7 Strange Things About Life In Austria That You Need To Get Used To


To live in Austria is to have constant access to Schnitzel and Sachertorte and enjoy trips to the lakes and mountains. But what are the weird things that you never knew about before moving to this beautiful Alpine state?

People in traditional clothes

In recent years, traditional Austrian clothing such as Lederhosen and Dirndl has become increasingly popular among young people seeking to reconnect with Austrian traditions.

For the past few years, traditional Austrian clothing (Tracht) has been worn by many as a symbol of Austrian pride and nationalism. Hipsters started wearing traditional clothes again a few years ago .. Now the irony has turned into the enthusiasm of many Austrians. One of the most popular mantras is that all women, regardless of age or physique, look great in gathered skirts. Don’t be surprised to stand with a group of people in gathered skirts and Lederhosen, especially during the wine harvest season, riding trams or walking down the hills.


There are no shops on Sundays

On weekends in Austria, almost all supermarkets and shops close on Sundays, making you feel like going back in time. Living in Austria means hoarding your necessities the day before, keeping in mind that many stores will close early on Saturday. Sundays are left free for church, sports, culture and relaxation.

There are always bakeries and flower shops open on Sunday mornings, so you don’t have to go without fresh bread and flowers. Also, museums, galleries, cafes and restaurants are usually open on Sundays.

No one is in a mile-long line at Praterstern Villa (one of the few stores open on Sundays) in Vienna. Because you forgot some important items.

A.l.c.o.h.o.l: anywhere, anywhere, at any outdoor temperature

Drinking a.l.c.o.h.o.l is permitted almost everywhere and happens at any time. Many cafes serve sparkling wine with brunch and enjoy b.e.e.r with breakfast. Bring some wine and have a picnic in the park. The cold climate is not a deterrent for thousands of Austrians who love to drink winter punsch (hot spice wine) outside at Christmas markets, despite sub-zero temperatures.

Austria also loves “Wegbia”, a b.e.e.r that you drink on your way somewhere.

One of the drinks to try in Austria in the fall is Sturm, a fermented drink that sits somewhere between grape juice and wine. Alcohol content is 4-10%, sweet and slightly frothy. Both red and white Sturm are available and are best drunk from a vineyard mug during the autumn wine harvest.

There are other unusual aspects of Austrian drinking culture. If you invite a colleague to a drink after work, don’t be surprised that you’re out of your pocket. In other words, you are buying all the rounds. When you clink your glasses and say “prost” (German for “cheers”), look deep into people’s eyes. Otherwise, it means that you have bad s.e.x or you have p.o.i.s.o.n.e.d your drinker’s drink (depending on who you ask).

Official title

The c.o.r.o.n.a.v.i.r.u.s pandemic stopped the obligatory handshake (or cheek kiss in Vienna) during a professional or friendly encounter with the Austrian people. However, the obsession with academic titles remains in Austria. Take the risk and ignore it. There are many professional titles like Dipl. Ing. , Mag. , MSc, MA, Dr. And they are used in almost all documents (such as loyalty cards) and communications.

It’s also a minefield trying to resolve when you can talk to someone with the formal “you” (Sie) and the informal “you” (du). Tip-When you’re in the mountains, everyone calls each other with an informal “du”. Beyond a certain altitude (about 1000m), the format no longer exists.

Bare stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is also common on the Donau River in Vienna. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)

I see a n.a.k.e.d person

N.u.d.e is much more accepted in Austria than in countries such as the United Kingdom, and certainly more than in the United States. Frei Ekel Parklt (FKK) and n.u.d.i.s.m are still quite popular. It is quite common to encounter a b.a.r.e sunbathing area when going to a swimming pool or on a river beach along the Donau River. N.a.k.e.d people can be found playing SUP, cycling and volleyball all over the palace in Vienna. If you go to a health check, your doctor is unlikely to give you a blanket to cover, but you just expect to strip it off for your annual physical examination.

And don’t even think about wearing anything other than towels in the sauna.

This athlete’s paraglider, flying over Mt. Growth Grockner, is popular in Austria along with other extreme sports (Photo courtesy of JON NASH / RED BULL AIR RACE / AFP).

Relaxed attitude towards health and safety

In Austria, it’s not uncommon to see builders without protective gloves or helmets, people cycling or scouting without helmets (including children), burning candles in apartments without smoke detectors. Not to mention the popularity of smoking, “food for heart attacks” such as Leberkäse and Wurst, and drinking. It may be a public preference for very dangerous sports such as paragliding and skiing and Austrian libertarian streaks, but Austria seems to have less emphasis on “health and safety” than other cultures.

Cold w.a.r siren

Several times a year, no matter where you live in Austria, you can hear the eerie sounds of Cold W.a.r sirens. Unlike its neighbor Germany, Austria maintains an early warning system from the Cold War and has a nationwide operational network of 8,212 sirens that are tested twice a year. They were recently used to warn Austrian residents about floods during the summer. Germany, which stopped using similar sirens, was criticized for this decision after it turned out that the warning system was lacking in alerting residents to widespread floods. However, according to broadcasters, some experts are concerned that people do not understand the meaning of sirens and may ignore them when they sound. FM 4.. Basically, if the siren sounds for 3 minutes, you need to switch the radio or TV to the broadcasting station ORF or visit the website. www.orf.at Wait for further instructions. The test blast from the siren lasts only 15 seconds.