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Your Austrian Hosts

Austria is a wonderfully uncomplicated place to visit. It is in the heart of Europe, most people speak English, and there is a spectacular combination of cultural and natural attractions. And, like everywhere, there are national peculiarities that you will not find described in standard guidebooks. Which is a pity, because the following - quintessentially Austrian - expressions, institutions and mannerisms are integral parts of the real Austrian experience. Some of them may seem trivial, but knowing them will earn you kudos points among locals and enhance your understanding of 'Austrianness'.

Your Austrian Hosts

Restaurant Neni Vienna © Österreich Werbung / Lammerhuber Restaurant Neni Vienna © Österreich Werbung / Lammerhuber

Schmäh: A Lesson in Austrian Humour

From the polished society of the ball room to the jovial crowd at the alpine hut, Austrians are proud of their Schmäh; a word of many meanings.
Be in on the joke
Vienna Opera © Österreich Werbung / Burgstaller Vienna Opera © Österreich Werbung / Burgstaller

Austria's Ball Tradition

Every winter, Austria hosts hundreds of swish ball nights. Learn about the traditions of a typical evening at the ball.
Ball season starts here
Gleinkersee near Windischgarsten © Österreich Werbung / Popp Hackner Gleinkersee near Windischgarsten © Österreich Werbung / Popp Hackner

Queueing, Austrian Style

When it comes to queueing, Austrians are an unpredictable bunch.
Anything goes
Traditional Costume Austria © Österreich Werbung / Niederstrasser Traditional Costume Austria © Österreich Werbung / Niederstrasser

Yes. No. Maybe? The meanings of "Na"

"Na" (pronounced "nah") is one of the most versatile Austrian expressions. Austrians use it in many different ways, be it in an affirmative sense or as an all-round question.
Learn more, ja?
Coffee House Vienna © Österreich Werbung / Kalmar Coffee House Vienna © Österreich Werbung / Kalmar

Lord of the Kaffeehaus

Almost as iconic as the Austrian Kaffeehaus (coffee house) itself is the waiter. If you have achieved a certain standing at a Kaffeehaus because of generous tips or repeat visits, you may be awarded a title.
Get in with the waiter
Coffee House Sign Salzburg © Österreich Werbung/Wiesenhofer Coffee House Sign Salzburg © Österreich Werbung/Wiesenhofer

Kaffeehaus coffee culture

Every Austrian Kaffeehaus is different, but certain rules and regulations are honoured everywhere. Especially Vienna is known for its coffee culture and traditions.
A lot goes into a cup
Opera Ball Vienna © Österreich Werbung / Wolfgang Zajc Opera Ball Vienna © Österreich Werbung / Wolfgang Zajc

A Late-Night Institution: The Würstelstand

After a long night of revelry, there is nothing like a hearty snack to avoid a rude awakening the next day. In Austria there's the Würstelstand, which serves a wide range of sausages and stays open until dawn.
The Austrian kebab
Snack board © Austrian National Tourist Office - Rigaud Snack board © Austrian National Tourist Office - Rigaud

Guten Appetit! Eating with Austrians

Austrians take their food seriously and this dedication shows in their gastronomic rituals. Learn about the beloved Austrian cuisine and mealtime traditions.
Dining in Austria
Wine Festival Weinviertel © Österreich Werbung / Lahofer Wine Festival Weinviertel © Österreich Werbung / Lahofer

Prost! Drinking with Austrians

Drinking has its own ceremonial protocol in Austria, in which eye-contact plays a central role. Prepare for your holiday with our guide on how to enjoy a drink with Austrians!
Drinking in Austria
Sonnenski auf der Kristallhütte Hochzillertal © Österreich Werbung/Wolfgang Zajc Sonnenski auf der Kristallhütte Hochzillertal © Österreich Werbung/Wolfgang Zajc

Partying on the pistes

From famously big winter opening celebrations to legendary après-ski, Austria is where you will find the ultimate bashes.
The best winter parties

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