Shopping and shops in Austria
As souvenirs, Swarovski crystal products, porcelain things, music boxes, miniature figurines of horses and characteristic Austrian bears, bells on ribbons are brought from Austria. And, of course, the famous Viennese sweets. Popular symbols depicting crowned persons (who are very fond of in Austria) and souvenirs with portraits of famous Austrians – from Strauss to Mozart.
Alcohol is in constant demand: wines, apricot schnapps, brandy and Mozart liqueur. For dessert – local sweets: for example, sweets with original marzipan filling. Tyrolean hats are brought from Innsbruck, and the famous Pieter Matzhold smoking pipes are brought from Vienna. At flea markets you can find great vintage clothes and jewelry, oriental carpets and antiques. More details on the page ” What to bring from Austria “. See other countries beginning with A.
It is most profitable to shop at sales: in December-January and by the end of summer, goods can become cheaper by 70%. For purchases over 75 EUR, VAT is refunded at about 13%. Tax refunds are made with a check, either directly at the airport in cash or later by bank transfer.
Usually shops are open from 8:00 to 18:30 (on Saturdays – until lunch), some are closed for 1-2 hours in the middle of the day. On Sundays and during national holidays everything is closed. In resorts and tourist centers, retail outlets can work until 21:00, and railway station establishments – until 23:00. Tobacco products are sold only in special licensed kiosks or vending machines. Read more on the shopping in Austria page.
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Cuisine and restaurants in Austria
Good (and plentiful) food in Austria is easy. One must certainly pay tribute to the impressive symbol of Viennese cuisine – a huge fried veal schnitzel in breadcrumbs. It is usually served with vegetable salads, as well as the equally popular meat on the bone. You should also try fried chicken “Bakhun”, boiled beef with apple horseradish “Tafelspitz”, omelette “Kaiserschmarrn”, cheese soup, dried ham and goose liver “Knockerl”.
Classic Austrian desserts: the famous apple strudel, rum pie, Salzburg Knockerln soufflé, egg-baked white bread with marmalade and arme ritter sugar, pancakes and the Sachertorten chocolate cake.
Of the drinks, you should try “gluwine” (not to be confused with mulled wine, although it looks like a hot drink made from red wine and water in a ratio of 3 to 1 with cinnamon and spices), wheat beer “Weissbier”, lemonade with herbs “Almdudler” – national non-alcoholic drink. And, of course, coffee: “Kuppe” is a strong double espresso, “Ferlengerter” is weaker, “Melange” is with milk and whipped cream, “Einspenner” is a double mocha in a tall glass.
The Austrians are a memory people in a good sense of the word: a tourist, if he has already lived in this hotel or ate in this restaurant, will most likely be remembered and paid special attention to him. The menu in the restaurants is mostly in German, much less often in English. In some places, ski resorts are already beginning to meet menus in Russian – for example, in Selden.
In many restaurants or hotels, the cost of service is already included in the bill, but, nevertheless, in Austria it is customary to tip 5-10% of the order amount.
The country has both familiar to Europe and authentic cafes and restaurants. A striking example of the latter is the Wurstenstand eateries, which means “sausage stand” in translation. The menu includes several types of sausages and sausages, baguettes with rolls and salads with potatoes for garnish. The service is modest, but the prices are appropriate: from 5-6 EUR for a full meal. The traditional atmosphere also reigns in the taverns scattered throughout the small towns and villages. In a relaxed atmosphere, they serve homemade dishes, the average check for lunch is from 11 EUR.
On the outskirts of Vienna and in the wine regions of the country, “Heuriger” cellars are common: national dishes like goulash and schnitzel are served here, and the main attention is paid to wine. Dinner with tasting will cost from 30 EUR per person. All kinds of cafes and pastry shops are popular in the cities, where you can taste aromatic coffee and unsurpassed local pastries. There are also classic European restaurants of various levels: the average cost of a dinner is from 51 EUR and more.
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Entertainment and attractions in Austria
It is simply impossible to visit Austria and dodge its classical-historical heritage. Click a digital “soap box” somewhere in the historical center of an Austrian town – the house will certainly fall into the frame, in which, if not personally Mozart, then at least one of his relatives was born. I went into a cafe to try the famous “melange” – and sat down at the same table where Sigmund Freud once enjoyed strudel. I went to a Viennese restaurant for an authentic veal schnitzel – and ended up in the hall where Strauss and Chaliapin once dined, and the walls are decorated with paintings in the Biedermeier style, which a talented but morally unstable painter prone to gambling paid with the institution.
Austria is one of the European leaders in terms of the number of attractions per unit area, and it is difficult to say which of them are more significant: natural or historical. The most popular cities in terms of excursions are: Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Graz, Melk, but in every shabby town there will certainly be “the same table” or “the same entrance” where one of the great musicians (philosophers, painters, persons of royal blood – further down the list). The Austrian Alps stand apart – a truly royal landmark of a European scale.
- What to see in Austria