It’s those little things that make you feel at home in a new town. While you can’t always have the best solution to the day-to-day qualms of urban life, here is a cheat sheet that will keep you ahead of the game.
Stay on top of Opening Hours
Shops closing at 18:00 and most things being closed on weekends is a typical newcomer pet peeve. But once you get the hang of it, it’s nice to know that almost everyone has a day off once in a while. Regardless, get the Öffnungszeiten (opening hours) app. It is the perfect cheat sheet to locate supermarkets, bakeries, fast food, post offices and cash machines. and specifically for pharmacies, there is Apotheken app, showing those that serve on Sundays and during off-hours.
Eat Dinner out for Less
When comes to restaurants Vienna dwellers are spoilt for choice. We end up spending much more of our disposable income on dining out than in other cities. Enter Delinski. This website and app allow you to book a table at one of 182 restaurants in Vienna and gives you 30% off the entire bill. So go crazy! The fancier the restaurant the more you save. Just note there is a €5 handling fee for your reservation.
Be (emission) free on a Citybike or E-Scooter
Even in a safe city like Vienna, bikes get stolen. So if you’re not into commitment, for €1, you can register to ride Vienna’s pedaled ponies. Every ride under an hour is free. This saves you the €48.20 for a month pass on public transport and especially in summer months biking feels – and depending on your route, actually is – infinitely faster. There are citybike stations all over town. They can be found at citybikewien.at or using the Bike Citizen’s App. There are a number of e-scooter providers in Vienna and here’s an overview of new laws for getting around.
Keep the Pigeons Away
Pigeons are everywhere, and so are their trail of tell-tale droppings. Vienna even has companies that specialize in pigeon defense (Taubenabwehr), casting nets over courtyards and installing unseemly spikes on windowsills and balconies. But there’s a less invasive way to get rid of the rats with wings: Some people swear by fake plastic crows as “scare pigeons.” But it’s even classier to dust the “affected” area with spices – like cinnamon, or cayenne pepper.
Cheap is Good, Free is Better
When you first move to a new place, you need essentials and, truth be told, they need not be forever. On willhaben.at you’ll find the biggest classified portal in Austria. From apartments to used clothing and pets, some stuff is even for free (“Zu Verschenken”). The search and notification functions are quite refined, but only available in German. There is also Shpock, the flea market app, which is available in English and encourages more price negotiation. Happy hunting!
Always Know Where you are
This may be the most “obvious” part of the cheat sheet, but nevertheless, an important insight. Districts can look deceptively similar, residential streets with turn-of-the-century buildings interrupted by 50s “Neubau” structures – you could be anywhere. But, attached to these facades on the corner of every street are clues. On the dark blue signs it’s a number in front of the street name (see photo). For orientation, house numbers descend as you approach the 1st district. You’re welcome.
Know when Your Ride is Coming
You know the feeling. You leave somewhere just to see your tram roll away before your eyes, leaving you out in the rain. Next time, check the Wiener Linien’s app Qando (for iphone or android). It will tell you where nearby public transport stops are and when the next train is arriving. It also shows which U-Bahn stops have free Wi-Fi, and the locations of Zipcar and Citybike stations. It calculates routes, by speed and the least number of changes, and shows any disruptions or detours. You can also buy tickets within the app. Best of all, it’s also in English. Alternatively there are the car-sharing providers Car2go and Drive Now and the new e-car provider (with a smaller selection) Eloop. But beware, this convenience can quickly become addictive and costly.
Get Food and Booze Delivered to Your Door
So you invited people over for drinks and when you finally leave the office the shops are closed. What to do? A few delivery services are prepared to save your evening. For food there are two main providers: Lieferservce.at and mjam.net and the offering depends on where you’re ordering to. For drinks, bierher.at (opens at 18:30) offers the essentials, a few beers, wines, spirits and mixers, while zustell-bar.at (opens at 20:00) tries to cover all bases with extras like snacks, sweets, frozen dinners as well as condoms and sex toys.
Have we left out something you have found essential to everyday Gemütlichkeit? Leave us a comment so other Metropolitans can learn form you. Now lean back, relax and live it up!