Tuesday, December 20th, 2011
For our city of the month feature in December, we’ve chosen a typical Christmas city, Austria’s capital, Vienna. Famous for its vibrant culture, elegance and stunning architecture, Vienna is considered to be one of the most liveable cities in Europe, and offers high living standards and a variety of opportunities to expats moving to Austria.
Christmas in Vienna
Winter is long and generally grey in the Central European region, but the Christmas period is certainly one of the most magical times in Vienna and makes up for the long cold months of January and February. During the month of December, the city’s Christmas lights and the frequent snow coupled with Vienna’s beautiful architecture and one of Europe’s best Christmas markets create a uniquely festive atmosphere. You can wander around in the city, admiring the stunning Schonbrunn Palace or the City Hall, buy unique hand-crafted Christmas gifts in the Christmas Market, and if you start feeling cold, a tasty mulled wine will certainly warm you up.
Quality of Life
Vienna is one of Europe’s most liveable cities, and offers a high quality of life to expats moving there. In a 2005 study, it has been ranked first for quality of life, and the city holds a firm place among the top 10 cities in most surveys. This is no surprise if one considers the variety of options Vienna offers. Vienna ranks very high for innovation in culture, infrastructure and markets and is Austria’s economic centre, offering a variety of professional opportunities. Vienna is also one of Europe’s culturally most exciting cities, with lots of of art galleries, museums and concerts. Public transportation in the city is excellent and Vienna’s central location in Europe makes travelling to other countries hassle-free and inexpensive. Vienna is also a very bike-friendly city and can boast an abundance of green spaces.
Vienna is Austria’s economic centre, generating 28% of the country’s GDP, and employing around 25% of its workforce. The city is home to a large number of international organisations, including a number of United Nations offices and OPEC. The most important economic sectors include banking, insurance and the manufacturing sectors. Unemployment in Vienna is low and the city’s vibrant economy means that there are a number of employment opportunities, even for expats who don’t speak German.
Culture in Vienna
Vienna combines a long history of great culture from composers like Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn to the city’s baroque and classicist architecture with modern and contemporary influences. If you want to experience the more historical aspect of the city, you can visit one of the main tourist attractions, the imperial palaces of Hofburg and Schonbrunn, have a look at the imperial jewels of the Habsburg dynasty or view the imperial apartments in the Sisi Museum. If you are looking for something more modern, visit the colourful Hundertwasserhaus, the Museum of Modern Art or the Leopold Museum that houses an impressive collection of works from the Vienna Secession and Austrian Expressionism. And whether you prefer classical music, jazz, techno, or any other type of pop or experimental music, you’ll always find something to do.