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11 BEST Places to Live in Austria [April 2020]

Austria: a beautiful land of mountains, valleys, historic culture and more tasty food than you could shake a stick at. There’s something for every sort of digital nomad going in this European nation.

If you want to live here, the issue is choosing the place that’s best for you.

And that is exactly why we here at Nomads Nation have decided to create this guide to the best places to live in Austria. We’ve narrowed down the choice to save you time and effort!

So whether you are looking for a true mountain retreat, or if you feel like living out your dreams of refined intellectualism in the capital of Vienna, we’ve got all the information you’ll need on finding your dream spot in Austria.

Let’s get to it!

Staying Safe in Austria

You will be happy to know that Austria is actually one of the safest countries in Europe, if not the whole world. When it comes to things like crime, you won’t have to worry too much.

However, that being said, certain places in Austria are going to be more of an issue when it comes to crime than others. Vienna, the capital, is known for its petty crime more than somewhere like Graz, for example.

But with crime not being too much of an issue anyway, like we said, you won’t have to worry much about all that. The safety in Austria will mainly consist of keeping yourself safe in nature.

The hills, valleys, lakeside trails and mountain climbs in Austria are definitely going to be attractive – especially for the more active digital nomads out there. 

But biting off more than you can chew, going unprepared (or without telling anyone where you’re going), and putting yourself at risk can be seriously dangerous!

So whilst you’re in a busy city you might want to keep your wits about you a bit more, and if you get out into nature you need to be aware of the weather (and maybe even have a guide take you out to more treacherous paths), we think you’ll be fine in Austria!

Check out our ultimate guide to Digital Nomad Insurance!

#1 Vienna

Vienna

The capital of Vienna doesn’t just boast culture and art by the bucketful – it’s also a huge, sprawling city you should think about residing in at least once in your life!

Monthly cost of living in Vienna

$1848/ month 

cost of rent
in Vienna

$807/month

The home of Sigmund Freud as much as bakeries and cakes, Vienna has a long history of attracting art and culture to its doorstep: Beethoven and Mozart both lived here, too – amongst other famous intellectuals. 

With this illustrious history combined with the Baroque beauty of it all, you’ll feel like you’re in a bit of a dreamland.

Kick off your stay in Vienna in Mariahilf. Located in the 6th District, it’s got a ton of bars, cafes and cool galleries to dip in and out of – and nightclubs, too. 

For a more hipster-focused area, you could go for Neubau, a trendy enclave of youth culture near the Museum Quartier.

Pros of Vienna

  • Easy to cycle around; lots of bike paths
  • Lots of cool places to explore in the area
  • Coffeehouse culture for coffee-lovers

Cons of Vienna

  • More pricey than other cities in Austria
  • Can get overrun with tourists
  • Many people don't actually speak English

Of course, Vienna isn’t all about its grandiose buildings and intellectualism. It’s one of Europe’s best cities to live in, constantly topping “Best 10” lists for livability, combining all that (sometimes tasty) history with a modern mindset, with a whole host of digital nomads attracted to the city.

One cool thing is that, because many of Vienna’s apartment blocks are old, you’ll be living somewhere pretty cool: think parquet floors, period features and high ceilings. Fairly affordable for a European city, too; cheaper than London, for example.

Nomads Nation - Digital Nomad Tip

Sektor 5 is a cool, award-winning coworking space. It’s full of friendly people who inspire each other; not a bad place to spend time working on your own projects.

#2 Innsbruck

Innsbruck

With the mountains on the doorstep, Innsbruck won’t just be your base in Austria: it will be your outdoorsy playground, too!

Monthly cost of living in Innsbruck

$1945/ month 

cost of rent in Innsbruck

$843/month

If you like the mountains, then you’re looking at the place. Innsbruck is surrounded by them – specifically the Nordkette Range. 

Getting from the city to over 2,000 metres above sea level isn’t a difficult feat, with a funicular taking you most of the way. But where’s the fun in that? Hike, ski or climb during the summer months.

With a surprisingly creative community, Innsbruck has a few cool places you can base yourself. It’s pretty small, so anywhere close to the centre of town will mean you’ll be near to the sights of the town, as well as malls and the train station. For something quieter, Vols and Hungerburg are more peaceful – more affordable – suburbs.

Pros of Innsbruck

  • Amazing natural scenery
  • Tons of opportunity for adventure sports
  • Compact city, most things in walking distance

Cons of Innsbruck

  • Can get really busy in the summer months (tourists)
  • Expensive; you definitely pay for the view
  • Small city; could get bored if you don't do outdoors

Innsbruck itself, the capital of the state of Tyrol in western Austria, boasts an Altstadt (old town) that’s like something out of a fairytale.

There’s a Baroque cathedral and an enchanting Hapsburg-era palace that will form your urban backdrop.

Then again, when you’ve had enough of all the buildings, you could always try your hand at some Olympic level ski jumping. It’s not like you have to travel very far.

Nomads Nation - Digital Nomad Tip

Innsbruck has a surprising amount of coworking spaces. Try out Raum13, set inside a renovated monastery in the heart of town; feels like a home away from home, friendly, personable and with cool interior design.

#3 Graz

Graz

With Roman roots, Graz has a lot of history going on, but also a whole lot of contemporary cool and convenience that’ll make any digital nomad comfy.

Monthly cost of living in Graz

$1801/ month 

cost of rent
in Graz

$540/month

Graz is the capital of Styria and is the second-largest city in Austria. It’s a buzzing city that’s still compact enough to travel around without it taking all day. 

Which is just as well because you’re going to want to spend some time walking around its historic core: the whole city centre, complete with leafy hill and red roofs, is UNESCO-protected.

When it comes to areas of Graz to live in, much of the city of safe and foreigner-friendly. But choosing somewhere around the Herz-Jesu Church is a good place to start; this is a central area that’s relatively quiet yet still close to all the action.

Pros of Graz

  • Safe city to live in
  • Nature is close by (catch a train to the Alps)
  • A world of different local food

Cons of Graz

  • Maybe you want more of a big city feel
  • High student population (if that's not your thing)
  • Lack of international cuisine

Not only is history a big part of Graz, but it’s also pushing forward as a progressive IT hub. Many Austrian start-ups are choosing to base themselves in the town, which means it makes it an exciting place for digital nomads to come to join in the fun. What a time to be alive!

There’s also a multicultural side to the city, with many drawn here for job opportunities, particularly from neighbouring Slovenia and nearby Croatia. Combine with 6 different universities and vibrant student population for a fun place to live.

Nomads Nation - Digital Nomad Tip

Aula X Space is a cool place to work. It’s got cool interiors, for one thing. For another, they claim to be an inspiring space for creatives: freelancers, start-ups, businesses, everyone mixes and shares ideas.

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#4 Salzburg

Salzburg

With its Old Town and New Town straddling the Salzach River, Mozart’s hometown is a cool cultural capital of tradition.

Monthly cost of living in Salzburg

$1572/ month 

cost of rent in Salzburg

$634/month

With a whopping 4,000 cultural events taking place across the city each year, Salzburg is awash with UNESCO World Heritage Sites, from Baroque churches to clifftop fortresses. 

This is the city to come to if you’re looking for culture. Yes, you can visit Mozart’s childhood home, but there’s so much more to see and do on your days off here!

Living near the pedestrianised Old Town means you’ll be close plenty of bars and restaurants, whilst basing yourself nearer the 19th-century New Town (on the other side of the river) is a good way to get acquainted with some of the city’s most beautiful sights.

Pros of Salzburg

  • A ton of culture to soak up
  • Beautiful buildings everywhere
  • Good food scene

Cons of Salzburg

  • Tourist mayhem in the summer
  • Locals like to smoke in restaurants and bars
  • Many things are closed on Sundays

It’s not just about all the old buildings and centuries-old history though. The nearby natural scenery is easy to reach and stunning to explore. 

No wonder The Sound of Music was filmed in and around Salzburg: it’s beautiful. Discover its ice caverns, verdant valleys and snow-capped peaks.

There’s a lot of tasty food to tuck into in Salzburg, too. We recommend visiting the Gurnmarkt, which is a veritable sea of local food, cheese, ham and breads. There’s also St. Peter’s Stiftskeller – one of Europe’s oldest restaurants (it’s 1,200 years old!).

Nomads Nation - Digital Nomad Tip

For somewhere to get your projects sorted, consider Coworking Salzburg. It’s a cool, quirky place to work complete with a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

#5 Lienz

Lienz

The very walkable medieval town of Lienz has the Mediterranean climate – and mountains – you may have been looking for.

Monthly cost of living in Lienz

$1695/ month 

cost of rent
in Lienz

$724/month

Known as the “Pearl of the Dolomites” Lienz is a compact city with a small population – but a big heart. It’s become a popular destination, not just because of its medieval town centre, but also because it is surrounded by stunning mountainscapes. As a bonus, Lienz is famed for its long hours of sunshine and warm summers.

The Downtown area, lined with colourful houses, has gone through something of a regeneration and is a pleasant place; the locals tend to their flowers and sit outside cafes enjoying the sun. 

Basing yourself around this area means a relaxed pace of life that’s practically steps from the centre.

Pros of Lienz

  • Chilled place to live
  • Picturesque town and scenery
  • Nearby nature to get out into

Cons of Lienz

  • Can feel sleepy out of season...
  • ... And gets busy in the tourist season
  • You may feel restless living here

Attracting visitors from Italy, Switzerland and Austria itself, Lienz has a lot of stuff on offer to keep tourists happy – which you will probably be happy with as well. 

There are markets to wander around, shops to browse and restaurants to eat at. There’s also hiking, of course, in the nearby hills and around Tristachersee Lake.

History fans, take note: just some of the centuries-old buildings in town include Liebburg Castle, in the main square of Lienz, as well Antonius Chapel and the old Franciscan Monastery.

Nomads Nation - Digital Nomad Tip

The free wi-fi across most of the city, making Lienz a perfect place to connect almost anywhere – yes, that means one of Lienz’s streetside cafes is fair game!

#6 Alpbach

Alpbach

“Mesmerizingly vibrant Mexico City is the oldest city in the Americas and is bursting at the seams with cosmopolitan culture, amazing architecture, and vibrant nightlife, making it a top place to live in Mexico”

Monthly cost of living in Alpbach

$727/ month 

cost of rent in Alpbach

$322/month

You may not ever have heard of Alpbach. That’s because it’s tiny. But this little place sure packs a punch. Practically a paradise for hikers, there’s tons of outdoor walking around in them there hills. 

If you’re the sort of person who loves a bit of peace and quiet, you’ll definitely get that in hefty helpings at this calm village.

When it comes to finding a place to live in Alpbach, there aren’t exactly a lot of options. However, we would recommend looking for somewhere close to the centre of the village; being isolated by yourself on a hillside might not be the best if you want people to talk to.

Pros of Alpbach

  • Beautiful natural scenery
  • If you like hiking, this place is perfect
  • A cheap place to live

Cons of Alpbach

  • Very small village living
  • Potential to get very bored
  • Not a lot of new people to meet

It may be set in the Austrian countryside of Tyrol, but looks can be deceptive. Once every year, for three weeks in August, the village turns into a place of progressive thought and debate, and becomes an inspiring place to be – and not just for the scenery.

This is the European Forum Alpbach. It’s a time when students, entrepreneurs, scientists and intellectuals meet to discuss ideas about politics, business and science. 

Choosing to base yourself here during summer might be a good idea, with the EFA to round up your jaunt in the village!

Nomads Nation - Digital Nomad Tip

For a place to work, you’ll be surprised to know there is a forward-thinking establishment in town. It’s called Jakober Gasthaus. They’re friendly and play a big part in the EFA, so get in there!

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#7 Sankt Pölten

With its Old Town and (Very) New Town, Sankt Pölten is a modern, laid-back city for laid-back digital nomads.

Monthly cost of living in Sankt Pölten

$1203/ month 

cost of rent in
Sankt Pölten

$564/month

It may have a very modern centre, and be Austria’s youngest capital city (being the capital of Lower Austria), but Sankt Pölten is actually the oldest city in the country. 

In fact, with its city charter drawn in 1159, it claims to be one of the oldest cities in Europe. Suitably, there’s lots to see, with its Old Town bustling with Baroque buildings.

Pros of Sankt Pölten

  • Cool modern architecture
  • Nice old town to wander about
  • Easy transport hub

Cons of Sankt Pölten

  • Not a big digital nomad community
  • Too chilled (sleepy) for some
  • Might run out of things to do quickly

Away from Sankt Pölten there are some pretty cool day trips to get yourself on. You can get to the stunning Wachau Valley, as well as Melk Abbey and even the capital of Vienna very easily – they’re all just a quick and simple train ride away.

Back in town, however, it’s not all history. The modern day is firmly set in Sankt Pölten Landhausviertel, complete with futuristic festival hall, government buildings and a museum designed by Hans Hollein. Needless to say, if you like your architecture post-modern, you’ll like this part of the city.

Nomads Nation - Digital Nomad Tip

The first coworking space in the city, DieBox provides room for professionals of Sankt Pölten to develop their ideas in a focused environment.

#8 Bregenz

Bregenz

Beautiful Bregenz is a quaint lakeside city perfect for whiling away time in the cosy town or natural surroundings.

Monthly cost of living in Bregenz

$1302/ month 

cost of rent in Bregenz

$789/month

One of the best things about Bregenz has to be its location: nestled on the shores of Lake Constance (or more accurately, Bodensee in German), which is Central Europe’s third-largest freshwater lake, it’s also well placed for exploring the foothills of the German Alps. When summer rolls around in Bregenz, it’s all about getting outside!

Pros of Bregenz

  • Well placed for exploring further afield
  • Incredible for outdoors enthusiasts
  • Historical stuff to see and do

Cons of Bregenz

  • Foreigners will definitely feel foreign
  • Less diverse in terms of culture
  • It can certainly get a little boring

We weren’t the first to notice this fine spot though. Far from it. With a history of over 1,500 years, the Romans captured the city of ‘Brigantion’ from the Celts in 15 BC. Today there’s evidence of this long heritage everywhere, with ancient city walls as well as Baroque buildings to soak up.

Modern culture is definitely a thing in Bregenz, too. Alongside the thoroughly modern gallery of Kunsthaus Bregenz and the Vorarlberg Museum, the state capital also plays host to the annual Bregenz Jazz Festival as well as the world-famous Bregenzer Festspiele, a more classical affair with music by the lake. Life could be worse, right?

Nomads Nation - Digital Nomad Tip

When you need a place to work, get to the Lieblingscafe. Very delicious food, great atmosphere and (most importantly) strong wi-fi.

#9 Klagenfurt

The lakeside Klagenfurt is the place to come for a good mix of outdoor living and urban lifestyle in a historic city.

Monthly cost of living in Klagenfurt

$1433/ month 

cost of rent in Klagenfurt

$987/month

The capital city of the southern Austrian state of Carinthia, Klagenfurt is a relatively small city with a population of around 100,000. 

Being on the shores of Lake Wörthersee, one of the best things about Klagenfurt is being able to swim in the fresh water of the lake. Obviously, this is more of a summer pursuit than a winter one!

If you are looking for a place to live in Klagenfurt, then you may want to consider living amongst the students around the Klagenfurt University area. 

Here you’ll find a more lively population, affordable accommodation, cheap eats and fun nightlife. And all just an easy cycle from the city centre.

Pros of Klagenfurt

  • Good transport connections
  • Traditional local food to enjoy
  • Lakeside living is fun in summer

Cons of Klagenfurt

  • Could be a bit quiet for some people
  • Little bit conservative
  • Not a very international city

But when it’s not summer, and you can’t just laze around soaking up the sun on the shores of the lake, there’s more to do in the city. 

With a good bus network, getting around Klagenfurt to see its various sights is pretty easy; these include Minimundus, a model village with tiny replicas of the world’s monumental buildings.

For extra convenience, there’s even an international airport here, as well as train connections to Vienna and even Graz, too.

Nomads Nation - Digital Nomad Tip

Hafen11 is a cool place to work. The first coworking space in Klagenfurt, it’s set in a renovated old building with high ceilings. The staff are friendly and there’s a chilled atmosphere. Leuchtturm Coworking is another good option.

#10 Villach

Villach

Villach is the riverside city with all the romance of Austrian architecture mixed with nearby mountain adventures for the active nomad.

Monthly cost of living in Villach

$1126/ month 

cost of rent in Villach

$572/month

Known as a bit of a gateway to the Villach Alps, this city – the 7th largest in Austria – is located near to the border with Italy and Slovenia, and is a good place to base yourself if you have a bit of a penchant for the great outdoors. 

There are a whole host of lakes you could visit and hike around when the weather’s good, too.

The best place to live in Villach is near to the centre of town. Not only does this put you in easy reach of the city’s railway connections, but it also means you’ll be near to all the community that the town affords, as well as cafes with wi-fi and other handy amenities.

Pros of Villach

  • Growing international community
  • Amazing connections with neighbouring countries
  • Mountains and lakes on the doorstep

Cons of Villach

  • Quite a small city
  • Not a lot to do if you're not into outdoorsy stuff
  • If you like nightlife, look elsewhere

Not far from the city centre itself is Warmabad-Villach, where you can even find – and follow – the remnants of Roman roads, but you can also bathe in natural hot springs here, too. It’s also got a great location: there are direct train links to Rome, Belgrade, Vienna and Zurich.

But staying put is nice, too. Simply enjoying the chilled atmosphere, the safe living and clean air of the warm and welcoming small town of Villach itself is a good enough past time in itself.

Nomads Nation - Digital Nomad Tip

Coworking spaces may be thin on the ground, but if you need a place to work hit up Caffe Maramio. Here it’s all about the wi-fi, the tasty sandwiches, and the good coffee.

#11 Feldkirch

A medieval town on the crossroads between three different countries, Feldkirch is a great base for those who like to explore further afield.

Monthly cost of living in Feldkirch

$982/ month 

cost of rent in Feldkirch

$503/month

There are two very notable things about Feldkirch. The first of these is that it is a very well preserved medieval town; the downtown area, built around the same time as the historic Schattenburg Castle (1200s) makes for a charming cityscape. Second of all, it’s right in the west of Austria, with Liechtenstein and Germany on the doorstep.

In this seemingly far-flung Austrian city, you’ll want to stay close to the centre of town. This is the densest part of the city, where the oldest parts of it lie, where the main train station is, plus a lot of restaurants and bars. When you first arrive, you’ll find a few guesthouses to stay at before you find something more permanent.

Pros of Feldkirch

  • Easy to get to other neighbouring countries
  • Amazing natural landscape to explore
  • Historic buildings aplenty

Cons of Feldkirch

  • There's not a lot to do here
  • Could be tricky to get to know other foreigners
  • Can feel a bit isolating

Away from the historic city walls, constructed in the 1500s, with its guard towers and all the heritage buildings inside it, there is – of course – more to do in Feldkirch than look at old stones. 

There’s Feldkirch Wildpark, with 142 species of animals living there, and next door is the green Erholungswald Ardetzenberg – perfect for strolls.

For something a bit more active than a stroll or chilled picnic, there’s great hiking to be had at Three Sisters Mountain Range; the tallest of the “sisters” is the Great Sister at 2,053 metres above sea level!

Nomads Nation - Digital Nomad Tip

Surprisingly, there’s a dedicated place to work here! Coworking Vorarlberg is a professional workspace bringing together an equally professional group of remote workers; bright and modern with all the facilities you’ll need.

Final Thoughts on the Best Places to live in all of Austria

There you have it – the best places to live in Austria.

You’re going to find a whole lot of stuff to do in this cultural paradise. Historic buildings galore, concerts, events and a whole load of mountains to (maybe) trek around – it’s a place as geeky as it is outdoorsy!

There’s a lot of different places to live in Austria to choose from. You might want a city jaunt, or you might want to get away from it all in the countryside of Alpbach. It’s up to you!

Have fun planning your next adventure!

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Written by Aaron Radcliffe

City dweller. Dumpling crusher. Aaron is a serial entrepreneur, and the founder of Nomads Nation. Connect with Aaron Radcliffe -