Stop at a sidewalk cafe on the Graben to absorb the atmosphere of Vienna
© AA Photo Library
Always return greetings; hospitality is Austria's most important national characteristic, and people expect a reply to their welcoming “Grüss Gott,” meaning “God's greeting.”
For the opera, men should wear a jacket and tie; women, a dress, suit or smart pants.
When going into churches, remember that it's disrespectful to show bare shoulders or upper arms.
Take an umbrella; it can rain heavily, anywhere, at any time of year.
For a day in the mountains, remember that the temperature drops as you gain altitude. Take warm clothes so you can layer, and if you're hiking, wear suitable footwear, and bring water and food.
Austrians are very litter-conscious and streets are immaculately clean; do your part to leave them that way.
It's considered polite to stand in line when waiting for a bus or at an attraction, and to defer to the elderly.
Bedding in Austria consists of a large, puffy feather quilt in a cotton cover. This will be folded on your bed, waiting to be opened up at bedtime.
Austrians eat and drink with gusto, and spirits as well as the noise level rise during the evening. Drunkenness, however, is considered uncouth.
All cafés, bars and restaurants have coat hooks and umbrella stands, and it's considered more respectful to leave coats and umbrellas there rather than on your chair.
It's acceptable to spend up to an hour lingering over one or two drinks in a café.
Public restrooms are free, numerous and spotless; you'll find them in virtually all public buildings, and you can also use bathrooms in cafés and restaurants.
Always cross the street at official crossings and wait for the green man signal. It's illegal, though seldom prosecuted, to cross anywhere else.