• Slovakia!

    Slovakia: Tatra Mountains. Go Now!

    Slovakia
    The Tatra Mountains (pictured) form the backdrop of this rural country, whose culture is rooted in this beautiful landscape. Go Now!

  • Bulgaria!

    Bulgaria: An old Turkish bridge. Go Now!

    Bulgaria
    The isolated mountains of Bulgaria hide cultural gems around every corner, including this old Turkish bridge in the Rhodopi Mountains. Explore Bulgaria!

  • Italy!

    Italy: Rome' historic buildings. Go Now!

    Italy
    Crumbling buildings in Rome (pictured) only add to the atmosphere in a country where old is redefined and western civilization begins. Explore Italy!

  • Portugal!

    Portugal: Palace of Pena. Go Now!

    Portugal
    Although next to the seas and made famous by trade, Portugal boasts dynamic landscapes and architecture, including the Palace of Pena (pictured) near the town of Sintra. Go to Portugal!

  • Armenia!

    Armenia: Noravank Monastery. Go Now!

    Armenia
    With a unique language, foods, architecture, and identity, Armenia is a fascinating country and culture unlike no other in the world. Begin Your Journey!

  • Finland!

    Finland: Finnish Sauna. Go Now!

    Finland
    Unlike its neighbors, the Finns are unique ethnically & linguistically, but are wholly European in many other ways. Begin Your Journey!

Social Life in Austria

Behavior

The Austrians are very well aware of the world around them as well as the differences in opinions and behaviors. Because of this they are quite understanding of various cultures and foreigners so odd behaviors are generally accepted (but not encouraged).

Your behavior should begin with modesty as being loud, rude, showing off wealth, or dressing provocatively will get you stares. Likewise, placing yourself above others or boasting is viewed negatively, whether that be in your attitude, talking about finances, making others wait for you at a meeting, polluting their environment, or even in personal relationships. Putting others down gets the same reaction; Austrians view men, women, minorities, and people of all sexual orientations as equals and not doing the same can be very offensive.

As a visitor to Sweden, try to follow the lead of the locals by being modest, dressing in like manner (see below for details), dining in the local etiquette (see our Austria Dining & Food Page), and avoiding sensitive conversation topics such as politics, finances, and business unless initiated by your local counterpart.

Dress

The traditional dress of Austria is what many foreigners think of as stereotypical German dress, which is very similar to the clothing found historically in Bavaria, Germany. However, Austria is fairly large and there are variations on the traditional dress from region to region and from Austria as a whole to Bavaria and Germany.

For men, the most traditional piece of clothing is lederhosen, which means "leather trousers" in German. They only reached to about the knees and often include straps that reach over the shoulders. For the women, a dress called a dirndl was the most popular clothing; these dresses consist of a blouse, skirt, and apron, plus a set of strings called a bodice to hold all parts together (although today this may be absent in favor of buttons). The dress and apron vary in length, but the sleeves were generally on the shorter end; however, the dirndl varied based on season as they tended to be a bit heavier and darker in color during the winter months.

Today this traditional Austrian dress is not commonly worn except on special occasions. Modern western-styled clothing is the dress of choice today and as a visitor to Austria you are welcome to wear the same. Try to dress for the weather and the occasion, but if in doubt dress on the more conservative side. The Austrians are fairly liberal and forgiving, but wearing anything that is too revealing or makes you stand out is generally frowned upon. This is especially true in Vienna and other large cities where the dress is fairly formal as shorts are quite uncommon. Also be sure to dress in a more conservative and formal manner if entering churches, government buildings, or business settings. Lastly, sunbathing naked or women going topless is only allowed on some beaches and parks, some of which can be found in cities; always know if this is allowed prior to doing so.

This page was last updated: November, 2013