Vienna Local Custom Tips by longsanborn Top 5 Page for this destination
Vienna Local Customs: 266 reviews and 353 photos
When I first came to Vienna, I was told that Austrians tend to be quite strict on "trinkgeld" (tips). This is because the workers get low basic salaries and they depend on tips for their survival.
Most Austrians would round up the amount. Hence, € 2.23 would become € 2.50; or € 64.52 will become € 70. One will not offend if one simply "rounds-up." But I do think that excessive tipping seems rather frowned upon. I doubt the receiver of the tips will complain but I believe it is seen as being showy if you give a big fat tip. So, you will just have to play it by ear.
As a norm, I would usually give @ 10% tips, unless the service was horrible.
In restaurants and bars, the service fee is not included in the total bill. The waiters/waitress will expect around 10% tips.
For others – almost in general - you can give 10% - 15% tips to taxi drivers and hair-dressers.
Doormen or bellboys may expect about €1 – €2. Porters may expect more than €3, especially if your luggage was heavy!
Even though Austria has not implemented with the EU-wide ban of smoking in public places, some restaurants in Vienna has started to divide their dining spaces to Smoking and Non-Smoking areas.
Therefore, if you are a smoker and was placed in a non-smoking area of the restaurant, it is prudent not to light up a cigarette. OK, why would I say this? It's because I've seen this happened. To be sure, you can ask the restaurant if you are allowed to smoke there. It's better to know than to get angry glares or nasty comments from neighbouring diners.
Vienna was the first city I've been in Europe where I have to bag my own groceries. When I first came to Vienna, I didn't realize that I had to pay for the grocery paper bags or plastic bags AND pack my own groceries.
Initially, I thought that I'll just put my stuffs on the conveyor belt, put away the shopping trolley, and wait for the clerk to pack my things - like I always do in Asia. However, this was not the case. Not only was I rudely embarrassed by the cashier clerk, I was scolded by her for crowding up her work area and jamming the queue behind me. I was too shocked to retort a rude reply at her.
I asked myself, WHAT HAPPEN TO THE CUSTOMER SERVICE?
So now, I am quite good at packing my own groceries; the big heavy things on the bottom and the light and fragile ones on the top. Plus, by now I know a few rude German words to reply back at rude cashier clerks.... LOL..
I have learned after living in Vienna for a few year that if you do not speak up loud enough, you will not get what you want. I find the local residents or viennese sometimes tend to cut queues or ignore you and will not give you service. This happened to me several times in supermarkets by the deli and meat area, in bakeries, in shops/stores, markets, and even in restaurants.
You don't have to be rude, but be firm, polite, courteous and - only when necessary - be loud enough. Why loud, you ask? Well, I realized they tend to raise their voice if they get irritated or impatient. So, I also raised my voice so that I could be heard.
In the worst case, they may walk away from you or ignore you. But don't be upset with this behavior, just get another person to help you. Don't worry, most Austrians are nice and friendly, just have to find them.
GOOD LUCK, and HAVE A PLEASANT STAY IN VIENNA. :-))
When you are using the stairs or escalators, please stand on the right side if you are not going up/down manually. Leave the left side clear for those who are in a hurry.
If you still insist on standing on the left side, be ready to be cursed or pushed by impatient people!
Here, the local Austrians would greet each other whenever they enter or leave a premises, no matter if they know each other or not. They would say "Gruss Gott" (Hello) or "Guten Tag" (Good Day) and "Wiedershen" (Goodbye or See you again). I think it is a nice and polite custom to greet or bid farewell to each other; it is being courteous.
Another 2 words I often hear are "Bitte" (Please) and "Danke" (Thank you).
When I first came to Vienna, I didn't know that I was being greeted. Now that I've realized it, I got into the habit of greeting or bidding farewell too. As visitors to Vienna, I believe you should also learn these basic words for courtesy reasons.
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