Can you drink tap water in Austria? You might be surprised

I live in an older building in Austria, and my tap water is crystal clear and really tasty

When it comes to one of the many things I love about living in Austria, one of the big things is being able to drink the tap water.

Yes, you can drink tap water in Austria anywhere you happen to be — hotels, apartments, public toilets (some have water fountains), restaurants, Airbnbs, outdoor public fountains etc — as Austria has some of the world’s cleanest tap water.

As someone who drinks 8-12 glasses of water a day, every day, that alone has saved me hundreds of euros per year by not having to purchase bottled water.

Especially as Austrian tap water is healthy, crystal clear and completely odorless. It tastes great too.

It also often comes out of the tap incredibly cold as not only does much of Austria’s water come from the Alps, but most months of the year Austria has a cold climate.

And I love that.


Much of Austria’s water comes direct from the Alps — Photo: wilhei

Why is Austrian tap water so clean?

Almost 100% of Austria’s tap water comes from ground and spring water.

That water is subjected to the stringent guidelines of the Austrian Drinking Water Ordinance, as Austrian authorities know there must always be access to clean, safe drinking water as it is a necessity for life.

That water cannot contain any pathogenic microorganisms, and should also contain a minimum concentration of minerals, as these are needed for the human body to function correctly.

It also has no measurable pesticide residues.

This means, unlike many areas of the U.S. for instance, where tap water can be not only unhealthy but contaminated with all kinds of pathogens, tap water in Austria is guaranteed to be safe.

Much of Austrian tap water also comes directly from the mountains — in Vienna, except for in extremely hot weather when more tap water is consumed, all of it does — and that means it comes from pristine Alpine areas of the country.


Why are you buying bottled water in Austria?

All of this is why it has always amazed me that you still see Austrians buying bottled water at the supermarket.

Especially as, not only is bottled water terrible for the environment, but studies show bottled water is often contaminated with microplastics and toxic chemicals that leak into the water from the plastic packaging.

People who think drinking bottled water is “safer” than drinking tap water in Austria then may be in for a shock.

If you want to have water to drink outside your home, it makes more sense then, and is cheaper and better for the environment, to simply buy a reusable water bottle, fill it up at your home’s tap, and then put it in your bag to take with you.


About Michelle Topham

I'm a journalist, and the founder of Oh My Vienna. I have been living in Vienna since 2016 as an immigrant, because 'expat' is just a fancy word that means exactly that.