Vienna, Austria

Communication

Major players in European telecommunications industry are operating in Vienna and there is some fierce competition among them. That are some good news for the end users, because competitive behavior of companies results in fairly low prices of mobile services and broadband internet for local use. In essence, that means you can find yourself some great deals. Cell phone coverage is excellent and roaming rates are among the lowest in the world!

It is important to note that EU tourists will not face roaming costs, while others will. Non-EU tourists can avoid this obstacle by using VoIP services such as Skype, Viber or WhatsApp in free Wi-Fi areas, or by carrying a portable Wi-Fi hotspot device.

Telecommunications providers

There are several major providers of telecommunication services. Mobilkom Austria (A1) is the only company in this industry with predominantly Austrian owners.

Other companies are mostly subsidiaries of telecom giants from other European countries. T-mobile, which also operates in Vienna is a subsidiary of German Deutsche Telekom. Telering, another mobile services provider, was recently acquired by the T-mobile. France Telekom recently purchased Austrian provider called One. Hutchinson Whampoa company introduced their company 3 not so long ago.

Local SIM Card

Wertkarte is how Austrians call SIM card and it can be bought anonymously, meaning nobody will ask to check your ID or passport. Top ups are available at the airport, official stores, local supermarkets and online. Various special offers appear almost on weekly basis and with a little bit of online research prior to your arrival in Vienna, you can find astonishingly cheap solution, which perfectly suits your needs and preferences.

Long Distance Calls

If you are anticipating that you will frequently make long distance calls, take into account that calls made from mobile phones are the most expensive types of call. What pays off the most in such situation is purchasing long distance SIM card. You can obtain one in small telco stores or at a “Trafik”.

Wi-Fi

Public internet access is something you do not have to worry about in Vienna. Cafés, hotels and other public areas are well covered with free Wi-Fi.

Shopping

Elegant, exclusive and luxury flagship stores settled in beautiful historic ambient are waiting for devoted shopaholics. There are shopping streets and pedestrian zones, where your shopping spree can begin.

It is important to note that Non-EU citizens can claim back VAT in case their bill exceeds EUR 75.01. In case you wonder where you can claim your rights, refund offices are settled at the airport and downtown in Kärntner Strasse and Mariahilfer Strasse.

Shopping Streets

Goldens Quartier is the latest luxury shopping area in this city. Mariahilfer Straße is the city’s longest street devoted to shopping. If you are looking for outlets, and some unusual shops, then make sure you pay visit to 6th and 7th district and Naschmarkt area.

Other shopping areas are Kärntner Strasse, Graben, Tuchlauben and Kohlmarkt. Probably the best designer shopping outlet is Parndorf. However, you should know that it is located outside of the city and requires 45-minute drive.

Shopping Malls

If you prefer shopping in malls instead of pedestrian zones, the most famous one is Donauzentrum, which is easily accessible via public transportation. The North Face Store in Wien is located in the central part of the city.

Souvenirs

What makes the difference between Vienna and most European cities is the fact that Vienna’s shops have preserved their unique traditional shops, where you can find some typical souvenirs for your loved ones.

True chocolate lover will surely appreciate a piece of classic Sacher cake or Mozart balls, pralines made of marzipan and pistachio, covered in a layer of chocolate. What makes them distinctive, in addition to their marvelous taste, is the portrait of a famous musician Mozart.

Austrian schnapps are truly unique and you can choose among many different flavors. If you are visiting in winter, do not forget to visit Christmas market, which is one of a kind experience for winter travelers.

Education

Schools

Compulsory education in Austria is mandatory for all children that turn six prior to the first September. Parents receive a letter from Vienna School Board, which informs them that their child should be enrolled at the beginning of the new school year.

Compulsory education lasts for 9 years. There are also schools for children that have special needs. Students that are migrants receive help in form of German classes or a teacher who speaks their mother tongue.

Primary schools require 4 years of attendance and secondary schools require 8 years of attendance. Secondary schools are comprised of lower secondary school (4 years) and vocational/academic training schools.

Tertiary education is offered by private and public universities, which offer wide range of possible professions. University of Vienna is one of the oldest in German speaking world. It was formed in the 14th century.

Literacy

Adult literacy in Austria revolves around 99% for a long-time period already.

Health

Vienna is proud of its well-organized health care system. Health care contributions are mandatory for every citizen who lives and works there. In turn, every resident has their health insurance.

There is a two-tier health care system, which is organized in accordance with fees and type of insurance. By default, citizens are registered in the public health system. If they prefer to purchase additional services, they pay additionally for private services or they entirely switch to a private healthcare, which is more expensive. However, it offers much more benefits and services than a public health care provider.

Austria introduced an e-card, which is an electronic card containing all relevant digital information about the patient.

Hospitals

Vienna has total of 14 hospitals and they serve different purposes. The largest hospital is “Allgemeines Krankenhaus” (meaning General Hospital).

Capital

Vienna is the federal capital of Austria, a country settled in the central Europe. It is a city-province. There are 23 districts, called “Bezirke” in German. Its population is nearly 1.9 million of residents.

It is the 7th largest city in the European Union. It is frequently called the City of Music, due to musical heritage and City of Dreams, after famous psychotherapist Sigmund Freud. Vienna is famous for a high quality of life it offers to its residents. It is one of the wealthiest cities in Europe.

Economy

Vienna contributes to almost one quarter of Austrian GDP. It is important scientific and IT center and also a popular touristic spot. The service sector in Vienna is the most important sector, due to its share of 85,3% in gross value added. Trade, real estate and housing are among major business activities.

Vienna is favorite European location for headquarters of many large international companies.

Startups

More than eight thousand new companies are being formed in Vienna on annual basis since 2004, which brought Vienna reputation of a startup hub

Currency

Single European currency called Euro is used in Vienna. In addition, Euro can be used in all other European countries that belong to Euro zone. Euro fluctuates freely against USD. Euro banknotes are designed in such way that people with impaired sight can easily use them.

Denominations

Euro banknotes comes in the following denominations: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200. The use of denomination 500 is abolished in 2016. If you wonder why, the main reason was to make it harder for criminals to move around large piles of money.

Coins come in following denominations: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and €1 and €2. Banknotes are under the competence of European Central Bank, while coins are under competence of national central banks of the countries in Euro zone.

ATMs

There are numerous ATMs all over Vienna. However, they require credit cards with 4-digit codes. Travelers carrying cards with 6-digit codes should check with their bank whether they can get 4-digit code for their trip to Vienna.

Culture

Theatre, opera, classical music and fine arts are deeply rooted in Austrian and Viennese culture. Moreover, Vienna is rich in museums and even has its museums quarter. This city is a pure heaven for culture lovers. This city was under influence of different European cultures: Slav, Italian, German and Hungarian.

Famous Composers

Many famous artists were born in Vienna or they moved there, especially classical musicians and composers, including: Franz Schubert, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Johannes Brahms, Joseph Haydn, Robert Stolz, Ferdinand Ries, Gustav Mahler Arnold Schoenberg and Ludwig van Beethoven.

Theatres

Burgetheater is one of the most popular and it is considered one of the best in the German-speaking world. Vienna’s English Theater is the oldest English-speaking theatre formed outside UK: There are many opera houses: Staatsoper, Theater and der Wien, Volksoper and other.

Vienna Balls

Hofburg Palaze in Edenplatz is the central place for well-known Viennese balls. Balls are a cultural attraction in Vienna and the last all night long. Opera singers sing live there and sometimes, believe it or not, nine live orchestras play during one ball!

Language

The official language in Vienna is German. The local dialect differs from standard German. However, locals are fluent in standard German and English, which simplifies the communication with them. If you can speak at least a little bit of German and you are willing to give it a try with native speakers, tell them first: “Könnten Sie bitte Hochdeutsch sprechen?”, which is a polite way to ask someone to speak in standard German.

Religion

Culture was always under heavy influence of Catholicism in Vienna. Religious tolerance is omnipresent. Roman-catholic is dominant religion. Other religions are also being practiced in Vienna. An interesting fact is that Atheists are the second largest group. Protestants, Muslims and Catholic Orthodox also live in Vienna.

History

Vienna is one of the nine states in Austria. It is the smallest, however the most inhabited. Vienna was the capital of the Holy Roman Empire and also capital of Austro-Hungarian Empire. In World War II it was part of “Greater Germany”, according to Adolf Hitler’s plan. Subsequently, it was occupied by different other countries: Britany, France, America and Soviet Union. In 1955, Vienna became the capital of sovereign country Austria

The Art of Living

This city is famous for its beautiful architecture and hundreds of years old buildings and monuments. In spite its turbulent history, there is one thing that never changed – the art of living. The same music is played in renewed buildings. The same wine is even nowadays consumed, while the same woolen suits can be bought for centuries already.

Climate

In Vienna, summers are hot and dry, while winters are moderately cold. Period from June to September is the best period for visit when it comes to climate. During the summer, temperatures rise above 25 degrees Celsius, while in winter they go below 0 degrees Celsius sometimes. Due to its location, there is continental climate influence.

Population

When it comes to population, Vienna is the seventh largest city in the European Union and it is getting close to a number of two million residents. Vienna is a cosmopolitan city. Nearly half of Viennese are migrants, or at least they have migrant background. Most of them come from other European countries. Since 2007. growth rate revolves around 12% annually.

Geography

Vienna is settled in north-eastern Austria, which is a country located in the Central Europe. Austria itself borders with eight other European countries: Liechtenstein, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech, Switzerland, Slovenia and Italy. It is surrounded by Eastern fringe of Alps, Pannonia Lowlands, and Vienna Basin. Some East European cities are closer to Vienna that other Austrian cities. It covers the surface of of 414.87 square kilometers (157.65 square miles). Vienna Woods extend from southwest to northwest point of the city. River Danube enters the city from the north side.

Contact

Are your company or group looking for a tailored experience, contact us at lets@gonow.no for more information. Please include a preliminary amount of participants, period (month/year) for your travel and if its decided: your dream destination. We always answer inquiries within 24 hours.