28 ways to be Austrian

In honour of the fact that this is my 28th post, on the week of my 28th birthday I feel its appropriate to celebrate that number with a short guide to the hilarious/awesome/crazy things i’ve noticed from my first year living in Austria. These are the little things you need to embrace to truly uncover your inner Austrian!

1.Be on time. They really, really like being on time. The Germans and the Swiss have the more famous reputation but God help you if you’re not on time to meet an Austrian. For an Austrian, to be 5 minutes early  is to be on time. You have been warned!

2. Speak Austrian Deutsch. The language spoken here is technically German, but an Austrian variety. So a Potato is an Kartoffeln in Deutsch, but Erdäpfel in Austrian. German apricots are Aprikose, Austrian ones are Marillen, German tomatoes are Tomaten, and the Austrian (specifically Viennese) tomatoes are Paradeiser….you get the idea.  These tricksy little differences seperate the Deutsch from the Österreicher!

3. Get used to Smoking. Austria is one of the few countries that has been sloooowww to take up any kind of smoking laws, because Austrians adore smoking. For a country that’s so modern in so many ways the smoking habits  here make me feel like its still 1960. Bars, restaurants and streetside you can buy super cheap packs of smokes. Its legal at 16 meaning half the population is addicted by 17. Its gross.

Even their healthiest export is into it!

4. Get nude! This is so normal here as to barely* rate a mention. Topless sunbaking is the norm at all public swimming spots, be it beside the Danube, at a public pool or with your kids at the local swim spot. Nuding up is par for the course, particularly beside lakes, and while some areas are specifically reserved for this, people don’t tend to look twice at folk of all ages nuding up. Stay tuned for a later post about this and how it positively affects body confidence throughout the country – I reckon us English speaking folk have a lot to learn!

*sorry (not sorry) for this terrible pun!

5. Eat Dairy. There is dairy everywhere. Austrians love any kind of Dairy product – cheese, milk, butter, buttermilk, cream, creamy spreads, creamy sauces on meals, mayonaise in every salad….  it’s endless. I reckon its  from their rural tradition of farming and loving their cows so much. So versatile is their love of Dairy that they literally invented a drink made from  ‘cheese juice’ – as in leftover juice from the cheese making process. Its called Latella. S loves it. The thought of it makes me wanna vomit in my mouth

Milk & Fruit and CHEESE JUICE!! Belurgh!

6. Embrace Pork ‘n Potatoes. The diet of Austria is built on the back of a Pig – always served with generous helpings of Potatoes. More often than not, the potatoes are in salad, the famous Kartöffel Salad . Natürlich, the best Kartoffel salad is always made by Austrian Grannies. Pork cannot be avoided – they sneak it in Schnitzel, in Salad, in Cordon Bleu,  even in breakfast as a spread ( the fat of the pig is made spreadable). Basically for Austrians, Pork = life.

7. Be Neat & Tidy. The enitre country is an OCD dream of cleanliness. Crossing the border into Austria I swear the fields get more organised, the streets are neater and everything is more orderly. There’s a woman on our street who has been spotted sweeping leaves from the footpath at midnight. No joke – cleanliness is imperative. If cleaning your house isn’t enough, they have city wide initiatives in Spring to help clean the city for incomiung tourists…very serious business!

8. Holiday Often. Most Austrian work contracts have 5 weeks annual leave built in. Add to that the many many public holidays throughout the year (at least 14) and the ‘swing days’ ( if a public holiday falls on a Thursday you get the Friday off too) and you have one very relaxed country. Being smack in the centre of Europe means you can holiday in Italy, Hungary, Czech Republic or just enjoy some of the stunning lakes of Austria. Tough life!

Danube Relaxation

Viennese Day off – very tough!

9. Be Polite. Normally, in any English speaking country when I get in an elevator,  I avoid eye contact, clutch my phone and pretend i’m not surrounded by 20 other people in an enclosed space. Entering and exiting buildings I look busy, stride quickly and leave everyone the hell alone to do the same. Standard human interaction, no? Not so here. Every office I walk into someone greets you with a cheery ‘Gruß Gott’, you step out of a lift and a hail of ‘Auf Wiedersehen’ sends you merrily on your way. I think this  is  part of Austrias very strong  formal culture. In the villages of Tirol, if you walk past someone on the street its extremely rude to not say ‘Servus’ or ‘Gruß Gott’ in greeting.  I personally love this – it gives your day to day interactions a little more cheer!

10. Get a Dirndl/Lederhosen, This is not mandatory, but super fun! I got my first Dirndl last weekend for a local ‘mini-Oktoberfest’ in Tirol and I loooovve it. Dirndl’s & Lederhosen are the traditional clothes of Austria, known as Trachten. They’ll lend you the air of authenticity while holding a beer and speaking broken Deutsch in a beer hall. Apparently Trachten are making a comeback in the fashion stakes so you can get yourself ahead of the game, like so….


Advising others on the benefits of a Dirndl…

11. ‘Where are you from?’ is a mandatory conversational topic. I don’t just mean asking which continent, or country. The first 15 minutes upon meeting anyone new is generally spent dissecting which particular reigon a person hails from. Points are gained if this can be picked from a speakers accent, double points if a specific village can be named. Maybe this is a European habit, but for Austrians its seems to be a particularly rewarding game – where if you guess correctly, friendly jibes and stereotypes are exchanged about each respective persons village.

12. Get Fit. Austrians love a good walk, or hike, or mountain bike, or rock climbing or going for a ‘Wandern’ – which is a hike that can go for hours. All this incredible countryside encourages outdoor fitness freaks. Then in winter there’s skiing, snow boarding, ice skating, or ‘touring’ which is hiking (again), but this time in snow, up a mountain. Yep. They’re bonkers about getting up those mountains.


No idea why they’d want to get all the way up here!

13. Love Winter Sports. They are waaayy more important here than any other sporting codes. It may seem obvious when you think of the climate, but still surprises me. I’m slowly getting used to the idea of watching ski races on a Saturday afternoon instead of the footy. Because Austria kind of sucks (on a national level) in popular European sports like soccer, they tend to embrace the stuff they’re good at, like skiing. Just don’t tell them they suck, you may be kicked out 🙂

David Alaba: Alle lieben unseren SuperstarSuperflous shot of Austria’s best soccer player, Alaba, looking dreamy.

14. Daily Kaffe & Kuche. The greatest Austrian habit of all – mid afternoon coffee and cake. Any & every day around 3pm is Kaffe & Kuche time. You need no justification to stop your day, get yourself a coffee and slice of Cake – Sacher Torte, Apfel, Marillen, Shokolade, whichever – then sit and enjoy 20 minutes of pure bliss.

15. Coffee must always come with a glass of water on the side. This is genius to the perpetually thirsty, like myself. I adore it so much and notice the lack in other countries now. The Austrians literally invented the idea of modern coffee in the 1500’s – when the fleeing Turkish Army left behind bags of coffee beans, the Viennese added milk, sugar and deliciousness – and have been perfecting coffee ever since.

Note  all the Dairy heaped on top!!


 16. Dance Like no one is Watching. Dancing here is less of an art, and more of a group activity in clapping, hopping, jumping, flapping your hands and cheering along to lyrics. They may be famous for the Vienna Waltz season, but thorough research in many bars has revealed Austrians are much more partial to Macarena-like sing alongs to folksy music, with corresponding dance moves that an entire dancefloor will bust out. Its a thing of beauty to witness!

 17. Grow a Moustache. The moustache ratio here is definitely above average, the most magnificent ones are  tended to like 1940’s masterpieces. Its inspiring & hilarious to see them in the wild. My favourite moustache of note was spotted in the gym, on a be-muscled man who was sporting the very traditonal ‘handlebar with a twirl’ look. I wasn’t stalky enough to take a picture, but trust me when I say it was definitely a descendant of this guy:

Sadly, he was not wearing a leopard print onesie that Tuesday.

 18. Hide your Office. Most offices are hidden in converted grand homes. Any Doctor, Dentist, or everyday appointment can occur in a gorgeous old apartment building, rather than purpose built, soulless concrete block. The buildings here are incredible, and finding the re-appropriated Optician’s office hidden in an apartment building from the 1890’s is an everyday architectural adventure!

 19. Avoid the Viennese Attitude. Ah the Viennese reputation for gloom. Renowed for being grumpy, unhelpful and all round sad sacks, I can say this is only half-true. The true Viennese outlook on life tends to be more ‘its not so bad’ rather than ‘life is great!’ but you can find friendly people, and if you attempt a bit of Deutsch, they  open up more.

20. Get used to Churches & Catholicism. Though changing with the new multicultural population, Austria is still very much a traditionally Catholic country. Most of the public holidays are on Catholic religious holidays, festivities are built around Catholic traditions and every second village in the countryside has a Catholic Kirche as its architectural focal point. Not such a bad thing when the Churches are as pretty as this:

KircheThat’s me, being overwhelmed by all the  goooooold in a small Kirche in Tirol

21. Classify Water. Water is more than just wet stuff from a tap. Here, it has a number of classifications – prickelnd, mild & ohne. And there’s allegedly a difference in taste between tap water depending on what side of the Danube you live. This, more than anything tells you how much Austrians love a good classification process! Water is very sacred here as they treasure the good, clear product fresh from the mountains.

22. Love The Hoff. Yes, they are as mad for him as the Germans. No one is entirely sure why he’s so successful here. He came through Vienna in March and was still given VIP treatment at Volkgarten club and the Austrians (including S) went mad for seeing the original Knight Rider vehicle. They even nominated him to be a Governor for Styria! Check the article here http://www.artofeurope.com/news/hasselhoff.htm  allegedly the photo to go along with his nomination was something like this…

There are no words for this….

23. Enjoy Explicit Radio. Like anywhere, commercial radio in Austria is pretty repeptitive. Unlike anywere else, there isn’t a lot of censorship going on. You will hear full, explicit versions of everything. In the middle of the workday there’s Old school, full length Eminiem alongside tracks like ‘What’s my Motherf**in Name’. I’m no prude so it doesn’t really bother me but for those sensitive to swearing, beware!

24. Sunday Funday!! There’s no shops open on a Sunday here. So adapt your grocery habits accordingly, or you end up starving on a Sunday evening. Sunday is traditionally a ‘family day’ used to socialise doing non-capitalist activities, like long lunches at Grannies and playing in a park. Its a delightful way to force you to find something outdoorsy to do on a weekend. Number one choice of activitiy is to…

25. Wash your Car on a Sunday. The neat and tidy thing extends to vehicle maintenance, specifically spending your Sunday’s vigorously cleaning your car. This is regardless of weather or if the car actually needs cleaning.  The gigantic queues at Carwash outlets can attest to the popularity of this pastime. The secondary church on a Sunday is the carwash.

26. Sit Down Boys. I’m talking about boys bathroom etiquette. They pee sitting down. Legitimately, taught from a young age to pee sitting down. I only realised this when I never had to put the seat down in our apartment, and upon some delicate quizzing established that its a non-issue here. Boys pee sitting down. Hallelujah!

27. Fashion Rules. Fashion here is…..classic? I’m still a bit bemused by Vienna’s fashion choices. I say ‘classic’ when what I mostly mean is a teensy bit boring. Classic cuts, nothing too zany, nothing too colourful (unless its fluro which, ick) and not a lot of risky choices. Wearing my Black Milk tights feel positively rebellious! (see my heaven here http://blackmilkclothing.com/) However, Vienna fashion week is in September so I’ll withhold complete judgement until then. There’s also an adorable blog at http://www.sissisecrets.com/ that’s helping uncover the inner fashionista’s of Wien!

28. Learn to drink Beer.  Austria is hovering up in the top 3 for biggest beer drinkers in the world. They knocked Germany off the perch recently and have some delicious varities of beer to back up the claim. My personal favourite is Weißbier, but the variety and cheap prices mean you can discover your personal favourite. Proßt!!


Some extremely Austrian things here – Weißbeer, cigarettes, mountains & a lake. Oh and the human too.

So how Austrian are you??? I think I’ve still got a long way to go, so any other Austrian traits you can think of, let me know!!


  1. Martina

    Hi Carly,
    How funny is that, I’m an Austrian girl and live now in Australia – Melbourne. My partner sent me the link to your post, and I just read it at the Beach. I have to say, it is soooooooo true what you wrote, I had to laugh all the time. You observed that absolutely correct. I mean there are some points I can’t agree with, but probably thats because I was born on the other end of Austria in Vorarlberg.
    Since I live here in Melbourne I started to miss things from home, like the crazy dance-moves or specially the Latella or a Landjäger – did you ever try a Leberkäsesemmel? I could kill for that.
    Well you’re right with the holidays and the Fridays off, but let’s be honest, if there is a public holiday on a Saturday or Sunday here in Australia, you guys get the Monday off – that’s even better.
    Enjoy your time in Austria, and think of moving to the West – it’s so much better and you can learn some crazy dialects there.
    Thank you for sharing your observations, I really enjoyed it.
    Maybe we can meet for a chat and Kaffee and Kuchen either in Austria or Australia one time.


  2. C

    Haha some “facts” are really true!! But there is something that has to be mentioned. Austrian hardly ever say “NO” to anything. If you ask an Austrian if he wants to see a movie he’ll say: “Schau ma mal” that basically means no but in a very polite way of not actually rejecting anyone!! Yeah and watching ski-races on sundays is also a thing and if there is no skiing, then we still like to watch Formel1!!

  3. Joel Drysdale

    Funny old place, beautiful too. The men in particular seem to lack confidence, rather dour and poker-faced. When was the last time you saw an Austrian dad really laughing with their kid in the park and showing emotion? Everything is ‘ya ya, das ist so’..nonchalant and a bit empty of personality it seems. very serious and oooh so quiet.
    And what’s with black? In the winter time, check it out…EVERYONE is wearing black, black jacket with jeans..its like some sort of national uniform. Austria is a nice place, nobody will hurt you, but it’s a bit dull. I’m not saying the restaurants should be like American diners full of over-the-top laughter, but it’s all a bit hush hush. Jesus, I’ve been to a few major concerts here with global stars on stage..and the crowd? You’d think it was a funeral! Just dead crowds, Austrians just stand there, do they get into the groove and dance a bit? No! That would be showing emotion and passion, god forbid! If you speak English to another English speaker you get looked at like you’re a green martian. Art and theatre all seems to be very minimalist and strange, almost like it needs to be weird to rebel against anything that is mainstream. A room full of white bits of paper or a stage show about vaginas with people screaming or something like that, just strange stuff. And what’s with the OCD? Again, the good old Austrian men, borderline illness with their need for everything to be perfect. Kids seem to have soul though, but if they laugh to loud or run or make a bit of noise, chances are there will be some dull parent ” Shhhh…..Florian…nicht so laut bitte….”

    I do like the place, but it seems so insecure and unsure of itself. The department stores in the cities are like peculiar fashion shows. Men well into their 50s with long hair, women with handbag dogs , it’s like some sort of parody.

    Another thing, what’s with social situations that involve a comment? NOTHING! If someone pushes in front of you and you tell them that intact they are pushing in..what do they do? Say sorry? Say something biting back at you? NOTHING! They retreat like a snail and just turn their head away. Yesterday, I saw a guy on a bike come around a corner, a car nearly hit him, they didn’t even make eye contact, just these poker faces…it’s the Japan of Europe here..emotion is a weakness! Do not show feelings! Especially the men. Jesus…where’s the personality? Where’s the passion? Being from the USA is one thing here, but having a passionate and emotive country like Italy bordering somewhere like Austria is hilarious!

    I’ve seen a few political demonstrations here too, COME ON!! get wild! Make some noise! They just stand there waiting for someone to take the lead. Honestly, show some LIFE! Are all Austrian men brought up to be these non events? The kids seem cool until they hit 17 and then they retreat and become these clone-like people…I don’t get it.

    As the for the cigarettes…no comment there. Strange and dated.

    I went on business to London and Amsterdam and then came back to Vienna and the place seemed dead. Downtown had no atmosphere, the waiters in the restaurants couldn’t give a damn, dead from the neck up.

    So I know, Austrians are going to get mad about this post and disagree with it, go on…show me some ENERGY!

    Aside from that, I love it here!

    • chacha24

      funny that you got no “energy” in response to your post…..proves your point, I think. tee hee.

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  5. Walter

    Disagree on the Weissbier. This is a translation error. Austrians do not drink Weissbier (wheat beer) that much, actually many restaurants do not offer this kind of beer at all. Austrians drink “Helles Bier” which translates to “Lager”. Weissbier is definitely a German thing, not an Austrian!

    • jjj

      Depends where you are from. Where I live (in Vienna) it’s not really popular, but from Upper Austria westwards (not so much in Vorarlberg, I think) it definitely is.

  6. dancingqirl

    Hello 😉 well I am austrian and honestly I have to say some are true but some I really don’t agree on, like i personally couldnt care less about Hasselhoff, but I agree on the vienniese attitude, thats also one of the reasons why I don’t like Vienna cause I just don’t like the people there 😉

    Oh and btw it’s Kaffee and Kuchen, and Kartoffelsalat 😉

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  10. MK

    I am a foreigner living in Austria and also find the smoking habits of the people terrible.
    I come from a country where we also have many many smokers but the latest law completely forbids smoking in restaurants and bars.
    And here in Austria the laws are loose and the cigarrete automats give unrestricted access to children of any age.
    It is not about forcing the adult people to stop smoking but to prevent the young generation from following this bad step.

    As for the other points, more or less I agree. One of the hardest things for me was to get accustomed to the Sundays when no food could be purchased except for a few shop on train stations where you may have to wait in a queue to get inside 🙂

    • Bella

      you need a debitcard to get cigarettes from the automats! only if your over 16 you get cigarettes. We are a lot of smokers i admit but for gods sake we should still be allowed to decide if we wanna smoke or not. and whats the big deal if you can smoke in a bar. As if drug legalisation is that great or genetic modified food is that great and healthy.

      • Corinna Kern

        Bella called it! You need a debit card to prove your age to get cigarettes (called Tschiks in dialect) out of a machine. And yes, we are somewhat rebelious about the freedom of smoking – much to the horror of many other nations. Truly we ought to be ashamed of ourselves for it, we are a bad example for our youngens – but there you have it . . .

  11. John

    One of the things I really notice here is that some Austrians can be really nosy and inquisitive. They seem to enjoy staring at and “inspecting” other people, whether from their balconies, on public transport etc. They check out your clothes (up and down, down and up), what you’re carrying, who you’re with, and stare particularly hard if something deviates even just a bit from the norm. A few times I’ve even told people to stop as occasionally it crosses the line in terms of being too intrusive, like when I was dating a Chinese girl it just sent them into overdrive. To be fair though Germans and Eastern Europeans seem to do it just as much (if not more in the case of Germans – Google “Staring Germans”!!) so I wouldn’t call it a uniquely Austrian thing. But I even catch my dad, who is Austrian, doing it a fair bit when he sees someone who seems to pique his curiosity and give him a quick “Dad don’t stare!” A friend from back in England also visited with his wife and kids recently and said even on the plane on the way over he felt they were really stared at by some of the other (presumably Austrian) passengers and felt like telling them to stop.

    • carlyhulls

      This I can completely agree with! My mister is a massive one for staring and we’ve had loads of instances where my polite English instincts can’t take it – especially on public transport or in cafe’s. ..I’m convinced he’ll be hit for it one of these days for staring at the wrong person but so far in Vienna its pretty acceptable. Very different attitude!

  12. abcd

    As an Austrian, I gotta say this is very accurate, except for #26. Austrian guys DO NOT pee sitting down, the vast majority of them at least. They do have the option though in most lavatories.

  13. Sina

    You forgot to mention our really dark and nasty sense of humor 😀
    There are more jokes about the death than about anything else 😀

  14. Mike

    Re point #19, I find the whole cranky Viennese stereotype to fit other Austrians too. I spent a fair bit of time in Linz and other places in the country, and it was not rare to encounter the same thing, although maybe “cold unfriendliness” would be a more apt way of describing it, rather than out and out grumpiness like with the Viennese. I also often find the friendliness (or lack thereof) to sit on extremes, like some Austrians are so cranky and unfriendly it truly makes me wonder what on earth is wrong with them (particularly in the Ämter where they can act borderline neurotic), while others are so friendly and nice that it’s often a really pleasant surprise. I found that across all age groups and political leanings, too.

  15. endeneu

    “Die Mentalität der Österreicher ist wie ein Punschkrapfen: Außen rot, innen braun und immer ein bisschen betrunken.”(Thomas Bernhard).

  16. Filia Umbrae

    oh dear, that was hilarious 😀 I am from Austria myself and I always wanted to know what tourists think ’bout AT as a holiday place.
    But the thing is: Nobody I’ve ever met really cares for Hasselhoff, the most important thing ’bout coffee is that we don’t just have “coffee” – we have the “Kleiner Brauner”, “Großer Brauner”, “Einspänner”, “Fiaker”, “türkischer Kaffee” and so on 😉
    And actually I guess you just mean “without a shirt” when you say nude, right? ‘Cause the only people who’s genitals one’s unhappy to enjoy are usually old one’s that kinda want to annoy people with there shamelessness. But yes, boobs are often seen.
    And I guess like everything else ever written from a tourist’s perspective about any country ever this mostly refers to older people. I didn’t grow up witch Kaffee and Kuchen and neither do I know anyone who does that on a regular basis. And drinking “cheese juice” (called “whey” btw^^) is not only a thing in Austria, And the greeting-thingy is more usual in the countryside – the one on the street at least. The greeting when entering a building is supernormal and I’d hate it if it wasn’t 😀 And drinking “cheese juice” as you call it is not only a thing in Austria,it’s done a lot all over Europe.
    Best part was the one with that “Where are you from”-game 😀 Laughed so hard ’cause it’s sooo true xD But I never thought this was just some typically Austrian habit, I was sure everyone’s interested all over the worl. But when I come to think about it, this is probably also caused by the many mountains – especially in Tirol there’s loads of valleys and those also have own accents.

    • Corinna Kern

      I agreee about the Hasselhof part – I don’t know ANYBODY who cares for him, lol

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  18. Mya Stone

    Being Austrian, I can confirm that some of those things are absolutely true, though I never even noticed most of them until now. Not too sure about David Hasselhoff though…

  19. Adam P.

    Recently I read the Austrian study which says that Austrian meat-eaters have better quality of life than their vegetarians or vegans. Seems like a paradise for steak-lovers! But wait a minute! David Hasselhoff? Seriously?

  20. Karla

    Funny post, good attempt to show some sides of us Austrians as we are quite unknown by the public. I find it hilarious that you, as an aussie, have written about Austrians because: I don’t know how many times I had this conversation with (non European) people:
    “Where do you come from?”
    “Oooh! Kangaroos how awesome”
    Dirndl: please choose a picture with a real Dirndl, we have the most beautiful ones 😉 (just type into google “Oesterreich dirndl tradition”)
    Otherwise I kind of agree with most of the points made, most important: austrian german is not german german, smoking, tidy, polite, kaffee (water on the side, essential, they tried to introduce 50 cents obligatory payment but didn’t succeed following viennese rebellion ;)), wasser (tap water please it tastes so good!!!!)

    • carlyhulls

      Glad you liked the post! I try to use all my own photos on the blog so haven’t been lucky enough yet to afford a ‘real’ Dirndl yet…but as soon as I do I’ll update the pictures 🙂

  21. babs

    You might want to check your spelling, grammar and punctuation before posting – potato, not Potato; church, not Church; spring, not Spring; I, instead of “i”;Weißbier, not Weißbeer, . . . So a potato is a Kartoffel, not “So a Potato is an Kartoffeln”, etc.

    Apropos Weißbier, the Weißbier in the picture is Franziskaner Weißbier, from Munich, Germany. 🙂

    David Hasselhof may have been popular for a while in Germany and Austria with his one popular song and his TV show, but that’s not the case anymore. That’s just media hype.

    You could also add the the Austrians are not too fond of the Germans and do not like to be thought of as German. Yet, the cultural characteristics are very similar.

    • babs

      You could also add that the Austrians . . .

      I should put my money where my month is, geh?

    • Kreutmayer

      What are you talking about ?? Austrians love the Germans.. Its rivalry not hate, similar to the way Americans and Canadians act to each other or New Zealanders and Australians.. When everything is fine it may seem like they dislike them.. But in times of crises Austrians are the first to help the Germans and vice versa as for not wanting to be called German.. If you were Canadian would you like to be called american? No .. .. From a patriotic osttiroler 🙂

      • Kreutmayer

        P.s if there’s anyone we don’t like its the Viennese… Every ‘bundesland’ dislikes Vienna

      • Xavier

        Totally agree on the ‘fake rivalry’, except when it comes to futbol…

      • ylvali

        German living in Austria here: We are not liked. There’s definitely some passive aggression going on and I am a very friendly person. It fades, too, but often it’s there at the beginning. And it’s onesided, too, I wasn’t even aware of any of it before I moved here – no rivalry at all. So, no, no love there, unfortunately.

      • luis

        kurze frage von einem in wien geborenen und aufgewachsenen wiener:
        warum hassen alle die wiener? hahaha

      • Corinna Kern

        this genuine Wachau Valley girl agrees with Kreutmeyer! We don’t HATE the Germans – we just put a lot of value on being recognized as AUSTRIANS. For decades we were the butt of jokes from our Teutonic neighbors, and now that we have left them in the dust in all matters economically or otherwise, we are allowed a little dose of Schadenfreude here and there! 😉 But it is all in good fun. We even provide German translations on many our restaurant menus, to make life easier for our German guests!

    • penguin

      i am austrian and love all germans. all my austrian friends love germany too! we even say “Kartoffel” every now and then.

  22. S

    haha so many truths in here!!! Funniest part to me is about the fashion, since after living in Australia for a year I had a few BM leggings myself and wearing them out in Vienna was a weird experience – everyone was staring at me and whispering about the leggings!! I felt so outrageous!!! 😉

  23. Hugo

    “Austrians love any kind of dairy product…” That’s true, but this is Europe, after all. You’ll be hard pressed to find a country where this doesn’t hold. But “mayonnaise on every salad”? Now, nothing could be more wrong than this. First, there’s, to the best of my knowledge, and I was a chef in an Austrian restaurant for many years, not a single traditional Austrian salad containing mayonnaise. Mayonnaise just isn’t used at all in traditional Austrian cooking. If you encounter a salad with mayonnaise (which really isn’t all that often from my experience), you can be sure it’s originally from somewhere else, like Germany. Second, this is entirely beside the point because mayonnaise is not a dairy product! It’s made from eggyolks, oil and vinegar.

    Also, have you actually tried the “cheese juice” or is it just the idea that repulses you. Because whey (that’s what it’s called in English, btw) is actually rather delicious and very healthy. It’s nearly fat free and contains a lot of minerals and proteins. It’s also not an exclusively Austrian thing, of course.

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  25. bevchen

    Love this! I used to live in Austria (not Vienna though) and this is sooo true! I now live in Germany, and some of the things apply for Germans as well… especially the sitting down to pee thing. I still can’t get my head around the fact that my boyfriend does that…. it’s just not natural!

  26. Phil

    One Austrian trait that I would like to add: Austrians are hard to meet and to become friends with, but once you have a friend, you’ve got a friend for life.

    • David Faerber

      sooooooooo true…old Austrian girlfriend sought me out after 35 years!!!…either friendly or desperate…

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  29. Viggerl

    Very funny to read, it made me chuckle constantly. But, as an native Viennese “Nörgler” (niggler), I had to add a thought:
    Most important is, that we austrians, especially the Viennese, make intensive use of the subjunctive, we use different stages of it. So, in our eyes, german people and, to a minor degree, all foreigners appear rude. For example we would never say:
    “Give me the sugar bowl, please.” We would use the subjunctive and say:
    “Please, would you give me the sugar bowl.” Or:
    “Would you be so kind and give me, please, the sugar bowl.”
    We love to give the addressed person the possibility to say no, theoretically. It’s more a question than a claim. Although we have learned that the foreigners don’t want to be rude, we can’t really adopt to be molested constantly.

    • Rudolph Houck

      In my family we (Americans) are even more indirect. My mother (wanting me to pass the peas) would ask, “Would you like some peas?” But the most indirect I can recall was a German-speaker (Austrian or German) guest who asked me to pour the milk in his empty coffee cup before the coffee. I remarked that it usually went in the opposite order, coffee first. He said, “Yes, if one has a spoon.” Yes, I got him a spoon. I recall as if yesterday (and not 1979) hearing a German lawyer say on the phone – “ich haette gern mit Herrn X gesprochen.” Off the Austrian topic, yes. Sorry. I read with interest.

      • Viggerl

        I’m sure the lawyer was from Austria, this wording is typical for Viennese, it’s the common phrase. I’m thinking back to a visiting professor from the Nederlands: he can’t adopt to the different levels of subjunctive, that everybody calls him “Professor” and not by his first name, that the waiter in the “Landmann”, a very traditional coffeehouse vis-à-vis of the university, automatically withhold the tip, without loosing a word (he rounded up, a little “help” for the strangers, even a little bit extrem for Austrians). This guy was poor, his uncomprehending, stunned face, again and again, I will never forget it.

      • Peter Renner

        Some years ago on I-95 heading east I was about to pass a car in front of me, piloting my buddy’s F150 dragging his trailer with both our motor bikes in it. I pull out, seeing head on traffic far up in front, he glances up and calmly says “if I were you I wouldn’t pass now”, looks down again and continues reading. That from a full bred republican letting his Austrian pinko commie internet buddy drive his rig. To me it doesn’t get more indirect and polite as from that Californian.

  30. Pingback: 26 modi di essere austriaci (1/3) | Vivere Vienna
  31. An Austrian

    Wow. Some of these things, apart from being awfully lopsided, are just borderline racist.

    • Georg

      Wow, really? Have you ever lived in another country? I’m from Vienna but have been living in Canada for the past 6 years now, and imho pretty much everything she said is so true. And I don’t see what’s racist about it? Most of it is nice or funny stuff. The smoking thing is true and it’s disgusting, here in Canada it’s hidden out of sight at the supermarket and you have to ask for it, because it’s such a no no.

  32. annarashbrook

    From a fellow expat, and blogger but from the UK, we’ve been here nearly seven years, and I agree with you mostly, except I avoid Vienna like the plague, we live in real Austria in the Lungau inSalzburgerland!!!!!!!!

    • Evelyn

      So true and makes me chuckle reading it. As the only Austrian in my office and indeed, the 11 storey building here in the heart of north London, getting into the lift and forcing everyone to be polite and greet each other rather than accepting the obligatory “stare to the floor” is a welcome challenge!

  33. Sonia

    LOl. Im a chilean expat living here for the last five days, coz i had the amazing idea of falling in love with a wonderful austrian man.
    I was used to loud nature of my country and continent men and women. Yes , we americans are LOUD.and colorful.
    Austria it’s an extremely tidy country and I love that.
    So peaceful and silent and quiet that sometimes I think im living on a remote very modern village but nooooo… Im in the middle of europeeee.

    One thing I have noticed though…as a general observation , they don’t seem too friendly to me. Actually quite distant and aloof. May be its just me trying to adapt … but we will see what happens by time-

    Great blog 😀

    • Aussie without alia

      IMO Americans are more… superficial. Americans are super friendly and open and everything, but it just feels like they’re lacking depth in relationships.
      Europeans in general and Austrians even more so, we are kind and polite to newcomers, but to really become friends we need time and a base for a friendship, like hard times together, you know? We need trust for a real relationship, but as soon as you have the trust of this friend nothing you’ve ever experienced comes close to it.
      So I, as an Austrian, find it really hard to connect to say Americans, because I feel like they just show me a mask and that does not feel like trust. It really is a devil’s cirlce 😉

  34. luki

    You’re way too biased about “molke” 😛 Its great 😀

    I learned as a lillte boy that i dont have to sit down if i didnt want.to. But leaving the toilet seat up is unpolite, since the ladies always have to put it down…

  35. chacha24

    We are American expats new to Austria as of June 2013 and had observed some of these things already. The only thing that we don’t love here so far is the amount of second-hand cigarette smoke. When squaring Austrian health-consciousness with the commonness of smoking, our seven year old said this “I guess Austrians are just so good, they like to be a little bit bad.” 🙂

    • carlyhulls

      Thats so cute!! But you’re right the smoking here is ridiculous and hard to get used to….i guess they can’t be perfect! Thanks for reading!

      • sandra

        if you don´t like to be a second-hand cigarett smoker … you can leave … 😉

        i´m from vienna and yes we are a bit grumpy and actually not always friendly to everyone … why we should … !? … and no one likes the hoff …. 😛

      • Peter Renner

        It’s a mayor PITA. But things a evolving, at typical Austrian pace (read: second to slowest): They “clarified” the non-smokers protection law (yes, there is such a thing) that a restaurant must not only provide a sufficiently sized non-smoking section but also a smoke free path to the restrooms. Restaurant owners, who only recently remodeled their operation to abide the law are fuming ( 😉 ) at that ruling.
        Of course, the only sound thing to do would have been to ban it like they did in Italy or Ireland.

  36. Dan Vogl

    hey carly this is funny as. i showed my austrian grandparents and they laughed, my oma especially enjoyed “davy hosseldorf’ (david hasselhoff) haha
    and whats with people getting full offended at these posts?
    lighten up you pricks 😉
    cant wait to catch up with you soon and the rest of LOOSE AS FUCK STRAYA TOPDECK

    love from home.

    Dan Vogl 🙂

  37. Pingback: Thank You!! | Austrian Adaptation
  38. Rudolph Houck

    As to Sound of Music – I was on Crete in 1968 and it was raining, so I went to a movie – Sound of Music was playing in the village. I figured it would not be dubbed into Greek so I would just be seeing an American musical. What I did not count on was that if no one can understand the language, no one cares about how bad the sound quality is. I could not understand a word.

  39. someone incidentally visiting this site, Austrian

    1. We’re not that on time, either we are 5 minutes early (as written) or (as i prefer) 5 to 10 minutes late 😀
    13. fun fact – did you know austrians suck at soccer but are very successful playing american football (amateur sports)
    17. Beards are awesome
    22. hell yeah, most of us love the hoff (I guess 9 out of 10 )
    26. totally agree with the german guy. we learn to put it down after peeing to avoid conflicts with our mothers in childhood 😀

    But you need to add another point about austrians :

    Most Austrians have never seen “sound of music” or even heard of it before they met an american or asian person who asked them if the movie shows “the real austria”. I didn’t know it till I was 24 years old and still haven’t seen it at all.

    • Open minded Austrian

      1. Being late on a job interview or (as a worker; academics are freed a bit) coming later at your working place will be the death sentence of your job.
      13. I played American Football for some months and (fun fact) even used this topic for my matura. Austria is one of the best countries in American Football, compared to europe. Every American College football team beats our beloved champions 😉

      But I agree with the rest 😀

    • Peter Renner

      26. (sit while peeing) The only objective razor to that toilet topic might be my 9 year old daughter: She regularly goes for the men’s room because “they have way cleaner seats than the ladies’ “. This wouldn’t be possible if a majority of men would pee standing up, regardless where they’d put that lid while doing so.

  40. Hans

    Mayonnaise is not made of milk at all and you don’t get the Friday off when the Thursday is vacant… And it’s called “Kaffee und Kuchen” 😉
    But a very entertaining post 🙂

  41. German, living in Austria

    1. Austrian are never in time
    22. “as in Germany” -> I dont know anybody in Germany, who liks David Hasselhof
    26. I think boys learn to pee and put the seat down after, then it looks like they were sitting 😛

  42. Cia

    I totally agree with Johannes!
    some of my thoughts:
    I really don’t appreciate people in Austria who buy the plastic bottles with water!!! So much waste!!! We have the best water in the tap!!!
    And your number1: Compared to for example South America we are really on time,… and if an event doesn’t take place at exactly that time it is supposed to …we get really pissed!… but when we meet each other??…not so much, i have 2 friends like you described who are always 5min early…but everybody else: always late;) around 5to maximum 15min is okay! so for friends and family it doesn’t really matter, but for an appointment you should be on time, or if someone invites you to there house for a meal!
    I m a vegetarian so i can’t understand the meat-lust;) but that might be an other thing: SO many vegetarians in Austria!..
    Molke: at first I was really disgusted as well cause i saw once how they produced it… but now a few years later i m addicted to Latella Mango-Maracuja;), and of yourse Buttermilch and CottageCheese,… but i hate mayonnaise!
    Hahaha an Tina: I love your comment about the waiter here->totally true!

  43. tyroleanchef

    You had 26 twice (25 is missing). Not all the boys do sit down, but we (austrian women) are working on that. BUT:

    1. Hasselhoff isn´t that famous in the rest of Austria. Germans love him, he will be on the “Big Brother” show there. We are not Germans.
    2. Cigarettes are not super cheap, for us they got really expensive during the last ten years. Don´t call us “slow”, we just don´t want our government to treat us like a child – adults should have the right to decide on their own if they want to smoke or not (btw, I don´t smoke). 16 is too young, but smoking laws in other countries are too strict.

    I agree with most of your observations. Some of your attempts at explanation made me smile – seems like your boyfriend still has a lot to do to convert you into an Austrian, but you´re on a good way. 😉 Give Latella one more chance – try it “g´spritzt” on a hot summer day

    And here are other traits for you:
    If you are Austrian, you have heard of Julie Andrews and the sound of music (from american tourists), but never seen the movie.
    If you are female Austrian, you love the Sissi-movies with Romy Schneider and Karlheinz Böhm. If you haven´t seen them yet, do it (but don´t ask your boyfriend to join you, men can´t handle with it). 😀
    If you are Tyrolean, you speak “German German” fluently because you are used to buckle yourself for german tourists. 😦

    • Seren

      Germans don’t love the Hoff either! Our media might think we do…

      On another note, Austrians wash their cars on a sunday? Phew… godless people… here in Germany, you do thoses chores on a Saturday, which is officially a working day. On Sundays, you rest. Beware if you don’t!

      • Babsi

        yeah, I explain it to you why Sunday the car wash is happening……. It is the guy who is going to wash the car, so they have a reason to leave the house for “Frühschoppen” in the morning . The guys are meeting in a café for a coffee or some even for a beer after they finished their car washing job. So it is a guy thing, the mates can catch up, in the meantime the wife is cooking lunch at home and then the family day can begin. All the guys are punctually back for lunch. Hahaha, kind of smart the man’s domain 😀 I am Austrian and female by the way…… – I love this blog, sooo true, just the majo on the salad is definitely not right. We are a “vinegar country”, if you see some white staff on a salad, it is a joghurt dressing. Well, now we are back at the dairy issue 😀

      • carlyhulls

        hahahaha! Now it all makes sense, thanks Babsi! I guess the Austrian boys have it all figured out 🙂 Thanks for reading the blog!

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