Sep 042012

Vienna, Austria is often ranked as one of the most livable cities in the world.  I’m sure there are many quantitative reasons for this, outside of the shear cost of living there, but let’s examine some of the reasons you will find this city so nice and livable.

Now, Vienna is not the best city for sight-seeing, though there is a lot to see, but it is the best city for relaxing after a serious sight-seeing journey.  When I arrived in Vienna, it was after spending two weeks in Rome.  Two weeks in Rome seems like a lifetime but you really only have enough time in those weeks to scratch the surface of what Rome has to offer as far as historical sights are concerned.

After two weeks in Rome, you will be used to the smallest cars you’ve ever seen, the worst drivers you’ve ever seen, and one of the most cramped cities you’ll ever see.  It is a mess of disorganized chaos surrounded by wonders of the world.  Also, there are so many old structures still standing that it is very difficult to get around this city.  Safe to say that after two weeks there you will be losing weight – I think I lost 8 pounds or so during my time there.

Now let’s gain the weight back in Vienna – a city with wide streets, full-sized cars, respectful and careful drivers, great city transportation, and lots of wonderful food.  The chaos of Rome is the exact opposite of the order of Vienna.

In Vienna, there are shops for locals on almost every corner, from coffee shops, shoe shops, and tailors to grocery stores, convenience stores, and pharmacies.  It is easy to find your way around, and you never feel lost using the public transportation, especially the Ringstrasse tram. Also, the food here is just wonderful.  There are amazing restaurants and cafes everywhere you go and there is always something to do.

Basically, in Vienna, you feel comfortable.  You have breathing room and everything feels as though it is within an arms-reach of you.  The city runs the way you wish your city ran and the people are simply friendly.

The downside to all of this is the cost of living here.  Vienna is expensive.  You will pay a lot to live or vacation here but it really is worth it to spend a week here and relax while leisurely taking in the sites, sounds (don’t forget about the opera here), and scenes.  While you’re at it, make sure to visit some of the great local coffee shops, including Cafe Sperl.


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