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Talk:Austria

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ToDo[edit]

  • eiswein: what kinds of it exist; best places to buy in Vienna and in the rest of the country; how to choose the best one. --DenisYurkin 18:43, 6 February 2010 (EST)

External Information[edit]

It is probably not appropriate to add this link to the article, but there is a lot of information available on Austria at this website. It is a private site, though.

This site is written in a tongue-in-cheek, playful style. It gives a lot of useful information. The author cheerfully admits it is written from a right-wing viewpoint and in a discussion of Vienna's districts repeatedly equates squalor with the presence of large numbers of what he terms "foreigners".
As the website is written in English by an Austrian, one can assume he does not mean anglophone visitors, but rather people from minority backgrounds who are as likely to have an Austrian passport as he or she is. Could well put people off a visit to Austria, or encourage them, depending on their politics and racial background.
—The preceding unsigned comment was added by 83.170.76.134 (talkcontribs)

Telediscount[edit]

Is it normal to advertise Telediscount on wikitravel? See "Calling Austria"

If you are talking about the local dialling shortcut from the UK in Austria#Contact then I do not see a problem. It tells travellers of a way to contact the country. If you have more information about this service, like the telecommunications provider and any calling restrictions, please add it. -- Huttite 04:25, 4 Jan 2005 (EST)
It is a piece of useful practical information, so why not? Most paper travel guides provide info on companies. That in itself is not advertising. Ideally, we should write a list of the most popular discount numbers but I don't know any apart from Telediscount.

Etiquette[edit]

It is mentioned that it belongs to the austrian etiquette to take off the shoes when invited to someone's home. That's not exactly true. You offer to put of the shoes, but you don't take it off.

I don't know where you live, but at my part of austria it is etiquette to take off the shoes :-)
I can confirm that. Here in Tyrol it is etiquette too.
Salzburg: positive. Shoes off your your'e off. ;)
Tyrol: You offer it. You might also just start to take them off but the hosts might insist you don't take them off as a sign of politeness.
Upper Austria: you shoes come off.
Styria, Vienna: Confirmed. It is considered polite to ask where to place the taken off shoes. If the host doesn't expect you to take them off (strange, but does happen) he or she will answer the implicit question and tell you that you may keep your shoes on. --78.142.134.205 20:54, 18 November 2008 (EST)
An American in Tirol: You are expected to remove your shoes. Your host might say it's okay to keep them on, though, but it's rude not to attempt to take them off. Many hosts keep spare slippers for their guests. All this is quite logical if you were to see the streets in my village in the spring and autumn -- this is basically farmland and there is A LOT of fertilizing going on. I don't want that stuff in my or anyone else's house. Same is true in parts of Germany and Switzerland.
The same holds for most of Central Europe Nahabedere 09:24, 3 May 2010 (EDT)
The default is definitely shoes off. The social contract in my experience is that a guest will make the offer by attempting to take their shoes off without asking, and the host will either let them proceed or tell them to keep their shoes on, with about equal likelihood. Offering to take the shoes off verbally might put the host in the position of having to ask the guest to take their shoes off, which would be considered awkward. All of this only goes for guests entering homes - contractors, delivery staff, even chimneysweeps will always keep their shoes on when entering. Larry David could write an entire season of "Curb your Enthusiasm" on this :)Lowdp 22:23, 28 August 2011 (EDT)


ALSO a Magister is not comparable to a Master's degree. It would be somewhere between a Master's and a Doctorate.

Can't confirm that. The old Dipl. Ing. and magister degrees are replaced by master degrees in the bologna system. Most master studies even require you to study one year more than the Magister program did. While you could do your Magister in 4 years, most master degrees require 5 years of study. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 88.117.89.214 (talkcontribs) 07:32, 2008 October 14
This might be true for curricula who only required 4 years of study for a Magister degree (law for example). For 5 year Magister and Dipl. Ing. (= Msc) programs there was is noticeable difference between subject matter thought in the old and in the new system. --78.142.134.205 20:54, 18 November 2008 (EST)

Marijuana[edit]

It is stated that consuming Marijuana in central Vienna or Graz will not attract too much attention and the police will rarely arrest you for carrying less than a few grams. Be aware that Austrian law makes no difference between Marijuana and other illegal drugs. Penalties are severe and offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.

I'm going to add that info to the article... Majnoona 20:04, 21 Nov 2005 (EST)

As far as I know and have experienced, and I have been living in Austria my whole life, consuming Maijuana will attract attention from the police in ANY place of Austria. That includes Vienna and Graz as well. That information is misleading.

I agree with you. The whole paragraph is totally misleading and I removed it. It has to be stated that consumption is legal but possession (as well as trade) are illegal. Apart from this I don't think it's a good idea to encourage any kind of drug consumption within a travel guide.
Lonely Planet and The Rough Guide inform the traveller about consuming illegal drugs, so why shoudn't we?
See Wikitravel:Illegal activities policy. -- Colin 18:33, 27 June 2006 (EDT)
Also, reading the discussion history for that policy would probably be useful. If anyone disagrees with the policy, I'd encourage them to bring it up there. I'm not familiar with out how other guides handle it, but keep in mind that we're not other guides, so we're not necessarily going to handle it the same way. - Todd VerBeek 18:37, 27 June 2006 (EDT)

Map[edit]

At top, Austria (German: Österreich) is a land-locked alpine country in Central Europe bordering with Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west, Germany and Czech Republic to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east and Slovenia and Italy to the south. why is the map not next to this?

There isn't room for it there. We generally put the maps of countries with the lists of regions and cities, to help people visualize where things are. We're also in the process of adding "locator" maps (in the box at the upper right, just above the flag), that show where each country is located in the world... we just haven't gotten to Austria's yet. - Todd VerBeek 08:25, 20 July 2006 (EDT)
Can somebody explain to me why Eisenstadt, Bregenz and St Poelten are not stated as cities? They are the federal provinces' capitales, after all. --Chingona 06:04, 31 July 2007 (EDT)
because (especially Eisenstadt) they are just towns (in the case of Eisenstadt not even a big town) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 85.127.94.176 (talkcontribs) 01:49, 2008 May 3

Culture[edit]

I think is the best short summary of the Austrian mentality I've ever read. Nonetheless I think what is said about patriotism is only half the truth. Austrians are very proud of their country and its culture and history and rarely hesitate to show it - but usually not in an "enthusiastic" way. The reasons for this lie probably far deeper than just in the Nazi era. Actually I think it's fair to say that Austrians both love and hate Austria. Although a distinct feeling of shame for the Nazi era plays a role for sure, I think that deep down inside the Austrian attitude towards its homeland has been marked by cynicism ever since one can speak of such a thing as national identity.

Interesting point. Perhaps you cou--Petersteier 19:20, 18 January 2013 (EST)ld bring this historic point of view in? I wrote the stuff about Austrian regional patriotism because in the former version it stated that Austrians were nationalistic, which I couldn't confirm from my opinion. But, rethinking your statement, the ideosyncratic relationship between an Austrian and his/her country can be seen very well especially in the K&K era. Perhaps you are the person to elaborate on that point in the article.
This view is also taken in this article on the lifestyle and culture of Austria. I think one needs to discreminate between the elderly gereration and younger people - in the past 15 years, particularly Vienna has changed back into its cosmopolitan flair from pre-1918, with loads of international students and residentials that won't stand up for "traditional" patriotism.
It's funny to read as an Austrian about the outside view. I think I can contribute to the understanding of the Austrian soul. First, there is a difference between Vienna and the rest of Austria. Styria, Carinthia, and Ttyrols never have been part of the core of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. The core was Vienna, Prague, and (to a lesser extent) Budapest. Austria was, till 1919, the name of the countries ruled by the Austrian king (a Habsburg for the last 6 centuries). Austria was not considered a nation (in the tribalistic understanding commonly used in Germany), so a Czech was considered as Austrian as a Tyrolian. The Tyrolian was, however, considered part of the German nation, while the Czech part of the Czech nation. The Habsburg were considered German, because they orinate from what is now Switzerland (Kanton Aargau). My Father considered himself German; he was born as German in Elisenheim, Austrian-Hungarian Empire, Hungarian part. This village moved to Hungary 1919, to Yugoslavia 1945, and to Serbia 198x. My father moved to Austria 1945, and was readily acknowledged as Austrian citizen. It is important to realize that the Austrian-Hungarian Empire was ruled by Vienna, not by Tyrols, Styria, and Carinthia. They rather felt, and still feel, ruled. While in Vienna the Austrian-Hungarian empire is still very present (I guess it is difficult for a tourist to find out that Franz Josef I no longer rules), most citizens have foreign ancestors and names, and immigrants (at least from the former Austro-Hungarian countries) are quite well accepted, this is not the case for the other parts of Austria. Petersteier 19:20, 18 January 2013 (EST)
Why is it that Austrians claim Mozart as their own ?( They even placed him on their Euro coins!) This article is an eyeopener on the reality of poor Amadeus who was proud to be considered German and certainly not Austrian ! http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E0CE7D71131F932A25752C0A964958260 —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 194.204.107.166 (talkcontribs) 04:42, 2008 July 7
I don't know, but if you find something to say about the topic which is helpful to travellers, please add it to the article. JimDeLaHunt 01:00, 8 July 2008 (EDT)
I think most of the german speaking people in Austria considered themselves as germans. That has something to do with the Holy Roman Empire. Most of Austria wasn't even part of that empire. The name Austria was always considered as a name for the whole country, not only the german speaking parts. In 1915 they began to refer to "german"-Austria (+Bohemia, Moravia, ...) as "Die im Reichsrat vertretenen Königreiche und Länder" just to avoid the name "Austria". Even Engelbert Dollfuß called himself a german, even though he was an austrian nationalist and his biggest enemies were Hitler and Nazi-Germany.
I think that only a small minority would consider themselves german, if you ask them. In fact, Austrians never support German soccer teams in international competition. I think the psychological reason is that a small country with a big, related neighbor (Portugese, Ireland, Belgium, Moldawia) always strives to emphasize independency. The answer might be different if you ask them in which country the could imagine to emigrate, but certainly language is a threshold. Both Hitler and Dollfuss were Fascists, doesn't help if they kill each other.Petersteier 20:02, 18 January 2013 (EST)
The point is that "German" meant something completely else historically than it does now. The concept of a "nation" was only invented in the 19th century, that is, AFTER Mozart's death. But, Mozart was born on what is today Austrian soil, and spent almost all of his life on it. Nahabedere 16:06, 6 June 2010 (EDT)
Because Mozart was an Austrian citizen, lived in Vienna, and would never have been able to compose such good music in Germany. The same holds for Beethoven. BTW, in the German speaking countries, Austria still has the best Orchestra, the most splendid Opera, and the leading theater :-P Petersteier 20:02, 18 January 2013 (EST)

What is forbidden in Austria?[edit]

The warningbox said "Mein Kampf" is forbidden. Mr. Anon added "Neo-Nazism", so I changed it to "symbols of Nazism" which makes more sense in the Get in section. But I fear that I may give the impression that the Hindu swastika is banned when it is not... or is it banned? Can someone rewrite it as a section rather than as a warningbox? — Ravikiran 02:02, 9 July 2007 (EDT)

"Symbols of Nazism" is correct. The right-facing swastika is forbidden, the left-facing swastika afaik isn't, but might cause you trouble anyway.
This is a totally weird warning. What kind of traveler is taking Mein Kampf with him or her on holidays? Id rather see a usefull warning like: "Warning, Palatschinken is actually without ham"
Well, even if I don't like right-wing fascists, I think you can at least give them some sort of warning that they shouldn't come here and propagate their Nazi ideology. "Historians" like Irving have been arrested for doing so. On the other hand, I don't think (and can't imagine) that it is forbidden to read or possess Mein Kampf - IMHO only selling and printing it is forbidden. If someone savy in Austrian law could confirm this the warning could be changed. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 88.117.89.214 (talkcontribs) 07:46, 2008 October 14
No, owning and selling originals of Mein Kampf is not forbidden in Austria. Producing copies of the book is illegal because the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek owns the copyright for the book. Mitterertux 05:15, 14 May 2010 (EDT)

Respect[edit]

I would not second the wide spread acceptance of nudity. If I invited somebody to my private pool and they would immediately start taking their clothes off I would be quite shocked. And that goes even more for the older generation. --Chingona 06:10, 31 July 2007 (EDT)

I think its not wide spread acceptance of nudity, but a widespread objectification of the female body which makes nude pictures in the daily papers totally normal. I dont think this is something to praise the Austrians for. And I'm still waiting for naked men in the Kronen Zeitung.
Nudity generally IS NOT considered offensive in Austria, People just don't care and that is a good thing. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 80.109.18.208 (talkcontribs) 15:09, 2008 July 15
Oh, when I think of nudity as being accepted in Austria, I do not think of it as something someone does blatantly while jumping in the pool. It is discreet nudity that is very accepted. So, if you get all sweaty after skiing and want to change your clothes in the parking lot before driving home, it would be completely okay to discreetly do so. There is some but very little nude/topless sunbathing. But, yeah, the cool thing is that no one really cares one way or the other. Yes, naked women in adverts and the newspaper is normal, but I have no idea why.

Respect and Third Reich history[edit]

There is a bit of an edit war breaking out over two diametrically opposed messages in the Respect section about discussing Austria's history in the Third Reich 1933-1945. Here is the text as it has existed for a while in the article, and to which I (JimDeLaHunt), Texugo, Wrh2, and others have been returning:

Be careful when bringing up topics such as ... the Third Reich.,,, Just like in Germany, the Third Reich and Hitler are also VERY PAINFUL legacies, added the fact that Hitler was born here. Austria has come to terms with its dark past but the media did not take such an active role in this until more recently unlike in western Germany were the topic has been discussed openly for decades. The legacy of Hitler and Nazism are strongly loathed by the general public and neo-nazis are likely seen as outcasts and threats to civil society.

Here is an opposite text which has been repeatedly inserted by anonymous editors like User:12.205.247.125, User:12.208.73.163, and User:198.209.58.46:

Be careful when bringing up topics such as ... the Third Reich.... But unlike Germany, many Austrians are proud of their association with Hitler and the Third Reich. (After all, many Austrians will point out, Hitler was born there.) Ask around and you will likely find many enthusiastic supporters of neo-Nazi policies, and laws against Nazi-related objects and actions are lax and rarely enforced.

It seems we have a difference of opinion about what Wikitravellers should know about Austrian attitudes towards the country's Third Reich history. The way we work such disagreements out here is to bring them to a Talk page and discuss them. We try to reach a consensus. Please post your opinons here, and let's see what we can work out. Please sign your comments with four tildes (~~~~). JimDeLaHunt 23:54, 26 April 2008 (EDT)

  • My own perspective is based on having been a US college student studying in Austria in the 1980's, and then paying attention to Austrian news and culture since then. I remember a joke at the time: "Austrians try to persuade the world that Beethoven was Austrian and Hitler was German." All my experience about Austria says that the Nazi-era was looked on a mistake or a catastrophe, and that even people who weren't ashamed of the episode felt it was socially unacceptable to say so. As evidence I'd cite the anti-Nazi laws currently on the books. I've never met "enthusiastic supporters of neo-Nazi policies" among Austrians, certainly none who would confess to it in public. I'd like the proponents of the opposite view to cite some evidence for their view of Austrian attitudes. JimDeLaHunt 23:54, 26 April 2008 (EDT)
  • About Hitler being born in Austria: The average Austrian would say, that 1.) Hitler was a homeless postcard painter in Austria 2.) Hitler would have been an unknown third class politician if he stayed in Austria 3.) Hitler was a German citizen by the time he gained power. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 80.109.18.208 (talkcontribs) 14:53, 2008 July 15
  • I think things have changed a great deal since the 1980s. Many Austrians these days really are proud of their association with Hitler; just look at how it's portrayed in the media. Being Jewish myself I really despise the current state of affairs, but the trend is definitely going towards neo-fascism. I'm changing it back to the edit that the previous person made on the "respect" section--and I don't want to, but that's really just how things are. Sorry. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 70.129.191.153 (talkcontribs) 23:15, 2008 September 6
  • Austrians are defenitely not proud of the their association with Hitler. Actually Austria has always been critisised not to take the blame for. Which is not true for my generation. (I was born 1980) The allegation to sympathize with Nazi ideas was used as the worst insult to political opponents.
There's an easy solution to this problem — delete the pointless paragraph. Political discussions in any country risk misunderstanding and controversy. --Peter Talk 10:59, 7 September 2008 (EDT)
Ahem. Before the talk page devolves further into a message board about personal experiences with Hitler love/hate in Austria, I'm just going to remove the paragraph altogether—it seems unnecessary to tell travelers that berating Austrians for sharing the country in which Hitler was born is not tactful. And that bit about how travelers should avoid insulting the Austro-Hungarian Empire was downright ridiculous. --Peter Talk 12:04, 24 February 2009 (EST)

Fritzl case - relevant for travellers?[edit]

On 20:06, 2008 October 7, User:70.232.100.48 added the following infobox on the Fritl imprisonment abuse case to the main article. I don't think it's particularly helpful to travellers in understanding Austria, and certainly doesn't deserve such a prominent placement as this info box. I've therefore removed it, and preserved the text below. Maybe a brief mention in Amstetten#Understand could be justified. The thought of putting it in "See" revolts me.... What do you all think? JimDeLaHunt 03:35, 8 October 2008 (EDT)

{infobox|The house of horrors|The town of Amstetten in Lower Austria was a secret to the rest of the world until 2008.
In April of that year, it was discovered that Josef Fritzl, an extremely unstable and abusive man,
had kept his daughter Elisabeth as a prisoner and sex slave for 24 years in a windowless dungeon
underneath his home. Throughout the captivity, Josef forced Elisabeth into an incestuous relationship
with him and together they had seven children. Since the case came to light the Fritzl home has become
a tourist attraction of sorts, with locals referring to it as "the house of horrors." Learn more about the case
at Wikipedia.}}
I agree that it has nothing to do with Austria as a whole, but I'd put it as an infobox under Austetten. Sure, it's a gruesome "attraction", but so is Auschwitz. Jpatokal 04:45, 8 October 2008 (EDT)
Good point. JimDeLaHunt 01:30, 9 October 2008 (EDT)

I would agree that this piece of information belongs more appropriately in the Amstetten article. Problem is, the article is ... BLANK! Jonathan 784 23:55, 8 October 2008 (EDT)

Amstetten isn't so much blank as an empty outline. I added a little bit, but not the whole infobox. JimDeLaHunt 01:30, 9 October 2008 (EDT)

typical accommodation reservation contract[edit]

For many hotels, they write "When constituting a reservation (Berherberungsvertrag), the Austrian Hotel Contract of the Assosication of tourist as agreed." Is there anything that an average traveler should be aware of? --DenisYurkin 17:06, 16 October 2009 (EDT)

recent addition on language[edit]

I'd vote for keeping most of the text but removing the table as that goes beyond info that people need. Certainly it is useful to be reminded the Gruss Gott is used in Austria, etc. What is kitchen language? Shep 12:31, 20 January 2010 (EST)

Agree, we should remove the table, any other views?, ClausHansen 00:48, 21 January 2010 (EST)
The table is useful, since travelers are likely to have only learned German vocabulary if any and are likely to have a phrase book of German German, especailly as an example but prehaps different vocabulary would be good. --Cire 10:42, 17 February 2010 (EST)

People[edit]

Is the part "People" ment seriously? I can't agree with it's content at all, so I've edited it a little bit. Maybe we should refer to the part "Respect"!? —The preceding comment was added by Shmp (talkcontribs)

If the original text was incorrect then I'd suggest removing the section altogether. Saying "people are friendly and helpful" does not seem particularly informative unless there is a tradition of hospitality that truly differentiates Austria from other countries. -- Ryan • (talk) • 13:44, 21 August 2011 (EDT)

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