Is Vienna a quiet city? What are Vienna noise ordinance laws like?

Streets tend to be quiet in Vienna — all day, but especially on Sundays

Is Vienna, Austria a quiet city?

With Vienna’s noise ordinance laws being quiet strict (see Vienna’s noise laws explained and specific mandated ‘quiet hours’ down below) –and “Hallelujah” I say, as I hate having to put up with loud noises — this does mean Vienna is usually a quiet city.

Especially compared to other capital cities around the world, and ultra-especially compared to the capital city I used to live in — Bangkok.

Case in point, as I am writing this, it is 8pm on a national holiday in Vienna (Whit Monday), and other than the sound of a car a couple of streets over, it would be possible to hear a pin drop on the street outside it is so quiet.

I cannot hear my upstairs, downstairs or next door neighbors, there is no-one on the street talking loudly or playing a car radio, nobody is doing their laundry and nobody’s TV is blaring at top notch.

In fact, the only sound I am likely to hear next is the tradesmen arriving for work at the market close to my apartment around 6:30 am tomorrow morning.

Yes, I love living in a quiet city and Vienna must be one of the world’s quietest cities, and the Viennese some of the most polite towards their neighbors when it comes to being considerate about noise.

And, by the way, I must be a quiet neighbor as I recently met my next-door neighbor for the first time and she asked me “Have you just moved in?”

Considering I have lived in my apartment for over 5 years, she then shockingly announced “But I haven’t heard you once”.

My secret?

While I work at home most days, I wear headphones when watching movies/TV shows or YouTube videos on my computer and, if I listen to music, even on my phone while cleaning my apartment, I do so wearing the same headphones.

Are there specific mandated ‘quiet hours’ in Vienna?

While Vienna has slightly more lenient noise ordinance laws than other areas in Austria (it has to, it is the capital city not a small town), there are specific “quiet hours” in Vienna that everyone is expected to adhere to.

If you don’t, and you continue to make noise often, do not be suprised if your neighbors complain or if you suddenly experience a visit from the police.

Something that once happened to a Spanish friend when, after sitting on his balcony talking to a friend after midnight, he was suddenly surprised by a knock at the door and, upon opening it, was confronted with one of Vienna’s finest.

Yes, your neighbors will be annoyed if you are outside their window having a conversation after midnight. Come on.

So, if you need to be quiet in Vienna during specific times, what are those times and on what days?

One of Vienna’s beautiful streets on a Sunday – so lovely and quiet

When is the official ‘quiet period’ orĀ ‘Ruhezeiten’ in Vienna?

According to the City of Vienna, Vienna’s noise ordinance laws say there must be no loud noise emitted after 10pm and until 6am the following morning.

Every day of the week, including Saturdays.

Those noise ordinances also expect people to be quiet all day on Sundays, as well as on national/bank holidays.

What that means is you should be careful not to have loud conversations, play loud music or have your TV or radio blaring, hang pictures, assemble furniture, do laundry (washing machines can be loud), or play musical instruments.

Having a constantly barking dog or a screaming child can also be a problem.

The only time Vienna’s noise ordinance laws are not in effect?

On New Year’s Eve when you will hear fireworks going off around the city, sometime until 5am or later. That seems to be the only time of year the Viennese police turn a blind eye.

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.