Living in AustriaIyna Bort Caruso
Austria straddles Europe’s East-West divide and its geography is reflected in the diversity of its population. Property investors from the East have found the country a safe place to park their funds, but it’s also the quality of life that attracts them. This country of vineyards and castles, imperial cities and resort towns is one of the continent’s wealthiest.
The capital of Vienna ranks as the world’s best city to live in, according to the 2017 Mercer Quality of Life, a spot its held for the 8th consecutive year. The first district, or the inner city, is the hub of the luxury home market. The fact that new development is limited in many areas and that a third of Vienna is given over to parks and open spaces, keeps inventory low and demand high.
The architecture of the Habsburg Empire is a point of Viennese pride. The city has its modern standouts, too, and has drawn global attention for buildings that challenge conventional ideas with inventive new forms.
Vienna is one of nine states of this Alpine republic. Styria is a mountainous region of national parks with a hearty outdoor heritage of skiing and hiking. Its main city, Graz, is the country’s second largest after Vienna. A large university center with a high tech hub, Graz also has the largest medieval city center in Europe.
Salzburg is synonymous with arts and culture. Every summer, more than a quarter-million people descend on the “city of Mozart” for the Salzburg Festival.
The region known as Upper Austria is marked by rolling hills, picturesque lakes and thermal baths while Lower Austria is vacation country criss-crossed with vineyards and castles. Tyrol is one of the great ski destinations of the world. Tony resort towns like Lech-Zürs and St. Anton offer reliable powder and elegant après ski scenes.