This second largest German-speaking city is a stronghold of culture, widely celebrated as the leading European music center, architectural jewel, and educational hub. For years in a row, Vienna is ranked as the most prosperous and one of the most livable urban centers. It is Europe's number one center for international conferences, meetups, and conventions.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Vienna lost the status of Imperial capital but preserved its reputation as the political, economic, and cultural center. It is an open-air museum as its city center is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. No wonder it is a host of multiple international organizations, including OSCE, OPEC, and several offices of the United Nations.
Vienna is one of the most affluent regions in the European Union. The city has an international reputation for the high quality of life, low crime rates and is often referred to as a "gateway of Eastern Europe," due to the good relationships of the city's business elite with the Central and Eastern European countries. Various international corporations set up their Eastern European headquarters in Vienna, or conduct business with these countries from their Vienna offices. Many world-renowned brands enter the Central and Eastern European countries by partnering with firms in Vienna or acquire Austrian companies as subsidiaries. For instance, Dutch beverage group Heineken began its eastward expansion with the acquisition of the Austrian Brau Union. Similarly, the major Italian bank Unicredit started its aggressive push to the East with a takeover of Bank Austria. Other foreign groups with Eastern European headquarters in Vienna include the French building materials group Lafarge and the German holdings Henkel, REWE, and Beiersdorf. The majority of the large Austrian corporations are also headquartered in Vienna. These include the mineral oil company OMV, the brick manufacturer Wienerberger, Telekom Austria, and almost all Austrian banks. The Vienna Stock Exchange is Austria's one and only stock exchange in Vienna. Since 2010, Vienna has also been the seat of the CEE Stock Exchange Group, which as subsidiaries include not only the Vienna Stock Exchange but also the stock exchanges in Budapest, Ljubljana, and Prague.
Vienna's climate can be characterized as oceanic due to the Alps that shield the city from wind and cyclones. The city has mild and warm summers, with periodical precipitations that can reach its yearly peak around July and September and average high temperatures from June to September is approximately from 20 to 287 °C with a record high of 39 °C and a record low in September of 4°C. Winters are quite dry and cold, with average temperatures at about 0°C. Spring weather can vary significantly, while fall is usually cold, even with occasional snowfalls in November. Snow in winter is common, also if not so frequent compared to the Western and Southern regions of Austria.
The traditional Viennese cuisine is characterized by the influences from the regions and countries which used to be part of the Habsburg monarchy. Due to the borderland location of the city near Hungary and the Czech Republic, dishes from these countries migrated to the menus of Vienna restaurants. The goulash with its Viennese variants - the Fiaker and Wiener - originated in Hungary. Czech cuisine contributed to pastries, such as different kinds of strudels, as well as various types of dumplings. Wiener Schnitzel and Tafelspitz are particularly popular. The most popular local market with traditional stands is the Naschmarkt, where you can buy vegetables, spices, fruits, meat, fish, and anything you want from around the globe. If you crave something special - head to Naschmarkt. The Brunnenmarkt in Vienna's 16th District is the largest market where you can find more mundane things. The cityscape of Vienna includes the sausage stands in lively areas, where various hot sausages and hot liver cheese can be found. As an alternative to the hot dog, the Bosner is often offered there. Meanwhile, kebab parlors can be found just as frequently.
Vienna is one of the most carefully preserved old western European cities. Innere Stadt, its historic core, is very walkable and well-connected through public transportation. Vienna retains its imperial urban planning with wide boulevards and sparse public gardens. The skyline remained unspoiled by the skyscrapers and dominated by the spire of St. Stephen's Cathedral, as well as the colossal Ferris wheel in the central city park-the Parter. At the same time, the city also has one of the most iconic art deco buildings from the period of Vienna Secession and the constructivist architecture of the Red Vienna.
1.8 million people live in Vienna. Around 38% of which has a foreign origin or some sort of immigrant background, that includes naturalized residents. Approximately 27% of Vienna residents are foreign nationals with passports of different jurisdictions. The largest migrant groups are of Serbian 5.4%, Turkish 4.1%, German 3%, Polish 2.8%, and Bosnian-Herzegovinian 2.2% origin. Of the people of non-European origin, people from Asia make up the largest group 5.5%, followed by Africans 1.5% and people from the American continent 0.8%. Only about 0.05% of Vienna inhabitants originally come from Australia or Oceania. According to a study by the UN-Habitat, Vienna demonstrates the population growth of 4.65% and by 2025 could become the fastest-growing European city region.
Public transport in Vienna is coordinated by the Verkehrsverbund Ost-Region (VOR), which also includes Lower Austria and Burgenland. This includes a common tariff system. Vienna has one of the oldest and densest tram networks in the world. There are currently 29 lines covering 1,071 stops on a 177 km route. The subway is the fastest and most popular form of transport in Vienna. Today the Vienna underground has five lines (U1, U2, U3, U4, and U6) with a total of 93 stations and a route length of almost 80 km. The route network is continuously expanded. Today Vienna has a 24-hour subway on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays.
The prices for a real estate property, and for apartments for rent in Vienna, have risen sharply in recent years. Nevertheless, the prices for property and rent in Vienna are relatively low compared to other cities with a same or lower standards of living. There is a rich and diverse inventory of apartments for rent in Vienna, from spacious lofts to modest student living. During 2014, an average price per square meter of around 4,500 euros for the purchase of real estate property, while the average rental price for the square meter is 14.16 euros. However, the prices in the inner city districts are obviously higher.
The Vienna's 9th District, also known as Alsergrund, boasts broad and graceful boulevards paved with the 19th-century mansions. The most famous of them is the house of Sigmund Freud, now serving as a museum of the father of psychoanalysis. One of the most picturesque campuses of the University of Vienna is also located here. It is known as the Altes AKH complex, a 17th-century hospital, and it is full of leafy beer gardens and cozy courtyards. The area is young and hip and has plenty of underground music venues, pubs, and bars that cater to students and the LGBT community, which is also strong in this neighborhood. Apartments for rent in this part of Vienna are priced higher that average.
The 3rd District is one of the most iconic Vienna neighborhoods, specifically due to Belvedere, the birthplace of the Austrian republic, and the unique museum of Vienna Secession. The Upper Belvedere provides the most picturesque view of the city, while Lower Belvedere usually exhibit modern artists and contemporary exhibitions. They are connected by a lovely french garden, a favorite spot for walks among local residents. This neighborhood is also a popular shopping destination with chic shops and shopping centers located in Mitte. The world-renowned Hundertwasserhaus can also be found here, together with a museum dedicated to its architect- Kunst Haus museum
Aspern is an innovative urban development in the 22nd District. The project is one of the biggest gentrification efforts in the Union. This mixed-use district with residential facilities, commercial, scientific, educational, and office spaces will be fully completed by 2028. Affordable apartments for rent for thousands of people will be created on 240 hectares - an entirely new district. In addition, the District will provide thousands of employment opportunities - in the service segments as well as in the areas of commerce, trade, research, health, and education.
Simmering is the 11th District of Vienna and is characterized by industry and residential streets. Simmering Hauptstraße is paved with cheap shops and kebab stands. The gasometers, 4 former gas tanks, were converted into house shops, entertainment venues, and apartments for rent. The Art Deco church of St. Karl Borromeo is surrounded by the massive central cemetery, where the graves of famous people such as Beethoven and Schubert are located.
Ottakring, the 16th District, offers a multicultural, urban atmosphere. Known as "Balkanstrasse", Ottakringer Strasse is lined with numerous Serbian cafes. Turkish specialties are offered in the busy Brunnenmarkt street market. Around the nearby Yppenplatz, there are hip restaurants with outdoor areas on the square. On the western edge of Ottakring, the Wienerwald beckons with hiking trails and a panoramic view of the city from Wilhelminenberg.