Located right in the middle of western Europe, Austria has just about everything you could ever want. With deep and varied history, incredible landscapes, and delicious food, Austria is definitely not to be shied away from when looking at new abroad destinations.
From stunning Vienna to charming Innsbruck, there’s no shortage of incredible places to set your sights on in Austria. While the more touristy areas might be great for a visit, we’re sure you’ll want to know what it’s really like to live in Austria. So we’re here to help! With our useful culture guide, we’re here to tell you all about the country, weather, food and more to help you make your big decision.
People who live in Austria place huge value on family. Time spent with family is massively important, whether enjoying food or going on family walks, so it’s vital to understand this and respect boundaries when it comes to family time. Furthermore, Austrians are rather Germanic in the sense that small talk is not appreciated in the same way as in the UK. They would much rather have a meaningful conversation rather than surface level, so don’t be surprised when you are asked some direct and perhaps personal questions sooner than you might expect.
Another important thing to note about Austria is that 98% of the population speaks German. While it is possible to find groups of people that speak English, particularly among younger generations, it will be much easier to find work and settle in Austria with some German language skills.
Even considering the size and length of the country, the weather remains similar across the country. The north and the east of Austria experience more continental weather, with warmer summers and colder winters. The more south-eastern areas see more Mediterranean climate, so if the sun is what you’re after this could be ideal. To the west, Austria’s climate is far milder, with cooler summers and less extreme winters.
If you are not sure where to set your sights, read more about the best places to live in Austria in our blog.
Though it may not be known for its food, Austria is home to some delectable dishes. From the bakery to the kitchen, there’s plenty to be discovered when it comes to Austrian food. Perhaps most famous is the Wiener Schnitzel, which is known as one of the country’s national dishes. Whether at street vendors or at restaurants, this is a must-try in Austria!
If you have more of a sweet tooth, Sachertorte is another unmissable treat when in Vienna. This light, spongey chocolate cake is an incredible dessert, found in charming cafes in the grand streets of the capital. Austria is also home to incredible bread and pastries, found all over the country.
While wine production is excellent across Austria, beer is definitely the national drink. Beer has long-lasting ties to Austrian history, since around the 14th century, and makes for an excellent addition to a delicious Austrian meal. Austria enjoys an excellent quality of water, making the beer taste even fresher. It’s so good that in 2012, around 9 million hectoliters were consumed across the country!
With mountainous regions, Austrian sport is not limited to green fields but also takes place on snowy slopes. The most popular sport in Austria is, without a doubt, football. Local leagues are incredibly popular and the whole family will get involved in local teams or even family kickabouts. Skiing is another extremely popular pastime, both for participants and spectators, in the mountainside resorts in Austria.
Like any country, Austria has exciting and colourful festivals dotted throughout the calendar. With such an artistic and music-loving population, there are plenty of opportunities to hear live music and celebrate film throughout the year, including the Viennale and Salzburg Festival.