Banks: 08:00 to 12:30; and 13:30/14:00 to 15:00/16:00, Monday to Friday; and until 16:30 on Thursdays
Department Stores and Shops: 09:30 to 19:00, Monday to Friday; 09:00 to 16:00 on Saturdays
Business Offices: 09:00 to 17:00, Monday to Friday
There are no major cautions for visitors to Vienna. In fact, the only crimes that are likely to involve tourists are petty crimes such as pick-pocketing and purse snatching. It’s recommended that visitors keep valuables out of sight, and use facilities such as hotel safes to safeguard important travel documents, large amounts of cash and jewellery. Wallets should be kept in front pockets, and purses held in front of the body, to make the work of petty thieves more difficult. You’re likely to see numerous homeless people, including drug addicts, in areas such as Karlsplatz, Praterstern, Schwedenplatz, Stadtpark and Wien Mitte. Although they might not present a danger to tourists, it’s best to avoid these areas if you are walking alone after dark.
220 volts AC, 50 Hz. Plugs that are in use have two round pins.
There are few health hazards for tourists visiting Vienna. Tap water is safe to drink and hygiene standards at bars and eateries are as high as you’d expect in a major European capital. If you do become ill during your stay, there are a number of medical facilities with English-speaking physicians and staff. EU residents qualify for medical treatment at no cost, with the proper identification and documentation. Nationals of other countries are advised to purchase travel insurance that will cover medical care, in advance of their visit.If you plan to go to nature, please be sure to be protected against Tick borne encephalitis (TBE/FSME).
Vienna’s official language is German, which is spoken by nearly all of the country’s population as the mother tongue. In the city as well as in other parts of the country, numerous dialects will be heard, and the Viennese version of ‘standard’ German is different from what is spoken in many parts of Germany. English is understood by most Austrians involved in the tourist industry and is also spoken by those engaged in international business.
As Austria is a member of the EU, the national currency is the euro (EUR; symbol €). One euro is equal to 100 cents. Bank notes are circulated in the following denominations: €500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are found in denominations of €2 and 1; and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents.
The best rates for foreign currency exchange are offered at banks. ATMs are found throughout the city, and are known in Vienna as ‘Bankomats.’ The machines are easily identified by signs bearing green and blue stripes. Bankomats generally accept cards issued in other countries, and most cards are also accepted by many businesses for purchases.
Anyone entering or leaving the EU with €10,000 or more in cash is required to declare the amount at customs. Most often persons entering an EU country from another EU member country are not checked at the border for dutiable goods, but there are regulations in place: 800 cigarettes or 200 cigars are permitted to be brought in duty free, as are 110 litres of beer, 90 litres of wine and 10 litres of spirits.Anyone entering from a non-EU country is permitted to bring in the following goods duty-free: 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars, 2 litres of wine and an additional 2 litres of sparkling wine, 1 litre of spirits and reasonable amounts of perfume and medicines for personal use.
Austrians, particularly the older generations, tend to be rather formal. The customary greeting used by people when meeting each other is Grüss Gott or Guten Tag. Standards of dress are rather conservative, and in particular, dress for the opera or theatre is formal.The Viennese will appreciate your efforts if you learn even a few words of their language. There are some everyday German words and phrases that you’ll find useful, such as: Gruss Gott (a greeting that’s suitable any time of day), Guten Tag (hello or good day), Guten Abend (good evening), Bitte (please), Danke (thanks) and Enschuldigung (excuse me).
When you are invited to someone’s home for dinner, a few rules of etiquette should be followed. First off, arriving on time is important, as punctuality is a sign of respect in Austrian culture. Secondly, dressing appropriately and smartly is also expected. In some homes, guests are expected to remove their shoes before entering someone’s home. Although this isn’t as customary as it once was, don’t be surprised if you’re asked to leave your shoes by the door.As seating for a meal is often planned in advance, guests should remain standing until the host indicates where they should sit. Once you are seated, you should take your napkin from the table and place it on your lap. It’s not considered polite to begin eating, however, until the host says Guten Appetit or Mahlzeit. Table manners are formal and follow the continental style. When you’re eating, the fork is held in the left hand and the knife is held in the right.
Visa and Passports
Nationals of EU member countries require only a valid ID card to enter another EU country, and may remain in any other EU country as long as they wish. Nationals of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the US require a valid passport for entry, but a visa is not required for tourism purposes for stays of up to three months. Nationals of other countries need to contact an Austrian embassy or consulate abroad to obtain the appropriate visa.
Tourist Information Office
Austria’s principal tourist information offices are located in Vienna and the country’s other main tourist destinations. Staff at these offices are generally knowledgeable and helpful, offering information, advice, directions, and recommendations regarding lodging, eateries and attractions.
The Austrian National Tourist Office is headquartered in Vienna.