I want to share some insights about the Austrian lifestyle after I’ve lived there for almost one year.
Austria is not that far away from my home country, but there are so many differences when I’m thinking about the two lifestyles.
If I would have to use just one word to describe the general feeling of living here, it would be CALM. Austria is a unique combination of lifestyles, which can take a while to get used to. Perhaps boring sometimes, but hey, summer is coming.
If I would have to use just one word to describe the general feeling of living here, it would be CALM.
Since last year when something extremely weird had happened and I started running, I have been constantly trying to change my lifestyle and my world.
After moving to Austria to work as a volunteer, I realised I’m not that crazy. These people have lived like this for generations now, and from this sporty-outdoor-lovers-environment-friendly point of view, I just love it here!
Biking. Everywhere and every day
Except Vienna, which is rather big and crowded, most of the Austrian cities are small and walkable. Or better said, you can reach from any point to another by bike.
Bike routes. Bikes traffic.
So many people on bikes, old people, young people, people who look like they are training for the country’s marathon on bikes, kids on bikes, parents with special seat for the kid on the bike, parents with special wagon attached to the bike to carry their kid/pet, oh… there are so many variations.
I have to mention the master bike drivers, who don’t need to use their hands to hold the bike and just keep their hand in their pockets, or smoke or scroll Facebook/sent a text, or just roll a cigarette. Yeah.. why not!?
Amazing nature, mountains and lakes
Most Europeans know Austria for its amazing landscapes, and almost all of us have at least a friend who skies in Austria in winter time. Why?
Because of the mountains. And because of a great skiing infrastructure. It’s expensive, but still, there are crowds of tourists during winter.
I am not a big snow lover, I prefer summer.
And during the summer, Austria has a lot to offer as well. Amazing lakes surrounded by mountains, warm enough to swim. Still, the weather is not that hot, to not be able to get out of your house during the day.
All around there are trail paths for walking or running or all kinds of sports. Even if you are not into sports, a longer visit in Austria will make anyone at least try one of these.
Party. Austria just wanna have fun
Snaps, beer and more beer.
Austrians do like parties, or more exactly, they are always willing to have a party, relax and have a good time.
That’s a great moment to make new Austrian friends. They get more friendly and drink as much and as fast as they can (most of them have a lot of practice… it runs in the family).
But when it comes to smaller cities, like most Austrian cities, the week goes something like:
- Go to work from Monday to Friday,
- Be boring and do nothing else,
- be excited about the weekend,
- go out on Friday,
- get drunk as fast as you can,
- get sick,
- go home,
- wake up hungover on Saturday,
- try to recover,
- go out again on Saturday,
- get drunk again,
- get sick,
- go home,
- be hungover on Sunday,
- try to recover for the next week,
Pretty popular pattern around here.
Austrians don’t like to be stresses
Austria is probably one of the most safest countries I’ve been to.
As a small country, Austria does not represent a big player concerning world politics, therefore everything is quiet and safe. And it has a low crime rate.
Some may even consider it a bit boring because nothing ever happens. Some more time to reflect on life and get in touch with your inner self. But that’s not that bad.
Austrian people are relaxed people. At least the ones I’ve met.
Everyone has his or her own job, and there is training for everything. (You need to go to school even if you want to work in a shop.)
The working hours are all set, they have a schedule for most stuff, so what’s there to be stressed about?
Always on time, although I would say Austrians are a bit more flexible than germans.
Travel by train in Austria
If you are a travel addict, Austria is a must-see.
While I was living there, I tried to travel as much as I could, and that is not so hard, while based in Austria.
The most important advantages of this small country are its location in Central Europe and the train infrastructure.
I consider it to be the most convenient mean of transport since Austria is pretty small and has almost no low-cost airlines offers.
From Austria almost any country in Europe is reachable by train, and the train system is very well-organized.
Basically, in half a day you can reach any of the neighbouring countries, no matter what part of Austria you come from.
That’s pretty amazing, especially if you are a spontaneous person and decide to drink a beer tomorrow in a different country to meet a friend who’s on holiday over there.
I’ve traveled quite a bit, while I was living there and most of my trips were by train, both in Austria and going abroad.
Almost any country in Europe is reachable by train, from Austria.
The Austrian train is called ÖBB and beside the spectacular landscapes and beautiful countryside, it provides the possibility to get cheaper tickets if you buy them at least 4 days before the trip.
The cheaper tickets are called Sparschiene and are half the price of the normal ticket.
The thing is this ticket can be used only for the selected train, on the selected hour. The full price ticket is valid for 24h, on the specified date and the only thing fixed is the destination. It’s called a flexible ticket and if you miss the train, you can get the next one and use the same ticket.
Another thing to keep in mind if you intend to travel a lot in Austria or move in Austria is the ÖBB Vorteilscard, which is valid for 1 year and grants a 50% discount.
Are you about to travel to Austria? Now that you know a thing or two about the Austrian lifestyle, make sure to pack your sporty clothes. There will be some biking, hiking and train trips involved.
Also, how much can you drink? Beer, that is.
Update 2020. I can say I really miss this Austria lifestyle. I miss the small town of Klagenfurt, where I used to live when I was volunteering in Austria, and I miss my biking trips. I miss the fresh air and the tress-free lifestyle.