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15 Vienna Tips and Resources by Locals

Read our useful tips to avoid an embarrasing situation in Austria

Dec 23, 2017 | Travel guide

15 tips about austria

Many visitors wonder about the appropriate way to behave when visiting a specific country. Some are more inclined to get into research on how to maximize their stay by blending in with the locals, while others just don’t care if they act like classic tourists. To make your visit easier, we have prepared a list of 15 tips provided by the locals, which you can read while traveling from the Vienna airport to city, to complement the top tourist tips when visiting Vienna.

  1. The subway is pretty efficient and cheap and if you don’t mind crowded transportation (as opposed to the comfort of a taxi service), you can easily transport yourself around the city. If you’re in the Vienna 1st District, you can walk between many of the landmarks and tourist attractions.
  2. A lot of the restaurants in Vienna don’t take cards, so make sure to carry cash with you at all times when dining. You wouldn’t like to go on a quest for an ATM machine after enjoying an excellent Wienner Schnitzel dish.
  3. Tipping is a great part of the Viennese dining culture, so make sure to behave in such manner. The locals usually round up the tip (around 10-15% of the check) or leave a bit extra for a really good service.
  4. Vienna is a pretty quiet and relaxed city, so it is unlikely to run into a “stag and hen” parties. This being said, make sure not to be organizing one.
  5. If you prefer to rent an apartment for your Vienna visit and cook your own meals, plan your groceries carefully since many stores and supermarkets close before 6pm on a work day and on Saturday, and are closed on Sundays. The same goes for nearly all other shops, even for the high-street ones.
  6. Even though the German is the official language, Viennese residents are pretty fluent in English as well, so you won’t have any issues communicating.
  7. Vienna is one of the cleanest cities in Europe and the locals make sure to keep it that way. So, anyone visiting should have the same thing in mind and not drop their litter anywhere they want.
  8. If you are a young traveler, be informed that the drinking age is 16, while the age for drinking distilled liquor is 18.
  9. Many of the tourists visiting don’t do their homework and are convinced that they are in Germany, including some of the German visitors making it even funnier. Some of them are even mixing the country with Australia. Do note that the locals are annoyed and offended by this, since Austria is a totally different country. Some tourists tend to get too drunk, loud and rude and forget where they are. So don’t be like these tourists and make sure you know where you are traveling to before catching the airport shuttle.
  10. In the similar fashion, many visitors read some hand-picked information on Austria or take someone’s advice out of context, assuming that the Austrians, or to narrow it down even more, the Viennese residents, walk around in baroque outfits and extravagant wigs, doing nothing in their royal surroundings. This is a huge misconception and the locals may be very, very offended if you even try to discredit them in such a way.
  11. If you are visiting during the summer season, you can go hiking, trekking or just go for a nature walk when you get tired of the urban jungle. A good experience recommended by the locals is to go rafting, paragliding, horse riding and other similar action sports.
  12. If you are visiting during the winter months, you can enjoy the smell of cinnamon-spiced wine (or Glühwein) rising from the very popular Christmas markets around the city. You can also go shopping in Kitzbühel and check out some of the designer shops. Just to be clear, you first must experience the cultural and historical part of Vienna and then give in to other pleasures.
  13. Viennese (and Austrian) people are in general very polite, so avoid being too loud in public since this is frowned upon. Make sure to act as politely as them, shake hands and smile when introduced. Also, never make any Holocaust jokes (yes, this had happened more often than you think!) nor make jokes about Austria’s latest presidential elections and the refugee story. Just use your common sense and everything will be fine.
  14. Even though Viennese people may leave a first impression of a cold crowd, they really are not. This is very normal for them, until they get to know you a little. In fact, Austrians are very friendly and fun people to be around (just as the Swiss people), so just keep your mind open and give them a chance.
  15. When you are out drinking in Vienna, make sure to try the drinks that the locals enjoy. This list mainly includes beer, wine and homemade Schnapps as part of their culture. So instead of ordering a drink you can have anywhere else in the world, order a first round of Schnapps and wash it down with some of their really good craft beers. It’s really worth it.

Vienna is a city of history and culture and the residents are well educated and good mannered, so it’s no wonder that they expect the same from their visitors. So whenever you decide to enjoy Vienna, summer or winter, day or night, think about the list of tips provided by the locals above when getting your Wien-Schwechat Airport transfer and we guarantee that you will enjoy an even better stay.

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