How to Make Friends with the Viennese

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Making new friends provides a great feeling and this people should at least try to do when in a new place. When in Austria or Vienna in particular, it’s not difficult to befriend the locals. 

As long as you mind your manners, you can be sure to make new friendships that can even last for a lifetime. Here are some tips that you can use. 

Austrians have a laid-back attitude and they love the comfort of home. Some, however, may appear as unapproachable or unfriendly but this should not discourage you. 

Expect to get some look of disapproval for certain actions such as when you do jaywalking which is a no-no in Vienna. It’s okay, though, to take a long look at people in Austria. It’s allowed and does not carry a fine. 

Learning some German words and phrases (use the formal pronoun) is recommended when you’re rin the Austrian capital. This way, you can start a conversation. Just remember to use Sie when talking to someone older than you. 

Do greet the owner or person managing the shop when you enter. You can say hallo, guten tag or GruB Gott. When you leave, say auf wiedersehen which is goodbye in German. 

When you’re in a social event, do introduce yourself if you’re alone then shake hands with people while looking them straight in the eyes. If you’re with some company, let the host introduce you to people. Ladies should not be surprised if a man kisses your hand as it’s an old tradition in Austria. 

Do bring flowers or wine when you’re invited to dinner at someone’s house. Best to bring flowers in odd number as even numbers are considered bad luck except for 12. Avoid lilies, red carnations and chrysanthemums.  

Give tips when dining in restaurants or visiting bars. Normally, you should round off your bill to the nearest even number and say danke when giving your money if you want to let the staff keep the change. 

Finally, have a ready smile to give to the locals you meet wherever you may be in Vienna. Smiling does not cost anything and even has health benefits. 


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