Cheap Flights to Austria with Vayama starting at $ 449
Breathtaking mountain scenery, jewel-coloured alpine lakes and some of the freshest air around, Austria is for the person who loves the outdoors! But Austria provides just as much for the traveller who wants to experience the culture of Austria as well. And that is without mentioning the musical geniuses that hailed from Austria such as Mozart, Beethoven, Strauss and Schubert. The combination of all these aspects of Austria add up to a spectacular country with something to offer everyone.
Two thirds of Austria is covered in mountainous regions including the Alps, with Austria retaining four other major geological formations – the Vienna Valley, the Alpine and Carpathian Foreland, the Czech Massif, and the Pannonian Basin. The mighty River Danube cuts a swathe through Austria which is a landlocked country in the south east of Central Europe, surrounded by eight other countries. The landscape and climate of Austria is just as diverse with the south east benefitting from a Mediterranean climate while the south contains Alpine grasslands and low meadows.
If you want to be bowled over when you go on holiday, visit many of the sights in Austria and you will not be disappointed. There is the ice palace at Werfen, which is part of the world’s largest accessible ice caves. There are 42km of narrow passages burrowing deep inside this mountain in Austria.
Not far from there is the longest ravine in the Austrian Alps called the Liechtenstein Gorge. It takes an hour to explore this amazing sight with its swirling waters, towering cliffs and white granite culminating in a 50m waterfall. If you take a trip in the late afternoon when the light is at its best, you will see the water a stunning opal blue colour.
If you are into Mozart or The Sound of Music, or both, then Salzburg in western Austria is a must. This is where Mozart was born and where the Julie Andrews film was made. There is more to this city than those two pointers though, from glorious architecture to a 900-year-old cliff-top fortress.
If you fancy going where Austrians chose to holiday, then head for Styria in the southeast of Austria. This is Austria’s second largest province and is an area dominated by forests and meadows with six nature reserves, five thermal spas, and 800 mountain peaks.
The capital of Styria is Graz, the second largest city in Austria, with an incredibly well preserved old town and home to two world famous classical music festivals.
Austrian Etiquette Tips
If you are eating a nice meal in Austria, and you'd like to compliment the chef, one way of doing that is cutting your food with the side of your fork as opposed to using your knife. This lets the chef know that whatever they cooked is so tender that you don't even need a fork. Totally stuffed? Be sure to eat everything served to you and put your fork and knife side-by-side on your plate with the handles facing right to let your hosts know you are full.
Those are just a few little guidelines on table manners in Austria, but below is a list of even more etiquette hints for your trip to Austria.
1. Dress Attire
- DON'T wear shorts in the city.
- DO dress nicely and somewhat conservatively.
- DO wear dark colored business suits with white shirts for business occasions if you are a man, or conservative dresses or business suits with tasteful accessories if you are a woman.
2. Table Manners
- DO allow the host to give the first toast, and allow the guest of honor to return the toast towards the end of the meal.
- DO maintain eye contact during a toast.
- DON'T cut dumplings with your knife. Instead, use your knife to hold the dumpling and cut it up with your fork.
- DON'T put up a fight over who pays the bill at a restaurant. Whoever invited everyone out is who pays the bill. If you are invited out to dinner during your visit to Austria, reciprocate and invite whoever invited you to a nice meal.
- DON'T discuss business over a meal unless the host initiates it.
- DO put your napkin on your lap as soon as you are seated.
- DON'T begin eating until the host says "mahlzeit" or "Guten Appetit!"
- DO eat as much of your food with a fork as you can. By not using your knife, you are complimenting the chef because it lets them know that the food they cooked is very tender.
- DO put your fork and knife side-by-side on your plate with the handles facing to the right when you are done eating. This indicates that you're full.
- DON'T leave food on your plate at a dinner party.
- DO leave a tip (5%) is fine) if you are satisfied with the service. It is also customary to simply round the bill up. Usually a gratuity is included in the bill at restaurants or in taxicabs.
4. Gift Giving and Accepting Gifts
- DO open your gift immediately after receiving it.
- DON'T give perfume or clothing as a gift. It can be seen as a little too personal.
- DON'T give red roses unless you have romantic intentions. Avoid giving red carnations, because it's the flower of the Social Democratic Party in Austria. Additionally, don't give lilies or chrysanthemums. Those are for funerals.
- DO give flowers in odd numbers. Even numbers are bad luck.
- DO shake hands with everyone, including children, when entering a room.
- DO keep eye contact during a greeting.
- DON'T kiss the hand of an Austrian woman unless you are Austrian. Some Austrian men, especially older ones, will do this but it's inappropriate to do this unless you are Austrian.
- DO use a person's title and surname until invited to call them by their first name.
6. Visitors Etiquette
- DO give your host a gift, such as flowers, wine, desserts, brandy, or whiskey.
- DON'T sit until invited to sit down, if you are staying for a meal. Your host might want to show to you a specific seat.
- DO be on time. Lateness is considered disrespectful.
- DO remove your shoes if asked to. In some homes you might be asked to take your shoes off, but this custom isn't as common as it once was.
7. Business Meeting
- DON'T sit until told where to sit.
- DO expect the possibility of being referred to simply by your last name. This is not out of disrespect, but you should still stick to using a colleague's title and last name when addressing them.
- DON'T use hyperbole, show emotions, or make promises that might sound too good to be true.
- DO schedule meetings three to four weeks in advance.
- DON'T schedule meetings in August, the two weeks that surround Christmas, or the week before Easter.
- DON'T be late! If you do happen to be running late, call your business associates right away with a good explanation.
- DO be patient and allow your Austrian colleagues to adhere to their protocol.
- DO have one side of your business card translated into German.
- DO include advanced academic degrees and academic honors printed on your business card. If your company has been around for a long time, also include the founding date on your business card. This will show stability if your company is older and more established.
Remember the above list of etiquettes on your trip to Austria, especially when it comes to business and dining. People in Austria are very proud of their culture, so adhere to the etiquette guidelines whenever possible. Have a safe trip, mind your table manners, and be punctual!
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