Austria Overview

By | July 9, 2021


Official name of the state

Republic of Austria.




As a country located in Europe according to constructmaterials, Austria borders Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Germany, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Hungary, Slovenia and Italy Almost half of this mountainous region is covered by forest, the highest point being the Grossglockner at 3798 m. There are five major landscapes: the Eastern Alps, the Alpine and Carpathian foothills, the foothills in the east, the Vienna Basin and the granite and gneiss highlands. The Dachstein Mountains in Upper Austria, the Tyrolean mountain peaks, the Carinthian lakes, the Salzkammergut, the Danube region and the deep forests of Styria are just a few of the numerous attractions of this popular travel destination.


Parliamentary-democratic Federal Republic since 1918 with nine federal states. Constitution of 1920, last amended in 2008. Bicameral parliament: Federal Council of the Landtag and National Council with 183 members. The Federal President’s term of office is six years. The Federal Government must enjoy the confidence of the National Council, whose members are elected every four years. The members of the Federal Council are sent directly by the state parliaments. Austria is a member of the EU.

Head of state

Alexander Van der Bellen, since January 2017.

Head of government

Christian Kern, since May 2016.


230 V, 50 Hz. No adapter required.

Time zone

Central European Time: CET +2 (CET +3 from March 26 to October 29, 2017)

Austria Overview



1 euro = 100 cents. Currency abbreviation: €, EUR (ISO code). There are banknotes in the values 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euros, coins in the nominal amounts 1 and 2 euros, as well as 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents.

Credit cards

Are accepted in all major cities and holiday regions by numerous hotels, restaurants, shops and petrol stations. Details from the issuer of the credit card in question.


EC / Maestro card / Sparcard
With the EC / Maestro card and PIN number, cash in the local currency can be withdrawn from ATMs throughout Europe. In many European countries it is also possible to pay in shops with the ec / Maestro card. Cards with the Cirrus or Maestro symbol are accepted in Europe and worldwide. Further information from banks and credit institutes. The same applies to the German Sparcard, the successor to the postal savings book as a means of procuring currency in other European countries. With the Sparcard and PIN number, cash can be withdrawn from European ATMs with the Plus logo.

Attention: Travelers who pay abroad with their bank customer card and want to withdraw money should find out about the possibilities of using their card from their bank before starting their journey.

Bank opening times

In general: Mon-Fri 8.30 a.m.-12.30 p.m. and 1.30 p.m.-4.00 p.m. / 5 p.m. (control centers are partly open continuously and longer in the evening) Sometimes different opening times in the individual federal states. The exchange offices in airports and train stations open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Foreign exchange regulations

For travelers within the EU, there are no restrictions on the import or export of national and foreign currencies.

Travelers entering or leaving the EU and carrying cash of € 10,000 or more (or the equivalent in other currencies or other easily convertible values such as checks made out to third parties) must declare this amount to the customs authorities (completed form ZA 292 ready, downloadable from

Currency Exchange

Foreign currencies and travelers checks are exchanged by all banks, savings banks and exchange offices in airports and train stations. Almost all travel agencies and hotels also accept foreign currencies.



The official language is German. Slovenian is also spoken in Southern Carinthia, and Croatian and Hungarian are also officially spoken in Burgenland. There are Turkish, Czech and Slovak ethnic groups in Vienna. Many Austrians also speak English. The regional dialects give way e.g. T. strongly from standard German.



73.6% Roman Catholic; 4.7% Protestant. Muslim and Jewish minorities.

Social rules of conduct

Manners: Austrians are known for their charm and politeness and tend to be reserved in business life. It takes a long time to address each other by their first name, and a lot of emphasis is placed on the title in the salutation. In Austrian you greet each other with Grüß Gott or casually with Servus.

Clothing: Attending the opera and the theater is a social event, which is why appropriate cloakrooms are expected.

Smoking: In Austria, smoking is prohibited in public places as well as in public buildings (e.g. schools, train stations, airports, museums, offices, swimming pools, catering establishments where food is served, etc.). Restaurants over 80 m² must provide separate smoking rooms. Local from 50 to 80 m²: The competent authority decides whether smoking rooms have to be made available. Less than 50 m²: the landlord can decide whether smoking is allowed. In addition, smoking is not permitted in the ÖBB dining car or in children’s playgrounds in Vienna. From May 1, 2018, all gastronomic establishments must be smoke-free without exception.

Tipping is common, but large amounts are not expected. 10-15% service is added to the restaurant bill, usually an additional tip of 5-10% is given, in restaurants and hotels the tip can already be included (inclusive prices). Taxi drivers and hairdressers also receive a 5-10% tip. Other service providers also expect financial attention: porters at train stations and airports usually get € 1 per item of luggage, housekeeping € 1-2 per day.

Dog owners: The obligation to wear a leash and a muzzle for dogs is not regulated nationwide in Austria. In Vienna, for example, it is compulsory to wear a leash and muzzle in all public places and on all public transport. A muzzle is required for vicious dogs in all public places.


Best travel time

Temperate Central European climate, where the climate in the east can be described as continental, in the mountains as alpine and in the south as Mediterranean. The temperature and the amount of precipitation are strongly dependent on the altitude and location of the individual parts of the country. For tours in the high mountains, information about the weather, snow conditions and avalanche risk should be obtained beforehand. Warnings from locals should be heeded.

Summer is the high season for hiking and beach holidays as well as city trips in July and August, while June and September are less busy. The winter season lasts from the beginning of December to the beginning of March, in higher regions until the end of May.


Area code +43 Area (square km) 83 871 Population 8665 550 Population density (per square km) 103 Population in 2015 Member of the EU Yes main emergency number 112