Food, (in comparison to prices in the US), is decently priced. We purchase groceries by the day instead of stocking up for the week. Restaurant prices are a little higher than what we were used to in the States but by no means knock us out for the month. Depending on your taste (or distaste) in clothes, know that there are fewer stores with low prices than stores with higher prices tags. If you prefer not to have a car, fear not – Vienna’s public transportation is one of the best. My husband and I each have a “Jahreskarte” (a year pass) that gets on all transportation within city limits. Whether you decide to buy a year pass, a 3-day pass, or just a 1-way pass, always make sure you have it on your person. “Schwartzfahrers” (Black Riders) are people who ride public transportation without buying a ticket and are regularly caught by undercover officers. The fee is much larger than the price of the passes, so always make sure to buy a pass, validate it if necessary, and keep it with you.
While plenty of Viennese speak English, we couldn’t be more thankful for our German classes. We invested in two months of intensive German courses followed by a month of regular classes. We just recently finished up a month of private lessons, and we meet with language partners on a weekly basis. Both classes and language partners are a great way to meet people from all over the world. I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and learn more than a few phrases to get around the city. The Austrians will appreciate it, and knowing the language will bring you closer to the culture.
We truly, wholeheartedly love Vienna and its people. It’s a wonderful, beautiful, and safe place to live. Wherever your interests lie – whether it be in sports, gardening, history, culture, food, nature, etc. – Vienna has something for you. The city’s motto wouldn’t be “The City Belongs to You” if it weren’t a true statement.