Surviving the Culture Shock
There are many differences between the Viennese lifestyle and other places, so here are just a few differences to help you avoid the culture shock!
- People can still smoke indoors in some places, especially in some smaller bars and restaurants.
- Water will usually be sparkling and bottled water is a big thing. People may look at you funny if you try to order tap water!
- Taxes and tips are included in prices, so service is much less tip-oriented. It’s normal, however, to round up to the nearest euro.
- You don’t have to swipe your ticket in the metro, unless you buy a single ride ticket. Public transport runs on the ‘honour system’, so anyone can get on and off without being checked. But you will spot the occasional ticket inspector, and if you do get caught, it’s a 90 euro fine!
- Cycling is a serious business here. Look out for bike lanes wherever you go, because you won’t be forgiven for walking in them!
- To- go coffee isn’t particularly big here. If somewhere does serve coffee to go, they will usually advertise it as it isn’t the usual custom.
- When paying for day-to-day things, people will usually pay in cash, not on card, so carry cash around with you where possible.
- Many of the metro trains have manual doors, so don’t stand there and wait for them to open automatically; you have to do it yourself!
- Wine is incredibly cheap compared to the US and UK – make the most of it!
- People can seem unwelcome or even rude at first, but that’s just a cultural difference, especially when compared to the US. People are just a little more private and it takes a while to get to know them, but once you do it’s definitely worth the work, and you can make life-long friendships. Speaking German makes a big difference!