Local traditions and culture in Vienna

  • Local Customs
    by colin_bramso
  • Local Customs
    by colin_bramso
  • Local Customs
    by croisbeauty

Most Viewed Local Customs in Vienna

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    Ride in a Fiaker

    by toonsarah Written Jul 5, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I should say straight away that we didn’t do this, though it does seem to me to be a pleasant way to see the sights, albeit not a cheap one at 55€ for a 20 minute ride and 80€ for a 40 minute one (summer 2014 prices, applying to the carriage not per person). But these two-horse carriages have been a part of the Vienna landscape for so long that it is impossible to ignore them. Indeed, it is likely that you will smell them even before you see them, as the streets around Stephansdom and Stephansplatz itself, where most wait to pick up rides, are redolent with the scent of the horses’ dung. Never mind, they are part of Vienna and your nose will soon adjust!

    They have been here for centuries, but the trade was formalised in the early 18th century when the carriages were first numbered and officially called Fiakers (after the French fiacre, which in turn was taken from the Parisian street where hackney carriages stood, the Rue de Saint Fiacre). At one point there were over a thousand in the city and although fewer today, you might not think so when you see them thronging the city centre streets. They make an elegant addition to photos of the various sights.

    Next tip: around the Hoher Markt

    Stephansplatz Michaelerplatz Schulerstrasse

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    Grinzing and its Heurigen

    by toonsarah Written Jul 5, 2014

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    We came to Vienna on this occasion to attend a wedding, which took place in the suburb of Döbling. After the service we were able to walk to the wedding party which was in a Heuriger in the neighbouring suburb, Grinzing.

    A Heuriger is a traditional drinking and eating establishment in eastern Austria, and a wonderful invention! This is a rich wine-growing area, and Heurigen (the plural form) are all about wine. Most serve only the wine of the grower who owns and runs them – they are both bar and also a tasting opportunity. Our friends often go to a Heuriger, try a selection of wines during the evening and then buy bottles of those they like the most. Food can be bought too, but usually only as an accompaniment to the wine – small cold dishes such as bread rolls (Semmel), cold meats, a spread or two, some cheese. Many Heurigen, especially in the small villages, open only a few weeks a year when the new wine is first available, and they indicate that they are open with a large conifer branch or bundle of twigs above the entrance.

    But in Vienna, especially in Grinzing where a Heuriger is as much a tourist destination as a local one, there is a blurring between these and a traditional restaurant. Some serve wine from other producers, many serve more elaborate food and most are open year round. The one we went to, on the border between Döbling and Grinzing, was the Heuriger Muth and was very much on these lines, but it still felt very traditional and local. We had a large section of the pretty shaded garden for ourselves, but later the other part was in use and I observed that it was almost entirely occupied by local families, not tourists. And this despite being just around the corner from a tourist spot, the house where Beethoven once lived and where he wrote his "Heiligenstadt Testament” (a letter to his brothers expressing his despair over his increasing deafness).

    We had a lovely time at the wedding, enjoying great wines, good food, music, dancing and conversation. Even if it isn’t a special occasion, an evening at a Heuriger is the perfect way to experience a very Viennese pleasure.

    Next tip: an American restaurant, Frank’s

    Musicians Irmgard enjoying her wine
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    • Wine Tasting

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    NASCHMARKT

    by balhannah Written May 28, 2014

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    We met fellow VT'er http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/10d250/ at the Station and he took us to the Naschmarkt.
    This was early evening, so it was fairly quiet, but golly, was I impressed with the size of this market. It stretched forever, well 1.5kms if you want the exact measurement! I loved it, the variety of stalls was wonderful!

    A market has been here since the 16th century when mainly milk bottles, fruits and vegetables were sold here. I think you could buy anything here now, there was such a variety! Fruit and vegetables, herbs, cheese, meats, pastries, seafood, then small restaurants offering sushi, kebab, seafood, traditional Viennese food, then stalls selling clothes and accessories and really, anything else you can think of!

    If you enjoy markets, I think you will enjoy this one!

    The Naschmarkt is open from Monday to Saturday
    On Saturday a famous flea market is held right next door.

    Location: Wienerstrasse
    http://www.aviewoncities.com/vienna/naschmarkt.htm

    Naschmarkt
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    FREE! FREE!!

    by balhannah Written May 23, 2014

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    I couldn't believe it!
    DECK CHAIRS FREE OF CHARGE! - UNBELIEVABLE!

    It is the first city where I have come across this, everywhere else there has been a charge.
    IN Sigmund Freud Park that's situated between Vienna's main university and the Votive church, EVERY SUMMER 100 DECK CHAIRS ARE DELIVERED TO THE PARK AND ARE AVAILABLE FOR FREE. They are available until 9pm.

    FREE VIENNA MOUNTAIN SPRING WATER is available at the Relax & Refresh Bar on a daily basis from 11:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.

    GOOD ON YOU VIENNA!

    Free deck chairs Free deck chairs in Sigmund Freud Park
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    FREE DRINKING WATER

    by balhannah Written May 12, 2014

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    All of us travellers/tourists when sightseeing, should be carrying a bottle of water with us.

    Isn't it great when you find a city that has FREE WATER available!
    I think Vienna should be congratulated for providing free water for the locals and the large number of tourists who come to their city. It saves us some money as we can refill instead of buying a new bottle of water.
    Just look for the machine in my photo.
    This one was in Ressel park, near Karlskirche.

    Free water
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  • Odiseya's Profile Photo

    Vienna in May

    by Odiseya Updated May 1, 2014

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    I visit Vienna for the first time on first day of May in 2013. I was surprise how first "Day of Labour" is important holiday in Austria. As I arrived with organized bus tour I saw many people with posters on Rathausplatz, the square in front of Vienna City Hall.

    I heard that this is tradition and there are many left-wing activists that free and peaceful demonstrate against current government and criticized current socioeconomic and political situation in country.
    We didn't stay long. That all means that we miss time of socialized that was set after in City.

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  • croisbeauty's Profile Photo

    Roger Waters in Vienna

    by croisbeauty Updated Nov 5, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I grew up with rock n' roll and it's my music and culture. Beatles for me were a bit corny, the more I like some "wild" guys; Rolling Stones, Yardbirds, Animals, J. Hendeix, Cream, CCR...... and then came Pink Floyd, perhaps the best rock band in the history. Whenever I'm tired or listless and even frustrated, listening to the music of Pink Floyd helps me to relax and lift my mood.
    Poster for Roger Waters concert in Vienna came as ordered, I sat down on the bench opposite the poster and heard "Mother", which is always recorded in my android.

    poster for R.Waters concert in Vienna

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    Free water in center area

    by Raimix Updated Nov 2, 2013

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    Place where I live (Vilnius) is quite known for good quality water (even it is already in mineral water category, we drink it from tap). I think Vienna has the same, anyway, one more great thing, that I loved, is water - machines (or how to name it) in Vienna central streets.

    You can drink water just in the street. Without any fees or so.

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    Sigmund Freud Park

    by croisbeauty Written Sep 8, 2013

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    Public city parks are places where artists like to exhibit their sculptures, improving the whole area and making it more beautiful. Park visitors should admire work of art, or if not, at least ignoring them. Some visitors, and it is very obvious, have totally different ideas about the purpose of sculptures in public areas.
    On the first monument there are visible remnants of the night party, such as food, beverage and even part of the clothing. Whoever did it, have demonstrated extreme primitivism and lack of manners.

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    The "riviera" of Vienna

    by croisbeauty Updated Aug 28, 2013

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    Vienna Promenade, which stretches along the Danube Canal, is a popular promenate and gathering place of idle Viennese. The canal is embanked and except for the walk there are still many small bars. At several points of the bank there is a small "riviera", oasis with sand and deck chairs where people can enjoy sunbathing. In another section there is a small exhibition space displaying posters, graffiti and other street creations.

    promenade bars&sunbathing exhibition section

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  • Jerelis's Profile Photo

    Gösser Märzen

    by Jerelis Written Jul 30, 2013

    Let’s make no secret of it. I do like a nice cold glass of beer. Being abroad is always a challenge to find a beer I like, which reflects my particular taste of having a beer. In Austria it was sometimes rather difficult. I found out that there are quite some local beers, only known in that particular area. But anyway, we did like the Gösser Märzen.

    Göss’s brewing history goes back 1,000 years: Beer has been brewed in the Styrian convent Göss since 1020. Back then beer brewing was reserved for women – this may perhaps be one reason why it has such appeal to the stronger sex ...? Today the Göss brewery is one of the most modern in Austria. I liked this Gösser Märzen, because its is a light coloured Lager beer and has a mild aroma of malt and a refreshingly dry flavour derived from the balanced addition of the hops.

    G��sser M��rzen
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    Voltage, frequency and plug ins.

    by Jerelis Written Jul 30, 2013

    Maybe it sounds a bit weird, but as an experience traveler I know that you every now and then need this kind of information in advance: electricity in Austria is 230 Volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second. If you travel to Austria with a device that does not accept 230 Volts at 50 Hertz, you will need a voltage converter.

    There are three main types of voltage converter. Resistor-network converters will usually be advertised as supporting something like 50-1600 Watts. They are light-weight and support high-wattage electrical appliances like hair dryers and irons. However, they can only be used for short periods of time and are not ideal for digital devices. Some companies sell combination converters that include both a resistor network and a transformer in the same package. This kind of converter will usually come with a switch that switches between the two modes. If you absolutely need both types of converter, then this is the type to buy.

    Outlets in Austria generally accept 1 type of plug: Two round pins (see the picture). If your appliances plug has a different shape, you may need a plug adapter. Depending on how much you plan to travel in the future, it may be worthwhile to get a combination voltage converter and plug adapter.

    Two round pins system.
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    Talko to someone who knows ...

    by Jerelis Written Jul 30, 2013

    I guess we all agree on this on; there is nothing more exciting than going travelling - exploring another country, experiencing a different culture, travelling around in new ways, sampling the local cuisine and chatting to the local people for a different perspective on life.

    However during our travels we learned that there is one certain thing that you should be aware of and prepared for to make sure that the trip is as easy and enjoyable as possible. We always try to see everything once we're there, but this is not always an act of responsible travelling. We always talk to the locals and we know that they have the information about just the right spots to visit and how to undertake them. It will not only enhance your experiences but also avoid any unnecessary hassles.

    For me the travel tips I have written down in this section made the most of mine travel experience and I came home in the same happy, healthy state that I left.

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  • colin_bramso's Profile Photo

    Doggie goes too

    by colin_bramso Written Jul 3, 2013

    You may well be surprised at the places you come across people with their dogs.

    As dog lovers we didn't have a problem with it, as the dogs were well-behaved, but we were certainly surprised to see them in shops, including food outlets.

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    Get your fill of Viennese pastries

    by Jefie Updated Jan 7, 2013

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    Viennese pastries are so famous, the word "viennoiseries" was expressely invented to refer to pastries made in Vienna. These include a wide variety of croissants, strudels, brioches, etc. These pastries are widely available all over the city, whether it be at local bakeries or local chains such as Anker or Cafe Der Mann. The one thing all these bakeries have in common is a wide selection of fresh bakeries and freshly brewed coffee. It seems to be the habit in Vienna to pick up breakfast at one of these places in the morning, and so during our week-long stay in the city we immitated the locals and grabbed a delicously sweet (and inexpensive) breakfast every morning. We even grabbed lunch there (usually sandwiches) on more than once occasion.

    Lunch at a local bakery Anker bakery in Vienna Cafe Der Mann in Vienna
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Vienna Local Customs

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