I asked some locals what they wanted tourist to know before visiting their country!
1. The subway is extremely cheap and efficient and you can easily get around the city on it. When in the Vienna ring you can even walk between many of the landmarks and attractions.
2. Make sure you have cash when visiting restaurants as many of them don’t take card.
3. When tipping we just round up, or give a little extra if we think it’s deserved.
4. Vienna is quite a quiet city and it’s rare you’ll see stag and hen parties.
5. If you plan to stay in an apartment and cook, then be aware that many groceries stores close around 6 on weekdays-Saturday and are closed on Sundays.
6. Same with highstreet shops, most of them close early and are totally closed on Sundays.
7. German is the official language, although English is good in most places.
8. Get the S7 train from the airport to the city, it’s cheaper than the CAT (City Airport Train) and costs a lot less.
9. Vienna is a clean city so keep it that way and don’t drop your litter.
10. The drinking age is 16, although it’s 18 for distilled liquor.
11. Is there anything that tourist do that are annoying or offensive?
“ Well some visitors think they are in Germany (including some Germans lol) and that annoys locals. Austria is not Germany. Some tourists tend to go heavy on the alcohol at after ski parties and they can be rude, messy and loud. They forget themselves which can be annoying at times. “
12. Are there any misconceptions that you would like to clear up?
“ Most people in the world don’t know Austria so not many misconceptions can be created in this case. People often think we are Germans or Australians. I don’t know about the rest of the world but we German visitors think that we roam around the whole day with local dirndl dresses and leather pants, which is of course wrong. “
13. Do you tip in restaurants?
“ Yes of course and in hotels! You should always tip however I have to say that people don’t do it anymore as they used to. Getting tips has become really difficult these days for those working in the tourism industry, which is really a shame. Often while it’s because people tend to pay by card I think. You tip right with 10-15%.”
14. what are the best things to do where you live?
“In summer you can go hiking, trekking and just go for a walk. I love to just stroll through the forests and collect berries or take a mountain bike and take in the surrounding. You can do rafting too, paragliding, horse riding and other action sports. In winter we usually ski, have fun in the snow and enjoy the Christmas time with a hot mulled wine known as Glühwein around here. But in the past few years the snow has been getting less. Otherwise you can go shopping too in Kitzbühel and check out designer shops such as Bogner, Louis Vuitton and Swarowski. By the way Austria’s biggest exports are Swarovski, Red Bull, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Niki Lauda and anything with classic music and dance. Or you can visit gorgeous cities such as Salzburg, Innsbruck, Vienna and get sucked in by the history of the past and the fact that we lost an entire empire a hundred years ago.”
15. Are there any taboos that should be avoided?
“Don’t be too loud in public, it doesn’t come that good. stay polite, shake hands when you get introduced and don’t make Hitler jokes, you might open the Pandora box with the latter one. Especially because of the latest presidential election and the refugee story.”
16. ”Austrians are cold towards you at first. That’s normal and nothing to worry about. Cold country = cold people. 😉 But they can be friendly if you are decent and acting like a regular person in this world. In fact Austrians are much like Swiss people.”
Drinking tip: Helene says: “ Depends on the state. Some states have drinking age allowance for soft and hard drinks for 16 year old and others have soft drinks from the age of 16 and hard drinks from 18 years onward. Beer, wine and homemade Schnapps is part of our culture.”
Map of Austria
Thanks to everyone who contributed to this article! Please feel free to give me more suggestions down in the comments or email, and I can add you to the list!
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Chasa is a travel blogger who has been writing since 2016. She has traveled domestically and internationally since 2013 and resides in the state of Alabama, where she pursues her passion for helping people see the beauty in other states and countries through her own accounts.
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