So it looks like we could be off to Vienna next year which I am pretty excited about after three years in Romania. Can anyone give me some tips on living in Vienna?
Home is normally Germany (DH German, me Brit) so the language is not a problem. I have two DC. DD will be 5 next summer so I think will do one more year of KG there. This past two years she has been in Romanian KG and although our family language is German, I think her dominant language is still currently English. DS is just one so will have a year at home in Vienna before starting KG there.
Dh will be working near the Krieau U-Bahnstation.
I know Vienna is very expensive but hopefully we are going on an expat basis so will have a living allowance to cover rent. I am swithering about whether we should live in Vienna and have the city lifestyle / Altbauwohnung for a few years (in Germany we live in the sticks), so go for something more on the outskirts and maybe have a house with garden if that is realistic??
I would like to get back to the Germanic / outdoors lifestyle I have missed so much in Romania and ideally we would live somewhere with parks, scope for walks, nature, countryside. I would like to have indoor and outdoor swimming nearby, kids' activities (there is zip here in the way of toddler activities, music for kids etc etc), Wochenmarkt ideally ...
Ah yes and we will be going back to our house in Germany regularly, maybe one weekend a month so probably we shouldn't live on the wrong side of town for the motorway to Bavaria!
Probably the main consideration for us is nice KG / school for DD who is going to be gutted that we are not going back to 'proper' home as was the original plan. Also what is the cut-off for starting school in Austria? If she is 5 in July, she wouldn't have to got to school after next summer would she?
Would appreciate some tips from Vienna experts. Thanks for reading!
Just to recap! (Having read my post realise that was a load of waffle and what I would like to know is not that obvious - sorry).
Please could anyone suggest me some areas of Vienna we might look at (we will visit and check out some parts of the city but it would be good to have some recommendations). Plus the question of school starting age.
We're about half an hour south of Vienna and love it here (DH is Austrian) - we were originally looking for a flat in Vienna but didn't find anything we liked, and I can't imagine living in the city now. Having said that, I'm sure Vienna is a great place to live, has lots to offer and there are also far more expats living there, and so plenty of activities aimed at expats, which are virtually non-existent in our town. We were able to afford a house with a garden out here, and DH commutes into Vienna. (Our neighbours also have a house in Bavaria btw, and travel there fairly regularly - we have easy access to the motorway here.)
Children generally start school the September after they turn 6, so if your DD won't be 5 until next July, she'll still have over a year at Kindergarten (depending on when you move next year, of course). DS turned 5 this July and we have his Schuleinschreibung (for Sept. 2012) this week. Children are schulpflichtig as of the September after they've turned 6, although some (if they are struggling in certain areas, for example) go to the Vorschule, usually a separate class within the school, for a year before entering the 1. Klasse.
I'm not really too sure about areas of Vienna - the 3rd district is quite central and supposed to be nice (it's where the British embassy and church are), the 1st is obviously very central but also very pricey, and that's about the extent of my knowledge I'm afraid. There are a couple of other MNers in Vienna on the Germany and Austria thread though, who would probably know more; you'd be welcome to come and join us.
Oh, and I can definitely recommend our town - we live about five minutes from the Strandbad (complex of open air pools) plus have the indoor Römertherme pool, are on the edge of the Wiener Wald, plenty of activities for children (although, like I said, none really aimed at expat DC), we're five minutes from a lovely park plus there's another larger one the other side of town, are near the Schwechat river which is great for walks and bike rides, we're quite happy with the school and Kindergarten, etc.
I left Vienna 2 and a half years ago after living there for nearly nine and would go back in a shot so lucky you!
I would recommend the 17,18 and 19th districts - parks, swimming pools inside and outside and also state bilingual (english/German) primary schools. Also easy access to the woods, motorway and just a 20 minute tram ride into downtown. Check out the Vienna babies club website for more details of kindergartens and schools.
I agree with juststrudel about those districts being nice. Having said that, I don't live in any of them - i am in the 9th, but really happy due to access to Augarten, Donau Kanal, and other green areas. I also like the 14th. The virtualvienna forum can be quite helpful. (I say "can" because sometimes it gets hijacked by the regulars who have the same predictable ding dongs!) It's got a link to the immobilien which I found addictive before I moved here. I agree with Linzer (hello Linzer!) about Baden but know only a corner of the 3rd - the bit near Belvedere is really nice!
We have children in an Altbauwohnung - it can be a challenge. Our downstairs neighbour was a saint, and only complained once very politely (he was British) about the noise we made in the morning. He then moved out. (He told us work had posted him elsewhere but I am sure he does not miss us clomping around upstairs, having tantrums at 6am) The chidlren benefit from the city life style because they go all sorts of fun places with the local school.
I must dash as at work. Feel free to ask further questions. Vienna is great, and surroundings to!
Wow thank you all. That gives us lots to think about. Basically I barely know Vienna so I think I need to get a city map next and figure out where all the districts are.
And then we need to figure out whether we are doing in town or out of town. The expat scene isn't my top priority in the sense that I want DD to get back into a Germanic mindset in terms of talking / friends etc since after Vienna we will be going back to Germany and German school for her. That said, what juststrudel said about the state bilingual school did get me thinking ooooh this could be her only experience of schooling partly in English...
I am so pleased to hear you talking of Vienna in such glowing terms and I could do to be packing my bags immediately (just one Romanian winter still to go...)
Thanks and I will be back with more qs and will pop into the German / Austrian thread too Linzertorte - your name made me smile as we love Linzertorte in this house! Makes me think of the Konditorei in our home town!
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