When visiting Vienna, Austria, it’s helpful to be aware of certain cultural norms and practices to ensure a respectful and enjoyable experience. Here are 12 things tourists should never do in Vienna:
- Don’t forget to greet with “Guten Tag”: It’s polite to greet locals with a friendly “Guten Tag” (Good day) when entering shops, restaurants, or interacting with locals. It shows respect and acknowledges the local customs.
- Don’t jaywalk: Austrians are known for following traffic rules diligently. Avoid jaywalking and use designated crosswalks to cross the street. Wait for the traffic lights to turn green before crossing.
- Don’t litter: Vienna takes pride in its cleanliness. Make sure to dispose of trash in designated bins. Littering is considered disrespectful and can result in fines.
- Don’t smoke in non-smoking areas: Austria has strict smoking regulations. Smoking is prohibited in many public areas, including restaurants, cafes, and public transport. Always look for designated smoking areas if you need to smoke.
- Don’t forget to validate your public transport ticket: If you’re using public transportation, make sure to validate your ticket before boarding trams, buses, or trains. Failure to do so can result in fines if caught during a ticket inspection.
- Don’t skip tipping: Tipping is customary in Austria. In restaurants and cafes, it’s common to leave a tip of around 2-10% of the bill. Tipping taxi drivers and tour guides is also appreciated.
- Don’t engage in loud or disruptive behavior: Austrians value peace and tranquility. Avoid loud conversations or disruptive behavior, especially in public spaces, residential areas, and on public transport.
- Don’t touch the produce at markets: When visiting local markets, it’s best not to touch the produce unless explicitly allowed by the vendor. Instead, ask for assistance or point out the items you would like to purchase.
- Don’t be late: Punctuality is highly valued in Austrian culture. Whether it’s meeting friends, attending appointments, or joining tours, strive to be on time to show respect for others’ schedules.
- Don’t take photographs without permission: It’s considered polite to ask for permission before taking photographs of individuals, especially in more personal or intimate settings. Respect people’s privacy and cultural sensitivities.
- Don’t ignore the dress code: Some venues, such as opera houses or fine dining establishments, may have specific dress codes. Check-in advance and dress appropriately to avoid any inconvenience or being denied entry.
- Don’t criticize or make insensitive comments about Austrian culture: Austrians take pride in their traditions and heritage. Avoid making derogatory or insensitive remarks about Austrian culture, history, or customs.
By being mindful of these guidelines, you can have a respectful and pleasant experience while exploring Vienna and embracing its rich culture and traditions.