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A Brief Story About Prostitution in Austria

A lot of people around the world has come to know Vienna as the place where people can freely express their sexuality. Prostitution in Austria is legal and most sexual preferences are completely accepted. Regardless, things weren’t like this more than a hundred years ago and people were much more prude.

The middle ages didn’t go too easy on prostitutes, but the profession was accepted as plenty of women were selling booty. As in most cases, the practice was frowned on by the public. Irrespectively, it thrived throughout the country and was mostly tolerated. In 1276, Habsburg Rudolph l even stated, that no one has the right to insult these “gelüstigen Frauen”. He himself was probably a big fan, but he also had a point.

Prostitutes paid taxes regularly and didn’t go into town during Lent and on Sundays. So, nobody could force prostitution out of the Austrian public hearts and minds. Prostitution was thriving and soon enough, it came to be considered as a necessary evil of society. A smart individual, Dr. Nusser of the Viennese police department suggested that prostitutes should register themselves and go through medical examinations twice every week. This would give them a set of health certificates that would allow them to work legally. Finally, Anton Ritter von Le Monnier, the head of the Viennese police department reformed the country’s prostitution laws.

Starting from there, any woman could work as a prostitute legally, as long as they met certain health requirements and registered themselves. But more importantly, the police didn’t prosecute them any longer. A newspaper article published in 1874, stated that 6,424 Austrian prostitutes have the appropriate health certificates and are observed by the police and the authorities. But 12 000 women still continue to conduct “free love” the radar. Soon after this, homosexual male prostitution also became legal in 1989.

Austrian Brothels

The very first person to publicly mention the existence of brothels was Duke Albrecht lll (1365-1379). During his time, a lot of council members wished to establish a charitable foundation for the women who wished to turn away from their “sinful ways”. However, they instead became the first people to open brothels and even support a nunnery from the taxes. That was quite an ingenious idea. Those who wanted to work as prostitutes could do so, those who wanted out, had a straightforward and free solution.

Quick Info: Vienna is full of Police Licensed brothels. Read this list to find the one you could visit soon!

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The Current Prostitution Scene

Prostitution has very few restrictions in Austria. These are the requirement to register and conduct regular health checkups. Furthermore, no prostitute is allowed to welcome clients under 18 years of age because she’ll be prosecuted. But even though the sex industry is flourishing, you’ll have a hard time finding red light districts like you would in Amsterdam. In Vienna, prostitution goes unnoticed, but there are plenty of brothels and even more, prostitutes to visit.

In 2007, there were exactly 1,352 female and 21 male registered prostitutes in Vienna. This number is somewhere between 3000 and 6000 right now, maybe even more.

Sex Trafficking

About 78% of Austria’s prostitutes are immigrants from Hungary, Romania, Belarus, Moldova, Nigeria, and Slovakia. Sadly, a lot of them are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation. Austria offers a highly beneficial environment for prostitution, but a lot of citizens exploit that. They promise high-paying jobs with no skill requirements for women abroad. These are usually nanny and waitress jobs, which an offer that’s seemingly legit. However, the women are often coerced into prostitution when they arrive.

It’s actually hard to tell which among the prostitutes you visit might be trafficked and which came with the explicit intention of selling sex. The sad truth is that a lot of them are forced into a dependency that’s akin to slavery. Many of the sex trafficking victims are in the country illegally and are afraid to be turned over to the authorities and get deported out of Austria.


Austria is easily one of the best places in Europe to experience the wonders of paid sex. Vienna is littered with amazing brothels that you can just walk into and enjoy without worrying about the law. So what are you waiting for? Go get some and experience legal prostitution in Austria!


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