Austria’s charm, natural beauty, and cultural heritage are well-known all across the globe. But the country is rich in modern amenities as well. Universal healthcare, excellent infrastructure, top-class universities, and successful entrepreneurship attract ex-pats and international corporations. Find out more about the Vienna Region Lifestyle and why this location could be ideal for your start-up, your new production facility, or your business relocation.

Geography and climate

The Vienna Region is located in the very heart of Europe. Hence, it is easy to travel to European countries in all directions, making holidays more diverse, accessible, and affordable. Taking a quick trip to Slovakia, Germany, Hungary, or any of the five other countries along Austria’s border is part of the Vienna Region Lifestyle. It is easy to travel by train, car, bus or by plane. Of course, the same goes for export and business interaction.

The climate is temperate – if you are looking to escape long, harsh winters the Vienna Region is the place to be. Even in December and January, there are many sunny days. Austria does not experience midnight sun or polar nights like northern European countries. Vienna does not get a lot of snowfall in the winter months. Burgenland is known as the sunny side of Austria, with luscious vineyards and a unique steppe lake that attracts fans of watersports. Lower Austria has some mountainous parts, the highest of which is Schneeberg (Mount snow, 2,076m /6,811 ft). Here, there is ample opportunity to enjoy winter sports. 

The Vienna Region covers all tastes and desires – there are areas and activities for lovers of sunshine as well as for fans of mountains and snow. The fascinating thing is, that all these areas are relatively close to each other and well connected by roads and public transport. Austria’s nature is healthy, there are vast forests, the air quality is very good and the tap water is clean and drinkable.

Sports and Fitness

Austria has a long and successful sporting history. There is plenty of sportive entertainment – like watching soccer games, motorsports or ski races. Skiing is one of the most popular winter sports. There are many pistes and beautiful ski resorts to choose from. Of course, there is also snowboarding, cross-country skiing and ice skating. If you are used to winter sports from your northern home countries, you will not have to miss out on them in Austria!

However, the warmer climate also allows for lots of summer activities. Lower Austria’s landscape is very diverse. There are meadows and high alpine areas, green hills, and wide plains. Beautiful lakes warm up to a pleasant temperature in the summer months.

Europe’s only steppe lake, Neusiedlersee in Burgenland, offers kiting, sailing, surfing, and swimming. The flat landscape is perfect for bicycling alongside or around the lake. Also, there are beautiful thermal spas and wellness resorts. Vienna is traversed by the Danube river which offers lots of water sports as well. On a hot summer day, you can quickly cool down in the Danube right after work. There are plenty of designated areas to swim in. The Danube island is a great place for bicycling, jogging, or picnicking.

There are loads of other outdoor activities such as hiking, paragliding, tennis, canyoning, rafting, golf, horseback riding, waterparks, etc. Indoor activities include fitness studios, dance schools, martial arts centers, etc. Spas and hot springs offer rest, repose, and various health benefits.

Culture and entertainment

The Vienna Region enjoys a great reputation all over the world for its culture and music. Living here means being able to attend a near-endless variety of cultural events. Vienna is home to art exhibits, top-class museums, and of course the famous Viennese opera house. In Mörbisch, Burgenland, you can visit the largest open-air operetta stage in the world. It is harmoniously built into the natural scenery of the National Park Lake Neusiedl and is quite a sight to behold. Lower Austria offers many theatre houses, concerts, and historic sites.

Furthermore, you will find yourself constantly surrounded by stunning imperial architecture, medieval castles, and impressive churches. In fact, no matter what your tastes are, you will be in awe of all the cultural wonders on offer.  Looking back on a rich history, Vienna, Lower Austria, and Burgenland are filled with architectural monuments, palaces and castles. Historic treasures are presented in a way that is suitable and exciting for the entire family. Great examples are the Roman excavations in Carnuntum, and outdoor museums like Niedersulz.

Food and Drink

Renowned restaurants, inns, and taverns are part of the Vienna Region Lifestyle and preserve the traditions of the country.  Lower Austria, Burgenland, and the outskirts of Vienna are famous for their vineyards, producing excellent wine. You will find restaurants in the most beautiful spots, overlooking lakes, rivers, mountains, or historic monuments. Whether you are looking for traditional Austrian cuisine, international foods or vegan/vegetarian options, exquisite dining or budget offers – the Vienna Region has it all. The Vienna Region is home to various ethnic communities so you will find authentic Indian, Chinese, Middle Eastern or African cuisine. There is also an ever-growing consciousness regarding health and environmental issues, so there are more and more plant-based and/or organic restaurants.

Expat community

Diversity is part of the Vienna Region Lifestyle. There are plenty of ex-pats and ex-pat groups dedicated to socializing, networking, business, travel, and more. English is a compulsory subject in school, so communication with locals and public services is easy. The government offers several programs to support local and international startups, and to assist companies that want to relocate to Austria. There are grants, subsidized loans, early-stage mentoring, workshops, and even office infrastructure. These programs also help ex-pats connect locally with organized events.

There are many options for training and education. The Vienna Region is home to universities, training facilites and research institutes. The government puts a lot of emphasis on research and development as well as digitalization. Hence, expats can add to their education and enterprises can acquire highly trained staff. The Vienna Region is extremely future orientated and a great place to move to or invest in. 

To sum it all up

In international surveys that rank the quality of life, Austria can be found among the top countries again and again, year after year. Intact nature, beautiful scenery, diverse sport and recreational activities, excellent cuisine, and a rich historic legacy with world-famous imperial architecture, culture, and art are part of the high-quality lifestyle of the Vienna Region. Personal safety, low crime rates, political and economic stability, and recreational opportunities add to that list. On top of that, there is great healthcare, first-class universities and research facilities, modern infrastructure, extensive public transportation, and a spirit of entrepreneurship with many benefits for start-ups and company relocation. If you are looking into launching a new business or establishing a new production facility, all the important success factors for companies a location can offer await you in the Vienna Region!

Many Finnish entrepreneurs are looking into relocating their company to a different country or opening a new branch of their company abroad. An international presence certainly uplifts a company’s image and revenue. Austria, and specifically the Vienna Region, is an excellent business location that offers many opportunities. Finnish companies in Austria can benefit from a number of advantages which we will outline below.


Strong business relations

Bilateral trade relations between Austria and Finland have developed well in recent years. The most important Austrian export goods to Finland are machinery (31% of all exports) and electrotechnical goods (12%), followed by motor vehicles (8%). Finnish exports to Austria are also dominated by machinery (approx. 50%), followed by paper and cardboard (15%) and electrical machinery (14%, mainly for telecommunications).

In 2019, there were a total of 39 branches of Finnish Companies in Austria. Among the most significant Finnish investors in Austria (EUR 469 million in 2019) are Nokia, Amer Group (Atomic), Stora Enso (wood industry), UPM (papers), Kone (elevators), Dynea (synthetic resins), and Caverion (cooling technology and facility management).For Finns, Austria is a popular vacation destination, especially in winter. Finns love to spend their vacations actively, with sports and city explorations. Austria is perfect for all these activities. In 2016, a total of over 350,000 overnight stays by Finnish travelers were recorded in Austria.

Country comparisons

There are many parallels between the two countries regarding social welfare, political structures (democracy), high quality of life, and economic stability. Also, there are many shared values when it comes to business interactions. Punctuality, loyalty, and reliability of corporate partners are appreciated and expected. These similarities create a favorable setting for Finnish companies to smoothly enter the Austrian market. There are direct flights between Helsinki and Vienna and the infrastructure in both countries is excellent. The extensive public transport network in both countries is being enlarged continuously.

With 9 million inhabitants, Austria’s population is quite a bit bigger than that of Finland (5,5 million inhabitants). However, Austria is about 4 times smaller than Finland. Hence, sights, different landscapes (mountains, plains, lakes, hot springs, etc.), natural and cultural attractions are much less sprawled out. Transport routes between production sites, distribution centers, and points of sale are less long as well.

The climate is warmer, especially in the Vienna Region. Burgenland, with its 300 days of sunshine a year, is well known for its flourishing vineyards and orchards, its excellent wines, and its splendid outdoor activities. Vienna enjoys mild winters. And for those who love snow and skiing, the mountainous areas in Lower Austria will offer plenty of freezing days with thick snowfall.

Finland’s sales tax is 4% higher than that of Austria (24 vs 20%). Lower sales taxes decrease the price of goods which increases profit for businesses. Austria’s goods exports in relation to the gross domestic product amount to 39,3 %. That is a higher number than that of Finland or Sweden.


Situated in the very center of Europe, the location of the Vienna Region (Vienna, Lower Austria, and Burgenland) is undeniably more advantageous than that of Northern Europe. It provides easy access to the growing markets in Central and Eastern Europe. An extensive motorway network, an international airport, major railway terminals for regional and international rail travel, and freight transport down the Danube offer perfect connections to all of Europe and beyond. Major capitals like Munich, Bratislava, Budapest, Vienna, Kiew, Prag, etc. can be reached easily and quickly. For industries that rely on raw materials, buyers, and component suppliers this is a considerable advantage.  

Grants and subsidies

In the process of setting up a new company, financing is one of the most important issues. Austria has established an extensive system of public funding and early-stage investment. Additionally, there are many private investors. Forbes Magazine has even proclaimed the Vienna Region the best place to start a business. The spirit of entrepreneurship is strong here – start-ups are encouraged and subsidized. There are many jump-start programs, business grants, and accelerators Finnish companies in Austria can benefit from.

The VIENNA REGION Business Agencies are the first point of contact for foreign companies wishing to establish themselves in the Vienna Region.

If you’re looking for business premises, production sites, laboratories, and office space in Vienna, the Vienna Business agency will offer you all the information you need. There is help regarding funding for companies from any industry and of any size. The website offers a detailed overview of investment funds and investor networks based in Vienna. The list of business grants is quite long and each of them has a different thematic focus.

Ecoplus, the Business Agency of Lower Austria, is a reliable partner of entrepreneurs as well as investors and initiators of regional and international projects. The agency acts as an essential interface between business, politics, and science. Business grants include regional funding, investments by municipalities, companies, associations and initiatives as well as by individuals. Burgenland’s Business Agency offers financial support and 1-to-1 coaching as well as various workshops to entrepreneurs. The program includes consulting, expert advice, and office infrastructure. Specialized programs accompany start-ups and companies that relocate to Burgenland along their entire settlement and set-up process. The agency is your reliable partner for all business endeavors in Burgenland. You can find an overview of all current subsidies and a step-by-step guide to the funding process on their website.

Blogarticle about the success factors of the Vienna Region for companies, startups and entrepreneurs


Of the approximately 2.44 million employed Finns, more than 70% work in the service sector, about a quarter in industry, and the rest in the primary sector (agriculture and forestry). These numbers are very similar in Austria.
However, the area used for agriculture is only 7,5% whereas it is 32% in Austria which offers much better agricultural possibilities. 73% of Finnland is covered in forests, in Austria that number is considerably lower (47%), leaving more room for fields. The warmer climate is an additional benefit.

Austrian agricultural production is a signpost to the future. It has changed a lot in the last few decades, becoming steadily automated. Artificial intelligence and digital technologies will take on an important role in the future to feed a growing population, compensate for supply chain failure, and manage the effects of climate change. The Austrian government is both aware of and concerned about the future of food production. Smart and sustainable agriculture 2050+ is an important agenda. The Vienna Region puts a strong emphasis on digital transformation. Digital technologies and AI are implemented in all sectors of life, including agriculture. Companies specializing in these areas will find excellent conditions in Austria – networks, think tanks, research facilities, and government grants as well as private investors.

Relocation made easy

More and more companies are discovering the Vienna Region and its many advantages for their business endeavors. There are many helpful business agencies and networks that make setting up shop in the Vienna Region a lot easier. The quality of life is very high. Personal safety, low crime rates, excellent health care, clean air and water, child care benefits and a great schooling system await expats. There is a vast number of universities and colleges with more than 210.000 students in the Vienna Region. Companies looking for local employees will encounter highly skilled graduates and a variety of higher education and training opportunities for their employees. Austria has a strong focus on research. Many research facilities work on advancing innovation, science, and product development.

If you are looking for a new location for your company or a new production facility, you should absolutely consider the Vienna Region. Situated in the very heart of Europe, it holds all the key factors for success. Finnish companies in Austria enjoy many benefits and advantages – especially in the Vienna Region.

An insight about the Vienna Region

Let me give you five reasons why you should set up your headquarters in the Vienna Region:

  • it is part of the 4th richest country of the European Union
  • a high quality of life at affordable prices 
  • Excellent, highly-developed infrastructure
  • highly qualified workforce
  • outstanding spending capacity of customers
  • home to many international companies, universities as well as research facilities
  • direct access to South East and Eastern Europe 
  • high level of personal security, political stability and legal certainty
  • an international as well as cosmopolitan region due to a population with migration background

What a founder-friendly location needs is a focus on the global market. Austria’s location in particular makes it an ideal hub for the international start-up scene in Central and Eastern Europe. 

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