Having ranked 54th out of 209 cities in the Mercer Cost of Living Survey for 2020, Vienna is an expensive destination for expats. It's important that expats moving to the city for work ensure that their salary is high enough to comfortably cover the cost of living.

The good news is that Vienna is still cheaper than a number of European destinations, including Zurich, Copenhagen and London. In addition, Vienna caters for all budgets and generally has a wide selection of choice for those looking to save some money, as well as those after a more luxurious Viennese lifestyle. 

Cost of accommodation in Vienna

Accommodation is one of the biggest costs that expats moving to Vienna will face. Rental costs vary depending on the area of the city and the size and condition of the property. Living in the city centre is more expensive than staying in outlying suburbs.

It can be challenging to find a suitable property in Vienna and most expats enlist the help of a real-estate agent. Expats should be aware that additional fees, which are equivalent to two or three months’ rent, can be charged by the agent. Tenants are expected to pay a security deposit which is usually the equivalent of one to three months’ rent.

Cost of transport in Vienna

The second-largest expense for people living in Vienna is that of car ownership. While purchasing a vehicle in Vienna is not always expensive, the cost of maintaining a car and paying for parking can become quite expensive over time.

However, this is one expense that can quite easily be avoided. The public transport network in Vienna is excellent and most of the city’s residents get around by using buses and trains. Cycling is also popular in Vienna.

Cost of groceries in Vienna

Vienna is home to an abundance of grocery chains such as Billa, Spar and Hoffer. At these stores, expats should be able to find a good choice of groceries at reasonable prices.

Those looking to indulge can head to Spar Gourmet or Merkur, which sell a variety of luxury items. Expats who are looking to save money should visit Penny Markt, which has a lot of budget grocery options. Shopping at local markets is also a great way to save money on local seasonal produce.

Cost of eating out in Vienna

Expats moving to Vienna will find many good restaurants with diverse pricing, representing a variety of dining options. Ethnic restaurants are not overly abundant, however, and the good ones tend to be on the pricey side.

Cost of education in Vienna

Expat residents in Vienna can send their children to Austrian public schools for free. That said, the curriculum is taught in German and if a child isn't already familiar with the language, it can be a difficult adjustment.

On the other hand, Vienna has many international schools that cater for expat children, but these can be quite expensive. Tuition fees vary depending on the school and generally increase for higher grade levels. 

Cost of living chart for Vienna

Prices may vary depending on the product and service provider. The list below is based on average prices in Vienna for February 2021.

Accommodation (monthly rent)

One-bedroom apartment in city centre

EUR 880

One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

EUR 630

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

EUR 1,500

Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

EUR 1,200

Food and drink

Milk (1 litre)

EUR 1.10

Cheese (1kg)

EUR 10

Dozen eggs


Loaf of white bread 

EUR 1.60

Rice (1kg)

EUR 1.65

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

EUR 5.50


City centre bus/train fare

EUR 2.40

Taxi rate per km

EUR 1.40

Petrol/gasoline per litre

EUR 1.20

Eating out

Big Mac Meal


Coca Cola (330 ml)   

EUR 2.70


EUR 3.40

Bottle of domestic beer

EUR 3.90

Three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant

EUR 50


Internet (uncapped ADSL per month)

EUR 34

Mobile call rate (mobile-to-mobile per minute)

EUR 0.06

Utilities (average per month for a standard household)

EUR 193

Hourly rate for domestic help

EUR 15