoy yourself In the winter. The temperature in winter is 27°F to 37°F (-3°C to 3°C), which is quite cold but all houses have internal heating and this makes for some great snow conditions if you like outdoor winter sports.

Very Safe and Secure

The country is ranked sixth safest in the world by the Gallup Law and Order Index for 2020. Austria enjoys low crime and it is one of Europe’s lowest-crime nations according to the US Department of State.

According to the State Department the most prevalent crime experienced by Americans in Austria is petty theft of handbags, wallets and phones. This is the same the world over in all countries and it is important to be aware of your surroundings and if anyone is watching you too much.  This petty theft happens in popular tourist places, restaurants and shopping malls where people are either distracted on purpose or leave these items unprotected.

Overall just follow the basic security for travel overseas and you should be fine and don’t leave your valuables lying around for potential theft.

High Quality of Life

Austria has one of the best living standards in the world. Vienna has been named the greatest city on earth to live in many times due to its high quality of life. Vienna is ranked as the most livable city on earth for the 10th consecutive year according to the Mercer Group’s Quality of Living Survey 2019.

Public services, pollution levels, healthcare, and education all help Austria climb these ranks and attract more foreigners. Many of them don’t want to leave Austria and end up staying for the rest of their lives. The reason for this is because people are more concerned with their quality of life.

While living there, you will notice the balance between peoples professional and personal lives. Austria has one of the world’s greatest work-life balances which means in retirement if you socialise with anyone that is still working you will still see a lot of them.

Fantastic Food Scene

Classic Austrian food is some of the world’s best comfort food especially if you enjoy cheese, cake, pastries and beer. There are also many types of meat, several types of noodles (Käsespätzle) made from grain and many varieties of potatoes.

Austrian cuisine feels like a journey through Europe’s rich past. Austrian chefs have traditionally excelled at combining a diverse range of cultural elements on a single plate. For example the Wiener Schnitzel which is the national dish is a mix of Vienna cuisine based on a dish from Milan Italy. Being in the middle of so many countries in the heart of Europe means it has developed a vibrant and creative food scene.

Today’s food scene displays a continuing love of heritage as well as the forward-thinking perspective of a new generation of local chefs. The country’s food scene ranges from food kiosks, bistro bars, taverns and Michelin starred restaurants offering a variety of ways to sample Austria’s unique cuisine.

Here are a few recommended restaurants in the capital of Vienna:

NOTE: Some of these websites are in german. Be sure to enable the auto translation feature on your browser to change the language to english

Central European Location

Austria is located in central Europe and is bordered by 6 countries.  They are Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia and Czechia. This means that not only is it a great place to live but you have plenty of other cultural experiences a short drive or flight away.  When in Europe a cheap way to get around is always Flix bus as they have very small price fares as long as you don’t mind a little longer on the road instead of a quick flight.

What are the Cons of Living in Austria?

Language Barrier

German is Austria’s official language. Even though many people speak English, finding English-speaking people becomes more difficult as you travel outside of the metropolitan area or as your needs become more complex. Austrian German includes regional slang that distinguish it from common German and make it more difficult to learn. 

You can use the DuoLingo App on your phone or the DuoLingo website on your PC to practice and learn the language. Use this for a few months to gain a few levels by doing at least 2 to 3 lessons per day. When you arrive this will assist you with purchasing food, shopping, and purchasing transportation tickets.

Shut Down Sunday

Sundays in Austria are required to be free by law therefore everything is closed and people can enjoy their weekend. You will find that people socialise and get out and use the parks in summer which can be a change depending on where you are from in the world.

Even grocery stores, restaurants and cafes and retail except for gas stations and a few tiny kiosks are closed on this day. As you can imagine this makes Saturdays really busy in Supermarkets as those that work during the week do their shopping.  Being retired this will not really bother you as you can get your shopping done during the week instead but it is interesting to watch.

NOTE: Do not forget to check Living And Retiring In Graz Austria to see what this natural beauty city has to offer you.

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