Relocating to Vienna, Austria - any advice?!(6 Posts)
Hi we're seriously thinking of moving to Vienna next summer. Our daughter will be 3 and we will have a 6 month old by then.
Has anyone done the move? We tried living in Berlin 2 years ago when our daughter was 6 months old and it was a disaster! Felt very isolated. We're moving to try a new way of living and to learn the language. We have a friend already living there, which should help with the transition.
Does anyone have any tips on pre schools/primary schools/ best family places to live etc? Thank you so much!
Not specifically for Vienna, though it's a gorgeous city with a good expat community.
Why was Berlin a disaster? I suppose it's about looking at what went wrong there and trying to avoid the same situation, especially since you'll have a 6 month old child again.
As someone who lived abroad for 18 months whilst my partner was working, I can only emphasise the importance of getting out there and being involved. I'd say it's nice to have a friend already there but be wary of leaning too much on one friendship. It will help for the beginning though.
Are there any expat groups for Vienna on Facebook? We had a very active expat community who used to organise trips to local festivals, canyoning trips etc. Very friendly and welcoming. I looked at internations but heard conflicting reports and didn't fancy paying for something that another expat group was doing better, for free.
When we were abroad last time, my wife often had to work away and I couldn't always go. I used to have a rule that I had to have a conversation with at least 5 people per day. Sometimes it was hard, sometimes super easy (especially since we took our dogs with us).
Also if your eldest will be at kindergarten, it should be fairly easy to meet other parents. I'm assuming you'll be looking at international schools? Plenty of summer fairs, school recitals, book sales.
What a fab opportunity! As someone who is currently 7 months pregnant and knows she could be living abroad this time next year (wife's work again), I'd be interested to know how you get on. Even though I've done it once without a baby in tow, I'm a bit nervous of feeling isolated as you described.
Sorry for mega (and not at all specific to Vienna) reply, hope vaguely helpful though.
Thanks for your helpful and speedy thoughts, Jubaloo! I think you're right, as we will have a kid who will be going to nursery/school, it will be easier to meet people that way I think. We are definitely types to get out there and say hello to people and I really like your idea of speaking to at least 5 people a day! That's a good one
Berlin was a disaster because we went in with rose tinted specs on. We wre staying in a 3rd floor apartment with no lift (doesn't mix too well with a 6 month old + buggy), people seemed distant and rude and as we had already lived in Berlin before we had our daughter I think we compared the fantastic responsibility-free times with these times, which were really hard work in comparison!
This time around I would make our lives a lot easier by having our things professionally moved to the new place (we carried a skeleton amount by train from London - I know, completely mad!) and doing a few recce trips out there first to look at schools etc.
Ooh, where do you think you'll be moving to next year? Is this your first baby?
Not sure yet, looking like possibly Berlin or Malta. Baby due October and we'd need to move Spring next year
helly, there's a chat thread for people in German-speaking countries and quite a few of them there live in or near Vienna. Austria really is very, very different from Berlin! And I mean that positively and negatively. The Berliners are notoriously rude, they're proud of it, they make Parisian waiters seem like a model of politeness. BUT the Austrians are a lot more formal and conservative - I would hate living there, to be honest, but it's lovely for a holiday.
I don't think the situation with a third-floor flat and no lift is any different in Vienna. The majority of Altbau apartments simply don't have elevators, Neubau buildings might well do so, but they're not so attractive. I lived in an Altbau for the whole of my first pregnancy (fourth floor!) and the first 18 months of DD1's life, and it wrecked my knee. Honestly, I had to have a cartilage op afterwards. But part of it was possibly carrying the entire pram up and down steps at the underground because the lifts there were broken and the fecking men never offered to help carry it.
I lived in Vienna for 7 months while I did a semester at the uni...lovely city! Lots of green, great transport, extremely clean. Coming from Paris, it was a big shock how respectful people in the street were - no whistles, catcalls etc. And Vienna knows how to party
I lived in Neubau and it was fab. Big airy flat, MQ down the road, Mariahilfer (major shopping street) two mins away. And rent is generally not too bad.
Oh and the thing that made me smile was how people always did what they were told...from not crossing the street on a red light to having to sit exactly in your booked seat in the cinema even if it was practically empty.
Very political student body, strong feminist presence
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