Living in Vienna vs. Bern vs. ?

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My partner may be offered a job in Vienna, Bern, or — much farther afield — Bogotá. I have actually lived in Bogotá before so would know what to expect, but I’m curious what people think of living in either of the first two. Seems like you can’t beat Bern for mountain life, but Vienna is probably more interesting as a city, and I gather there’s plenty of good climbing there too. Anyway, all thoughts and impressions welcome. 

In reply to alex505c:

Vienna generally does well in those quality of life in a city surveys. Interestingly for a major river city it’s really difficult to have any contact with the Danube - it’s very well hidden away. Good parks and open spaces, excellent transport infrastructure. Traditional Viennese diet is a recipe for constipation and colorectal cancer. Some amazing architecture. Colleagues who worked there tell me it’s a rather conservative city and unless fluent in German it’s hard to progress. Links to the mountains are pretty good. I have only spent a few weeks there myself but it was an easy city to visit and if I spoke German well I would think it would be worth a longer stay; also politically it has become more acceptable to me since the far right have lost a lot of power recently. 

Entertaining repurposing of one of the old nazi flack towers as a climbing wall too. Also, some really good kit shops  

I guess it depends on length of job and other stuff like pay (Bern is pretty expensive but undeniably well sited for the outdoor life). Good luck! Not a bad position to find yourselves in.


In reply to ben b:

Very helpful — many thanks!

 mbrookes 24 Jul 2021
In reply to alex505c:

> unless fluent in German it’s hard to progress

As a visitor I found that they were pretty forgiving if you at least made an effort to speak some German, and especially if you can learn some colloquial greetings, but I can imagine how that would be the case in the world of work.

 veteye 24 Jul 2021
In reply to ben b:

I agree about the diet. The idea of vegetables when I visited there for a few days, about 20 years ago was seemingly alien. Moving along to Salzburg, was a relief from the diet point of view.

 tjekel 10:03 Mon
In reply to alex505c:

for a first orientation... you are welcome here:

otherwise, if your aim is high mountains, go for Bern. Rock climbing, culture, public transport and connections to the outside world (airport), Vienna hands down. 

Forget about the diet above, you'll get close to everything in Vienna. 

 cyberpunk 13:08 Mon
In reply to alex505c:

I have lived in Vienna before and have friends that currently live in Bern. I would say go to Vienna and they would agree because its very difficult to make friends and have a any form of a social life in Bern. There is alot of pretty good climbing around Vienna.   

 Moacs 13:18 Mon
In reply to alex505c:

I lived in Vienna for 18 months as a young man (i.e. a while ago).

I arrived with no German and this was a significant problem in making friends.

I found a lot of the attitudes I came across, about the Turkish community in particular, pretty unsavoury.  Even back then such open racism would have been uncomfortable in  most of the UK.

As has been said, good access to climbing, skiing, mountains etc.

Very pretty; very expensive.

I think the above may be even more true of Bern - but I have only visited there.

Post edited at 13:18
 tjekel 22:29 Mon
In reply to Moacs:

agree with the racism part in earlier times, and sadly, also today. on par with some other places where right wing populists are in power and win either elections or exits with sad non-arguments.

dont agree with expensive... overall, Vienna is much cheaper than whatever place in Switzerland. alpine club huts are approximately half the price, same goes for a meal or a post-work drink. And public transport. 

In reply to alex505c:

Vienna! Cheaper, people more open, English widely spoken, feels to be on the up as Eastern Europe becomes more wealthy (banking capital for CEE). Beautiful city. 

I've never lived in Bern but know people who have and the people have a reputation for being somewhat hard to socialise with. Swiss work joke - a non-swiss new joiner comes into the office on day 1, asks everyone how they are doing, all very friendly. Next day he comes in and asks how are you, met with awkward silence. He asks what's wrong, his colleagues say you asked us that yesterday, we're fine.

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