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The Basics

Time: GMT +1 (GMT +2, Apr - Oct)

Electricity: Electrical current is 230 volts, 50Hz. European two-pin plugs are standard.

Money: The unit of currency is the Euro (EUR). Currency can be exchanged at banks and bureaux de change available in all towns, but it may be easier to use the ATMs. Banks are closed on Saturdays and Sundays, but bureaux de change at airports and major city rail terminals are open seven days a week. Most credit and debit cards are widely accepted though some small hotels and restaurants may only accept cash.

Currency Exchange Rates

Note: These currency exchange rates are not updated daily and should be used as a guideline only.

Language: The official language in Austria is German.

Entry requirements:

Entry requirements for Americans: US passport holders require a passport valid for three months beyond period of intended stay, but a visa is not needed for a stay of up to 90 days.
Entry requirements for UK nationals: British passports endorsed 'British Citizen', 'British Subject' (containing a Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode issued by the United Kingdom), and 'British Overseas Territories Citizen' issued by Gibraltar, only need to be valid for period of intended stay in Austria. All other endorsements require at least three months validity beyond the period of intended stay in Austria. A visa is not required for passports endorsed 'British Citizen', 'British Subject' (containing a Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode issued by the United Kingdom), and 'British Overseas Territories Citizen' issued by Gibraltar. No visa is required for stays of up to 90 days in a half-year period for holders of passports with any other endorsement. Holders of identity cards issued by Gibraltar authories, and endorsed 'Validated for EU travel purposes under the authority of the United Kingdom', do not require a visa to visit Austria.
Entry requirements for Canadians: Canadians require a passport valid for three months beyond intended period of stay, but no visa is needed for a stay of up to 90 days.
Entry requirements for Australians: Australians require a passport valid for three months beyond period of intended stay, but no visa is needed for a stay of up to 90 days.
Entry requirements for South Africans: South African nationals require a passport valid for three months beyond period of intended stay and a visa.
Entry requirements for New Zealand nationals: New Zealanders require a passport valid for three months beyond period of intended stay, but a visa is not needed for a stay of up to 90 days.

Passport/Visa Note: The borderless region known as the Schengen area includes the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden. All these countries issue a standard Schengen visa that has a multiple entry option that allows the holder to travel freely within the borders of all. For most nationalities, passports are required to be valid for three months beyond period of travel. We always recommend that passports be valid for six months from the departure date.

Travel Health: No vaccinations are necessary for business visits or general tourism in Austria. There is, however, a risk of tick-borne encephalitis for long-term visitors who expect to be visiting rural or forested areas in spring or summer. These travellers should consider vaccination and ensure they take precautions against tick infestation. Water and food are safe. Medical facilities are excellent. Medical insurance is advised unless from the UK - citizens of EU countries can get free emergency medical treatment at public hospitals in Austria on production of a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

Tipping: A 10-15 percent service charge is normally added to hotel and restaurant bills in Austria, but it is customary to leave another 5 percent if satisfied with the service. Sometimes, one can round off the bill. Bartenders usually expect this rounded up tip. It is common to give the money to the waiter rather than leave it on the table, but leaving small change for other service personnel is fine. Taxi drivers expect a 10 percent tip.

Safety Information: Travel to Austria is generally trouble-free. However, visitors are advised to take sensible safety precautions, particularly in larger cities.

Local Customs: It is compulsory that vehicles are driven with their lights on throughout the year. Smoking is not allowed in many public places.

Business: Business protocol is very important in Austria and business is formal, structured and conservative, more so than many other Western European countries. All correspondence, such as faxes and emails, should be formal. Dress is conservative, yet elegant; Austrians take great pride in their appearance and a good quality, well-fitting suit for men and women should be worn to make a good first impression. Austrians are also very title-conscious: always use last names with a preceding title such as Herr (Mr), Frau (Mrs) or Fräulein (Miss), along with their professional or academic title where applicable (e.g. Herr Professor Kaufmann). It is vital to arrive punctually for meetings and to be thoroughly prepared, as meetings are brief and to the point. Be prepared to engage in preliminary small talk, including a knowledge of current affairs, before getting down to business. English is widely spoken in business, but printed literature should be in German if possible. Offices open at 8am and close promptly at 5pm Monday to Friday.

Communications: The international access code for Austria is +43. Hotels, cafes and restaurants offering free wifi are widely available. As international roaming costs can be high, purchasing a local prepaid SIM card can be a cheaper option.

Duty free: Travellers from non-EU countries over 17 years are allowed to bring in the following items without paying customs duty: 200 cigarettes, or 100 cigarillos, or 50 cigars, or 250g of smoking tobacco, or a proportional mix of these products; 4 litres non-sparkling wine, or 1 litre of spirits with alcohol content more than 22 percent, or 2 litres of alcohol volume less than 22 percent; 60ml perfume and 250ml eau de toilette; and other goods to a total value of €175. Restricted items include pornographic material and fresh foodstuffs such as meat and dairy products. Travellers must have a European Firearms Pass if travelling with firearms.