Travel + Lifestyle

8 Things to Know Before You Go travel to Austria

Austria, you know, the small alpine country in the heart of Europe? If you are looking for the big Island with the many kangaroos you have come to the wrong place. There are no kangaroos in Austria. That’s Australia mate!

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s get to our list!

1. Sunday is a Day of Rest

Austrians really take their day of rest seriously and the majority of businesses are closed on Sundays. So please, try to forget about the consumer lifestyle for this ONE day and enjoy a day without shopping.

2. Austrians Are Not Germans

It’s like comparing cats with dogs, or Canadians with Americans. They might have some similarities but they are not the same. Austrians are a proud bunch and put a lot of value on their own heritage. So for your own sake, refrain from calling them Germans or you won’t hear the last of it. You have been warned!

3. Sound of Music?

Most Austrians have never seen Sound of Music nor do they give a rat’s ass about it. The Sound of Music is just a Hollywood movie that distorted the story of the Von Trapp Family. Sorry to burst your happy bubble.

4. It’s Totally OK to Eat Dessert As a Main Dish

Austrians love their sweet stuff just like the next person. So mommy’s rule, of no sweets before dinner, can go kick rocks when you are in Austria. Here are a few dessert we have eaten as a main dish: Mohnnudeln, Palatschinken, Germknödel, Apfelstrudel and Kaiserschmarren.

5. No Hidden Fees

Unlike for example in the USA, taxes are included in the displayed price. That includes restaurant menus, stores, supermarkets and so forth. What you see is what you pay.

6. Get Your Buzz On

Soft Alcohol (beer and wine) is legal at 16 and it is legal to drink in public. So if you really want a Sweet Sixteen birthday come to Austria ;). Oh and hard liquor is legal at 18.

7. Don’t Speak German? No Worries!

Most Austrians speak basic English as it is taught in school. But that is not to say that you shouldn’t put in a little effort to learn some basic words in German, such as Thank You (Danke), Please (Bitte) or Hello (Hallo! / Grüss Gott)

8.  Public Transport is not free of charge!

You might think Austrians’ public transportation is free since it seems as though everyone gets on and doesn’t pay but it is actually operated on an honor system. So yes, you have to pay! If you are caught without a ticket you might pay a fine of around 80 Euros. Not worth it buddy!

Insider Tip: If you want to save a few bucks, buy your transportation pass ahead of time at a “Trafik” or at a ticket machine where tickets usually cost less than on the bus or train. You can also check if you can download the app in order to make the purchase directly there.


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