20 Confusing Yet Interesting Facts About Austria That Will Blow Your Mind

Among the countries with the highest standard of living in the world, Austria is a promising destination for tourists' trips to Europe. Besides, this lovely country bursts at the seams with alpine lakes, stunning mountains, modern and historic cities, charming villages, fresh air, and adventure sports. Needless to say, the allure of Austria is irresistible.Besides, the beautiful landlocked nation has tons of history and surprising facts that attract more visitors.
Contributing to human art, Austria has a big roster of famous composers. Classical and orchestral music is still a big deal in the country. Vienna, the capital city of Austria, drew creatives and intellectuals from all over Europe, thanks in part to its intellectual heritage, delicious Austrian food, and, of course, its famous coffee houses.
Whether you're traveling to Austria or interested in the culture, we've compiled some fun Austrian facts for you before visiting. Here they are.

#1. Get used to staring at people and being stared at!

Source: Sissi Trilogy

In many countries, staring at strangers is considered impolite. On the opposite side, Austrians feel free to look at other people for a long time without feeling guilty. Being stared at in public only means that everyone here notices you. How about staring back at them? Sounds fun, right?

#2. University is for everyone literally

Source: TasfotoNL/Shutterstock

Austria is a sanctuary for those loving studying. Students can go to university no matter how old they are. Since the government decides to cover university fees for everyone, you might see literally every citizen of this country attending classes.

#3. Greening public places in Vienna with urban gardening

Source: wien

Community gardens are a uniqueness of this admirable nation’s capital city. Visitors might often see wooden tubs with soil in the street of Vienna. Those gardens belong to everyone, and the community takes responsibility for taking care of them.

#4. Want to own dogs? Pay the dog tax first!

Source: USA today

Dog owners are taxed in Austria. In principle, a tax is charged for keeping dogs. The rate and the provisions or time limits for the dog tax are regulated differently in each federal state. From the age of three months, dogs must be registered with the competent authority for this purpose.

#5. Be sure to move quickly when checking out in supermarkets.

Source: internet

In Austria, people don’t usually act slowly at the cashier. It is an unspoken rule to help save time so that other customers in the line don’t have to wait too much. Hence, just put things in a big bag, pay, leave the counter, and find a bench outside to rearrange the stuff!

#6. In the restroom...

Source: reddit

A washout toilet, informally called a German toilet, is a kind of flush toilet predominantly used in Germany and Austria. It has a shelf in the toilet bowl above the water surface to hold the feces before flushing, where they may be inspected for “health reasons”. Smell, sounds, colors… all of it!

#7. Another way to see concerts in the famous Vienna Opera House

Source: Metropolitan Youth Orchestra

The tickets to the house cost an arm and a leg. Therefore, those who are not well off wait to buy standing-room tickets, which are about as expensive as a cup of coffee. Also, visitors can enjoy the moment before the concert with a free excursion around the theater.

#8. Beware of the elevator panel!

Source: T24HS

In Germany and Austria, the ground floor is the Erdgeschoß (E or EG), the floor above it is the “1. Stock” aka “first floor”,  DG or D = Dachgeschoss = Attic floor,  K = Keller = Basement, K1 = the floor below K. Sounds simple enough, but it does not behoove you to be careless.

#9. Say hi in Austrian style!

Source: Expatica

Austrians kiss both cheeks to greet. The degree of closeness doesn’t matter, so you might get kissed as a hello if you make some new friends here.

#10. Most Austrians are skiers.

Source: Check Yeti

Ski resorts in Austria are always sold out every season in business. Parents will bring their kids there and teach them how to ski. Skiing is like a religion in this country.

#11. Look at eyes while toasting!

Source: iStock

Having a toast with friends is fun, but if you don’t stare at their eyes while raising glasses, you will upset your Austrian beer buddies since they believe it will bring bad luck. Moreover, looking somewhere else can be perceived as a manifestation of disrespect. Be aware of their drinking traditions!

#12. Because you asked!

Source: Sara Bell

The residents here don’t often give others winged compliments. Their true thoughts are gold, and they like to stick with reality. So, don’t ask for cliche comfort like “do you think my clothes look silly today?”, since they will yes if they think so!

#13. Straightforward people

Source: Expatica

Austrians spill the truth in the straightest way whether you like it or not. They will complain about unpleasing things coming from anybody without beating around the bush. However, they don’t mean to be harsh or rude. They just want others to understand quickly so everyone can get better and the unpleasant can be discarded soon.

#14. The blanket battle

Source: markusthomasde/Pixabay

The way it works in Austria is this: two same-sized duvets are folded in half and placed side-by-side on the bed. They don’t use top sheets and bedspreads. Sometimes people drape the third blanket across the duvets to prettify the bed. This system is also used in Germany and parts of Scandinavia.

#15. Austria isn't a good place for practicing standard German

Source: Babbel

In case you already learn German and are ready to use it in Austria, you will be shocked since you won’t be able to communicate with residents here that way. There are 9 states in Austria, and each one has its own dialect that is so far different from standard German. Even Germans and Austrians don’t understand each other.

#16. Is this a castle? No, it's Spittelau

Source: vienna-trip

If you saw the photo above, you’d probably assume some kind of contemporary art museum. But this is one of Vienna’s municipal waste incinerators, producing energy for around 50,000 Viennese households (and heating and warm water for 60,000). The Spittelau incinerator now ranks as one of Vienna’s most striking landmarks.

#17. No taxis because walking is good for health

Source: Nomad Epicureans

People here don’t call Uber or other taxis for minutes-walk-away destinations. Only old and ill individuals need taxis to transport. It’s a good thing since walking benefits our health.

#18. Sanctuary for dogs and those loving them

Source: Travelnuity

If you’re a dog person, Austria is your paradise. Cafes, restaurants, subways, and many other public places and transport welcome dogs. But if somebody is allergic to or doesn’t like dogs, there are places with a dog/pet-prohibit sign for them too.

#19. Don't say "croissants are French"!

Source: The Hungry Baker Youtube

Croissants, alongside other pastries that proliferated through Paris, were known as Viennoiseries: a selection of Viennese-style treats that either came from Vienna or were born in Paris after the Viennese fashion. The croissant began as the Austrian kipfel but became French the moment people began to make it with puff pastry, which is a French innovation. Surprise your new Austrian friends with this piece of knowledge!

#20. How to make friends easily here

Source: Taste Of Austria

Inviting Austrians to coffee is a perfect way to befriend them. Coffee is super important to the Austrian people. Around 90% of Austrian people drink coffee. There’s even a name for a 3 pm coffee break (with pastries, of course) called jause. Besides, there’s a Viennese blend – Wiener mélange – which is kind of like a cappuccino.
If you know more curious facts about Austria, please share them with us by commenting in the box below! Don't forget to like and share this article with your trip buddies before you move to another one on our site!
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