Give us a call or Get a quote

+44 (0) 20 8050 4748

Category Transport
Schonbrunn Imperial Palace - yellow building and square in Austria

Delicious wursts and up-to-the-minute precision are just two of the things that would impress you in Austria. The fast-growing economy of Europe's heartland provides opportunities for everyone. Moving to Austria sounds great in theory, but before you set your sights on it, you need to get to know its specifics. We've put together a quick guide for you to find out more about Austrian life and attitudes.

Is Austrian a dialect of German?

The answer is both yes and no, because the official language of the country is German. It is used in print media, television and in educational institutions. In everyday communication, Austrians speak a dialect and you could find many differences in their pronunciation. The two main dialect forms are Austro-Bavarian and Alemannic. Bavarian also includes the so-called Viennese German, which is the urban dialect in the Austrian capital.

English is compulsory in Austrian schools. Larger cities such as Vienna, Graz, Linz and Salzburg are home to many immigrants and students, making English even more accessible and spoken. However, learning German is highly recommended because it would help you find more favorable working conditions. If you move to a smaller town or village in Austria, learning it would have an even greater impact on your integration into the community.

Moving to new accommodation

The quality of life in a country is a key factor for most immigrants. Many people make the move to Austria, to the capital in particular, because Vienna is recognised as the best city to live in. This strongly affects the demand for property in the city. Prices vary sharply, depending on the chosen neighbourhood, its amenities and the specifics of the housing itself.

Most of the buildings are ancient. They are distinguished by their high ceilings, large windows and spacious entrances. Shared housing is popular in larger Austrian cities, mainly because of its low prices and the possibility of renting a room on a short-term basis. In order to find your place in this type of home, and accommodation in general, you should join rental groups on social networks and be active on housing portals.

Most apartments are rented unfurnished, and you will get access to hot water and heating. If you have opted for such accommodation, you should think in advance about how to transport your belongings to your new home.

You could also find furnished apartments on the property market, but their price is significantly higher. To get a better offer on them, you would need a real estate agent. The minimum rental period for a home in Austria is 3 years, but if you have any doubts that you won't stay for the whole period, negotiate an early release clause in the contract.

The possibility of entering social housing is widespread, but you can apply for it after 2 years of living in the country without changing residence. They are affordable but you would have to share some rooms with other people.

New job after moving to Austria

There is no official fixed minimum wage in Austria, but it is approximately EUR 1 500. The average salary in Austria is around EUR 2 182. It varies greatly according to the chosen sector and work experience. Research which city is best suited for you in relation to your field.

EU and EEA nationals can live and work in Austria without a special work permit or visa. If you are coming from a third country, you will need to familiarise yourself with the visa conditions and obtain a Red-White-Red card. It is a legal permission to work in the same company for 24 months. Each time you change jobs, you will have to reapply for the card. In order to get it, you must meet several requirements such as having full health insurance, proof of accommodation in the country and sufficient income.

The average work week is about 38 - 40 hours. The workday starts early in the morning, and for most people, Friday ends in the early afternoon. This allows for a longer weekend and quality time spent with family. It is the foundation of the local social culture, and Sunday is an unspoken day for family activities. Working late into the night is not perceived as a sign of ambition but massively as a lack of time allocation skills.

The work culture is traditional and punctual, as are the Austrians. Professional relationships are more distanced and there is no focus on personal life. Despite this discretion, people respect their free time and manage to balance it well with work commitments.

A new home for you and your children

When moving with children to another country, you should consider your education options. Austria maintains a high standard in all nurseries, pre-schools and after-school activities.

Many Austrians enroll their children in kindergarten when they are between 3 and 5 years old. There are no public kindergartens in the country and care for the little ones is not free. Pre-school education starts at the age of 5 and is free and compulsory for all.

If you opt for public education for your child, they will attend the school closest to your home. If you wish to go to another school, you must send a formal request to the school inspectorate. Public schools teach in German and if you think this would make it difficult for your child, you can go to a private or international school.

Many immigrants move to Austria every year, and this is a prerequisite for a wide choice of international and private schools. They offer different learning methods, bilingual teaching and follow-up qualifications. The international environment will give access to a variety of cultural influences and languages that children will encounter.

The quality of higher education is a major draw for many students. The variety of public and private universities, as well as highly specialised colleges, allows learning in all fields. State universities in Austria are free for Austrians, with only conditional fees for European students. For international students, very affordable conditions are provided for inclusion in the education system in order to integrate quickly and qualitatively into society.

The Hofburg Palace - Magnificent building in Austria

Moving to Austria with a pet

To move to Austria with your pet, you will need to prepare up-to-date documents. Make sure the pet has an international passport, a microchip compatible with ISO 11784 or ISO 11785, and a rabies vaccine.

All pets entering Austria from third countries also need a veterinary certificate written in English or German. It confirms that your pet is healthy and has had all the necessary vaccinations. Animals such as birds, tropical fish, reptiles, amphibians, rodents and rabbits do not need rabies vaccinations but must have a health certificate.

It is important to know that pets are only allowed into the country through the border crossings of the cities of Vienna, Graz, Linz, Salzburg, Innsbruck, and Klagenfurt. After settling in, you must register your dog with the local municipality and have it insured separately. This may include liability insurance for property damage and bodily injury.

Dogs can accompany their owners on public transport and to most restaurants but must be muzzled and leashed. For breeds more prone to aggression, it is compulsory to obtain an education licence. This is to ensure a safe urban environment for all.

Driving in Austria

EU and EEA nationals can drive freely on their licences for up to five years or replace them with Austrian licences. Regardless, they will need to register as a driver in the local system to avoid complications at future checks.

If you move to Austria from the UK or another third country, you can use a foreign driving licence for up to six months after your move to Austria. You must carry an international licence or a German translation of your licence. Renewing your licence with an Austrian one involves passing a practical test, but for some third countries this is optional. Familiarise yourself thoroughly with the replacement conditions to avoid fines.

The transport network in Austria is extensive, reliable and affordable. Intercity trains and buses make it easy to travel throughout the Alpine country, and public transport is well-established, cheap and used by many people. Cycling to work is mainstream and an environmentally friendly way to get around.

Health insurance

Austrian healthcare provides a high level of medical check-ups and hospital stays. To access these, you need to join the country's health insurance system. Whether you choose public or private insurance, it is compulsory for anyone who wants to move to Austria.

All EU and EEA citizens can use their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and access public healthcare, in the first 6 months after moving. After this period, they can easily obtain a public health insurance card. This covers most medical check-ups as well as prescription medicines. A momentary fee (EUR 6,50) has to be paid each time medication is obtained from a local pharmacy.

When you start working for an Austrian company, it is obliged to register you in the country's healthcare system. This would be a great opportunity for many people who are not EU or EEA members to get public insurance. People coming from the UK and other third countries mostly use the services of private health insurance companies. They also provide quicker access to medical check-ups, a wider choice of specialists and those who speak English.

Nature and climate

Due to Austria's central location in Europe, the climate is temperate continental. Four seasons can be clearly distinguished. Their duration depends on which region of the country you are in. In the foothills of the Alps, you will encounter more rainfall and a long winter period, while if you head eastwards, you will experience hot summers and low humidity.

Austrians are active and are in nature at all times of the year. You can see them hiking in the spring and skiing in the cold winter. The winter season gives the opportunity to practice a variety of snow sports, and the country welcomes many of their lovers. The Austrian Christmas markets are magical, and the traditional cuisine adds perfectly to the festive atmosphere.

Tourism is highly developed in the country and many people are tempted to visit.

However, moving to Austria is a bold move that should be well considered. If you have decided to find your new home there, the team at Movega Removals can assist you. Contact us for a free consultation and we will answer all your questions related to your future move.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.