Landlocked Austria is a mountainous country, with 65 percent of its terrain above 500m altitude. It’s charms were most famously captured by the Sound of Music; but while that rustic idyll still lingers in some of the high alpine valleys , modern Austria is much more sophisticated place. It is one of the richest countries in the world, with a per capita GDP of over $40,000 a head, and maintains one of the highest standards of living.
Vienna attracts the most visitors; a cultural centre that inspired Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms, and which today married a grand Baroque old city with contemporary art, fine
dining and a thriving café culture. The postcard-perfect cobbled streets of Innsbruck and the sleepy mountain villages of Bregenzerwald are the perfect places to explore the older Austria. Further afield, winding hiking trails explore mountains, caves and glacial lakes, as well as Europe’s highest waterfall at Krimml Falls.
The people are conservative and family-oriented, but equally direct to the point of
bluntness. They respect achievements more than words and will be particularly interested in your academic credentials, while a sharp, analytical mind wins far more respect than gushing warmth or enthusiasm. They have little time for ostentation or pretentiousness and this translates into a formal, thorough approach to business. Deals can take time and pressure tactics are likely only to spoil a relationship.
Vienna, Graz, Linz, Klagenfurt, Salzburg and Innsbruck all have international airports
served by budget carriers. Boat trips are available from Hungary, Slovakia and Germany. The European bus and train network provides connections across the continent.
The train network is fast and efficient; buses are slower but have greater coverage in mountainous regions. Driving is a practical alternative; roads are well-maintained and the
cost can be economical if shared between multiple people.
Language: German. Regional languages include Slovene, Hungarian and Croatian.
Climate: Moderate continental. Hot summers and cold winters, rainfall all year round.
Temperature: Max 25°C (July), Min -4°C (January). Rainfall: Max 80mm (July), Min 40mm (January).
Business etiquette: Dress conservatively. A quick, firm handshake is the customary greeting. First impressions are important. Experience and credentials are more important than personal relations for doing business. Use titles and surnames as forms of address.
Service is usually included in restaurant bills, however it is customary to round up the amount for payment.
Duty free: 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g tobacco; 1l alcoholic beverage over 22 percent or 2l alcoholic beverage under 22 percent; 2l of sparkling wine; 2l of still wine; 500g of coffee; 100g of tea; 50g of perfume; 0.25l of eau de toilette.
Safety: Low incidences of crime.
Laws: Identification documentation should be carried at all times. Preaching is illegal unless you belong to a registered group.
Healthcare: Vaccination for tetanus required. Excellent medical facilities available, European citizens get free healthcare with an EHIC card. Travellers from beyond the EU may be charged and are advised to take out health insurance.
Socket type: Type C