Viennese Etiquette Worth Practicing

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When visiting Vienna, it is good practice to know how to behave in public and interact with the locals. You can do your research in advance before your trip to ensure that you don’t offend the people in the Austrian capital.

The Viennese people tend to be the reserved type so if you’re in Vienna, avoid being loud. Lower the tone of your voice if possible whenever you’re out touring the city or shopping around.

It’s a good idea as well to learn some greetings in the local language. German is the city’s main language so don’t hesitate to learn a few words that will help you interact easily with the Viennese. Keep in mind that not all locals speak English hence, visitors need to know how to speak a little German while in the city. A simple greeting such as a Guten tag or good morning in German when you go into a shop or leave a bus is normally expected. Other words you can use are danke for thank you, bitte for please and servus for hello.

When you’re introduced to a person, feel free to shake hands with him or her and look into their eyes.  

You might also run into some people bringing their dogs along while going around the city. If in case you find the dog adorable and you’re tempted to touch it, don’t do that unless you’ve asked permission from the owner. In Vienna, dogs are trained to protect their owner and not be approached by anyone.

When using an escalator particularly in the subways, make sure to stand on the right if you’re not in a hurry. The left side should be kept open to allow people in a rush to go ahead. As such, you will see the sign Bitte rechts stehen (Please stand to the right) often on public transportation system.

Finally, do remember that time is gold for the Viennese folks. Be punctual when you are attending a function and be sure to notify your host if you’ll be late by a few minutes.

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