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Austria  xTend Travel Advice

A wonderful in the herat of Europe

Austria— The Basics

Austria is more than just the land of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Home to quaint mountain villages, the breathtaking Alps, lush, green forests, and classy baroque cities, this land sets a high bar. Travelers are unlikely to find such a striking juxtaposition of nature and cosmopolitan culture anywhere else. Whether you plan to travel to Vienna Austria, rough it in the spruce filled forests, or climb a mountain; it’s vital to get your bearings before you head out on your oversea travel adventure!

Sights and Attractions

The great thing about Austria is its diversity. If you’re a fan of the outdoors, then the Alps are the place for you. Not only are they fun to hike, but the views from these mountaintops are absolutely mind-blowing. The stunning visuals you will witness firsthand in Austria are like something out of a nature documentary. You’ll be green with envy, knowing that the locals get to see some of these fantastic sights every day.

Austrians like to party. If you’re in  Vienna , and you like good beer, then expect to be drinking in merriment until dawn. Seriously, the beer here is so good. Some of these breweries go all the way back to medieval times. Amazing!

The architecture is larger than life. On your trip to Vienna, you absolutely have to check out St. Stephen’s Cathedralthe Hoffburg, and Schonnbrunn Palace. These baroque and medieval structures are absolutely awe-inspiring in person. They are grandiose to a scale unseen in the Americas.

Austria Travel Tips

Austria Currency Considerations

The UK uses the Pound Sterling. It’s good to know the terminology related to the pound currency. Each pound is made up of 100 pence. You may also hear a pound referred to as  quid. That tourist owes me 20 quid for walking off with my umbrella!  There are a few theories on the origin of this term. Some think that the term is in reference to  Quid Pro Quo —  this for that.

The UK uses the Pound Sterling. It’s good to know the terminology related to the pound currency. Each pound is made up of 100 pence. You may also hear a pound referred to as  quid. That tourist owes me 20 quid for walking off with my umbrella!  There are a few theories on the origin of this term. Some think that the term is in reference to  Quid Pro Quo —  this for that.

Avoid the airport kiosks, try to get your money before your oversea travel adventure, and ask some locals for the best exchange services in the country. It’s always better to exchange for a little at a time. If you need more euros, you can always exchange your dollars for them later. If you have way too many euros at the end of your trip, you can always exchange them once you return home.

Lodging

You won’t have any issues finding a hotel, hostel, or homestay in Austria. Even rural towns and villages have charming little inns for guests. It’s worth knowing a little German if you plan to stay in a sparsely populated area. Any German words you learn can help bridge the gap. Downloading Google translate can be a helpful way to communicate if you don’t want to lug around an English-German phrase guide.

Flights and Transportation

International airports are located in Vienna to the northeast, Innsbruck to the west, and Klagenfurt to the south. Consider which activities you’d be most interested in before you book a flight. If much of your itinerary takes place in the south, or if you plan on visiting Italy, then a trip to Klagenfurt makes sense.

Thankfully, the EU has an incredibly sleek, modern transport infrastructure. European tours are a breeze with the abundance of trains and buses throughout the continent. Compared to the US, train tickets tend to be very cheap. You can get around the EU at a minimal cost.

Language

The vast majority of Austrians speak several dialects of German. Despite the variety of dialects, almost all Austrians can speak standard German as well. About 73 percent of Austrians can speak English to a functional degree. Generally, younger folks will have the best English, but that is not always the case. In rural areas and with older people, you may find it more challenging to communicate in English. Thankfully, Austrians are very patient, so a little pantomiming and some patience on your part will go a long way.

All in all, you can expect to get around Austria just fine in English, but a well-placed “danke” can go a long way. As you’re planning your oversea travel adventure, look up a few German phrases to keep in your back pocket. Austrians appreciate hearing visitors attempt to speak their language!

Don't Do These Things in Austria!

Don’t call Austrians German. Sure, they speak German, but it’s  Austrian  German. If you’re a Canadian, you wouldn’t be too stoked to be called an American or an Englishman. Austrian’s are proud of their culture and their national identity. They don’t want to be overshadowed by their neighbors to the north. Switzerland speaks German.

Furthermore, when talking about the cuisine, don’t say that you like “German food” when you’re munching on a strudel. Austrians made the strudel, and they’re damn proud of it! Same goes for schnitzel and sachetorte. If you haven’t heard of this delectable chocolate sponge cake, then write it down and grab a slice ASAP.

Between Austria and Germany, there’s a toothbrush mustached elephant in the room. You know — the guy who started that big world war and caused the deaths of millions. Don’t talk about Hitler! Talk of Hitler does not make good conversation anywhere. Do you and Grandma talk about Hitler at the dinner table? Do you casually bring him up in church? In Hitler’s birthplace, locals are very tired of hearing about the guy. You don’t need to ask their opinion on him.

With the recent developments between the UK and the European Union, cracking jokes about the subject or telling British people how they  should  feel about it is generally unwelcome. Read the room, and wait for someone else to bring it up.

Although not evil like Hitler, they don’t really care to talk about Arnold Schwarzenegger, either. As he’s one of the only Austrian celebrities that outsiders know of, Austrians hear about the guy all the time. Austrians don’t have anything against the guy, but they don’t need to see their millionth Terminator impression from another tourist.

Absolutely never say anything negative about the Queen. The people of the UK love the Queen. Furthermore, she enhances the UK’s soft power while also generating a net profit for the country with all the tourist revenue she brings in. The Queen is a very celebrated part of UK culture, and hardly anyone has anything negative to say about her. It’s what their national anthem is all about —  God Save the Queen.

Some public bathrooms may charge a fee. It is usually less than a pound, but still. Always keep some cash on hand; you never know when nature may call!

Key Points

Carry enough euros to meet you Austria currency needs, but don’t carry too many. Don’t call them German. Do take advantage of the fresh air and beautiful landscapes. Don’t forget to try some wonderful sachetorte. No European tours are complete without a trip to Austria. Travel to Vienna Austria and say “guten tag” to a gorgeous nation!

At xTend Travel, we have the knowledge and expertise of a seasoned international commuter and the passion of an innovative tourist. We use this know-how to provide you with travel currency for your journey and exclusive travel guidance.

The result is a rare balance in the travel industry — a customer focused company that supports and inspires world exploration.

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