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Austria Travel Guides

The Basics:


Electricity

Electrical current is 230 volts, 50Hz. The Schuko plug and receptacle with side grounding contacts and European round 2-pin plugs are standard.

Language

The official language in Austria is German.

Tipping

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% tip.

Safety Information

Travel to Austria is generally trouble-free, however visitors are advised to take sensible safety precautions particularly in larger cities.

Local Customs

It is compulsory that vehicles are driven with their lights on throughout the year. Smoking is not allowed in many public places.

Business

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 Fräulein (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.

Communications

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.

Duty Free

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.


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