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Insider Advice & Travel Tips from Locals in Austria



Gemuetlichkeit" sums up Austria's lifestyle. It means celebrating the finer moments in life.

Austrians are more formal than most countries. When referring to or introducing people, avoid first names until invited to use them. Instead you would say Mr. (Herrn) Gruber, or Ms. (Frau) Braun.

When meeting someone, take your hands out of your pocket, make eye contact, and shake hands.

Austrians aren't shy to shoot you a disapproving look if you go astray social customs. However, for the most part, they are approachable happy to help you if you aren't sure what to do.

When entering a shop, offer a greeting of 'Guten Tag or 'Grüß Gott'.

Austrians value punctuality. If you're more than 5-10 minutes late, you'll want to offer a hearty apology.

If invited to someone's home, bring a small gift of wine or flowers.

Use good table manners, and start meals by saying 'Mahlzeit' or 'Guten Appetit' before eating.

Coffeehouse culture is alive and well, especially in Vienna. The Kaffeehaus is a popular spot to relax, work, socialize and eat.

Yodeling is one of the oldest forms of communication, and you may still hear it in rural mountain areas, or at competitions. No need to try and impress Austrians with your yodeling skills however, it likely won't be appreciated.