Expanding Your Circle of Friends as an Expat in Vienna

If you’ve been living in Vienna as an expat for quite some time, you might’ve noticed that the Viennese people aren’t particularly fond of meeting other people. In fact, according to German Language Center Vienna, most Viennese seldom entertain small talk, let alone have conversations about personal matters.

But for new or recent foreign settlers in the city, how do you increase your friendship circles as an expat in Vienna?

Consider your residency options

If you’re searching for a place to live or looking to transfer, you can consider sharing an apartment. Although the main reason for doing this is most probably to cut back on the cost of living, it will inevitably lead to personal connections. You can then have your roommates as friends and chances are, you’ll meet their other friends, too.

Join social clubs, organisations, and activities

A post by Us Europeans explained that the Vienesse are big fans of football, which is usually the case with most other European cities and nations. Thus, if you enjoying watching or playing football, one of the best ways to get to know people in Vienna is by joining a group or club dedicated to the sport.

Conversely if you have other interests, you may sign up with other kinds of societies such as book clubs, drawing and painting groups, etc. It’s also worth noting that many Viennese like outdoor sports such as skiing, river surfing and cycling. Joining an organisation with members with similar interests will aid you in making friends.

It’s also worth participating in social activities such as Red Cross programs and medical missions. Given that events like this require collaborative efforts, along the way you will create bonds that’ll serve as a foundation to creating long lasting friendships.

Another way expats can make friends is through joining football fan groups or even going to watch live local games. The people of Vienna are renowned for being passionate about their football, thus come match time, the pubs in the city are packed to the rafters. Supporting a local team such as the famous Austria Wien will give you opportunities to meet likeminded people. Although, this year is a bit of a weird one for the famous club, as they didn’t manage to make the Champions League group stages, instead they will be playing against Roma, Astra and Plzen in the Europa Cup to the annoyance of the Violets fans.

If however, you want to watch a Champions League game, most sports bars in the city will screen the games. There you will be able to watch the biggest clubs in Europe compete for club football’s most coveted prize. This season, Betfair predict Barcelona will win the competition, fighting off the challenge of “their bitter rivals” Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. Large groups of expats congregate in bars to watch the games so this could quite possibly be the best way to meet new friends.

Take it easy

Most important of all is to take it easy. If a person isn’t particularly friendly, then don’t bother them. Being considerate and respectful are virtues that are held in the highest regard by the Viennese. Although these values are needed regardless of which city or country you are in, Viennese people take them really seriously – the same level of seriousness when it comes to their coffee.

A lot of Viennese frequent coffee houses by themselves and it’s undesirable to invade that private space and time. Most coffee houses in Vienna even prohibit children from entering, as they might disturb the relatively quiet and peaceful moments enjoyed by customers.

Respecting the traditions and culture of other nations will take you far, not only when it comes to meeting new people, but in fostering relationships.