The W in Wien Is Pronounced Like 'V' In English
Vienna is the English name of the city. The German name for the city is Wien. Remember that the letter 'w' in the German language sounds like 'v' in English. Nothing screams 'ignorant tourist' louder and faster than to pronounce Wien like one would in English.
With this tip, I have included the link to a website with some introductory information about the pronunciation of consonants in the German language.
Don't Go "Bezirke" Without a Map
Bezirk (plural Bezirke) means 'district' in German. The city of Vienna consists of 23 districts (Bezirke). With this tip, I have included the link to a website that provides a map with the district divisions -- and a brief description of each district (Bezirk).
When I was in Vienna for many years ago I and my friend arrived and we should only stay one night in Viena and then continue to the States. So, we decided to go out that night. We stayed at a hotel at the airport, so we took the bus from there to the city. During the trip we drank many beers and probably we were very happy too. Actually, I dont rememebr everything! But dont do what we did. We made the busdriver very crazy. We left our cans, our beer cans in the bus. Maybe not the best way to do it. But we did it anyway. He screamed to us: Die dosen! Die dosen! So, I guess this bus driver doesnt want to see me or my friend, but I was the only one who understood German.
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No Explanation for the Fashion Challenged
Museums generally reflect some degree of taste, however, the patrons may not. It is quite possible that this person was shopping at Walmart when some kind of vortex deposited this woman in the fine art museum.
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To use highways you must purchase and display a tax disc (vignette) on your vehicle. Choose from 10-day, 2-month and annual tax discs.
The penalty for not displaying a disc is €120 for cars and €65 for motorcycles. They are sold at border crossings, fuel stations and post offices.
€7,50 for 10 days
€22 for 2 months
€70 or so for a year
Who are all these pickpockets?
A have read all your tips and advices, but found no clear picture of the situation. However, our fellow travellers have the right to get accurate information to be able to defend themselves against such unpleasant situations.
Most of the pickpockets (90%?) are Gypsies coming from Eastern-European countries (mainly after Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU in 2006).
They must be hanging out in the underground stations, in our case, the Karlsplatz! I usually carry most of the money, but somehow this time, my husband had it and forgot he had it. Needless to say, he wasn't wary of the "bumping" crowd.
Not that I'm an avid shopper but I was disappointed to find most of the stores closed on Sundays , even many of the souveneer shops . I knew the shopping hours are a little stringent...closed at least by 6PM . Then I missed the big flee market which I assumed was on Sunday and then found out it was on Sat. I had visions of wonderful old crystal that for me was not to be!!
- Women's Travel
Beware of Handphone Snatchers!
Reports of rise in petty crime is one of the sign that Vienna city is getting more and more visitors - both the good and the bad!
I was shocked when I heard recently (May 2008) that nowadays daring petty thieves are snatching handphones right from the hands of the users - in broad daylight.
So, if you have a very nice expensive handphone or cellphone or smartphone, just be careful and aware of your surroundings when you're talking on the phone. Be vigilant. Hold tight to your gadgets. Don't expose them unnecessarily.
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things you should be prepared for
Vienna, they say, is quite a safe city. Still tourists should be aware of:
- middle-aged people's ignorance of any language other than German
- cigarette-butts and dog boops spread on the sidewalks like flowers in meadows
- alcoholics, penhandlers and pickpockets in subways
- drug abuse in areas like Stadtpark, Karlsplatz and U6-stop Burggasse
- partly racist attitude to black people
- intrusive glances by locals if you wear something bright and colorful or speak
a foreign language
I've been to Vienna for 3 years, I should know. As long as you're a tourist though, all will be
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Money cheating in cafes
Be careful with your money and how much you want to pay the waiters. Viennese waiters, especially in the cafes and restaurants around Museumsquartier (MQ) and Stephansplatz
in the touristic Viennese 1st District, like to cheat both locals and tourists. They often ask
for about 50 cents more than the price actually is, hoping that the customer will not notice
because the bill number is uneven (for instance, they charged me 6,30 Euros even though
the real price should have been 5,70). This happened to me several times already, I was
not clever enough to check the prices on the menu. Always calculate the sum and then only add a small tip - a tip YOU decide, not the waiter by overcharging you without informing you! If you notice that the waiter cheated you, please always inform the chef of the cafe/restaurant - it's neither fair nor should it become "daily routine".
We recently came back from a great trip to Vienna, staying in the first district in a lovely hotel, which shall remain nameless since the event which took place has happened elsewhere but was the first occasion for this place.
There is a man (probably he is not the only one playing this type of game), no racist intentions here but he looked very like a Sikh without the turban (may or may not have had a beard). He was dressed very smartly in a light grey (I believe checked) suit, with a mobile phone, laptop/briefcase. He went past me rather quickly so the lasting impression I had was of a smartly dressed Asian in rather a rush after receiving a phone call on his mobile.
He was shortly followed by a poor lady shouting after him that he had taken her purse (U.S.; clutch bag?). A taxi driver at the door paid no attention whatsoever. Needless to say, I don't know whether the thief ran or not but he had vanished pretty quickly.
This Asian man had been masquerading as a hotel guest at breakfast. The mobile ringing was obviously a ploy for his escape as he put it to his ear and left. He had been seated near to the lady who had left her purse while going up to the buffet table. Saw his chance, grabbed the purse and made off. I would have paid little attention if it hadn't been for the fact he practically walked into me and it struck me as odd that a hotel guest would have to go off so urgently in response to a mobile call.
Beware at breakfast. Especially in hotels where the reception does not have a clear direct view of the entrance, or where the entrance doors are automatic (unfortunately this aids escape). Do not take your purse or valuables to breakfast with you unless you can balance your breakfast tray/plates with your gear. Leave valuables at the desk or locked in your room. Where possible don't keep all your money, tickets, passports etc all in one place - if they are found you could lose the lot.
This lady was very lucky in that the thief took her cash and threw the purse and remaining contents outside a guest house, so she got her passport ad tickets back.
Don't expect a great deal from the police - I dropped in to give what I could of a description: it was simply noted on a piece of paper (a piece of paper not any kind of form).
- Family Travel
- Women's Travel
Vienna Restaurant Warning!
You should know, that bread and sauce (mustard, ketchup) aren't included in the price and you'll pay for it. For example, we (2 persons) paid additional 3 Euro for 3 slices of bread. At the same time we paid 6 E for main dish (so it was 25% of total price) . In another restaurant we spend additional 2 euro for ketchup.
My mouth opened and closed like a goldfish, with no sound coming out (it’s not often I’m lost for words)! When Pauline told him, the Manager of the Vienna Volksoper was aghast that someone should do such a thing in Vienna! What had happened to cause such outrage? We’d just found, on arrival at the theatre through the crowded Metro, that our tickets had been taken from what I thought was safekeeping in my shoulder bag.
I’d read warnings in VT about the light-fingered people found in most European cities but had thought I was safe. My shoulder bag hangs in front of me and is zippered across the top. The opera tickets were in an envelope in the ‘first opening’ part of the bag. Fortunately my wallet was in a separate internal zippered pocket.
How had it happened? The Metro was crowded and I found myself standing, separated from Pauline and at times unable even to move; not thinking about it, I held an overhead rail, leaving the bag exposed; as we left the train, a woman jostled me, then turned to abuse someone in the carriage before disappearing in the crowd. Going down the stairs from the Metro I noticed the bag’s zipper mostly open and closed it, thinking no more at the time. Reality dawned at the door of the theatre! The moral of the story is that it just is not possible to be too cautious, especially in crowds.
There is a happy end to this story. The good people at the Volksoper checked our VISA card to confirm our previous reservation – then gave us new tickets to some of the best seats in the house, adding that they wished to help restore Vienna’s good name. I can only say that they certainly did that – we shall forever remember their kindness: it does restore one’s faith in humanity.
Padlock your tent - even at bedtime!
While in Prague, Budapest, some nice person(s) crept into our tent (while we were sleeping in it!) searched through our clothes and took my friend's car keys out of his jeans pocket. They then helped themselves to everything of value from our car. This is not the first time this has happened to campers in various places in Europe - we actually caught someone in the act in Vienna so please heed the warning!
What is perhaps more scary, is that the unscrupulous so-and-so was in my 'bedroom' and so could have done anything to me while I lay asleep, so this is warning goes double for all you female travellers.
A simple padlock on the tent zip may easily have prevented this.
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