VBC PhD Programme

    Living in Vienna

    Consistently ranked No. 1 for Quality of Living


Vienna, Wien, Vienne....

From horse drawn carriages to modern transport, the Danube River and the Viennese waltz, to contemporary art and Christmas markets, modern Vienna is the cultural and political heart of Austria and a world-class city with a touch of imperial elegance. Besides this, Vienna's rich past and forward-thinking present has helped cement this city's role as a gateway to Central Europe.

For the last decade, Vienna has consistently been at the top of many most liveable cities lists, with the Opens external link in new windowvarious rankings taking into account infrastructure, public transport, safety, education, recreation and general quality of life. The Mercer Quality of Living Survey, for example, placed Vienna in the number one spot over the last five years! It is a cultural city in which both history and modernism meet. Another major benefit is access to nature - 50% of the city is open space and parks, such as the "Donauinsel", an island in the middle of the Danube, which is popular for outdoor activities ranging from rock festival to picnics.

Imperial Splendour

The city's inner (and oldest) district, the Innere Stadt, sits within the Ringstrasse, Vienna's circular boulevard, surrounded by many of the city's grandest buildings, including the Staatsoper, the Vienna State Opera, and the Hofburg Palace, once the imperial seat of the Habsburg rulers, now the office of President of Austria. The city centre, with the stunning St Stephen's Cathedral at its heart, is home to world-class museums, fine examples of Baroque and Art Nouveau architecture and decadent cafes where the Viennese like to enjoy their Sachertorte and coffee, normally a Wiener Melange. It was in this district that the eternal music of Mozart, Beethoven, Strauss, Schubert, Mahler and Schönburg was inspired, composed and performed. The MuseumsQuartier, just across Museumsplatz from the Museum of Art History, contains contemporary, modern and Austrian art museums, performance venues and a children's museum.

Surrounding Area

Many people like to head into the Wienerwald, Vienna woods, for hiking and picnicking and day trips to spots like Kahlenberg, a 480m-high mountain with spectacular views of the city. There are many wineries within the city limits and stopping by to taste the local wine at a heurigen (tavern) is a traditional way to spend a summer evening. In the summer, biking or boating down the wide Danube through the Wachau, a idyllic valley and Unesco World Heritage Site just 65km west of Vienna, is a popular day trip. The Slovakian capital of Bratislava makes for a quick city break, just 80km to the east, and in winter many head to Semmering to ski which about 100km to the south.