For members


Where in Austria do all the British residents live?

Latest official figures from Statistik Austria show that 11,529 British people live in Austria. But where are they based?

Where in Austria do all the British residents live?
Where do the Brits live in Austria? Photo: Damien MEYER / AFP

Despite Brexit becoming a reality at the start of this year, there is still a strong community of British people living in Europe – including Austria.

So, what draws people to live in this small alpine country in Central Europe? And which part of Austria have they chosen to make home?

The capital takes the top spot

According to figures from Statistik Austria, Vienna is the most popular location with 4,447 British people living in the city.

As the capital of Austria with a multicultural population and a growing English-speaking community, it’s no surprise that so many British people live there.

READ MORE: How do foreigners feel about living in Austria?

Simon Kelly, a corporate English trainer from London, has been living in Vienna for 24 years after moving to the city for love and to experience living in another European city.

He said: “There are many utilitarian ‘best things’ about Vienna, like the subsidised housing, the public transport, the health and education system, the relative safety compared to other major cities in Europe and the fact that everything seems to work.”

In comparison to his UK life, Simon also said that Vienna is a more affordable place to live – something that has earned Vienna the title of best place to live for many years.

He said: “Vienna has always seemed more affordable than say London, in every respect, and accessing a doctor or dentist here is still easy. 

“One good example might be from a friend who visited last year and observed that nobody really looks poor. 

“It’s a massive generalisation of course but perhaps that best sums it up – nothing really looks that shabby.”

Where else do British people live?

After Vienna, Tyrol is the second most popular location for British people in Austria with 1,682 British residents, many of whom are drawn to the mountains and the outdoor lifestyle.

Salzburgerland is another popular province (1,172 British people) for similar reasons, and is the new home of British freelance writer and English teacher Mairi Bunce.

Mairi relocated with her family from Vienna to Bad Ischgl in the Salzkammergut earlier this year where she is enjoying the fresh air, having more space and living in a similar landscape to her native Scotland.

She said: “My favourite thing is watching the weather change on the mountains. 

“I’m not built to cope with the weeks of 35-degree weather and cloudless skies of summer in Vienna. 

A man with Union Jack shoes sits in Vienna. Photo: ALEXANDER KLEIN / AFP

“I love waking up in a cloud and watching the sky lift as the morning goes on. It’s much more like Scotland and it makes me feel completely at home.”

Elsewhere in Austria, Lower Austria has 1,295 British residents, Styria has 977 and Upper Austria has 827.

The provinces least populated by Brits are Carinthia with 642 British residents, Vorarlberg with 342 and Burgenland with just 145.

Why do British people live in Austria?

Austria might be a land-locked country but it has modern cities, a rich history and easy access to nature – something that many people from the UK are drawn to. 

Mairi, from Scotland, said: “Most of the Brits I know in Austria came here for love or moved for a short time for work and then never got around to leaving – I’m one of the latter. 

“I think people come here for lots of different reasons – it’s a small country, so there’s usually an interesting story about what drew someone to the place. 

“But most people seem to stay for the lifestyle, benefits, and the way it’s so easy to move between the beautiful scenery and the very liveable cities.”

FOR MEMBERS: Nine mistakes everyone makes when they first move to Austria

Mairi said the affordable cost of living is another reason why she has made Austria her home.

She said: “I couldn’t afford the lifestyle I have here in the UK, largely because the cost of childcare and transport here is so affordable.  

“I live in a big Altbau apartment with wooden floors, a balcony and chandeliers. It’s incredible, and I love that I don’t have the pressure to ‘get on the housing ladder’ like I would in the UK because renting in Austria is so secure.”

For Simon in Vienna, Austria represents a safe and stable place with a distinct European flair.

He said: “It may not have the intensity and passion of some other European countries but it somehow manages to combine the best elements of a more Mediterranean mindset with the efficiency and functionality of some of our more northern European neighbours.”

How does Austria compare to other countries in Europe?

According to data from the United Nations, there are 1.3 million British people living in the European Union.

Spain is the most popular country with 302,000 people, followed by Ireland at 293,000 and France at 177,000.

In Germany, there are 99,000 British people that call Deutschland home, and in Italy there are 66,000 Brits.

IN NUMBERS: How many people become Austrian each year – and where do they come from?

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For members


How to make the most of a quick trip from Vienna to Bratislava

With only about 80 kilometres between them, Vienna and Bratislava are two of the closest capital cities in the world, with the Slovak capital ideal for a quick cross-border weekend or day trip.

How to make the most of a quick trip from Vienna to Bratislava

Getting to Bratislava from the Austrian capital is about as easy as it gets, with more than a few Vienna residents having made several such trips.

With plenty of options for things to see or ways to get there at an affordable price, it’s a simple international treat for a Vienna visitor or resident.

Once you’re in Bratislava, your wallet may well thank you as well. While estimates vary depending on index, the cost of living in the Slovak capital is about one quarter less expensive than Prague, and about a third less than Vienna.

Slovak sights: what to see

Travel gurus sometimes label Bratislava as “The Little Big City.” It may feel larger and is ultimately a European capital, but it has only about 400,000 residents compared to Vienna’s nearly two million, and it’s easy to navigate on foot or with public transport.

The city has two castles to delight visitors. The first is the well-known Bratislava castle, perched on a hill above the old town. Dating back all the way to the 10th century, the castle has many uses today – from acting as a representative place for members of the Slovak parliament to host guests, to housing the Slovak National Museum of History.

The Castle also contains the Museum’s Treasury – with its collection of gold and silver. The city’s second main castle, Devin Castle, sits just outside town and right on the border with Austria, with its Maiden Tower right at the confluence of the Danube and Moravia rivers.

Bratislava UFO Bridge

Bratislava’s Most SNP, or “UFO Bridge” housing a restaurant and observation deck. Photo: Vlastimil Starec, Pixabay

On the other side of the charming Old Town’s main square from Bratislava Castle, sits the Catholic Church of St. Elizabeth, a blue-coloured Art Nouveau treat for the eyes. You’ll also find the Slovak Presidential Palace, numerous art galleries, and even the infamous Most SNP – a UFO-like structure sitting on top of Bratislava’s New Bridge – where you can check out the view from either the restaurant or observation deck.

READ ALSO: Five of the best weekend getaways from Vienna

How to get there: ÖBB’s Bratislava-Ticket

For a single day’s trip, Austrian rail company ÖBB will offer you the Bratislava-Ticket for €18, or €9 for children between six and 14 years old.

With it, you can use it to travel between Vienna and Bratislava on either ÖBB or Slovak ZSSK, the Slovak rail company. But it doesn’t stop there. You can also use the same ticket on all public urban transport within Bratislava, as well as on regional ÖBB trains within Vienna.

Most train and bus services from Vienna to Bratislava leave via Vienna’s central station. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)

Given the ticket’s usefulness among commuters and students, you can also get weekly tickets for €42.50 or monthly ones for €143.80. Ticketholders can also sometimes get walking tour discounts.

Alternatively, you can typically get a train ticket from Vienna to Bratislava for less than €10, with the journey lasting just over an hour.

READ ALSO: What international border towns can you travel to on Austria’s KlimaTicket?

How to get there: By Bus

Numerous buses leave every day from Vienna to Bratislava and in reverse. Flixbus provides the most common services, although their prices are about the same as what you’d be paying out for a train ticket – around €10. The travel time is also mostly the same, clocking in at just over an hour.

RegioJet shuttles also make regular runs between the two cities.

How to get there: By Car

If you have your own car, Vienna to Bratislava is a piece of cake – doable in just over an hour’s drive. Otherwise, there are several taxi or driver services that shuttle people between the two cities – especially from Vienna Airport. These are more expensive though, with many running up at around €75 a ride.

How to get there: By Bike

Lastly, cyclists with a bit of spare time can try out the Vienna to Bratislava bike trail. Forming a part of the much larger Danube Cycle Path stretching from Passau in Germany all the way to Budapest, the Vienna to Bratislava section clocks in at around four hours of cycle time along the EU’s longest river, with almost no car traffic to speak of.

How to get there: By Boat

If you fancy a trip between the two capitals on the Danube River, but aren’t willing to do the cycle, there are boat services connecting the two cities.

Bratislava Water

Bratislava as seen from the water. A boat trip from Vienna takes about 75 minutes. Photo: Helena Jankovičová Kováčová, Pexels.

The most regular of these is from a company called Twin City Liner, which operates a catamaran at least once daily in low season, and more often in high season.

As a highspeed catamaran, it also barely takes longer than a train or bus ride, completing the trip in about 75 minutes. It’s much cheaper than a taxi service, but definitely more than a train or bus, with most tickets running at about €35.

READ ALSO: How to save money while travelling around Austria