Electrical current is 230 volts, 50Hz. The Schuko plug
and receptacle with side grounding contacts and European round
2-pin plugs are standard.
The official language in Austria is German.
A 10-15% service charge is normally added to hotel and
restaurant bills in Austria, but it is customary to leave another
5% if satisfied with the service. It is common to give the money to
the waiter rather than leave it on the table, but leaving small
change for other service personnel is fine. Taxis expect a 10%
Travel to Austria is generally trouble-free, however visitors
are advised to take sensible safety precautions particularly in
It is compulsory that vehicles are driven with their lights on
throughout the year. Smoking is not allowed in many public
Business protocol is very important in Austria and business is
formal, structured and conservative, more so than many other
Western European countries; all correspondence such as faxes and
emails should also be formal. Dress is conservative, yet elegant;
Austrians take great pride in their appearance and a good quality,
well-fitting suit for men and women should be worn to make a good
first impression. Austrians are also very title-conscious; always
use last names with a preceding title such as Herr (Mr), Frau (Mrs)
or Fr?¤ulein (Miss), along with their professional or academic title
where applicable (e.g. Herr Professor Kaufmann). It is vital to
arrive punctually for meetings and to be thoroughly prepared, as
meetings are brief and to the point. Be prepared to engage in
preliminary small talk, including a knowledge of current affairs,
before getting down to business. English is widely spoken in
business, but printed literature should be in German if possible.
Offices open at 8am and close promptly at 5pm Monday to Friday.
The international access code for Austria is +43. The outgoing
code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the
United Kingdom). The area code for Vienna is (0)1. Public telephone
boxes can be used for direct dial calls within the country and
overseas. Austria's mobile network operates on the 900 and 1800
bands for GSM. Internet cafes are widely available.
Travellers from non-EU countries over 17 years are allowed to
bring in the following items without paying customs duty: 200
cigarettes, or 100 cigarillos, or 50 cigars, or 250g of smoking
tobacco, or a proportional mix of these products; 2 litres wine, or
1 litre of spirits with alcohol content more than 22%, or 2 litres
of alcohol volume less than 22%; 60ml perfume and 250ml eau de
toilette; and other goods to a total value of EUR175. Restricted
items include pornographic material and fresh foodstuffs such as
meat and dairy products. Travellers must have a European Firearms
Pass if travelling with firearms.