A guide to customs, daily life and travel in Österreich
If you are traveling to or within Austria, we have information, resources and photos to help you have better experience. Austria (called Österreich in German) is not a large country (only about the size of the US state of South Carolina), but it has a great variety of landscapes and regions. Vienna is Austria’s center in many ways, but there are many other cities worth a visit, ranging from Mozart’s birthplace (Salzburg) to the toney ski resort of Kitzbühel and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s birthplace in the village of Thal near Graz.
First of all, Austria is not Germany! Austria has its own history, language and culture. It is much more than a miniature version of its much larger northern neighbor. Sometimes people forget this fact. To make a similar comparison, think of the differences between the USA and the UK. Both countries have a common language and a common history, but they are also very different from each other. Keep that in mind when you think “Austria.”
In Austria life and attitudes are more laid back and relaxed. You’ll soon get used to Austrian time, which is not quite as punctual as in Deutschland. Things move a bit slower. Even the Austrian dialects are more lilting and softer. Austria is also famous for its coffee (and coffee shops) and its cuisine, including the famed chocolate Sacher cake (Sachertorte) or delicious Linzertorte desserts, not to mention the tasty Viennese (Wiener) schnitzel main course.
More > Austria: Facts and Figures
So you’re off to Austria. Servus! (That’s an Austrian salutation that, like Italian ciao!, can mean hello or goodbye. You’ll hear it a lot.) Here are some things that can help before you get there:
- Know Before You Go – Passports, money, customs and more
- How to get to Austria > By Air | By Car | By Rail
Vienna International Airport (VIE): viennaairport.com – Select your language at the top (flag).
- City Guides: Austria – What to see and do in selected Austrian cities
- City Guide: Kitzbühel – All about this top Austrian ski resort , which is also a popular summer spot – history, sights, photos
- City Guide: Salzburg – Watch for this guide coming soon.
- City Guide: Vienna – Watch for this guide coming soon.
- Exploring Austria by River – Danube river cruises and other attractions
Topics: Austria for Tourists
Interesting and helpful information related to traveling in Austria:
- Autobahn Tolls in Austria and Switzerland – The autobahn sticker
- Austria – History and culture
- History of Austria with notable Austrians, past and present
- The Euro – About the currency that first went into circulation in Austria and Germany in January 2002.
- Dialects – Austrian German is one of the regional variations of the German language
- NEW! Exploring Austria by River – Danube river cruises and other attractions
- Notable Austrians include:
- Sigmund Freud was the Austrian who invented psychoanalysis
- Hedy Lamarr (1914-2000) was an Austrian-born film actress who became a big Hollywood star in the 1940s and ’50s. She was also an award-winning inventor!
- Teobert Maler (1842-1917) was a noted Austrian/German amateur archaeologist who photographed Maya ruins in the Yucatan.
- Lise Meitner (1878-1968) was the Austrian physicist who discovered nuclear fission.
- Max Steiner (1888-1971) was the noted Austrian film music composer for Casablanca, Gone With the Wind, King Kong and many other Hollywood films.
- Billy Wilder (1906-2002) was an Austrian-American film director. His classic films include Double Indemnity and Some Like It Hot.
- Holidays and Celebrations – Key holidays and other official and unofficial observations in Austria, Germany and Switzerland
- Austrians in Hollywood – Arnold’s not the only one! German, Austrian and Swiss people – past and present – in Hollywood
Please explore our site for more about Austria and its people!
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