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Customs & Traditions in Austria

Updated: May 5, 2021

Home> Countries> Europe> Austria> Customs & Traditions

General Etiquette

  • Austrians are generally traditional people.

  • They are careful and moderate in their behavior.

  • Being clear and honest is highly valued. Austrians prefer straightforward and direct communication and questions.

  • Respect an Austrian's personal space. Many value their physical and personal privacy when among strangers. Ask permission before photographing or taking a video of someone.

  • It is expected that one will knock on doors before entering.

  • Speaking about personal matters and being more open in body language is more acceptable once you have a well-established relationship with your Austrian counterpart.

  • Do not think Austrians and Germans are the same. There are distinct differences in culture, customs, and values between the two countries. Some Austrians may have a sense of anger towards Germans. As such, don’t refer to an Austrian as a German, and try not to make comparisons between the two countries.

  • Neighborly etiquette also has its rules it is important that common areas such as sidewalks, pavements, corridors (in flats), and steps be kept clean at all times by all associated with them.

  • Presentation and dressing well are also important to Austrians.

  • Even when dressed informally, they are neat and conservative; their clothes are never showy.

  • There is sometimes a strict protocol for dressing appropriately in different situations: formal wear for the theatre or a concert and semiformal wear for better restaurants.

  • Some high-level events may have a dress code and will turn away patrons who are not dressed properly.

  • A good conversation topic is Austria's regional diversity. Austrians enjoy talking about their home region. Many feel a sense of belonging to their region of birth, even if they left many years ago. Also, show a sense of admiration for Austria's natural beauty and landscapes.

  • Austrians generally have a love for gaining knowledge and learning. Show an interest in learning about a topic your Austrian counterpart is passionate about, and likewise, feel free to share your thoughts on topics of interest.

  • As for much of Europe, WWII is a sensitive conversation topic, especially for elderly individuals, speak sensitively and neutrally. The younger generation is more open to such discussions.


  • The family forms the basis of the Austrian social structure.

  • The family is generally small consisting of the parents and one or two children, extended families tend not to reside together, largely due to limited space in housing and the wide availability of childcare options.

  • But in rural families, they are typically larger, with two to four children, they tend to live near the extended family, and will often rely on their family network to help raise children.

  • Weekends are generally devoted to family acti